Co-founder + Proprietor
Nancy Thomas, local food advocate and restaurateur, grew up in Oklahoma City with a Moroccan mother and Oklahoman father who truly valued hospitality. Her family inspiration led her to a life in the restaurant industry beginning in 1984. She has explored the world of food from the far off Mediterranean Sea and the panhandle of Texas to a variety of cities on the East Coast until she landed in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts.
Nancy’s vision led her to founding Mezze Bistro + Bar in its first location on Water Street in Wiliamstown in 1996. The success of Mezze Bistro + Bar led to the birth of Mezze Catering + Events in 1999, which continues to allow the restaurant group to bring the original Mezze dining experience to guests throughout the region. In 2001, Nancy opened Eleven at MASS MoCA, her second restaurant, housed at the nation’s largest contemporary arts center. Reincarnated as Café Latino at MASS MoCA several years later, the restaurant served patrons for eight years at its museum location. In 2007, Allium Restaurant + Bar was opened in Great Barrington and has been well received with accolades and great reviews.
Nancy is dedicated to creating extraordinary dining experiences reminiscent of her childhood memories. She is an advocate for shaping a community of sustainable agriculture and, with her restaurants and catering company, has created a means by which consumers can lay down values with their dollars and support the local economy. Committed to the local food movement, she maintains that cooking should be based on the finest and freshest seasonal ingredients that are produced locally and sustainably.
Nancy is the co-author of The Great Tiki Drink Book and contributor to Caribbean Cocktails with Jennifer Trainer Thompson (both published by Ten Speed Press.) She is an active participant and collaborative partner with Berkshire Farm & Table and a past board member of Berkshire Grown the Berkshire Visitors Bureau, Berkshire Creative and 1Berkshire.
Bo Peabody, Co-founder
Bo Peabody is an expert in consumer-oriented businesses and forward-thinking cultural movements as well as a well-known technology and media entrepreneur. His first company, Tripod – one of the original social networks – was the eighth largest website on the Internet when it was sold to Lycos (1998.) His second company Village Ventures – an early stage venture capital firm – pioneered the new global trend toward smaller funds. Bo also co-founded Streetmail (1998, now called Everyday Health), VoodooVox (2000), Health Guru (2004) and UplayMe (2006.) An advocate for building community and supporting the local economy, Bo co-owns Mezze Restaurant Group with partner Nancy Thomas.
Bo is featured regularly in major business and consumer publications, and has received numerous honors. He wrote a book for entrepreneurs called Lucky or Smart?, which was published by Random House in January 2005. He speaks about technology and entrepreneurship at conferences and business schools across the globe.
A graduate of Williams College, Bo resides New York City and Williamstown, MA, and is on the board of The Academy at Charlemont.
Linda Stripp, Catering Director
As director of Mezze Catering + Events, Linda Stripp is charged with shaping the overall direction of catering operations. She is primarily focused on planning and managing special events including weddings, rehearsal dinners, cocktail parties, corporate functions and galas. Her lead role is in client relations, working hand in hand with each of our catering clients at every stage of planning to deliver exceptional service and an event that is truly worth celebrating.
During her tenure at Mezze Restaurant Group, Linda worked in a variety of different positions including opening chef and sous chef. Before joining Mezze, she worked under Brendan Walsh at The Elms Restaurant in Ridgefield, CT. Prior to her stint at The Elms, Linda was an entrepreneur founding and operating The Natural Kitchen Catering Co. and The Natural Merchant Café in Southbury, CT. During that time, she developed the company’s overall business strategy, created menus, managed food costing and purchasing as well as hired, trained and supervised staff.
Linda is the co-author of Caribbean Cocktails, Very Blueberry, Very Cranberry and Very Maple Syrup with Jennifer Trainer Thompson, all published by Ten Speed Press.
Aside from her cooking experience, Linda holds a BA in English and a Masters in Education from Fairfield University. She lives in Williamstown, MA with her husband and three children.
