Chef Stephen Barber takes over at Farmstead

Sheamus Feeley departs for Colorado. Bummer.

Sheamus Feeley

Sheamus Feeley
Sheamus Feeley

Bummed: Sheamus was incredible and probably one of the nicest guys in the biz. Congrats to Chef Barber. Looks like a good reason to check out the changes!

Long Meadow Ranch announced today that award-winning Chef Stephen Barber will assume the duties of executive chef at Farmstead restaurant on August 1st.  Barber will replace Executive Chef Sheamus Feeley.  Adam Kim, Farmstead’s opening general manager, will be promoted to executive general manager.

Barber was most recently chef of Fish Story restaurant in Napa, which is owned by Chef Bradley Ogden’s Lark Creek Restaurant Group. Previously, he was executive chef of MECCA in San Francisco where he received three stars from Michael Bauer of the San Francisco Chronicle and was named a 2004 “Rising Star Chef.” In 2007, Barber opened BarbersQ in Napa, which also received three stars from the San Francisco Chronicle, was featured on the “Top 10 Best New Restaurants 2007” and “Top 100 Restaurants” lists by Mr. Bauer, and was named a Michelin Guide “Bib Gourmand.”

Chef Sheamus Feeley will rejoin the Hillstone Restaurant Group as Vice President of Culinary Development, where he worked from 2003 until joining the Hall family’s Long Meadow Ranch Winery & Farmstead in 2009.  Hillstone operates upscale/casual dining establishments, with brands including Rutherford Grill, Hillstone (formerly known as Houston’s), Bandera, R+D and Gulfstream restaurants.  Feeley and his family will relocate to Boulder, Colorado, where he previously was chef/owner of Mateo Restaurant.

A Kentucky native, Chef Barber began his culinary career at one of the best restaurants in Mississippi, City Grocery, working with Chef John Currence. Barber next moved to Miami, where he spent four years honing his craft under Chef Norman Van Aken at his eponymous
restaurant, Norman’s. Van Aken subsequently brought on Barber as the opening chef de cuisine for Bambu restaurant, where he was discovered by MECCA’s owner.

“We are delighted to have a chef of Stephen’s stature join our team,” said Ted Hall, President & General Manager of Hall family-owned Long Meadow Ranch, which owns and operates the restaurant. “Stephen will continue Farmstead’s authentic farm-to-table menu and he brings great experience to our new outdoor live-fire space where he can showcase primal grilling for large and small groups.”

Building on his Southern roots, Barber will bring his own ingredient-driven approach to Farmstead’s American farmhouse cooking and he will continue to utilize the organic produce, grass-fed beef, eggs, and olive oils from Long Meadow Ranch and other local artisanal producers.

“Stephen has been a regular customer of our products for his own table since he moved to the Napa Valley,” said Laddie Hall, who operates Long Meadow Ranch’s farmstand.  “And, he featured our grass-fed beef and hot dogs while he was at BarbersQ.  So, his joining Farmstead is just a return to the family.”

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to create an exciting dining experience at moderate prices that brings fresh, healthy food to the table.” said Barber. “My cooking style has always been driven by the seasons and I now have the opportunity to take local ingredients at their peak freshness and prepare them with all of the right tools — including the wood-fired oven, wood-burning grill, plancha, and outdoor live fire.”

“We are very excited for Sheamus,” said Ted Hall. “He is taking on company-wide responsibility at Hillstone Group, which operates more than 50 top-quality restaurants across the country.  And, he is returning to family roots in Colorado. It is a great career opportunity for Sheamus. We are very grateful for his contribution to the successful launch of Farmstead.”