Staff Highlight: Caleb Russell
Our Easton Porter Group team members are the heart and soul of what we do. From meals served at our restaurants to personal touches at our boutique hotels, our high-touch teams work hard to elevate the art and joy of travel and dining.
Today we are highlighting Caleb Russell, a server at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards. Caleb grew up on a small farm in North Garden, Va. that was primarily focused on dairy production. He also raised and cared for Angus, Jersey cattle, ducks, chickens, guineafowl, sheep, goats, rabbits, and more. He is still very passionate about sustainable farming, which makes him the perfect addition to our Pippin Hill team, given our commitment to sustainable food practices. An outdoorsy guy, Caleb enjoys camping, hiking, hunting, and playing sports such as Ultimate Frisbee, soccer, and basketball in his free time. Plus, he loves to cook – especially Thai and Indian dishes!
Check out the following Q&A with Caleb to learn more, then head over to Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards just outside of Charlottesville, Virginia to experience his excellent service firsthand!
Where did your interest in the food and wine industry begin? How long have you been working at Pippin Hill?
My appreciation for the food and wine industry certainly grew, and is still evolving, since I started working at Pippin Hill. Growing up, my family cultivated, processed, and prepared the vast majority of our food so I didn’t have much exposure to the restaurant world until my late teens.
Previously, I worked as a math tutor in the First Quadrant Math center at PVCC, where I tutored several current and previous Pippin employees. At one point it was recommended that I apply, and I’ve been working here for a little over a year now.
What’s your favorite part about working at Pippin Hill?
Well, other than my incredible co-workers and managers, it’d have to be our farm-to-table philosophy. Since I grew up on a farm, it’s gratifying for me to see all the locally sourced ingredients on our menu. I have yet to see an establishment in Virginia that grows as many menu ingredients themselves as we do at Pippin Hill. For me, supporting local and sustainable farming is paramount, and I’m lucky to work in an establishment that feels the same. The seamless marriage between food and wine at Pippin is truly unique.
What’s your favorite dish on the menu? Your favorite wine?
My favorite dish is the Yellow-Tail Tuna Crudo and my favorite wine is the Petit Verdot.
What are some of your favorite ways to spend free time in Charlottesville?
When I’m in the city-proper, I like to spend time on the historic downtown mall. I love the atmosphere, and the restaurant scene is always improving. Some of my favorites are Bang!, The Alley Light, and Red Pump Kitchen.