Worlds of Flavor®

2016 Presenters

More than 80 chefs and experts from around Latin America, Europe and the United States participated in this 18th edition of Worlds of Flavor. Click on each presenter's photo for his or her bio.


Adolfo Garcia ‘88

Chef-Owner; New Orleans, LA

ADOLFO GARCIA ’88 is the chef-owner of Primitivo and other restaurants in New Orleans, LA. Growing up in New Orleans, he was keenly aware of both the city’s culinary reputation and the dishes his ancestors enjoyed. His family is Panamanian and loved to travel and explore other cultures. Adolfo studied history at the University of Texas, then chose to pursue his passion for gastronomy, leading him to graduate from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. After stages in high-end London, Madrid, and New York City restaurants, he returned to New Orleans eight years later inspired to cook from an historical perspective. He was ready to introduce traditional dishes, albeit ones wholly new to the city. After making his culinary mark with the ground breaking introduction of Spanish and Latin cuisine with his restaurant RioMar, his role as a mentor to the concepts that followed—La Boca, A Mano, Gusto/ Theatres at Canal Place, High Hat Cafe, Ancora Pizzeria Salumeria, and Primitivo—have established Adolfo as a culinary leader in a town renowned for its food and great restaurants.

Almir Da Fonseca

Professor; St. Helena, CA

ALMIR DA FONSECA, a native of Brazil, is a professor of culinary arts at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. After attending culinary school in Rio de Janeiro and traveling and researching the foods of South America, he relocated to Northern California. He owned and operated his own restaurant, as well as Flavor Source Sauces and Catering Services, which he still owns, working for several wineries in the California Wine Country. After selling his restaurant, Almir became the corporate executive chef for Marconi Conference Center, coordinating food operations and catering special events for numerous state and local dignitaries. During this time he participated in the consultation and opening of several restaurants and a culinary program for a high school in San Francisco. He completed a certification course in nutrition at San Mateo Medical Center and moved on to the position of corporate chef and manager for Compass Group USA, then for Delaware North Companies and CA One Services. After teaching at California Culinary Academy, he joined the CIA in January 2007, where he has been voted by the students as the graduation speaker six times. He travels, teaching and demonstrating cookery, around the US and internationally.

Andrew Hunter ‘88

Foodservice and Industrial Chef, Kikkoman

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.

Angela Pinkerton

Executive Pastry Chef; San Francisco, CA

ANGELA PINKERTON’s first love was science but while studying biology at Kent State University, she took a part-time job as a clerk in a bakery. Soon she found her interests in her studies paled in comparison to what she was observing at work. Much to the initial dismay of her parents, she left school to pursue a career in baking. Angela began by growing within the bakery as a cake designer. She started her own wedding cake business and then took a position as garde manger cook/baker in her first restaurant kitchen. She left Ohio for the Washington,D.C. area and attended L’Academie de Cuisine’s pastry program in 2005. After graduating with honors, she worked in Virginia, building a solid foundation with a two-year stay in the pastry kitchens of the Ritz Carlton. In early 2007, Angela moved to New York City for a pastry cook position at Eleven Madison Park Restaurant, a then-bistro with aspirations of a three-star review from the New York Times and as she rose through the ranks, so did the restaurant. Commanding the pastry kitchen since 2008, she became the first executive pastry chef of today’s Eleven Madison Park Restaurant, now a fine dining destination. During her tenure, the restaurant achieved a four-star review by the New York Times, was awarded three stars by the Michelin Guide, and rose to the fourth best restaurant on the San Pellegrino list of the World’s 50 Best and Best Restaurant North America. In late 2014, Angela resigned her post at Eleven Madison Park and relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2015, she collaborated with chef William Werner as pastry chef at the popular Mission District pastry shop, Craftsman and Wolves. Angela will open Che Fico, a casual California-Italian Taverna, in the fall of 2016 with partners David Nayfeld and Matt Brewer.

Anne E. McBride

Worlds of Flavor Program Director

ANNE E. MCBRIDE, PHD is the newly appointed deputy director of the Barcelona-based Torribera Mediterranean Center, a joint initiative of the University of Barcelona and The Culinary Institute of America’s (CIA) recently launched to advance research and education around Mediterranean food, health, and culinary innovation. She also serves as program director for the annual Worlds of Flavor® International Conference & Festival and the Global Plant-Forward Culinary Summit at the CIA. She holds a doctorate degree in food studies from New York University, and focuses her research on the changing role of the chef in the 21st century. Anne has co-authored seven books and regularly writes on topics related to professional and experimental cooking for both academic and consumer audiences, including past contributions to Plate, New Worlder, Bake from Scratch, Roads & Kingdoms, Food Arts, Gastronomica, The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, Savoring Gotham, the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, and Food Cultures of the World. She is the director of the Experimental Cuisine Collective at NYU, an interdisciplinary group of more than 2500 scientists, chefs, media, scholars, and food enthusiasts. She also teaches in the food studies departments of NYU and the New School. A native of Switzerland, Anne is the chair of the James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards, a member of the Menus of Change Scientific and Technical Advisory Council, and a past board member of the Association for the Study of Food and Society, New York Women’s Culinary Alliance, and Culinary Trust. She was named to the Heritage Radio Network Hall of Fame in 2019, and is a frequent presenter and moderator at academic and professional conferences around the world. (Barcelona, Spain, and North Plainfield, NJ) @annemcbride

Annie Pettry

Chef-Owner; Louisville, KY

Growing up in Asheville, North Carolina, ANNIE PETTRY’s childhood was steeped in influential food experiences including growing vegetables, foraging for mushrooms, trout fishing, and countless hours in the kitchen learning from her parents’ global cooking style. After working in myriad restaurant roles, Annie earned a Grand Diploma in Culinary Arts from the International Culinary Center in New York City. Upon completing her formal education, she worked alongside numerous renowned chefs, including Craig Koketsu (Quality Meats, New York City), Elliott Moss (The Admiral, Asheville), and Loretta Keller (Moss Room, San Francisco), before moving to Louisville from the West Coast to open Decca in 2012. At Decca, Annie applies her classic French technique to Southern and Midwestern ingredients, with a penchant for wood-fired cooking, and accenting dishes with exotic spice blends. Annie was named one of Restaurant Hospitality’s 15 To Watch in 2015, a 2014 and 2015 Food & Wine People’s Best New Chef nominee, and a 2014 StarChefs Rising Star.

Beth Kracklauer

Journalist, The Wall Street Journal; Pittsburgh, PA

BETH KRACKLAUER is food and drinks editor for The Wall Street Journal’s Off Duty section, where she won the 2014 James Beard Award for Food Coverage in a General-Interest Publication. She also co-hosts the weekly WSJ Off Duty podcast ( or iTunes). Prior to joining the Journal, she was an editor at Saveur, Gourmet, and other publications.

Brooke Williamson

Chef-Owner; Los Angeles, CA

BROOKE WILLIAMSON’s entire life has always been about food. After working with some of the country’s top chefs, her dream has finally been realized in the form of successful ventures such as Amuse Café, Beechwood, and projects with chef husband Nick Roberts, Hudson House in Redondo Beach, The Tripel & 4-­‐in-­‐1 concept Playa Provisions in Playa Del Rey. The couple recently opened Tripli-­‐Kit, a culinary-­‐focused retail and book boutique located behind The Tripel. A native of Los Angeles, Brooke began her culinary career at a young age as a teacher’s assistant at the Epicurean Institute of Los Angeles. She began working in professional kitchens at the age of 18 as a pastry assistant at Fenix at the Argyle Hotel under Chef Ken Frank. As her star quality began to shine, Chef Michael McCarty took notice and invited the young chef to work at his acclaimed Santa Monica restaurant, Michael’s under executive Chef Sang Yoon. Within one year she became sous chef at Michael’s. Two years later, Brooke headed to the East Coast to intern at the celebrated restaurant Daniel in New York. She then returned to Los Angeles, where she was appointed executive chef at L.A. restaurant, Boxer. Brooke then continued her culinary career as executive chef of Zax in Brentwood, raising the bar on seasonal American cuisine by infusing local ingredients from Southern California with more diverse and global flavors. During her time at Zax, she was honored by media outlets such as the Los Angeles Times and Forbes as a culinary mastermind. She was also invited to cook at the James Beard house, being the youngest ever-­‐female chef to do so. After leaving Zax, Brooke and fellow Zax partner Nick Roberts opened Amuse Café and later Beechwood in Venice, where Williamson and Roberts earned the title Rising Star Chefs by StarChefs. In 2010, Brooke received her certification from The Court of Master Sommeliers.

Photo courtesy of Ryan Tanaka


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.

Xanty Elías

Chef-Owner; Huelva, Spain

XANTY ELÍAS started his professional cooking studies at the age of 14. After his experience in various restaurants, he started an important stage of his carrier at the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Arzak. Since opening Acánthum in 2011—the first restaurant to receive a Michelin star in the history of the province of Huelva—he has participated in the IX Open Days organized by the European Parliament, Fruit Fusion organized by José Carlos Capel, and the International Andalucía Sabor Congress, among many others. Xanty has also received awards such as the Young Entrepreneur prize awarded by the magazine Ejecutivos and best Andalusian cuisine restaurant; in 2013, he was nominated as Restaurant Revelation at Madrid Fusion and recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year by the Federation of Employers of Huelva. In 2015, he won the International prize for cooking with extra-virgin olive oil, Jaén Paraíso Interior. In 2014, Acánthum received the award for best room service in Andalusia. Xanty is a member of the National Board of the European Chefs, Eurotoques.

Chandra Ram ‘99

Editor, Plate

CHANDRA RAM ‘99 is the editor of Plate, an award-winning food magazine read by chefs all over the country. She spent more than 15 years in the restaurant industry as a cook and consulting chef before turning to food writing and editing. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Loyola University Chicago, an associate’s degree in culinary arts from The Culinary Institute of America, and has passed the certificate level of the Court of Master Sommeliers exam. She is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, and has won multiple awards for her writing and editing, including eight Jesse H. Neal awards and the McAllister Editorial Fellowship. She is the author of The Complete Indian Instant Pot® Cookbook (Robert Rose) and the co-author of The Eiffel Tower Restaurant Cookbook (Chronicle Books) and Korean BBQ: Master Your Grill in Seven Sauces (Ten Speed Press). (Chicago, IL)

Chris Jaeckle

Co-Founder, Executive Chef

Chris Jaeckle, co-founder/executive chef of Uma Temakeria, knew early on that he wanted to be a chef. Originally from Long Island, New York, Chris attended Westbury Vocational School for the Culinary Arts throughout high school and he furthered his culinary career at Johnson & Wales in Rhode Island. His interest in Asian flavors then drew Jaeckle to Morimoto, where he served as sous chef. Working to prepare sushi rice and compose temaki family meals for the staff, Chris developed the precision and reverence for the process required of Japanese cuisine, experimenting with the many possible flavors and textures of temaki. Chris joined Michael White and team at the Altamarea Group. Under Jaeckle’s direction as chef de cuisine, in 2011 Ai Fiori was awarded a Michelin star as well as a three-star review from The New York Times. In 2013, he moved on to open All’onda as proprietor and chef, which has been heralded by Thrillist as one of New York City’s 11 Best Restaurants of 2014. Chris was also named as Eater’s 2014 New York City Chef of the Year. Chris’ passion for Japanese cuisine led him to open Uma Temakeria with co-founder Cynthia Kueppers. Uma Temakeria is the nation’s first fast-casual style eatery featuring fresh, customer designed temaki, cone-shaped “hand roll” sushi.

