Chris McMillian is a New Orleans bartender and a co-founder of The Museum of the American Cocktail. Imbibe Magazine mentioned McMillian as one of the top 25 most influential cocktail personalities of the last century.
McMillian, a fourth generation bartender, has been the chief bartender at several New Orleans bars, including the Library Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton and Bar UnCommon. As a cocktail historian, McMillian is known for telling stories or reciting drink-themed poetry while making drinks. McMillian has been mentioned in many magazines such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, and has been a public speaker at institutions such as the Smithsonian.
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Chef Nick Vella is first generation Maltese American who had an interest in food at a young age. Both his parents, George and Nicolette were born on the Island of Gozo, the sister island of Malta. His Mother and Grandmother introduced him to cooking seasonally with their passion for food and gardening. He spent summers exploring Malta as a child. At 17, Nick decided to pursue a career in the service industry. He started working at
Zenos Steakhouse, a fixture on Route 66 in Missouri since the 1950s. Nick graduated from Louisiana Culinary Institute in 2010. While attending culinary school in Baton Rouge he focused on immersing himself in Cajun Creole cuisine and culture, working at locally owned Cajun Creole restaurants.
After graduation, he spent the summer interning in Malta and Italy. Then moved to New Orleans to work for James Beard chefs Slade Rushing (of Brennan’s currently) and Allison Vines Rushing at MILA. At Mila, Nick first worked with Chris McMillian and Laura Johnson McMillian. After a two year stent at MILA and wanting a change of pace from Southern Cuisine, Nick joined the opening team of Noodle and Pie, a traditional Ramen House with Chefs Eman
Loubier and Brian Amour. Nick then was given his first head chef position at Cibugnu, a small Italian restaurant on St. Charles Ave. where he focused on seasonally driven Fresh Pasta, Napolitano pizzas, and Wood Fired Meats. At Cibugnu, Nick received his first local press as one of Gambit’s Emerging Chefs in 2015. After Cibugnu, Nick spent one year at Compere Lapin with acclaimed Chef Nina Compton. In the Spring Of 2016, Nick was hired as the opening Executive Chef at Vessel Nola in MidCity New Orleans. At Vessel he received local and national press for
his distinctive rendition of mediterranean cooking with American South and Asian Fusion.
Now at family operated Revel, Nick is taking influences from Chris’s focus of time tested classics. Nick’s inspiration and focus for the menu at Revel are classic regional dishes from tapas, pubs, Taverns, Italian aperitivo, and Japanese Izakaya, with a heavy underlining of his Maltese Heritage while showcasing southern Louisianian Seasonal ingredients.