Paul Gelose, Owner
Chef/Owner Paul Gelose purchased the Palace in 1997 and has turned what was a 30 year old, but struggling, restaurant into one of the most favored dining establishments in Durango. As part of his heritage, Paul was exposed to the richness of Italian and Sicilian cuisine at an early age and acquired a passion for the kitchen in his youth. A native of upstate New York, Paul moved out West to Steamboat Springs, Colorado in 1981, to begin what would become an extensive career in the food arts. From 1990 to 1997 he owned and operated three Telluride favorites, the Powderhouse Restaurant and Bar, Joe’s Catering and Giusseppes at the Plunge. From 1996 to 1997, Paul took a break from the mountains and moved to Chicago to be Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef. It was the opportunity to purchase the Palace Restaurant that brought him back to Colorado. Prior to restaurant ownership, Paul acquired much of his culinary experience in American and European Hotels, including positions as Sous Chef, Stein Erickson Lodge, Park City, Utah; Second Pastry Chef, Hotel Adula, Flims-Waldhaus, Switzerland; Chef Tournant, the Five Star Kulm Hotel, St. Mortiz, Switzerland; and, as Banquet Chef at both the Sheraton Steamboat Springs, Colorado and Sheraton Monterrey, California. In 1987 Paul had the opportunity to intern at L’Escale , Carry-le-Rouuet, France, a one star Michelin restaurant and Le Petit Nice, Marseille, France, a two star Michelin restaurant. Paul has traveled extensively, including a visit in 1998 to Penang, Malaysia where he worked in the Hindu Temple Annalakshim’s kitchen. Paul’s traveling has given him an understanding of the regionality of world cuisines which influences his personal culinary style. Paul received his culinary degree from SUNY at Cobleskill, Cobleskill, New York and his BS in Hotel/Restaurant Management from the Rochester Institute of Technology. When he is not at the restaurant he is enjoying life in the San Juan Mountains with his wife Carolyn or at the local hockey rink.
Adam Bergtold, Executive Chef
Like so many chefs and cooks, Adam got his start washing dishes in high school as his first introduction to the restaurant business. In 2001, Adam moved to Durango to attend Fort Lewis College, studying photography. On the side, Adam picked up his first cook’s position with Norton’s Catering, working his way up from dish washer, to prep, to sauté station. Having fallen love with commercial kitchens and the cooking, Adam made a major career track change with his education to attend Johnson and Wales in Denver, Colorado, graduating with a degree in Culinary Arts in 2005. Post graduation, Adam’s first position was head sauté at Swim Club 32, a casual, Asian-French fusion restaurant in Denver. In 2006, Adam returned to his hometown of Telluride to accept a position as sous chef at the French fine dining favorite, La Marmont. In 2007, Adam moved to Durango to expand his career opportunities, starting at the Red Snapper seafood restaurant where he eventually ran the kitchen. In 2008, Adam joined the Palace as PM sous chef. His favorite food memory from growing up: “Mom’s stroganoff.” What he likes to cook on his days off? French cuisine.
Scott Wells, General Manager
Scott Wells was with us when the doors opened in 1997, starting as assistant general manager and moving up to GM soon after. Scott has been in the restaurant industry his entire career. Arriving in Colorado from Madison, Wisconsin in 1985, Scotty bartended and managed restaurants in Boulder and Telluride, Colorado before making his way to Durango. Scott’s unique passion for wine has benefitted the Palace greatly in his development of our extensive wine list. A favorite famous quote of Scott’s is A Wine makes daily life easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance. @ – Benjamin Franklin. When Scott is not at the restaurant, he is busy being a parent with his wife Janet, to their two little girls Sydney and Morgan.
The Grand Dame Club (Staff who have been with the Palace for 10 years or longer)
In October of 1997, the doors of The Palace Restaurant opened under the ownership of Paul Gelose. We are very fortunate to have staff members today as a part of our team that were either there that first day, or arrived soon after. A special thank you goes out to those individuals that have been with us for ten years now. Welcome to the Grand Dame Club!
- Scott Wells, Our keeping it altogether GM
- Danielle Dalley – “Queen of the Palace”
- Jason “Woody” Foels – “Yah, you right!”
- Val Beaudet – “The local’s favorite bartender!”