Worlds of Flavor®

2013 Presenters

Download PDFs of presenter bios, a list of presenters, and the presenters' Twitter handles.



Chef-Owner, La Grenouillère

ALEXANDRE GAUTHIER is the chef-owner of La Grenouillère in La Madelaine sous Montreuil, in the Pas-de-Calais department of France, which he opened in 2003. He earned his second Michelin star in February 2017. Alexandre’s style and personality led him in May 2011 to trust Patrick Bouchain with the renovation of La Grenouillère. His renovated kitchen is now in line with his style, and he has become one of the leaders of the young cuisine. He expresses himself through a radical, essential, and impertinent cuisine. He opened Froggy’s Tavern in 2009 and Anecdote in 2015, both in Montreuil-sur-Mer.

Ali Bouzari

Chief Science Officer; Healdsburg, CA

ALI BOUZARI, PHD is a culinary scientist, author, educator, and co-founder of Pilot R&D, a culinary research and development company, and Render, a new food company that collaborates with the best restaurant chefs in the country to reinvent the way food lovers eat. As a chef with a PhD in food biochemistry, Ali has helped to lead the charge in changing the way we think about cooking by teaching and developing curriculum at top universities, from ivy league schools to The Culinary Institute of America, and collaborating with the country’s most innovative restaurants including State Bird Provisions, Benu, Eleven Madison Park, The Restaurant at Meadowood, and the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group. Ali has been featured on Forbes’ and Zagat’s 30 Under 30 lists, as a contributor to Popular Science, WIRED, Eater, and The San Francisco Chronicle, and as a guest expert on NPR, TEDx, Cooking Channel, and Iron Chef America. His book, Ingredient: Unveiling the Essential Elements of Food, won the 2017 IACP award for Best Reference Book. In April 2018, he launched a monthly column in the San Francisco Chronicle that looks at the science behind successful restaurant dishes.


Chef-Owner, Restaurant André; Singapore

ANDRÉ CHIANG is the chef-owner of Restaurant André in Singapore, which centers around his philosophy of using only the freshest of seasonal produce. Having made an indelible impression on the Singapore culinary scene since its opening in late 2010, Restaurant André was recently listed as one of the 10 Restaurants in the World Worth a Plane Ride by the New York Times, and Wallpaper named André one of the world’s best young chefs. In 2013, Restaurant André ranked 38th on Restaurant Magazine’s World’s 50 Best Restaurant list. One of Asia’s Top 10 Young Chefs and Best 150 Relais Gourmand Master Chefs of the World, André’s career spans numerous highly successful roles in various Michelin-starred establishments, including some of the world’s top French restaurants, among them Pierre Gagnaire, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, and L’Astrance in Paris; La Maison Troisgros in Roanne; and Le Jardin des Sens in Montpellier. (Singapore)

Andrew Hunter

Foodservice and Industrial Chef, Kikkoman; Los Angeles, CA

ANDREW HUNTER ‘88 is the foodservice and industrial chef for Kikkoman, where he develops custom and ready-to-use sauce solutions for manufacturing partners, as well as menu concepts for a broad base of restaurant, college and university, and healthcare customers. Andrew has worked as chef de cuisine for Barbara Tropp’s China Moon Café, vice president of culinary development for Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, and managed the culinary operations for Darden Restaurants’ 600+ unit Olive Garden restaurants. He earned an AOS in culinary arts from The Culinary Institute of America, a BA in culinary history from New College, and an MA in museum studies from San Francisco State University. In 2011, he spent Thanksgiving in Afghanistan and cooked a “Dinner of a Lifetime” for U.S. Special Forces in forward operating bases. (Los Angeles, CA)


Chef and Partner, The Willows Inn; Lummi Island, WA

BLAINE WETZEL is the chef and partner at The Willows Inn on Lummi Island, WA. He grew up in Washington, began working in kitchens at 14, and has never stopped. A dozen years later, he has studied and apprenticed widely, notably as René Redzepi’s chef-de-partie at noma in Copenhagen, which has repeatedly garnered recognition as the best restaurant in the world. Redzepi refers to Wetzel a “rare and amazing talent.” Since arriving on Lummi Island and becoming a partner in the new ownership group, Wetzel has attracted international attention. Food & Wine named him among its Best New Chefs of 2012 and he as a James Beard Award semifinalist in the Pacific Northwest for the third year in a row. In 2011, the New York Times declared Willows Inn on Lummi Island “One of the 10 Restaurants (in the world) Worth a Plane Ride.” Blaine brands his exquisite meals with a commitment to island and locally-sourced ingredients and the traditions of farm-to-table preparation. He designs a provocative, yet honest food presentation, delivering much of it to the tables himself. (Lummi Island, WA)

Brendan Marshall

CEO and Co-Founder, Kitchit; San Francisco, CA

BRENDAN MARSHALL is the CEO and co-founder of Kitchit. A serial entrepreneur, Brendan fell in love with food and its ability to bring people together. Kitchit is an online destination for food experiences created by an international community of accomplished professional chefs, allowing users to buy tickets to a restaurant, find the perfect caterer, or hire a chef to create an amazing dinner party or private cooking class, in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York and expanding to new markets throughout the United States. Prior to Kitchit, Brendan helped start Perella Weinberg Partners, a global financial services company and a far cry from growing up in his family’s real estate business. Afterwards, he went to Stanford University to get his MBA, where he continued his passion for startups and served as president of the Entrepreneurship Club. Brendan, who was awarded the Forbes 30 Under 30 award, has spoken at universities and conferences about technology and entrepreneurship. A Los Angeles native, Brendan loves to travel as much as possible and BBQ for his friends. (San Francisco, CA)

Carl Kristian Frederiksen

Executive Chef, Aamanns-Copenhagen; New York, NY

CARL KRISTIAN FREDERIKSEN is the executive chef of Aamanns-Copenhagen, New York City’s only Danish restaurant. Born and raised in Denmark, Carl conceptualizes the menu and shapes an authentic culinary experience for guests to the Tribeca restaurant, an outpost of the original one in Copenhagen. Before arriving in the U.S. in 2012, Carl served as chef and alongside other accomplished chefs for some of Denmark’s most highly-respected restaurants, including Restaurant Kanalen, Nimb Brasserie, Søren K in The Black Diamond, Ruths Hotel, and Skagen Fiskerestaurant. He was instrumental in the 2012 publication of Fisken, a cookbook focused on the preparation of fish from the waters surrounding Denmark. (New York, NY)


Food Scientist and Editor in Chief, The Kitchen as Laboratory; Columbia, MD

CÉSAR VEGA, PHD is a food scientist and the editor in chief of The Kitchen as Laboratory: Reflections on the Science of Food and Cooking (Columbia University Press, 2012). He earned his doctorate in food science from the University College Cork in Ireland. His areas of expertise include dairy products, particularly ice cream and yogurt, the physical chemistry of cocoa and chocolate, and the science of cooking. He has published over 20 peer-reviewed manuscripts, two book chapters, and one book. He is a project technical leader within the newly created Mars Advanced Innovation Team, where his main responsibility is to provide technical guidance in aspects related to food science to key global initiatives. He is also one of the few Mars global experts in the science of caramel and nougat. César is a passionate cook. He obtained culinary training from Le Cordon Bleu (Canada); was one of the expert reviewers of Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking; is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science (Elsevier) and of Food Biophysics (Springer) (Columbia University Press, 2012). In his spare time, he enjoys collaborating with avant-garde chefs from around the world. (Columbia, MD)


Chef‐Owner, The Slanted Door Group; San Francisco, CA

CHARLES PHAN is the executive chef and owner of The Slanted Door Group of restaurants, and is considered to be the inventor of modern Vietnamese cuisine in the United States. The Slanted Door, his flagship restaurant, is one of California’s highest grossing independent restaurants. He is also the executive chef and owner of three locations of Out the Door, Heaven’s Dog, Wo Hing General Store, the Academy Café & Moss Room, and Hard Water. Born in Da Lat, Vietnam, Charles and his family left Vietnam after the war ended in 1975 and relocated to Guam, then to San Francisco in 1977. He opened The Slanted Door in 1995, moving it to its current location in the historic Ferry Building in 2004. In 2004, he won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: California. The Slanted Door was also nominated in the Outstanding Restaurant category in 2008. In 2010 and 2011, Charles was nominated for Outstanding Chef by the Foundation and in 2011 he was inducted into the Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America. He has been featured on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America and Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything and has been the subject of numerous profiles in national publications. In addition to his awards and accolades, Charles is a leader in the San Francisco food community, annually participating in charitable galas including Share Our Strength and Citymeals-on-Wheels. He is the author of Vietnamese Home Cooking (Ten Speed Press). (San Francisco, CA)


Chef-Owner, Yamada Chikara; Tokyo, Japan

CHIKARA YAMADA is the chef owner of Yamada Chikara, a modern cha-kaiseki restaurant with just twelve seats where he blends cutting-edge molecular gastronomy with traditional kaiseki techniques to produce cuisine that nourishes body, mind, and spirit. Service reminiscent of an ancient tea ceremony makes every visit a special occasion. Chikara has worked in various famed kitchens such as elBulli in Spain and trained in various cuisines from French, Spanish, and Italian to Japanese. His cuisine is a melting pot of his experiences and his Japanese heritage. (Tokyo, Japan)


