Paul C. Reilly
EXECUTIVE CHEF, CO-OWNER
MORE ABOUT PAUL
Paul C. Reilly is the co-owner/executive chef of beast+bottle, a rustic American craft restaurant in Denver centered on local, farm-focused food, which he co-owns with sister Aileen V. Reilly. Since opening in 2013, beast + bottle has earned multiple accolades, inclusions on ‘best restaurant’ lists and nods to its well-rounded beverage program. Drawing from his upbringing in New York’s lush Hudson Valley, Paul is committed to sourcing only the highest quality ingredients. Realizing the depth of his culinary passion while attending CU Boulder, he subsequently moved to Telluride, where he worked at award-winning restaurants Allred’s and 221 South Oak. Wanting to hone his skills even further, Paul returned to New York to attend the esteemed French Culinary Institute for formal culinary training. In 2004, chef moved back to Denver to help open the acclaimed Mirepoix, followed by a move to Executive Chef and Owner of Encore on Colfax, a longtime Denver favorite. Following Encore’s closure in 2012, Paul won the prestigious Jean-Louis Palladin Professional Work/Study Grant, issued to just eight chefs from around the world, and apprenticed at Browne Trading Company in Portland, Maine. In March 2013, Paul and Aileen opened beast + bottle, where Paul puts his unique spin on new American cuisine nightly. Paul’s constantly evolving menus highlight the creative use of whole animals and ingredients from the twenty plus local purveyors with whom the Reillys have partnered.
Aileen V. Reilly
CO-OWNER, GENERAL MANAGER
MORE ABOUT AILEEN
Aileen V. Reilly is the co-owner and general manager of beast + bottle, a rustic American craft restaurant in Denver centered on local, farm-focused food. Aileen runs the front of house while her brother, Paul C. Reilly, mans the kitchen as co-owner/executive chef. Aileen began her culinary career early, working at a local Italian restaurant in high school and eventually managing the establishment. Leaving her home in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley, Aileen enrolled at the University of Denver and pursued her restaurateur ambitions there. Upon graduating with a degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, she moved to Los Angeles to work with Marriott International, simultaneously running several of the corporation’s restaurants. Aileen has experience in every position from back to front of house, but thrives in front of guests. In 2012, Aileen spent several months traveling in the Northern Rhone and Piedmont, studying the major wine regions of France and Italy. She was responsible for redesigning wine lists and instituting mixology programs at several restaurants in California before moving back to Denver to run Encore on Colfax with her brother. In March 2013, the pair opened beast + bottle, where Aileen has brought her extensive managerial experience and beverage expertise to create a carefully selected, approachable beverage program for guests to enjoy in the restaurant’s cozy interior space. beast +bottle’s meticulously curated wine list was chosen for Wine Spectator Magazine’s 2014 Restaurant Wine List Awards and as Westword’s Best By-the-Glass Wine List in 2014.
JP Taylor, Jr.
MORE ABOUT JP
JP Taylor, Jr. is the ‘Wine Consigliere’, also known as the advisor of wine at beast + bottle. A Denver native, JP began his career in the kitchen, attending culinary school at Johnson & Wales in Denver. It soon became clear that JP’s passion lay in the front of the house, focusing on service, especially wine. In 2011, JP received a B.S. in Hospitality, Tourism, and Events from Metropolitan State University in Denver. During the summer of 2012, JP lived in both France and Italy, educating himself on how European culture shapes the way wine and food coalesce. This philosophy is what drives the wine program at beast + bottle. After a brief tenure at Denver’s Luca d’Italia, JP helped open beast + bottle as the wine director. He is also a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, while currently studying for Advanced Certification. In addition to several local awards, beast + bottle’s wine program was named among ‘Best Wine Lists 2014’ by Wine Spectator.
MORE ABOUT JODI
As pastry chef at beast + bottle and Coperta, Jodi Polson’s seasonal desserts showcase local ingredients sourced from the restaurants’ trusted farmers and purveyors.
A native of Michigan, Jodi grew up baking, but thought of it more as a hobby rather than a career. After teaching at a private school for three years, she realized her passion was for the culinary industry and she enrolled in Johnson & Wales University in Denver, where she earned a B.S. in pastry arts within a year.
After graduation, Jodi worked at some of Denver’s most beloved bakeries, including Glaze, Devil’s Food, and Leaf & Crumb. The exposure to different styles of bakeries allowed Jodi to hone various techniques, while developing her own culinary style and values.
Driven by nostalgia, Jodi loves reinventing sweets she enjoyed during her childhood, like butterscotch candies, and reimagining it as Butterscotch Pudding Pie, for the beast + bottle menu. At Coperta, Jodi’s menu will offer her riffs on traditional Italian offerings, like Olive Oil Cake, Cannoli, Griselle, a Southern Italian-style doughnut, and seasonal Gelato.
In addition to working with the fruits and vegetables sourced locally from beast and Coperta’s trusted farmers, Jodi likes to cook with fresh herbs, such as mint, because of the compelling flavor and nuances they contribute to a dish. Jodi’s tenure as an art teacher contributes to how she approaches creating a dish: a variety of texture, color and having an unexpected ingredient that yields a great element of whimsy and surprise are key ingredients to a balanced dessert.
MORE ABOUT JON
Jonathon Feuersanger is the beverage manager at beast + bottle. His passion for creating one-of-a-kind cocktails stems from a desire to see his creative mind come to fruition. Jon’s interest in hospitality began at an early age. after working in restaurants throughout high school, he attended Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI. In 2011, Jon moved to Denver to work with SAGE Hospitality group and there he began to develop his passion for wine and spirits. In 2014, shortly after passing the Certified Sommelier Exam with the Master Court of Sommeliers, Feuersanger began work at beast + bottle. Since then, Jon’s has expanded the restaurant’s cocktail program to better express its farm-focused philosophy. In 2015, Jon was named one of Zagat Denver’s 30 Under 30 to watch in Denver’s hospitality industry. Jon continuously works to develop his signature cocktails, focusing on seasonal progression and modern takes on cocktail classics.
MORE ABOUT ERIC
Eric Pfaff brings over two decades’ of experience in the hospitality industry to his role as general manager of Coperta. Born and raised in a Southern family in Cincinnati, Ohio, Eric’s passion for food – and ultimately wine – was fostered by years of cooking at the apron strings of his mother and grandmother.
Eric’s career began while he was attending college at the University of Cincinnati, working at the Harley Hotel, a Leona Helmsley property. Eric worked his way up from busser to bartender and then server. During his four years here, he developed his true calling and decided to transition from hotels to restaurants, joining Darden – the world’s largest restaurant company. Over an 11-year period, Eric was responsible for opening and managing Olive Gardens around the country, learning the principles of management, structure, culture and process. In 2001, Eric and his now-wife relocated to Colorado, where she earned a degree from the University of Denver. After transferring to Colorado and being awarded Darden’s “Michelangelo Award,” the company’s most prestigious accolade, Eric decided it was time to pursue other opportunities, including working as an independent consultant and recruiting manager for Goodwin Hospitality.
A regular guest at beast + bottle, the passion, attention to detail, care and quality Eric experienced on each of his visits resonated deeply with him, and he knew it was the environment and culture he dreamed about. Fortuitously, he approached chef Paul C. Reilly and Aileen V. Reilly, who were opening Coperta, and the rest as they say, is history.
At Coperta, Eric looks forward to marrying the skills, principles and balance he learned in the corporate world with the philosophies of an independent operator. He is excited about the opportunity to continue his culinary education, and continues to study for his sommelier certificate.