Chris Pandel

Chef; Chicago, IL

Take everything that connotes Midwestern charm: effusive goodwill, love of community, and a killer work ethic, and you will find its embodiment in CHRIS PANDEL. His food is just as appealing—rooted in classic French technique and predominantly local Midwestern ingredients, Chris’ cooking is rustic, yet refined. Chris graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, and then spent what he calls “graduate school” in New York City, at Café Boulud under Chef Andrew Carmellini. He soon returned to his roots in Chicago, as well as to a job at TRU, which led to a position as corporate chef at three of Chef Rick Tramonto’s restaurants. In 2008, Chris opened neighborhood eatery, The Bristol. Located in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood, the menu features handmade pastas and charcuterie; farm-fresh, locally sourced produce; and a nose-to-tail approach to cooking. Balena, an ode to Italian influenced simplicity, opened in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood in March of 2012 and was included in Bon Appétit’s list of 25 best new restaurants in 2012, and was nominated for a James Beard Best New Restaurant Award. Most recently, Chris opened Formento’s on Chicago’s West Loop Restaurant Row in January 2015. In October 2015 Chris, along with Boka Restaurant Group and B. Hospitality Co. opened Swift & Sons, a retro modern steakhouse that celebrates the history of Chicago’s meatpacking district.

Christie Dufault

Sommelier and Wine Educator; San Francisco, CA

CHRISTIE DUFAULT is a San Francisco-based sommelier and wine educator.  She is member of the faculty at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in the Napa Valley, where she has been an instructor for 12 years. Previously, Christie worked as the wine director for some of the nation’s finest restaurants, including Gary Danko in San Francisco, where she was featured on the Food Network and earned the Grand Award from Wine Spectator. As the head sommelier at Quince, Christie was awarded Best Wine Director 2007 by San Francisco Magazine. In 2009, she helped open RN74 in San Francisco, a Michael Mina restaurant. She is a guest lecturer at the San Francisco Wine School and a regular contributor to Somm Journal.  In 2012, Christie co-authored a cookbook, Two in the Kitchen, with her husband, the writer Jordan Mackay.


Christopher Kostow

Chef, The Restaurant at Meadowood and The Charter Oak

CHRISTOPHER KOSTOW was awarded his first Michelin star before the age of 30. He takes a thoughtful approach to food, drawing upon his own American upbringing and the bounty of the surrounding Napa Valley. His cooking focuses on seasonality, utilizing ingredients from the nearby farm that he and his team operate for The Restaurant at Meadowood and the recently opened The Charter Oak. A Chicago native, Christopher trained in kitchens far and wide: from a Paris bistro to the Michelin-starred Le Jardin des Sens in Montpellier. Upon returning to the US, he worked as sous chef under Daniel Humm in San Francisco, then became chef at Chez TJ in Mountain View, California, garnering the restaurant many accolades including two Michelin stars. When he arrived at Meadowood in 2008, Christopher maintained two Michelin stars, was nominated for Best Chef: Pacific by the James Beard Foundation, and named as one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs 2009. In 2010, he garnered a rare four stars in the San Francisco Chronicle and was soon awarded the highest ranking of three Michelin stars from the esteemed 2011 Guide. He is the second American-born chef and third youngest chef ever to receive three Michelin stars, which he has still retained, along with his Chronicle four-star rating. In 2013, Christopher was awarded Best Chef: West by the James Beard Foundation, and honored as a finalist for Outstanding Chef in 2017. Christopher’s first book, A New Napa Cuisine (Ten Speed Press, 2014) was awarded Book of the Year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals in 2015.

Claud Beltran


Passion, commitment to excellence, integrity, humor and a sense of adventure these words begin to sum up Claud Beltran. An exotic mix of Mexican and Lebanese heritage, Claud was exposed to various ethnic foods at an early age. After being mentored by Chef Thomas Keller, Claud set out to make his own name. For over a quarter century, he has established himself as one of Los Angeles preeminent chefs. With his accomplished staff, he creates culinary delights and fantastic designs that please all the senses. As current owner of Eatery on Allen, Bacchus Kitchen, Claud & Co Catering, and Perry’s restaurant, Claud stays busy but always leaves time for a mentoring and charitable work and of course his wife and two daughters.

Cody Carroll

Chef-Owner; New Orleans, LA

Born and raised in the small farmers town of Batchelor, Louisiana, CODY CARROLL was always making time to be in the kitchen. His passion for cooking stood out at a young age, while preparing Louisiana game, waterfowl, and fish at his family’s hunting and fishing camps. It was here where his cooking talents really started to flourish. At the age of 18, Cody left the farm to attend Louisiana State University. He graduated from LSU in 2007 with his degree in business; he then enrolled at the Louisiana Culinary Institute to acquire his degree in culinary arts. It was here that he met his future wife and business partner, SAMANTHA CARROLL. They both graduated culinary school in January 2010 and just three months later, turned a former drive-thru convenience store in New Roads into a rustic South Louisiana style restaurant. Opening their first restaurant at the early age of 25 and 19, Hot Tails Restaurant focuses on a mix of Cajun and Creole cuisine with a new interpretation. Their dishes have been referred to as “hardcore South Louisiana.” In 2013 Cody and Samantha competed in the Louisiana Seafood Cook-off, thus winning and earning the crowning title of King and Queen of Louisiana Seafood. After winning the crown they set sights on opening a second restaurant. In March 2015, Cody and Samantha opened their second restaurant, Sac-a-lait, in an old Cotton Mill in the Warehouse District of New Orleans. Sac-a-lait Restaurant focuses on deriving inspiration from hunting, farming, and fishing in South Louisiana. Bringing in fresh ingredients daily from all local Louisiana sources and boasting a menu that includes alligator, turtle, venison, quail and fresh Louisiana fish. Just nine months after opening, Sac-a-lait was named Restaurant of the Year by New Orleans Magazine. Cody and Samantha with their extensive background in true Louisiana flavors makes Hot Tails and Sac-a-lait a very unique dining experience.

Colin King

Head Chef; Washington, DC

COLIN KING has been head chef of Oyamel Cocina Mexicana, José Andrés’ highly regarded Mexican restaurant in the Penn Quarter neighborhood of Washington, DC, for the past three years. Colin joined ThinkFoodGroup in the summer of 2012 as sous chef of Zaytinya, the award-winning mezze restaurant inspired by the cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean. Prior to joining ThinkFoodGroup, Colin worked at Market Restaurant Group in Tucson, Arizona where he was executive chef at Harvest Restaurant and later the high volume Hacienda de Sol. At Harvest, Colin developed a unique menu of fresh locally sourced ingredients at the farm to table concept. As executive chef of Hacienda de Sol, Colin oversaw the food and beverage operation of the resort, which included special events and a fine dining room. In early 2009, Colin spent some time as a stagier at Le Domaine de Rochvilaine in Billiers, France learning French classic techniques as well as modern ideas. Colin started his culinary career working in small restaurants and then went on to become head chef of Salt Water Grille in Orleans Massachusetts, a casual concept serving mainly fresh coastal cuisine. Colin earned a bachelor degree from Plymouth State University in New Hampshire.

Daniel Baratier

Head Chef and Co-Owner

DANIEL BARATIER is the chef-owner of Les Déserteurséserteurs

David Toutain

Chef-Owner; Paris, France

Born in Flers, in southern Normandy, DAVID TOUTAIN is the grandson of farmers. He passed his cooking diplomas mainly to follow one of his school friends. While he was attending a cooking training course at the Manoir du Lys David had a revelation: accuracy, rigour, perseverance, creativity were values he identified with. He realized how meaningful they were for his inner nature. His second professional experience at Bernard Loiseau’s restaurant confirmed this motivation. As he was 20, he seized the opportunity and got a position at the Arpège restaurant just as Alain Passard was turning towards a vegetable-oriented cuisine. Within a year David became Alain Passard’s under head chef. There, he enjoyed a real autonomy, freedom and spent three years specializing with vegetable cooking, asserting at the same time his own personality. Then, at Pierre Gagnaire’s and Bernard Pacaud’s restaurant, the Ambroisie he went on improving his cooking skills. However it’s with Marc Veyrat, who regards David as his “spiritual son” that David had “a wonderful experience”: a break in the mountains to taste and learn how to cook herbs, flowers ...... land produces. Thus the cooking technique was mastered but David’s own personal and tasteful cuisine was only at its beginnings. So it was time for David to venture out the world, to experiment with new cuisines. That’s why he went to Spain (Mugaritz), and New York (Corton). His son’s birth in 2010 brought him back in France with the idea of opening a gastronomic counter. So he joined the Agapé Substance, which corresponded to him, an avant-garde restaurant with a young and warm atmosphere, a fine cuisine made out of authentic fresh top quality produce. In 2013 David spent a whole year travelling, attending and taking part in international top special fooding-events such as Omnivore Paris, Shanghai, Genève, Madrid Fusion, Forum Gastronomika, even operating in special 4-hand-dinners with other French and voreign star chefs. Today, David is looking forward to sharing his experiences and travels with his guests, through the concept and menu of his restaurant in Paris. In January 2015, one year after opening, he received his first Michelin star and opened Identi-T next to his restaurant, a place to welcome groups and meetings.

Photo courtesy of Thai Toutain.

Diego Galicia ‘10

Chef-Owner, Mixtli

DIEGO GALICIA ‘10 was born in Toluca, Mexico in 1984 and moved to San Antonio in 2002. He studied psychology at The University of Texas at San Antonio a few years before graduating from The Culinary Institute of America. While a student at the CIA, he was employed at Restaurant Lüke, owned by Chef John Besh, and a local french bakery where he did Sunday brunch. Diego has had the opportunity of working back in his native Mexico at Azul Condesa, owned by renowned Chef Ricardo Muñoz, and stints at Michelin-starred restaurants Atelier Crenn in San Francisco and Moto in Chicago. In the spring of 2017, Diego and his partner, Rico Torres, were named Food & Wine’s best new chefs. In February 2018, the San Antonio Express-News named Mixtli best restaurant in San Antonio, while Diego and Rico were James Beard Awards semifinalists for Best Chef: Southwest. Mixtli is a very personal and intimate project that reflects Diego’s love and passion for his native country.

Domenica Catelli

Chef-Owner; Geyserville, CA

Domenica Catelli is a chef, restaurateur, author, spokesperson and TV personality who has positively influenced the way millions of families eat and prepare food across the United States with her tasty, easy, and healthy approach to cooking. She has been a guest on CBS News, Oprah and Friends, with Dr. Oz on XM radio, an expert for, and has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Southern Living Magazine, Modern Luxury Brides, WebMD magazine, and She was the national spokesperson for the Organic Trade Association and has been the brand ambassador and chef spokesperson for several organic, healthy products, including Safeway’s O Organics line. She has helped companies further their goals of education, outreach, and going green, including Stonyfield Farms, T-Mobile, and Cooking Light. Domenica is a member of the chef advisory board of the non-profit organization Common Threads. She has created unforgettable menus for several restaurants in California from Laguna Beach to the beautiful Mendocino coast, where she served as executive chef of the organic restaurant Raven’s at the Stanford Inn with featured recipes from the estate’s three-acre garden. Domenica reopened her family restaurant, Catelli’s, with her brother, Nicholas in Geyserville, California in winter 2010. Catelli’s originally opened in 1936 in the heart of wine country and now features three generations of Catelli family recipes.


