Biographies

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Hilda Staples | Co-owner

After lobbying on Capitol Hill and then as an account director at Ogilvy Public Relations, Hilda Staples moved to Frederick, MD in 2000 to pursue a lifelong passion for food and business. After meeting Chef Bryan Voltaggio in 2008, the pair partnered to open VOLT restaurant in the historic Hauck Mansion in downtown Frederick. Staples has been hands on with every project from the start—overseeing everything from investor relations to leading meetings with architects, general contractors, and being involved with city planning review. Now as co-owner of VOLT, Lunchbox, Family Meal and RANGE, she continues to work on the daily financials, investor relations, and community relations for her restaurants. Staples lives in downtown Frederick with her twins, Beverly and Jules, and her husband, Jonathan.

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TJ Whitman | Sommelier

Born and raised just outside of Frederick, MD, VOLT's sommelier, TJ Whitman returned home after a tenure at Sepia in Chicago. He joined the VOLT beverage team in its debut year in 2008 and says, "I still cannot believe that I am able to work at a restaurant of this caliber just 15 miles from where I grew up." Whitman maintains VOLT's wine list that not only complements Voltaggio's modern American cuisine, but also highlights the unique selections and featured wines that tell their story through terroir, production, style and quality. Email TJ

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Robert Stevenson | GM

Stevenson is a long time resident and grew up in Frederick County, Maryland. Looking for further education in the hospitality field Rob traveled to San Francisco in 2005 where he spent time exploring international wine and fine dining. In 2010 he returned to Frederick to accept a
position as Sommelier for Shab Row Bistro and in 2013 he accepted the GM position at Patowmack Farm in Lovettsville, VA. He joined VOLT in 2016 and on his off days, he explores his passion for local and organic food by raising poultry and home brewing.

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Giane Cavaliere | Pastry Chef

In Sao Paulo, Brazil, Giane Cavaliere grew up under the culinary tutelage of her mother and grandmother.  As a teen, Cavaliere pursued a career in ballet, until 1994, when she immigrated to the United States as a student of photography. While toiling in the darkroom, she continued baking. When photography went digital, and she saw her beloved craft becoming obsolete, Cavaliere found yet another creative outlet: pastry. Meticulous and determined Cavaliere has participated and won multiple pastry competitions including the Washington, DC Star Chefs Rising Stars Award in 2014 and the Press Award at the 2017 Valrhona North America Chocolate Chef Competition.

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Dan Kennedy | Executive Chef

Kennedy’s approach to cooking is to have the innovation of modern cuisine and the simplicity of classic food. The Philadelphia native traveled across the country to gain these lessons, beginning at his uncle’s Venice Beach barbecue restaurant. Kennedy’s first position after working with his uncle was at a seafood restaurant called the Oyster House. He also cooked casual fine-dining cuisine in Denver before working at Ink in Los Angeles. Kennedy is now an acclaimed chef who was recognized on Zagat’s 30 Under 30 list in 2015 for redefining Philadelphia’s food industry. In 2017, he was chosen as a U.S. semifinalist for S.Pellegrino’s 2018 Young Chef Competition. He achieved this accomplishment among a field of U.S. chefs 30 years of age or younger. Kennedy joined the VOLT kitchen in 2016.

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