Landmark Family Portraits: Thomas, Danielle, Catie, Daniel and Chris

In this installment of Landmark Family Portraits, we meet some of the key staff members that make The Ryland Inn one of the best restaurants and wedding venues in New Jersey!

 

Thomas McAteer

Name:
Thomas McAteer

Position:
General Manager

Originally From:
Edinburgh, Scotland

Proudest life moment…
The ongoing progress of my four children.

What qualities do you admire in other people?
The quality I admire most is loyalty, followed by punctuality. Punctuality is a very serious quality for me, but loyalty, and the willingness to get involved.

Do you have a favorite movie?
Probably Doctor Zhivago

What’s the best concert or show you’ve ever been to?
The best concert was probably Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic doing Beethoven’s 7th. That was stupendous. That was probably ’95.

What do you do when not working?
I spend time with my kids, I have lots of animals and I play piano and cello.

What kind of animals?
We have dogs, rabbits, emus, llamas, snakes, geckos, peacocks….We live on a farm.

Do you have any big plans for 2017?
To survive it! Other than that, I have this thing that I have to achieve one thing every day. And it can’t be the same thing. There are basics, like working out everyday is a must. But getting something off that list done every day. My goal is to maintain that through 2017.

What is today’s item?
Today’s item is this photoshoot!


Danielle Gomez

Name:
Danielle Gomez

Position:
Event Stylist

Years with Landmark:
4 years

Originally from:
Clifton, NJ

Proudest life moment…
My son, and his accomplishments as a 19 year old. With my daughter, making All Shore track team her first year out. Other than that, I guess just where I am in life right now and knowing that I’ve worked so hard to get here.

What qualities do you admire in others?
Hardworking. I can’t say that enough. Not scared to set the bar too high and go and reach those achievements. Ambition and you have to be a really hard worker because it doesn’t just get handed to you.

Do you have a favorite movie?
It’s A Wonderful Life

Best concert or show you’ve ever been to?
Adele! Just two months ago. And Billy Joel, right after that.

What do you do when not working?
I’m either at the beach, or doing stuff around my house like gardening.

What are your plans for 2017?
Just creating another great space for Landmark with the Coachhouse Ballroom. I think we’ve been given a really great opportunity here to show what we have to offer, and what better way to do it than with another ballroom? [On a personal level] taking a family trip, hopefully to Aruba. Maybe getting back to Bermuda with my husband. That’s where we went on our honeymoon 21 years ago.


Catie Douglass

Name:
Catherine Douglass

Position:
Hostess

Originally From:
Freehold, NJ and Long Island

What is your proudest life moment?
Graduating college.

What qualities do you admire in other people?
Honesty. Straightforwardness.

Do you have a favorite movie?
No. Can’t say I do.

That’s impossible.
I like so many!

Give me 3
The Lion King, Fool’s Gold, and Iron Man

What’s Fool’s Gold?
It’s a romantic comedy about treasure hunting. Kate Hudson. Matt McConaughey.

Oh, that’s embarrassing.
Yeah. Very embarrassing.

What’s the best concert or show you’ve ever been to?
I haven’t been to many. Not really my thing. I rather just listen to music.

What do you do when you’re not working?
I read and I watch movies and TV. I like to hike. Outdoor stuff.

What goals do you have for 2017?
To move up in the world a little bit.

How are you gonna do that?
Hope to advance here at The Ryland. Definitely the main goal.


Daniel Schafer

Name:
Daniel Schafer

Position:
Maitre d’

Years with Landmark:
3 years and 2 months

Originally From:
Switzerland. Close to Bern. A quaint village out in the countryside. The town that I grew up in is actually quite similar to out here by the Ryland Inn. A few hills. Lots of agriculture.

What is your proudest life moment?
There are different stages you go through life, but I guess one of my really great moments in life was back in Switzerland when I was doing my internship. I did a chef’s internship, and during that I actually won a competition and that was a great feeling. It was like a cooking competition.

What did you make?
It was actually more of a show platter. Something you prepare ahead and it’s a display. More of a presentation.

What qualities do you admire in other people?
Honesty and integrity. I think that’s a great hallmark.

Do you have a favorite movie?
Silence of the Lambs, and probably Alien would be a close second.

What’s the best concert or show you’ve ever been to?
I actually came over here to the states because I do really love jazz. I would say probably when I heard Al Green at the Beacon Theater a few years back, that was really great. I also saw Luther Vandross once live and both Dionne Warwick and Samuel L. Jackson were in the audience!

What do you do when you’re not working?
I love to go for hikes, which is a great thing to do out here. People don’t often know about that part of New Jersey.

What goals do you have for 2017?
I do love to travel. I haven’t done that in a really long time so I think its about time to think of some trips!

Where are you going?
I’m trying to get the skiing back into my schedule because I really miss that. Colorado is probably in the future!

Christopher Albrecht

Name:
Christopher Albrecht

Position:
Executive Chef

Originally From:
East Brunswick, NJ

Proudest life moment…
Hm…well the obvious proudest moment would certainly be the birth of my daughters, but I think I would say professionally: putting together the food for [celebrity chef] Tom Coliccio’s wedding in Martha’s Vineyard. I worked with him for 12 years and he asked me to do the food for his wedding.

What quality do you admire in others?
Straight shooters. I like people that shoot from the hip, and don’t mince their words. I like people who are consistent, honest, and that are emotional but know they’re emotional. In the sense that, for most artists, being passionate and cooking with emotion or desire will elevate anything that you’re making. So I look for cooks that can talk about food with passion or with energy because I think that will translate to their actions behind the stove.

Do you have a favorite movie?
I’m a big fan of Wall Street, but frankly my most favorite movie is Jaws.

Best concert or show you’ve ever been to?
I do go to quite a few Cirque du Soleil shows. Many of the permanent shows in Las Vegas are pretty awesome. Love or “O”, but I would probably say that my favorite show is the one that I’ve seen most recently. I just happened to see KURIOS which is their traveling show. A really terrific production where you sit up close and it was really fantastic. It was on Governor’s Island.

What do you do when not working?
I spend a lot of time with my girls, and my girlfriend as well. But inevitably we spend a lot of time talking about food, eating food, enjoying food, cooking food. My youngest daughter just got a little mixer for Christmas, so she’s ready to start her baking career. But outside of food, I do enjoy anything outdoors. In the summertime I love being down the shore. In the winter time I love going skiing. I like the outdoors.

What do you hope to accomplish in 2017?
There’s quite a few actually. On a very basic level, to get the garden re-installed in the back and to really bring the idea of a “kitchen garden” back to the Ryland. I think that’s an incredibly important part of the history of the Ryland and it needs to be actually moved forward. Certainly making connections with some of the local schools, elementary schools in particular. Talking to kids and their parents about the importance of knowing who your farmer is and where your food comes from, and that food is available here at The Ryland Inn for not just special occasions. And really to increase our community here. While we are clearly a food and beverage destination, we are also woven into the local community, so we want to have people here that maybe food isn’t the first thing on their mind. Whether it be an educational seminar with a soil scientist or a walk through the garden with a Rutgers scientist to talk about pest control. We can talk about varieties of carrots [laughs]. There’s all sorts of things that come to mind especially as it relates to building a community of people passionate about food.

Do you have any vacations planned?
I’m definitely going camping this year in Maine. That’s always a big, fun thing in August. I’d like to get a little more shore time this year down in LBI. As far as international travel, I don’t have any plans yet but it wouldn’t surprise me if there was at least one trip out of the country.