Chef-Owner; San Francisco, CA

DOMINIQUE CRENN is the chef-owner of Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, which she opened in January 2011, earning a Michelin star a few months later, and Petit Crenn, which opened in fall 2015. In 2012, she was the first female chef in the US to receive two Michelin stars for her modern vision of fine French cuisine, putting artistry at the forefront. Dominique is an Iron Chef winner and was named Chef of the Year in 2008 by Esquire. A native of France, she received a baccalaureate in economics from the Cours Charlemagne and a bachelor’s degree in international business from the Academy of International Commerce, both in Paris. She moved to San Francisco in 1988, where she worked at the acclaimed Stars under Jeremiah Tower and Mark Franz for more than two years, followed by stints at Campton Place, 2223 Market, The Park Hyatt Grill, and Yoyo Bistro. Dominique became the first female executive chef in Indonesia in 1997, at the Intercontinental Hotel in Jakarta. She returned to California a year later and was the executive chef of the Manhattan Country Club in Manhattan Beach for eight years, then the opening chef at Abode Restaurant and Lounge in Santa Monica. In 2008, she returned to San Francisco to be executive chef at Luce at the Intercontinental Hotel, earning a Michelin star in 2009 and 2010. She is nominated for a 2016 James Beard Best Chef: West award and is the author of Atelier Crenn: Metamorphosis of Taste, published in 2015.

Edward Lee

Chef-Owner, 610 Magnolia, MilkWood, Whiskey Dry, Succotash

EDWARD LEE is the chef-owner of 610 Magnolia, MilkWood and Whiskey Dry in Louisville, KY and the culinary director for Succotash in National Harbor, Maryland and Penn Quarter, DC. He has received multiple nominations for the James Beard Foundation Awards Best Chef: Southeast. He appears frequently in print and on television, including earning an Emmy nomination for his role in the Emmy Award–winning series The Mind of a Chef. Most recently, he wrote and hosted the feature documentary Fermented. Lee’s self-authored cookbook, Smoke & Pickles, (Artisan Books, 2013) chronicles his unconventional journey from the kitchens of Brooklyn to becoming a lauded Southern chef. His signature blend with Jefferson’s Reserve, called Chef’s Collaboration Blend, is a luxury small batch bourbon he developed with Trey Zoeller. His newest book is Buttermilk Graffiti (Artisan, April 2018), which celebrates the melting pot at the center of American cuisine.

Elena Arzak

Chef-Owner; San Sebastian, Spain

Her surname is her letter of introduction: ELENA ARZAK is probably the most prestigious reference in the history of Spanish cuisine. But to that she brings her own sense of responsibility and her enormous curiosity—a vivid curiosity that was obviously inherited from her father and teacher. A promise started in the family restaurant from an early age and with impeccable training. She has earned her place in the management of the family restaurant—side by side with her father Juan Mari—bringing brilliant ideas to the restaurant research team. It is arguably a great challenge and responsibility to run a restaurant at such a high level along with genius and an icon. She is a chef with a strong faith in what she does, built on the basis of patience, sensitivity and culture.  She is hard-working, thorough and restless, and is the future, but also the present of our cuisine. Elena studied at the Hospitality Management School in Lucerne, Switzerland from 1988 to 1991 and did internships in different companies such as Hotel Château Güstsch and Hotel National in Lucerne and Hotel International in Zurich. Afterwards she worked at La Gavroche in London, Troigros in Roanne, Carré des Feuillants, Vivarois, and Pierre Gagnaire in Paris, Louis XV in Montecarlo, Antica Ostería del Ponte in Italy, and elBulli, among others. She then returned home to run the Restaurant Arzak with her father. Elena has won numerous awards, including Chef de l’avenir 2000, National Gastronomy Award for Best Chef 2010, Eckart Witzigmann 2010 International Award, Veuve Clicquot World´s Best Female Chef Award 2012, and The Culinary Institute of America’s Augie Leadership Awards 2015. She has also received many other awards at local and international level.


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.

Eric Werner

Chef, Hartwood; Tulum, Mexico

ERIC WERNER began his culinary career at The Culinary Institute of America and honed his pastry skills at Payard in New York City. He then joined Wylie Dufresne’s 71 Clinton Fresh Food. But it was at Peasant and later Vinegar Hill House in Brooklyn that his embrace of the primal, wood-fired cooking methods he’d explored over campfires in his youth found full expression. Together, with his wife Mya Henry, he owns and operates Hartwood in Tulum, Mexico. His first book is HARTWOOD: Bright, Wild Flavors from the Edge of the Yucatan (Artisan, 2015).

Evan Rich

Chef, Rich Table; San Francisco, CA

The cooking career of EVAN RICH ‘00 began with a car crash. At age 15, he totaled his parents’ car and wound up with a dishwasher’s job to pay down the damages. That same year a college fair came to Westfield, New Jersey, Evan’s hometown. He took a break from his kitchen prep duties to browse the tables. Having already had a taste of the workings of a restaurant, Evan was captivated by the display for The Culinary Institute of America. After graduating, he took a pastry assistant position at the Austrian-inflected Danube in New York City, eventually working his way to executive sous chef at Bouley, and cooking closely with Bouley himself. After a successful three-year tenure there, Evan joined Chef Josh DeChellis at the modern Japanese restaurant and West Village standout Sumile. Furthering his education in Japanese culinary techniques, Evan accompanied DeChellis to Japan to open Sumile Tokyo. When DeChellis later departed, Evan stepped up to chef de cuisine. In 2007, Evan and his newlywed wife, Sarah (a fellow chef he’d worked alongside at Bouley) decided they were ready for something other than New York. Together they set out on a West Coast scouting expedition from Los Angeles to Seattle, encountering the culinary sights and deciding where to settle. Embracing San Francisco as his new home, Evan started straightaway as chef de cuisine at Quince, where he expanded his pasta-making and Italian cuisine vernacular, while working closely with Michael Tusk. From Quince, Evan went to Coi, cooking with Daniel Patterson as chef de cuisine, and was onboard when the restaurant was awarded its second Michelin star. Evan opened Rich Table in July 2012 and it is his first venture as joint restaurant owner and co-executive chef with his wife, Sarah Rich.

Fabian von Hauske

Co-Chef-Owner; New York, NY

together on events as well as research, while Fabian also served as an intern for Dave Arnold, FCI’s director of culinary technology. In 2009, Jeremiah left FCI to travel abroad, accepting a sous chef position at the award-winning Rino restaurant in Paris, France, working alongside the tutelage of Chef Giovanni Passerini for the next two years. During culinary school, Fabian accepted an internship at the three-Michelin-star restaurant Jean Georges, where for two years he learned from pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini. Upon graduating in 2010, Fabian ventured to Europe for an opportunity at the world-renowned restaurant Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark. The two stayed in touch and maintained a close relationship while overseas, working through and forming the ideas that would later become reality at Contra. During the summer of 2011, Jeremiah found himself back in New York City assisting with the opening of Isa restaurant in Brooklyn under Chef Ignacio Mattos. Following his time there, he then returned to Europe seeking out stages at various restaurants while he travelled. For Fabian, he had completed his tenure at Chef Ben Shewry’s restaurant Attica in Australia, to later join Jeremiah, exploring Europe’s vast culinary offerings. After nearly two years of work and traveling internationally, the two chefs finally returned to New York—though timing was still not quite right—each accepting temporary consulting and private dining jobs as they planned to open their first restaurant together. Finally, in 2013 the duo opened Contra in the Lower East Side neighborhood, showcasing a regularly-changing tasting menu-style format—Jeremiah in charge of the savory dishes while Fabian helmed the dessert and bread program. The restaurant was a welcome addition to the city’s diverse restaurant scene and was recognized by the New York Times’ restaurant critic Pete Wells, who named Contra one of The 10 Best New Restaurants of 2014. In the summer of 2015, they opened their second project Wildair, a casual bistro located two doors down with a strong emphasis on natural wines and simple fare. The restaurant quickly garnered critical acclaim and accolades including Bloomberg’s restaurant critic Tejal Rao proclaiming “Wildair is the Restaurant Industry’s Favorite Place to Eat Right Now,” as well as Pete Wells’ list including the restaurant in his list of the “Top New York Restaurants of 2015,” as featured in the New York Times. Wildair was nominated for Best New Restaurant 2016 by the James Beard Foundation, and Jeremiah and Fabian were among Food & Wine’s 2016 Best New Chefs.

Gabriela Ruiz

Chef-Owner; Villahermosa, Mexico

GABRIELA RUIZ is originally from Comalcalco, Tabasco, the birthplace of cocoa in Mexico. She began her studies in gastronomy at Escuela Culinaria del Sureste in Merida, Yucatán, and has additional studies in D’Gallia school in Lima, Peru and The Pacific Art Institute in Vancouver, Canada, among others. She began her career working in some of the best restaurants in Mexico, most notably Enrique Olvera’s Pujol (currently considered as one of the 50 best in the world by San Pellegrino guide). She is the chef-owner of Gourmet MX, which initially only provided catering to global companies such as Rolls Royce, Fox Life, The Coca Cola Company, among others. In 2012 it began operations as a restaurant, and quickly became one of the most recognized in the state. She represented her home state in the 8th International Chocolate Festival in Miami, Florida, where she presented the demo-conference “Cacao in Mexican kitchens.” In November 2014 she was nominated as Revelation Chef and its restaurant as Best New Restaurant of Mexico in the awards ceremony of the Food and Travel Magazine, causing great impression because of her young age and being the only woman nominated in this release. In early 2015, she was selected as one of 10 representatives from Latin America and the Caribbean for the Young Chef of San Pellegrino contest whose final was held in Brazil, putting the Tabasco’s kitchen and, of course, Mexican on the palate world. She was recently chosen winner of Young Masters award from Mexico Millesime 2015 as a promise of today’s Mexican cuisine, after his first participation in the dining-premium brands business event held every year in Mexico, Spain and Panama. She is working on Historias de Carmela (Carmela’s stories), which aims to raise awareness of the current Mexican cuisine, customs, and traditions of Tabasco around the production and consumption of cocoa and chocolate, through a character of realism and magic that seeks to be a platform that gives projection to this important product around the world. She recently opened her third project, Chata Pandal, a gastro-bar next to the restaurant. Gourmet MX is today considered one of the best 120 restaurants in Mexico according to Mexico’s Gastronomic Guide, Culinaria Mexicana, San Pellegrino, and Nespresso.

Gerard Ford Craft

Chef-Owner; St. Louis, MO

GERARD FORD CRAFT is the executive chef and owner of Niche Food Group in St. Louis, Missouri. After opening his modern Missouri restaurant, Niche, in 2005 at the age of 25, he has extended his restaurant group to include Taste by Niche, his cocktail bar with seasonal small plates, Brasserie by Niche, a classic French bistro, and his approachable Italian concept, Pastaria. He recently opened his first fast food concept, Porano Pasta in downtown St. Louis and will add a second location for Pastaria in Nashville in Summer 2016. Gerard’s creative yet simple food has earned him recognition as a Food & Wine Best New Chef, Inc. magazine’s Star Entrepreneurs under 30, one of Food & Wine’s Innovators of the Year, and the 2015 James Beard Foundation Best Chef: Midwest award winner. 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, Utah and Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, California as well as a stage at Ryland Inn in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey 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, a Midwestern city that he had never visited. Since opening Niche, he has been highly acclaimed for his innovative interpretations of what he calls “humble” Missouri ingredients – the best available from numerous local area farmers. Gerard and his wife, Susan, live in St. Louis with their two daughters.

