Alvin W. Williams, Executive Chef/ Owner of Cobalt Grille Restaurant Hilltop Virginia Beach, VA
Alvin Williams talks about the advantages of using fresh ingredients from local farmers and fisherman.
Alvin Williams has owned and operated Cobalt Grille since its conception in October 2000.
He has always had a passion for fine cuisine. Born and raised in Leeds, England by Jamaican parents, his knowledge of cuisine and ingredients was quite diverse.
After finishing Culinary School at the top of the class, he then went on to work in London in some of the finest establishments including the Mayfair hotel, The Savoy Group and a long stint at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane.
He then moved to the United States to fulfill one of his childhood dreams, to own his own restaurant. First he worked at Le Chambord and Bistro in Virginia Beach for many years, honing his skills in a new market whilst building up a very loyal clientele. He then went on to open Cobalt Grille. Since then he has owned, operated and consulted on other restaurant projects throughout Tidewater. Alvin has been featured in local and national newspaper and magazine articles. Cooked on local TV spots, taught cooking classes and has been involved in numerous charity events. Currently other than focusing on Cobalt Grille he likes to do some catering, explore fine wines, enjoys travel and just very recently did a little Ballroom dancing. He is committed to using the freshest ingredients and supports local farmers.
Gary D. Black, Managing Partner/Owner of Cobalt Grille Restaurant in Virginia Beach, Va.
Gary has owned and managed Cobalt Grille since it's opening in October 2000.
Although Gary was born in California, he grew up just outside of Philadelphia where his grandfather Edward Mulholland and Uncles Edward and Jack operated one of the oldest diners in the country, the Mayfair Diner. Not only is the restaurant business a passion of Gary's, it's in his blood. Opting for warmer weather and the beach lifestyle, Gary attended Old Dominion University, where he received his B. S. degree in Business Administration.
Gary has been in the restaurant business for over 30 years, working in all facets of the industry as a waiter, bartender and manager. Some of the more memorable Virginia Beach spots he has worked include La Broche, Sir Richard's Supper Club and Offshore Café. Coyote Café was the first restaurant Gary owned back in 1989. After 20 years in business, Coyote was recently sold.
Some of Gary's other passions include spending time with his beautiful wife and four children, his great neighbors and the River Rats. He also enjoys surfing, traveling and reading. Additionally, he has been successful in the real estate "flipping" business for the last several years.
Gary has been a part of several other restaurants and businesses throughout the years, but the incredible staff, along with partners Alvin Williams and Edda Barthold, makes the Cobalt Grille a truly wonderful experience!
Edda H. Barthold, General Manager/Owner of Cobalt Grille Restaurant in Virginia Beach
Edda was born in The Hague, Holland. Her family moved to California and she grew up as a true Valley Girl, spending her teenage years in The San Fernando Valley. She later married a Naval Officer at Point Mugu Naval Air Station. She, her husband, and their children moved to Virginia Beach in 1980 and she joined the naval aviation community at NAS Oceana where her husband flew. Edda reentered the workforce in 1989 and went to work as a bookeeper for the legendary Frank Spapen at Le Chambord. Within a month he had asked her to be his general manager and she has been in the restaurant business ever since. Several years later Frank opened The Bistro at Le Chambord, hired Alvin Williams as the Executive Chef, and the business partnership between Edda and Alvin was born. Years later when Alvin got the opportunity to open Cobalt Grille in 2000 he asked Edda to join him, she did, and the rest is history. Gary Black joined them from day one. In her early years at Cobalt Grille she also helped with the books at Gary's other restaurant, Coyote Cafe.
In addition to her love of and devotion to Cobalt Grille, Edda is passionate about her family. She is the proud mother of three wonderful "children". They are all married and have provided Edda with two grandchildren, and counting. Her hobbies outside of Cobalt include all family activities, skiing, the beach, and most importantly, cross stitching.
Edda considers herself blessed to have been an integral part of such a wonderful group, the staff and customers of Cobalt Grille