Aaron Meneghelli

Executive Chef

Louis M. Martini Winery - Napa Valley, CA

Raised in the Napa Valley, Chef Aaron Meneghelli was introduced to the importance of delicious,
well-made dishes through his close-knit Italian family. “My grandparents were natural
entertainers,” he says. “I spent a lot of time with them, surrounded by family and friends.
Everything we would do was centered around a meal. The community that happens around a
table, that’s what started to drive my passion for food. It isn’t just about being able to cook
something in particular, it is focusing on the entire experience someone will have at my table.”
Aaron spent countless hours helping his grandmother prepare the cherished family recipes,
learning how to add his own personal touch to each dish. He spent nearly as many hours alongside
his grandfather, watching him offer a warm greeting and engaging guests in lively conversation.


As Executive Chef for J Vineyards & Winery and Louis M. Martini, Aaron draws upon his more than
two decades of experience in some of Napa and Sonoma’s finest resorts and restaurants. He puts
the focus on the wines, using flavor, technique and education for an unparalleled guest
experience. His modern, elegant dishes showcase the wines, building flavors and textures that
showcase the nuances and structure of each pairing. “It’s all about seasonality and locality,” he
says, “Where we live, everything is right here — produce, cheese, fish, livestock, poultry. That
means taking care of the product. The fewer number of hands touching the product, the better.”


Aaron spent six years at Carneros Resort and Spa, rising from Executive Chef to Director of Food &
Beverage for the estate’s three restaurants, FARM at Carneros, Boon Fly Café and the Hilltop
Dining Room, as well as the gourmet general store, Market. He also previously served as Executive
Chef at Calistoga Ranch, Executive Sous Chef at The Carneros Inn in Sonoma and Executive Chef at
Angèle in Napa, helping the latter earn its first Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2009.
Perhaps his most influential professional experience, though, was at its start: After graduating
from culinary school in 2000, he began his career under Chef Sarah Scott at Robert Mondavi
Winery. With Chef Scott, he took his first culinary trip to France, sourcing ingredients from local
butchers, cheesemongers and farmer’s markets for a spectacular wine dinner. “I thought to
myself, ‘I have to remember what this feels like. This is what I want to return to someday,” says
Aaron. “I’ve worked my whole career to get back here. Being Executive Chef for J and Martini is
just destiny manifested. This opportunity came to me and it was the perfect ‘Wow!’ moment in my
career. I’m excited to be part of the culinary and winemaking history at these wineries. There are
so many nuances to explore.”