CuliCon Consultants


CuliCon, a team of hospitality professionals, proven operators, all accomplished in our varied areas of expertise.
Reliable short-term consultants that provide viable long-term results.


CuliCon provides project advisory services and placement with trusted, pre-vetted hospitality consultants.

Tiered advisory services begin with a CuliCon Consultant to asses and outline the scope of work, develop the project
order and pair the best consultants from our team. CuliCon remains involved as a dedicated point of contact through
the consultancy as a perpetual resource, and to lend hands-on support as needed.

Placement services recommend consultants from our team or network, and furnish legal agreements to solidify partnerships with limited involvement throughout the consultancy.



Robin Lewis
FOH Training & Education
Team Building Seminars:
Technical Service
Sales Technique

Beverage Education:
Company Handbooks & Manuals
Policy & Protocol
Technical Service
Beverage Education
Program Development:
Restaurant Operations
Operational Fine Tuning
Administrative Organization
Inventory Control
A full career of hands on operational experience working in key positions of learning with iconic chefs & restaurant groups in New York, Washington D.C., Miami, Tokyo and Dubai. Robin started his career on the floor working the Hampton— Miami seasonal circuit, he was brought to New York City in 2000 for the opening of “Tao”. After this induction to NYC Hospitality life, he went on to hold positions of Bar Manager for Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s “Vong”, Service & Banquet Manager at Geoffrey Zakarian’s “Country”, Sommelier at both “A.D.N.Y.” and “Adore” by Alain Ducasse, and Service Director at Mario Batali’s "Del Posto". Robin then honed his expertise with multi-award winning "Junoon Restaurants" opening and operating both the NYC and Dubai locations as their Director of Operations.

In 2016, Robin transitioned to the hospitality recruitment field as part of the start-up development team with One Haus Recruiting. Through this time, he found the opportunity to consult on several successful openings in Miami, Houston, and Washington DC. Most notably, working with the lauded Atlas Restaurant Group as a Hospitality & Technical Service consultant. All setting the stage for the launch of the Culinary Conservatory.
Liran Mezan
Company Growth Strategy
Brand Expansions

Systems Alignment
Recipe Standardization
Commissary Transition
National Purchasing Strategy
Health & Hygiene Guidelines
Openings & Reorganization
Full Scope Openings
Culinary Concept Design
Kitchen Design
Menu Re-concepting
Administrative Organization
Evaluations & Restructure
Culinary Menu Development
Menu engineering
Recipe Books & Menu Descriptions
Seasonal Planning

Creative Development:
BOH Management
Kitchen Guide Books
Critical Training Pathways
Line Level Recruitment & Training
Liran’s career brings a wealth of experience spanning the globe as a Culinary Director of Operations for major restaurant groups and hotels. A career that has fortified his approach to large scale openings, menu modernization, operational fine-tuning, and cultivating aspiring chefs.

After graduating from Stony Brook University, Liran quickly traded academia for the culinary world. He progressively rose to Corporate Executive Chef opening 30+ units around the world; NYC, Miami, Washington DC, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Toronto, Hong Kong, London, and the UAE. First, heading up the global expansion and chef training programs for BLT Restaurant Group, and then for The One Group launching brands like STK, Bagatelle Bistro, and Asellina Trattoria. As the Director of Operations of Chefs Club, he perused path in global operations, developing the company’s multiple brands ranging from ✰✰✰Michelin to QSR. The curation and collaboration of and with global Celebrity Chefs for residency programs in NYC, Aspen, and Taiwan. He is now Consulting with focus toward passion projects and primary & secondary dining markets, including his partnership with the Culinary Conservatory.
Megan Brock
Organizational Development
Employer Branding
Employee Relations Strategy
Performance Improvement Plans
Progressive Training
Leadership Development
HR Compliance
Federal & State Labor Laws
Required Trainings
Wage & Hour Compliance
Open Enrollment
Audit Leadership
Openings & Restructurings
Payroll & Benefits Administration
HR Policy, Process & Systems Design
Workforce Planning
Employee Handbook Creation
Job Descriptions
Compensation Analysis
HR Digitization
Megan began her hospitality journey while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in International Relations at New York University. By graduation she had moved up the ranks to Maître d’ and fell in love with the industry, setting the pathway into an exciting career.

Over the years she has had the opportunity to learn from renowned industry leaders Gray Kunz at “Café Gray”, Tom Colicchio at “Craftbar”, and Marc Forgione at “Khe-Yo” in New York as well as Mike & Lindsay Tusk at “Quince” and Gary Danko in San Francisco. She has held positions from General Manager to Director of Events & Catering, eventually moving into multi-unit positions as Director of Operations and, most recently, as the first Director of Human Resources for NY-based “Sant Ambroeus Hospitality”, where she led the development of the company’s employee brand, created Recruiting and Learning & Development departments, shored up compliance procedures and implemented new technology to streamline the employee experience across their 22 units.

