Sundy House, Delray Beach
It’s not every day you get to see and taste the talents of a chef like Lindsay Autry. Her reputation has garnered respect from some of the greatest chefs in America.
Lindsay has held various chef positions on the East Coast as well as three years in Mexico. Her cuisine embraces Mediterranean flavors while blending in her southern roots.
A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Lindsay is a native of North Carolina, but currently resides in West Palm Beach, Florida, where she most recently was the executive chef of a Michelle Bernstein restaurant & a finalist on Bravo’s Top Chef Texas.lindsayautryShare Our StrengthChef
Bullfrog & Baum, NY
Jennifer Baum is the president and founder of Bullfrog & Baum, an award-winning, nationally-recognized agency specializing in hospitality, lifestyle and consumer public relations and brand management with offices in NYC and LA. Under her guidance the agency has had a hand in turning chefs like Laurent Tourondel and Michael Psilakis into internationally-recognized brands while strategizing for well known culinary luminaries like Bobby Flay and Wolfgang Puck. Beyond chefs and restaurants, the agency’s consumer products and lifestyle divisions do as much to keep established brands and products top of mind as they do to bring “the next best thing” to the marketplace and into the homes of consumers.
Baum began her career far from the restaurant world, cutting her teeth amid blue chips and the Fortune 500. Following undergraduate work at Union College, she received her MBA from New York University, and became enamored by the business of hospitality. Combining her corporate savvy with a keen eye to make a restaurant successful, she carved out a niche for herself by building an agency that not only launches restaurants, but brings strategy to the diverse array of needs that figure in their success. She is known and respected in the industry as a creative, energetic thinker who values honesty and integrity above all else. These principles and beliefs are imparted daily to her staff, which now numbers over 30.
During the last twelve years at the helm of Bullfrog & Baum, she has played an integral part in the changing landscape of hospitality public relations. Baum possesses an innate understanding of the role media plays in building a successful brand and has worked closely with journalists, clients and employees alike to address the constantly evolving demands of the hospitality industry. She continues to take an active role in mentoring her staff as well as women looking to break into the profession by identifying their unique talents and skill set and fostering their growth.
Baum is a member of Women Chefs & Restaurateurs, Les Dames d’Escoffier, City Harvest Food Council, International Association of Culinary Professionals, The James Beard Foundation, International Foodservice Editorial Council, and actively participates in City Meals on Wheels programs. In addition, she has been an Adjunct Professor and guest lecturer at New York University’s Department of Nutrition and Food Studies and is a guest lecturer at The Institute of Culinary Education. She has been featured and/or quoted in The New York Times, The New York Post, Forbes, PR Week, NY Restaurant Insider, WOR Radio and CNBC among others.https://twitter.com/BullfrogAndBaum
Piyarat Potha Arreeratn, known to most simply as Chef Bee, was born in the small town of Ban Sankhohiang, located in the Chiang Rai province in Northern Thailand, bordering Laos and Myanmar. Born to farmers, he developed an appreciation for culinary early on from his mother who taught him everything from growing his own food, the different techniques of preserving and preparing food, as well as the vast array of flavors within the Northern Thai culture. Chef Bee spent his childhood summers at his grandparents’ home in the nearby village of Ban San Macade, where under his entrepreneurial grandmother’s guidance he also learned the art of making “Jin Som” (marinated pork), “Kab Muu” (crispy pork rinds) and “Rang Nok” (sweet caramel shredded taro) – Thai street food that she traded and sold at the local village market.
At the age of 18, prior to having earned his Chef title, Bee came to America from Thailand to study at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. After completing his education, Bee moved to Miami where he pursued his passion for cooking. Having no formal experience, he worked his way up the ladder, getting his start in the restaurant industry as a dishwasher, a busboy, and a foodrunner at several Miami area restaurants before landing a sous chef position at Nobu, the Miami outpost of famed Chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa inside the Shore Club. While training under the tutelage of some of the country’s finest chefs, it was here that he truly learned what it took to run kitchen and maintain the highest standards.
