Executive Chef/Partner Sean Wilson
Restaurant Sommelier/Partner Zachary Mannheimer
Sean Wilson is a seasoned chef hailing from the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where he started his career at the age of 14 working in some of the country’s best fish houses. Sean left the beach and in his travels attended the renowned New England Culinary Institute. Over the last decade Sean searched out and worked in some of the best kitchens in New York, Boston, Seattle, Spain, Vermont and Northern California, with such chefs as Todd English, Jonathan Sundstrom, Matt Frothingham, and Louise Dumhal.
Sean Moved to Des Moines in the fall of 2006 and has worked at Andrew Meek’s Sage, and with Jeremy Morrow at Azalea, where he took over the kitchen at Azalea in winter of 2008. Sean’s pork-centric menu was heavily influenced with southeastern flavors and technique, and brings a playful and sensible approach to new American, comfort foods from around the country to Des Moines.
Zack is also from the east coast, but further north outside Philadelphia. Working in restaurants since he’s been 15, he started as a dishwasher and is proud to say he’s worked every position in a restaurant except as a chef. Zack was trained in NYC’s Manhattan and Brooklyn restaurant scene for nearly 10 years, becoming a Restaurant Sommelier in 2006. After a road-trip from NYC to 22 cities around the country, Zachary chose and settled in Des Moines in fall 2007 to found the Des Moines Social Club, an arts and educational non-profit. The 4 years from 2008 – 2012 were the longest of his professional career he did not work in a restaurant, so when Sean came calling, this whole thing fell perfectly into place.
Proof pushes the envelope of Des Moines cuisine. Taking its influences from the Mediterranean and Northern Africa, Proof blends the old world with the new by using local ingredients in all of its dishes. Proof believes heavily in the experience – we want you to come and feel comfortable enough to let our staff provide you with the evening you were looking for.
We love good cocktails. Good wine. Good food. Good atmosphere. Good service. We offer the most unique food in town with a passion for great wine, housemade cocktails and top-notch service.
Our goal is that you don’t need a menu. Because we know you so well, you can come in, sit down, look up at us and say: “What am I eating, what am I drinking?” We don’t want you to make any decisions, simply come, relax, be surprised and enjoy.
We will ask you 5 simple questions:
- How long do you wish to dine?
- Have you joined us before?
- How adventurous of an eater are you?
- Do you have any food allergies or aversions?
- What is the last concert you saw?
Armed with this information, we can create the perfect meal for you that evening.
James Beard Foundation nominated chef, Sean Wilson uses his Carolina roots to recreate dishes inspired by the Mediterranean. We move south in the summer and north in the winter and everything in between. You will find everything from the simplest cheese and charcuterie to the most complex molecular dish. The fusion of childhood and wise palates are on display on your plate every night.
The wine list is designed around the new 9: there are 9 grapes you will not see on Proof’s list; chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, riesling, white zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, point noir and syrah. We don’t keep them off the menu because they are not good grapes, simply – there are over 1,000,000 grapes in the world – we don’t need to be drinking only 9.
Instead look for new grapes from new regions of the world, focused on Mediterranean vineyards. The goal is to present new grapes, new regions and therefore affordable prices. Get adventurous!
Chef “Doc” Wilson’s bar is an imaginarium of liquids. The focus is freshly prepared cocktails and liquors, so fresh many are made in house. Doc will be featuring several different flavors of sweet vermouth as well as house made bitters. Cocktail creations are based on the season so look for unique and obscure liquors both housemade and worldly found.
The beer list focuses on the best local brews and the most interesting Mediterranean beers.