Event Details

HEYA Bites & Booze of the Bay

We are sold out – we hope you can attend a future event in the area.

The Cornell Human Ecology Young Alumni Council Presents

Bites & Booze of the Bay
An evening of conversation with Cornell alumni leading the food and beverage industry

Charles Bililies ’06, Souvla 
John Wilkinson ’79, Bin to Bottle
Reed DesRosiers ’14, TROOP
Colby Heiman’13, Sorrel Restaurant
Arielle Chernin ’11, Delfina

Join with Cornell friends and enjoy great food and drink! Read more about our alumni speakers below

Thursday, January 24, 2019

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

The Harry M. Smith Conference Room
414 Mason St. 8th Floor, Suite 800 
San Francisco, CA, 94102

COST: Cornell Alumni – $10, Friends of Cornell Alumni – $12

RSVP by January 21, 2019

About our speakers:

Charles Bililies’06 (Hotel) is the Founder & CEO of Souvla. A Greek-American, Bililies comes from a family tradition of restaurateurs and is deeply passionate about the hospitality experience. He holds degrees in Hospitality Management from Cornell University and Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University. Bililies moved to California in 2006 and worked for Chef Thomas Keller at The French Laundry and Bouchon Bistro, as well as Chef Michael Mina at both his eponymous restaurant and RN74. With new Souvla locations opening, Bililies now leads strategic development for the restaurant group, focusing on new business opportunities, financial planning, team, culture, and brand consistency. Bililies also now serves as an advisor (both officially and unofficially) to partners in the food and tech space, including Apple, Square, Caviar, and Plate IQ. He regularly speaks on panels and in the press about the future of restaurants and tech, entrepreneurship, and how to develop profitable restaurants

John Wilkinson‘79
(Hotel) is the developer and managing partner of Bin to Bottle Winery. In 2005, he identified a need for a service minded, custom crush only winery and found partners who had the same sensibilities. Bin to Bottle is widely regarded as the finest custom crush winery in Napa Valley.

John’s focus on service and client needs comes from his tenure in the hotel industry and his education at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. John was the Director of Development for Ayala Hotels developing the small Ultra-luxury hotels Campton Place in San Francisco and Checkers in downtown Los Angeles.

John also worked for Montgomery Realty Investors in the research and acquisitions department acquiring hotels for their many real estate partnership funds. John performed feasibility studies and valuations for hotels, restaurants, casinos and ski areas throughout the West for Laventhol & Horwath a multi-national accounting firm. He was also the Director of Real Estate for the Sharper Image and successfully located and negotiated the leases for the Sharper Image’s first 30 stores.

Arielle Chernin ’11 (
Hotel) went right into food and beverage operations. After Cornell, she moved to Los Angeles to work for Nancy Silverton’s Pizzeria and Osteria Mozza where she was General Manager for over 3 years. She arrived in San Francisco in 2015 to work for Delfina Restaurant Group managing many of their locations throughout the city. She has aspirations to open her own restaurant someday very soon and has been most recently hosting pop ups throughout the city serving congee, a traditional Chinese rice porridge.

Reed DesRosiers ’14
is the co-founder and COO of TROOP Beverage Co. TROOP crafts canned cocktails with spirits, real ingredients and a social cause in the Bay Area. Reed and his fiancée CC realized that we’re not all bartenders, and the chore of crafting cocktails takes time away from our social lives. That’s why they started TROOP — to give everyone a new way to socialize. TROOP’s first drink is a Mojito made from just five real ingredients with no chemical additives.  Reed graduated from the College of Human Ecology in 2014 with a B.S. in Policy Analysis and Management. Since then, he’s worked as a high-school teacher with TFA, data scientist at POLITICO, and product manager at Autodesk.

Colby Heiman ’13
(Hotel) is the Owner and Director of Operations of Sorrel, a fine-dining restaurant that opened in April 2018. Sorrel specializes in serving the local California bounty while drawing inspiration from Italy to Japan. His day-to-day focus at the restaurant is on strategy, pursuing growth opportunities, and continuing to fine-tune all facets of the business during year one of operations. Prior to opening the brick-and-mortar location, Colby assisted in running Sorrel as a pop-up restaurant (+120 pop-ups!) and helping with the transition from weekly pop-up to full-time establishment. The goal with the transition was to create a space with natural materials and unique design that nestled between the quality of service and cuisine of a “white table cloth” restaurant and the passionate, soulful experience guests receive at more casual restaurants. Prior to getting involved in Sorrel’s operations, Colby was working in real estate private equity helping to develop hotels/restaurants, multifamily projects, and office buildings with Rockpoint Group in San Francisco and Walton Street Capital in Chicago.