Much like composing a 7-course menu, pulling together a passionate and knowledgable team is essential to the Perch experience. You're only as good as the company you keep, and we think we nailed it.
From Baltimore to Oahu to Richmond, Mike Ledesma’s culinary travels and Filipino heritage continue to inspire his cooking. Once a financial advisor, he made a career change in 2002 when he enrolled in culinary school in Hawaii. Since moving from desk to kitchen, he’s worked under “Iron Chef” Roy Yamaguchi and has brought his passion for food back to the East Coast. Most recently he led operations, training, and menu development for six restaurants as corporate chef for Richmond Restaurant Group. He opens his first restaurant, Perch, in Richmond this Summer.
General Manager & Beverage Director
Kristel is from Los Angeles, but grew up on the Northern Neck of Virginia. She has been working in the restaurant industry for 15 years, and has worked with award-winning Richmond restaurants for over a decade as General Manager, Wine Director, Events Manager, and Bar Manager. Kristel is a founder of the Richmond-based Chefs in Shape program, which encourages industry members to focus on health and wellness. She earned her degree at the University of Virginia. Kristel lives in Richmond’s Arts District with her ferocious 4-lb chihuahua.
Chef de Cuisine
Marlin is a veteran of the Richmond culinary scene, cooking in and opening restaurants in the area for over a decade. He is a journeyman cook with experience in many types of cuisine. Marlin hails from Portsmouth, VA and considers Richmond his adopted home. He is an avid outdoorsman whose passion for nature has fostered appreciation for seasonal and locally sourced products. When he's not plating delicious food at Perch, you can find him rock climbing or hanging out at the beach with his son.