Greg Drescher

Vice President of Strategic Initiatives & Industry Leadership

GREG DRESCHER is vice president of strategic initiatives and industry leadership at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA). He oversees the college’s leadership initiatives for the foodservice industry, including academic and other strategic partnerships, conferences, invitational leadership retreats, digital media, and other global initiatives. He is the creator of the college’s Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival (now in its 21st year), as well as a portfolio of health and sustainability leadership initiatives including Menus of Change and Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives, jointly presented by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative, co-led by the CIA and Stanford University in association with more than 50-plus leading colleges and universities; and the recently launched annual Global Plant-Forward Culinary Summit and Plant-Forward Kitchen digital media platform. Co-developer of the CIA’s new partnership with the University of Barcelona—the Torribera Mediterranean Center, with its focus on the healthy, traditional Mediterranean Diet and regional food studies—and a strategic advisor to the European-based EAT Foundation, Greg works internationally to advance innovation at the intersection of health, sustainability, culture, and culinary insight. In 2005, Greg was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America, and in 2007 and 2009 he shared a second and third James Beard Award for his team’s work in developing the CIA’s Savoring the Best of World Flavors digital media series, filmed on location around the world. He served on the National Academy of Medicine’s Committee on Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States (final report 2010). In 2011, he was inducted as a member of the Accademia dei Georgofili, Europe’s oldest agricultural academy based in Florence. In 2017, Foodservice Director included Greg in its 20 People Shaping American Foodservice Today. Before joining the CIA 24 years ago, he jointly spearheaded a collaboration of some of the world’s leading health experts and organizations—including the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and WHO—in authoring the The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid: A Cultural Model for Healthy Eating. The cumulative results of this research were published in a special edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (1995), creating an evidence-based foundation for much of the academic, policy, and media interest in the Mediterranean Diet that followed. (Sacramento, CA)

Ivy Mix

Co-Owner, Head Bartender

Ivy Mix is co-owner and head bartender of Leyenda, her pan-Latin cocktail bar in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, backed by her long-time mentor, Julie Reiner. Leyenda pays tribute to her years of living and bartending in Guatemala, as well as extensive travels throughout all of Latin America. With a long history of working in bars throughout the Americas, Ivy has been recognized by many within the culinary and cocktail industry as being one of the best bartenders in the country; she was named American Bartender of the Year at Tales of the Cocktails’ Spirited Awards in 2015, and Mixologist of the Year by Wine Enthusiast in 2016. Ivy first served a drink when she traveled to Guatemala at 19 years old when studying at Bennington College. She lived and worked there for years, mixing in travels to Mexico to smuggle special mezcales and tequilas over the border. Giving her a unique and extensive knowledge base into the agave spirits field. In 2009, she started cocktail waitressing at Mayahuel and it was here where with craft cocktails that she saw how she could bring together her love for bartending and spirits with her artistic background. It was within a year that she joined cocktail historian and bar owner St. John Frizzell at Fort Defiance. From there, she worked and helped open several bars throughout Brooklyn. In 2010, Ivy caught Julie Reiner’s eye and was hired to be on the opening staff of Lani Kai in Manhattan. It was not long until she was brought back to her borough of choice to work at Reiner’s flagship world-renown bar the Clover Club. Four years later, she and Reiner opened up Leyenda across the street in May of 2015. Additionally, Ivy has inspired the nation to rethink women’s role behind the bar. She conceptualized and later, with Lynnette Marrero, co-founded Speed Rack—a national cocktail competition that creates a platform for female bartenders while simultaneously raising money for breast cancer related charities. Speed Rack started in 2011 and has taken the world by storm, changing the way people view women’s role in cocktails. So far they have raised over $500,000 for charity.

James Oseland

Author, Contributing Editor; New York, NY

JAMES OSELAND was the editor-in-chief of Saveur from 2006 to 2014, where he led the magazine to more than 40 awards, including numerous James Beard awards and three from the American Society of Magazine Editors. He was the founding editor of Rodale’s Organic Life, which was named the hottest magazine launch of 2015 by Adweek. He is a five-year veteran of Bravo TV’s Top Chef Masters. His 2006 memoir-cookbook was named one of the best books that year by the New York Times and was recognized by the James Beard Foundation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals. His next book, Jimmy Neurosis, a memoir, will be published by Ecco Press in 2017.


Jason Kupper

Chef-Owner; Napa, CA

Jason Kupper is chef and co-founder of Heritage Eats. He is an advocate for small farms, blending local ingredients with global flavors in an approachable street food style. Jason’s fine dining roots, travels abroad, and appreciation for the California landscape leant inspiration in creating the menu at Heritage Eats. An industry veteran, he previously worked at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon in Yountville, Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg, and Charlie Palmer Steak at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas. Jason’s most recent accomplishments include Small Business of the Year 2015 as awarded by the Napa Chamber of Commerce and a nod from Zagat naming Heritage Eats as one of The 10 Hottest Restaurants in Napa. As a father and chef, Jason is a passionate philanthropist and supports Share Our Strength (SOS) in their fight against childhood hunger.

Jeremiah Stone

Co-Chef-Owner; New York, NY

Born and raised in Mexico City, Fabian Von Hauske moved to New York City after high school to attend The French Culinary Institute (FCI). It was there that he first met JEREMIAH STONE, who was working as a chef for the school’s events department. Stone originally from the Washington D.C. area had graduated from FCI in 2007. The two quickly developed a friendship, working
together on events as well as research, while Fabian also served as an intern for Dave Arnold, FCI’s director of culinary technology. In 2009, Jeremiah left FCI to travel abroad, accepting a sous chef position at the award-winning Rino restaurant in Paris, France, working alongside the tutelage of Chef Giovanni Passerini for the next two years. During culinary school, Fabian accepted an internship at the three-Michelin-star restaurant Jean Georges, where for two years he learned from pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini. Upon graduating in 2010, Fabian ventured to Europe for an opportunity at the world-renowned restaurant Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark. The two stayed in touch and maintained a close relationship while overseas, working through and forming the ideas that would later become reality at Contra. During the summer of 2011, Jeremiah found himself back in New York City assisting with the opening of Isa restaurant in Brooklyn under Chef Ignacio Mattos. Following his time there, he then returned to Europe seeking out stages at various restaurants while he travelled. For Fabian, he had completed his tenure at Chef Ben Shewry’s restaurant Attica in Australia, to later join Jeremiah, exploring Europe’s vast culinary offerings. After nearly two years of work and traveling internationally, the two chefs finally returned to New York—though timing was still not quite right—each accepting temporary consulting and private dining jobs as they planned to open their first restaurant together. Finally, in 2013 the duo opened Contra in the Lower East Side neighborhood, showcasing a regularly-changing tasting menu-style format—Jeremiah in charge of the savory dishes while Fabian helmed the dessert and bread program. The restaurant was a welcome addition to the city’s diverse restaurant scene and was recognized by the New York Times’ restaurant critic Pete Wells, who named Contra one of The 10 Best New Restaurants of 2014. In the summer of 2015, they opened their second project Wildair, a casual bistro located two doors down with a strong emphasis on natural wines and simple fare. The restaurant quickly garnered critical acclaim and accolades including Bloomberg’s restaurant critic Tejal Rao proclaiming “Wildair is the Restaurant Industry’s Favorite Place to Eat Right Now,” as well as Pete Wells’ list including the restaurant in his list of the “Top New York Restaurants of 2015,” as featured in the New York Times. Wildair was nominated for Best New Restaurant 2016 by the James Beard Foundation, and Jeremiah and Fabian were among Food & Wine’s 2016 Best New Chefs.


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.


Jody Williams

Chef-Owner; New York, NY

JODY WILLIAMS is the chef and owner of the much acclaimed Buvette in the West Village and co-chef/owner with Rita Sodi of Via Carota, an Italian gastroteca the couple opened in 2014. Jody is also the author of Buvette: The Pleasure of Good Food, released in April 2014 and has written for Saveur and Esopus. Buvette has been nominated for a James Beard Award in 2015. Jody opened a second Buvette in South Pigalle Paris in 2013 to much acclaim. Her cooking has been praised in such publications as Vogue, Condé Nast Traveler, Bon Appétit, Martha Stewart Living, Le Fooding, Travel + Leisure, Gourmet, Glamour, Elle, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, New York Magazine, Time Out New York, French Elle, and Libération. Upon opening, Via Carota generated instant excitement and critical praise. The New York Times called Jody and Sodi “one of the great partnerships in the New York restaurant scene.”

Johnny Hernandez ‘89

President; San Antonio, TX

JOHNNY HERNANDEZ ‘89 is the founder and president of True Flavors Inc. and Grupo La Gloria. True Flavors is one of San Antonio’s largest catering and event services companies, while Grupo La Gloria is a restaurant portfolio with locations in San Antonio, Houston, and Las Vegas. Johnny and his restaurants have been featured in acclaimed publications such as Texas Monthly, Bon Appétit, Poder, Saveur, Travel & Leisure, Martha Stewart Living, Garden and Gun, NBC Latino, Tasting Table, and Southern Living. Johnny also served as a guest judge on Season 9 of Bravo’s Top Chef and has appeared on Cooking Channel’s Man Fire Food and Simply Ming, as well as Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. In addition to his acclaimed eateries, Johnny has acted as spokesperson and consultant to McCormick Spice Company, Aguacates of Mexico, the National Pork Board, and The Culinary Institute of America. He has been recognized by Hispanic Business as one of the Top 50 Influential Hispanics of 2012, one of the Top 5 Hispanic Chefs in America by Siempre Mujer and awarded the San Pasqual Award of Culinary Excellence by the New World Wine and Food Festival. His newest development is Pakal, a Direct Trade Import Organization that employs responsible and fair business practices to source the highest quality Latin American cacao. Johnny has a long career of serving on many corporate and non-profit boards including the Latin Foods Advisory Board of the Culinary Institute of America, the New World Wine and Food Festival, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the St. Philips Culinary Advisory Board and appointed by Mayor Julian Castro to serve as a commissioner for the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Jonah Miller


Before starting high school, blessed with the good fortune of having of some of the world’s best restaurants in his backyard, JONAH MILLER began his culinary career with an internship at Chanterelle just before it received the James Beard Award for Most Outstanding Restaurant in America. He spent multiple summers in that kitchen, along with stints at Nice Matin and Gramercy Tavern. Keeping focused on his career aspirations, Jonah went on to study food studies and restaurant management at New York University. While in school, he worked in the kitchen at Savoy with Chef Peter Hoffman and learned front-of-house at another Danny Meyer spot, Blue Smoke. During his college years, Jonah also went to Madrid, Spain, to expand his culinary knowledge. He spent much of his time traveling the country, and it was there that he fell in love with the cuisine of the northern region. Post-college, he went on to help Chef Michael Psilakis open Gus and Gabriel and then returned to Danny Meyer, becoming the first cook hired for the opening of Maialino, where he worked his way up to sous chef and was involved in menu development, staff training, expediting service, quality control, purchasing, inventory, monitoring food costs and running the sous-vide program. Jonah left Maialino in 2012 and returned to northern Spain to further expand his understanding of its culture and cuisine. He has since returned to New York City and opened his first restaurant in April 2014: Huertas in the East Village serving up Basque-influenced fare. Since opening Huertas, Johan has received numerous accolades including a nomination as a 2015 James Beard Award Semifinalist for Rising Star of the Year. Jonah was also named one of Forbes’s 30 under 30 2015, one of Zagat’s 30 under 30 in 2014, and received a glowing two star review from The New York Times for Huertas. His story is being chronicled in Karen Stabiner’s upcoming book, Generation Chef (Avery) and he is working on his first book, Downtown Spanish: Recipes from the Huertas Kitchen and Bar (Regan Arts).

