True to his Great Lakes background and classic French training, Executive Chef Shaun Connolly’s cuisine is rooted in simplicity, but sublime in flavor. His passion for food ignited early with a childhood spent cooking in his family’s Midwest kitchen. Shaun graduated from Kendall College in Chicago and went on to work with some of the city’s most acclaimed chefs such as James Beard Award-winning Chef Takashi Yagihashi and Food & Wine Best New Chef Jason Vincent at Nightwood. After honing his skills in these Michelin-starred establishments, Shaun served as executive chef at Chicago’s Lux Bar, Chicago Cut Steakhouse, Presidio, and Gilt Bar.
In 2018, Shaun moved south to Charleston to help open Joséphine Wine Bar. With a style simple and modern yet adventurous in presentation, Shaun’s menu highlights locally sourced ingredients prepared with global flavors. His technical, yet unpretentious dishes are designed for sharing and all complement Joséphine’s curated wine and cocktail list.
When he’s not in kitchen, Shaun enjoys exploring the Lowcountry on his Harley, spending time with his two dogs, and meeting with local farmers and purveyors to learn more about indigenous products.
BAR MANAGER & CERTIFIED SOMMELIER
Growing up in a small town north of Atlanta, Bar Manager Melissa Yard’s first job was as a server at the local diner and since then, she’s worked in virtually every front-of-the-house position. Melissa discovered her passion for mixology while working as a bartender during her studies at Georgia State University. After graduating, Melissa spent nearly 20 years in Atlanta’s hospitality industry, working with acclaimed establishments including Buckhead Life Group and American Food & Beverage, and received training by New York's Cuffs and Buttons, a consulting company run by Milk and Honey's Christie Pope and Chad Solomon. In 2016, Melissa moved to Charleston to serve as bar manager at Swig & Swine in Charleston before assuming a bartending post at Top Chef alum, Jamie Lynch’s 5Church.
Seasoned, skilled and a consummate professional, Melissa brings a unique cocktail perspective to Joséphine’s robust beverage program. She loves to make classic cocktails the way they were intended, strong and straight up, and creates her owns house sodas with fresh, seasonal ingredients, house-made syrups and high-quality spirits. In addition to her spirits expertise, Melissa is a Level II Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers.
For Melissa, the most important part of her job is to create memorable, happy guest experiences. Armed with a sharp wit and the highest standard of hospitality, Melissa is thrilled to helm the bar at Josephine and be a part of the ever-growing bar and cocktail scene in Charleston.
Outside the bar, Melissa can be found with her son playing sports, biking, and watching old movies.
For Jill Cohen, a perfect day would be strolling the streets of Paris while eating a warm baguette. She has read A Moveable Feast more times than she can count and it’s still on her “must read” list because it reminds her of the city of lights. Jill’s biggest regret is not moving to Paris when she was 30 years old and if she gets the opportunity, she will tell you why. She has no desire to debate issues outside the courtroom where she argued as a trial lawyer for twenty years but she welcomes the opportunity to share a bottle of wine with just about anyone. Jill is an expert at throwing sit down dinner parties and, on any given night, can be found at Joséphine, greeting guests as if they were in her home.