The International Network of Hospitality Consulting Professionals

Craig Shelton

Bedminster, New Jersey

James Beard winner Chef Shelton brings decades of hospitality operating excellence; financial & analytical rigor; unconstrained approach to problem solving; expert in holistic agriculture & nutrition.

Key Consulting Services

  • Farm-to-Table and Organic Agriculture integration
  • Turnarounds: transforming losses into profits
  • Executive Coaching & Management Training
  • Restaurant Consulting FOH & BOH Operations
  • Pre-Investment Due Diligence


Chef Shelton is a celebrated chef and business consultant with specialization in macro economics. He is known for his ability to help others achieve excellence by connecting all aspects of gastronomy - chemistry, art, ecology, literature, economics and human psychology.

Aeon Hospitality's Core Competencies include:
- Superior hotel and restaurant performance is about employee engagement through ‘enlightened management’.
- Customer engagement comes from employee engagement, which comes from enlightened management practices - 'Human Sigma'.
- The monomania of perpetual ‘prime cost’ reduction leads to self-cannibalization of product quality and employee disengagement, which culminates in customer defection.
- Deconstruct the business model to discover the inflows & outflows and then redesign it for better performance.
- Restaurants are hybrid businesses that combine manufacturing and retail. Manage to that reality.
- Strategic Decisions should be made with the guidance of NPV and DCF analysis.
- Quality is Everything. No amount of marketing can make up for inferior products or service.
- Enlightened leadership can overcome sub-optimal circumstances.


Along with the artistry and technical skills you would expect of a NY Times 4-Star chef, Craig brings Ivy League academy rigor and near MBA-level business competencies to offer unique insights and powerful solutions.

Chef Shelton has has over 35 years of experience in science-based cooking and teaching in the hospitality business. Chef Shelton has earned countless awards as Chef-Owner of the Ryland Inn where he pioneered the 'Farm-to-Fork' movement.

Shelton is also an instructor at Princeton University in the Princeton Environmental Institute, where he teaches a freshman seminar on worldwide food systems, sustainability and dietary health. Mr. Shelton began his expertise in this area while an undergraduate of Yale where he earned his degree in Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry (MB&B). He is CEO of Aeon Hospitality Consulting; a co-founder of the think tank, Princeton Studies Food; founder of King’s Row Coffee; and, a co-founder of Aeon Holistic Agriculture, Inc.

Professional & Other

The Inn at Dos Brisas, TX:
Forbes 5-Star Restaurant Rating 2011

Skylark Diner, NJ:
NY Times 4-Star review 2010

The Ryland Inn, NJ:
Zagat Guide: (28, 28, 27) Reader’s Choice Poll, #1 Most Popular Restaurant in New Jersey: 1995-2007
NY Times, 4-Star Review (Extraordinary) 2000
NY Times, 4-Star Review (Extraordinary) 1995
GQ Magazine, ”#1 TOP TABLE IN USA for 2004”
Santé Awards, “Chef of the Year-USA 2002"
James Beard Foundation Awards, “Best Chef Mid-Atlantic” 2000
Chef Shelton inducted into Fine Dining Hall of Fame 2000
Relais & Châteaux, Relais Gourmands 'Grand Chef' 1998-2006
New Jersey Monthly, Reader's Choice Poll, The Ryland Inn #1 Critics Choice;
#1 People’s Choice; and “Best of the Best for all New Jersey”: 1992-2006
1997 Governor Whitman Director’s Award - Governor Christine Todd Whitman honors Craig Shelton as, “the individual or institution that has done the most to improve the image of New Jersey”

Industry Associations

Contact Chef Craig Shelton