Our Team

Every single role at Preserve is necessary, and it takes around 40 people to make Preserve and Preserve Market happen for our guests every day. Here are a few of the faces that are here day in and day out to make sure everyone has what they need to bring local, fresh, and thoughtful food and drink to you, our guest.

 

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Cole and Sara Ogando

Founders

Cole was born and raised in Winters, CA. He and his wife Sara left their successful careers with the family's contracting business to start Preserve in 2011. Their goal for Preserve, as for everything in life, is to be in a continuous state of improvement and provide the means to reward those dedicating themselves to the same principles. With their two children, they enjoying being outside and sharing their table with family and friends.

Both Cole and Sara bring an inherited passion for preserving food, especially canning, charcuterie, and distilling. For them, the restaurant is a medium to foster and share classic techniques for preserving this season’s bounty for later sustenance. "My motivation is very simple," says Cole, "everyone used to know how to take any extra food they had and save it for later, how not to waste. We must hone these skills and preserve them in our collective minds in order to share them with future generations.”


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Avery Struthers

General Manager

Avery grew up outside of Boston in a town very similar to Winters. His 16 years in the industry were mostly passed in the back-of-house and came amid graduate study in Philosophy. He moved to California to study Political Theory and left academia to join Preserve in 2014.

When he’s not at work, he prefers to be in the mountains or eating oysters near Pt. Reyes. His personal and professional goals are difficult to detach from one another: to be a contributing member of a community of people who work together to better this world and are happy while doing it, and to realize a change in the hospitality and agricultural industries that values individuals and their needs as much as material indicators of success.


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Jay Peacock

Head Chef

Jay is an Oregon native who began cooking professionally in 2007 and came up under the mentorship of Chef Joey Elenterio.  His experience in San Francisco and Sacramento gave him a vision for what a kitchen could be, and in Winters he saw the potential to make that vision a reality. Here, Jay is excited for himself and his team to grow and inspire by learning and teaching, failing and succeeding, and always remaining humble.

In what off-time a Chef can make for himself, Jay plays drums and makes music, does everything with his two dogs, and gardens. In all areas of life, Jay’s passion is to learn in every moment about everything around him.



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Laina Schneider

Sous Chef

Like all good people, Laina was born and raised on the east coast before coming to California for graduate school. Since coming to Preserve in 2017, she daily follows the most important direction we give:  make yourself indispensable. Before allowing herself to be convinced to accept a promotion to Sous Chef, she was on the other end of the food chain: working at Stone Barns in New York and studying domestic and international agriculture.

If not in a community-based and locally-inspired scratch kitchen, Laina hopes to find a vocation at the intersection of food and agriculture that allows her to share her passion and curiosity with others. But if all else fails, her plan is to start an urban Bison farm.



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Christopher Sheil

Sous Chef

Chris is a Northern-California native with a passion for cooking that started at a young age. From the dish room to culinary school to serving as Sous Chef at Preserve, Chris exhibits the dedication and passion necessary to succeed in the industry.

Chris says he’s found what he wants here at Preserve: being part of a restaurant that challenges and also lives that ideal of continuous learning and growth. His stated goal is to push the envelope in a mindful rather than reckless way; his apparent goal is to swear as much as possible while maintain good grammar.



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Curtis Withnell

Bar Manager

Curtis is a life-long Yolo County resident save for a brief stint in Washington. He’s worked in many kinds of bars and restaurants, and has finally found what he considers to be his home in a craft cocktail-driven and team-based program. Here, his passion and care for all aspects of hospitality shine bright and help create a hospitality has to be experienced to fully appreciate.

Curtis fits right in in Winters: his goals are to do something he loves to make a honest living to support his family. At home, he spreads his time between family and his duties as unofficial President of the Official John Mayer fan club.