Saxon, a stately black racehorse, was the first to wear New York tobacco heir Pierre Lorillard’s signature racing colors of cherry & black. The stallion won the Belmont Stakes in 1874 and sired more winners in retirement. Saxon’s career, respectable as it was, paled in comparison to his unassuming stable mate: the indefatigable PAROLE.
Born in 1873, PAROLE had the physical bearing of a field horse. He was hardly expected to be a champion—but win he did, all around the nation and across the Pond too. The English labeled him the “Yankee Mule,” and described him as “light-necked, rough-coated, leggy and curby knocked”. PAROLE quickly became one of the few American horses ever to win prime English events. When he retired at twelve, he had earned more money than any racehorse in America. He inspired a feverish new interest in racing—even inspiring an NYC crafted spirit, “PAROLE Whiskey."
Brad Farmerie took a year hiatus from college to move to London and witness firsthand the culinary revolution taking place in the UK. He embarked on a quest for culture and global cuisine, which led to a Grande Diplome from Le Cordon Bleu and seven years of worldwide travel. Kitchen experience in one, two, and three Michelin star restaurants developed his technique, but it was the renowned chef Peter Gordon’s free-spirited fusion that resonated with Farmerie at The Sugar Club in 1996, and later in 2002 when he helped Gordon and fellow NZ chef Anna Hansen open The Providores. Farmerie returned to the States to open the ever eclectic PUBLIC with AvroKO Hospitality Group in 2003, garnering 2 James Beard awards and a Michelin Star. Farmerie and AvroKO followed this success with Asian gin den, Madam Geneva (2008), the meat-centric Saxon + Parole (2011), and neighborhood cocktail bar The Daily (2012). Most recently, Brad and AHG have expanded the Saxon + Parole brand with an outpost in Moscow, Russia (2013), and have created the inflight menu for JetBlue’s recently launched Mint experience (2014). Farmerie has been named a “Rising Star” by Star Chefs (2005), an “Emerging Tastemaker” by Food Arts magazine (2007), “winner” on TV show Iron Chef America (2009), “Prince of Porc” from whole hog connoisseurs Cochon 555 (2011), and “dad” by his children Bruno and Scarlet (ongoing).
Partner Dan Rafalin has been immersed in the culinary world from the beginning of his career when he received a Grand Diplôme in culinary arts from the French Culinary Institute. He holds a master of arts degree in food management from New York University and worked as the financial and business analyst for the Clark Wolf company, a New York-based food, restaurant and hospitality consulting firm before joining forces with AvroKO to form AvroKO Hospitality Group.
Four partners, 14 years, multiple disciplines rooted in hospitality.
New York-headquartered design-and-concept firm AvroKO, is equally adept at the varied disciplines of architecture, furniture, graphics, and even fashion. Founded by 4 additional partners - Adam Farmerie, William Harris, Greg Bradshaw and Kristina O'Neal - each contributing a unique vision to the company's multifaceted design mission. AvroKO has established a new paradigm in the hospitality industry, encompassing a multitude of disciplines and creating thoughtful, provocative architecture, brands, products, and environments.
AvroKO's spirit of adventure and entrepreneurial curiosity has also inspired the Principals to pursue their own “self-propelled" projects, such as residential development, furniture lines, and several restaurants and bars which are wholly conceived, designed, owned, and operated by the company. These include PUBLIC, The Daily, Saxon + Parole, Madam Geneva, GENUINE Roadside, GENUINE Superette and GENUINE Liquorette in NYC; and Saxon + Parole, Moscow.
CHEF DE CUISINE
Born and raised on a farm in Trinidad and influenced by the East Indian and Caribbean cooking styles, Nicole Gajadhar's deep respect and understanding for quality ingredients was instilled in her at an early age. At the age of 9, Gajadhar moved to the states and later graduated from the New York City College of Technology with a BA in Hospitality Management. After externing at Tabla and working in the kitchens of 10 Downing, Tertulia, and The Lion, Gajadhar joined the team at Saxon + Parole. Gajadhar loves the seasonality of ingredients utilized in the Saxon + Parole kitchen, and Brad Farmerie’s global flair for flavors. Moving her way up to Chef de Cuisine, Gajadhar has managed the culinary partnership with JetBlue's Mint Class menu and in 2012, Gajadhar aided in the opening of Saxon + Parole Moscow, developing seasonal menus for the sister restaurant overseas. Most recently, Gajadhar helped curate the menu for AvroKO's lastest eatery, GENUINE, with two locations in Manhattan, and facilitates all offsite events including New York City Wine and Food Festival, Feast Portland, Eat Drink SF, in addition to many others.
Masa Urushido has been hooked on cocktails since he started his first job at famed restaurateur Hiro Shinkawa’s Tokyo hotspot Tableaux. After spending 4 years there, learning the craft of classic cocktails, mastering the art of ice carving, and perfecting his overall technique, Urushido moved on to the chic and popular restaurant Dazzle, located in Ginza, Tokyo. After gaining this invaluable experience in Tokyo, Urushido moved to New York City in 2008. He quickly landed a job at the Aussie inspired restaurant Kingswood – a hip and popular venue in the West Village. While working there, his talent was spotted by Paul Franich, Brand Ambassador of New Zealand’s 42 Below Vodka. Through this relationship Urushido eventually joined the Saxon + Parole beverage team. Urushido has since achieved national recognition for his creative approach to drink making and has had a major contribution in Saxon + Parole’s award as World’s “Best Restaurant Bar” at the 2013 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards. In 2014, Masa won the Chivas Regal Masters global competition, a huge accolade in the cocktail world. Urushido is continuously inspired by working closely with the kitchen team, having access to fresh ingredients, and working with a creative bar team that continues to push the boundaries.
Growing up in a small town outside of Paris, Max was anxious to see the world. Upon turning 20, he moved to London to learn English and promptly began working in the kitchen of a French restaurant. Just months later he realized the dark and antisocial kitchen was not the place for him, and he set out to work behind the bar where he could interact with guests. He was hired at Ronnie Scott, London’s most famous jazz club, where he started as a bar back learning his way around the bar as well as the drinks menu, trained by some of the city’s most decorated bartenders in the process. He quickly moved up to bartender and eventually was promoted to bar manager where he ran the cocktail program for 3 years. After a quick stint in Mexico, Max made his way to New York City where he used his beverage knowledge to get a job at a wine shop. Shortly thereafter he joined the Saxon + Parole team, where he learned NYC cocktail culture and tricks of the trade from world-renowned barmen, Naren Young and Masa Urushido. Today, Max manages the seasonally-changing cocktail list and provides amazing hospitality with his warm smile…and French accent.