Executive Chef / Owner
As executive chef and owner of Quince and Cotogna restaurants, Michael Tusk is known for his refined and modern approach to both Italian and French regional cuisine.
A native of New Jersey, Michael developed a profound curiosity about food at a very young age. While studying Art History at Tulane University, he took his first cooking job and was immediately drawn to the industry. Chef Tusk subsequently enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, where he became formally dedicated to the culinary arts.
Upon graduating, Chef Tusk departed for Europe to gain experience in Michelin-starred restaurants throughout France and Italy. He was particularly inspired by his experience in Italy’s Barbaresco region, which cultivated a deep interest in Northern Italian regional cooking.
When Chef Tusk returned to the United States in 1988, he settled in the Bay Area and started working at the legendary Stars restaurant. He left a year later for a position at Chez Panisse, where he stayed for four years. Michael credits much of his culinary philosophy to the time he spent under the influential tutelage of Alice Waters and then-chef Paul Bertolli.
Leaving Chez Panisse in 1994, Michael returned to France to gain more experience before signing on to work with Bertolli at Oliveto in Oakland. During his six-year tenure at this popular Italian restaurant, the duo often traveled to Italy for menu inspiration and to hunt for new ingredients.
Determined to open a restaurant of his own, Chef Tusk left Oliveto in 2000 and spent the next few years scouting potential locations. In 2003, he and his wife Lindsay discovered a quaint corner in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights and opened Quince. The intimate, 60-seat restaurant quickly became known as one of the city’s top fine-dining destinations, and Chef Tusk gained notoriety for his relationship with local purveyors.
The Tusks relocated the restaurant in 2009 to a historic 1907 brick and timber building in San Francisco’s Jackson Square neighborhood, which gave them the opportunity to open a second restaurant, Cotogna, adjacent to Quince. In its new home, Quince has been awarded a two Michelin-star rating and four stars from the San Francisco Chronicle, and Cotogna has become a popular destination for rustic California-Italian cuisine.
In 2011, Chef Tusk was honored with the James Beard Award for “Best Chef Pacific.”
Chef de Cuisine
Jonathan Black, born in the Bay Area and raised in Virginia, is passionate about cooking with seasonal, market-driven ingredients. As Chef de Cuisine at Quince in San Francisco, Black collaborates with Executive Chef Michael Tusk to create refined, ever-evolving tasting menus that highlight the area’s incredible, local bounty.
Chef Black’s interest in cooking started at a young age, when his passion for discovering different cuisines collided with the Southern fare he was raised on. He was determined to learn how to cook with fresh ingredients, uniting tradition with innovation.
Chef Black received a full scholarship to study at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and graduated with honors in 2007. He then spent the summer working at The Chefs Garden in Milan, Ohio where he learned sustainable growing techniques and developed seasonal menus for visiting chefs. In the fall of 2007, Black moved to New York City and over the course of six years, strengthened his culinary skills by working at some of the most esteemed restaurants in the city.
His professional restaurant career began as a member of the opening team at Allen and Delancey. A year later, he helped to open Corton, gaining experience in advanced culinary techniques and playing a supporting role in the documentary feature A Matter of Taste. Black then accelerated his cooking skills and took his career to the next level at Per Se as Chef de Partie. To prepare for the opening of the highly anticipated Governor Restaurant, Chef Black staged at some of the most prestigious restaurants in Europe – NOMA and In De Wulf, among others. Upon his return to New York City, Chef Black opened the restaurant of his dreams, taking the helm as Chef de Cuisine at Governor Restaurant in Brooklyn. In late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy destroyed the restaurant and Black made the difficult decision to move on and head west.
In the winter of 2013, Chef Black commenced his west coast career at Quince in San Francisco, inspired by Chef Tusk’s close relationship with local purveyors and frequent trips to the farmers market. As Chef de Cuisine, he works on the menu alongside Tusk, developing new dishes and gathering inspiration from the bountiful produce of Northern California.
Executive Pastry Chef
A native of England, Chef Laurie Jon Moran knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life when he turned 18, the day the aspiring chef had an eye-opening birthday dinner at Raymond Blanc’s two-Michelin starred restaurant Le Manoir a Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire, England. Never before had a meal attained such extraordinary heights, and he was determined to achieve that level of quality in his own career. Now as the executive pastry chef at Le Bernardin, he incorporates his personal and professional experiences at some of America’s top restaurants into every dessert that leaves his pastry kitchen.
