Friday, March 29, 2013

3/29-Michael Jordan visits with Nancy Milby &

Nancy Milby - Executive Director Laguna Culinary Arts, Inc

Nancy Milby founded Laguna Culinary Arts in 2001 and watched it grow from a tiny school on PCH to a 4,000-square foot multi-faceted operation in Laguna Canyon that includes a home chef and professional chef program, a wine education program for both wine enthusiasts and professionals, full-service catering, a quaint café, cheese shop and wine shop, and a popular destination for private parties and corporate events. She is now thrilled to turn her baby over to long-time program director and Executive Chef Laurent Brazier. Nancy will remain involved with LCA, continuing the management of the wine program, travel program and special events. In her old life, as a tax partner at KPMG, Nancy was a Certified Public Accountant – now she's a certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers, holds a Diploma in Wine & Spirits from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, London, and is a Certified Wine Specialist of the Society of Wine Educators. The LCA Wine Cellar reflects her wide interest in wine, featuring great value wines from all the major growing regions of the world.




Leslie Mead Renaud was born in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1965. Her father was an officer in the Navy, so the family moved around a fair bit during her early childhood. When Leslie was 10 her father was stationed in Honolulu, where he subsequently retired. After high school, she worked as a SCUBA diving instructor until she made the decision to return to the mainland and pursue her college degree.

Leslie graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resources, with an emphasis in aquatic resource management. After school her appreciation for nature led to several years of working for the Forest Service in Oregon, hooting for spotted owls in the forests of Mt. Hood. Next she relocated to California where she worked as an urban forester with PG&E. Leslie’s career path took a significant turn when she applied for a position as a lab technician at Ironstone Vineyards in Calaveras County. She quickly realized the wine industry’s combination of science and artistry was perfectly suited to her own talents and interests.

Committing to a career in winemaking, Leslie moved to Sonoma County to be in the heart of the wine country. There she worked at Clos du Bois, Sonoma Creek Winery, and Hans Fahden Vineyards, adding to her knowledge base and honing her skills. She later moved to Santa Cruz and became the production manager at Bonny Doon Winery. In 2005 she joined Talley Vineyards as an enologist, quickly moving up to Assistant Winemaker, and then was promoted to Winemaker in January of 2007. She joined the Foley Wine Group in August of 2010, assuming her current duties as Winemaker for both Lincourt Vineyards and Foley Estate

Leslie is the Chairperson for the World of Pinot Noir, her second time serving in this capacity for the popular Central Coast event. She is constantly seeking to expand her knowledge of wines and winemaking, which has lead to her enrollment in the WSET Diploma Program. Leslie is a fan of the SF 49ers and Peter Gabriel, has sky dived (once), and loves to travel. She enjoys great food (both eating and cooking), extremely cold martinis, dogs (she has two at the moment), the outdoors, motorcycles, and convertibles.

Leslie and her husband Tim currently live in a hundred-year-old farmhouse on 40 acres of vegetable farmland in the Edna Valley.

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