Megan holds her SHRM-SCP certification from the Society for Human Resource Management, where she is also a member of the NYC and National chapters. She is currently pursuing her MBA.
Nish Patel
Restaurant Finances
Cashflow & Reconciliations
Financial Digitization
Weekly Reports
Forecasts & Budgeting
GL & Journal Maintenance
Inventory Control
Third Party Financial Services & Set up
Nish earned his Master’s in accounting early on while working in London, he then joined Paperchase India and was quickly earmarked to lead their US expansion in 2010. Now he is the Managing Partner of Paperchase North America and is the brainchild behind one of the first successful Corporate Food Delivery operations in NYC.

Paperchase is a hospitality bookkeeping firm that represents QSR to Michelin operations worldwide, their niche expertise, producing analytical reporting, and outsourcing of day-to-day finance operations. Today they have over 500 restaurants in the US alone and continue to grow with offices in NYC, Miami & London. The spectrum of concepts they represent extend from groups like ZUMA, Dinex by Daniel Boulud, and The Fat Duck to Pincho and Five Guys.

Nish and Paperchase have partnered with the Culinary Conservatory to offer a quick and effective resource to financial SOP implementation for operations of all sizes and revenue streams.
Masaki Nakayama
Japanese Cuisine Concept & Menu Development
Formal Concepts:

Grill & Steak Concepts:
Shabu Shabu
Japanese Steakhouse

Casual Dining:
Sushi, Sashimi & Nigiri
Sushi Chef Training
Head Sushi Chefs
Junior Sushi Cooks
A native of Yaizu City in Japan’s Shizuoka prefecture, Chef Nakayama grew up immersed in the culinary traditions of this famous commercial fishing port. The foundation of his poissonnier career was laid in Tokyo’s internationally renowned Tsukiji fish market, where he fortified his knowledge of fish and seafood from throughout the world.

A move to New York City in pursuit of a musical career ended up bringing him deeper into the culinary world. The opportunity to work alongside Chef Nao Sugiyama (of Nobu) at Fujisawa and Katana restaurants fortified his understanding of the traditions and techniques of Kaiseki cuisine.

Chef spent several years working with the team that introduced Japanese wagyu to the US, at Selina Japanese Steakhouse, also training in traditional techniques “shabu shabu” & “Yakiniku”. He later honed his skills in “Omakase” & “Edomae” Sushi in restaurants Yasuda, Jewel Bako, Tokyo Pop, and Zuma. He owned his own restaurant, Mr. Robata, in New York City before becoming a Japanese Cuisine & Sushi consultant. He has consulted for locations in Toronto, Hawaii and now the mainland USA with the Culinary Conservatory.
Gregg Nelson
Restaurant Operations
P&L Management
Cash Flow Management
Inventory Control
Reservations & Occupancy Optimization
Company Handbooks & Manuals
Policy & Protocol
Steps of Service
Front Door/Reservations
FOH Training & Education
Staff Appraisals & Development
Management Development
Technical Service
Sales Techniques
A graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel & Restaurant Administration and a former Officer in the US Marine Corps; Gregg holds an impressive background as an industry professional with experience in several major dining markets and luxury destinations of NYC, Washington DC, San Francisco, Seattle, and Colorado.

Gregg’s career took off as a task force manager for Drew Nieporent’s Myriad Restaurant Group, with the scope of launching F&B programs in “W” and “Interstate” Hotels’ properties around the country. Once settled in NYC, he continued at Robert DeNiro’s “Tribeca Grill” & “Layla”. Eventually making the transition to ✰✰✰Michelin Eleven Madison Park, as a service professional.

Progressed to restaurateur status, Gregg and partners, transformed a NYC jazz club into the NYT’s lauded, East Village favorite, “The Redhead”. The foundation to his successful company that offered consultancy services for new restaurant openings and culinary brand extensions into the retail sector. His recent work has been in the D.C. market working with several hospitality groups; Jamie Leed’s, JL Restaurant Group, and during the start-up phases with KNEAD Hospitality & Design with James Beard Chef Edward Lee, as well as with FoodShed Hospitality by James Beard Chef Spike Gjerde. He is now transitioning into hospitality consulting and Procurement & Placements with the Culinary Conservatory.
Michael Dolinski
Wine Program Development
Concept Design
Cellar & Binning Design
Purchasing & Procurement
Award Winning Program Development
Wine Spectator
World of Fine Wine
Inventory & Control Systems
Inventory Digitization
Costing & Margins
Wine Education
Wine Fundamentals
Technical Wine Service
Floor Sales
Michael’s wine career began at Marcel Desaulniers’ Trellis in Williamsburg, VA. He quickly established himself in the wine community, moving on to work with rising star Chef David Everett at Ford’s Colony where their prestigious, 1000+ bottle program earned the Wine Spectator “Best of Award of Excellence” for 10 years running as well as the AAA 5-Diamond Award and a DiRōNA award.

