Tasting Room Assistant Manager
Aaron Leikam, a native of Arlington, Texas (Dallas-area) has been cooking since his teen-years in a wide variety of kitchens and cuisines. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY. Aaron also holds a B.S. in Zoology from the University of Oklahoma.
Aaron Leikam has worked for renowned Chef Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill and Topolobompo Restaurants in Chicago, Chef Jan Birnbaum of Sazerac Restaurant in Seattle. Also in Seattle, Aaron was the Chef de Cuisine of Szmania’s Restaurant, working with Chef/Owner Ludger Szmania. Aaron has been a Sous Chef with James Beard Award winning Chef Melissa Kelly in Rockland, Maine. Aaron spent five years at Primo Restaurant, which focuses on fresh and local ingredients, mostly from its 4 1/2 acre property. More recently Aaron worked as Executive Chef/ Chef de Cuisine at Hukilau Lanai and 22°North on the the island of Kauai. After years of working for other people Aaron and his wife, Kristin, opened a bakery, Cakes by Kristin, followed by two restaurants, Street Burger and Oyster 369, in Kauai. On top of his culinary experiences he has spent time with Kevin Zraly at The Windows on the World Wine Course in Manhattan.
Aaron now calls McMinnville home serving you some of the finest wines in the Willamette Valley at Sokol Blosser Winery.
Hobbies: Now that he is out of the restaurant business Aaron enjoys spending his time hiking, snow skiing, fishing, traveling or just time with his family. Oh yeah…and drinking wine.
What you like about Pinot Noir: It’s ability to pair with any food!
Favorite Food: a good burger, authentic Mexican food and peach pie
Places to travel: Italy, Spain, South America…
Favorite things to drink besides wine: Bourbon, I like to experiment with cocktails!