I was delighted to accept the opportunity to lead the UMass Club in February of 2016. I look forward to bringing the same level of award-winning atmosphere and service that I helped bring to the UMass Amherst Dining program where I was a senior manager since 2004. Most recently, as Director of Retail Dining, I was responsible for 32 retail food outlets; campus-wide catering; concessions; the University Club; and supervision of the $19.5 million renovation project and grand-re-opening of the nationally acclaimed Blue Wall Eatery in the Murray D. Lincoln Campus Center. I hold an undergraduate degree in Food Service Management from Johnson and Wales University, and an MBA from the Isenberg School of Management (UMass Amherst, 2009). While not working at the Club, I enjoy spending time with my wife Sara, and my two teenage sons, Davis and Andrew.
During his early years in Burbank, California, Mark Allen developed a natural passion for cooking through his father, an enthusiastic home chef, and grandfather, chef/owner of a restaurant in Washington, D.C. Mark began his training in a professional kitchen as Garde Manger at Concordís Colonial Inn.
After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Mark honed his skills working at a number of top restaurants, including Inn at The Opera in San Francisco, Little Dix Bay in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands and Mary Elaineís, a Mobil five-star restaurant under Chef Alessandro Stratta at The Phoenician Resort in Arizona.
After returning to his California roots for a prestigious stage at The French Laundry, Mark opened his eponymous Mark Allen Restaurant at the age of 28. Located in Napa Valley wine country, the Mediterranean restaurant drew a following from throughout Northern California, including the Dining Room Chef at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco. When Mark learned from his regular chef guest that a coveted position had opened at the hotelís Boston outpost, he headed back east to follow this exciting new opportunity.
In 1996, Mark became the youngest and only American chef ever to hold the position of Dining Room Chef at Bostonís venerable Ritz-Carlton. He helmed all kitchen and special event operations there until the hotel closed in 2001.
After hanging up his toque at the Ritz, Mark pursued another solo venture, opening Le Soir Bistro in Newton Highlands in December of that year. A mere 7 miles from downtown Boston, Le Soir brought fine dining to the suburbs and attracted city dwellers for Markís high-end French country cuisine. The restaurant was quickly embraced by the local food community, garnered local & national acclaim and put Mark on the map as one of Bostonís most promising young chefs.
With six successful years under his belt, Mark sold Le Soir in 2007 and joined the culinary team at Pine Brook Country Club in Weston as Executive Chef. This position gave Mark the opportunity to expand his scale of service as he oversaw high-volume food operations for the venueís two restaurants, two snack bars and all special events & member functions.
After graduating from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in May of 2016, I am excited to keep the Minuteman spirit alive pursing an opportunity here at the UMass Club! I majored in Hospitality & Tourism Management with my main focus in Food and Beverage / Private Events. Prior to beginning here, Iíve had a diverse experience working within the hospitality industry. From the front-of-the-house in hotels, to the back-of-the-house in restaurants, to large conventions and special events Ė Iíve loved it all. My most recent position was at Mohegan Sun, a Casino in Connecticut, as a Nightlife Supervisor in one of their live entertainment venues. It was definitely a lot of fun to work in such a lively environment, but I couldnít be happier to back in the area I grew up around. Iíve really enjoyed my time here as the Assistant Food & Beverage Manager so far, looking forward to continue working with the UMass Club Team!
I began working at The UMass Club back in 2008 while earning a BA in Communications from Emmanuel College. In 2014 I left my role as Membership Director and transitioned into private events when I accepted a position at Spring Valley Country Club. Two years later, I am excited to have returned to The University of Massachusetts Club as Private Events Director. I look forward to reconnecting with our Membership and am thrilled to be booking events at the best new space in town!
As a 2016 graduate of UMass Amherst, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work at the UMass Club. During my college years, I entered the Hospitality industry working at the Wianno Club in Osterville, MA. I participated in a Food and Beverage internship, and worked my way up to a supervisory position. After graduation, I accepted a position at Charlotte Country Club in Charlotte, NC. There I participated in an extensive management internship. I had the opportunity to learn from, and work with, some of the best managers in the industry. As much as I enjoyed my time in Charlotte, I greatly desired to return to New England. I am so excited to be back home with friends and family - for the opportunity to learn and grow with the UMass Club!