She was born and raised in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She knew at the age of 11 years old that she wanted to become a Chef after seeing the Food Network for the first time. She began following and cooking alongside her father who inspired her passion for Italian cuisine. Following her passion, she studied Culinary Arts abroad in Calabria, Italy where she specialized in regional Italian cuisine. As a Chef, Allison loves bold layers of flavor - food that tells a story or what she likes to call “Nonna Style“- food that gives you a hug on the inside. Her passion and her dynamic personality landed her in the most exciting culinary scenes in NYC.
For over the past 16 years, Allison has worked in Michelin Star restaurants including The Sagamore Resort, Lidia and Joe Bastianich’s Del Posto, and at Gato with Bobby Flay’s team as a Sous Chef.
Allison is a TedX speaker her speech was “Food at Everyone’s Table” about the importance of food waste and how we can end hunger. A keynote speaker at Athena (women’s leadership award ceremony) and also a keynote at Molloy College and Hofstra University. Allison has appeared on Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay”, “Chopped”, Fios’ “Restaurant Hunters” and “Newsday FeedMe TV”. She also won an episode of Food Network’s Supermarket Stakeout.
Allison became the Executive Chef at Harleys American Grille located in Farmingdale NY, where she received a rare 3 stars, and the restaurant was named one of the top 5 restaurants to try on Long Island in 2019.
During Covid-19 Allison fed first responders at covid testing sites across NYC, 3 meals a day with over 4,000 meals a week. She gives back when she’s not cooking in restaurants and often in support of the community and women. In March 2021 she raised 30,000 to help Women-owned restaurants and for continued education for young girls to go to culinary school and for mentorship.
Allison’s motto in life is “Food and Laughter is what I’m after.”
Blake MacKie, Owner & General Manager, grew up on a large farm in Cypress, Texas. He would relocate to Austin, Texas where he would begin what is now his entire working career in the Food & Beverage industry.
From learning from Damian Mandola Sr. (founder of Carrabba's Italian Grill, near 200 locations) in Austin, Texas, to opening his own restaurant and bar in Hanoi, Vietnam. He has excelled in restaurant leadership and management, entering high tier positions at a youthful age.
From there he moved to Las Vegas to join the biggest food & beverage industry in the world. This is where he mastered his barman skills, working for the largest night-club in the world, as well as in multiple high-end casinos and hotels. He eventually found his way to a local speakeasy where he would finish out his tenure in Las Vegas. Here is where he would reminisce on the importance of being involved in a small and growing community.
Blake has spent many years traveling the globe. He landed in South East Asia where he would meet his wife and eventually open his first restaurant, Bun Cha Burger, in Hanoi, Vietnam. This combined experience allows him to connect and relate to many different people from around the world.
Blake is the other half of est.1864 and you will find him always running around solving problems, meeting budgets, churning out cocktails, and still making the time to have deep meaningful conversations with every guest.