A Cincinnati native raised in Denver, Chef Kayser received his bachelor’s degree at the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Colorado. Kayser’s career began with a promising start as an apprentice under Master Chef Bryan Nagao, of Mao Restaurant and Hong Kong standout Town. After working through every station in Mao’s kitchen, Kayser landed a position at the Denver institution Mel’s Bar & Grill, a rite of passage shared with some of Denver’s best chefs, including Frank Bonnano, Tyler Wiard, Goose Sorenson, and Blair Taylor.
Stints in New York City followed, where Kayser worked in several internationally acclaimed restaurants including serving as Chef de Cuisine at Thomas Valenti’s Ouest. Kayser’s success at Ouest led to a position as Executive Chef at several Richard Sandoval concepts including Zengo, Yotel, and Maya, succeeded by opening The Smith at Lincoln Center and the Downtown Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.
Time in Hong Kong followed when Kayser was tapped by acclaimed chef Laurent Tournadel to take the role of Executive Chef at BLT Steak in Hong Kong. His time in Hong Kong, while exciting, fulfilling and successful, left him dreaming of his family and friends in Colorado and eventually led him to a momentous phone call with Vesta owner, Josh Wolkon, to discuss a great return to Colorado.
While he has led kitchens for some of our country’s most notable chefs, Chef Kayser is thrilled to enjoy the culinary freedom and creative outlet of Vesta’s kitchen. Diners can look for Kayser to respect the world cuisine concept of Vesta while bringing a new and fresh approach to the menu format and culinary style of the 19-year old restaurant at 1822 Blake St.
Executive Pastry Chef
Born into a long line of pastry chefs and bakers, Nadine Donovan’s enthusiasm for all things sweet was instilled at an early age while growing up in her hometown of London, Ontario, Canada. Years later, after emigrating to Colorado, Nadine decided to pursue her passion and enrolled in the Baking and Pastry Arts program at Johnson & Wales University where she excelled, graduating Magna Cum Laude. In the evenings, Nadine gained practical experience working in local restaurant kitchens.
Over the next few years, Nadine quickly made a name for herself by designing original pastry programs at some of Denver’s most acclaimed restaurants including Parisi’s, Fuel, and eventually Old Major, where she earned the title of Denver’s Best Pastry Chef by Westword Magazine. This recognition capped a stellar year during which Nadine was named to Zagat’s 30 Under 30 list and was invited to join Denver’s esteemed culinary group, the Denver Five.
Not content with this early success, Nadine embraced the next challenge in her life when she signed on as Executive Pastry Chef for Secret Sauce Food & Beverage, the local restaurant group behind Steuben’s, Ace Eat Serve, and Vesta Dipping Grill. Tasked with developing pastry programs for three very different concepts, Nadine and her team create unique, seasonal desserts to compliment each restaurant’s unique identity and cuisine.