Following Nobu, Bee went on to work under Chef Kevin Cory at Siam River before opening his own restaurant, Oishi Thai, in 2005 on Miami’s Biscayne Boulevard. Oishi which means “delicious,” quickly became a favorite of diners and critics alike including being named to the Miami New Times “Best of Miami” list in its first year, CitySearch’s Best Miami Thai Food, garnering a number one rating in Zagat Guide and three and a half stars from the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
Currently Chef Bee is taking on a new challenge that may be more appropriately dubbed a homecoming. He has come full circle and decided to return to his roots to create the Asian fare of his youth at Khong River, the new concept from 50 Eggs, the creative team behind South Beach’s Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, with an opening slated for Fall 2012.Executive Chef
Addison Reserve Country Club, Boca Raton
An early fascination with the kitchen dates back to the fourth grade when his family’s relocation meant several months residing at a hotel. He was captivated with the workings of the hotel kitchen, which became his after school playground. As a teenager Zach went to work at a small local restaurant, earning his stripes first as a dishwasher, then working his way up the ladder in the kitchen, developing a work ethic that would serve him well in the future. After a stint in one of the largest hotels in Orlando and culinary school, he fell into a French kitchen in Miami that would lead him to New York City and the heralded Le Cirque. Zach followed Andrew Carmellini to work with Daniel Boulud at the newly opened Café Boulud New York. In 2003, Daniel tapped Zach to open his first restaurant outside of New York City; Café Boulud Palm Beach. In July of 2011, after 13 years with Daniel Boulud, Zach felt ready for a fresh new challenge and became the Executive Chef of Addison Reserve Country Club.
Addison Reserve has one of the brightest CEOs in the club business and was ranked 8th in the nation as a Platinum Club of America Residential Country Club. The clubhouse underwent a $20 million renovation and needed a new chef to bring the level of the kitchen up to match the stunning new facilities. Zach had no real knowledge of the club business, but was up to a new exciting challenge. He had the opportunity to rebuild the kitchen team’s philosophy, focus and technique from the ground up. Addison Reserve has since been elevated to the 4th best residential club in the nation!
Zach perceives cooking as a craft melding technical skill with a love of food and a respect for process. No short cuts! The wonderful bounty of Florida and the Southeast drive his cuisine, guided by years of practicing the best of French technique. Zach is thrilled to work with as many local farmers and fisherman as possible as well as being able to source the finest ingredients around the world. This philosophy, along with his team building skills and detail orientated work ethic have earned Zach four consecutive trips to New York as a finalist for Best Chef : South at the James Beard Awards.
Zach has become a dedicated member of the Palm Beach County philanthropic community spearheading many culinary events for Feeding South Florida, The March of Dimes, The Boy’s and Girl’s Club, Quantum House. In 2010, Share our Strength recognized Zach with a National Community Leadership Award for his work with the No Kid hungry campaign. His work with No Kid Hungry has taken him to Capitol Hill lobbying for Child Nutrition and to the Republican National Convention introducing delegates to the problems America’s children face. Zach continues his work with Share our Strength as Chair of the Palm Beach Taste of the Nation event.
Share Our StrengthExecutive Chef
Vetri Restaurant, Philadelphia
In 1998, Jeff Benjamin joined Marc Vetri as General Manager and then, two years later, as partner at the small, intimate Vetri restaurant in Philadelphia. In those two years, Jeff’s impeccable standards of quality and service helped to transform Vetri into what the Philadelphia Inquirer calls “a sublime dining experience.” Jeff and his small team of efficient servers now orchestrate outstanding meals with an individual consideration that would be impossible in larger restaurants. Jeff has also expanded Vetri’s wine cellar from a 60-bottle starter list to its current stable of more than 500 labels and 5,000 bottles.
Jeff has worked to expand the Vetri experience into a larger concept with the 2006 opening of Osteria, in 2010 with Amis, and with the forthcoming gastropub. Even with the growth of the company, Jeff remains an active partner in front of house operations and on the floor, ensuring the signature Vetri experience is upheld.
Jeff’s thorough attention to detail demands all service standards are met and remain intact. He is fully committed to keeping the essence of the fine-dining experience, and that his individual consideration and high standards always met beyond expectation.
Over the years, Jeff has been dedicated to numerous philanthropic causes. He is committed to nonprofit organizations such as Little Smiles, Achieve-Ability, and serving on the Board of Trustees for the Community Partnership School.
In 2005, Jeff, along with business partner Marc Vetri, were so inspired after meeting Liz and Jay Scott, parents and founders of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF,) that they created The Great Chef’s Event to benefit ALSF. Chefs around the country rallied behind them producing a fundraising event that featured wonderful food along with raising awareness for childhood cancers. Jeff is also the current Board Secretary of ALSF.
Wanting to do more, Jeff and Marc created the Vetri Foundation For Children in July 2008. In addition to continuing the support of the other worthwhile charities, the Foundation focuses on the childhood obesity crisis and promoting healthy eating and lifestyle choices, and having an impact on their overall health and wellness.