Chef-Owner Relae and Manfreds og Vin; Copenhagen, Denmark

CHRISTIAN PUGLISI is the chef-owner of Relæ and Manfreds og Vin in Copenhagen, Denmark. With his inventive cuisine, he put the small and popular street of Jægersborggade on the culinary scene. Assuring Relæ a Michelin star and a position as 56th on the San Pellegrino Top 100 World’s Best Restaurants list, the vegetable-focused restaurant was also just recently certified organic, making it the only Michelin-starred restaurant in the world to be so. Christian also writes articles and recipes for the danish newspaper Politiken and is working on a cookbook to be released in 2014 by Ten Speed Press. He was born in Messina, Italy, and moved to Denmark in 1989, when he was 7. Before opening Relæ in Copenhagen in 2010, he cooked throughout Europe at Røgeriet, Le Petit Bofinger, Taillevent, Søren K, Restaurant Olivia, elBulli and noma. (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Photo courtesy of Per-Anders Jörgensen


Chef, Gastronomic Entrepreneur, Co-Founder of Noma; Copenhagen, Denmark

CLAUS MEYER is a gastronomic entrepreneur and mindset challenger based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Co-founder of noma with René Redzepi, which was named Best Restaurant in the World by Restaurant three years in a row, Claus shares his dream of unfolding the potential of indigenous food cultures worldwide. For more than 20 years, he has challenged conventional thinking in agriculture, food production, and cooking. He has inspired a generation to rediscover local Nordic produce through cookbooks, TV shows, cookery schools, lectures, public food debates, and produce from his own orchard. When Claus co-authored the New Nordic Food Manifesto in 2004, he and noma were in pursuit of purity, simplicity, and freshness based on seasonal foods that make the most of the local region’s climate, water, and soil, but he had no firm idea what great an impact those ideas would eventually have. As part of his work today, in order to maximize the value of his efforts, he actively searches for territories and challenges where there is a basis for creating a movement, and which will bring about changes of avalanche proportions. (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Cortney Burns

Co-Chef and Production Manager, Bar Tartine; San Francisco, CA

CORTNEY BURNS is the co-chef and production manager at Bar Tartine in San Francisco. She fell in love with the craft of cooking while taking culinary courses during high school in Chicago, IL, but went on to study cultural anthropology and the Tibetan language at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A year studying abroad in Nepal and India in 1999 introduced her to exotic spices and flavors, further fueling her desire to cook. After cooking professionally in Australia, Cortney moved to the Bay Area in 2001, honing her kitchen and butchery skills at Café Rouge, Quince, Boulette’s Larder, Cafe Adagia, and a myriad of wineries in the Napa Valley. Working closely with Chef Nick Balla at Bar Tartine, Cortney manages the production of all house-made products, including cultured dairy items, fresh and aged cheeses, charcuterie, pickles, dried spices, fermented beverages, and pastries. She loves using Old World methods like fermentation, curing, and drying as a way to layer flavors and intensity into food. Cortney and Nick are working on a Bar Tartine book that will be published by Chronicle in the fall of 2014. (San Francisco, CA)


Chef-­Owner, Calima and Manzanilla; Marbella, Spain and New York, NY

DANI GARCÍA is the chef-owner of Calima in Marbella, Spain and Manzanilla in New York. He is one of Spain’s most accomplished chefs and is a frequent headliner at international gastronomic conferences. Calima, which recently received its second Michelin star, is considered one of the best and most innovative restaurants in Spain. In New York, Dani has partnered with Yann de Rochefort to open Manzanilla, his first restaurant outside of Spain, where he serves a more traditional take on the cuisine of his homeland. (Marbella, Spain and New York, NY)

Darren Tristano

Executive Vice President, Technomic, Inc; Chicago, IL

DARREN TRISTANO is an executive vice president at Technomic, Inc. Since 1993, he has led the development and growth of Technomic’s Information Services division, while also serving as an industry expert and analyst in Technomic’s Restaurant Operator Practice. Darren is responsible for industry tracking services and reports that foodservice executives rely on for market intelligence, including Consumer Brand Metrics, MenuMonitor, PriceMonitor and The Digital Resource Library, and since 1999, he has led advisory group services for Technomic’s operator clients. Darren also serves as group publisher of Technomic’s Consumer Trend Reports and conferences including Technomic’s Restaurant Forecast & Outlook, Consumer Insights, Canadian Trends & Directions, and Menu Innovation and Insights events. Currently, he is leading initiatives to expand Technomic’s operator knowledgebase in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Specializing in major and emerging national restaurant chain concepts, menu trends and consumer dining behaviors, he is often quoted in trade, news and business media, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Fortune, Fast Company, Nation’s Restaurant News, Franchise Times, Restaurant Business and numerous other online and print newspapers and trade press. He has made appearances on The Today Show, Bloomberg Television, Fox News and MSNBC and is a frequent guest of National Public Radio and Marketwatch. Darren is a frequent speaker at conferences sponsored by the National Restaurant Association, Nation’s Restaurant News, Restaurant Hospitality, Restaurant Leadership Conference and The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservice Association. He earned his B.S. degree from The University of Illinois at Chicago and is a Certified Public Accountant. (Chicago, IL)


Author and Chef; New York, NY

DAVID TANIS is the acclaimed author of A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes, chosen as one of the 50 best cookbooks ever by the Guardian/Observer (U.K.), and Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys, nominated for a James Beard Award. One Good Dish, his latest book, was released in October 2013. His professional cooking career has spanned three decades. David has had a longtime association with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, where he worked as chef of both the upstairs Café and the downstairs Restaurant. He has overseen kitchens throughout the San Francisco Bay area, as well as Santa Fe, New Mexico and Paris, France. Also a passionate fan of home cooking, he is known for his simple, seasonal, straightforward style. David has been featured in Saveur, Gourmet, Town and Country, and 7x7, among many other publications. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal and Fine Cooking. David currently writes the weekly City Kitchen column for the New York Times. (New York, NY)


Executive Chef, Corvo Bianco; New York

Elizabeth Falkner is one of the culinary world’s most recognizable chefs and a leader in the culinary scene. For more than twenty years, she wowed the San Francisco/Bay Area with her desserts, then with two Michelin-recommended restaurants – Citizen Cake, a multiple award winning restaurant, bar and patisserie, and Orson, a popular restaurant and bar. Today, she is the Executive Chef of Corvo Bianco, a Coastal Italian restaurant on Columbus Avenue in the Upper West Side of New York City. A leader in the culinary scene, Falkner is a multiple award winning chef and a James Beard Foundation Award nominee. In 2006, Bon Appetit named her “Pastry Chef of the Year”. In 2005, she was nominated for “Pastry Chef of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation. Falkner also has been both a leader and a mentor to many other chefs, working closely with Women Chefs & Restaurateurs (WCR), who awarded her Golden Bowl for Pastry in 2003 and she is now the incoming President of the Board of Directors for WCR. A lover of culinary competition, Falkner has competed in multiple culinary competitions including Food Network’s “Next Iron Chef, Redemption,” “Iron Chef America” and “Next Iron Chef, Super Chefs,” in which she was a finalist and runner up.(Brooklyn, NY)


Chef-Owner; Mexico City, Mexico

When he was teenager, ENRIQUE OLVERA ‘97 decided to take another look at his love of cooking—something he’d discovered as a boy in his grandparents’ pastry shop—and he traveled to New York to enroll at the Culinary Institute of America. When he came back to Mexico four years later, he opened his restaurant, Pujol. His proposals create based on the vast universe of ingredients that Mexico provides, applying both contemporary and age-old culinary technique in every instance. His constant exploration and experimentation, added to a passion for detail and the care that underlies process as well as the products he uses, have translated into discoveries that Olvera shares with diners at Pujol and in other culinary projects. In the relaxed ambience of his Mexico City gourmet shops and eno cafés, visitors discover menus that change with every season. At his restaurant Moxi—a star in San Miguel de Allende, inside the Hotel Matilda—ingredients go directly from local farms to diners’ tables. At Cosme—in Manhattan, and his first incursion into the United States—corn, beans and chile beautifully combine with local Hudson Valley products; Los Cabos’ Manta foregrounds delicacies that come from Mexico’s coasts. Each venue gives new life to Enrique’s latest gastronomic creations.

