The only member of Big Tree Hospitality to hold a culinary degree, owner and general manager Arlin Smith graduated the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park in 2005. During and after his time at the CIA, Arlin furthered his hospitality career by taking front-of-house management positions at esteemed Hudson Valley restaurants. While visiting Portland in 2009, Arlin dined at Hugo’s, a leader in New England fine dining, and fortuitously met chef/owner Rob Evans. Immediately taken by the excitement and energy that Evans exuded, Arlin decided to move east to join the team as general manager. After three years working side-by-side with his mentor, he purchased Hugo’s with his colleagues, Mike Wiley and Andrew Taylor and founded Big Tree Hospitality. The team has since built two more restaurants in Portland: Eventide Oyster Co. and the Honey Paw. Arlin drives the Big Tree brand forward by directing FOH management across existing BTH restaurants, and advising on concept, build out, and design of forthcoming properties.