Kitchen and Dining Room
Cholly started of as a Sous Chef at Vista Verde in the winter of 1998. He proceeded to stay on the ranch for approximately nine years before leaving to pursue Artisan bread baking skills. Cholly soon realized that Vista Verde was his true home and moved back to the ranch in 2010 with his wife, Alaya, whom he met at VVR. They recently had a little boy named Eamon and love spending time with him. In 2012, Vista Verde offered Cholly the position as Executive Chef, where he, has since, been in charge of the wonderful food and dining program. Some of Chef Cholly’s interests include: hiking, fly fishing, camping, bowhunting and bread baking. Cholly is also a lifetime member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and a member of The Bread Baker’s Guild of America since 2004.
John loves to travel; last year, he and his wife Erica (Head of Kids Programming) traveled around Spain and Turkey. He also likes to cook and enjoy the outdoors via hiking and camping. One can most likely find John fly fishing all around Routt County on his off time with his favorite pup, Goldie. A few of his most prized fish he has caught in the area include a 24” Brown Trout and a 26” Rainbow Trout out of the Elk River.
John loves cooking, mountain biking, hiking, fly fishing and working out. He has lived in six different states within the U.S. and three different countries, including three years in Italy and two years in Germany. He has been cooking professionally since 2012 and plans to open a food truck or restaurant in the future. Fun fact: John was the first of his high school graduating class to graduate from college and is the youngest graduate from the Culinary Institute of Virginia.
Hometown: Westfield, IN
School: Ivy Tech Community College
Andrew, also known by fellow staff members as Fackler, enjoys playing guitar and backpacking. Andrew once worked as a cashier for the largest private employer in the United States. While in college, Andrew studied Linguistics and stayed with a host family in Spain for seven weeks during the summer before his senior year of high school. Fun fact: Andrew does not like Reese’s and used to be able to solve a Rubik’s Cube.
Hannah graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Hospitality & Tourism Management. In January, she will be attending Culinary School in Michigan. Hannah enjoys all things and is always ready to take on new adventures; her passion, though, lies in the kitchen. To her, food brings people together; people will always remember the time together over the meal they ate, unless the food was too amazing to remember otherwise.
Dalen grew up in Central Oregon and moved to Denver at age 18 to pursue a dual-degree in Culinary Arts and Nutrition Science. She enjoys hiking, jogging, yoga and spending time near the river. Dalen previously worked as a dietary technician and is so excited to experience the summer at Vista Verde Ranch!
Trevor loved being a guest at Vista Verde so much that he wanted to be a part of the staff community for this summer. Before working at VVR, Trevor worked at an ice cream shop called Ritter’s Frozen Custard. There, he learned about the finer points of dishwashing before taking his talents to Chef Cholly’s kitchen. Trevor is also a huge fan of all Boston’s sports teams. Go Red Sox!
Culinary Clean-Up Crew
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
School: North Carolina State
Peter enjoys hiking, traveling and rock climbing. In the past, Peter has traveled to Spain, Italy and France. He recently obtained a Bachelor’s degree of Aerospace Engineering this past May. He also enjoys working on cars and building RC planes in his free time. This will be Peter’s first season working at Vista Verde and he is excited to be spending his summer at this beautiful place!
After previously working as a fly fishing guide, Bubba will be taking over the Dining Room this summer. He loves spending time outdoors, especially fishing. Bubba has been involved in guest ranch services for 5 years now. Fun fact: Bubba was previously involved with the Steamboat Dance Theatre, a production that showcases many different styles of dancing; he performed the barn dance scene from the film Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.
Zach has been studying the performing arts since he was fifteen and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre last year. After school, Zach did a travelling show with some of his college friends across the Midwest. Afterwards, he returned home to break the world record for the “longest dramatic performance.” Outside of acting, Zach’s passion is travel, so he is just enthralled for a chance to work at Vista Verde!
This is Natalie’s first season here at Vista Verde. Some of her hobbies include horseback riding, hunting, fishing and painting. She is studying graphic/interior design at Brigham Young University–Idaho. In 2012, Natalie participated in a service trip where she spent time in Honduras assisting with building a school for young children. One interesting fact about Natalie is that she has one leg that is longer than the other.
Kaitlyn is studying Art Education at Indiana University, aspiring to some day be an art teacher. Her two favorite mediums are ceramics and charcoal. Kaitlyn also enjoys traveling and plans to student teach in New Zealand next spring. This will be Kaitlyn’s first summer at Vista Verde and she couldn’t be more excited to be spending her summer at such a beautiful place!
Studying pre-nursing at Indiana University, Alex stays very busy at school. She is also going to be part of the lacrosse team this coming school year. She also enjoys playing with her two dogs Louie and Piper, participating in hiking and doing yoga. Each year, Alex’s family takes part in a large hiking trip together, venturing to different places each time. One of the main things on her bucket list is to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Alex’s favorite smell is campfire and she absolutely loves ice cream.
After being a guest this past winter, Rachel couldn’t get enough of VVR! She has a twin brother and an older brother as well; both are currently involved with medical schooling. At Miami University (in Ohio, not Florida), Rachel studied Zoology, with her favorite animals being elephants and pigs. Rachel has previously been to Portugal and Belgium and has lived in the Caribbean.