Meet Our Crew
Throughout his 17-year culinary career in Las Vegas, star Chef Brian Howard earned his stripes working with some of the most popular restaurants on The Strip. He has gained the utmost respect from his colleagues and the city’s most prestigious food writers, including one who referred to Howard as “The Most Ambitious Chef in Las Vegas.” The culinary field is known as a profession of passion, and Howard is a bold example of that premise, having believed since he was 10 years old that cooking is in his blood.
His first role at the helm of his own menu was with Nu Sanctuary, where Howard’s menu received widespread acclaim from USA Today, Los Angeles Times, and New York Post, as well as glowing reviews from Las Vegas’ top critics. A burgeoning culinary talent, Howard developed a menu of modern global fusion fare that showcased his varied experience with some of the top chefs and restaurants in the world through his own signature creations.
He attributes his varied influences to being surrounded by talented people, childhood memories, and his continuous hunger for learning new things every day. “I’ve always had a fight and desire in me to never give up, no matter how rocky the road,” says Howard. “Perseverance has gotten me to where I am today and now I just want to create something for the people of Las Vegas, a city that has been good to me. I want to create food that I’d like to eat.”
In 2004, he opened Thomas Keller’s famed Bouchon Bistro with Executive Chef Mark Hopper, a prominent culinary influence for Howard. The culinary team received multiple awards and accolades including four Las Vegas Life Epicurean Awards in 2006, including “Best New Restaurant on The Strip.”
The celebrated restaurant was also named among Saveur Magazine’s “100 Favorite Restaurants,” and received Wine Spectator’s “Award of Excellence” for two consecutive years. Following nearly five years with the Thomas Keller restaurant Group, Howard accepted a position as Chef De Cuisine at Kerry Simon’s acclaimed Cathouse. The restaurant was named one of Conde Nast Traveler’s “Hot Tables” of 2008, lauded for Simon’s signature spin on classic American fare. In 2009, Howard opened La Market for Simon in Downtown Los Angeles.
Justin Kingsley Hall grew up in several areas of California and began his culinary journey while going to high school in San Luis Obispo, Cali. He began by washing dishes for a prominent catering and restaurant chef in the Central Coast; eventually working as a server and then cook. Although he felt inspired by the work, after graduation he spent his first couple years out of school chasing his first passion, serving in 82nd Airborne Division. When a training injury cut his military career short, Hall returned home to San Luis Obispo. Once healthy, he began working in his previous employer’s restaurant – a small fine dining restaurant celebrating American cuisine. The experience convinced him to chase his next passion, being a chef.
Over the next 13 years, Hall took is career to Tampa, Florida earning a Bachelor’s of Arts in Culinary Management, briefly back to the Central Coast of California and finally Las Vegas, Nev. Hall took his first job in the city with Chef Brian Howard, then Executive Chef of Comme Ça (formerly in the Cosmopolitan Hotel). It was his first introduction to fine dining French cuisine. Immediately he was captured by the vast number of fresh ingredients and volume at which the chefs were producing such quality food from scratch. Excited to be part of the team, he was moved to the restaurant’s West Hollywood location as Executive-Sous Chef. It wouldn’t be long until Hall would return to Las Vegas solidifying it as home.
Since returning to the valley, Hall has had an active career, teaching restaurant and management courses for The Art Institute of Las Vegas, creating his own brand SLO Boy Food a catering and event company that has taking him through various venues in the city as well as out of state. In the past two years, he has expanded his network within the culinary community with his various projects. Although he loves the adventures of pop-ups, festivals and private catering, Hall is excited to be returning to brick and mortar restaurant work.
John Anthony is the General Manager Las Vegas’s new home for cookery and libations, Sparrow + Wolf. As chief of the restaurant’s operations, John is responsible for maintaining guest and team relations while streamlining operations for maximum profitability. A skilled leader, he will lead the charge to execute the front of house experience for which this exciting new hot spot will be known.
John’s core strengths go beyond operations and into a natural ability to develop memorable and long-lasting relationships. He enjoys inspiring those around him to grow professionally and personally, which has left a lasting impression on those lucky enough to have spent time with him.
John started his culinary career in his hometown of Pennsylvania at the impressionable age of 9 years old, working in the kitchen of his father’s pizzeria, The Purple Onion. He reveled not just in the magic of transforming basic ingredients into a delicious meal but in the sense of family the restaurant brought to the neighborhood. The experience left him with a deep love of the industry seeded within his subconscious, inspiring a career path spattered by similar settings which made him naturally feel at home.
Initially specializing in mom-and-pop-style restaurant management, John brought his strengths into the niche of assisting struggling establishments in need of a course correction. Once profitable, this exercise often lead to the sale of the restaurant, teaching John many valuable lessons including the importance of leadership and the best ways to quickly acclimate within new organizations.
Driven by the hunger for a larger challenge, he looked to sharpen his skills on the largest food and beverage stage he could think of, the city of Las Vegas. John accepted a position with Gallagher’s Steakhouse at Treasure Island, eagerly embarking on a cross-country move and never looking back. Since making Sin City home, John has had the privilege of opening some of Las Vegas’ most prestigious dining establishments, including Social House (named 2007’s Best New Restaurant 2007 by Las Vegas Review-Journal), Cathouse (lead by Iron Chef Winner, Chef Kerry Simon), Nu Sanctuary, and Comme Ça Las Vegas (named 2011’s Best Restaurant by Desert Companion and 944).
As his name and experience continued to grow, John was tapped for several unique consulting positions. He commuted to Los Angeles to work with powerhouse Harry Morton, utilizing his powerful skill set to spearhead the openings of Pink Taco and Fukuburger while also having a hand in operating the legendary Viper Room. He subsequently joined The One Group back in Las Vegas to assist with the openings and operations of Bagatelle Beach Club and STK Las Vegas.