Visit Us – and meet our makers.
GENERAL MANAGER – DREW CHARRON
Drew comes from a private sector corporate background, which allowed him to travel the country. Through his business travels, Drew was able to enjoy fine dining of all varieties in cities throughout the country. This experience created a love of things not always readily accessible in Iowa until recent years. Along with this experience, one of Drew’s main projects was operating an emergency supply program that provided products to locations across the globe.
“This was my first bit of experience with ‘purveying’ and I quickly realized how much I enjoyed finding ways to source unique items from irregular places.”
Drew enjoys interacting with people of all backgrounds, and eventually sought an escape from the corporate grind.
“Being a Des Moines local, I was able to observe the catering business and food being produced by the Port of Des Moines businesses, and knew this was a level of quality, and an approach not often seen in Iowa.”
After Drew started working for Port of Des Moines, he was able to eventually take his work experience and ethic into the new opportunity… the Purveyor.
EXECUTIVE CHEF – DIEGO CRITELLI
A native of Padua, Italy, Chef Diego Critelli found his calling to cuisine at a young age. Chef Diego learned the art of cooking from his father, who owned a restaurant in Padua. At the age of 19, Chef Diego began his professional culinary career serving as the restaurant’s sommelier. After working in different restaurants in Paris and the U.K., Chef Diego took over as head chef and owner of his family’s restaurant, focusing on traditional cuisine from the Veneto region of Italy. Chef Diego’s connection with Des Moines started when he attended Winefest in 2005, where he met Port of Des Moines’ owner Michael LaValle. Chef Diego began to teach cooking classes at DMACC for several years, and then eventually found an opportunity at Port of Des Moines in 2016.
EXECUTIVE PASTRY CHEF – NIK PUGMIRE
Executive Pastry Chef Nik Pugmire found his interest in creating and designing desserts from a young age. He grew up watching and helping his mom design and create wedding cakes, so she serves as a huge source of inspiration in his work. When it was time for Chef Nik to get an education, he attended Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Las Vegas. After graduating, Chef Nik acquired over 13 years of experience in Chicago, primarily at The Westin, Four Seasons Chicago and Marriott Chicago Downtown hotels. Chef Nik later came to the point in his career where he wanted to be able to create his own menus and recipes and execute his vision with his own business.
“Doré Bakery was always a goal and vision of mine from the grand scale of the business, all the way down to the name and logo, but Chicago didn’t seem like the place to make it happen.”
Within a month of meeting with Port of Des Moines, Chef Nik packed up and moved to Des Moines!
“I love being able to create custom cakes and desserts for clients, and strive to make things as unique as possible. Consultations are always a wonderful experience to be able to meet people face-to-face and plan something that I know they will love.”
EXECUTIVE SOUS CHEF – JAMES RICHARDS
Originally from the Des Moines area, Executive Sous Chef James Richards brings his Iowa roots into play when creating different dishes. Chef James found his love and passion for cuisine at a young age when he would help his Greek great aunt cook in the kitchen. Chef James attended the Iowa Culinary Institute at DMACC. While in school, Chef James was selected to travel to France on a chef exchange scholarship through the French Association des Cuisiniers de la Loire, for the opportunity to learn about French cuisine. During his time there, Chef James learned all about traditional French cuisine alongside a local French restaurant owner. After studying French cuisine, Chef James pursued the beginning of his career in Las Vegas. While working in Las Vegas, Chef James worked in several restaurants Emeril Legasse restaurants. Chef James ended up at Emeril Legasse owned restaurant, Table 10, and at the age of 24, he became the youngest person to run a Legasse restaurant kitchen. Shortly after running the Legasse restaurant kitchen, Chef James returned to Iowa to work at Port of Des Moines. Chef James works to push the envelope and be as creative as possible when creating dishes, while also staying true to the Midwestern flavors and dishes that he grew up with.
“At La Quercia, we believe that the food we eat can delight us each day. We craft our cured meats with the highest quality materials, combined with careful adherence to tradition and the judicious use of modern tools. The food we eat tells us a story, reaching from the farmers to our processing facility to stores and restaurants and then to the final consumers who purchase our meats and enjoy them. We are thrilled to be part of Purveyor’s work and narrative.”
Kathy Eckhouse, Co-Founder and Owner of La Quercia
Welcome to the Purveyor, your local European-inspired access to wine on tap, charcuterie and fine desserts by Doré Bakery! Let us show you how we aim to promise the best for our guests through our mission of procure, taste, education and conserve. Where did the idea...