Elizabeth-Rose Mandalou, or “ER", was raised in Sacramento. She grew up with her hands in the family garden, and helping her chef father cook in the kitchen. As soon as ER was old enough she began working in restaurants and very quickly realized that she wanted a lifetime career in the industry. It was a few years later while working at Ella Dining Room and Bar, that she really fell in love with wine. She was so impressed by Ella’s wine list and inspired by the knowledge of the Sommeliers there, that she began to study wine seriously. In 2013 ER became a Certified Sommelier, and in 2016 she left Ella to create WM Restaurants with her husband and business partner, Chef Deneb Williams. Simultaneously studying for the Advanced Sommelier Course and Examination, ER worked with her partners to open Woodlake Tavern in 2017. Three months later the group opened Uptown Pizza Kitchen, and in July ER became the third Advanced Sommelier from Sacramento, Ca. Elizabeth-Rose is currently focusing on opening their third restaurant, Allora, and passing the Italian Wine Scholar Examination. She enjoys spending time with her step-daughters and her dog, Michon
Deneb was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and has worked in kitchens all over the country since he was 12 years old. For over 33 years he has pursued his passion for the culinary arts and earned numerous awards like the coveted DiRona and the AAA Mobile Four Star/Four Diamond Rating. In 2007 Deneb moved to Sacramento to take the position as head Chef at the Firehouse Restaurant in Old Town Sacramento. For 9 years he crafted his culinary style at the Firehouse, designed over 40 wine dinners with the regions most celebrated wineries, and in 2015 was voted “Best Chef” by readers of Sacramento Magazine. In 2016 Deneb founded WM Restaurants with his partner and Certified Sommelier Elizabeth- Rose Mandalou. The Restaurant group opened Woodlake Tavern in early 2017, followed closely by Uptown Pizza kitchen 3 months later, and is soon to open the Italian inspired Allora in East Sacramento in winter of 2017.