Our Culinary Team
our culinary team
EXECUTIVE CHEF ROBERT ROGERS
Robert Rogers, Executive Chef, restauranteur, and head circus ringleader is the driving force behind SHINE.His passion for food was evident by an early age. Mary Rogers knew her son was destined to be a chef, recalling that at age ten his favorite dishes were vichyssoise and Eggs Benedict. Robert began his culinary education under Chef Michael J. Hooker in Raleigh, NC. After spending some time working up and down the Carolina coasts, Robert returned to Hendersonville to work for Culinary Instructor and Certified Executive Chef Thomas L Young, a culinary icon. Chef Rogers is quoted as saying…”Working under the direct daily supervision of a culinary instructor was an education most people couldn’t afford to pay for. Tom took me from a good chef, to one who understands the food science behind the craft. I will always be thankful for the time I spent with him…and while working at his restaurant, I met my wife, Layla, which was the true beginning of SHINE! “
CHEF DE CUISINE DON PALENO
American Culinary Federation Certified Executive Chef and current chapter president of the WNC Culinary Association of the ACF, Don Paleno is our cool under-pressure Chef de Cuisine. Originally from Methuen, Massachusetts, he moved to Mars Hill, North Carolina as a young man. His belief that “food brings people together and makes them whole”, led him to enroll in the Culinary Arts program at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. Under the mentorship of Reza Setayesh, one of Asheville’s most acclaimed culinary figures, he won placement on the AB Tech Hot Food Team…winning two team gold medals. In 2003 he competed in the internationally prestigious, Le Chaine de Rottiseurs Young Chefs Competition.
His career has included positions as sous chef at The Boathouse at Beach Inlet, Isle of Palms, South Carolina, executive chef at The Bayhouse Restaurant, M. Waterfront Grille and The Old Collier Golf Club in Naples, Florida. Locally, Chef Paleno has led as executive chef at Champion Hills Golf Club and at The Colorful Palate Catering Company. After all of these years in the industry, cooking is still his biggest passion, second only to his little girl, Macy.
SOUS CHEF MAX KOPSHINA
A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York, Max found his passion for cooking while still a middle schooler. The Academy of Culinary Design, Seabreeze High School, Daytona Beach, Florida, further nurtured this foodie! His attendance at the CIA included an internship at the quintessential Napa Valley restaurant Press, in St. Helena,California. This is where he learned the importance of “farm to table” and the positive impact the trend has on a community. Now, a graduate and Chef, Max would spend the next four years in New Orleans, Louisiana at Cochon, along side James Beard Award winning chefs. It is here he “learned his way around a kitchen and a hog!”….working as a butcher and eventually earning a spot as Sous Chef. Last, but not least, this is where he met his beautiful wife, Valerie.
CHEF CARLOS HERNANDEZ
Chef Carlos’ earliest childhood memories are of his mother and grandmother making homemade tortillas and traditional Spanish dishes. The family gathering to enjoy meals together, impressed upon him food’s importance, and led him to the kitchen professionally. A Los Angeles, California native, Carlos worked locally as a Sous Chef at Tyron Estates. While there, he was selected to attend the College of Culinary Arts, Johnson and Wales University and “..fell in love with the culinary world!”. After culinary school, he worked at Season’s at Highland Lake, Flat Rock, North Carolina and now, SHINE. He and his wife, Lydia are proud parents of their four year old son, Logan.
Patissier Mary Mujica
Mary Mujica is our healthy Hendersonville Baker. She began at the CO-OP in 2012 where she learned to germinate recipes that enhanced health and energy. In 2016, with her creativity and grit, Mary led in formulating the menu to launch Honey & Salt “A Well Built Breakfast” in the village of Flat Rock. She has sold gluten free baked goods at our local King Street Market and area coffee shops. You can spot Mary in our kitchen wearing her vintage aprons and matching bandanas!
Her philosophies on food:
“Eat Clean, Get Dirty”
“Keep it Fresh, Keep it Local”
“Chicks from the south make good biscuits”
Chef de Partie Jessica Brown
Hendersonville native Jessica Brown is our “calm, cool, and collected” Chef de Partie. She is a graduate of Kaplan University, Davenport, Iowa, with a B.S. in Abnormal Psychology, a poet, a wife, and mother of four. She credits her grandmother for introducing her to the kitchen and the joy of cooking. Her desire for local, organic ingredients led her to gardening, crafting jams and jellies, and herbal medicines. After years of travel and a nomadic lifestyle, Shine is pleased she is “taking root” in our kitchen!
Chef De Partie GREYSON ROGERS
Greyson Rogers is building his culinary education working as an apprentice next to our skilled Chefs.