Okay. The bird is the word.
Once a year we all sit with friends and family and gussy up the table a bit more than usual. The time of Holiday feasting is upon us. In the middle west that means meals chock full of flavor, carbs
General Manager/Executive Chef - Chris Weimer
Chris is a graduate of the nationally celebrated Secchia Culinary Institute. His humble, yet passionate approach to food is rarely found in modern chefs and his leadership skills and dedication to the job are exceptional. He arrived at Vivant and started as Head Line Cook. He quickly rose to the rank of GM, for good reason. His vision, attention to detail and unending, exuberant energy form the engine that keeps his team constantly moving forward. His no-nonsense, yet fair leadership style commands a level of loyalty from his staff that is rarely seen in the current hospitality world. We are all very happy to have him at the helm and are excited to see where he takes us, because we know it will be someplace great.
Chef de Cuisine - Christopher Vander Meer
Chris clawed his way into the role of Chef de Cuisine through hard work and a love and passion for fine food. He graduated with honors from Grand Rapids Community College holding a degree in culinary arts. Chris has worked in a variety of kitchens around the Grand Rapids area, ranging from country clubs to fine dining restaurants. He also spent time living and cooking New England fare on the coast of Maine. He is excited to be a part of this fresh, new addition to Grand Rapids that we call Vivant!
Sous Chef - Adam Lance
Adam grew up learning how to cook comfort food from his two Grandmothers; one from The South, the other a Hungarian immigrant. He became a line cook at age nineteen and is now a veteran of the Grand Rapids culinary scene. He has seen many culinary trends rise, fall and sometimes come full circle. Trends are currently none of his concern, but the lessons and tricks he learned from cooking through past trends manifest themselves as subtle bits of fusion in hearty, soul warming, seemingly simple dishes.
Assistant General Manager - Louis Mestaz
Louis has years of experience managing restaurants in the Grand Rapids area, most notably Graydon's Crossing, Derby Station and Logan's Alley. He has extensive knowledge of beer and enjoys doing field research on what the latest trends are in the craft beer scene. He is strongly committed to customer satisfaction and keeping the lines of communication open between the kitchen and the serving staff (a task not easily accomplished!). In his spare time, Louis is an expert juggler and can often be found making balloon animals for his 3 sons.
Assistant Manager - Chris Hoeksema
For two years in a row, Hoeks was voted by our staff as something along the lines of "my favorite person to work with." There's a reason for this, as you will learn when you meet him. He's the guy that parents hope their daughters will bring home announcing their engagement. He's been in the industry for years bartending, serving and managing and knows what to do, when to do it, and how to best get it done. He also has a lovely singing voice.
Experience Warden - Jonathan Ward
Ward is now in his second stint at Vivant after dipping his toe into the Pacific Northwest Craft Beer scene. A half year into his western adventure he came home for a visit and decided to come home to stay. He happily brings his girlfriend Katy Waltz and (somewhat unhappily) a plump telepathic feline named Pinot back with him after adventures too numerous to mention here. His new role as "Experience Warden" is as non-linear, left-field and open-ended as he is. He will be doing everything in his power to make the Vivant experience a powerfully good one through community, art, design, education, events and of course food and beer. His main goals are to get Vivant beers on tap at at least one brewpub in Japan and to have a pint at the Vivant arches with Dan Pashman and Simon Pegg.