Florence Fabricant

Journalist, The New York Times; New York, NY

FLORENCE FABRICANT is a food and wine writer for the New York Times. She contributes the weekly Front Burner and Off the Menu columns, is a member of the wine panel and writes the pairings column for the wine tasting. She frequently writes features that appear in the Dining section and also writes about food and travel for the Sunday Travel section and articles about news in the restaurant industry for the Metro section. She has written 11 cookbooks, including The New York Times Dessert Cookbook (St. Martins Press), The New York Restaurant Cookbook (Rizzoli), The New York Times Seafood Cookbook (St. Martins Press), Venetian Taste (Abbeville Press), Park Avenue Potluck, and Park Avenue Potluck Celebrations, both fund-raisers for Memorial Sloan-Kettering, published by Rizzoli. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Smith College, she has an M.A. in French from New York University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She holds L’Ordre National du Mérite from the French government, and is a member of Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. (New York, NY)



Editor-at-Large, Clarkson Potter and Judge, Top Chef Masters; New York, NY

FRANCIS LAM is editor-at-large at Clarkson Potter and a judge on Top Chef Masters. His writing and editing has won numerous awards from the International Association of Culinary Professionals. In past lives, he was the features editor at Gilt Taste, a senior writer at, and a contributing editor at Gourmet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Financial Times, and the 2006 - 2012 editions of Best Food Writing. He believes that, in professional football, that would count as a dynasty; in ancient China, not so much. He tweets at @francis_lam. (New York, NY)

Photo courtesy of Pableaux Johnson



Food Features Editor, Every Day with Rachael Ray; New York, NY

GABRIELLA GERSHENSON is the food features editor of Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine. Before joining EDWRR, Gabriella was a senior editor at Saveur, dining editor at Time Out New York, and food columnist and critic for the now-departed New York Press, in that order. She’s been a regular guest on WOR’s Food Talk, NYC TV’s Eat Out New York, and Heritage Radio, and has been interviewed on BBC, CBS, and several other news outlets. Gabriella appeared on the Food Network’s reality show 24 Hour Restaurant Battle and The Best Thing I Ever Ate, and consulted for Jamie Oliver’s travelogue, Jamie’s American Dream. Her work has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, and Edible Brooklyn and Manhattan, and several other venues. (New York, NY)

Gerard Craft

Executive Chef and Owner, Niche Restaurant, Taste by Niche, and Brasserie by Niche; St. Louis, MO

GERARD CRAFT is the executive chef and owner of Craft Restaurants, Ltd. in St. Louis, Missouri. After opening Niche in 2005 at the age of 25, he extended his restaurant group to include Taste by Niche, a modern speakeasy, Brasserie by Niche, a classic French bistro, and his latest approachable Italian concept, Pastaria. Gerard’s creative yet simple food earned him recognition as a Food & Wine Best New Chef, Inc. magazine’s Star Entrepreneurs Under 30, as well as a four-time James Beard Foundation finalist for Best Chef: Midwest. A native of Washington, D.C., Gerard became addicted to the restaurant life while living in Salt Lake City as a snowboard photographer. He went on to cook at Bistro Toujours in Park City, UT, Ryland Inn in Whitehouse Station, NJ, and Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, CA, before making the leap to open a restaurant of his own. Always a believer in following intuition, Gerard settled on the boarded-up building in the Benton Park neighborhood of St. Louis. Since opening Niche in 2005, he has been highly acclaimed for his innovative interpretations of what he calls “humble” Midwest ingredients—the best available from numerous local area farmers. (St. Louis, MO)


Chef-Owner, Hache; Lima, Peru

HAJIME KASUGA is the chef-owner of Hache in Lima, Peru. A third-generation Japanese-Peruvian who has worked in some of Lima’s best restaurants, his culinary style is recognized as new Nikkei cuisine, a fusion of Japanese techniques and Peruvian touches. This approach led him to win the international Girotonnoa competition in Italy in 2007. In 2008 and 2009, he received Summun magazine’s Best Japanese Cuisine award. He has been a featured presenter at Perú Mucho Gusto, Mistura, and the Salón Internacional de la Gastronomía in Caracas, Venezuela. (Lima, Peru)


Hiro Sone

Chef and Co-Owner, Terra and Ame; St. Helena and San Francisco, CA

HIRO SONE is the chef and co-owner of Terra restaurant in St. Helena, CA, and Ame in San Francisco. He has come a long way from his beginnings on a premium rice farm in Miyagi, Japan. The cuisine of the three-time nominee and 2003 winner of the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: California subtly pays homage to his Japanese heritage. But years of disciplined training, cooking experience, and global travel have had equal influence over refined and eclectic cooking style. Hiro and his wife Lissa opened Terra in 1988 to overwhelming acclaim; it remains one of the Napa Valley’s top restaurants. Their newest restaurant, Ame, brings the signature taste of their wine country restaurant to appreciative San Francisco diners. In 2008, Terra received the Best Service Award from the James Beard Foundation. Terra has received a Michelin star every year since 2007, and Ame every year since 2008. Hiro is the co-author of Terra: Cooking from the Heart of the Napa Valley, a cookbook that was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Best American Cookbook Award in 2001. (St. Helena, CA)


Chef-Owner, El Naranjo; Austin, TX

ILIANA DE LA VEGA is a Mexican-born chef, author, and restaurateur who has been studying Mexican cuisine and culture for more than 25 years. With her chef-husband Ernesto Torrealba, she is the owner of El Naranjo in Austin, Texas, a critically acclaimed restaurant based on the eponymous one they ran in Oaxaca, Mexico before moving to Texas. Her culinary passion is chiles, from supporting small producers to teaching the culinary techniques that bring their fabulous flavors to a wide variety of dishes. From 2008 to 2012, Iliana served as the Mexican/Latin Cuisines specialist for the CIA’s San Antonio campus, where she conducted research, developed curricula, and taught undergraduate and continuing education courses on Mexican and other Latin cuisines. A native of Mexico City, Iliana is one of 10 founding members of The CIA’s Latin Cuisines Advisory Council.  After opening in May 2012, El Naranjo has quickly become known as one of the top restaurants in Austin. Before opening their brick-and-mortar restaurant, Iliana and Ernesto ran El Naranjo Mobile and Catering, a successful food trailer called “the only real Mexican restaurant in Texas” by local media. Iliana recently started her radio show, Platicando y Cocinando en Español, where she talks about food, traditions, health, and wellness with the goal of improving and supporting the lives of the Spanish-speaking population in Austin. (Austin, TX)


Chef‐Owner, The Clove Club; London, England

Isaac McHale is the chef-owner of The Clove Club in Hackney, East London. Born in Orkney in Scotland, Isaac’s career started in Glasgow working in restaurants while still in high school, before a stint at Marque in Sydney, Australia and, much later, Noma in Copenhagen. With British cuisine as his first love, Isaac came to London eight years ago to work for Tom Aitkens and then at The Ledbury for six years, where he was made development chef. In 2011, he formed the internationally acclaimed Young Turks collective, running a series of highly praised one off pop-up events in locations around London, their success leading to a six-month residency above The Ten Bells Pub in Spitalfields. There Isaac sought to promote a new approach to British cooking, bringing vegetables to the fore and focusing on building great relationships with small producers. In February 2013, he opened The Clove Club, with partners Johnny Smith and Daniel Willis, where they strive to serve interesting and delicious food in a relaxed environment, whilst continuing to champion British food and producers. In its first six months the restaurant is already critically acclaimed, with Time Out London saying “It’s one of the restaurants that will define this year” and Tim Hayward at the Financial Times commenting: “The Clove Club will be an important institution.” He tweets at @itsisaac. (London, England)

Janet Fletcher

Food Writer; Napa, CA

JANET FLETCHER is the author or co-author of more than two dozen books on food and beverage, including Cheese & Beer, Cheese & Wine, and The Cheese Course. She writes a weekly cheese column for the San Francisco Chronicle and the “Cheese Focus” column for Specialty Food magazine. She is the recipient of three James Beard Awards and the IACP Bert Greene Award and is a member of the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers. Her writing on wine and food has appeared in numerous national magazines, including Saveur, Bon Appétit, Fine Cooking, and Food & Wine. She lives in Napa Valley but teaches cooking and cheese-appreciation classes around the country. (Napa, CA)

Janine Weismann

Pastry Chef, Bouchon Bakery; Yountville, CA

JANINE WEISMANN leads the team that supports both Bouchon Bistro and Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, CA. She discovered her sweet tooth as a child growing up in Sarasota, FL, where dessert was always a big part of her life. She began working in local Florida bakeries at a young age and went on to pursue her interest at Johnson & Wales, first at their Miami, FL campus and then in Providence, RI. After graduating with her Bachelor of Science degree in 2005, Janine worked as a manager for the pastry departments at the Nemacolin Woodland Resort in Farmington, PA and Vidalia restaurant in Washington, DC. She then joined the pastry team at Chef Thomas Keller’s restaurant The French Laundry in Yountville, CA, starting as a commis and later becoming a chef de partie. In 2009, she moved to Bouchon Bakery as pastry sous chef and was promoted to her current position as pastry chef in July 2010. Janine is driven by her love of connecting with guests through dessert experiences that evoke their favorite memories of childhood and is happy to work with all the wonderful purveyors and products available in northern California. (Yountville, CA)


Founder, Chefs Feed; San Francisco, CA

JARED RIVERA is the co-founder of Chefs Feed. Prior to launching Chefs Feed, he started Rivera Public Relations and in a matter of years, grew it to include more than 250 of San Francisco’s top restaurant and beverage clients. The company was recently acquired. Since launching Chefs Feed—the Webby Award-winning app that’s now live in 24 cities—Jared has traveled the country to interview hundreds of Chefs Feed’s contributing chefs; a documentary of his journey can be seen on Virgin America flights. Jared is also a partner in several three-star San Francisco restaurants, which gives him an opportunity to get in the trenches and stay connected to the dining community. When he’s not working on Chefs Feed, Jared is eating pasta with his fiancée Jenn at his mother’s house like a good Italian-American son, or making wine with his father and brother/business partner at their family vineyard in the Napa Valley. Jared also contributes columns to the San Francisco Chronicle and the Huffington Post. (San Francisco, CA)