In the summer of 2010, the first effort in support of this mission was transforming the dining experience at ESF Dream Camp, a five-week day program for at-risk children in Philadelphia. The children were introduced to variety of foods that were visually appealing and nutritionally sound. Special emphasis was placed on social interaction and communication, which was done by conducting all meals in an interactive family style manner. With the success of this program, plans are currently underway to implement similar programs in local schools.Vetri Foundation for ChildrenSommelier/Partner
PB Catch, Palm Beach
The integrity of local food is in Aaron Black’s genes and the food business is in his blood. Born and raised in the farmlands of Ohio, his family owned the local meat packing plant and as well as the local creamery, selling ice cream to its enthusiastic neighbors. This upbringing had a major impact on his life, eventually leading him to pursue a degree from the Florida Culinary Institute. Upon graduation, Black traveled across the country to further his education in as many different culinary styles as possible. First was the Austrian fine dining establishments Sai-Sommet and La Pasch in Park City, Utah, where Black learned the finer points of European cuisine under esteemed chef James Dumas. He then moved across town to Goldener Hirsch for tutelage in chef Zane Holmquist’s contemporary twists on traditional American fare.
Armed with an eclectic knowledge of diverse culinary styles, Black returned to Florida and accepted the position as sous chef at local favorite Guppy’s on scenic Indian Rocks Beach, Florida, just outside of Tampa. It was here, under chef Scott Bebel that Black fell in love with the clean flavor and versatility of local Florida seafood, a love he prominently displays at PB Catch.
After a successful five year run at Guppy’s, Black switched coasts and brought his expertise to Pistache French Bistro where, working alongside executive chef and partner Julien Gremaud, he became known for his meticulous attention to detail as well as his innovative take on French cuisine. When restaurateur Thierry Beaud and Gremaud were ready to launch PB Catch, Black was the obvious choice for chef de cuisine and he accepted the position with enthusiasm. And now with a menu that changes daily, Aaron Black brings full circle to PB Catch both his love of local Florida seafood and his penchant for variety and creative collaboration.Chef de Cuisine
Café Boulud, Palm Beach
Daniel Boulud, a native of Lyon, France, is today considered one of America’s leading culinary authorities and one of the most revered French chefs in New York, the city he has called home since 1982. Daniel is chef-owner of db Bistro Moderne, DBGB Kitchen and Bar, Bar Boulud, Café Boulud, Boulud Sud and Épicerie Boulud. In all his restaurants you’ll find the warm welcome the chef is renowned for, combined with traces of the soulfully satisfying traditional cooking he grew up with on his family’s Rhone Valley farm. Yet Daniel Boulud is best known for New York’s exquisitely refined DANIEL, the three Michelin star Relais & Châteaux restaurant. You’ll also discover the chef’s ingredient driven seasonal French-American cooking in Miami and Palm Beach, FL and internationally in London, Singapore and Beijing. His new restaurants opening in Canada include: Maison Boulud in Montreal’s Ritz-Carlton (May 2012) and Café Boulud in Toronto’s Four Seasons (October 2012). Boulud is the recipient of three James Beard Foundation awards, including Outstanding Chef and Outstanding Restaurateur and was named a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the French government, as well as Chef of the Year 2011 by The Culinary Institute of America. He is the author of seven cookbooks and the creator and host of the television series, After Hours with Daniel. Boulud is a generous and energetic supporter of Citymeals-on-Wheels, serving on their board of directors since 2000 and is also co-founder and Chairman of the Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation.danielbouludBocuse d'Or USA FoundationChef/Owner
David Burke Townhouse, New York
Blurring the lines between chef, artist, entrepreneur and inventor, David Burke is one of the leading pioneers in American cooking today. His fascination with ingredients and the art of the meal has fueled a thirty-year career marked by creativity, critical acclaim and the introduction of revolutionary products and cooking techniques. His passion for food and the restaurant industry shows no signs of slowing down.
Burke’s mastery of French culinary technique was confirmed when, at age 26, he won France’s coveted Meilleurs Ouvriers de France Diplome d’Honneur for unparalleled skill and creativity with his native cuisine. Burke was inducted into the “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America” by the James Beard Foundation for his years of achievement in the industry, and has been honored with Japan’s Nippon Award of Excellence, two Robert Mondavi Awards of Excellence and the CIA’s August Escoffier Award. He was the 165th Distinguished Visiting Chef at Johnson & Wales University, where he shared his experience and culinary tips with the school’s budding young chefs. The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences gave him the 5-Diamond Award of Excellence in 1998. Burke has also won the distinctive Menu Masters award from Nation’s Restaurant News, the same publication that named him one of the 50 Top R&B Culinarians in America, and Chefs in America named him “Chef of the Year” in 1991. Time Out New York honored him as the “Best Culinary Prankster” of 2003, and Star Chefs, the magazine for culinary insiders, awarded Chef Burke with the “Contribution to American Cuisine Award” at the 2009 Star Chefs Congress.
