Layla Linn, Beverage Director
Brian Downing, Associate Mixologist & Educator
John Casey, Business Partner
Heather Jones, Accounts Manager
Jason Anderson, Beverage Operations/Sous Chef
Cameon Orel, Associate Executive Chef/R&D
Erwin C. Santiago, Account Supervisor - PR Manager
Jenn Chung, Food and Beverage Development Associate
Angela Prosper, Creative Director & Content Strategy
Diane Randecker, Construction Management Consultant
Rowena Macaraeg, Design & Branding Associate
Ann Manly, Development Associate
Kate Perry, Rum Expert
Layla Linn has over 20 years of hands on experience as a beverage professional. She has seen all aspects of the beverage industry, from behind the bar, to Beverage Manager, to distributor and supplier roles.
She prides herself on creating cocktails that really embody the client concept and has traveled extensively across the world learning the history, allure and distilling processes of spirits, with a particular passion for agave.
Her engaging personality makes her an enthusiastic and compelling trainer. She is often found teaching Progressive Mixology Seminars to industry professionals and bar staff around the nation.
Layla has attended the renowned Beverage Alcohol Resource Program (BAR) in 2009 and is B.A.R. certified. She serves on the board for Arizona Cocktail Week, New Mexico Cocktails & Culture, Apres Ski Cocktail Classic, and is an advisor for the Phoenix Chapter of the USBG & the National Nominating Committee (United States Bartenders Guild). She serves on the Arizona Restaurant Association Foodist Awards Nominations Guild, is a C.R.T. Trained Tequila Expert and a judge for multiple competitions throughout the country, including Diageo World Class and Bombay Sapphire’s Most Imaginative Bartender.
With over two decades of experience in the hospitality industry, Brian Downing was bitten by the “bug” at an early age and soon found out that behind the bar is where he belongs. Over the years he has immersed himself in everything bar, spirit and hospitality related attending seminars, reading books and talking with other industry professionals at the top of their game.
Brian has designed creative bar programs for national accounts, high-end resorts, world class cocktail bars and large music festivals. Most recently as lead bartender for Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour (Phoenix, AZ), which has been nominated for Top 10 Best American High Volume Cocktail Bar for 2016, 2017 and 2018 by Tales of the Cocktail and Best Bars in America by Liquor.com.
His passion for training and all things spirits has allowed him to create fun and innovative training seminars regularly attended by industry professionals and consumers alike. His down to earth style really connects with people making complicated concepts easy to understand and apply. Brian believes the technique and history behind the drink is just as important as the ingredients in the drink.
When not behind the stick he can usually be seen hiking one of the many trails in Arizona or relaxing by the pool listening to music with cocktail in hand and a smile on his face.
Heather Jones is the jack-of-all-trades for the KCFS Team. She wears many hats, but her official titles are Account Manager - Culinary Associate and appropriately deemed the “troubleshooter”. The prestigious Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I was where she completed her A.S in Culinary Arts as an advanced standing student, and followed up with her Bachelor of Sciences in Culinary Arts with a minor in Oenology. She has worked both nationally and internationally, gaining corporate experience and knowledge with companies such as Hyatt Hotels Corporation (Grand Hyatt Singapore as the Culinary Manager), Marriott International (Banquet Sous Chef - Orlando World Center), and Nordstrom Headquarters here in Seattle as the Sous Chef. She is the glue that binds the KCFS Team together and can often be seen running through the studios finalizing proposals, coordinating client showings and conferences, and proofing upcoming presentations and seminars - all while thinking up the next big thing during a food & beverage development session...and that’s just a typical Monday! But don’t let the heels fool you - Heather trains year round for the next obstacle mud course!
ERWIN C. SANTIAGO
California-born but Seattle-raised Erwin C. Santiago is the KCFS Account Supervisor - PR Manager. Holding double B.A. degrees from Seattle University in Journalism, Humanities, and a Psychology minor, he is a lively character and the team’s go-to taste tester. Erwin’s ability to constantly stay-in-the-know, and his skill to keep up with all of the social media outlets make him a very valuable member of the team. As the only staff member without a formal culinary background or training, he keeps the crew on track by organizing and categorizing the 1000+ bottles of liquor and syrups, moving really heavy objects for the rest of the staff, packing for trips, and will occasionally break into a random dance. Outside of work, Erwin admits to being an avid gym/workout junkie but has an ongoing not-so-secret love affair with all things ice cream. Erwin is also a skilled and talented dancer...spot him if you can at local “flash mobs”.
John Casey is Kathy’s partner in business and life. He's been "in the biz" for over 30 years: from working as a culinary operations instructor to liquor sales, to front of the house management, to wine stewardship under the acclaimed Kevin Zraly at Windows of the World. John now handles the financials for all Kathy Casey companies, but is also known as Kathy’s personal “taste-tester”! When asked about what he does in his free time, his response is “What time off?!” Truly a renaissance man—he does it all. John's favorite thing to cook is a “glass of red wine” and always has time for cheese and crackers —he's not the chef in the family! But when someone else is cooking, he loves to eat bacon and most pork products. But he eschews pork rinds!
