With over a decade of colorful experiences in the restaurant and wine business, Michael Ingellis is well suited for his most recent role as general manager and wine director at Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen. Previously he was wine director and Manager at Cindy Pawlcyn’s other popular Napa Valley restaurant, Mustards Grill.
Ingellis began his career in the restaurant business first in the kitchen, then as waiter and bartender in a small restaurant in his native Conecticut. It was in New Hampshire that he met his future wife Jennifer, who had also just entered the restaurant industry and would end up years later as general manager of Brassica Mediterranean Kitchen & Wine Bar.
In 1996, the management team departed the East Coast, heading first to San Francisco, then Hawaii and eventually to Los Angeles. During these years, Ingellis worked as a brewer with the Gordon Biersch Brewing Company in Palo Alto, California, Honolulu, Hawaii, and Burbank, California.
The culinary mecca of Northern California drew the couple back and both joined Pawlcyn’s restaurant operations in 2002. He served for two years as assistant general manager at the then fledgling Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen. Wishing to expand his work in the wine industry, he then worked as a fine wine specialist for the Bay Area’s Henry Wine Group. Steeped in wine industry knowledge, Ingellis returned to Mustards Grill a year later as its new manager and wine buyer, a position he held for over two years. While selecting wines is a formidable task in America’s most prized winemaking region, Ingellis carries an impressive breadth of knowledge of fine wines and regional producers.
His tenure in the Napa Valley has resulted in a strong familiarity and connection to local vineyards and an in-depth knowledge of the restaurant and wine business. Ingellis’ varied experiences manifest themselves in the creativity and capability he brings to his current position.
As general managers in two closely related businesses, Michael and Jennifer Ingellis successfully maintain their professional relationship, continually exchanging expertise and collaborating on the complexities of the wine and restaurant business. The couple loves to travel, always eager to explore new cities throughout the world, in search of the culinary adventures they offer.