José Alvarez

Chef, La Costa; El Ejido, Spain

JOSÉ ALVAREZ was born in El Ejido in 1971. A chef by tradition and vocation, he is an autodidact. With his father, he learned the basis of the trade and above all respect for tradition, which he has combined with an innovative and sophisticated touch. He decided that before experimenting, he had to know the proposals of the best, which has contributed decisively to his training. After working in every corner of the family restaurant, he decided to enter fully into the kitchen and from the kitchen, to shift the business model. His work began to pay off and in 2006 La Costa received a Michelin star, which it has retained ever since. It also holds two Repsol Suns.

Justin Carlisle

Chef-Owner, Ardent

JUSTIN CARLISLE grew up on a small beef farm in rural Wisconsin and food has always played a large part of his life. Starting in small restaurants, his passion for cooking grew and helped develop a love of food and a hard work ethic. His restaurant Ardent—opened in October of 2013, has been named one of the 15 best new restaurants by Condé Nast Traveler; Best Restaurant in the State of Wisconsin by Business Insider; and was named a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant by the James Beard Foundation. Justin is a James Beard Awards nominee for Best Chef Midwest for 2015, 2016, and 2017. Plate named him one of the top 30 chefs to watch in 2016. During his time as a chef, Justin has continued to support the local food movement and use a modern technical approach to it.

Photo credit: Huge Galdones

Kelly Weikel

Director of Consumer Insights, Technomic

KELLY WEIKEL specializes in using her background in psychology to understand the “why” behind consumer decisions. Her focus is on uncovering the underlying consumer needstates and motivations that shape foodservice behaviors and providing insights on consumer attitudes and usage across foodservice products, amenities and brands. Kelly leads Technomic’s Consumer Trend Reports and Access, a series of more than 20 annual studies that keep U.S. and Canadian foodservice professionals up to date on evolving trends in food and beverage categories, restaurant sectors, dining occasions, consumer segments and more. She also works with clients creating multi-sponsored, custom ad-hoc and full-service research solutions and is a frequent speaker at industry seminars and conferences. She holds a BA in psychology from Loyola University Chicago and is currently attending Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management for her MBA with a concentration in marketing and social enterprise.


Chef, Monastrell; Alicante, Spain

MARÍA JOSÉ SAN ROMÁN is the co-owner and executive chef of Grupo Gourmet in Alicante, Spain. With a collection of five restaurants—including her landmark restaurant, Monastrell, for which she was first awarded a Michelin star in 2013, and La Taberna del Gourmet, winner of the National Award for Best Bar in Spain—she blends Mediterranean tradition with creative innovation to bring classic Spanish ingredients to the contemporary restaurant table. María’s cuisine is based on a philosophy and vision that celebrates the bounty and flavor of local ingredients with distinctive style. Recognized as both Spain’s “Queen of Saffron” and a leading authority on extra virgin olive oil, she is renowned as an international ambassador of Spanish culinary excellence. Her cuisine pays homage to a wide range of classic flavors from her Spanish coastal roots including extra virgin olive oil, rice, seafood, and saffron. Grupo Gourmet Alicante, a gastronomic project founded in 1975, includes restaurants Monastrell, La Taberna del Gourmet, La Vaquería, Tribeca, La Terraza del Gourmet, and Taller de pan, each celebrating distinctively Spanish gastronomy and contributing to Alicante’s status as one of the top hospitality centers of Spain.

Maricel Presilla

Chef-Owner; Hoboken, NJ

MARICEL PRESILLA, PhD, a restaurateur and culinary historian specializing in the foods of Latin America and Spain, is the first Latin American chef to have been invited as a guest chef at the White House. She holds a doctorate in medieval Spanish history from New York University and has received formal training in cultural anthropology. Maricel won the 2012 James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic region, after nominations in 2007, 2008, and 2009. Her latest book, Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America, presents a comprehensive look at cuisines of the whole region; it won the 2013 James Beard Award for Cookbook of the Year and the 2013 International Association of Culinary Professional’s Award for Best General Cookbook. She is also the author of The New Taste of Chocolate and the president of Gran Cacao Company. Maricel has contributed articles for Saveur, Food & Wine, Food Arts, and Gourmet and is also a food columnist for The Miami Herald. A member of The Culinary Institute of America’s Latin Cuisines Advisory Council Executive Committee, Maricel is as comfortable doing research in Latin America as she is cooking at Zafra and Cucharamama, her pan-Latin restaurants in Hoboken, NJ. In 2009 she received a Silver Spoon award from Food Arts, has been named one of the 25 most influential Latin American women in the USA by People En Español and was inducted in the James Beard Who is Who of American Food and Beverage in 2015. She is the Americas Partner of the International Chocolate Awards, the largest independent chocolate competition in the world, and a founding member of Direct Cacao. In 2010, she opened Ultramarinos, a Latin American food store and bakery, also in Hoboken.

Marie Elena Martinez

Co-Founder and Founder

In 2005, New Worlder co-founder MARIE ELENA MARTINEZ ditched her literary publishing job and bought a ticket to Quito, Ecuador, beginning the journey of a lifetime. Six continents, and over 60 countries later, she began contributing to publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, Condé Nast Traveler, and The Guardian, to name a few. After serving as founding editor of Latina Magazine’s dedicated food site The Latin Kitchen (2012-2104), she left to launch her first brand, Meets NYC, which stages culinary destination showcases that fuse her publicity and marketing background with her love of food, wine, and travel through paired chef dinners, wine events and walk-around tastings. New Worlder, a food and travel site focused on the Americas, soon followed. She also works as a LatAm consultant in the food, travel and event spaces. (Brooklyn, NY)

Mark Garcia ‘91

Head of Marketing, Food Service and Culinary, Avocados From Mexico

MARK GARCIA ’91 is the head of marketing, food service and culinary for Avocados From Mexico. He has more than 20 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, including major resort hotels, casual and fine dining restaurants, national chains, food manufacturers, large CPG companies, and gourmet retailers. Mark is known throughout the industry as an innovative, creative, and results-driven executive, is frequently tapped as a keynote speaker, and has authored two books. As head of marketing for Avocados From Mexico, Mark and his team work as product ambassadors to all segments of the foodservice world.

Mark Liberman ‘98

Chef; San Francisco, CA

Born in San Francisco and raised in Sonoma County, MARK LIBERMAN ’98 had a fertile food foundation—thanks in part to his farm-to-table environs and his Colombian mother and Polish father, began cooking at a young age. To make his growing passion for food into a career, Mark headed to The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. After graduating, Mark staged for four months in France working at the two-star Carré des Feuillantes. He then returned to Northern California, continuing to stage and work at such restaurants as Auberge du Soleil, Aqua, La Folie and Charles Nob Hill. In 2005, Mark moved to Las Vegas, where he worked as a saucier for Daniel Boulud Brasserie and then as chef de partie at MGM Grand’s L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon. In early 2007, he returned to San Francisco to take the position as chef de cuisine at Michelin-starred La Folie, where he worked closely with Chef Roland Passot. The next year, Mark partnered with his brother, opening Forte, a contemporary Italian concept, located in West Palm Beach, Florida. In 2010, he was invited to New York to participate in the Bocuse d’Or, where he placed among the top 10 finalists. And back in San Francisco, he joined forces with restaurateur Matt Semmelhack to collaborate on the opening of AQ. He has since opened Bon Marché Brasserie in the fall of 2015, an homage to classical French cooking. He is currently launching a new restaurant, slated to open this spring focusing on family style Mexican food.

Mateo Granados

Chef-Owner; Healdsburg, CA

In a delicious mix of cultures, the Yucatán-born chef MATEO GRANADOS has created a unique signature that celebrates rigorously sourced local and sustainable Sonoma ingredients infused with the vibrant regional flavors of his homeland, crafted with classic French finesse, and sparked with playful spirit. Throughout his career, he has worked with such great chefs as Julian Serrano and Alain Rondelli, at such legendary restaurants as 42 Degrees, Masa’s, Manka’s Inverness Lodge, and Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen. Mateo’s talents have been showcased in Food & Wine, Sunset, San Francisco Chronicle, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Tasting Table and many more top publications. He honed his signature style at Sonoma County farmers’ markets, starting simply after years in fine dining by selling Yucatan tamales from his grandmother’s secret recipe. Soon his presence in the markets grew to a mobile kitchen where he created best-selling rustic-refined market based breakfast and lunch dishes. At the same time Mateo’s reputation was also established as one of the top in-demand caterers for many of the North Bay’s best private parties and culinary events. Mateo somehow also found time to launch his own private label El Yuca Mayan habanero sauces, crafted from his own, homegrown chills, brimming with spicy, Yucatán style. Possibly the most natural expression of chef Mateo’s contemporary charm came with his Tendejon de La Calle, a mobile restaurant that “popped up” at farms and wineries across Sonoma County.

Mateu Casañas Puignau

Chef, Disfrutar; Barcelona, Spain

MATEU CASAÑAS PUIGNAU met Oriol Castro and Eduard Xatruch 16 years ago in the kitchen of the internationally-recognized elBulli restaurant. Between 1998 and its closure in July 2011, they were part of the creative team of elBulli. In 2012 they decided to become business partners and opened the restaurant Compartir. In the heart of the Mediterranean, in Cadaqués, the restaurant bases its gastronomic offer on dishes for sharing, the result of modern cuisine sprinkled with traditional dishes. With the consolidation of Compartir, in December 2014 they opened a second restaurant in Barcelona, Disfrutar (in English, Enjoy). The gastronomic line of this establishment is clearly avant-garde with strong Mediterranean roots.

Matt Accarrino

Chef, SPQR; San Francisco, CA

MATTHEW ACCARRINO ‘98 is the nationally recognized chef of SPQR in San Francisco, CA. Born in the Midwest and raised on the East Coast, he moved west to California in 2007. His unique culinary style draws inspiration from his Italian heritage, personal experiences and classical training with some of America’s best chefs. Coupled with the embrace of the bounty of opportunities California ingredients present and a strong belief in direct sourcing, producing, even playing a role in the creation of his own ingredients. The result is an intensely personal cuisine that is both technically polished and soulful; and which has garnered praise from publications such as Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Saveur, Wall Street Journal, Food Arts, Plate, New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, 7X7, and SF Magazine. Under his direction, the restaurant was recognized with a Michelin star in the 2013 and 2014 guides. Since his arrival, Matthew has been named a Star Chefs 2010 Rising Star for his “innovative vision, finesse, and deeply satisfying cuisine,” and in 2011 he took top honors at San Francisco’s Cochon 555 competition. Matt has been nominated three consecutive times by the James Beard Foundation as a semi-finalist for Best Chef: West. Food & Wine named him People’s Best Chef California in 2013 and editorially selected him to for the prestigious Best New Chef award in 2014. Matt co-authored and released his first book, published by Ten Speed Press, SPQR: Modern Italian Food and Wine, in October 2012.

Matthew Lightner

Chef, Ninebark; Napa, CA

MATTHEW LIGHTNER is the chef of Ninebark.

Photo by Signe Birck.

