TALENTS

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SEBASTIEN LAVAL

Born and raised in southwest France, Sébastien's passion for hospitality emanated from an internship at an island resort in the South Pacific Ocean. He went on to become the youngest person to ever be appointed Guide Lecturer by the French Ministry of Tourism and the French Ministry of Culture and obtained his degree in business management in Scotland. He has been a part of the Rotary Club in Europe and America since his teens and became a Paul Harris Fellow in 2016. He has also completed various culinary trainings at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.

Laval is no stranger to culture and luxury. Before he moved to Houston to work for Hotel Zaza, he worked at the famed Old Course Hotel of St. Andrews in Scotland, he was sommelier at legendary restaurant Tour d’Argent in Paris, France (2 Michelin stars) and managed several restaurants at the Saint James & Albany Hotels in Provence.

He later opened and operated critically acclaimed restaurant La Table, where he built a Wine Spectator award-winning list. There he worked alongside the team behind Joel Robuchon’s Michelin Star restaurant empire. 

Laval was the opening General Manager of Le Colonial. He eventually transitioned to the widely acclaimed Spanish fine dining restaurant BCN Taste & Tradition to conceptualize, build and operate its new River Oaks District concept: MAD. MAD went on to become Houston’s best new restaurant. He then focused his attention before and during the pandemic on Musaafer: the Houston Galleria 12,000 sq ft upscale Indian restaurant, from construction to operation, creating one of the Best New Restaurants of 2020.

Strong of the 11 restaurants and outlets managed around the world, Laval has decided to build an all-star, international, and all-encompassing team to assist hospitality professionals conceptualize and operate their dream vision with a strong focus on ergonomics, profitability, return on investment, and perennity.

ELIZABETH LAVAL

A native Houstonian of Mexican origins, Laval started her pre-medical studies at A&M University in College Station before getting her bio-chemistry degree from the University of Houston. Her passion for chemistry led her to train in Paris at famed Ducasse, Lenôtre and Ladurée for pastries and chocolate technics. She later competed in Europe alongside Michelin Star Pastry Chefs and won “Best Macaron” in Houston in 2013. Aside from her tremendous knowledge and obsession for pastry perfection, Laval is also an experienced business administration professional in fields as diverse as hospitality, law, oil & gas manufacturing, and medical.

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EDDIE MASSA

A native Houstonian with strong ties to Peru, Massa has extensive experience and specialization within the bar, nightclub, and lounge segment of the industry. He has been a key element in the development, operations, and success of places in Houston such as Clé, Spire, the late Chapman & Kirby, MAD and now Teak Beach Club. His constant optimism, deep knowledge of the industry and gift for relationship building have made Massa an asset to every endeavor he has been a part of in his over a decade and half career.

GERMAN MOSQUERA

German is a born New Yorker with roots extending from New Orleans, San Antonio and now Houston for over 12 years. More than 15 years of experience, Mosquera is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America culinary program with stints including ABaC, Barcelona, Spain (2 Michelin stars) and Biga on the Banks, San Antonio, Texas.

Since then, German has opened and operated half a dozen concepts in the Houston area garnering critics and guests’ accolades. His foundation in creating a unique and memorable customer experience has propelled his attention to detail, from sourcing foods to execution in all kitchen operations.

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NICHOLAS NGUYEN 

Nicholas has worked over two decades in the food and beverage industry. Having started as a dishwasher and working every position up to the highest level. Nguyen has been in operations management for over 15 years, creating systems to multiple well-known, highly awarded, and highly regarded establishments of various cuisines and styles.

JULIEN NOLAN

Nolan was born and raised in Nice, France and his first career was a professional snowboarder for the French National Team from the age of 16 to 22. His career continued in Monaco for Lanvin and Christian Louboutin before he moved to Los Angeles to oversee all branches of Fig & Olive Restaurants throughout the country. He continues to work in NYC, Chicago, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and Houston in various industries from music to high-end fashion and hospitality such as Christian Louboutin, Berluti, Lanvin, SBE Group, and Milā Restaurant.

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NICK CAIN

Cain is not only a guru of kitchen & bar design but is also an experienced operator and equipment specialist. He has tremendously contributed to the Texas kitchen and bar design over his decades in the industry and over thirty successfully completed projects.