Morristown’s posh ‘Jockey Hollow’ restaurant getting execs with seasoning, Chris Cannon says

Savory meals start with seasoned managers, according to Chris Cannon.

And so the well known New York restaurateur has turned to a pair of successful pals to help him run the Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen, scheduled to open by late August at Morristown’s historic Vail Mansion.

Kevin Sippel will serve as executive chef and Ron Morgan will take the reins as general manager, Cannon announced in a statement.

He worked with both of them at L’Impero, and again with Morgan at Convivio.

“I know we’ll make a powerful team in what is the first New Jersey venture for all,” Cannon said.

New York restaurateur Chris Cannon plans to open a high-end establishment at the Vail Mansion in 2014. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

New York restaurateur Chris Cannon plans to open a high-end establishment at the Vail Mansion in 2014. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

They intend to transform AT&T magnate Theodore Vails palazzo-style Italian Renaissance mansion, built during World War I, into four distinct dining experiences:

The Oyster & Wine Bar at Jockey Hollow , featuring a casual, contemporary menu; the Vail Bar, a “glam 1920′s-style cocktail lounge”; The Rathskeller, for private events; and The Dining Room at Jockey Hollow, a second-floor restaurant with a a farm-to-table focus.

Cannon has forged partnerships with Mantoloking’s Forty North Oyster Farms and Mendham’s Ralston Farm, to supply locally sourced ingredients for “modern American- and Italian-inspired” menus.

jockey hollow bar & kitchen logoContemporary art will grace the walls and Cannon, a Mountain Lakes resident, plans to host health and wellness programs for area public schools.  He works with Wellness in the Schools in New York.

Kevin Sippel specializes in Italian cuisine. He has been chef de cuisine at New York’s award winning Alto. 

His latest gig was with Italian Wine Merchants, as executive chef at its Studio del Gusto wine laboratory. Duties there included overseeing $2 million in annual banquet sales for top customers in the U.S. and abroad. He has moved from New York to Parsippany.

Ron Morgan, a Jersey City resident, most recently served as g.m. for Boqueria, a group of tapas bars in lower Manhattan, Washington DC and Hong Kong.

Below is the full statement from Chris Cannon.

READ MORE ABOUT THE VAIL MANSION PLANS

The Vail Mansion. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

The Vail Mansion. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

FROM CHRIS CANNON’S TEAM:

The wait is over.

Chris Cannon, the visionary restaurateur who is transforming Morristown’s landmark Vail Mansion into Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen, has announced Kevin Sippel as Executive Chef and Ron Morgan as General Manager of the ambitious four-part concept.

“It’s great to be under the same roof with these guys again! Kevin worked for me at L’Impero when we received three stars from The NY Times and Best New Restaurant in the U.S. from the James Beard Foundation. I first worked with Ron at L’Impero, then Convivio. I know we’ll make a powerful team in what is the first New Jersey venture for all.”

KEVIN SIPPEL Executive Chef

For more than two decades, Chef Sippel has studied and practiced culinary arts throughout Europe and the United States, specializing in the gastronomic traditions of Italy.

After L’Impero, he served as Chef de Cuisine at Alto under Michael White when that restaurant also received three NY Times and two Michelin stars. Most recently, Kevin was Executive Chef at Italian Wine Merchants’ Studio del Gusto, its state-of-the-art wine tasting facility and learning laboratory, where he oversaw the cuisine for $2 million in annual banquet sales for high-end clients in the US and around the world.

Chef Sippel recently relocated from NYC to Parsippany.

RON MORGAN General ManagerRon is a seasoned food and beverage professional who worked with Chris Cannon most notably at Convivio, his highly regarded Italian restaurant (closed in 2011). Most recently, he was GM at Boqueria, a group of tapas bars with locations in lower Manhattan, Washington, DC and Hong Kong. He, too, relocated to NJ and lives in Jersey City.

ABOUT Jockey Hollow Bar + Kitchen

Housed in Morristown’s historic Vail Mansion, Jockey Hollow will be a culinary and cultural hub for North/Central New Jersey. It includes The Oyster & Wine Bar at Jockey Hollow (with a casual, contemporary menu); the Vail Bar, a glam 1920′s-style cocktail lounge; The Rathskeller, a private event space; and The Dining Room at Jockey Hollow on the Mansion’s second floor, with a regional, sustainable farm-to-table focus.

The menus will be modern American- and Italian-inspired, featuring locally sourced ingredients from Cannon’s partnership ventures with Mantoloking’s Forty North Oyster Farms and Mendham’s Ralston Farm. JHBK will house an impressive contemporary art collection, commissioned specifically for the space from acclaimed international artists; and will also become a center for health & wellness in the NJ public schools, thanks to Cannon’s affiliation with NYC’s Wellness in the Schools.



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