Michael Gulotta


MICHAEL GULOTTA is chef-partner at Maypop and Mopho. Born and raised in New Orleans, Michael began cooking in local restaurants at a young age. After graduating from the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute, he joined the newly opened Restaurant August. Gulotta then took leave to train in the Italian Riviera and Germany’s Black Forest. When Hurricane Katrina hit, Michael returned home to help rebuild and assist with August’s re-opening. He was named chef de cuisine in 2007 and led the award-winning kitchen for six years, while establishing relationships with local farmers and purveyors. He opened his first restaurant, MOPHO, in January of 2014 with his brother, Jeffrey Gulotta, and high-school friend, Jeffrey Bybee. Located in New Orleans’ Mid City, MOPHO strives to be a true neighborhood restaurant and a destination for Southeast Asian-inspired cuisine utilizing the Louisiana pantry. In its first year MOPHO was nominated for America’s Best New Restaurant by Bon Appétit and named Restaurant of the Year by New Orleans Magazine. In 2016 Michael was named one of the Top 30 Chefs to Watch in the nation by Plate, a New Orleans Rising Star by Starchefs, a Best New Chef by Food & Wine, and Chef of the Year by New Orleans Magazine. His team recently opened its second full service restaurant, Maypop, in the Central Business District of New Orleans. Maypop has been named a Top 5 Best New Restaurant by The Times-Picayune, a Best New Restaurant by New Orleans Magazine, a New Orleans top 20 restaurant by Condé Nast Traveler, and most recently made New Orleans’ Top Ten Restaurants for 2019, by Brett Anderson of The Times-Picayune. (New Orleans, LA)

Michael Harlan Turkell

Photographer, Author, Radio Host; /

MICHAEL HARLAN TURKELL is a photographer and author who has spent over a decade as a journalist in the food media world. He has been nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award in Visual Storytelling, photographed over a dozen cookbooks, co-authored Chris Cosentino’s OFFAL GOOD, and wrote and photographed his own, ACID TRIP: Travels in the World of Vinegar, which recently won an IACP award. Michael also hosts THE FOOD SEEN on, a podcast during which he brings together guests working at the intersections of food, art, and design that has twice been a finalist for a Stitcher Award, as well as the special eight-part series MODERNIST BREADCRUMBS, in collaboration with Modernist Cuisine’s Modernist Bread book. He is also the new host of Burnt Toast, the Food52 podcast. He also started the Japanese-inspired event series called SUMO STEW, which live streams sumo matches from the grand tournaments in Japan while serving chankonabe, the stew they cook and eat to fortify themselves before wrestling. He lives in Brooklyn, NY, with his wine writing wife, and their cat #masontoday. (Brooklyn, NY)

Michael Rypka

Chef-Founder; Austin, TX

Michael Rypka, a graduate of Johnson & Wales University, has over 25 years of experience in the culinary industry ranging from hotels and fine dining to restaurants and catering. His role as executive chef at the World Bank in D.C. assimilated his skill and palate to many styles of cuisine around the world. After many years of culinary consultation and helping other businesses off of the ground, he founded Torchy’s Tacos in August 2006 in Austin, Texas. As the founder, Mike has facilitated every role in the company. He is currently the vice president of culinary and marketing and focuses on product concept and promotions, as well as strategic marketing plans for the business. In his spare time, Mike is fully dedicated to being a father to his young son, Michael.

Mike Lata

Chef-Partner; Charleston, SC

MIKE LATA is chef/partner of FIG Restaurant in Charleston, SC, which he opened in 2003 with Adam Nemirow. In December 2012, Mike and Nemirow opened The Ordinary, a classic oyster bar and seafood hall in Charleston’s Upper King district, to much local and national acclaim. The James Beard Foundation nominated The Ordinary as Best New Restaurant in 2013, and GQ, Esquire, and Bon Appétit also named it one of the best restaurants of the year. FIG was nominated for Outstanding Wine Program in 2014 by the James Beard Foundation. A native New Englander, Mike started his culinary career at an early age, working in kitchens in Boston, New Orleans, Atlanta, and France before landing in Charleston in 1998. Mike is a hands-on, self-taught chef who continues to delight making the most basic things delicious, creating food that is bright, uncomplicated and understated. His longstanding and outspoken commitment to support local farmers, fishermen and purveyors has cemented his position as a notable champion for Charleston’s flourishing culinary renaissance. Mike is an active member of the Southern Foodways Alliance, co-founder of the Charleston Slow Food convivium, and the Official Charleston Representative for the Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau. Nominated in 2007 and 2008 for the James Beard Foundation Award, Best Chef: Southeast, Mike took home the award in 2009. His food, philosophy, and contributions to the Charleston community have earned him recognition on national platform, including coverage in Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Esquire, Garden & Gun, Southern Living, Travel + Leisure, USA Today, The New York Times, and many more. Mike competed on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America and was featured on the same network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate. He was profiled on Dateline’s “Platelist,” which described Mike’s food as “so good it will buckle your knees.” FIG has been consistently voted Best Restaurant in Charleston by Charleston City Paper readers and continues to be a favorite local destination. When he’s not in the kitchen, Mike can be found hitting the links, riding his prized Ducati motorcycles, or enjoying life with his wife, Emilee, and their son, Henry.

Photo by Gately Williams.

Mitsuharu Tsumura

Chef-Owner; Lima, Peru

MITSUHARU TSUMURA—Micha, as everybody calls him—was born in Lima and since his childhood was very passionate about cooking. In September of 1998 he finished school and was admitted to Johnson & Wales University, from which he graduated with honors with an associate’s degree in culinary arts and bachelor’s degree in foodservice management. While studying, he trained in various hotels and restaurants in Rhode Island and did his internship in Swissotel Lima. He also worked to develop, along with the newspaper El Comercio, The Great Encyclopedia of Peruvian Cuisine. After graduating, he decides to go to Osaka (Japan) to specialize in Japanese cuisine, where he worked in restaurants such as Seto Sushi and Imo to Daikon, the first specialized in sushi and the second in Izakaya-style cuisine. After his experience in the demanding Japanese kitchens, he returned to Peru and worked for five years at the Sheraton Hotel in Lima, where he learned about Peruvian cuisine, then held the food and beverage manager position. His passion for Japanese and Peruvian cuisine led him to create Maido, a Japanese restaurant with Peruvian heart. At Maido, he works with his team investigating and creating new culinary trends where Japanese and Peruvian cuisines live in harmony giving birth to Nikkei cuisine. One year after opening Maido, Micha was recognized as the best chef of 2010 in the “Luces Awards” of El Comercio, one of the most important newspapers in Peru. In 2011, he was in charge of the content management of Mistura, the most important culinary event of Peru. During this year, he was one of the judges of the international TV franchise Master Chef produced in Peru and he was also one of the invited chefs to San Sebastian Gastronomika and Madrid Fusion. In 2014 he became part of Tiger’s Milk, a group of the best Peruvian chefs led by Gaston Acurio to show to the world the magic of the ceviche and the Peruvian chili. Maido ranks 44th on S. Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list and 5th on Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

Nate Weir

Director of Culinary Operations; Lafayette, CO

Nate Weir is the director of culinary operations for Modern Market. As a missionary kid born in Haiti, he grew up with a unique perspective on where food comes from and the effort it takes to prepare. While his U.S. friends ate fast food, Nate was raised on fried goat, grilled conch, fiery scotch bonnets, and breadfruit from his yard. His only exposure to processed food was the one box of Froot Loops his mom wrapped each Christmas. While completing a double business major, he served, bartended, cooked, trained, and managed his way through a variety of restaurant concepts. In 2008, Nate moved to Boulder, Colorado, and graduated with highest honors from the first ever farm-to-table centric culinary program at the Culinary School of the Rockies. After culinary school Nate worked in full service, ingredient-driven restaurants in Boulder, and was the sous chef at Salt Bistro, 5280 Magazine’s best new restaurant in 2009. He joined the Modern Market team in 2011 as its first chef and “corporate” employee. Through his five years growing the brand he has worn many hats, from purchasing and food cost to developing systems for training and operations.

Norman Brandt

Chef, Pikaia Lodge; Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Coming soon!

Pablo Salas

Chef, Amaranta; Toluca, Mexico

PABLO SALAS is the chef-owner of Amaranta.

Photo by Fernando Gomez Carbajal.

Pano I. Karatassos ‘96

Executive Chef; Atlanta, GA

PANO I. KARATASSOS ’96 is the executive chef of Kyma.

Paul Gebhardt

Senior Vice President of Design

Paul Gebhardt is the senior vice president of design for Oneida.

Pedro Miguel Schiaffino

Chef, Malabar; Lima, Peru

PEDRO MIGUEL SCHIAFFINO ‘97 is chef-owner of Malabar, one of Lima’s most cutting edge and innovative restaurants with native Peruvian ingredients. Pedro Miguel is a graduate of both The Culinary Institute of America and the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners, and has worked in Michelin starred restaurants in Italy. He is also the chef-owner of Amaz, an Amazonian cuisine restaurant, and Schiaffino Gastronomica Catering, and the chef advisor of Aqua Expedition cruises, in Iquitos, Peru. He is opening Eru, peruvian restaurant, at Patina Hotel in Singapore in 2016.

Philip Tessier

Head Coach, Culinary Director; Napa, CA

PHILIP TESSIER ‘99 has been honored with the role of head coach for Bocuse d’Or USA and is deeply involved in the training and development of the next generation of young chefs in America. He is currently working as the culinary director for a new branch of Hestan focused on a new way of cooking in the home. Philip is currently developing plans for a new Napa Valley restaurant with a focus on displaying the sights, sounds and techniques of the kitchen. He is planning to open the new establishment in spring/summer 2017 after the Bocuse d’Or Final in January 2017 has concluded. Before winning international acclaim, Philip excelled as the executive sous chef of The French Laundry for three years, overseeing the daily operations of the kitchen alongside the chef de cuisine. His legacy with the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group began over a decade ago in 2004 at Per Se, New York, where he started as poissonnier. Tessier’s constant demonstration of exceptional leadership and cooking abilities led to his selection as chef de cuisine of Bouchon in Yountville, California. At Bouchon, he ensured the Michelin-starred restaurant’s consistent performance and also channeled his energy and creativity into a series of special menus highlighting the diverse regional cuisines of France. After more than three years as Bouchon’s chef de cuisine, Philip was again tapped by Chef Keller to move into the position of executive sous chef at The French Laundry. Philip’s culinary career began at the Williamsburg Inn in Virginia, where he first gained an appreciation of kitchen logistics and management. To build on that experience, he enrolled in The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, and after receiving his degree in 1999, spent an additional year at the CIA as a postgraduate fellow in the Escoffier Room restaurant. A love of French cuisine led him to France, where he worked in the highly regarded kitchens at L’Essential and Le Moulin de Mougins. A rare exception in the strata of Michelin chefs, Philip also manages a busy and growing family. His lovely wife Rachel and their three children are the anchor of his successes and a constant source of support and encouragement.

Preeti Mistry

Chef-Owner; Oakland, CA

PREETI MISTRY is the chef-owner of Juhu Beach Club in Oakland, which she opened in March 2013 with her wife and business partner Ann Nadeau. Born in London and raised in the United States, Preeti earned a Grand Diploma in both Cuisine and Patisserie from Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School in London in 2002. She worked in critically-acclaimed fine-dining restaurants in the U.K. before returning to the U.S. in 2004, where she and Nadeau launched Saffron Hill, a boutique catering operation. From 2006 to 2010, Preeti was a staff chef for the food service company Bon Appétit Management Corporation. While at BAMCO, she held executive chef positions at Google HQ in Mountain View and at the de Young Museum and Legion of Honor in San Francisco. She was a contestant on Top Chef Season Six. Preeti and Juhu Beach Club have been featured in numerous publications, including Food & Wine, San Francisco Chronicle, Cherry Bombe, Wall Street Journal, SF Magazine, Sunset Magazine, Anthology, Vogue India, SF Eater, Time Out Mumbai, and Edible East Bay. When not running her restaurant, Preeti enjoys playing tennis, eating pizza and growing veggies in her sunny Oakland backyard.