Chef, Mezze Catering + Events
Born and raised in New England, chef Daire Rooney developed a passion for cooking at a young age helping her mother (who was a chef) cater events whenever possible. She was lured by the excitement of the kitchen and enjoyed playing a part in the dynamic environment. Daire brings a breadth of knowledge to the kitchen at Mezze Catering — her Swiss grandfather owned a restaurant on the upper east side in New York for 30 years and her cooking reflects both her Italian heritage and French training. Her most recent post was chef of our sister restaurant Allium in Great Barrington.
Daire has many years of experience working in kitchens across the East Coast of the U.S. She began her restaurant career at the age of 12, starting out as a busser and dishwasher. She moved into the kitchen and continued to follow her passion. In 2000, Daire became the personal chef and head of household to actress Meryl Streep and family.
Daire relocated to Amenia, NY, in 2006 to begin planning and organizing the opening of De La Vergne Restaurant as executive chef. She stayed on developing the menu and back-of-house team for the first year and in July of 2007, took the position of executive chef at Brix Wine Bar, a 40-seat French bistro with an extensive wine list in Pittsfield, MA. In high season of 2010, she worked as chef with Mezze Catering + Events and in the fall of 2010, she moved to Georgia to take the position as lead chef at the Augusta National Golf Club, Home of the Masters Tournament, where she started the Greenhouse Program.
In addition to her restaurant and personal chef experience, Daire has participated in dinners at the James Beard House and Outstanding in the Field, taught cooking classes for the Railroad Street Youth Project and Different Drummer’s Kitchen, and has served as a board member of Berkshire Grown, a non-profit organization supporting local food and farms.
In the fall of 2012, Daire returned to the Berkshires as chef of Allium Restaurant + Bar and in early 2015, she took the leadership role as chef of Mezze Catering. She is passionate about using locally grown foods and heirloom ingredients and is excited to be working with our region’s farms and food producers.
Chef, Mezze Bistro + Bar
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., Nicholas Moulton is an accomplished chef who executes a seasonal menu at Mezze Bistro + Bar highlighting local foods from farms and food producers in the Berkshire region. Nick is an alumnus of Mezze Bistro where he worked for four years as a dedicated sous chef from early 2009 to 2012.
Immediately prior to his current position at Mezze Bistro + Bar, Nick worked as the head chef at Public Eat + Drink in North Adams, growing the restaurant’s popularity in the city. As sous chef at The Orchards Hotel in Williamstown for two years, he was responsible for the supervision of staff over three meal periods daily and assisted the chef in maintaining the restaurant’s AAA Four-Diamond Award. Nick has also held stages and apprenticeships at renowned restaurants Blantyre (Relais & Chateaux), L’espalier, Wheatleigh and Craigie on Main.
Producing simple food that is bright and full of life, Nick is dedicated to the nose-to-tail philosophy and is involved in the harvesting and butchering of ingredients for the restaurant’s menu. He places an emphasis on plant-based foods and wild ingredients that grow in the Berkshire region and believes in supporting sustainable agriculture. As a chef focused on regional cuisine, he holds a strong commitment to the farm-to-table movement while building awareness of Berkshire food culture and an understanding of the region’s terroir, part of the growing mission of Mezze Restaurant Group.
Chef, Allium Restaurant + Bar
Born and raised in Goshen, NY, Jim Corcoran became interested in cooking when he was very young. His grandfather owned a butcher shop in his hometown and his father spent many hours teaching him to cook.
Jim joined the U.S. Navy in 2000 and served for five years. He then began working in restaurants in Manhattan including Delmonico’s Restaurant, Brinkley’s Broome Street, a gastropub, Angolo SoHo and April Bloomfield’s Breslin where he was the overnight butcher and charcuterie maker and sous chef from 2011 to 2013. He also worked with his brother Sean at the Peekskill Brewery in Peekskill, NY and has participated in Fergus Henderson’s FerguStock.
In late 2013, Jim relocated to the Berkshires. He began working as sous chef of Allium Restaurant + Bar and is now leading the kitchen as chef. Jim is inspired to create seasonal menus that reflect the farms and food producers of the region and is dedicated to using locally grown ingredients on his menu. His favorites are English gastro-pub, Southern and Spanish cuisines and he loves to travel to NYC and Boston to try new foods whenever possible.