Sonoma County’s Vintners Resort, Home to Iconic John Ash & Co., Appoints Chef Sergio Howland as Resort Executive Chef

SANTA ROSA, Calif., May 31, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Vintner’s Resort, set on a 92-acre working vineyard in Sonoma County, is pleased to announce the hiring of Chef Sergio Howland as the new Resort Executive Chef. Howland will lead the helm of the iconic estate as the property begins a resort-wide transformation. Chef Howland will be responsible for managing the current resort’s distinct culinary concepts including Sonoma County’s first farm-to-table fine dining restaurant, John Ash & Co., The Front Room Bar and Lounge and River Vine. Chef Howland will also lead a talented team to deliver exceptional culinary experiences in more than 10,000 square-feet of conference space for meetings, weddings and events. As the new Resort takes shape, Chef Howland will play an integral role in helping to reimagine a more modern John Ash and create several new dining experiences throughout the resort.

“As a resort deeply rooted in celebrating the rich flavors and abundant offerings of Sonoma County, Chef Howland’s culinary vision will not only pay homage to John Ash’s enduring culture of farm-to-table cuisine, but it will also set a new standard for excellence in food and wine experiences throughout the resort,” said Brian Sommer, General Manager, Vintner’s Resort. “We look forward to this exciting chapter ahead for this legacy destination in Sonoma County.”

A former Top Chef Mexico contestant, Howland brings 30 years of experience at some of the top luxury hotels, resorts and restaurants in the Americas. His expertise as a global chef and wine expert will bring international flair and creative dining throughout the resort’s new dining experiences, including cooking classes, garden tours and vineyard dinners.

A native of Mexico City, Howland discovered his love of cooking at the age of 10, which ultimately led to an apprenticeship at the Four Seasons Mexico City. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Howland has worked in top restaurants such as the Auberge du Soleil Restaurant in Napa, CA; Executive Chef at Auberge’s Esperanza, Los Cabos; Ritz-Carlton Hotels in Palm Beach, Key Biscayne and Cancun; and The Sebastian in Vail, CO. Howland was most recently corporate chef for Amici Restaurants in San Diego, where he oversaw all aspects of culinary planning, management and operations for the group of four restaurants.

“Ever since I was in culinary school, I have aspired to work in California’s wine country, surrounded by the abundance of local ingredients, artisanal cheese, fresh produce and world-class vineyards,” said Howland. “I am passionate about the imaginative journey of crafting recipes and menus, and Sonoma County offers an expansive canvas of inspiration. Our menus will reflect the region’s changing seasons, celebrating its abundant harvest and incorporate Vintner Resort’s 92-acre estate that includes lush flower and culinary gardens, flourishing fig and olive orchards and a thriving vineyard.”

Howland has been invited twice to cook at the James Beard House in New York, once as executive chef at Esperanza Los Cabos, and subsequently as the executive chef for The Sebastian Vail. His global career, spanning three decades, has taken him across the US and international locations including Barcelona, Spain; Los Cabos, Mexico; and Panama. Howland is grateful to have had the opportunity to train under his culinary heroes including Michelin starred chefs Montse Estruch, Jordi Llobet and Jaume Balada from Barcelona, and Stefan Kauth from Cologne, Germany. 

A lifelong learner, Howland received his first certification of Italian Wine Essentials from the Wine Scholar Guild and is now studying the second certification. He hopes to complete the third certification next year.

About Vintners Resort
Vintners Resort is Sonoma’s first luxury resort on a working vineyard. Embraced by a 92-acre estate, Vintners Resort is an intimate hideaway set amidst redwood trees, colorful gardens, and fountain courtyards. Guests can connect to the land at John Ash & Co., one of Sonoma’s first farm-to-table restaurants, overlooking a vineyard, and relax at the spa with heated plunge pool, or play a game of bocce ball. Located just 60 miles north of San Francisco, Vintners Resort is the gateway to the Russian River Valley and all of Sonoma County’s famed wineries and culinary destinations. Visit

Media contact: Alison Stout at Aspire PR – [email protected] or (415) 307-1682.

SOURCE Vintners Resort

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