Kirsta and Aaron Grauberger are a brother and sister team of sommeliers that were raised in the ski resort town of Breckenridge, CO. It is those tourist town roots that began their journey of excellence in hospitality and started their lifelong passion for food and wine.
Kirsta and Aaron had always wanted to start a restaurant together. They both began working in the restaurant industry full time in 2004, where they both worked at an Italian restaurant in Delray Beach. They were both there for about a year, when Kirsta took a Restaurant Manager position at the beautiful and award winning Sundy House in Delray Beach. Aaron then joined the Darden organization and began working at Season’s 52 in Boca Raton where he stayed honing his service and wine knowledge. In 2009 he was given the opportunity to work for a wine distributor and enjoyed learning that side of the business before opening Market 17.
The Sundy House is where Kirsta enjoyed learning the management and wine sides of fine dining. Kirsta then took the opportunity to work at the acclaimed 4 star restaurant Johnny V in Ft. Lauderdale. She joined Johnny V and held the positions of General Manager and Wine Director. It was here where she really fell in love with the world of wine and ran a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence program that included over 500 labels. She has been named a Top Sommelier by Ocean Drive and won other awards and wine competitions. She is currently pursuing her advanced certification with the Court of Master Sommeliers.
Lauren DeShields grew up in Florida with a family where there was always a home cooked meal on the table and every Sunday there was a family BBQ. Food has always been a big part of
Chef Lauren DeShields started her culinary career at Johnson & Wales University in North Miami Florida. She joined 3030 Ocean under James Beard winning Chef Dean James Max and Chef de Cuisine Paula DaSilva and continued to work there for 3 years. It was there where she learned the importance of sourcing quality, local and seasonal ingredients.
She then moved to San Francisco to work with some of the country's top chef’s and to broaden her culinary knowledge and technique. She honed her skills at some of the best restaurants in the area. She spent time at two Michelin Star rated Saison, a fine dining farm to table concept. She also learned many skills at Michael Mina's RN74, a restaurant with a focus on locally sourced ingredients with modern French and American fare. She then went to Namu a restaurant that specializes in Japanese and Korean cuisine. Each restaurant was a stepping stone in her career that taught her many aspects of global cuisines and technical skills. While in San Francisco she wanted to make the most out of living in one of the country's top culinary meccas and staged at restaurants in San Francisco such as La Folie, Quince, Spruce, Campton Place, Range, Slanted Door, Gary Danko, One Market, just a few to name. Being a native Floridian, at 25, Lauren moved back to South Florida to join her first mentor, Chef Dean James Max, when he asked her to be his Chef de Cuisine and run the operation at 3800 Ocean a modern American seafood restaurant in Singer Island. She joined Market 17 with encouragement from Chef Max in January of 2012 as Executive Chef, and has brought her amazing palate and skills to the table to take the food and kitchen to an even higher level.
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DINING IN THE DARK