Michelin-starred Chef Alain Verzeroli has worked in many of the world’s most prestigious restaurants over his notable career. In June 2018 he joined The Bastion Collection to serve as Culinary Director for several of the group’s upcoming projects. Verzeroli created and oversees the concepts for Le Jardinier restaurants. Today, Verzeroli serves as Culinary Director for Michelin-starred L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon** and Le Jardinier* brands.
Verzeroli’s stellar career has included leadership positions at Michelin three-star restaurants across Paris, Hong Kong and Tokyo. He most recently served as Director of Culinary Operations at Château Restaurant Joël Robuchon in Tokyo, where his guidance led to the annual receipt of three Michelin stars for eleven consecutive years. Prior to working with Robuchon for 21 years, Verzeroli was the Executive Sous Chef at the esteemed three Michelin star Arpège with chef Alain Passard in Paris. He also trained at the famed three Michelin star Taillevent and three Michelin star Guy Savoy in Paris.
Verzeroli was born in Vietnam and grew up in Paris. His culinary story began during his freshman year at Universite Paris-Dauphine studying economics. After his first dining experience at Michelin-starred Alain Rayé restaurant, Verzeroli was inspired to approach the renowned chef and asked to apprentice for him. Following a successful month-long apprenticeship with chef Rayé, he decided to change directions and pursue his passion which prompted him to drop out of business school. Verzeroli attended the acclaimed École Grégoire-Ferrandi’s École Supérieure de Cuisine Française (ESCF) in Paris, France.
Chef Verzeroli moved to New York after 18 years in Japan and resides in Midtown Manhattan with his wife.
A longtime protégé of the legendary Chef Joël Robuchon, Martone serves as Executive Pastry Chef, overseeing the bakery and dessert programs for all of the restaurants of The Bastion Collection across New York, Houston and Miami. He is behind the Michelin-star winning desserts served at L’Atelierde Joel Robuchon** and Le Jardinier*, and leads creative efforts at our chocolatier Stettler-Castricher.
Prior to joining The Bastion Collection, Martone was the Executive Pastry Chef at the three Michelin starred Joël Robuchon Restaurant and the Michelin starred L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, a position for which he was initially recruited when it first opened in 2005, moving up the ranks from Executive Pastry Sous-chef to Executive Pastry Chef in 2010.
Prior to working in Las Vegas, Martone served as Pastry Chef at the two Michelin starred L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York City. Renowned for his highly creative, whimsical, and delectable plates, Martone’s technical mastery allows him to combine aesthetics and flavor—resulting in desserts that are both visually stunning and delicious. He will often spend months conceptualizing and perfecting a dish, creating custom serviceware and new techniques in order to execute his vision.
A native of Naples, Italy, Martone began his education at the Hotelery School in Naples, Italy, and later attended Instituto Superiore Arti Culinarie in Venice. He came to the United States to pursue his passion for pastry-making and attended the French Pastry School: Art de La Patisserie in Chicago, Illinois, the only culinary school in the country dedicated exclusively to teaching pastry technique. Chef Martone has garnered numerous accolades over the course of his career. He received a James Beard Award nomination for Best Pastry Chef in 2015, was named one of the Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America by Dessert Professional in 2015, and won the 3rd Annual StarChefs.com International Pastry Competition in 2012.
Renowned for his exquisite and visually striking pastry creations, Martone most recently created and opened Frohzen, an innovative ice cream shop. Frohzen offers unique treats, including our signature ice cream cupcakes, macaron ice cream sandwiches, and cakesicles.
Felipe Botero Sanchez began his journey with The Bastion Collection in 2019 with the opening ofLe Jardinier in New York City, where he served as Prep Sous Chef, honing his craft and absorbing the teachings from Chef Alain Verzeroli.
Chef Botero has been with the Houston team since Le Jardinier first opened in May 2021 under the tutelage of Chef Alain Verzeroli and Chef Andrew Ayala. Botero has since proven his success and dedication for his new role as Chef de Cuisine.
“I am honored to be working under the guidance of my mentor, Executive Chef Alain Verzeroli. It means a lot to me to have the opportunity to lead the kitchen daily and utilize my managerial skills. I hope to emulate the success of my mentors and plan to carry on the high standards of Le Jardinier by demonstrating the techniques and fine palate I have developed over the years.”
- Chef de Cuisine Felipe Botero Sanchez
Hailing from Hawai’i, Chef Tiffani is inspired by the islands' abundance of produce and diverse cultures. She began her pastry journey at James Beard Award winning Chef Alan Wong's Maui restaurant, Amasia, in the famed Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea resort. She relocated to Alan Wong's Honolulu, at one time considered the state's best restaurant. Tiffani continued honing her pastry and leadership through roles at the islands’ beloved Honolulu Coffee Company. Her next adventure brought her to San Francisco, where she became Pastry Sous Chef at Le Marais Bakery and then on to one of the Bay City’s longest-running Michelin-starred restaurants, Boulevard. After relocating to Houston, Texas, Tiffani joined The Bastion Collection as Pastry Chef of Le Jardinier in the summer of 2021.
Thurston Woods is a Houston native, with a Bachelors of Arts in Spanish from the University of Houston. His hospitality career began at the acclaimed Pappas Bros Steakhouse and its Wine Spectator Grand Award winning wine list. As his passion for wine intensified, he fought up the ranks to join the Assistant Sommelier team working along side Master Sommeliers. Thurston absorbed as much knowledge as possible and soon passed his Certified Sommelier exam with the Court of Master Sommeliers. His passion for wine led him to take on a Beverage Director role at the luxurious Masraff’s in Houston’s Galleria. Soon after, he was featured in Wine Spectator for a Best of Award of Excellence wine program at Masraff's. Forever ambitious, Thurston moved into a commanding role as Masraff's Assistant General Manager. His leadership skills heightened as he led his front of the house team in an intense fine dining service environment. In the Spring of 2021, Thurston joined The Bastion Collection as Restaurant Manager for the pre-opening team of Le Jardinier.
David Aynbinder has worked in restaurants for most of his life and was exposed to the life of a restaurateur at a young age. Beginning in his family’s restaurant and bakery at age 5, David was exposed to the day-to-day operations of a small restaurant and grew to love the hospitality industry. He began his professional career in hospitality at the classic French restaurant Etoile in the Post Oak District in 2015, and continued to grow in the industry at the award-winning concept Roka for four years. Looking to further his hospitality career and branch out, he joined the Bastion Collection in the Fall of 2021. David rose through the ranks from back server to lead server and eventually Restaurant Manager where he has continued his passion for hospitality and the restaurant industry.