Burke trained at the Culinary Institute of America, and soon thereafter, he traveled to France where he staged with notable chefs such as Pierre Troisgros, Georges Blanc and Gaston Lenotre. Burke returned to the U.S. as a sous chef for Waldy Malouf at Le Cremaillere and then for Charlie Palmer at River Café where his innovative fare helped him ascend to Executive Chef and earned three stars from The New York Times. In 1992, Burke opened the Park Avenue Café with Smith & Wollensky CEO Alan Stillman, and then, in 1996, he became Vice President of Culinary Development for the Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group.
In 2003, Burke opened davidburke & Donatella, now known as David Burke Townhouse, on New York’s Upper East Side, followed by David Burke at Bloomingdale’s, a dual concept restaurant offering both a full service “Burke Bar Café” and a “Burke in the Box” take-out and eat-in concept, which he expanded to Las Vegas’ McCarran Airport in November 2008. Burke also opened David Burke’s Primehouse in The James Chicago Hotel and purchased Fromagerie, a fine dining restaurant in Rumson, New Jersey, where his culinary career began under founders Markus and Hubert Peter. David Burke Prime opened at Foxwoods Casino & Resort in July 2008 and Fishtail by David Burke, opened in December 2008 in New York. In February 2011, he opened David Burke Kitchen in The James New York in SoHo, bringing his signature whimsical style to downtown New York.
Burke is actively involved with culinology, an approach to food that blends the culinary arts and food technology. During his tenure at the River Café, he began experimenting with interesting ingredients and cooking techniques. His first culinary innovations, Pastrami Salmon™ (now available through Perona Farms), flavored oils and ready-to-serve cocktail GourmetPops™, revolutionized gastronomic technique, while his Flavor-Transfer Spice Sheets and Flavorsprays—named one of the Most Amazing Inventions of 2005 by Time magazine—were designed to eliminate fat while keeping the flavor. His can o’ cake concept, where cake is mixed, baked and eaten from a portable tin, is used for molten chocolate cake, monkey bread and pancakes throughout his restaurants. Most recently, he teamed with 12NtM to create two non-alcoholic sparkling beverages, available in gourmet retailers and at his New York locations.
Burke supports numerous charities and community groups, including the American Cancer Society, City Harvest, City Meals on Wheels, March of Dimes, the Charles Lafitte Foundation and the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, based in his native state of New Jersey. He has also made donations to the Culinary Institute of America and Johnson & Wales University for scholarships, and has served as a board member of Share our Strength and is currently on the board of Table to Table, a food rescue program in northern New Jersey.
Cooking with David Burke was published in 1995, and Burke’s second cookbook, David Burke’s New American Classics by Alfred A. Knopf, launched in April 2006. He also publishes his own quarterly magazine, davidburke, available in all of his restaurants.chefdavidburkeTable to TableChef/Owner
Café Boulud, Palm Beach
For Arnaud, working as a pastry chef is an inspiration he would like to share with as many people as possible. He likes to quote Dimitri Fayard, 2009 World Pastry Champion, for saying, “Success is not measured by how many medals or awards you have received but in how you share your knowledge with others, and the joy they receive from your passion for the craft”. This makes it no surprise Arnaud has chosen work with the potential to give so much pleasure.
That passion has defined Arnaud’s path. Raised in a small French village between Paris and Le Mans, he entered culinary school at 16. His taste for sweets was honed at l’Hostellerie du Bois Guibert, a Relais & Châteaux restaurant in Bonneval where he worked as an apprentice cook and took part in the national competition for best French culinary apprentice.
Arnaud’s apprenticeship continued in the center of France at Frard Pâtisserie, a pastry shop in St Georges sur Eure, where studied the foundations of traditional French technique for over two years, from 2005 to 2007. He went on to earn his Certificate d’Aptitude Professional de Cuisine (CAP) and his CAP Patisserie, both French trade diplomas.
An appetite for travel lured Arnaud to Switzerland, where he worked as commis pastry cook at Geneva’s five star Movenpick Hotel. From there he went on to work under the supervision of Philippe Berzane at La Broche, a luxury brewery affiliated restaurant, also in Geneva. The four years spent in Switzerland provided a valuable education in tastes and textures and unparalleled exposure to international audiences and cuisines.
In search of greater international experience, Arnaud joined François Payard in New York at Payard Patisserie and Bistro, where he worked as head pastry cook. Here he learned to align French pastry techniques with American tastes. He even took on his first American wedding cakes. After just over a year in 2004, he was promoted to Pastry Sous Chef.
As of 2008 Arnaud joined the team at DANIEL in New York, where he worked as Pastry Sous Chef under Executive Pastry Chef Dominique Ansel. He sensed his skill developing daily, driven by his innate curiosity, creativity and passion for his daily work preparing desserts, countless ice creams and sorbet flavors, a multitude of hand made chocolates and gem like petits fours.
