AQUA Team 
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Cory Bryant

Executive Chef


Cory is an Outer Banks native that has been part of the AQUA team since the doors opened in 2008. He has a passion for food, beer, and wine which has helped him develop into a progressive young chef. His love and determination are expressed in every detail of the cuisine that he creates at AQUA.

Cory realized his calling in the culinary industry as a young boy of only eight years old when he began preparing meals for his family which featured fresh fish and seafood that he had actually caught himself. He continued to develop and fine tune his skills over the years and entered the work force at age 15 cooking at a local BBQ restaurant. After graduating high school, Cory was given the opportunity to evolve his skills into more than just cooking while working at Ocean Boulevard. He was inspired to take the next step into a career in the culinary arts and decided to attend the Culinary Institute of Virginia where he became became a certified chef at the age of 20.

Cory has used his formal education and years of experience working with other talented chefs to develop a true talent for creating culinary experiences that will be remembered for years to come.

mail-iconaquachef@aquaobx.com

 

 

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Michael Waterman

Sous Chef


Michael was born in Newfoundland, Canada, a desolate province located next to the Grand Banks. While living there he developed a true appreciation of utilizing nature’s freshest ingredients as well as being introduced to a variety of large game and fowl used in many area restaurants. Michael enjoys hockey, biking, and travel.

His culinary career began in Asheville, NC where he attended AB Tech, an awarded culinary school. While attending school Michael worked at Posana, one of the first “gluten free” bistros in the country. After leaving Ashville he worked with the Relais & Chateaux group in Pittsboro, NC at both The Fearrington House Inn and The Granary at Fearrington. During this time Michael studied tasting techniques, flavor components and wine pairing under their wine director. Wanting to explore the culinary scene further he moved to Raleigh, NC and began working at Mandolin for Chef Sean Fowler learning true nose to tail cuisine. After traveling to the US Virgin Islands for a time he returned and accepted a position as Sous Chef at Boiler Room with James Beard nominee Vivian Howard in Kinston, NC. Next stop was Alaska where he worked as a private chef for 5 months. Upon his return he traveled down the West Coast working as Chef de Partie at Ink in Hollywood California for Michael Voltaggio, a Top Chef winner.

Michael joined the AQUA team in 2015 as our Sous Chef, bringing to the table fresh energy, new flavors and a dedication to providing a quality culinary experience to our guests. He continues to surprise us with his knowledge and expertise of various cuisine and cooking styles. Michael is planning on continuing to broaden his culinary career by traveling across Europe.

 

 

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Judy Fisher

General Manager


Judy began her management career at AQUA in 2008 when the restaurant opened. In the time she has worked at AQUA, Judy has come to love the Town of Duck along with the community of people who make Duck so special.

After working at several successful restaurants in Richmond, VA and graduating from VCU with a Bachelors Degree in Business, Judy continued working in restaurants, loving the fast paced and fun atmosphere. She moved to Washington, DC in 1990 to work as general manager at The Cafe Heartland. Finding that big city life was not for her, Judy relocated to the Outer Banks, waiting tables at Goombays prior to being promoted to front of the house manager. In 1996, she left Goombays to partner with 2 friends, opening Quagmires in Kill Devil Hills. After a very successful 10 year run, she and her partners decided to sell the property and closed Quagmires.

Judy, who grew up in Richmond, always craved the beach life. She moved to the Outer Banks in 1992, remembering her fondness for the area as a child vacationing with her parents in Kitty Hawk year after year. Wanting a child of her own to enjoy the Outer Banks with, Judy began the process of adopting a child from China prior to closing Quagmires. Within a year she was traveling to get her beautiful baby girl Olivia. After taking time off to be with her daughter and just be a Mom, Judy was ready to get back to work and found AQUA, the perfect fit! Judy resides in Kitty Hawk with her daughter, who can be seen during the summer season jamming with the musicians on the AQUA deck. Loving to travel, Judy and Olivia spend time during the winter in The British Virgin Island of Tortola with Judy’s former partners “the boys from Quags”.

mail-iconjudy@aquaobx.com

 

 

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Michelle “Shelly” Rowles

Restaurant Manager


Shelly joined the AQUA team in the spring of 2009, just one year after AQUA’s grand opening. She has a passion for food and wine, as well as a sincere commitment in creating a memorable experience for everyone who comes into AQUA.

