Leslie Newsam Goellner began her career in restaurants nearly 20 years ago as a server with Rudy’s Mexican Restaurant in Kansas City. As her passion grew she took a position with Room 39 in Midtown, falling in love with the local food and service style advocated by Ted Habiger. At the direction of Ted and Howard Hanna, in 2006 Leslie sought to further her food and beverage acumen in New York.
After a stint with Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s first restaurant Jo Jo, Leslie accepted a position under Danny Meyer at The Modern as a server, bartender, and private event server. This opportunity deeply enriched her knowledge, passion, and commitment to food, wine, and exceptional customer experience.
Following four years in New York, Leslie returned home to Kansas City to assist Howard Hanna and Ryan Maybee in opening The Rieger Hotel Grill and Exchange. Grateful for the opportunity as an assistant manager, Leslie soon earned a promotion to general manager overseeing all front-end operations. It was during this time she met Nick Goellner, a gifted chef with a similar commitment and passion for the industry. They chose San Francisco as the next step forward in their lives and careers.
While in San Francisco, Leslie served as general manager at one of the premier restaurant groups in the area, and was deeply impacted by the sense of ownership and camaraderie found within the local industry. After over two years at The Delfina Restaurant Group, Nick earned a highly prestigious chef internship at Noma in Denmark. Noma has been rated the best restaurant in the world multiple times. Through this experience, Leslie furthered her hospitality and cultural skill sets in an amazing international setting.
Following the completion of the internship, Leslie and Nick returned once again to Kansas City. As her passion and knowledge of her hometown’s evolving palate continues to grow, she is looking forward to creating some of the finest and most unique offerings available in the Kansas City area.