At PastryScoop.com’s 2009 Golden Scoop Awards, Arnaud won “Best Dessert Revival” for his American Fraisier with Yuzu Sorbet. A year later in July 2010, he accepted the role of Executive Pastry Chef at Café Boulud Palm Beach.
For Arnaud, honing his craft is an unending pursuit. In the spirit of Jacquy Pfeiffer, co-founder of Chicago’s French Pastry School, he too believes, “A lifetime is not long enough to learn pastry. One must keep working on mastering this ever changing art. That’s what makes pastry so fascinating – it’s a never-ending story.”Pastry Chef
Buccan, Palm Beach
Chef Clay Conley opened the doors to būccan with partners and friends Sam Slattery and Oliver “Piper” Quinn in 2011. Years of planning, and decades of working, traveling, reading, eating, drinking, and cooking culminated into this space and menu. būccan represents what and how Clay loves to cook – small plates with big flavors. The combination drew a nomination of Best Chef: South 2012 from the eminent James Beard Foundation. In February 2012, the team opened Imoto (translation: little sister), an Asian-focused, intimate expansion of būccan.
Chef Clay is greatly inspired by his surroundings. The hallmarks of his favorite dishes include bright, fresh and balanced flavors and no other cuisine accentuates these points than Asian fare. While living and working in Tokyo, Clay was influenced by the clean flavors of traditional Japanese cooking, and his frequent visits to the legendary Tsukiji market. Subsequent travel in China, Thailand, and Singapore sharpened the chef’s palate and interest. Other travel and work in Europe, South America and Asia broadened his exposure to global gastronomy, ingredients and technique. His “progressive American” approach at būccan blends the flavors of the above with the classic comfort of his New England childhood, the rustic of the boldness Mediterranean, and the sensual influence of Latin America. Highlighting contrasting tastes, textures, and temperatures, Clay applies his flair and sense of balance to traditional flavor combinations and dishes.
A native of rural Maine, Clay grew up tending his family’s orchard and livestock. In the extremes of the New England landscape, he was introduced to the logic of seasonality, the significance of origin and the beauty of fresh ingredients. At 13, the future chef got his first taste of the business, volunteering to work in the kitchen of a local restaurant. Pursuing his calling, he eventually became a protégé of Todd English, becoming his culinary director in 2003. In 2005, Conley was selected by Mandarin Oriental, Miami, to run the kitchen at its signature AAA Five Diamond Award restaurant, Azul.
Chef Clay and his restaurants have been featured in national and international publications. Robb Report named Azul one of America’s finest restaurants. Clay has appeared on The Today Show and Fox and Friends. He was named a StarChef’s “Rising Star Chef” in 2005. būccan has been recognized in Conde Nast Traveler and Esquire’s “Where to Eat in South FL Now.” The restaurant is Forbes Travel Guide’s “hottest spot” in Palm Beach, and has received “Best New Restaurant” honors from numerous area publications.clayconleyFeeding Children EverywhereChef/Partner
Krescendo, New York
Besides running restaurants, Elizabeth Falkner loves culinary competition as a sport and is one of the most recognizable chefs in the culinary scene. Elizabeth was a finalist and runner up on Next Iron Chef on the Food Network, 2011. She was a judge on Bravo’s Top Chef, Just Desserts in the fall of 2010 and was a competitor on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters in 2009 and has also appeared as a judge on Top Chef Masters and Top Chef. Elizabeth was a competitor on Iron Chef America in 2006 and a three time competitor on Food Network’s Challenge and has appeared as a guest on Simply Ming with Ming Tsai, Tyler’s Ultimate with Tyler Florence, Rachael Ray’s $40 a Day, Martha Stewart Living, and more.
Elizabeth founded Citizen Cake, as a retail bakery in 1997. Citizen Cake was an immediate hit, and after a few years, she expanded it into an elegant restaurant, bar, and patisserie. Citizen Cake was awarded recommendations by Michelin in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and scooped up numerous awards from both local and national media.
Elizabeth was also the chef/partner of Orson restaurant and bar, which opened in 2008 in an old steel foundry warehouse in the South of Market district of San Francisco. Orson had also been awarded recommendation by Michelin since 2008 and has been featured in many local and national media.
Elizabeth recently relocated to Brooklyn, NY in the summer of 2012 and will be opening a new restaurant,“Krescendo” in Brooklyn this fall.
Elizabeth is a spokesperson for Scharffen Berger chocolate since 2008 and has consulted for numerous products and brands such as Barilla/Molino Bianco, Starbucks, Hershey, General Mills, Nestle, Nabisco, Kraft, Pepsi and more.