Renée Erickson

Chef-Owner; Seattle, WA

One of the country’s most beloved chefs, RENEE ERICKSON is an author and James-Beard nominated chef/owner of several Seattle restaurants with her team at Sea Creatures. Renee’s food, casual style, and appreciation of simple beauty is an inspiration to her readers and eaters in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Her brand, Boat Street Pickles, can be found at better grocery stores across the North America and Asia. Renee is a Pacific Northwest native. Hailing from Woodinville, Washington, she graduated from the University of Washington with a BFA and lives in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood with her husband Dan, her dog Arlo, and her cat Lucca.

Rick Bayless

Chef-Owner, Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, Xoco, Leña Brava

Most people know RICK BAYLESS from winning the title of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, beating out the French and Italian with his authentic Mexican cuisine. His highly rated public television series, Mexico–One Plate at a Time, is in its ninth season and is broadcast coast to coast. In 2012, Rick was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Best Culinary Host. Rick has 12 cookbooks. His second book, Mexican Kitchen, won the Julia Child IACP cookbook of the year award in 1996, and his fourth book, Mexico–One Plate at a Time won James Beard Best International Cookbook of the Year award in 2001. Fiesta at Rick’s spent a number of weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. Rick’s side by side award-winning restaurants are in Chicago. The casual Frontera Grill was founded in 1987 and received the James Beard Foundation’s highest award, Outstanding Restaurant, in 2007. The 4-star Toplobampo served its first meals in 1991. And the wildly popular, LEED GOLD-certified, fast-casual Xoco has been around since 2009, serving wood-oven tortas, steaming caldos, golden churros and bean-to-cup Mexican hot chocolate. Rick’s quick-service Tortas Frontera have changed the face of food service at O’Hare International Airport, while Frontera Fresco has brought Frontera flavors to several Macy’s stores and Northwestern University. His award-winning Frontera line of salsas, cooking sauces and organic chips can be found coast to coast. Rick and his staff established the Frontera Farmer Foundation in 2003 to support small Midwestern farms. Each year, grants are awarded to farmers for capital improvements to their family farms, encouraging greater production and profitability. To date, the Foundation has awarded 128 grants totaling over $1.3 million. In 2007, Rick and his team launched the Frontera Scholarship, a full tuition scholarship that sends a Mexican-American Chicago Public School student to Kendall College to study culinary arts. In 2007 Rick was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals for his many philanthropic endeavors. Rick has received a great number of James Beard Award nominations in many categories, and he has won seven: Midwest Chef of the Year, National Chef of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year, Who’s Who of American Food and Drink, Best Podcast, plus two for his cookbooks. The Government of Mexico has bestowed on Rick the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle–the highest decoration bestowed on foreigners whose work has benefitted Mexico and its people. Recently, Rick finished up a sold-out 5-week run on stage at Lookingglass Theatre, where he created Cascabel–offering theater goers the story of a meal, told through flavor, memory, song, dance and amazing physical feats.

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.

Roxanne Webber

Vice President of Media

Roxanne Webber heads up the media division at ChefsFeed, where she is responsible for overseeing all aspects of its digital content strategy and production. Her approach to the new media landscape is unapologetically holistic, leveraging all platforms and skill sets at her disposal to best tell unique stories. She is a believer in the power of strong reportage, and conducts her team accordingly; as a seasoned video producer, she excels in the art of documentary narratives.

Sam Levy

Bar Manager; St. Helena, CA

SAM LEVY joined The Restaurant at Meadowood in 2011 and currently oversees the extensive bar program of over 200 selections. Responsible for all purchasing, Sam focuses on continuous growth of the program, building list depth and versatility. For his cocktail list, Sam chooses to let local fresh ingredients influence the cocktails. He uses seasonal fruit and plants growing throughout Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Unique ingredient combinations and sensitivity to balance are especially important to Sam, and are key to his work. Entrusted with staff education, Sam holds regular seminars to not only promote awareness, but also to expand and elevate the knowledge level of the team. Prior, Sam was the head bartender at Barndiva, where he was responsible for comprehensive management of the bar, development of new offerings, purchasing, and staff training. Samuel received his bachelor of arts degree in psychology from University of California in Santa Cruz in 2002.

Sam Oches

Editorial Director

Sam Oches is the editorial director of Food News Media—publisher of QSR and FSR magazines—and editor of QSR. As an expert in foodservice trends, his insights have been shared in national media outlets such as the New York Times, USA Today, National Public Radio, and CNBC. A graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, Sam previously served as editor in chief of Southeast Ohio magazine and as managing editor of QSR. He is a past president of the International Foodservice Editorial Council (IFEC) and serves as a board member with the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE). He lives in Durham, North Carolina, with his wife and daughter.

Samantha Carroll

Chef-Owner; New Orleans, LA

Born and raised in the small farmers town of Batchelor, Louisiana, CODY CARROLL was always making time to be in the kitchen. His passion for cooking stood out at a young age, while preparing Louisiana game, waterfowl, and fish at his family’s hunting and fishing camps. It was here where his cooking talents really started to flourish. At the age of 18, Cody left the farm to attend Louisiana State University. He graduated from LSU in 2007 with his degree in business; he then enrolled at the Louisiana Culinary Institute to acquire his degree in culinary arts. It was here that he met his future wife and business partner, SAMANTHA CARROLL. They both graduated culinary school in January 2010 and just three months later, turned a former drive-thru convenience store in New Roads into a rustic South Louisiana style restaurant. Opening their first restaurant at the early age of 25 and 19, Hot Tails Restaurant focuses on a mix of Cajun and Creole cuisine with a new interpretation. Their dishes have been referred to as “hardcore South Louisiana.” In 2013 Cody and Samantha competed in the Louisiana Seafood Cook-off, thus winning and earning the crowning title of King and Queen of Louisiana Seafood. After winning the crown they set sights on opening a second restaurant. In March 2015, Cody and Samantha opened their second restaurant, Sac-a-lait, in an old Cotton Mill in the Warehouse District of New Orleans. Sac-a-lait Restaurant focuses on deriving inspiration from hunting, farming, and fishing in South Louisiana. Bringing in fresh ingredients daily from all local Louisiana sources and boasting a menu that includes alligator, turtle, venison, quail and fresh Louisiana fish. Just nine months after opening, Sac-a-lait was named Restaurant of the Year by New Orleans Magazine. Cody and Samantha with their extensive background in true Louisiana flavors makes Hot Tails and Sac-a-lait a very unique dining experience.

Sara Deseran

Journalist and Co-Owner

Sara Deseran is a longtime San Francisco-based food writer who, in 2010, opened the popular SF-based restaurant Tacolicious lead by her husband and founder Joe Hargrave. Today, Sara wears two hats: She works as the director of marketing and branding for the growing Tacolicious restaurant group, which now has four locations as well as a new cantina called Bar San Pancho. She also functions as the editor-at-large for San Francisco magazine. Sara has also contributed to publications such as Saveur, Women’s Health, and C magazine and published four cookbooks, most recently Tacolicious (Ten Speed Press).

Sarah Rich

Co-Chef-Owner; San Francisco, CA

For SARAH RICH, who grew up in Texas, cooking began as a family affair. On weeknights (when her mother made dinner) and on weekends (when the kitchen fell under her father’s jurisdiction), Sarah and her siblings were each given a preparatory task. One thing in particular defines one of Sarah’s earliest culinary memories: her adoration of Julia Child. She recalls pretending to be Child while making a milkshake, walking her audience of siblings through the process, step-by-Child-accented-step. Despite her early appreciation for the kitchen, it didn’t occur to Sarah that a career as a chef could be an option. Only after she graduated from the University of Texas at Austin did the notion began to flicker, when Sarah happened upon the website for the French Culinary Institute. The light went on for good—she packed her bags and left the South for New York City. After graduating from FCI in 2000, Sarah went directly to Bouley, where she had externed during her studies. Working first under Galen Zamarra, then Shea Gallante, then Cesar Ramirez, Sarah eventually rose through the ranks to chef de partie. Closing her chapter with Bouley, Sarah then joined the opening team at Mas (farmhouse), again under executive chef Galen Zamarra. Working closely with Zamarra, Sarah cooked for the acclaimed West Village restaurant for three and a half years. In 2007, Sarah and her husband Evan (a fellow chef she’d met during her tenure at Bouley) were ready for a change. They set out on a West Coast scouting expedition from Los Angeles to Seattle, encountering the culinary sights and deciding where to settle. After choosing San Francisco, Sarah soon acquired a position as sous chef at Michael Mina, working closely with Mina himself and chef de cuisine Chris L’Hommedieu. Sarah then took a station at Coi, rounding out her skills both on the hot line and with pastry chef Bill Corbett. Sarah opened Rich Table in July 2012 and it is her first venture as joint restaurant owner and co-executive chef with her husband, Evan Rich.

Sarah Simmons

CEO, CITY GRIT Hospitality Group

Named one of the 50 best chefs in New York City in 2014 by Food & Wine, SARAH SIMMONS is the CEO of CITY GRIT Hospitality Group, the founder of CITY GRIT Culinary Salon, and executive chef/owner of Birds & Bubbles, a full-service restaurant in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. In 2010, she was named “America’s Home Cook Superstar” by Food & Wine as part of its search for the nation’s best home cook. This recognition inspired her to leave the corporate world to pursue cooking full-time and focus on bringing the CITY GRIT concept to market. Since opening CITY GRIT in September 2011, Sarah has been recognized as an influencer and tastemaker in the industry and acknowledged for both her culinary and business talent. In 2012, she was once again recognized by Food & Wine as one of “America’s Best New Cooks” alongside nine other chefs including Mike Solomonov and Alex Stupak. In 2013, she was recognized by the Charleston Wine + Food Festival as a “New & Notable” chef, and was named one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company, which called her “the chef cooking up the most exciting dining experience in New York.” CITY GRIT continues to be recognized as “One of the Most Innovative Restaurants in the Country” (Zagat in 2014) and Sarah’s first full-service concept, Birds & Bubbles, opened in 2014, earning her numerous accolades including three stars from Time Out NY and two stars from Adam Platt, New York’s extremely discerning food critic, and recognition by the New York City Michelin Dining Guide. In 2015 she opened Rise Gourmet Goods & Bakeshop, her first counter-service concept in her hometown of Columbia, SC, earning “Best New Restaurant” by the readers of The Free Times. In 2017, Sarah relocated the CGHG companies to Columbia, SC to focus on economic development, workforce training, and community growth in the city. She currently serves on the city’s Food Policy Council and is on officer on the Board of Directors for the City Foods Cooperative Marketplace. In addition to running CGHG, Sarah is a member of the Williams-Sonoma Chef Collective, is frequently featured at food festivals and events across the country and is a recurring guest judge on Food Network competitive cooking show, Beat Bobby Flay.


Sergio Andreu

Chef, La Pepita; Barcelona, Spain

SERGIO ANDREU was born and raised in Alicante, Spain and studied and worked as an industrial designer before dropping out, deciding to turn up his life and dedicating himself professionally to cooking. He studied cooking and pastry at the remarkable Hofmann cooking school in Barcelona, then he moved to Paris to work with Alberto Herráiz at Fogón Restaurant. In 2010, he went back to Barcelona and together with his wife, Sofia Boixet, opened La Pepita, a modern and innovative tapas restaurant that leads them to quickly become a gastronomic reference in Barcelona. In late 2014, they opened their second restaurant, La Cava. (Barcelona, Spain)

Sergio Remolina

Director of Latin Studies; San Antonio, TX

SERGIO REMOLINA is the director of Latin studies at The Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio. Between 2008 and 2013, he was assistant professor at the CIA’s Hyde Park campus and the opening chef of the Bocuse Restaurant there. He received a degree in hotel and restaurant administration from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and a diploma in cuisine and pâtisserie from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. His extensive career includes working for a number of top restaurants in Paris and Mexico City being one of the founders of the Diplomado (graduate level degree program) on Mexican cuisine at Centro Culinario Ambrosía in Mexico City, where he was also sub-director. Sergio dedicates part of his time to the study of Mexican cookery and also hosted his own show on Canal Gourmet, the most important food channel in Latin America.

