Craig & Mowgli:
A story worth writing home about.
One of Mowgli’s many private chef contracts took her to London. Craig jumped at the chance to join her.
It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that would influence a future they had yet to even envision.
From their home base, they were able to explore and glean influence from all over Europe. The wines of France, the cooking styles of Tuscany and the communal tapas flavors of Barcelona mixed with their Brooklyn upbringing to draw them closer together in food and in life.
“It’s not just the food. It’s the light. The music. The integrity of the ingredients. They all contribute to the meal.”
Craig and Mowgli were married in 2011 and have been planning this endeavor ever since. Postcards from Brooklyn combines their distinct-yet-intertwined backgrounds. And every restaurant they launch strives to create an experience that is both approachable and inspiring.
The Rivards bring culinary influence from around the world and just down the block. They found each other in the same place where they found their true calling—the restaurants of Brooklyn.
Sustaining more than your appetite.
The right balance of comfort and complexity provides the backdrop for a memorable experience. With each Postcards endeavor, we seek subtlety in simplicity and likeminded souls to join us for the discovery.
"Postcards encapsulate a time and place that you’d gladly revisit with friends. And that’s exactly what we want to do with our restaurants."
Born and raised in St. Louis, Craig began his culinary career as a dishwasher at Spiro's and quickly moved to cooking.
When home from studying hospitality in Springfield he spent time in the kitchens of King Louie’s and Harvest. Craig’s sights began to fixate on a future that would combine creativity and hospitality.
But his education was only beginning.
He would go on to study at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. During his externship, he continued his learning at Gotham Bar and Grill where serving large groups without sacrificing quality became the standard.
That’s where he found Diner, an understated eatery that would significantly influence his approach to food.
“Much like the rest of Brooklyn surrounding it, Diner collected people with advanced culinary skillsets and focused their energy on elevating simplicity to style.”
As a patron, he was inspired. As a sous-chef—there and at Diner’s sister restaurant Marlow & Sons—he was enamored.
Craig combined attention to detail with artistic flexibility while translating local ingredients into traditional dishes. He learned that an armload of vegetables holds potential that should never end up in the dumpster.
Craig also happened to meet his future wife, Mowgli, there as well.
Next, Craig found himself taking over the kitchen at one of his personal favorite places, the famed Clover Club. Julie Reiner and Susan Fedroff entrusted him to manage everything from the menu to the staff, building his confidence in the process.
“Running the kitchen at Clover Club helped me fine-tune my management skills, costing skills, menu development and questionable kitchen Spanish.”
The owners then turned to Craig to launch their next restaurant, Lani Kai, with an upscale Hawaiian appeal.
This added responsibility would prepare Craig for his own pursuit, less than a decade later, with Mowgli.
Mowgli had always enjoyed preparing meals with her family, growing up in Buffalo, New York. It’s where she first began to appreciate the physical and emotional nourishment that comes from a well-prepared meal.
“There’s nothing more personal or important than sustaining another human being.”
Mowgli would go on to explore the relationship between food and its effect on the body. Working for her local co-op, she assisted in placing orders for the store and took special pride in directing people to healthy food choices.
Following her education at the International Culinary Center, Mowgli would meet Craig at Diner and, later, Marlow & Sons. Following her time there, Mowgli worked as Sous Chef for Justin Smillie where she discovered her love of preparing fresh Tuscan style Italian meals.
But she always found herself drawn to the more personal side of food preparation. And she brings her passion for the overall experience to each Postcards venture.