Red Maple Catering began as a passion project and has propelled into a multi faceted business to meet the desires of our many and varied clients. To learn more about our team see below. To learn more about our beginnings click OUR ROOTS.
OWNER AND EXECUTIVE CHEF
There are few things better than a well-planned, beautiful meal- even better if you don't have to cook it. Chef Jason's passion is creating playful dishes with bright colors, complex flavors, and the most artistic presentations.
Presenting a 20-year pedigree from some of North America’s finest restaurants, hotels and resorts, Chef Harrison’s culinary expertise was refined at prestigious locations bearing such names as Four Seasons, The Ritz-Carlton and Bellagio Las Vegas. His background also encompasses a deep knowledge and appreciation of local, Colorado-sourced ingredients, and of their powerful appeal to international travelers. Chef Jason can make even the most imaginative meals happen with an elegance only a few possess.
When he isn't hard at work in the kitchen, Chef enjoys spending time with his wife Amy and his little Sous Chef Beckett. Chef can be found golfing in the summer near his Eagle home and skiing the fresh powder of both Vail and Beaver Creek during those famous Colorado winters. Well-grounded and family-oriented, Jason finds pleasure entertaining in his downtime and knows the importance of dining well in the home.
OWNER AND DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Fletcher Harrison has a rich and varied history spanning the country and all aspects of fine dining.
His hospitality career began at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. From there he worked at several remarkable establishments including the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta and Miami, the Four Seasons Chicago, and Charlie Trotter’s. Following this, Fletcher accepted the role of General Manager at Chicago’s Spring Restaurant, where he was able to develop his own team.
A chance meeting of the Sweet Basil team visiting Spring in Chicago led Fletcher and his wife to join their team in Vail, Molly in the kitchen baking bread and Fletcher in the dining room. He was then brought onto the Westin Riverfront Executive team to oversee the food and beverage operations in the award winning hotel.
Fletcher Harrison’s tapestry of experiences have woven together to form a well rounded perspective - one with extensive experience managing front of house as well as kitchen and wine.
Fletcher abides by the philosophy of “doing what is best for the guest; no matter what you do…it does not pay for us to ever take shortcuts.”
Alongside Jason Harrison, Fletcher started Red Maple Hospitality in 2014. He lives in Lake Creek, Edwards with his wife Molly (owner of Hovey & Harrison in Edwards) and their daughter Abigail.
JOhan VaN Niekerk
owner & executive chef-Dallas
Johan Van Niekerk was drawn to the culinary arts from a very young age. Born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, his father owned a butchery in the country’s judicial capital and Van Niekerk helped out in the shop and on hunting trips. “I had a knife in my hand at age 10. There’s a real art to butchering game.”
Following training in kitchen management with The Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Van Niekerk was back in South Africa to help open the Pepper Club Hotel in Cape Town as executive sous chef. After a friend introduced him to the idea of working at sea, Van Niekerk landed as senior sous chef onboard a Crystal Cruise ship, where he met his wife, a Dallas native. “Eventually, we both got tired of working 96 hour weeks and began looking for opportunities on dry land.” His wife had her eyes on Beaver Creek, Colorado – a complete change of place for Van Niekerk, who to that point in his life had never seen snow.
Over four years in the Colorado Rockies, he learned to snowboard while honing his culinary talent first under renowned Master Chef Daniel Joly at Mirabelle at Beaver Creek, then at Zino Ristorante in nearby Edwards, and finally as Sous Chef at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail. The pull of his wife’s Texas ties was strong, however, so when they find out they were expecting a daughter, Van Niekerk jump on the opportunity to move to Dallas and transfer within the Four Seasons to their Las Colinas property.
“Honestly, I’m really enjoying the city,” he says, noting with a laugh that life in Dallas revolves around friends, family and “trying to keep our heads above water.” Distinct from his demanding role at the resort, Van Niekerk enjoys down time relaxing with golf, fishing and attending food conventions when he can. “My wife lived here 12 years ago, so everything is brand new to us right now.”
Chef de Cuisine
Chef Lee’s big focus is on taking what seems like a familiar classic and imparts his unique style of French cuisine with southern influence while utilizing some of Colorado’s boldest flavors to create a truly special personalized experience.
Chef Lee grew up in Greenville South Carolina’s up and coming food scene while working at the Charleston SNOB’s sister restaurant HIGH COTTON. Spending vacations in Vail as kid chef Lee found a position at Vail’s famous Sweet Basil and The 10th. Enjoys dominating on the golf course, ripping up the slopes and expanding his culinary knowledge across the world.
seasonal speciality Chef
Chef Alex Scharf has a decade of experience working in fine dining establishments in America and abroad. He resides part time in Thailand and works with Red Maple Catering on a seasonal basis, offering his expertise in Thai cuisine to you.