TEAM

TEAM

Vincent Palermo

General Manager

As general manager, Vincent is involved in all aspects of Canoe’s smooth-running operation. Orchestrating the day-to-day tasks is not an easy job, but one Vincent rises to with grace and ease.“It’s a tremendous feeling to come in and watch the choreography that takes place here every day,” Vincent says. “It’s almost like a giant dance. The service staff is having fun and focusing on the guests. The culinary team is producing some of the finest food Atlanta has to offer. It all just comes together. It’s instant gratification for me.”
Vincent has developed a well-trained, approachable staff. “The kind of people that work at Canoe can be summed up in one word: Extraordinary. We ask our people to work harder than they’ve ever worked before. We ask them to be more committed, more dedicated and more on top of their game than they’ve ever had to be. They manage to come in here and do it – day after day after day. They’ve bought into what we’re trying to accomplish here at Canoe, to be the best dining destination in Atlanta.”

What does Vincent love most about Canoe? “It feels comfortable, like you’re going to a friend’s house to eat. There’s a familiarity with the guests and the staff, as well as a genuine warmth and hospitality that really makes people feel special when they come here.”

TEAM

Matthew Basford

Executive Chef

Shortly after taking his first restaurant job in his late teens, Matthew Basford knew that he was headed for a career in the restaurant business. Growing up in Australia, Basford was exposed to cooking techniques that drew influence from Pan-Asian cuisine. He started his culinary journey at Pear Tree Cottage in Greenock, followed by Vintner’s Bar and Grill in Angaston. He was awarded Second Place in Tasting Australia in two consecutive competitions and placed in the Nestle Junior Chefs of Australia Competition, a yearly event that honors the top apprentices in the country. After completing his four year apprenticeship, Basford was officially a “Qualified Chef”, and travelled to the United States.

In December 2002, Basford moved to New Orleans, LA and began working at Dominique’s, at the Maison Dupuy Hotel in the French Quarter. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, Basford was relocated to Atlanta, GA. Within a week, Basford found himself in the Canoe kitchen. He started as line cook, and worked his way up the ranks from sous chef to executive sous chef, and finally, chef de cuisine. In 2013, Basford was named executive chef of Canoe and continues the legacy of the city’s longstanding bastion of fine dining. His commitment to serving fresh, seasonal ingredients marries well with the rich tradition of Canoe.

TEAM

Laurie Vance

Special Events Manager

There’s a reason why guests choose Canoe time and time again for their special events. Her name is Laurie Vance, Canoe’s Special Events Manager. From corporate events and birthday celebrations to weddings, receptions, anniversary parties and many other occasions, Laurie offers personalized service from beginning to end, taking care of all the plans down to the little details. A 20-year veteran of Canoe, Laurie is a large part of the restaurant’s legendary success. She sums up her philosophy this way, “The best thing I can do for anyone is to treat their party like it’s my own.” Whether it’s a large or small gathering, Laurie listens to exactly what each guest wants, then works her magic to be sure it will exceed guest expectations. No matter what you’re looking for, you can rest assured Laurie will be looking after you from the initial planning until the final guest departs.

TEAM

Kevin Cornish

Beverage Director

Kevin Cornish is the beverage director at Canoe restaurant in Atlanta. Cornish has been working in the hospitality industry since 1989 with his first position being at the New York Athletic Club Traver’s Island property as a busser. Since that time, Cornish has worked in every facet of the foodservice industry. Cornish began his study of Hospitality Management at Virginia Tech and finished at Georgia Southern University.

Prior to Canoe, Cornish worked at The Copper Kitchen in Bluffton, South Carolina and The Oyster Bar in Savannah, Georgia. A member of the Canoe team since 2005, Cornish started out as head bartender and worked under the guidance of an advanced Sommelier to help develop Canoe’s wine program and broaden his own knowledge of wine. Now, as beverage director, Cornish is responsible for a wine list containing over 450 selections. Cornish is in the constant pursuit of finding great wine to pair with great food. Having passed his first level of the Court of Master Sommelier, Kevin continues to grow and advance his studies to further pursue more levels of certification. He will sit for certification next spring when the court returns to Atlanta.

Kevin has traveled to study wine in Italy in 2011, visiting Tuscany and Piedmont. In 2015, Kevin traveled to Oregon to learn and develop his knowledge of the Willamette Valley. In 2016, Kevin will visit wineries in California and has been invited to attend Malbec camp in Mendoza, Argentina, hosted by Laura Catena of Catena Wines.

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