Jesús Núñez

Corporate Chef, Mangia Restaurant Group; New York, NY

JESÚS NÚÑEZ has been called many things—provocative, artistic, passionate, eccentric—but never boring. For over a decade he’s made a name for himself in his native Madrid and now New York as a forward-thinking culinary rebel, combining daring flavors and textures with his street-art style to produce delectable creations that guide diners’ palates in new sensory directions. Jesús is currently the corporate chef for Mangia Restaurant Group, where he oversees culinary operations for the company’s Manhattan locations. Previously he served as corporate chef of Quimeria Think Group, and executive chef of Barraca and Melibea Restaurants. Having arrived on the New York culinary scene nearly four years ago, Jesús, described as the “Spanish enfant terrible” by New York Magazine, brought his unique culinary vision and artistic style to the Upper West Side with his restaurant Gastroarte (fka Graffit), where he earned the distinction of Key Newcomer in the Culinary Innovator category of the 2012 Zagat Guide. Jesús has since been featured in the New York Times, New York Magazine, New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, Gotham magazine, Village Voice, The Huffington Post, and Paper Magazine, among other publications, in addition to numerous blogs and websites. He has made appearances on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America, FOX’s Good Day New York, CBS’ Tony’s Table segment, as well as on CNN, NBC and TVE (Televisión Española). Prior to moving to New York, Jesús was the owner and executive chef of critically acclaimed Madrid restaurants Polenta and Flou. He also briefly served as Spain’s culinary ambassador to Korea. (New York, NY)



Editor; Montclair, NJ

JIM PORIS is the editor of Food&, a new magazine/website set to launch in 2016. He served as senior editor of the late Food Arts for 19 years, where he had a bird’s-eye view of the worldwide boom times for the restaurant and hospitality industries. At Food Arts, he created, wrote, and/or edited features on kitchen design and equipment, American and international cuisine, cookbooks, recipes, culinary technique, wine, well-known chefs, and many other subjects. He served as the editor for many of Food Arts’ stable of renowned writers, including Lisa Abend, Carolyn Jung, John Kessler, Greg Atkinson, Michael Ruhlman, and Paula Wolfert, among many others. He came to Food Arts with an insider’s knowledge of the professional kitchen, having served as one of the opening cooks at the Michelin-starred restaurant Picholine (now closed) in New York City after his graduation from the French Culinary Institute. Prior to Food Arts, he had a long career as a sports journalist, mostly with the New York Daily News.



Journalist and Cookbook Author

JODY EDDY holds an English degree from The University of Minnesota and is a culinary school graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan. She has cooked at Jean Georges, The Fat Duck, and Tabla and is the former executive editor of Art Culinaire. She is the author of the books The Hygge Life, Cuba: Recipes and Stories From a Cuba Kitchen, and the IACP Judge’s Choice Award North: The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland published by Ten Speed Press, and of the James Beard-nominated cookbook Come In, We’re Closed: An Invitation to Staff Meals at the World’s Best Restaurants by Running Press. She writes for Travel+Leisure, Saveur, Food & Wine, The Wall Street Journal, Plate, and VICE, among others. Her cookbook profiling monastic food around the world will be published by Norton in 2019. She is the author of, leads culinary tours for executives, is a recipe developer for various large-scale food and beverage companies, has presented at international food writing conferences and has consulted on food sovereignty issues for NGO’s. She is currently co-producing a television show focused on the meaning of food for a major network.

Jon Bonné

Wine Editor, The San Francisco Chronicle; San Francisco, CA

JON BONNÉ is The San Francisco Chronicle’s wine editor and author of The New California Wine (Ten Speed Press). He covers wine throughout Northern California and around the world, and is responsible for the paper’s wine and spirits coverage and the annual Top 100 Wines, as well as a regular column in Decanter. Previously, Jon was lifestyle editor and wine columnist for MSNBC and wine columnist for Seattle magazine, and has written about wine for such top publications as Saveur, Food & Wine, and the Art of Eating. His work at the Chronicle has won two James Beard Foundation Awards. He has twice been a Beard finalist for best wine writing, and his writing has won numerous awards from the Association of Food Journalists. (San Francisco, CA)


Co-Owner and Sommelier, El Celler de Can Roca; Girona, Spain

JOSEP ROCA is the co-owner and sommelier of the three-Michelin-star El Celler de Can Roca in Spain, named no. 1 in Restaurant Magazine’s World 50 Best Restaurants list in 2013. Josep studied at the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management of Girona. He is sommelier (or wine waiter, as he likes to say) and co-owner with his brothers, Joan and Jordi, of the prestigious restaurant El Celler de Can Roca, which also holds three suns in the Repsol Guide, a gold medal for touristic merit award from the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade 2011, and was named best in Europe by the German magazine Feinschmecker in 2012. Josep has received Spain’s National Prize of Gastronomy as a maître and sommelier and the Grand Prix of the International Academy of Gastronomy for best sommelier in 2005 and 2011. He has taken part as an expert on screen and advisor in the program of the Catalan Television, En Clau de Vi. Josep conducts a course of specialization of sommeliers with the Foundation Universitat de Girona and he is lecturer on gastronomy and enology in the department of tourism at the University of Girona. (Girona, Spain)

June Jo Lee

Vice President, Strategic Insights, The Hartman Group; Bellevue, WA

JUNE JO LEE, a food ethnographer for the food industry, is the vice president of strategic insights for the Harman Group. Internationally trained, her research in North and Latin Americas and Asia focuses on understanding food culture in relation to health, identity, taste, and desire. Her areas of expertise include the cultural apparatus of food, eating occasions, cultural trends, and health and wellness. Current and past client include Starbucks, General Mills, Kraft, PepsiCo, ConAgra, Hershey’s, Nestlé, Campbell’s, Heinz, Safeway, Dairy Management Inc., National Council of Farmer’s Cooperative, Daymon, Bunge, Johnson and Johnson, and Seventh Generation. June has spoken at industry conferences for The Culinary Institute of America, United Fresh Produce Association, Food Marketing Institute, Cooperative Grocer Network, Natural Products Expo West, and many client Consumer Days. June has worked at The Hartman Group for more than eight years. She has a master’s degree in East Asian Studies from Harvard and a master’s in Korean Studies from Yonsei University. She started her career in food as a produce team member at the original Whole Foods Market in Austin. (Bellevue, WA)

Kamilla Seidler

Executive Chef, GUSTU Restaurant; La Paz, Bolivia

KAMILLA SEIDLER is the head chef and co-manager of Gustu and Melting Pot Bolivia Foundation in La Paz, Bolivia. A native of Copenhagen, Denmark, she graduated with a bronze medal from the Hotel and Restaurant School of Copenhagen. After owning an interior design company, she became a commis at the world-renowned Mugaritz in Spain, then occupied the same position at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in England, before returning home. In Copenhagen, Kamilla was the sous chef of Paustian, chef pâtissier of Søllerød Kro, chef de partie at Meyers Canteen, and assistant head chef of Restaurant Geist until leaving for Bolivia in 2012. Claus Meyer, co-founder of Noma, created the concept of Gustu, which opened in April 2013 and aims to give young Bolivians opportunities through food. The restaurant’s fine dining menu exclusively features Bolivian ingredients. (La Paz, Bolivia)

Katsuya Fukushima

Chef-Owner, Daikaya; Washington, DC

KATSUYA FUKUSHIMA is the chef-owner of Daikaya in Washington, DC. Since opening in February 2013, this dual ramen-daikaya restaurant has gained national acclaims, including being named one of the best 50 new restaurants of 2013 by Bon Appétit and top izakaya in the country by Yahoo, and earning a spot on the Eater hottest ramen shops list. It also received three stars from the Washington Post. After a 15-year tenure with DC-based ThinkFoodGroup (TFG) by Jose Andres, Katsuya left TFG in the summer of 2010 to embark on a new chapter of his prestigious career. Since then, he has been racking up accolades at every stop, including winning an episode of Iron Chef America, expanding a colleague’s food truck business at Miami’s Art Basel, and attracting huge crowds at the San Diego Food & Wine Festival with his live demos. Katsuya has been featured in a variety of media outlets including the Washington Post, Washingtonian, Wine Spectator, Food Arts, the Kojo Nnamdi Show, and several episodes of the Fretz Kitchen. Alongside Andrés, he appeared in episodes of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie, and Iron Chef America. Katsuya received his formal culinary training at L’Academie de Cuisine. Before pursuing a career in the kitchen, he attended the University of Maryland and graduated with degrees in mathematics and art. (Washington, D.C.)