Throughout her career, Falkner has been both a leader and a mentor to many other chefs, working closely with Women Chefs & Restaurateurs (WCR), who awarded her their Golden Bowl for Pastry in 2003. She has been named the city’s “Best Pastry Chef” by San Francisco magazine and a Rising Star Chef by the San Francisco Chronicle. Bon Appetit magazine hailed her as one of America’s 10 top pastry chefs in 2003, and named her Pastry Chef of the Year in 2006. In 2005, she was nominated for the pastry chef of the year award by the James Beard Foundation and has been a featured guest chef for JBF hosting dinners for the foundation. Elizabeth currently serves on the board of directors of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs and is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier and the Disciples of Escoffier, International.
Demolition Desserts, her first cookbook, was published by Ten Speed Press in 2007. Using vivid manga-inspired graphics, Demolition Desserts lays out the elements of Falkner’s multi-part contemporary desserts to make even the most inventive combinations easily accessible to home chefs. Demolition Desserts was a finalist for IACP’s Julia Child, Best First Cookbook award in 2008 and was selected “favorite book”, by the students of Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, also in 2008.
Cooking Off the Clock, her second book, will be released in fall of 2012 and her third book, Citizen Cake in fall of 2013, both also published by Ten Speed Press.
A graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute with a particular interest in film, Falkner often finds culinary inspiration in film, art, music, and sculpture.cheffalknerEdible School Yard ProjectChef
Michael Garaghty (“Chef Mike”) is the newly appointed Executive Chef of Wüsthof-Trident of America, Inc., the premier cutlery company. In his new role, Chef Mike will preside and appear in Wüsthof-sponsored cooking videos, cooking events, as well as develop proprietary recipes and other culinary materials for use in retail and consumer marketing programs.
Chef Mike has more than 25 years of experience in the professional food service industry, which includes founding and managing his Plymouth, Minnesota-based catering company, A Call To Catering, since 2002. His full-service catering company oversees events ranging in size from 25 to 2,500 guests.
Prior to starting his own company, Chef Mike led the kitchens of various establishments in his adopted home state of Minnesota, including restaurants, festivals, banquet facilities, dinner theaters and hotels.
Raised in Warwick, Rhode Island, Chef Mike’s first taste of the food service industry occurred in 1982, when he took a job as a dishwasher/prep cook at a local pub. At the tender age of 17, Chef Mike instantly fell in love with the frenetic pace and survival mentality of the kitchen. When he moved with his family to Minnesota in 1984, he took a job as a line cook at a very busy supper club for the summer, which to the chagrin of his worried folks, did not end when fall approached. In time, Chef Mike progressed through the kitchen ranks from night sous chef, to head chef and executive chef, at numerous establishments.
As he trained and was exposed to the best talent in the industry, Chef Mike also discovered the pleasure and satisfaction of cooking with the best tools, including Wüsthof knives, the gold standard in professional quality, precision forged cutlery. Chef Mike continues to enjoy “being in the trenches” with his cooks, and wouldn’t think of trading in his equally hard-working and exacting Wüsthof knives for any others.
Wüsthof premium cutlery is crafted in Solingen, Germany, the manufacturing base and headquarters for Wüsthof-Trident since 1814. Wüsthof products are sold at select specialty and department stores in more than 70 countries. They are sought-after and used in the finest dining establishments, and the most prestigious culinary institutions around the world.wusthofChef
Pistache French Bistro, West Palm Beach
Chef and restaurateur Julien Gremaud made his mark on the Florida restaurant scene in 2009 with Pistache French Bistro. Initially hired as a consultant, the French native’s talent was so evident he was offered the role of executive chef in only three weeks. Lured away from the homes and yachts of his private chef life, his modern French cuisine has been a staple of Palm Beach dining ever since.
Under Gremaud’s helm, Pistache has been awarded numerous accolades, including “Diner’s Choice Winner 2011” from Opentable.com, “Golden Spoon Best New Restaurant 2010” from Florida Trend Magazine, “A-Food A-Service” from Palm Beach Post and “Top 10 New Restaurants in South Florida” from City & Shore. Several other national publications have recognized the restaurant including Redbook, Forbes, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, Miami Herald, and San Francisco Chronicle.
Gremaud’s influence on the community grew in late 2011 when Pistache proprietor Thierry Beaud made the chef a partner, and together they opened of PB Catch on the exclusive island of Palm Beach. Maintaining his executive chef role, Gremaud has developed a full range of dishes emphasizing sustainable, local seafood. PB Catch also boasts a full raw bar – the island’s only – featuring an ever-rotating menu of the freshest offerings of mollusks and shellfish available.
