James Beard Award Finalist Nominee,
Best Chef NY 2022
Before bringing Shukette to life, chef/partner Ayesha Nurdjaja earned a devoted following for her vibrant Eastern Mediterranean fare at Shuka in SoHo, which she opened in 2015 after meeting Vicki Freeman and Marc Meyer. A Brooklyn native of Italian-Indonesian heritage, Ayesha's entrepreneurial spirit first led her to pursue a business degree at Pace University. Shortly after receiving her degree, Ayesha realized food was her true passion and subsequently enrolled in the Institute of Culinary Education. She has worked at various NYC restaurants including Lidia Bastianich’s Felidia, Bar Aristinal, Picholine and Missy Robbins’ A Voce as well as Il Bordello and Red Gravy in Brooklyn as executive chef.
Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja
Nikki Ledbetter was born and raised in Marietta, Georgia and has a B.F.A from Maryland Institute College of Art in photography. Entering the restaurant industry in New York to support her career of freelance photography, she fell in love with the passion and energy of the people around her. From her first job as an expeditor at a Thai restaurant to joining the team at the original Craftbar, she began to translate the drive of the people around her into her own desire to learn all she could about food and wine. After eventually taking over as Beverage Director at Craft Nikki set out to explore the rest of the industry, taking on roles as a wine rep, and putting in time at Trestle on Tenth, LINCOLN, Casa Apicii, and Upland. Most recently she travelled to New Zealand to work her first harvest and recently returned to New York City where she is now excited to be a member of the opening team at Shukette.
Eryn has worked in the service industry for over two decades and brings years of experience in the craft of building and managing bar programs to her role as the Bowery Group’s Beverage Director. She hails from Portland, Oregon, and after moving to New York worked behind the bar at storied destinations Bar Milano, Mayahuel and Death and Company. She served as Beverage Director of Freemans Restaurant and helped pioneer the concept of its upstairs speakeasy-style cocktail bar, Banzarbar. Eryn has earned the WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and holds the Beverage Alcohol Resource (BAR) 5-Day Certification. She is a founding member of LUPEC NYC, an organization that champions female bartenders everywhere. In 2013, she became Speed Rack national champion as well as a Dame Hall of Fame Inductee by Tales of the Cocktail. Eryn has been a long-time mentor in the Cocktail Apprentice Program at Tales of the Cocktail and has judged a variety of cocktail and spirits competitions including Speed Rack, the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge, the L.A. Spirits Awards and the Ultimate Spirits Challenge. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including Imbibe and The New York Times, with cocktails featured in a wide array of cocktail books. She resides in Manhattan.
Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Natascha Patterer has spent a decade of her career learning all aspects of the wine industry before joining the Bowery Group as Wine Director. In addition to working several harvests in Oregon's Willamette Valley, Natascha has held beverage manager roles with Starr Restaurant Group and José Andres' ThinkFoodGroup after receiving her Court of Master Sommeliers certification in 2015. In line with the Bowery Group's focus on sustainability across the restaurants' menus, Natascha is passionate about uplifting winemakers that emphasize sustainability and elevating their distinct stories. Her love of food, wine and travel stems from spending childhood summers with her family in Spain and Austria. As a recent transfer to the city, Natascha now resides in Brooklyn where she enjoys cooking for friends and discovering local restaurants in her free time.
Natascha Patterer Wine Director
The Bowery Group
The Bowery Group, a James Beard Award Nominated (Outstanding Restaurateur, 2022) is run by Vicki Freeman, Marc Meyer, Anna-Marie McCullagh, and Chris Paraskevaides, and is comprised of market-driven restaurants including Cookshop, Vic’s, Rosie’s, and Shuka. Each restaurant showcases the season’s bounty through vibrant, ingredient-driven cuisine with an emphasis on local and sustainable sourcing. This summer, The Bowery Group welcomes their newest restaurant in Chelsea called Shukette, inspired by dynamic restaurants throughout the Levant by chef/partner Ayesha Nurdjaja.