Chef-Owner, Kuma Inn and Umi Nom; New York, NY

KING PHOJANAKONG ’98 is the chef-owner of Kuma Inn and Umi Nom in New York City. King is a born and bred New Yorker whose culinary influences began at home with the inspirational cooking of his Filipino mother and Thai father. Spending summers in the Philippines throughout his childhood furthered his interest in the culinary world and instilled the importance of community and culture. King, a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, first pursued a career in energy management before deciding food and hospitality were his calling. In his late-twenties he received his formal culinary education from The Culinary Institute of America, where he was elected group leader, selected as one of the 10 Best Student Chefs of the Year, and graduated dean’s list in 1998. He went on to work with Daniel Boulud at Restaurant Daniel and David Bouley at Danube. Other kitchen stints include Bouley Bakery, Jean-Georges, The Grocery, Cendrillon and Fatapples. King opened Kuma Inn in May 2003 and Umi Nom late summer 2009, both to critical and popular acclaims. He sits on the advisory board of Streets International, a NY based organization located in Hoi An, Vietnam that prepares street kids for a career in the hospitality industry and Kelly Street Restoration, a Bronx based group working to provide accessible and healthy food to local residents. Off the clock you’ll find him spinning and breaking to old school hip hop with his daughter or jamming away on his Fender Strat. (New York, NY)

Kumiko Ninomiya

Ph.D., Director, Umami Information Center; Tokyo, Japan

KUMIKO NINOMIGA, an umami expert, is director of the Umami Information Center, a non-profit organization founded in 1982 in Tokyo that is dedicated to spreading accurate information concerning the umami taste worldwide. With this purpose, she has been invited to conferences around the world and has helped to organize numerous seminars on umami in the US, Europe, South America, Japan and other Asian countries.  Kumiko has published articles on umami in Food Reviews International, Physiology and Behavior, and other trade and peer-reviewed journals. She has also collaborated with chefs and researchers on the traditional Japanese soup stock dashi and other soup stocks in various countries, as well as diverse types of umami foods internationally. In all of her work, she aims to contribute to the creation of a global communication network of chefs and scientists to help food research and to enhance the health of people around the world. (Tokyo, Japan)


Chef-Owner, Kitcho; Kyoto, Japan

KUNIO TOKUOKA is the chef and third-generation owner of Kyôto Kitcho, a three- Michelin-star kaiseki that opened in 1930. His other restaurants Kyoto Kitcho Toyako and Hana Kitcho have received two stars and one star, respectively. His classic Japanese cuisine is based exclusively on local and seasonal ingredients, and his creations have been compared to works of art. Kunio is know for mixing modernism in Japanese kaiseki. While respecting Japanese tradition, he blends current culinary approaches and expresses the diversity of Japanese Cuisine. He has participated in international events, including Salon de Gusto and Madrid Fusion, and in 2008 he was invited to showcase his culinary expertise at a Masterpiece Dining event that was part of a series organized by the James Beard Foundation. Kunio is the author of Kitcho: Japan’s Ultimate Dining Experience. His overall passion extends also to agricultural and educational activities. He was a presenter at the CIA’s 2010 Worlds of Flavor Conference, Japan: Flavors of Culture. (Kyôto, Japan)

Photo courtesy of Noriko Yamaguchi


Culinary Director and Co-Founder, Conservatory for American Food Studies; St. Helena, CA

LARRY FORGIONE ’74 is the culinary director and co-founder of the Conservatory for American Food at The Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, CA. Larry, hailed as “the godfather” of American cuisine, is responsible for changing the way Americans eat today by embracing the virtues of our national cuisine and using only seasonal, local ingredients, beginning the entire Farm-to-Table movement. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America and then working in some of the best kitchens in Europe and America, Larry opened An American Place in 1983, earning three stars in the New York Times. The Culinary Institute of America has named him Chef of the Year and the James Beard Foundation honored him with the award America’s Best Chef in 1993. His American Place cookbook was also honored with a James Beard award for Best American Cookbook in 1996. Larry’s accomplishments have also been recognized by numerous publications, including Life Magazine, which named him one of the 50 Most Influential Baby Boomers. Larry has provided his unique expertise in culinary consulting for numerous hotels and restaurant groups. (St. Helena CA)


Lars Kronmark

Chef Instructor, CIA; St. Helena, CA

LARS KRONMARK, CWP, a native of Denmark, is a chef-instructor at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. A graduate of the Restaurant and Apprenticeship School in Copenhagen, he worked in several restaurants there, including the Grand Café, and trained with Jan Pederson from La Cocotte. Before joining the CIA at Greystone faculty, Lars was a senior chef–instructor at The California Culinary Academy for 14 years; he was hand-picked from the finest culinary educators in the United States to open the school in August 1995. His interest in wine developed over the past 20 years and has culminated in recognition as a Certified Wine Professional. In 2007, he was voted Chef of the Year by the Cordon d’ Or-Gold Ribbon and in 2012, he won the California competition segment of Cochon 555 and was named the Prince of Pork. Besides conducting wine-related cooking classes, he also participates in events at local wineries and has been involved with the Napa Valley Wine Auction for the past 20 years. Over the years, as part of his involvement in several international CIA programs and initiatives, Lars has had the opportunity to immerse himself in a number of food cultures, from Italy and Spain to Mexico and China. (St. Helena, CA)



LISA ABEND is a journalist and Time correspondent based in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is the author of The Sorcerer’s Apprentices, which chronicled the 2009 season of Ferran Adrià’s world-famous elBulli in Spain. As a freelance writer, she has written on seeking solitude in the Scottish Highlands for Afar, learning the Basque language for The Atlantic; on volunteer bit torrent translators for Wired; on the plight of Roma women for Ms.; on prime minister Zapatero’s republican upbringing for The American Prospect; on the recovery of the Iberian lynx for National Wildlife; and on the situation in Western Sahara for The Economist. She contributes to several major American food magazines, and has written features on a Marrakech cooking school (Bon Appétit); on culinary travels through Extremadura (Gourmet); on a collective of grandmothers in Catalonia who preserve traditional cuisine (Saveur) and on learning to love pig face (Food & Wine). Her food writing has also appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Slate, and the Christian Science Monitor. She hosted an episode on Andalusia in the third season of PBS’ Diary of a Foodie. In a previous life she was a professor of Spanish history at Oberlin College.


Editor in Chief and Art Director, Fool; Malmö, Sweden

LOTTA JÖRGENSEN is the editor-in chief, with her husband Per-Anders, of Fool, a cutting-edge magazine on modern gastronomy and food culture that takes inspiration from the worlds of fashion, design, and culture. With a background art directing magazines and corporate identity production, Lotta is the magazine’s art director. Launched in 2012, Fool was named Best Magazine in the World at the 2013 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards and has rapidly accumulated a cult following among chefs around the globe. “Fool”is a play on food and foolishness, Lotta and Per-Anders say, believing that the very best chefs are often the most playful. Fool takes in their ideas of what contemporary gastronomy is about, and differentiates itself by having no recipes. (Malmö, Sweden)


Senior Director, Datassentials; Chicago, IL

MAEVE WEBSTER, a senior director at Datassential, is a lead consultant for foodservice manufacturers, operators, and distributors. She has spearheaded over 300 major industry studies during her 12 years as a foodservice specialist, and today designs and manages both consumer and operator-based studies in Datassential’s strategic research group. During the past decade, Maeve helped develop several of Datassential’s new products and programs including the several new publications, Global Culinary Tour, the TIPS report, and Optimizer—a service that provides manufacturers and operators with recommendations on optimal product mixes for the menu. She also heads the company’s Health & Wellness consulting group, authoring the Healthy Profits series of reports and participating in several industry initiatives. Maeve’s expertise is in the areas of trend analysis, market assessment, consumer behavior, product testing, and brand optimization. She is a regular speaker at industry events and is a collegiate guest instructor on the topic of market research. Maeve earned her MBA at the University of Illinois and holds a culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago. (Chicago, IL)


Mark Erickson

Provost, CIA; Hyde Park, NY

MARK ERICKSON, CMC, ’77 is Provost for The Culinary Institute of America (CIA). In this role, he oversees all aspects of the college’s culinary programs including education, faculty, curriculum, governance, academic support functions, academic research, accreditation, assessment, branch campuses, food and beverage operations, and continuing education. Mark is a frequent presenter at various industry events and conferences, where he shares unique perspectives of the global food industry, drawing from both academic and practical experiences. An honors graduate of the CIA class of 1977, Mark was director of culinary education at the Hyde Park campus from 1988 to 1990. Prior to that, he held both faculty and department head positions at the CIA. His career also includes serving as chef garde manger of the Palace Hotel in Gstaad, Switzerland; executive sous chef of the Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, WV; sous chef of the Everglades Club in Palm Beach, FL; and executive chef of Cherokee Town and Country Club in Atlanta, GA. He was a member of the gold medal-winning United States Culinary Olympic Teams in 1980, 1984, and 1988, and part of the U.S. team that won the 1985 Culinary World Cup. He earned “Crystal Chef” honors by having the highest score in the ten-day Certified Master Chef examination administered by the American Culinary Federation in 1985. Mark holds a B.S. degree in Restaurant & Hotel Management from the University of New Haven and a MBA from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. (Hyde Park, NY)

Mark Miller

Consulting Chef; Santa Fe, NM

MARK MILLER is recognized as one of America’s foremost chefs working in regional cuisines and international flavors. Over the last 30 years, he has combined his formal academic background in cultural anthropology with his passion for bold flavors to create groundbreaking restaurant concepts in the United States, Japan, and Australia. Mark started his culinary career at Berkeley’s renowned Chez Panisse in 1977, and then in 1979 opened his first concept, Fourth Street Grill in Berkeley. Fourth Street Grill was the first of his 13 restaurants that featured an eclectic menu of ethnic flavors and culinary traditions that was soon to become his trademark. Some of the restaurants that followed were Santa Fe Bar and Grill in Berkeley in 1981; Coyote Café in Santa Fe, NM in 1986; Red Sage in Washington DC in 2001; Loongbar in San Francisco in 1997; and Wildfire in Sydney in 2002. Mark was elected to Who’s Who‘s in Food and Wine in 1985 and has been awarded the Food Arts Silver Spoon Award for lifetime achievements and the James Beard award for Best Chef in the Southwest. He is the author of 10 cookbooks and four food posters that have sold over one million copies. Along with his restaurants and books, Mark teaches about the taste and perception of ethnic flavors, especially Latin and Asian culinary traditions. He also consults with major food, hotel, airline, and restaurant companies. (Santa Fe, NM)