Gremaud has been known for his boundless creativity in the kitchen, as well as his mastery of traditional favorites. His is inspired by world cuisine, and the fact that cooking has no limits. Changing guests’ views and palates regarding ingredients previously shunned is of particular interest to the chef.
A native of St. Tropez, Gremaud began his cooking career as a pantry chef at the age of 14. At 18, he left for England to continue his education at the famous Le Colombier in London, then moving to Goolies in Kensington to learn the “tough French kitchen way” from renowned Chef Pierre Dufour. After visiting the United States for the first time on vacation, Gremaud was introduced to Chef Jean Banchet of Le Français, who offered him a job to help pay for his work visa. After a two year stint in Chicago culminating in a chef position at Bernard Cretier’s Le Vichyssois, Gremaud moved to Florida and began a successful career as a personal chef, then on to his collaboration with Beaud.
When not making magic in the kitchen, Gremaud makes heads turn as a techno DJ. He has been spinning music in clubs in St. Tropez since he was a teenager. With his little remaining time, Gremaud travels extensively, experiencing different culinary styles, continually developing new flavors and discovering new ingredients, as well as pursuing his passion for ocean diving and fishing.Boys and Girls Club of Palm BeachExecutive Chef/Partner
Hot and Hot Fish Club, Birmingham
Chris Hastings first discovered his appreciation for food during family vacations in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. These explorations through taste and travel stayed with him, and post high school Hastings deferred his college acceptance to work in the kitchen at Silver Cricket in Charlotte, NC. There, Executive Chef recognized his skill and suggested applying to culinary school in lieu of a traditional college education. Heeding this advice, Hastings enrolled in Johnson & Wales in Providence, Rhode Island.
After graduation, Hastings returned to the South, accepting a position at the Ritz Carlton in Atlanta where he first learned to apply European influences to southern cuisine. But, it was on a weekend trip to Birmingham that Hastings met Chef Frank Stitt of the acclaimed Highlands Bar and Grill. The two stayed in touch and it wasn’t long before Hastings relocated to Birmingham to work for Stitt as chef de cuisine, where he also helped to open Bottega, Stitt’s Mediterranean restaurant.
During his time with Stitt, Hastings traveled to California where he met his future mentor, Chef Bradley Ogden. In 1989, he relocated to San Francisco, to work alongside Ogden while he opened the Lark Creek Inn. During his tenure in California, Hastings witnessed the rise of the farm‐to‐table movement first‐hand and could regularly be found visiting farmer’s markets to source the freshest, local ingredients.
But, once again, the South beckoned and in 1991 Hastings returned to Birmingham with the goal of opening a new restaurant alongside his wife, Idie. They opened the Hot and Hot Fish Club in 1995, offering contemporary American cuisine with Southern influences and supporting the work of local artisans in both the kitchen and front of house.
In subsequent years, Hastings released his first cookbook: The Hot and Hot Fish Club Cookbook, A Celebration of Food, Family and Traditions (Running Press, October 2009) and began a side project consulting with other chefs, restaurateurs, and real estate developers on food service operations that benefit their surrounding communities though serving local, memorable, and authentic cuisine. Hastings has also become an active member and fervent advocate for the Alabama Seafood Commission as well as a consultant and culinary advisor to restaurants across the country and the Director of the Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation’s Culinary Council.
In February of 2012, Hastings competed in the Food Network’s “Iron Chef: America” challenge, triumphing over Chef Bobby Flay in Battle: Sausage. And, just a few months later, was recognized by the James Beard Foundation as the 2012 Best Chef in the South. Hastings continues to flex his creative muscles outside the kitchen as well, and has written essays for nationally published magazines, like Food Arts and Garden & Gun with more projects in the works. He lives in Birmingham with Idie and their two sons, Zeb and Vincent.
Robert Irvine’s Eat!, Hilton Head Island
With more than 25 years in the culinary profession, Chef Robert Irvine has cooked his way through Europe, the Far East, the Caribbean and the Americas, in hotels and on the high seas. Robert brings his experience to Food Network as host of Restaurant: Impossible, and has been previously seen on Dinner: Impossible and Worst Cooks in America.
In its fifth season, Restaurant: Impossible continues its successful run as one of the network’s most popular shows, where Robert attempts to save America’s most desperate restaurants from impending failure in just two days with only $10,000. Over the course of each extreme mission, Robert assesses all of the restaurant’s facets and then overhauls its weakest spots with updates to menus, retraining staff and implementing aesthetic changes with the help of his design team, before hitting the streets to tell the community about the improved restaurant.
