Meet Our Chef

Michael Thieme | Executive Chef

Chef Thieme received his culinary training at Le Cordon Rouge in Sausalito California, graduating in 1985. He then furthered his education while traveling to Southeast Asia, Nepal, the Mediterranean and Britain, gleaning many culinary techniques, spice compositions and flavors.Chef Thieme contributed to the popularity of several hotels and French restaurants in the bay area, including Christopher, La Terrace, Alexander's and Rive Gauche. Chef Thieme then moved to the Pacific Northwest where he incorporated his passion for exotic and eclectic foods creating a fresh new dining experience for patrons in the region. He joined the SweetWaters on the River staff in 1988.

Book your next meeting or event with Valley River Inn and experience the culinary creations of Chef Thieme.  

Franz Platz | Chef de Cusine

Born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, I started cooking at the age of 18 and started my career as a chef moving to San Francisco in 2002, where I worked alongside three noted chefs, all with their own unique styles and techniques: Silvan Portay of the Ritz Carlton San Francisco, Ron Seigal, who was the first American chef to win the original Japanese Iron Chef, and Michael Rotundo of Parallel 37 in San Francisco. I returned to Eugene in August of 2014 and wanted to be a part of Sweetwaters restaurant for it’s dedication to Pacific Northwest cuisine using locally sourced products and it’s tradition of Pacific Northwest hospitality.

Alfredo Van Nortwick | Executive Sous Chef

Michael Thieme

Alfredo Van Nortwick is a life-long resident of Eugene. He graduated from Lane Community College‘s Culinary Arts program. Alfredo is a member of the American Culinary Federation, Dietary Manager Association, and Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society.

Alfredo loves Pacific Northwest cuisine and has a passion for fresh, local ingredients. He has worked at numerous businesses in the community and ran his own business: Epicurean Catering Company.

Lucas Buhr | Mixologist

Lucas Buhr is our resident mixologist in the Bar at SweetWaters. Lucas started his career in a humble fishing village on the South Texas Coast and eventually moved to Austin where he worked in several local haunts in the neighborhoods of downtown and Hyde Park. In 2003, Lucas moved to Eugene and began working at SweetWaters. For the past eleven years, Lucas has been honing his craft; creating his own infused vodkas by using local and native ingredients as well as designing cocktails that are simple, yet bold and pleasantly surprising. His ever changing tap selections feature the best microbrews the Northwest has to offer. Lucas invites you to stop by for a drink and a chat in the comfortable river view Bar at SweetWaters.

Book your next meeting or event with Valley River Inn and experience the mixology creations of Lucas Buhr

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