Chef-Owner, Yonemura; Kyoto and Tokyo, Japan

MASAYASU YONEMURA is the executive chef of Restaurant Yonemura, a one-Michelin- star restaurant in Kyoto and Ginza. Known for Japanese cuisine influenced by Western cuisine, he shares ideas internationally and has been invited to various conferences around the world, including the World Gourmet Summit in Singapore and Gourmet Abu Dhabi. Masayasu was a presenter at the CIA’s 2010 Worlds of Flavor Conference, Japan: Flavors of Culture. (Kyôto and Tokyo, Japan)



Chef‐Owner, Pope Joan, Hams and Bacon; Melbourne, Australia

MATT WILKINSON is chef and co-owner of Melbourne eatery Pope Joan, much-loved for its homely dishes—led by locally grown, seasonal produce—with a distinctly British twist. Matt grew up in South Yorkshire, England and honed his craft under Michelin-starred chef Martin Wishart, before arriving in Australia where he worked at Vue de monde and Circa. He opened Pope Joan in 2010. Since that time, it has evolved from a daytime café to a bustling neighborhood hub with the addition of a bar, private dining room, and weeknight dinner service. In early 2013, Matt and business partner Ben Foster opened Hams and Bacon, Pope Joan’s produce store and takeaway hub. In 2012, Matt published his first book, Mr Wilkinson’s Favourite Vegetables (Murdoch Books and Black Dog & Leventhal), which has been translated into nine languages. He is currently working on his second cookbook. (Melbourne, Australia)


Founder and CTO

Maxime Bilet is a food visionary, inventor, author, and educator. As founder and president of Imagine Food Innovation Group, he is dedicated to helping clients apply modern technology, transformative processes, and formulations to deliver superior food products and experiences. Maxime is the former director of culinary arts and sciences at the Cooking Lab, housed at the Intellectual Ventures Lab in Bellevue, Washington. At the Cooking Lab, he led research and development and is co-inventor on 16 pending patents that resulted from his experiments. In 2011, Maxime co-authored the award-winning Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, a 2,438 page collection of scientifically detailed techniques and recipes that has been called “the decade’s most influential work about food.” Committed to extending the insights of modernist cooking beyond the professional kitchen, in 2012 Maxime co-authored Modernist Cuisine at Home, which Martha Stewart hailed as a book “destined to change the way we cook—and the way we use recipes.” A winner of two James Beard Awards, Maxime is a frequent speaker on the culinary circuit and in 2014 established a pop-up events and interactive food space, Art for Food, focused on the ways food connects with the arts and sciences. Funded through a grant from the City of Seattle and the Shunpike Foundation, Art for Food planted the seeds that became Imagine Food. Earlier in his career Maxime worked with Heston Blumenthal in the development kitchen at The Fat Duck, arriving in London after a stint at Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar in New York City where he was named head chef at the age of 22. He holds a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and fine arts from Skidmore College.

Mehmet Gürs

Chef-Owner, Istanbul Food & Beverage Group; Istanbul, Turkey

MEHMET GÜRS is the chef and owner of 10 successful restaurants in Istanbul, Turkey, including the unique Mikla. He is credited by many to be the one “kicking off the contemporary restaurant scene in Istanbul” when he returned from the US to start his first restaurant in 1996.  His company, the Istanbul Food & Beverage Group, is at the forefront of the culinary world in Turkey.  He is most known for his recent introduction of the visionary New Anatolian Kitchen.  In this new approach, traditional and true “noble” products are treated with utmost respect while being transformed with a blend of new and ancient techniques. Years of extensive research and a dedicated creative process together with a team of chefs, a full-time anthropologist, villagers, mothers, and grandfathers has resulted in an extensive network and a deep knowledge of the traditional habits, products, and techniques of the area, with a successful cooperation between the keepers of the land and the chefs in the city as a result. (Istanbul, Turkey)

Michael Chiarello

Chef, Restaurateur, TV Host, Vintner; Bottega Restaurant and Coqueta, Yountville and San Francisco

MICHAEL CHIARELLO ’82 is an award-winning chef and owner of critically acclaimed Bottega restaurant in the Napa Valley. He made his mark by combining his Southern Italian roots with the distinctive hallmarks of Napa Valley living. Michael was named Chef of the Year by Food & Wine in 1985, just three years after graduating from The Culinary Institute of America. He received the CIA’s Chef of the Year Award in 1995, and was named CIA’s 2011 Alumni of the Year. His books have received awards and nominations from both the International Association of Culinary Professionals and the James Beard Foundation. In the mid-90’s, his specialty food innovations earned his olive oil business, Consorzio Flavored Oils, the Best Product Line Award at the International Fancy Food Show. After turning his enthusiasm for sustainability to his own vineyards in 1999, he created Chiarello Family Vineyards, and his small-production wines are consistently high-scoring. And since 2000, Michael has been the tastemaker behind the NapaStyle retail line of artisanal foods, kitchenware, and home decor. Michael was nominated for Best Chef: Pacific by the James Beard Foundation in 2012. Michael has been a national television host of his own shows for over a decade on PBS, Food Network, and Cooking Channel, and has appeared on the highest rated food competition shows on television as well. His Emmy Award®-winning show, Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello, began in 2003 and still airs daily. In 2009, he took second place as finalist on Bravo’s inaugural Top Chef Masters, and has appeared as a judge on Top Chef and Top Chef Masters. His latest television endeavor, Supermarket Superstar, airs on Lifetime. In April 2013, Michael opened Coqueta, a Spanish restaurant on San Francisco’s waterfront and released Live Fire, his latest and most personal book about cooking with fire and entertaining outdoors. (Napa Valley, CA)


Chef-Owner, Merediths; Auckland, New Zealand

MICHAEL MEREDITH is one of New Zealand’s most creative chefs, and the owner of elite-degustation restaurant Merediths. Michael, who is Samoan born, has earned his stellar reputation following the award of a scholarship to the Culinary Institute of America—spending time working in New York, Melbourne, Sydney, and Auckland’s best and ultimately by opening his own restaurant Merediths in 2007. A slew of awards for the sophisticated and intimate Mt Eden restaurant followed, including the 2008 Metro Best New Restaurant Award, 2009 Metro Audi Restaurant “Supreme Winner” Award, 2011 Cuisine NZ Restaurant of the Year and Outstanding Chef of the Year Awards. Michael has a unique style and a reputation as a conjurer of flavor and texture. He   believes there is innovation in simplicity—the innovation is to transform a seasonal ingredient so that it creates a cuisine that is simple and pure. Featured in numerous magazines articles and food blogs, Michael has earned his reputation throughout the Pacific as an exceptional talent and continues to rise as an important contributor to Pacific cuisine. (Auckland, NZ)


Chef, GUSTU; La Paz, Bolivia

MICHELANGELO CESTARI is the manager and co-head chef of Gustu and Melting Pot Bolivia Foundation in La Paz, Bolivia. A native of Caracas, Venezuela, he began his culinary career as an apprentice at Atlantique there, rising to the ranks of chef de partie garde manger before moving to Spain in 2006 and working at the world-renowned Mugaritz with chef Andoni Luis Aduriz. From there, he continued building his career with stints at the Michelin-starred Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in England and Au Crocodile in Frnace. He then moved to Copenhagen, working first for Bocuse d’Or winner Rasmus Kofoed at Geranium, then at Mielcke & Hurtigkarl, Alberto K, and at Christian Puglisi’s acclaimed Relæ og Manfreds until September 2012. During that time, he also staged at the Nordic Food Lab and won a competition of best food and California wine pairings. Claus Meyer, co-founder of Noma, created the concept of Gustu, which opened in April 2013 and aims to give young Bolivians opportunities through food. The restaurant’s fine dining menu exclusively features Bolivian ingredients. (La Paz, Bolivia)


Director of Global Food Services, Google; Mountain View, CA

MICHIEL BAKKER is the consummate international food & beverage professional, with over 22 years of global experience in food and beverage operations creating and building out partnerships, hotel F&B development and openings, as well as general hotel and service operations. As the director of global food services (based in Mountain View, CA) Michiel leads Google’s world-renowned food program, supporting all foodservice-related activities and initiatives for Google’s global community. His focus areas include developing new insights and evidence in how food experiences can enable individuals and teams to be their best short and long term, and developing internal and external global partnerships to explore and tackle the challenges and opportunities in the broader food systems. Prior to joining Google, Michiel spent 17 great years with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. in various roles.  Most recently, he led Starwood’s Food and Beverage in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Michiel holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Hotel Management School Maastricht (The Netherlands), a MBA from the University of Bradford (United Kingdom) and a master’s of hospitality administration degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. (Los Gatos, CA)


Co­‐Founder, Intellectual Ventures, Author, Modernist Cuisine, Modernist Cuisine at Home; Seattle, WA

