Executive Chef Chris Lott Joins Smith and River Team

Chris Lott

Chris Lott has joined the Smith and River team as executive chef. Smith and River is an American Bistro located on the Truckee River in downtown Reno, owned and operated by MaryBeth and Chef Colin Smith.

Lott was born and raised in Fair Oaks, California, where his passion for cooking grew as he spent time in the kitchen with his grandmother, Gloria. She shared her love for trailblazer shows such as “Baking with Julia,” “Yan Can Cook” and “Emeril Live!”

After a stint as a baseball pitcher for a junior college, Chef Lott decided to pursue a career in the culinary field. He began culinary school in 2006 and dedicated his time to learning and creating his new craft. He worked all over the Sacramento area, and in time, developed a style for locally grown, seasonal California cuisine. He attributes his style to the fresh produce found in the Sacramento region and cites classic French, Spanish and Asian influences as his staples.

In 2019, Chef Lott moved to the Reno area to open a restaurant, but shortly after, the pandemic changed his plans. In 2020, he started with the Smith family at Roundabout Catering and under the tutelage of Chef Smith and Chef Chris Nealon, he continued to grow his skill sets.

“Chris’ talents will amplify our dynamic and modern approach to the Smith and River menu,” said Chef Colin Smith, owner-chef of Smith and River and the Roundabout Catering Family. “We’re excited to have him step into this role as executive chef to elevate our philosophy of culinary excellence.”

The Smiths have owned and operated businesses in the Reno-Sparks area since 2007, starting with Roundabout Bistro in Somersett. Since 2011, they have managed a successful catering and food service business servicing northern Nevada and Lake Tahoe. Roundabout has a comprehensive catering facility in Sparks, Nevada, featuring two large industrial kitchens, a fleet of delivery trucks, full-sized food trucks and a warehouse of party rental equipment.

From 2016 to 2020, the Smiths operated Roundabout Grill inside The Whitney Peak Hotel. Roundabout owns and manages multiple business units, including Franco Bread, party rentals, the Tesla Cafe at Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, the Café at the Nevada Museum of Art,  Tannenbaum Events Center and The Meadows in Fernley, Nevada. Chef Smith is the consulting chef for 16 Escape Lounges in the U.S., including the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

For more information about Smith and River and to make a reservation, visit smithandriver.com.