Chef Chris Viaud, a James Beard nominated chef most recently known for competing on Season 18 of Top Chef, is the Chef/Owner of Greenleaf and Ansanm located in Milford New Hampshire. Chris has always liked to describe his style of cooking as Contemporary American reflecting on his inspirations throughout his journey of becoming a chef. He reflects on his childhood memories when asked how his journey into the culinary industry began. He has distinct memories of sitting on the floor grinding herbs and spices with a mortar and pestle and other food preparation projects to help his mom with family dinners. He later pursued continued education at one of the nation’s top culinary institutes, Johnson and Wales, and upon graduating with an Associates in Culinary art and a Bachelors in Food Service Management, he left the small state of RI to pursue his dream of working in Boston. Much of his career in Boston was spent at Deuxave in the back bay, one of the top rated French restaurants in the city, where he worked his way through the ranks of the kitchen and achieved a managerial chef position. He likes to refer to his food as simple, yet refined, and honest by not letting over complicated technique override the integrity of the produce that he is working with. Focusing primarily on seasonal produce, some of which grown locally, helps to fuel his passion when creating menus. Chef Chris has continually been working throughout the years to challenge himself by pushing the boundaries and constantly taking himself out of his comfort zone to help hone in on his craft. He is constantly exploring new ideas, styles, trends and concepts to keep fueling his passion and believes that everyday there is the opportunity to learn something new. Chris believes that you eat with your eyes first and that plays into his plating techniques. Through his thoughtful consideration and testing that goes into each dish, he is able to achieve a balanced meal that incorporates different flavors, textures and dimensions that challenge the palate and allow guests to have an unforgettable dining experience.
OWNER / EXECUTIVE CHEF
Chef Justin O’Malley grew up in Lowell, MA, and started his career in the kitchen washing dishes at the age of 16. Justin met Chef Chris Viaud when he took a job washing dishes in Burlington, MA, who helped him find his passion for food. Before leaving the restaurant in Burlington, he worked his way through the kitchen, learning every station. His next opportunity to learn and grow was at the Culinary Institute of America, where he received his Associates Degree in 2018. Justin’s externship was done at Fenway Park where he spent most of his time cooking in the owner’s suite. He next went to work at North Andover Country Club for about a year before going back to school to receive his Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Science in 2021. While Justin was trying to find a place that would challenge him, he decided to reach out to Chef Chris, and accepted a job at Greenleaf, where he worked to earn his current title of Chef De Cuisine.
CHEF DE CUISINE
Jillian Bernat, Bar Manager at Greenleaf restaurant in Milford NH, began her career in the industry as a bus person at the age of 15 at the Owl Diner in Lowell, MA. Throughout the course of her time working in the front of the house, she proved to have the knowledge, skills and passion necessary to become a server, which brought her to Lui Lui, a family Italian/American restaurant in Nashua, NH. During her 12 years spent at this restaurant she immersed herself in many positions, which included her favorite being the bar. She then pursued a job as a bartender working at 815, a bar located in Manchester NH, which was her first craft cocktail related position. Within this position, she learned a lot of the skills and traits that she carried with her as she advanced in her career leading into her next position as a bartender at Bar One in Milford NH for over 2 years, and now at her current position at Greenleaf.
Josh Muse’s career in the hospitality industry began when he was 16 years old when he started out as a dishwasher, and a host for a little diner in Nashua while working with his mother and sister. During this time he discovered his passion and affinity for the industry. Later, Josh attended Johnson & Wales University, and Southern New Hampshire University where he majored in Hospitality Management. When he wasn't in the classroom he was most likely at Sky Meadow Country Club working in their banquet department, or in one of their restaurants to gain as much experience as possible. There, he worked his way up from server to bartender, then to banquet captain, and finally as their Banquet and Event Coordinator after he graduated. As the Banquet and Event Coordinator he oversaw many events ranging from weddings, charity golf tournaments, corporate meetings, and charity galas for organizations that benefited the Greater Nashua area. After 5 years managing events, Josh wanted to broaden his experience in the hospitality industry, and sought out to transition his experience in event management into restaurant management with his current role as Restaurant Manager for Greenleaf in Milford, NH.
JUNIOR SOUS CHEF
Steven O’Connor was raised in Milford, NH where he fell in love with cooking while in the kitchen cooking with his mom as a child. He took advantage of the culinary classes that were offered all throughout high school, and participated twice in the pro start culinary competition. Steven’s restaurant experience started at age 16 while working at MT’s Local. In 2019, he began his studies at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI and studied Culinary Arts & Food Service Management. During his time at JWU, Steven worked at Chardonnay’s as well as The Chapel Grille. In 2022, he began working at Greenleaf in Milford, NH where he holds his current position of Junior Sous Chef.
Chef Chris and wife Emilee at Silver oak wine dinner at Martha's Vineyard Wine Fest 2016
Greenleaf is located in the historic Souhegan Valley Bank building in Milford, New Hampshire. Dating back to 1865, the Souhegan Valley Bank building was renovated in 1907 by Luther Greenleaf who the restaurant is named after. The Boston based architect, whose original hand drawn blueprints can still be seen framed inside the restaurant, added several beautiful renditions to the building and the bank became well known across New Hampshire.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Kassie Viaud was born and raised right outside of Boston before moving with her family to the southern New Hampshire area. She graduated from Assumption College with her bachelor’s degree in Marketing in 2017, and worked in customer service facing roles that led her to working for Dunkin at their corporate office. In 2021, she started working as the marketing director of Greenleaf restaurant in Milford, NH where she started learning about restaurant operations. As more opportunities opened up, like the opening of Ansanm also located in Milford, she began her current role of Director of Operations for the Northern Comfort Hospitality Group brands where she oversees the operations of Greenleaf, Ansanm, and Pavilion restaurants.
Our food philosophy
Greenleaf embodies our core values of cooking with the seasons and sourcing as much product that we can from local farmers who we have built great relationships with over the years. The menu features our take on familiar food, refined with different techniques. With each dish prepared, we focus on highlighting the beautiful product that we receive from the farms and help provide the customer with an unforgettable dining experience.
Our Heart in HOspitality
The fine dining space has been long viewed as residence for the elite, upper class society that would scoff at the idea of something like ordering a cheeseburger or wearing vans. At Greenleaf, we take an elevated approach to our food and drinks, not our expectations of our clientele. We welcome all who come through our door in an effort to provide an over the top experience, no matter how tall your top hat. We're people too, and what makes our space in Milford, NH special, are the people we get to share it with everyday.