NATHAN MYHRVOLD is chief executive officer and a founder of Intellectual Ventures, a firm dedicated to creating and investing in inventions. He is the author of The Photography of Modernist Cuisine and co-author of Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, which has been hailed as the most important cookbook of our time and has received the world’s top cookbook awards, and Modernist Cuisine at Home. In addition to stimulating the invention of others, Nathan is himself an active inventor, with nearly 250 patents issued or pending—including several related to food technology. Before founding his invention company, he was the first chief technology officer at Microsoft. He established Microsoft Research, and during his tenure he oversaw many advanced technology projects. He left Microsoft in 1999 to pursue several interests, including a lifelong interest in cooking and food science. Nathan competed on a team that won first place in several categories at the 1991 World Championship of Barbecue, including first prize in the special pasta category for a recipe that Nathan developed on the day of the contest. After working for two years as a stagiaire at Seattle’s top French restaurant, Rover’s, he completed culinary training with renowned chef Anne Willan at the Ecole De La Varenne in France. In addition, he has worked as Chief Gastronomic Officer for Zagat Survey, publisher of the popular Zagat restaurant guidebooks. Through his many visits to the world’s top restaurants, Nathan has become personally acquainted with many of the leading Modernist chefs and the science-inspired cooking techniques they have pioneered. He is himself an accomplished practitioner of Modernist cuisine and has contributed original research on cooking sous vide to online culinary forums; his sous vide techniques have been covered in the New York Times Magazine, Wired, and PBS’s Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie television series. Nathan’s formal education includes degrees in mathematics, geophysics, and space physics from UCLA, and a PhD in math-ematical economics and theoretical physics from Princeton University. In his post-doctoral work at Cambridge University, Nathan worked on quantum theories of gravity with the renowned cosmologist Stephen Hawking. (Seattle, WA)


Founder, All Day Media; New York, NY

NICK FAUCHALD began his career as a magazine editor, working at Food & Wine, Wine Spectator, and Every Day with Rachael Ray, which he helped launch in 2006. In 2008, he launched, an email- and web-based epicurean publication. Nick served as editor-in-chief of Tasting Table until 2011, when he left to start All Day Media, a Brooklyn-based digital and print publishing and consulting company. All Day Media works to bridge the print and digital worlds by offering editorial consulting services and creating products in both mediums. Nick has created apps and e-books for number of chefs and authors and worked with print publications including the New York Times and Edible magazines on digital projects. This summer he launched Short Stack Editions, a series of small-format cookbooks. He is currently writing a cocktail book for Ten Speed Press and a cookbook for Artisan, and his writing has been featured in the Best Food Writing series, Food & Wine, Departures, Men’s Health, Men’s Journal, AFAR and The Wall Street Journal. (Brooklyn, NY)


Chef-Owner, Viajante and Corner Room; London, England

NUNO MENDES is the chef-owner of the Michelin-starred Viajante and of Corner Room in London. Growing up in Portugal, Nuno spent his early years nurturing a love for Portuguese cuisine and seafood that still inspires his cooking today. Following his training at the California Culinary Academy, Nuno has worked with some of the world’s leading chefs such as Wolfgang Puck, Rocco DiSpirito, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. He is a pioneer in gastronomy and is in constant search of mouth- watering ingredients, inventive techniques and sourcing the best produce. (London, England)


Chef-Instructor, CIA; St. Helena, CA

PATRICK CLARK is a chef-instructor at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, where he brings strong industry experience in high-end, high-volume dining to his 2007 appointment at the CIA, where he teaches in the college’s degree, certificate, and custom continuing education programs. Patrick comes to the CIA from Sutro’s restaurant in the historic Cliff House in San Francisco, where he won accolades for his farm-fresh, California coastal cuisine. His career has also included time as executive chef for the California Café restaurant group in Palo Alto, CA and the Santa Barbara Grill in Cupertino, CA, both roles allowing him to bring his culinary passion for seasonal, local, and organic foods to the table. As a member of the 1992 Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’ Culinary Team USA, Patrick garnered 26 medals. He is a high honors graduate of the California Culinary Academy and is active in many professional organizations, including the Chefs Association of the Pacific and the American Culinary Federation. (Napa Valley, CA)


Editor in Chief, Fool; Malmö, Sweden

PER-ANDERS JÖRGENSEN is the editor-in chief, with his wife Lotta, of Fool, a cutting-edge magazine on modern gastronomy and food culture that takes inspiration from the worlds of fashion, design, and culture. Per-Anders is an award-winning photographer who has photographed chefs and celebrities from all over the world and worked in advertising. Launched in 2012, Fool was named Best Magazine in the World at the 2013 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards and has rapidly accumulated a cult following among chefs around the globe. “Fool”is a play on food and foolishness, Lotta and Per-Anders say, believing that the very best chefs are often the most playful. Fool takes in their ideas of what contemporary gastronomy is about, and differentiates itself by having no recipes. (Malmö, Sweden)

Peter Gilmore

Executive Chef, Quay; Sydney, Australia

PETER GILMORE is one of Australia’s most influential and talented chefs. Since 2001, he has been executive chef at Quay in Sydney, where his creative and original cuisine has seen the restaurant receive an unprecedented number of Australian and international awards, and establish itself as one of Australia’s best and best-loved restaurants. A passionate gardener, Peter was one of the first chefs in Australia to truly embrace the vegetable garden and its diversity, forging unique relationships with small-scale growers to re-introduce forgotten plant species and to develop bespoke produce exclusively for Quay, and planning his menus from the ground up a season ahead. Peter was born and bred in Sydney, and knew from his teens that he wanted to cook. He started his apprenticeship at 16 and spent his twenties working in kitchens overseas and in country New South Wales, developing his own style. Critical recognition came in 2000 when Peter was the head chef at De Beers Restaurant at Whale Beach. His next step was as head chef at Quay, and he has never looked back. Quay has been included in the fabled S Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for five years in a row, and named Best Restaurant in Australasia three times. Locally, the restaurant has received Three Chefs Hats for 11 consecutive years and been named Restaurant of the Year five times in The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide, and has three stars and has been awarded Restaurant of the Year three times in the Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide. Peter was also named Chef of the Year in The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2012 Awards. His first book, Quay: Food Inspired by Nature, a showcase of his nature-based philosophy and the organic presentation of his stunning cuisine at Quay, was published in 2010 and has sold worldwide. He is currently working on his second book, due out in 2014. (Sydney, Australia)


Head Chef, El Celler de Can Roca; Girona, Spain

RAÜL SILLERO is the head chef of El Celler de Can Roca in Spain. He studied in the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management of Girona as a pupil of Joan Roca, and began his professional career at El Celler de Can Roca seven years ago. During that time, he has worked at every station in the kitchen. El Celler de Can Roca was named no. 1 in the 2013 Restaurant Magazine’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list and holds three Michelin stars, three suns in the Repsol Guide, a gold medal for touristic merit award from the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade 2011, and was named best in Europe by the German magazine Feinschmecker in 2012. (Girona, Spain)

Robert Bath, MS

Master Sommelier and Accelerated Wine and Beverage Certificate Program Instructor; St. Helena, CA

One of the first 25 American Master Sommeliers and a consummate wine educator, ROBERT BATH, MS, is currently a professor of wine and beverage at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. Over the last 30 years, he has worked in virtually every aspect of the hospitality and wine industries, in addition to starting two companies: Robert Bath Imports and Robert Bath MS Consulting and Wine Education.  Bob’s articles on wine have appeared in Santé and Sommelier Journal and he is a frequent judge at wine competitions and speaker at wine conferences around the world.


Chef-Owner, L'Air du Temps; Liernu, Belgium

SANG-HOON DEGEIMBRE is chef-owner of the three-Michelin-star L’Air du Temps in Belgium, which also has a score of 18 out of 20 in Gault-Millau. In old times, when young Sang-Hoon was thinking about a job, he turned to be a pharmacist, but his love for food had him move to the food industry. As a result he worked in different famous restaurants in Belgium as a sommelier—including at La Truffe Noire in Brussels; Petit Versailles in Gosselies; and La Salicorne, La Hulpe, and L’Eau Vive in Arbre—but never cooked before he opened his own restaurant in 1997, called L’Air du Temps, where he received a first Michelin star after two years and the second in 2007. For the 15th anniversary of the restaurant, Sang-Hoon and his staff moved to another location at a large farm in the middle of fields, where he grows a specific garden with more than 300 species of plants. Today, he defines his cuisine as Terroir Contemporain, while love for modernity defines his style. Sang-Hoon is permanently looking for the very best products—especially from his own production around the restaurant, but not only —that he cooks using specific techniques, modern or ancient, to bring the best of each ingredient into the light to magnify it. His Korean roots are helping him to give a touch of power taste in each dish resulting in a unique personal cooking style. (Liernu, Belgium)

Shinobu Namae

Chef-Owner, L’Effervescence; Tokyo, Japan

SHINOBU NAMAE is the chef-owner of L’Effervescence in Tokyo, which he opened in 2010. The restaurant, which focuses on modern gastronomy based on Japanese terroir and European techniques, received a Michelin star in its first year and has kept it since, and ranked first among French restaurants in the 2012 Zagat Survey Tokyo, with 27 points. Shinobu received a degree in politics from KEIO University. He worked at Michel Bras’ three-Michelin-star restaurants in Laguiole, France, and Hokkaido, Japan, where he was sous chef. Before opening L’Effervescence, he was the sous chef of Heston Blumenthal’s acclaimed The Fat Duck in Bray, England, and also worked in the restaurant’s pastry department. (Tokyo, Japan)

