|Place of Origin||Mellstoxx III|
|Date of Birth||1 April, 2338|
Owner, Vandorin's Bistro
Esterra Vandorin is the eponymous proprietress of Vandorin's Bistro, the most exclusive restaurant on Starbase Bravo. She is a native of Mellstoxx III and is considered to be one of the most influential members of the planet's culture élite, despite not holding any Betazoid hereditary dignities. She formerly ran a similar restaurant on the planet's surface but moved it into orbit when the new spacedock for Starbase 4 was complete, as she found that the social connections where better when she was closer to the many ambassadors, admirals, and other dignitaries that are constantly moving in and out of the massive port.
Known as a woman of the finest taste, Vandorin likes to refer to herself as a gourmand, a term she picked up on a visit to Earth and took a liking to, as she enjoys the finest foods, wines, spirits, and other indulgences from across the Federation. She ensures that her restaurant is at the very forefront of culinary invention, not allowing herself to remain static for too long with any one style of cooking. Esterra Vandorin sets trends; she does not follow them.
Esterra Vandorin's parents were among the second wave of colonists who settled on Mellstoxx III in the 2320s, immigrants from Betazed who were not one of the many noble or gentry families on the homeworld. They chose to move to a colony for the chance to experience something new, and given that Starbase 4 was already an important trading center, Mellstoxx III seemed like the perfect place to get that. From the time of her birth onwards, Esterra was then exposed to all kinds of unique cultures, stories, and, of course, foods. She developed a passion for food that exceeded all of her other loves, prompting her to attend culinary school on Betazed in the 2350s.
Vandorin traveled around the Federation for much of her 20s and 30s, learning at the feet of many masters and seeing the homeworlds of many of the Federation's oldest and most important races, before she returned home to Mellstoxx III in the 2370s. She established her first restaurant in the planet's capital city near to the campus of Starbase 4 in 2373. Despite the resource crunch due to the war, it was immediately successful as residents and Starfleet Officers alike relished in the chance to have a culinary experience that helped them forget about the conflict.
Gradually, Vandorin came to be respected as a member of the planet's high society. A number of times, it was suggested that she run for election as Governor, but she preferred to simply facilitate powerful conversations rather than have them herself. She also developed a reputation as being influential, resourceful, and discrete amongst the officers of Starbase 4, who began to rely on her more and more to help internal negotiations go well, whether that meant impressing a visiting admiral or putting the screws to an intransigent bureaucrat over some fine Betazoid wine.
In 2399, Vandorin surprised everyone by packing up her life and moving to a new state-of-the-art venue on the brand new orbital facility for Starbase 4. Within months of opening, she'd managed to play host to a number of events for the Osiris Initiative, showing that a change of location wouldn't keep her from being one of the leading cultural and culinary minds in the quadrant.
Esterra Vandorin In-Play
- Esterra Vandorin is a fleet NPC, available for anyone's story on Starbase Bravo. Feel free to portray her as best works for your writing, keeping in mind the character traits outlined here. Do not kill or maim her, though, as that would be profoundly uncool.
- People don't often think of a chef at a starbase restaurant as being particularly important or impressive, but Esterra Vandorin is both of those things. She has a keen culinary mind and everything on her menu is prepared, served, and presented perfectly, alongside the most exquisite wine you can imagine. Asking if something is replicated is ground for being banned for life.
- Vandorin is not a hands-off owner. While she spends less time in the kitchen nowadays, there is rarely a time when meals are being served in her restaurant that she is not present. She sees every plate go out and makes sure that it is what it should be: perfect. She also notices every patron who comes into her establishment, making mental notes on who socializes with whom and what they talk about. Were she not such a stickler for the confidentiality of her diners, Starfleet Intelligence might consider her to be an asset.
- While friendly, Vandorin is by no means a deferential woman. Things on the menu are served as they are described--no substitutions! She's also not the person you should go to if you are a picky eater or want an introductory course into something new. The only way to eat something that Vandorin prepares is with a hefty dose of reverence and enthusiasm.