Aphotic, from the Greek (ἀ- + φῶς), meaning “without light,” makes reference to the layer of the ocean that receives less than 1% of sunlight (1000 meters in depth), comprising the majority of the world’s open ocean.
Aphotic Restaurant was born out of necessity. Chef Peter Hemsley set out to establish a best-practice seafood restaurant with transparancy and traceability as core objectives, all while delivering unparalleled quality and creative intrigue for the benefit of our guests.
Our Michelin-pedigreed team spans cultures and countries, with a deep and broad skill set. Our collective passion for excellence is imparted throughout every nuance of the guest experience.
Having started his career out of high school working in a French bistro, Peter has a deep affinity for French cooking, fortified by several years spent cooking in France. In 2014, Peter adopted the Bay Area as his home, and was part of the leadership team that brought Quince its third Michelin star.
Peter's inspiration for Aphotic is the Ocean – the last frontier for truly wild foods. Hemsley maintains that respect for this resource is paramount to our common longevity, and this mentality has been the driver for his thinking in respect to traceable fish and preference for local resources.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Zach is a veteran operator and entrepeneur, bringing a wealth of knowledge and high-level Michelin experience to Aphotic. As Beverage Director and part of the management team at Lazy Bear, a two-Michelin-starred restaurant in San Francisco, he oversaw their elevation from one to two Michelin stars and a broad expansion of their beverage program.
As Director of Operations at Aphotic, he leads a highly skilled team of pedigreed hospitality veterans into a new era, showcasing the highest level of hospitality and one of the most traceable seafood programs in the country.
CHEF DE CUISINE
Originally from Chicago, Parker has spent the last decade traveling and working in iconic kitchens. Upon coming to San Francisco, Parker worked for Michael Mina, opening a number of restaurants before landing as Executive Sous Chef of his eponymous one Michelin-starred flagship. As an original member of the Aphotic Team, Parker's role as CDC is to motivate and inspire not only the kitchen but the entire staff. His goal is to help each person be a little better each and every day.
French from Brittany but born and raised in the Netherlands, food and desserts have always been a central part of her upbringing. A graduate of l'École Lenôtre, the CIA and Cornell University, she has developed a true passion for fine dining through diverse experiences such as at Jean-Georges, Le Sirenuse Miami, the Palais de L’Élysée for the French President in Paris, Spruce and Gary Danko. At Aphotic, she blurs the boundary between pastry and seafood.
A certified sommelier and skilled hospitality veteran, Michael is a vital part of the front-of-house team. He brings deep experience with him, including the one-Michelin star Angler in San Francisco, as well as a four-year stint at the iconic two-Michelin-starred Commis in Oakland. Commitment to excellence and attention to detail is his raison d’etre, reflected at Aphotic in the seamless guest experience and elevated beverage program he oversees.
BAR DIRECTOR & HEAD DISTILLER
Winner of Starchef’s 2015 Cocktail of the Year, Trevin leads one of the country's most cutting edge cocktail programs which focuses on house distilled botanical spirits, foraged ingredients from the Western Seaboard, and coastally-made spirits from near and far.
He began his career as the Bar Manager at Natalie’s, the renowned fine dining restaurant in the Relais & Chateaux Camden Harbour Inn. As the opening Bar Director of ONE65 in San Francisco he created four distinct cocktail programs, including for the one Michelin-starred O’.
Growing up in the Northeast, Mike was drawn behind the bar after falling head over heels for the craft after tasting his first Vieux Carreé. After a two year stint at Chef Tiffani Faison’s Tiger Mama, he was asked to design and run the Italian-focused cocktail program at Chef Faison’s Orfano, nominated for a James Beard award within 6 months of opening.
Hospitality for him is deeply rooted in story-telling and trust. By creating a sense of context around cocktails and communicating that in an approachable way, the unfamiliar becomes a source of excitement rather than intimidation.
A Certified Sommelier with a deep-seated passionate for hospitality, Franz has worked abroad as Sommelier for Celebrity Cruise Line, visiting over 50 countries. Coming ashore to San Francisco, he cut his teeth and at the one-Michelin- starred Aster restaurant.
He brings his skills to bear at Aphotic, where he manages a cellar of over 7000 bottles, spanning nearly 100 years of vintage wine history, with special focus on Champagne, sparkling wine, and classic vintages of California spanning over five decades.