“Marcus, it only takes one person to make a change here in Ellenville – to open a bed and breakfast, an antique shop, a restaurant; it just takes one person to spark something.” This advice stuck with Ellenville native Marcus Guiliano, and after moving back from Colorado with his wife Jaime, they opened Aroma Thyme in 2003.
Guiliano is an award-winning, classically trained chef with a vast experience in the gourmet food industry. He even cooked for well-respected French chef Pierre Koffman at La Tante Claire, a three Michelin-starred restaurant in London. But at 28, after almost 15 years of cooking and eating at some of the best restaurants and hotels, Guiliano found himself on five or six medications. While the food tasted incredible, it had no regard for health.
Guiliano began a new endeavor: to make food that tasted good enough to serve in a restaurant situation but without half his flavor enhancers like butter, cream, sugar and a deep fryer; then incorporate that food into his career. “Ultimately, the real answer was to open my own restaurant where I could express my own thoughts and beliefs on real gourmet food,” Guiliano said.
So, remembering the thriving community of Ellenville that he and his wife had grown up in, they opened Aroma Thyme with the mission of creating a restaurant that everybody could eat at. “We said, let’s create something where meat-eaters and vegans and vegetarians can sit at the same table and have a well thought-out meal, where having a vegetarian dish wasn’t an afterthought like it would be at most restaurants.”
At Aroma Thyme, Guiliano said they pride themselves in using local ingredients from small producers, to ensure not only fresh produce, but also fair labor. “We’re really conscious of every single ingredient that we buy above and beyond the local ingredients,” he said. “We want to make sure we’re not participating in anything that has questionable labor practices.”
Aroma Thyme is the first Certified Green Restaurant in upstate New York. “I think people who are attracted to my message are people who are educated about food, people that want to eat healthier and eat better for the environment, while at the same time eating a gourmet meal.” Sound like you? To learn more, visit www.aromathymebistro.com