Our Team

Tom & Donna Ponessa

Owners

Tom and Donna are Lancaster natives who love fine dining. Tom founded T.W. Ponessa & Associates, a Lancaster-based psychiatric outpatient clinic with seven Pennsylvania locations and 650 employees. He owns the Lancaster restaurant Cafe di Vetro and co-owns Marion Courtroom. Donna Ponessa, a licensed massage therapist, owns Ponessa Medical Massage Center. They are avid foodies who travel the world seeking out Michelin-star restaurants and are delighted to bring that quality of dining experience to their hometown.

Daniel LeBoon

Executive Chef

Daniel is a Lancaster native who studied under world-renowned chefs Alain Solivérès and Alain Ducasse at Hotel Vernet in Paris, a 2-star Michelin restaurant that was once dubbed the “Best Restaurant in the World.” Most recently, LeBoon was the chef and owner of the renowned French restaurant Josephine’s in Marietta, PA. LeBoon is known for his unusual style of cooking seafood, called Beurre Monte.

Renaud Besnard

Executive Pastry Chef

Renaud comes to Amorette from Aureole in New York, where he was executive pastry chef. The Parisian-born Besnard trained at the landmark Joël Robuchon atelier as well as the Bristol Hotel, both in Paris. He is known for his masterful French technique and imaginative creations.

Thierry Lesparre

Sommelier

Thierry is a Michelin-trained Parisian Level 3 Sommelier. Lesparre was mentored by the legendary sommelier Olivier Poussier, recognized as one of the best sommeliers in the world by the UDSF (Union de la Sommellerie Francais). Lesparre trained throughout France at Michelin-starred Le Pavillon Elysée-Lenôtre and Le Drouant before coming to the U.S., where he worked with French-American culinary luminaries such as Jean-Louis Palladin and Georges Perrier.

Jillian Besnard

maître d'hôtel

Jillian comes to Amorette from the Michelin-starred restaurants Gabriel Kraucher and Aureole in Manhattan, where she was Captain.

Tara Welsh

Lounge Manager

Tara Welsh is a natural fit to help deliver an exceptional experience for visitors to the Amorette lounge. With more than 20 years in the culinary and restaurant profession, Tara’s specialized insight into extraordinary customer service and overall restaurant operations makes her the perfect director of the Amorette lounge experience.