Shari Bayer

Host and Producer

Shari Bayer is the founder and president of Bayer Public Relations, a full-service public relations, consulting and marketing agency established in 2003 in New York City that specializes in culinary and hospitality. She is also the host and producer of All in the Industry on Heritage Radio Network, a weekly internet-based radio show/podcast dedicated to the behind-the-scenes talents in the hospitality industry. Her past guests have included Danny Meyer, Michel Nishan, Tom Colicchio, Rita Jammet, Adam Sachs, Paul Liebrandt, Ben Leventhal, and Steve Cuozzo. A native of Miami, Florida, Shari earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational studies from The University of Michigan, and a culinary certificate from the Cooking Academy of Chicago. Shari is a past-president of the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance and a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier NY, the James Beard Foundation, Journee, and Toklas Society. She is recognized on Total Food Service’s 2017 Top Women in Metro NY Foodservice & Hospitality list, and is a contributing writer for Fathom, Forbes, Tasting Table, and Thrillist. Shari is also a fearless solo diner and traveler.

Stefano Masanti

Chef, Il Cantinone

STEFANO MASANTI is a Michelin-star chef and is the founder and visionary of one of northern Italy’s most beloved restaurants, Il Cantinone, in the mountains north of Milan near the Swiss border. He also spends seven months of the year working as the event chef for V. Sattui Winery in the Napa Valley. Born in Milan in 1970, Stefano grew up in the Lombardian resort town of Madesimo, where he recalls his first day in the kitchen, at just 5 years old, helping his grandfather churn vanilla ice cream for the family business, Hotel Andossi. He received his bachelor’s degree in hospitality at the Hotel Institute Crotto Caurga Chiavenna, followed by three years at the University of Milan, where he majored in public relations. Additional professional development includes time in France’s Ecole Lenotre, Alain Ducasse’s culinary school, Ducasse Education, and the culinary institute in Brescia, Italy. Stefano has participated in countless conventions throughout Europe and has appeared as guest chef for a variety of events and culinary programs around the world, including those in Madrid and San Sebastian, Spain; Milan, Italy; and New York and California. He has helped launch a number of restaurants and hotels in Poland, Germany, Hong Kong, Swiss and Italy; and for years he successfully managed Il Cantinone, the highly acclaimed, Michelin-star restaurant adjacent to his family’s hotel in Madesimo. An accomplished master of charcuterie, Stefano was named “Craftsman of the Year” in all of Italy by the 2009 Identità Golose for best Valchiavenna bresaola. Il Cantinone was named restaurant of the Year in all of Italy for the use of local food by il Gambero rosso Guide. Stefano has twice appeared as a guest chef for V. Sattui Winery’s annual Harvest Ball since 2009, and joined V. Sattui’s most loyal club members on an Italian cruise in 2015, where he hosted two cooking schools aboard the ship.

Stephen Durfee

Professor; St. Helena, CA

STEPHEN L. DURFEE, CEPC, CHE is a professor of pastry arts at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, where he oversees the bachelor’s concentration: advanced concepts in baking and pastry and teaches courses in pastry concepts and design, chocolate and confectionery and modern entremets, pastries, and petit fours. He has been a member of the CIA faculty since November 2000. Formerly the executive pastry chef of The French Laundry in Yountville, California, he won the 1998 James Beard Foundation’s Award for Pastry Chef of the Year and was named one of the 10 Best Pastry Chefs in America in 1999 by Pastry Art & Design and Chocolatier. Stephen’s recipes regularly appear in cookbooks and magazines and he has written numerous articles for Baking and Pastry. His six-part video series, The Everyday Gourmet: Baking Pastries and Desserts, was commissioned by The Teaching Company and featured in their series, The Great Courses. Stephen has participated in multiple individual and team pastry competitions and has earned top honors in dessert tastings and chocolate centerpieces. He was awarded a bronze medal in the 2007 National Pastry Team Championships and a bronze medal for the 2010 World Chocolate Masters National Selection. In 2012, he was selected to join Pastry Team USA, to compete in the prestigious Coupe de Monde de la Patisserie in Lyon, France. As chocolatier and plated dessert specialist, he helped guide the team to a fourth place finish in the 2013 Pastry World Championships.

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.

Tanya Holland

Chef-Owner; Oakland, CA

TANYA HOLLAND is the executive chef and owner of Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland, CA, featuring her inventive takes on modern soul food, Southern, and barbecue. The author of New Soul Cooking: Updating a Cuisine Rich in Flavor and Tradition (Stewart, Tabori, and Chang 2003) and Brown Sugar Kitchen Cookbook (Chronicle Books 2014), Tanya is known for her role as a host and expert on soul food for the Melting Pot series on The Food Network and The Cooking Channel. She is regularly featured on The Today Show, and has made guest appearances on The Talk, The Chew, Sarah Moulton’s Cooking Live, The Wayne Brady Show, G. Garvin’s Road Tour, VH1’s Soul Cities, and more. Tanya is currently a featured judge on TV One’s My Momma Throws Down. She received her formal French training from La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Burgundy, France, receiving a Grand Diplôme. Tanya has contributed to The Huffington Post, Food & Wine, Signature Bride, and Wine Enthusiast, and has been featured in articles in O Magazine, Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure, Sunset, The Wall Street Journal, and numerous other publications. Tanya is a regular instructor at Rancho La Puerta Spa in Tecate, Mexico (rated #1 spa in the world by Travel & Leisure). She is co-president of the San Francisco chapter of the prestigious Les Dames d’Escoffier. The City of Oakland declared June 5th, 2012 as Tanya Holland Day for her “Significant Role in Creating Community and Establishing Oakland as a Culinary Center.” Tanya was awarded 2013 California Chef of the Year by the California Travel Association.

Tim Rattray

Chef-Owner; San Antonio, TX

TIM RATTRAY is the executive chef and co-owner, along with his brother Alex (brewmaster), at The Granary ‘Cue & Brew in San Antonio, TX. Having opened in winter of 2012, The Granary explores the world of smoke, fire, and craft beer.

Tim Reardon ‘02

Executive Chef

Timothy Reardon ’02 is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and has over 20 years of experience in the food service industry. After graduating from culinary school, Tim moved to New York City to work for renowned French Chef Daniel Boulud, spending time first at Café Boulud and then at Restaurant Daniel. Tim has since earned two stars from the New York Times as the chef de cuisine of Nice Matin and has held the positions of executive chef for Michelin-starred Willow Hotels and executive chef at Barbounia Mediterranean Bistro on Park Avenue. Tim also worked with Chef Joel Robuchon at L’Atelier in the Four Seasons Hotel, learning Chef Robuchon’s Japanese inspired ultra-modern methods and techniques. Tim has received critical acclaim for his brand of French-Mediterranean cuisine with accents of Asia and the Middle East. He has published recipes and been featured in numerous publications such as The New York Times, Food and Wine, Food Arts, Time Out, The Village Voice, and New York Magazine. Currently, Tim is the executive chef for Chobani, the #1 Greek yogurt in the country. Working out of Chobani’s new state of the art kitchen in Charlotte, NC, Tim creates new and innovative culinary applications for Greek yogurt.

Tony Cha

Co-Founder and Vice President of Customer Relations

TONY CHA is a co-founder and runs sales at Binwise, Inc., a cloud based beverage-management company. Prior to this, he was most recently head sommelier at Michael Mina for about 6 years. Tony also spent time at Slanted Door as head sommelier. In 2001, Tony worked at Rubicon under Master Sommelier, Larry Stone, as well as spending time in Telluride, Colorado as manager/wine-buyer at 9545 and the Peaks Resorts and Spa. Tony holds a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management from Penn State University, has an advanced sommelier certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers and was recognized by Wine & Spirits Magazine as “Best New Sommelier” in 2006.

Tony Maws

Chef-Owner; Cambridge, MA

TONY MAWS is the award-winning chef who operates two of greater Boston’s culinary gems: Craigie on Main in Cambridge, MA and The Kirkland Tap & Trotter in Somerville, MA. Over the past decade, Tony has received local and national accolades, including a James Beard Award for Best Chef: Northeast 2011; Boston’s Best Chef 2010, 2008, 2006, and 2003 by Boston Magazine; and Food & Wine’s 2005 Best New Chefs. The food at Craigie is defined by his trademark style of fine dining: French-inspired “refined rusticity.” At Kirkland, Tony serves the comfort food he wants to eat on his day off—the kind he would cook at home for friends and family—centered around a wood-fire grill, and complemented by a killer beer selection.

Trevor Kunk ‘03

Chef, Press; St. Helena, CA

Executive chef TREVOR KUNK ’03 comes to PRESS from the East Coast, where he spent the previous seven years as chef de cuisine at Blue Hill New York, winner of 2013’s James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant. Trevor aims to further refine the farm-driven steakhouse with an increased focus on local, sustainable produce, humanely raised meats, and responsibly sourced seafood. After graduating with an AOS in culinary arts from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park in 2003, Trevor went on to expand his culinary and pastry education at Charlie Palmer’s Aureole. In 2004, he transitioned to Blue Hill, working his way up from cook to sous chef and then finally on to chef de cuisine, a position he held from 2007 to 2014. Trevor’s move to Napa Valley in spring 2014, prompted in part by a desire for a friendlier year-round climate, was excellent timing for PRESS. The restaurant was in need of a chef to take full advantage of the agricultural bounty of Rudd Farms and the Chef’s Garden at Edge Hill, two Napa Valley farms that exist exclusively to support PRESS, Oakville Grocery, and Dean & Deluca, and given his extensive experience and wealth of knowledge, Trevor was a natural fit. His commitment to the sustainable food movement and land stewardship is apparent in his encouragement of the entire kitchen staff to spend real time in the fields and cultivate individual relationships with the farmers.

Tuffy Stone

Chef-Owner, Q Barbecue

TUFFY STONE is a classically trained French chef, television personality and accomplished pitmaster who just so happens to be the most successful guy on the competitive barbecue circuit over the last few years. He has been a judge and host on the Destination America reality television show BBQ Pitmasters since 2009. Tuffy is the head cook on the team “Cool Smoke”, and co-owns four Q Barbeque restaurants in Richmond, Va. He recently opened a fifth restaurant, Rancho T, in April 2015. He has earned Grand Champion titles in nearly every major barbecue competition on the circuit—in 2013 Tuffy took home two World Champion titles while only cooking eight contests and he followed up in 2014 with another World Championship title, winning the American Royal Open. That year he also won 1st Runner Up at the Houston Live Stock and Rodeo World Championship, and took 2nd place in ribs at Memphis in May. Tuffy has won contests all over the country, including back to back wins at the American Royal World Series of Barbecue, Grand Champion at the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational in 2013 and 2015, and First Place in Whole Shoulder at the 2010 Memphis in May World Championship to name a few. In 2015 Tuffy took home the top prize in competition barbecue, winning Grand Champion at theKingsford Invitational.