Gunnar Gíslason

Executive Head Chef

Icelandic born Gunnar Gíslason has garnered international acclaim for his creative style of cooking, his curious nature, a love for reviving traditions, and an eye for finding pristine products that have been applauded by guests and media alike.

In 2009, in the midst of the worldwide financial crisis, he opened the restaurant Dill in Reykjavík. His contemporary cooking would celebrate Iceland’s pristine ingredients and artisanal producers, in a place otherwise heavily dependent on food imports. Dill has been nominated for the Nordic Prize and has won Iceland’s “Restaurant of the Year” every year since it opened.

In 2014, together with Jody Eddy, Gíslason published his cookbook “NORTH – The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland”, both a recipe book and a culinary odyssey giving an unprecedented look into the food and culture of Iceland.

Marianne Eriksen

General Manager

Marianne Eriksen was born and raised in a small village in Jutland, Denmark.  As soon as she could, she moved to London to work in hospitality, before moving to explore the world working for Disney Cruiselines. She rose through the ranks aboard the Fantasy, where the 4500 guests, 1600 crew meant the ship was the size of the city she grew up in.  Marianne returned to Denmark to attend Copenhagen Business School for a BS and later a MS in Hospitality and service management, all the while working full time for a five star luxury hotel in the capital. We are elated Marianne has joined our team as General Manager for THE BAR at Great Northern Food Hall and Agern.  When she isn’t busy on the floor, you can find her training for marathons. She has run two and is training for the New York Marathon next October.

Chad Walsh

Sommelier

Chad grew up in the restaurant business, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where his father owned a couple of small restaurants.  Getting a taste of fine dining at Restaurant Columbia, once one of Maryland’s best restaurants, during high school, when he moved to New York City to study English Literature at St. John’s University (and later, City College), he continued serving to pay his bills.

It was at Charlie Palmer’s Aureole, in its original location, that he had tasted a wine, Raveneau’s Montee de Tonnerre Chablis from 1996, that a “switch was flipped,” and he found in wine something that combined his love of narrative with his love of restaurants. 

He eventually became a sommelier for the opening of Aureole’s new location, on Bryant Park, only leaving to open Andrew Carmellini’s The Dutch in 2011 as its Beverage Manager. The restaurant was named Restaurant of the Year by both the New York Times and Eater, and Chad has been nominated to both Zagat’s 30 Under 30, and Wine Enthusiast’s 40 Under 40, and among Food & Wine’s Sommeliers of the Year in 2017.

(Don’t tell anyone, but in his spare time, he enjoys drinking beer).

Rhonda Crosson

Head Baker

Rhonda has worked for and with some of New York’s best bakeries and high profile chefs; from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery and Per Se to Amy’s Bread, Daniel Boulud and Marcus Samuelsson, where she first got her interest in Scandinavian bread making

Rhonda used to work as a chemist and holds a degree in Biological Chemistry from Bates College, as well as diplomas in both Bread Baking and Culinary Arts from the International Culinary Center, where she has also been a bread instructor.

Rhonda takes great pride in perfecting her rye bread, so it tastes like that of a Danish grandmother, and when not baking, she loves to travel the world.

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Zachary Rea

Sous Chef

Zachary is from Baltimore, Maryland and studied at the Culinary Institute of America. He has worked as bike courier, personal chef for a high profile persona, and as a chef at Acme before joining the Agern team. Zack loves cycling, his wife, and the beach.

Meyers USA

Agern is a part of Meyers USA, a hospitality group founded by culinary entrepreneur Claus Meyer, who in 2016 will launch a number of culinary ventures in New York.

In late spring 2016, Great Northern Food Hall and its adjacent space at Grand Central Terminal opened; feature a grain bar serving porridges, granola and beer, a coffee shop, a bakery, an open face sandwich station, a vegetable driven pavilion with salads, juices and small plates, a deli and a bar.

In addition to the baking operation in Grand Central Terminal, in July 2016 the team opened a bakery, Meyers Bageri, in Williamsburg, a coffee roasting facility in Brownsville and a salmon smoking and vegetable fermentation facility, a craft butchery and a micro dairy in Long Island City.

Claus Meyer hails from Denmark where, for the past 30 years, he has been instrumental in reinstating quality in, and unlocking the potential of Danish food culture, through a number of research, consulting, community and entrepreneurial initiatives.

Learn more about MeyersUSA here.