Jim Corcoran, Chef
Born and raised in Goshen, NY, Jim Corcoran became interested in cooking when he was very young. His grandfather owned a butcher shop in his hometown and his father spent many hours teaching him to cook.
Jim joined the U.S. Navy in 2000 and served for five years. He then began working in restaurants in Manhattan including Delmonico’s Restaurant, Brinkley’s Broome Street, a gastropub, Angolo SoHo and April Bloomfield’s Breslin where he was the overnight butcher, charcuterie maker and sous chef from 2011 to 2013. He also worked with his brother Sean at the Peekskill Brewery in Peekskill, NY and has participated in Fergus Henderson’s FerguStock.
In late 2013, Jim relocated to the Berkshires. He began working as sous chef of Allium Restaurant + Bar and is now leading the kitchen as chef. Jim is inspired to create seasonal menus that reflect the farms and food producers of the region and is dedicated to using locally grown ingredients on his menu. His favorites are English gastro-pub, Southern and Spanish cuisines and he loves to travel to NYC and Boston to try new foods whenever possible.
Mary Vaughan, Manager
Mary Vaughan began her trajectory in the food and beverage industry as a baker at Suchele bakery in her hometown of Lenox, Mass. in 1998. Her mother was an avid cook who had Mary baking bread from the age of two – there’s photographic evidence of a young girl asleep on the counter while her mother kneads dough. Mary studied at Washington University in St. Louis and completed a bachelor’s degree in Spanish but continued to work as a baker throughout school, never able to break with her love of food. She also attended the Universita degli Studi di Scienze Gastronomiche in Bra, Italy, completing a master’s degree in food culture and communications studying sustainable food practices and production throughout Italy and Europe.
Mary has held several front-of-house roles, first as a manager and baker at Canto 6 Bakery in Jamaica Plain, Mass., then as manager for the award-winning Barbara Lynch Gruppo for two years at Menton (Relais + Chateâux, James Beard Outstanding Restaurateur). Her most recent adventure was service manager at Belly Wine Bar (rated best wine bar in Best of Boston 2013) and The Blue Room (featured as one of 100 Best Wine Restaurants in Wine Enthusiast) in Cambridge, Mass. In 2015, she began working at Allium in Great Barrington where she truly enjoys Mezze Restaurant Group’s philosophy and support of the sustainable food movement, sourcing locally and responsibly in all of its business practices.
Nancy Thomas, Co-founder + Proprietor
Nancy Thomas, local food advocate and restaurateur, grew up in Oklahoma City with a Moroccan mother and Oklahoman father who truly valued hospitality. Her family inspiration led her to a life in the restaurant industry beginning in 1984. She has explored the world of food from the far off Mediterranean Sea and the panhandle of Texas to a variety of cities on the East Coast until she landed in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts.
Nancy’s vision led her to founding Mezze Bistro + Bar in its first location on Water Street in Wiliamstown in 1996. The success of Mezze Bistro + Bar led to the birth of Mezze Catering + Events in 1999, which continues to allow the restaurant group to bring the original Mezze dining experience to guests throughout the region. In 2001, Nancy opened Eleven at MASS MoCA, her second restaurant, housed at the nation’s largest contemporary arts center. Reincarnated as Café Latino at MASS MoCA several years later, the restaurant served patrons for eight years at its museum location. In 2007, Allium Restaurant + Bar was opened in Great Barrington and has been well received with accolades and great reviews.
Nancy is dedicated to creating extraordinary dining experiences reminiscent of her childhood memories. She is an advocate for shaping a community of sustainable agriculture and, with her restaurants and catering company, has created a means by which consumers can lay down values with their dollars and support the local economy. Committed to the local food movement, she maintains that cooking should be based on the finest and freshest seasonal ingredients that are produced locally and sustainably.
Nancy is the co-author of The Great Tiki Drink Book and contributor to Caribbean Cocktails with Jennifer Trainer Thompson (both published by Ten Speed Press.) She is an active participant and collaborative partner with Berkshire Farm & Table and a past board member of Berkshire Grown the Berkshire Visitors Bureau, Berkshire Creative and 1Berkshire.
Bo Peabody, Co-founder
Bo Peabody is an expert in consumer-oriented businesses and forward-thinking cultural movements as well as a well-known technology and media entrepreneur. His first company, Tripod – one of the original social networks – was the eighth largest website on the Internet when it was sold to Lycos (1998.) His second company Village Ventures – an early stage venture capital firm – pioneered the new global trend toward smaller funds. Bo also co-founded Streetmail (1998, now called Everyday Health), VoodooVox (2000), Health Guru (2004) and UplayMe (2006.) An advocate for building community and supporting the local economy, Bo co-owns Mezze Restaurant Group with partner Nancy Thomas.
Bo is featured regularly in major business and consumer publications, and has received numerous honors. He wrote a book for entrepreneurs called Lucky or Smart?, which was published by Random House in January 2005. He speaks about technology and entrepreneurship at conferences and business schools across the globe.
A graduate of Williams College, Bo resides New York City and Williamstown, MA, and is on the board of The Academy at Charlemont.