Chef Moran’s passion for food was first sparked by family trips to neighboring France, where he was exposed to the country’s cuisine from a very early age. At just 16 years old, he entered the culinary program at Northampton College and soon realized that he was drawn to the technical and artistic nature of pastry. After working at St. Martin’s Lane Hotel in London, he accepted a position at the one restaurant he always wanted to be a part of: Le Manoir. Under Chef Patissier Benoit Blin, he gained the discipline that would not only anchor his foundation in classic French pastry, but also expand his knowledge of pastry arts from around the world.
In 2004, Chef Daniel Boulud met Laurie at Le Manoir’s “American Food Revolution” event and said if he came to New York, he would have a job at Daniel. Laurie moved to New York and quickly rose to pastry sous chef at the restaurant, working closely with pastry chef Dominique Ansel to hone his understanding of modern technique and flavor profiles. During this time, he also wanted to learn more and staged with Le Bernardin’s then-pastry chef Michael Laiskonis.
Chef Moran moved on to become pastry chef at Terrance Brennan’s Picholine in 2009, where the global influences of New York City helped him to revamp the pastry program and continue to develop his own style. A year later, he was offered a position as pastry sous chef at Thomas Keller’s Per Se, where he worked alongside Sebastien Rouxel and Elywn Boyles. Some of Laurie’s most memorable experiences occurred during his two-year tenure, such as leading the pastry team for the “French Laundry at Harrod’s” event, a recreation of the Thomas Keller dining experience in the famous London department store.
In January 2012, Chef Moran became the executive pastry chef at Le Bernardin and began to put his own stamp on the menu with a pastry program that showcased his signature modern takes on classic French confections and complements Chef Eric Ripert’s cuisine. The New York Times praised Laurie’s desserts when the restaurant’s 4-star rating was reaffirmed in May 2012. His dishes have also been featured in Food Republic, Food Arts, Serious Eats, and Dessert Buzz.
In 2013, Chef Moran was named “Top 10 US Pastry Chefs 2013″ by Dessert Professional Magazine and was nominated for Food and Wine Magazine’s “People’s Choice Best New Pastry Chef 2013.”
Jai Wilson is the Wine Director at Quince and Cotogna in San Francisco. As wine director, Jai is responsible for developing the wine program. His duties include evolving the wine list, maintaining inventory, and staff wine education.
An Alaskan native, Wilson graduated from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington in 2002 with a B.A. focus on business. Upon graduating, Wilson began his wine career as a wine education specialist at Late-Bottle Vintage in Seattle Washington. Continuing his wine knowledge development in Washington, Wilson entered hospitality as a wine steward, hosting tastings to educate his fellow staff members at a local restaurant and wine bar.
Wanting to be closer to the Northern Californian wine industry, Wilson decided to relocate to San Francisco. Continuing his career at Aqua, Wilson soon became an Assistant Sommelier through which he continued to train staff and manage the wine cellar. Following Aqua, Jai began his eight-year tenure at Jardiniére where through his hard work and dedication, he eventually became wine director. At Jardiniére, Jai’s duties included day-to-day management of the wine lists, formal staff trainings, tastings, and rare-bottle acquisitions.
He is a certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, and the North American Sommelier Association. In his spare time Jai enjoys traveling to wine regions such as Champagne, Alsace, Mosel, Western Australia, and the American west coast. Wilson is also a featured contributor in Tasting Panel Magazine and a member of the Tasting Panel for Wine and Spirits Magazine.
Director of Private Dining & Events
Amanda Botelho is the director of private dining and events at Quince and Cotogna restaurants in San Francisco. As a member of the team, Amanda contributes her event planning and culinary management background to the restaurants, ensuring memorable experiences for guests.
Originally from the Bay Area, Botelho moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA. Upon graduation, she headed back to San Francisco to work for Mayor Gavin Newsom’s hospitality company, the PlumpJack Group, where she learned many facets of hospitality from daily operations to investor relations and employee communications.
While reading Danny Meyer’s book “Setting the Table,” Botelho dreamed of working for the restaurateur and moved across the country in the summer of 2007 to pursue her ambition. Botelho worked as Meyer’s assistant and as the communications manager at the Union Square Hospitality Group for two years before moving back to San Francisco in 2009.
Botelho began working at OpenTable, the online reservations platform, in 2010. She was in charge of managing client relationships, and it was during her time with OpenTable that Botelho first met chef Michael Tusk and Lindsay Tusk. She was immediately drawn to their hospitality style, and joined the team as private dining and events manager in 2012.
At Quince and Cotogna, Botelho ensures that every guest is offered a special experience, distinct from their previous and futures visits. Botelho takes pride in tailoring unforgettable dining experiences where family and friends gather and create memories over great food and wine. In her spare time Botelho enjoys practicing yoga, traveling and dining out as often as she can.