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Rich Poliak: Head Foodie, Wine Geek

Rich Poliak, Foodie, Wine GeekElements creator Rich Poliak became infused with the “foodie” bug early in life, influenced by his parents’ diverse family backgrounds. His father, was born of Russian and French parents in Shanghai; and his mother, a native of London, is a devotee of Julia Child, having taken lessons from her in both California and at La Varenne in Paris.

Poliak began his own cooking experiences with multi-cultural dishes like beef Stroganoff served with Chinese rice instead of noodles, and accomplished the heights of the 18-egg chocolate soufflé while still in high school.

Travelling to Europe for the first time together Poliak and his wife, Cath, experienced culinary nirvana on a 1982 trip to London, Paris, Lucerne and Tuscany. Cooking became an avocation, a mission of awakening that included classes with the California Culinary Institute, Giuliano Bugiali in Florence, Michael Chiarello, and more.

Frequent trips to Italy over the years convinced Rich and Cath that the Enoteca experience: a neighborhood place to learn about and buy wine, and enjoy food & wine together was something they wanted to bring home with them. Rich became an enthusiast of wine and the exploration of food and wine pairing, continuing his education by recently completing Intermediate and Advanced courses through the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) at Copia.

With the availability of regional ingredients from far away places like Italy, Spain and Japan now even more readily available and, coupled with the unparalleled products available in Northern California, Rich continued to develop his wine and food knowledge with frequent hosting of friends, chefs and wine aficionados -- experiences which encouraged Rich to make the jump to restaurateur. Following Rich and Cath’s move to Napa from the South Bay Area, Rich realized that the time had come to escape the corporate life he had known at Intel since 1980 for the culinary world he had sought for so long.

Elements Restaurant & Enoteca is born.

about us

Richard Poliak: Head Foodie, Wine Geek
Charles Weber: Head Chef
Noel Burke: General Manager

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