Carlisle Bannister / Partner & Executive Chef
“Food is my life,” says Chef Carlisle, a fourth-generation Richmond restaurateur. Carlisle learned scratch cooking in his grandparents’ kitchen and at the Campus Room, the beloved Virginia Commonwealth University institution owned and operated by his parents for more than three decades. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, Carlisle has worked in all aspects of restaurants, fine dining, corporate food service and catering, operating his own boutique catering company, Culinary Connection, since 1999. He’s passionate about fresh, local ingredients and expressing his deep Southern heritage on the plate. His ultimate goal: making diners happy. “I love to cook, and I love to engage with people,” Carlisle says. When he’s not wearing the white jacket, Carlisle enjoys fathering four active kids, coaching football, hunting and fishing.
Michael Shaps / Winemaker
Michael has been making wine in Virginia since 1995. He previously worked with two highly regarded central Virginia wineries – Jefferson Vineyards, and King Family Vineyards. In 2004, he won the Virginia Governor’s Cup Wine Competition, a venue where he has accumulated numerous gold medals over the years. Michael has been lauded by numerous publications, including Saveur, Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Wine Advocate, Washingtonian and the Washington Post. He is also a partner in Maison Shaps Winery in Meursault, France, and holds a BPA (Brevet Professionnel Agricole) in Enology and Viticulture from Lycée Viticole de Beaune, France.
Catherine Cristman / Director of Events
Catherine, a Richmond native and graduate of Christopher Newport University's Business Program, brings a deep background in vineyard operations, event planning and recruiting to our events team. She was originally one of our first hires at Upper Shirley, and from the onset her business savviness and planning proficiency were obvious. Prior to her time on the vineyard, she had spent years organizing and planning events for non-profits. She returns to Upper Shirley with even more experience after completing a successful stint as a business recruiter. "I'm delighted to join one of the premier wedding and events venues in the state."