Drawn to Kessler Canyon by a lifelong love for Colorado, Kerri McKenzie was thrilled to join the ranch team as administration director. McKenzie is inspired by the natural beauty of Kessler Canyon reflected in every detail of the property, and relishes in the breathtaking mountain scenery that surrounds her everyday.
McKenzie has gained experience in several industries throughout the years, making her the perfect candidate for administration director at Kessler Canyon. From accounting and special events coordinator, to manager and chef at a Nebraska hunting resort, McKenzie has proven her ability to adapt to new roles and excel in anything she tries. As a chef, she had the opportunity to share her passion for cooking by preparing dinner for former Nebraska governor, Dave Heineman. She also recently competed in the North Florida Iron Chef Competition, an experience she refers to as “the fastest hour of my life.”
Raised in Beaufort, South Carolina, McKenzie grew up in a large family with strong influences from the lowcountry lifestyle. After receiving a degree in computer aided drawing from The Technical College of the Lowcountry, her attention to detail and drive for perfection attributed to great success in the tech field. A few years later, Kerri married James McKenzie, a former Navy officer, and the couple had two handsome sons. Due to James’ job in the Navy, the family moved often, which allowed them to meet new people, immerse themselves in different cultures and explore exciting places around the world. McKenzie’s role as a mother became her top priority, and it wasn’t until her husband retired from the Navy and their children were both in school that she decided to join the work force again.
In her free time at the ranch, McKenzie enjoys watching her two sons grow in the great outdoors. The McKenzie family also includes three British Labradors and a beautiful Percheron horse, which all play an important role at the ranch. Her passion for the outdoors and knowledge of the ranch, are two of the many reasons McKenzie will thrive as administration director at Kessler Canyon.
Executive Chef and Cowboy Poet
Chuck Wagon cook, Chef Lenny McNab, brings more than 20 years of culinary expertise to his role as executive chef at Kessler Canyon. This celebrated cowboy cook and talented entertainer is renowned for his delicious farm to table recipes and exuberant personality.
Native to New Hampshire, Chef Lenny has developed a passion to serve world-class food and create memories to last a lifetime in the process. At the young age of 16, he had the honor of preparing dinner for President George H. Bush, after beginning his culinary career three years prior. Trained at a culinary school in Bad Kissingen, Germany, McNab is one of few chefs that specialize in the lost art of “Dutch oven cooking.” Chef Lenny perfected his skills and earned his title as an authentic chuck wagon cook working at the ORO Cattle Ranch in Arizona, where he prepared meals for real cowboys in the West.
Using ingredients out of his own Kessler Canyon garden, Lenny combines an unexpected rugged yet elegant touch to his delectable cuisine. Whether making his famous coffee-crusted steaks, Dutch oven cowboy beans or graham cracker crusted cheesecake, he uses creative and unpredicted techniques to develop phenomenal dishes.
Chef Lenny’s amazing talents aren’t limited to the kitchen. After dinners at the ranch, McNab transforms into his alter ego as singing sensation, The Black Mamba. Honing his musical abilities while living in Nashville, Tenn., Lenny excites guests with unforgettable entertainment, singing and playing guitar in his signature bedazzled Black Mamba jacket and ever-present cowboy hat. His impressive voice, combined with colorful poetry and an infectious personality win over guests time and time again, proving that this executive chef is undoubtedly one of a kind.
With an open door policy in the kitchen, lighthearted and vibrant persona and stylish wardrobe, including ten-gallon cowboy hats and a wicked belt buckle collection, Chef Lenny McNab brings more than just excellent food to Kessler Canyon. As a vital part of the ranch and its overall character, McNab continues to delight guests and ensure an extraordinary experience for all.
With a passion for hunting and nature, James McKenzie brings more than twelve years of experience in the outdoor industry to his new role as operations manager at Kessler Canyon. Inspired by untouched wilderness and beautiful scenery, the exclusive luxury ranch is a perfect home for James and his wife. Having gained experience as a guide for numerous types of hunts including deer, bird, bear and hog across the country, McKenzie adds to Kessler Canyon’s already impressive roster of outdoor sportsmen. Currently serving as operations manager of the ranch, McKenzie handles managing ranch logistics, enhancing staff efficiency, preparing program budgets and facilitating company programs.
James McKenzie whole-heartedly believes in the spirit of the ranch, proclaiming “Kessler Canyon offers something for everyone, from the novice to the world traveler, hunters to newlyweds, graduates to children, family reunions to romantic getaways and women’s groups to corporate team building,” stating that every guest “will be moved, challenged and changed.”
Raised on a horse farm in Kentucky, James grew up training animals, hunting and developing a true passion for the outdoors. The move to Kessler Canyon was a perfect fit for his natural inclination to wildlife, as he can enjoy the unparalleled landscape, sightings of abundant game and breathe in the fresh mountain air every day.
McKenzie proudly served more than 20 years with the United States Navy, working as a submarine diver prior to entering the hospitality industry. While in the Navy, James completed his education as a Range Master and certified firearms instructor, while also studying applied electronics and gunsmithing. McKenzie’s significant practice in the outdoor industry includes working as a wildlife guide and outfitter for a large private hunting lodge near Gainesville, Fla., managing three hunting lodges in Nebraska, as well as years of experience as an independent hunting guide.
With an outstanding record of accomplishment and reliability, McKenzie brings both enthusiasm and accomplishment to the exclusive, luxury ranch.
Throughout his life, James has adopted fundamental attributes when it comes to personal strength. Understanding honesty, hard work, loyalty, motivation and the value of being a teacher, are just a few things that make him an integral part of the Kessler Canyon team.