Brian DriscollCo-Founder & President
Brian's inspiration for DRISCOLL Cuisine & Cocktail Concepts was simple: A wife who wanted to surprise her husband upon his return home from overseas military duty asked Brian to cook and serve a romantic dinner for them at their home. When seeing the sheer wonder of their reunion, Brian knew immediately he wanted more people to experience that same magic.Trained in the Japanese hospitality tradition of “omotenashi,” which places a unique emphasis on anticipating guests’ needs and being selfless in service delivery, Brian is a skilled chef who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience of the food and beverage industry and expertise in pairing food with wine, beer, and cocktails to clients when planning their special occasions.
Starting as a dishwasher at Sluggo’s Chicago Style Eatery, Tommy Lasorda’s restaurant in San Diego, at the age of 16, Brian worked his way from the back of the house to the front of the house, learning all aspects of restaurant operations. He worked as a server, bartender, trainer, and manager for large corporate chains, including Red Lobster, Claim Jumper, and Yard House. He also built a solid reputation as a top server and mixologist for independent, chef-driven fine dining restaurants.
Monique HaywardCo-Founder & CEO
Monique is an award-winning entrepreneur, dynamic speaker, published author, and corporate marketing executive with over 25 years of business experience. She is currently the Senior Director of Marketing & Communications for Core Services Engineering & Operations at Microsoft Corporation. She formerly owned and operated Dessert Noir Café & Bar in Beaverton, Oregon, which she launched to fill a niche for upscale suburban dining options and was recognized as a standout in the market with awards for “Neighborhood Pick for Dessert” and “Best Bites” from The Oregonian. Monique also was a partner in Cerise Noire Software, a mobile software applications company.
In February 2009, Monique published her first book, Divas Doing Business: What the Guidebooks Don’t Tell You About Being a Woman Entrepreneur, which includes a foreword by Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman. In February 2014, Monique released her second book, Get Your Hustle On! It’s Not Just About Getting a Job, But Building a Rewarding Career.
Chef Kevin Schow nurtured his love for cooking as a young high school and college student, discovering at that young age that food was what he was most passionate about. Knowing he’d pursue a career as a chef upon graduating from the W.P. Carey School of Business in 2013, Kevin had the privilege of traveling and studying abroad while he was in college, visiting many countries in Asia and Europe and experiencing the cultures and cuisines firsthand. Working his way from sous chef to executive chef at some of the Valley’s finest restaurants, Kevin has expanded his culinary knowledge and established his own unique style across a wide range of culinary techniques and cuisines. But what it all comes down to for Kevin is the experience that you have as his guest, and he wants that to be a lifelong memory that you’ll reflect on for years to come.
You can follow Kevin on Instagram at @kevinschow.
Chef Joshua Bracher, schooled in French technique, is passionate about creating unique, personalized dining experiences for his guests. An award-winning culinary talent with over 20 years of experience at top chef-driven restaurants, Joshua has a strong affinity and flair for Italian cuisine, but he doesn’t limit himself in the least. He also loves to dive deep into traditional as well as innovative techniques and cuisines from around the world. He has a relentless focus on finding the best sourced products available as health and nutrition are especially important to him, noting that food should not only be “good” but “good for you.”
You can follow Joshua on Instagram at @serbiz3.
Chef Steven Fowler, an Arizona native, owes his love of food and cooking to his parents, with mom preparing homemade meals with farm-fresh eggs and meats from the family homestead and dad teaching the young Steven how to clean fish straight from the creek. This self-taught chef, who didn’t even know how to mince parsley when he first stepped into a kitchen, worked his way up from a modest start in fast food to learning and honing his craft at some of the state’s top restaurants, including Cherish, EVO, T. Cooks at the Royal Palms, The Boulders Resort, and True Food Kitchen. In his spare time Steven, who lives in the Valley, enjoys camping, horseback riding, scuba diving, and motorsports alongside his son and daughter.
You can follow Steven on Instagram at @chef_scuba.
Widely featured in local media like Phoenix magazine, Voyage Phoenix, and Fox10 News as well as national outlets like Netflix, MTV, and High Times, Chef Derek Upton is redefining what it means to be a chef, artist, cannabis food pioneer, and food content creator. After starting his career journey as a professional drummer and traveling the world, Derek decided at age 25 to jump headfirst into his cooking career, nurturing his deep love and passion for food. Armed with a combination of self-taught cooking ingenuity and a formal culinary school education, Derek launched his career in California and then later settled in Phoenix, where he’s worked for some of the best in the business, including EVO, Café Monarch, and The Breadfruit & Rum Bar, a James Beard Award semi-finalist. In recent years, Derek has created a name for himself as a pioneer of the cannabis food movement and was featured on the Netflix original cooking show “Cooked with Cannabis,” which was released in April 2020, sparking numerous collaborations and business opportunities for Derek to expand his artistry. A force to be reckoned with, Derek knows no boundaries and is always working on new ideas that will spark the next culinary movement in the industry.
You can follow Derek on Instagram at @chefderekupton.
With more than 30 years in the food and beverage industry, Chef Ken Jacoby grew up cooking for his family. He learned how to bake from his Hungarian grandmother while standing on a stepstool so he could see the countertops, and at the young age of 14, he landed his first kitchen job as a dishwasher. A year later, Ken jumped at the opportunity to cook at an authentic Italian deli, where everything was made by hand, and that’s where his love of feeding people blossomed. Working in various kitchens throughout his high school years and while attending Arizona State University, Ken’s experience runs the gamut of mom-and-pop joints and local eateries to fine-dining restaurants at The Buttes and The Phoenician. Making the transition to front-of-the-house management in 2003, Ken still keeps his skills sharp by cooking every chance he gets, sourcing as much as he can locally and seasonally to support the community he’s been part of for almost four decades. With a servant’s heart, Ken experiences great delights in feeding people and is known for hosting Thanksgiving feasts at his home with more than 50 guests.
You can follow Ken on Instagram at @kenjacoby.
Arizona native Marissa Taylor fell in love with the service industry as a 15-year-old busser at a Mexican restaurant, where her raw, natural talent was discovered and she immediately felt drawn to the lifestyle. She started honing her craft in bartending and mixology as a 19-year-old working at a popular sports bar/nightclub, when one Saturday night, she was thrown behind the bar to mix drinks on the fly when they were short staffed. Inspired by her bar partner who tossed and caught bottles and shakers with the smoothness of a hot knife cutting butter, Marissa witnessed cocktail culture in the making firsthand. For 20 years, she’s been taking the teachings of this mentor to find her own flair and style with confidence and creativity. She’s the “star of the show” and has developed a love affair with the beautiful state of Arizona, indulging in the amazing colors, textures, flavors, and sunsets of the desert to inspire her cocktails.
You can follow Marissa on Instagram at @gottaluffme.