A native of eastern Washington, Managing Partner Dan Thiessen was raised on a cattle ranch in Asotin, 2 hours east of Walla Walla. As a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, his 25 year career has included kitchens in Switzerland, Aspen, Coeur d’ Alene, Seattle and Walla Walla. In 2018, Dan partnered with Paul Mackay and Philip Christofides to open Walla Walla Steak Co. and Crossbuck Brewing in the historic Walla Walla train depot, and recently announced plans for a new location set to open in Woodinville in 2022. Dan and a team of partners purchased Basel Cellars Estate in 2020 and will continue to operate the iconic property as an exceptional wine country lodging and event location, while developing plans for further expansion. Dan and his wife Melissa are the proud parents of three sons and are active in the Walla Walla community, as well as operating the Asotin cattle ranch and their own farm and vineyard in Walla Walla.
Jim has built his career in the hospitality industry with a focus on creating a culture where people feel welcome and can come in and celebrate. That guest-focused perspective is what brought him to Walla Walla Steak Co. at the very beginning and is how he has contributed to its success. Prior to joining the company, Jim owned and operated a steak and seafood restaurant in Steamboat Springs, CO and then moved to Bend, OR where he served as general manager of the Bos Taurus steakhouse. Jim and his wife, Emily and their daughter Zoe enjoy time in the mountains fly fishing, skiing, and biking.
Truly great restaurant general managers shine when they can multitask and wear many hats. Jenna Bicknell is a textbook example of this dexterous skillset with a career in hospitality, entrepreneurism, and community involvement. Jenna began her restaurant career and served for 13 years working for beloved Whitehouse Crawford. She went on to start Curated Walla Walla, a wine touring company and open the Haven Walla Walla vacation home. From 2008-12, Jenna served as executive director for the Sustainable Living Center. During her tenure, the regional community energy efficiency partnership recovered from the economic downturn to expand and weatherize hundreds of homes.
Jenna serves on the Collage Place Parks, Arbor and Recreation Board and is the administrative advisor for the Whitman Collage Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her two children, Juliette and Jefferson and her husband Jamey, as well as traveling, hosting wine tastings and staying fit with Pilates, yoga and cycling in the Blue Mountains.
Walla Walla native Rock Silva’s hunger for all things food have taken him near and far, from kitchens in Seattle to Australia. After culinary school, Rock pushed himself to work with the industry’s leaders including Jason Wilson, Michael Mina, Ethan Stowell and Brian Clevenger. Rock hopes to share his passion for hospitality with others through his enthusiastic and honest approach. Rock shares his belief that food is the single greatest element to any great party. He believes in simple food done right, with integrity, thought, and a good knob of butter.
Rock resides in Walla Walla with his wife, Amanda, and their two sons. On his days off, you can find him spending time with his family and friends, BBQing, watching sports and playing golf. Some of his favorite foods include tacos, noodles of all kinds, and anything to satisfy his sweet tooth.
In February of 2023, David Ponti became the Catering Chef at Walla Walla Steak Co after previously serving as the Executive Chef at Public House 124. He considers taking a job as a busboy at the age of sixteen to be his most significant professional achievement, as it launched him into an impressive and passionate twenty-year career. David is highly regarded for his cooking prowess, commitment, and loyalty to his work.
Born and raised in Walla Walla, David is married to Janna, who has been in the wine industry for over 10 years. Their growing family includes their son Rocco, a cat named Clementine, and a newly adopted puppy named Lottie. During his leisure time, he enjoys taking his dog to the park, cooking for, and spending time with, his loved ones. Some of his favorite things include tamales, Merchant’s Root Beer, movie “The Count of Monte Cristo,” and he lives by the mantra, “Make it nice, not twice.”
Alexandros Dimitrios Krallis, known as Alex, boasts a wealth of experience in the restaurant industry. Currently the General Manager at Walla Walla Steak Co in Woodinville, he brings a 25-year journey of fostering growth and cultivating positive work environments.
Alex’s managerial career began with a 12-year tenure at Pyramid Breweries, followed by three years launching and managing Hard Rock Cafes on the West Coast. His expertise further expanded during his seven years at Restaurants Unlimited (RUI), overseeing concepts like Palisades, Palomino, and Henrys Tavern.
While his professional achievements shine, Alex’s greatest pride lies in his family. His daughter, Wynter, remains close and recently blessed him with the joy of becoming a grandfather. Inspired by his Greek heritage, Alex’s culinary passion flavors his love for cooking. An avid golfer and reader, his heart forever belongs to San Francisco, his hometown, and the Giants baseball team. Alex’s leadership and authentic connections continue to cultivate growth and positivity in the culinary sphere and beyond.
Executive chef Adam Reece lives his life and leads his kitchens according to what he describes as the “Triple P: Pride, Passion, and Professionalism.” Prior to joining the opening team at Walla Walla Steak Co. Woodinville, Adam served as Chef de Cuisine at Luxury Lotte Hotel Seattle including the conceptualizing of Charlotte Restaurant & Lounge and Executive Chef at Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak Seattle – opening both during the hard-hit pandemic years. He was not looking to leave his previous position but was inspired by the genuine and heart of hospitality-driven team at Steak Co. and excited about working again with general manager, Erik Agnew. Adam says that his favorite food is anything cooked with smoke or live fire, so the Steak Co. kitchen seems the perfect place for him to be.
Born in Belfair, WA at the southern end of Hood Canal, Adam’s family grew to 11 children thanks to his parents’ dedication as foster parents. He enjoys spending time with his large family and his dog Murphy. Adam is an avid outdoorsman and spends his time snowboarding, skiing, rock climbing, mountaineering, and boating. He also recently earned his PADI Scuba certification allowing him to tap into to the underwater world in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.