Being the daughter of a Culinary Institute of America educated chef, Shelly has a long history working in hospitality. In her teenage years, she worked at Windmill Point and then in her parents restaurant, an Outer Banks favorite named Finely Ron’s. Shelly moved to Raleigh to attend UNC Chapel Hill, where she worked for 10 years at the Angus Barn. Wanting to get back to the Outer Banks, Shelly returned in 2001, working at the Left Bank restaurant prior to coming to AQUA.

Shelly’s love for the Outer Banks began as a child vacationing here with family at the old Pebble Beach Motel in Nags Head. Her grandparents relocated to the Outer Banks in the early 80’s so her grandfather could fulfill his dream of selling bait and tackle at the Nags Head Fishing Pier. Shortly after her grandparents moved here, the rest of the family followed. Like her parents, Shelly’s aunt and uncle opened their own business in the ’80s, Lady Victorian, which still remains one of the businesses that help define the quaint image of Duck. When not at AQUA, Shelly enjoys wine and food, and mostly basking in the beauty of the Outer Banks with friends and her best girl Desi, a bassett hound extraordinaire.

mail-iconshelly@aquaobx.com

 

 

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Lucy LaFountaine

Bar Manager


In spring of 2008, Lucy did a drive by, literally, and found AQUA. Her philosophy that, “the bar is an extension of my own living room, with good food, wine, drinks, and conversation” has made the bar at AQUA a fun place to be and a must stop while in Duck.

After bartending at 18 in a family owned pub in New Jersey, Lucy relocated to the Outer Banks where she became an “old school” bartender at Sound Side in Kitty Hawk before you could get liquor by the drink. Lucy then went to Sam & Omie’s, opened J. Fleming Munde’s and later, RV’s on the Causeway. She became the local’s favorite bartender at the Whaling Station and then for 13 years at Black Pelican before joining the AQUA team.

Lucy was born in Giessen Germany and raised in a military family. Lucy and her husband met in New Jersey prior to moving to the Outer Banks over twenty years ago.

 

 

 

 

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CJ Powell

Restaurant Supervisor


CJ is a native of Portsmouth, VA but has been spending his summers on the Outer Banks since he was very young.  Helping out at the family owned restaurant on the Outer Banks allowed him to return to the beach every year.  He has been with AQUA since 2011 and is often engaged in charming guests as the manager on duty, bartender or service staff.  Growing up in the restaurant industry sparked an interest that he continues to foster through his advancement of food, wine an spirit knowledge.

While attending Old Dominion University, CJ learned from some of Norfolk's best Chefs and Sommeliers working nights downtown.  His work experience includes fine wine and classic cuisine at fine dining steak houses, bistros, tapas bars and a Gastro Pub where he learned to appreciate craft beers and spirits.  He continues to advance his fine dining knowledge through a genuine appreciation of the culinary arts.

CJ resides in Kill Devil Hills.  He is an exceptional father and role model to his adorable twin boys.

 

 

 

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Emily Fahey

Restaurant Supervisor


Emily is originally from Chicago but grew up around the rocky coast of Maine.  She has been with Aqua since 2012 when she moved from Colorado to enjoy the beach life. Emily has many faces at Aqua including serving, bartending, managing, tending to Aqua’s garden and even at the front desk of the Spa. Growing up in a large family where food was the center of gatherings, she has developed a genuine enthusiasm for food, libations and friendly gatherings.

She began her restaurant career working around fresh Maine seafood.  She spent 5 years in Asheville, NC completing a degree at UNCA while working at a downtown bistro where she developed a passion for fresh, local and sustainable cuisine as well as local microbrews and wine. She then spent 5 years in the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado, working at fine dining establishments in Aspen and Snowmass. 

Emily currently resides in Kitty Hawk where she spends her free time maintaining her garden, tending to her chickens and enjoying the beautiful outdoors of the Outer Banks.

 

 

 

 

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