Somer Sivrioglu

Chef-Owner, Efendy and Anason

SOMER SIVRIOGLU is the chef-owner of Efendy and Anason restaurants in Sydney, Australia and a judge on Master Chef Turkey. He spent the first 25 years of his life in his native Istanbul, Turkey. With a chef as a mother, Somer grew up around kitchens; before moving to Australia to complete his MBA, he worked in corporate hospitality, opening a number of concepts before realizing his own dream, a modern Turkish restaurant, Efendy in 2007. Efendy won a number of prestigious national and local awards in Australia, representing authentic Turkish kitchen with a modern presentation. In 2016, he opened his second concept, Anason, inspired by meyhanes of Istanbul. Anason won the best new restaurant award in Sydney in 2016 and best specialty restaurant award nationwide in 2017. Somer regularly represents Turkey on national media and in many prestigious national and international events. His first cookbook, Anatolia, won the prestigious IACP award for best international cookbook in 2017. (Sydney, Australia)

Steven Jilleba ‘77

Corporate Executive Chef; Lisle, IL

STEVEN JILLEBA ‘77, CMC, CCE, AAC, is the corporate executive chef for Unilever Foodsolutions, which he joined in 1999. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, he has held executive chef positions in hotels and other fine dining establishments around the globe and received his master chef certification in 1997. He has competed in three International Culinary Olympic competitions, winning an impressive nine gold medals, and has served as national culinary competition chairman and national youth team manager for the American Culinary Federation (ACF). Steven received ACF’s President’s Award in 2007, the organization’s highest honor, and the American Academy of Chefs’ Chairman Award. In 2000, he was awarded the ACF Central Region’s Chef Professionalism Award and was named the ACF Central Region Chef of the Year in 2001.


Chef-Owner, State Bird Provisions; San Francisco, CA

STUART BRIOZA and Nicole Krasinski are the chef-owners of State Bird Provisions and The Progress in San Francisco. Stuart began his cooking career in the 1990s in Chicago at Savarin restaurant. In 2000, Stuart and Nicole were hired to be the executive chef and pastry chef at Tapawingo, in Michigan, where they developed their style of cooking using seasonal and local foods. Stuart was named one of Food & Wine’s 10 Best New Chefs of America 2003 for his technique and commitment to using the best ingredients. In 2004, Stuart and Nicole took over the kitchen at Rubicon in San Francisco and, in less than a year, reestablished the restaurant as a top dining destination in the city. On December 31st, 2011, they opened the award-wining, Michelin-starred State Bird Provisions, which has introduced a new way of thinking about dining and service. Expanding on those ideas, in December 2014, they opened The Progress to critical acclaim. They have received the following recognition and accolades: James Beard Award: Best Chef West 2015, James Beard Foundation Nominee: Best New Restaurant 2015 for The Progress 2015, James Beard Award: Best New Restaurant 2013 for State Bird Provisions, Food & Wine’s Best Chef All-Stars 2013, and Bon Appétit’s Best New Restaurant of 2012.

Ted Russin

Director of CIA Consulting, CIA; Hyde Park, NY

TED RUSSIN, MSc is the director of The Culinary Institute of America Consulting, where he brings an invaluable mix of scientific and culinary expertise to his position. Before joining the CIA, he was research scientist for customer support and applications at CP Kelco in San Diego, CA. In that role, he was responsible for food product development and technical support for chefs, foodservice, and retail food product customers. Earlier in his career, he was a research chemist for the Canadian government agency Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. In addition, Ted was a consulting expert and editor for several chapters of Nathan Myhrvold’s groundbreaking book, Modernist Cuisine, and has worked with chefs Thomas Keller, Wylie Dufresne, Corey Lee, and Adrian Vasquez, among others. Ted holds a master’s degree in food science and agricultural chemistry from McGill University in Montreal, Canada; bachelor’s degrees from the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg, also in Canada; and a certificate in cooking from Pierre Radisson Collegiate in Winnipeg. (Hyde Park, NY)


Chef-Owner, The French Laundry, Per Se, Bouchon, Bouchon Bakery, Ad Hoc; Yountville, CA

THOMAS KELLER is the chef-owner of The French Laundry, Per Se, Bouchon, Bouchon Bakery, and Ad Hoc. His accolades include consecutive Best Chef awards from the James Beard Foundation and Chef of the Year by The Culinary Institute of America, and being named America’s Best Chef by Time magazine in 2001. In 2010 he was elected to the CIA’s Board of Trustees, contributing his unique perspective and leadership to furthering the school’s educational mission. He is the only American-born chef to hold multiple three star ratings by the Michelin Guide, for The French Laundry and Per Se. Thomas is renowned for his culinary skills and his exceptionally high personal standards. He began his culinary career at a young age, working in the Palm Beach restaurant managed by his mother, before relocating to France in 1983, where he worked in several Michelin-starred houses, including Guy Savoy and Taillevent. He opened his first restaurant, Rakel, in New York City in 1986, then moved westward to California to work as the executive chef at the Checkers Hotel in Los Angeles. In 1994, Thomas took ownership of The French Laundry in Yountville, quickly garnering nationwide acclaim. His French bistro Bouchon debuted down the street in 1998, with Bouchon Bakery following five years later. He now has eight restaurants and two bakeries in the United States. Thomas is the author of The French Laundry Cookbook, Bouchon, Ad Hoc at Home, Under Pressure: Cooking Sous Vide, and Bouchon Bakery. (Yountville, CA)


President, CIA; Hyde Park, NY

TIM RYAN ‘77, CMC, EdD, MBA, has served as president of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) since 2001. He graduated from the CIA in 1977 and received bachelor’s and MBA degrees from the University of New Haven, and his doctorate degree in education from The University of Pennsylvania. With the unique background of being a Certified Master Chef and Culinary Olympic Champion with an Ivy League doctoral degree, he is the first alumnus and faculty member to rise through the CIA to become president. Working in the industry as a successful chef and restaurateur, he was recruited back to his alma mater in 1982 to serve on the faculty and to develop and run the CIA’s ground-breaking American Bounty Restaurant. Tim was also the captain of the U.S. Culinary Team, leading the group to victories at the first Culinary World Cup and the Culinary Olympics. To this day, no other American team has been as successful in international competition. For his work in the American Bounty and with the U.S. Culinary Team, he is recognized as a pioneer in the American cuisine movement. During his tenure as president, and previously as executive vice president, the college developed major innovations, including the world’s first bachelor’s degree programs in culinary arts management and baking and pastry arts management; a highly successful publishing program; award-winning videos and television shows; and dramatically expanded continuing education programs; while strengthening an already gifted faculty. In 1998, Tim was named the ACF Chef of the Year. He has also served as ACF vice president, president, and chairman. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the National Restaurant Association’s Educational Foundation. Tim has received awards from virtually every food industry organization. He is especially proud of being one of five Americans ever to receive the Presidential Medal from the World Association of Cooks Societies and his induction into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America. (Hyde Park, NY)

Victor Gielisse

Vice President, Advancement and Business Development, CIA; Hyde Park, NY

VICTOR A. L. GIELISSE, DBA, CMC, CHE is vice president of advancement and business development at The Culinary Institute of America, where his responsibilities include alumni relations, career services, and fund-raising initiatives, as well as stewarding the CIA’s relationship within the foodservice industry. He is one of 66 Certified Master Chefs (CMC) in the US, earning the Crystal Chef Award for highest score in the CMC examination. He holds a doctorate degree in business administration from California Coast University and is a Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE). Victor was born in the Netherlands, has worked in Holland, Germany, Switzerland, South Africa, and since 1979, in the United States. Prior to joining the CIA administration in 1998, he was the chef-owner of the Ivy Award-winning restaurant Actuelle in Dallas, TX and president of the consulting firm CFT/Culinary Fast-Trac and Associates Inc. He served as the Chairman of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Culinary Competition Committee; is a coach and advisor to ACF Culinary Team USA; and was a judge of the 2004 and 2008 IKA Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany. Victor is the author of Cuisine Actuelle and In Good Taste: A Contemporary Approach to Cooking, and co-author of the CIA cookbook Modern Batch Cookery. He was a James Beard Foundation Award nominee in 1993 for Best Chef: Southwest, and in 1999, he was named one of The 50 New Taste Makers in the hospitality industry by Nation’s Restaurant News and Best Seafood Chef in America by Restaurant Business. (Hyde Park, NY)


Chef‐Owner; Lima, Peru and London, England

VIRGILIO MARTINEZ is the chef-owner of Central Restaurante in Lima, Peru and two restaurants in London, England: Lima Fitzrovia and Lima Floral. His restless childhood and mother’s artistic influence early on directed him to a culinary career. Because Peru at this time was not located on the world’s culinary map and culinary institutes did not exist there, Virgilio set out traveling through the Americas, Asia, and Europe, honing his skills and solidifying his passion for this art. Being somewhat of a nomad for more than ten years awoke in him an anxiety to return home and apply what he had learned. His return to his country marked a turning point in his style, a truly new beginning that inspired the creation of his own kitchen and his use of Peruvian ingredients. Central is the first restaurant with Virgilio’s signature; there he establishes the principles that define him: a chef who respects Peruvian ingredients and their origin, who searches the various altitudes of Peruvian geography for a variety of products that generate an even wider range of aromas and flavors, which for their inherent exoticness call for a deeper understanding. However, cuisine d’auteur implies a certain open-mindedness, and Virgilio expresses an honestly cosmopolitan facet with the London location of Central.