Luna's Chef-Owner, Shawn Stokes, has over 15 years' experience in the food and beverage industry. A 1998 graduate of Johnson & Wales University's culinary arts program, he worked in numerous successful establishments up and down the east coast, including the Ritz Carlton in Naples, Florida, Chillingsworth in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Peninsula Grille and Hank's in Charleston, SC, and Komi in Washington, DC. During his tenure in the industry, from 1990-2005, he dedicated equal time to front-of-house and back-of-house roles, managing kitchens and dining rooms to acquire a holistic understanding of restaurant operations and management.
In 2005, Shawn left the restaurant world to pursue a career in international development. He spent the next ten years working in different parts of the world with various organizations, including the Peace Corps, CARE International, UNICEF, and USAID. He has consulted on a number of industries, but unable to stray too far from his culinary background, much of his work centered on improving global food systems. Most often, his work brought him to Latin America, where he worked with coffee growers in Ecuador, subsistence farmers in El Salvador, shrimp fishermen in Mexico, and cattle ranchers in Brazil.
Shawn and his wife, Maria, came to Durham in 2009 for graduate school and were struck by the exciting changes taking place in the city. A couple years later, they decided to make it their home. Five years later, Shawn could no longer resist con
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