Sheamus built the foundation of his career with the Hillstone Restaurant Group in executive-level positions. Having held roles from General Manager and Executive Chef/Research and Development to Executive Chef & Vice President, he understands what it takes at every level to deliver a consistently high-quality guest experience, profitably. Subsequently, he was the Founding Chef & Partner at Farmstead Restaurant on Long Meadow Ranch in Napa Valley, considered one of America’s most beloved restaurants.
Born in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Sheamus spent his childhood on his grandparents’ farm and in his dad’s restaurant. His grandparents raised cattle, pigs, chickens, and grew melons, and some of his fondest memories are of shelling beans with his grandma, and tending the smokehouse with his grandpa. He got the nickname Chicken George, because he used to carry a chicken with him whenever he was on the farm. Sheamus’s father was a classically trained chef and insisted his mother-in-law was the best home cook he knew. Preserves, cured meats and fresh vegetables were always part of family meals. All of this instilled in him a love of and reverence for food.
He was on the opening team for Wolfgang Puck in Denver. He was then hired to open Sacre Blue with Don Gragg of Gramercy Tavern and Chez Panisse, and quickly promoted to Chef de Cuisine. He soon went to France, where he spent time in the kitchen of Michelin starred La Coupole with Chef Michele de Mateis. It was while in Europe that he began to fully shape his cooking philosophy of sourcing incredible, pristine ingredients and treating them simply, while pulling out the most flavor.
Sheamus helped open Mateo in Boulder, still considered, 17 years later, to be one of the city’s best restaurants. He went on to work with Hillstone Restaurant Group, Farmstead Restaurant and then Senior Vice President of Culinary and Kitchen Innovation for BJ’s Restaurants. His decades of experience in recipe and product development, operational organization, systems and menu design, give him a depth and breadth of skill and expertise.
Sheamus attended the University of Arkansas, studying journalism, has been a guest speaker at Cornell University, commencement speaker at The Culinary Institute of America, Greystone, having also taught aspiring restaurant managers there. He was a Featured Chef at the prestigious James Beard House and continues to be part of the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour.