Billy was born in New York and grew up in Greenwood, South Carolina first eating and then recreating with his family the dishes of his Napoli born Grandmother. The experience of these meals and his eventual move to the San Francisco Bay area created a foundation for his love and respect of the food and he and his wife’s eventual opening of Cakes & Ale.
Billy’s professional culinary career began at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco where he graduated with honors. During his culinary program, Billy spent, first, a couple days a week, then almost every evening, working at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. Here he developed an understanding and philosophy of the interrelation between food and culture and the importance of sustainable, local cuisine. Billy and Kristin moved to the Napa Valley in 2003 and he worked at The Martini House under Chef Todd Humphries. His location in the heart of the Napa Valley helped expand his knowledge of wines and of the value of fresh produce and seasonality.
In 2004, Billy and his wife moved back to the Southeast and had their first child, Liam. Billy furthered his career at Watershed Restaurant in Decatur, Georgia, where he worked as a Sous-Chef for over two years. Under the tutelage of Chef Scott Peacock, Billy learned a true appreciation for Southern ingredients and developed relationships with local farmers and producers. He left Watershed in 2006 to begin the process of opening his own restaurant, Cakes & Ale, in Decatur, Georgia. Billy and Kristin had their second son, Van Hewitt in November 2007.
Cakes & Ale is modeled after Billy and Kristin’s basic dining philosophy: cook unassuming food using the highest quality ingredients and serve it in a comfortable and welcoming setting. At Cakes & Ale, Billy and Kristin have created a down-to-earth restaurant where they can express their creativity and passion for great food and drink and the diner and enjoy the experience of a truly delicious meal.