Michael spent the next chapter of his career in the DC metro area learning the wholesale and retail sides of the business, first representing a portfolio of top selections and then acting as buyer for an exclusive luxury outlet. He then moved to New York City to pursue the coveted Master Sommelier accreditation, launching back into restaurants with Chef Geoffrey Zakarian at Country. Since then, Michael’s Wine Director credentials have grown to include the programs of iconic chefs & operations such as Alain Allegretti, Gordon Ramsay at the London, Junoon, and Kurt Gutenbrunner’s Wallsé.

Michael has achieved his Advanced Sommelier with the CMS and continues his pursuit of the MS. He has recently developed the wine program and procured selections for award-winning Chef Alfred Portale’s eponymous restaurant, where he currently maintains the program and oversees daily service.
Ethan Kelley
Bar & Lounge, Openings & Operations
Bar Design
Concept Development
Bar Efficiencies
Cellar Procurement
Vendor Partnerships
Inventory Systems
Beverage COGS
Creative Program Development
Whiskey Program
Drink Menu
Specialty Cocktails
Spirits Program Depth or Breadth
Training & Education
Classic Bartending Technique
Pre & Post Prohibition Cocktails
Spirits History & Provenance
Salesmanship & Guest Interaction
Alcohol Awareness, Safety & Compliance
Guest Safety
Alcohol Service Responsibilities
Ethan started his career in Spirits with an exhaustive journey fortifying his expertise through extensive travel to distilleries, cooperages, copper smiths around the world. His formative career started behind the bar both on “the stick” and as a Bar Manager in the North East. He propelled to a being a regarded industry resource in 2004 when he partnered with Flavien Desoblin to develop and oversee the beverage program at the Brandy Library, the globally renowned spirits cellar and drinking lounge in Tribeca NYC. After achieving numerous global awards for selection, breadth of knowledge, and staff excellence, Ethan went on to consult on a variety of venues from high volume establishments to exclusive connoisseur club lounges around the country.

Since his induction to the importer and supplier sector, he has become a well-regarded resource for new producers and distribution teams. He has been a judge for both the NY Spirits Awards Competition and Paul Pacult’s Ultimate Spirits Challenge; featured as an industry expert on The History Channel, MSNBC, FOX News and multiple appearances in the NY Times. Ethan is the Membership Director and Curator for the Spirits Network where he also writes his Blogs for curious enthusiasts. You will also find him debating all matter of boozy banter with Flavien Desoblin on their podcast, “Make Mine neat”.


Human Resources Specialist- SHRM-CP, MBA
HR Generalist & Administrative Modernization
HR Digitization of Payroll, ATS & HRIS
Policy & Handbook Development
Audit Leadership
Hourly Recruitment
Human Resources Compliance
Federal Entities
CA, NY, IL, FL Labor laws
Alcohol Awareness Education
Compensation & Benefits
Open Enrollment
Learning Management
LMS Implementation
Progressive Training
Required Training
Holds their MBA focused in Human Resources from Florida International University, an HR Labor Law certification from Loyola Marymount University, and is both a member of and a certified SHRM-CP professional. Their career in hospitality is one of diverse experience starting with tenures on the floor up to General Manager and transitioning into a Human Resources Director.

A passion for HR was born through an early career working with Aoki Restaurants in Atlanta & South Florida. These formative years honed their expertise in employee development, training, recruiting, & learning management. Shaping their ideology and best, successful practices toward creating dynamic teams in difficult staffing markets. Then joined Miami’s James Beard awarded Juvia Restaurant Group. As the Corporate HR Director, they led the development of a technology based Corporate HR department that supported a rapid company expansion achieving 5 units of 600+ employees in under 5 years. Their most recent projects brought them to Los Angeles to work with Lending USA. Together they re-imagined and developed a fully digitized Human Resources department from scratch.

Continually educating them self to stay at the forefront of new Human Resources trends, legislation, and technology through a variety of Human Resources courses. And is pursuing a PhD, to become an educator in Human Resources Management subjects.
Culinary Specialist
Kitchen Operations
BOH Operations & SOP
Team Workflow Organization
Inventory Control
QSR Openings & Concept Development
Line Level Training
Menu Ideation
Menu Engineering
Sales Analysis
Market Testing
Recipe R&D
Recipe Costing & Documentation
Product Sourcing
Purchasing Strategy

Creative Development:
Kitchen Design
Equipment Review/Assessment
Cap-Ex Improvement
Workflow Optimization
A full career developing and working in renowned kitchens. With the bulk of their time in NYC and Miami, working alongside notable luminaries including Tom Colicchio, Stephen Starr, Scott Conant, Michael White and Mario Batali, developing a strong repertoire In European and New American cuisines.

Recognized by Michelin with both stars and bib gourmands as well as ✰✰✰ reviews from such publications as the New York Times and Miami Herald. Developed multiple concepts from ideation to daily operation and excels at both the creative and technical aspects of creating and operating a professional kitchen. Passions and strengths are in developing a strong team built around a teaching disciplined culture.

Since 2018 has consulted on several projects, notably with SBE and Chef Michael Schwartz’s Genuine Food Group in Miami.