Every organization needs a leader—especially now. Fred is happy to assume that role and remains committed to offering fine dining to the community that he’s come to love, even in the midst of a pandemic. Our new “Buck’s To Go” service is an example of that commitment When he’s not making “big picture” decisions, Fred, a self-described “foodie,” enjoys collaborating with the Buck’s team to come up with new menu items, specialty cocktails and wine offerings.
Fred first vacationed in Maine in the early 1980s. Like many who make the trek here, it didn't take him long to realize how special this area is, and he’s maintained a seasonal residence in Brooksville for over 30 years. His business career includes a long stint on Wall Street, during which he launched his own investment management company. After selling the business in 2010, he became a film producer and co-founded Animal Kingdom, which has produced nine feature films and is working on a growing slate of film and TV projects.* Fred’s also involved with his wife’s nonprofit, Little Hooves and Big Hearts, whose mission is to help children with severe disabilities reach a better place in their lives, both physically and emotionally, through interaction with specially trained miniature horses.
*Movie recommendations available upon request.
Phil’s experience in the hospitality industry dates back to 1988, when he started working summers at The Cottage Restaurant in Brewer, Maine. Phil was subsequently hired by the corporate parent of Red Lobster to manage the opening of its store in Bangor. Over the years, Phil was responsible for opening other locations on the East Coast and later served as dining room manager at the Red Lobster in Annapolis, Maryland. But it wasn’t until he moved back to Maine in the late 1990s that he translated his passion for cooking into a career in the kitchen, eventually joining John and Beth Hikade at their Blue Hill restaurants, Arborvine and Deepwater Brew Pub. That’s where Phil refined his skills and prepared himself to run his own kitchen. When his longtime friend and mentor Jonathan Chase offered him a position at Buck’s, it was an opportunity he couldn’t refuse—and it wasn’t long before Phil was named the restaurant’s executive chef.
Katherine Lee Yurchick
Although Katherine grew up cooking with a grandmother who worked in the hospitality industry, she never planned on being a chef. As a kid, she had always wanted to be a veterinarian. But 10 years ago, Katherine began working at a restaurant, and she came to appreciate why Irma S. Rombauer titled her famous cookbook “The Joy of Cooking.” That sense of satisfaction has kept her in a chef's coat ever since. She says her reward comes from watching plates of food—made with care and love--leave the kitchen, knowing that if she and Chef Phil have done their jobs right, they’ll be plenty of smiles in the dining room. As Katherine multitasks, she strives to bring focus and calmness to what is often a high-pressure environment, which is why when she's not cooking, her favorite role in the kitchen is that of expeditor, making sure that each plate looks great and is delivered to the right table at the right time.
Dining Room Manager / Sommelier
Sarah's hospitality career has literally taken her around the globe, from New York and Chicago to Columbia and Guatemala to Australia and New Zealand. Now she’s back home in Maine. Along the way, Sarah’s worked at a variety of establishments, ranging from cocktail lounges, sports bars and specialty coffee shops to fine dining restaurants. Her job titles have included server, bartender, barista, host, trainer and manager, experience which has given her an extensive skill set that’s invaluable to the day-to-day operation of Buck’s. Among other things, she’s learned that making an authentic connection with each guest is essential to creating a memorable dining experience, and her empathy and outgoing personality make her particularly well-suited to the task. Sarah also brings to Buck’s her longstanding interest in wine and determination to learn everything she can about it. To that end, she’s continuing her formal wine education with the Court of Master Sommeliers. As Buck’s sommelier, Sarah is well-qualified to suggest wine pairings and answer questions about any of the bottles in our cellar, including the special wines that comprise our Connoisseur’s Collection.