Chef Neal Wavra

Chef and Owner of Field & Main Restaurant

Chef Neal Wavra

Neal Wavra is the proprietor chef & sommelier of Field & Main Restaurant in Marshall, VA. Neal and his wife Star opened the restaurant in September 2016. He is recognized as one of the leading experts on the Virginia wine industry and currently the director of the Loudoun County Wine Competition and a Virginia Governors’ Cup judge.

“My professional mission is to use local food to connect with people and foster community. A robust local food system addresses much of what is needed to thrive as humans; sustenance and celebration, connection and community, security and sustainability. Organizations like Taste of the Blue Ridge seek to illuminate the various actors whose work contributes to our local food system. I am pleased to play a roll in supporting this effort.”

Meet Chef Neal Wavra

Food was a central part of Wavra’s upbringing. While attending college in Walla Walla, WA, he furthered his passion for all things culinary by starting the Gastronomical Society on campus. He also caught the wine bug which led him to pursue a post graduate degree in Monterey, California. His culinary career began after a brief stint as a trade compliance specialist in the Department of Commerce in Washington, DC. Wavra realized he could make more of an impact bringing together local farmers and producers through a locally sourced restaurant experience. This is the initial seed for the future vision of Field & Main. 

Early Career

After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Wavra began his career, working with Charlie Trotter in Chicago, Illinois where he served as  the dining room manager. From Chicago he moved to Walland, Tennessee and Blackberry Farm where he was held dual roles as dining room and farmstead manager. 

Wavra spent nearly 5 years as the innkeeper and sommelier for The Ashby Inn & Restaurant in Paris, Virginia. Here is where Neal’s wine list was recognized by various publications for its vast and careful selections, with particular focus on wines of Virginia. Following The Ashby, Wavra was the host and sommelier at The Riverstead, a sixteen-seat restaurant located in Chilhowie, Virginia, run by his friends and Trotter Alums and now Michelin starred chefs John Shields and Karen Urie. 


He holds degrees from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, The Monterey (now Middlebury) Institute of International Studies, and the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Wavra is certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers and is the recipient of the Commanderie de Bordeaux Wine Scholarship and the Kopf Foundation Wine Excellence Scholarship.

Outside of his hospitality practice, Neal enjoys all manner of outdoor activities and traveling with Star and his two girls.

Rice Dish from Field & Main

Chef Neal Wavra pouring wine

Field & Main Fish and Mushrooms