Beverage Operations and Sous Chef for Kathy Casey Food Studios and Dish D’Lish Inc., Jason Anderson was born in California and raised in kitchens. He fell in love with cooking from a very young age and always found himself coming back to the kitchen for work. After living for two years in Hawaii, he decided to put a degree behind his passion and attended Le Cordon Bleu in Portland, OR. Armed with a degree in Culinary Arts, he started working as a Sous Chef/Event Chef for one of the largest catering companies in the Northwest, which gave him a crash course in fine dining and large scale catering. Joining the KCFS team is a very exciting change for Jason from the classic kitchen job to food and cocktail development, as well as food styling and photography. When he is not mixing drinks or sautéing food in the kitchen, he is found writing music on the many instruments he plays, developing tasting menus for dinner parties he hosts, and brewing beer. CAMEON OREL
Cameon Orel is the Associate Executive Chef and Culinary Operations Specialist R&D. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Cameon returned to the Pacific Northwest. Here, she is involved in the slow food movement, combining her passion for farm-to-table cuisine and commitment to sustainability by creating menu programs covering renewable energy, composting, and recycling. With over 25 years of extensive experience including Cheesecake Factory, Palomino and Fall City Roadhouse, a local farm to table concept. At KCFS Cameon specializes in innovation, menu & product development, concept operations and P&L reviews, operational tools and budgetary planning. JENN CHUNG
Jenn Chung is our resident Canadian from Toronto. With a varied background in the visual arts (York University), education (Wilfrid Laurier University), and culinary arts (Art Institute of Seattle), she brings creativity, organization, and an eye for detail to her work. Jenn supports the team throughout the ideation phases, development process, and client showings. She is an avid traveler constantly in search of culinary knowledge, from trekking across India and Europe to working the demo stages at the Food & Wine Festivals in South Beach and Aspen. You can find her at the studios whipping up new recipes, taste-testing cocktails, and working on all things d’lish. ANGELA PROSPER
When not enjoying a good cocktail or baking treats at home, Angela Prosper works as Creative Director and Content Strategy Manager at Kathy Casey Food Studios – Liquid Kitchen. With over 20 years of experience, her mastery of the camera and photography software gives her knack for capturing THE perfect shot for clients, social media marketing and web design. Angela is a longtime volunteer and student of the Photographic Center NW (a non-profit arts center for photography) and has been featured at the Seattle Art Museum as part of guest lecturer John A. Bennette's discussion. Among other things, she is also a creative mentor for small businesses, loves urban farming, travel, Instagram, and has an unhealthy fear of left hand turns.
Ann Manly is a Development Associate at Kathy Casey Food Studios. A culinary school graduate, Ann has been with the company from its early days. She is known as the precision recorder of recipes at development sessions for Kathy Casey Food Studios – Liquid Kitchen. Ann is also the in-house copy editor and custom recipe systems coordinator. Her attention to detail is flawless and her precision is crucial to the successful results of developed recipes. Ann is still the woman we call when we need to pull the all-nighters!
Diane Randecker Diane is a focused, goal driven construction project/facilities manager with a 25 year successful track record. Experience includes construction manager for Wendy’s, Qudoba, McDonalds’ and Starbucks and Project Development Director of Real Estate and Construction for Burgerville. She has managed new site construction, renovations and special projects in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Northern California, Colorado, and Calgary. As well as reviewing new sites, feasibility, cost evaluation, and site survey. Her reputation as a goal driven, clear headed problem solver has helped her build a strong network of general contractors, architects and vendors that have successfully met the challenge of a growing market in the Pacific Northwest and across the country. Diane is proud to be best known for her ability to maintain these exceptional relationships as a direct result to her commitment to personal and professional excellence. She is a Starbucks Visionary and Spirit Award winner. Kathy Casey worked with Diane during her time at Burgerville, headquartered in Oregon.
Rowena Macaraeg Rowena is a creative branding and architectural design associate of Kathy Casey Food Studios. She has worked with the Food Studios on major design projects since 2010 that include 12 concepts for The Fresh Market at Toronto’s Eaton Center. She is trained as a visual artist and architect and a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. Before joining Nelson – Ro’s company was a certified Women and Minority owned business.
Recognized as a global rum expert, Kate Perry is often found shaking up rum drinks across the globe in Haiti, the Caribbean, Budapest and more. She is a gifted mixologist with a flair for creating inspired drinks with layers of flavor. Kate is an avid competitor in cocktail competitions, competing in Speed Rack and the Ti Punch Cup USA Finals and has won several awards for her efforts. It is her passion for her craft and her pallet for great tasting cocktails that keeps her at the top of her game.