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Jim and Jen Vellano, the Chefs behind Maison Privé, are opening a Tasting Room!
70 backers pledged $14,920 to help bring this project to life.

About

$14,920

70

We first met in 2005 while working on the line at Thomas Keller's restaurant Per Se in Manhattan.

 We had both been through some of Manhattan's best restaurants at the time (Blue Hill, Daniel, Cafe Boulud) and were humbled to be accepted into such an incredible kitchen.  It was not love at first sight for us, as we vied for the same position as Saucier's and sabotaged each other whenever possible (maybe that IS love at first sight!).  It didn't take long for our competitive sides to cease, slightly, and in 2006 we began dating.  If anyone knows what it's like to work beside your partner in a kitchen, for 14+ hours a day...it does make for a lasting relationship.  With a strong foundation both in cooking and love, we married in 2008. For those of you who don't know our story, you can check it out HERE, or read our full bio.  Our vision for Maison Privé Chefs came on quickly and excitedly and we officially launched in the winter of 2008.  We could only imagine what it would be like to have our own commercial kitchen, never mind our own business.  

It took us years of very long days and hard work to be able to save enough money to make a dent in even thinking about having our own kitchen.  The work paid off and in August 2012, we were able to find a great space with good bones in Greenwich CT, but it needed to be gutted completely.

Uncovering the Original Butcher Shop Mirror
Uncovering the Original Butcher Shop Mirror

 We scratched our heads but felt that this would be the right place once we put some heart and soul into it.  We got to work tearing down walls and ripping up floors.  Much to our amazement we uncovered a 12-foot mirror with porcelain covered tin moldings that was the original mirror of the Butcher Shop that inhabited this space in 1940.  This was especially exciting for Jim, as his ancestors were all skilled Butchers  in Savoca, Sicily.  Nooks and crannies were opened and led to even more starry eyed delights of historical beauty.  This became home.

Carved Rafters found in the Basement
Carved Rafters found in the Basement
Our budget was small, and we quickly went through it on not only refinishing the kitchen but bringing things up to code.  Unexpected costs arose as the kitchen was inspected and our small project became quite large. We were, however, able to use almost all of the original wood that was found in the basement to make table tops and a recycling bin. 

 In time we realized that we had nothing left to complete the "Tasting Room" or the front of the building, which badly needs a sign to display who we are, and planter boxes to add some aesthetic appeal.  With all of our funds depleted, we have been working in a nameless space.

If we meet our goal of $10,500 we'll have a sign up, a new front door, some outdoor and indoor lighting by the Spring.  If we make it to $15,000 we can finish the floor and add in the aesthetic touches and decor to complete the Tasting Room.  $25,000 would help us with all of the above plus a much needed Split-Pack heater/air-conditioning unit to keep guests comfortable.  We're very much looking forward to hosting a Private Supper Club as well as Tastings and can't do it without your help and support.

Risks and challenges

Every project has its obstacles, but we have done our homework over the past few months to find qualified, local folks who can help us complete the work. A team of loyal, talented folks is part of the ingredient list that goes into making the dream a reality.

We wouldn't be where we are if it weren't for the tremendous support from our family, clients and friends. Some clients who have become friends, some family who have become clients. We have missed countless birthdays, anniversaries and other holidays due to the nature of our business and ferocious work ethic--we thank you all from our hearts for always standing not only behind us, but beside us.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    One jar of Jen's awesome home-made jam, flavor based upon the season.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    One jar of Jen's awesome home-made jam PLUS a bag of Jim's granola.

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    19 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    One jar of Jen's awesome home-made jam, a bag of Jim's granola PLUS a selection of home-made spice blends and dry rubs.

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    13 backers
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    One jar of Jen's awesome home-made jam, a bag of Jim's granola, a selection of home-made spice blends and dry rubs PLUS a reserved seat at our first Dinner Series Event.

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    5 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    One Custom Meal Delivery Service (Dinner for Two delivered to Manhattan, Westchester, Fairfield County only).

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    2 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Two Free Tickets to one of our private Dinner Series Events, running from May-January 2014.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Four free tickets to one of our private Dinner Series Events, running from May-January 2014.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    A private 5-Course Dinner for you and five of your friends in the comfort of your own home, date and menu to be determined. [*Limited to Manhattan, Westchester County (NY), Long Island (NY), Fairfield County (CT), Essex & Hudson Counties (NJ)].

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,250 or more About $3,250

    A private 6-Course Dinner for you and seven of your friends in the comfort of your own home, date and menu to be determined. [*Limited to Manhattan, Westchester County (NY), Long Island (NY), Fairfield County (CT), Essex & Hudson Counties (NJ)].

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    Pledge $4,500 or more About $4,500

    Be among the first to host your own private dinner party in the Chefs Tasting Room at our farm table. You and nine of your friends will enjoy a seasonal 9-Course Menu with a few surprise treats, all prepared in-house by Jim and Jen and their amazing staff.

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Funding period

- (30 days)