A native of England, Robert joined the British Royal Navy at the age of 15 and his skills in the kitchen soon came to the attention of his superiors. As part of his service for the Royal Navy, Robert was selected to work on board the Royal Yacht Britannia, where the royal family and their entourages regularly dined. During his time training U.S. Navy chefs as part of a guest chef program, Robert worked in the White House kitchens and his creations were served to high-ranking government officials. During his career, he has also had the opportunity to serve 6,000 servicemen and women on a U.S. aircraft carrier and plan the menu for a celebrity-studded after-party at the Academy Awards. Robert is the author of two cookbooks, Mission: Cook! (Harper Collins, 2007) and Impossible to Easy (Harper Collins, 2010).
Robert was previously on The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs, where he competed against an all-star caliber group of chefs, including Anne Burrell, Michael Chiarello, Elizabeth Falkner, Alex Guarnaschelli, Chuck Hughes, Beau MacMillan, Spike Mendelsohn, Marcus Samuelsson and Geoffrey Zakarian, for the title of The Next Iron Chef.robertirvine1Gary Sinise Foundation
Girl & the Goat, Chicago
Selected as one of the Best New Chefs in 2011 by Food & Wine, Stephanie Izard is the chef/partner of the Chicago restaurant Girl & the Goat. A 2011 James Beard ‘Best New Restaurant’ nominee, Girl & the Goat has been praised by high-profile publications such as Saveur, New York Times, Food & Wine, Better Homes and Gardens, Chicago Tribune, Time Out Chicago, Chicago Magazine and Chicago Reader. Stephanie is a graduate of University of Michigan and the Scottsdale Culinary Institute, and has worked in some of the most respected kitchens in Chicago including La Tache, Spring, and Vong. She previously owned the highly acclaimed restaurant Scylla, which she sold just prior to appearing on and winning Season Four of Bravo’s Top Chef. Izard’s first book, Girl in the Kitchen, was released this year (Chronicle). Her next project, Little Goat, a classic diner with bread shop, is set to open Summer 2012.
StephAndTheGoatShare Our StrengthChef/Partner
Bulldog Barbecue, Miami
Known for his star turn on Bravo’s Miami season of Top Chef, Howie Kleinberg (36) – nicknamed “bulldog” on the show for his take no prisoners competitive streak – is the star-chef behind the success of Bulldog Barbecue and its sister restaurant, Bulldog Burger, in North Miami.Showcasing his larger-than-life personality and unbeatable casual cuisine, Bulldog Barbecue has been a favorite with locals since it opened its in 2009, and Bulldog Burger, opened early-2011, features an array of mouthwatering burgers including traditional favorites and the chef’s own unpredictable specialties.
Kleinberg began working in the kitchen at a young age, nurturing a love of cooking that grew out of a childhood immersed in his family’s high-end catering business.Summers spent at a vacation home in North Carolina ignited his passion for barbecue, burgers and other comfort food.But it wasn’t until young adulthood that Kleinberg found his calling; after graduating high school in the mid-1990s and deciding on a career as a high school athletic coach, he worked part time in the banquet kitchen at the Intercontinental Hotel to earn money between college classes. “They gave me a chef’s knife and the next thing I knew I was hooked,” mused Kleinberg.
As the chef’s culinary DNA kicked in, he was spending more time in the kitchen, and attending class less and less. A stint at Johnson & Wales followed and a rising star chef was born. Kleinberg embarked on a culinary journey that brought him into the kitchens of South Florida’s finest restaurants.Eager to hone his craft, Kleinberg traveled to Starfish Grill at the El San Juan Hotel in Puerto Rico, followed by a stop at Petrossian in Bal Harbour where he helped open the upscale French bistro. Subsequent stints from the late-1990s through 2003 helped Kleinberg refine his talents and foster an appreciation for the finest ingredients and most innovative techniques, working with award-winning chefs such as Mark Militello at Mark’s South Beach, Tim Andriola at Timo, E. Michael Reidt at Wish and Michael Bloise at Tantra, and as part of the The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne’s opening team.In 2003, Kleinberg settled in at Ivy Restaurant and Lounge in Aventura, where he garnered excellent reviews as executive chef.In 2006, he took the helm at Food Gang in Sunny Isles, where he also received receiving rave reviews before leaving to compete in Top Chef Miami.A stage with renowned chef Alfred Portale was his last endeavor before focusing all his efforts on getting Bulldog Barbecue up and running.
Now, as that focus has expanded with the opening of Bulldog Burger, Kleinberg fuses his classical training and vast experience in high-end kitchens with his love for down home comfort food, resulting in delicious, quality fare, offered at affordable prices, that appeals to a large segment of the population. Kleinberg has showcased his offerings from Bulldog Burger at the annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival, February 2011, an event he has participated in since 2007.chefhowardkChef/Owner
Café Boulud, Palm Beach
While grape growing and winemaking were an integral part of Mariya Kovacheva’s family life, it wasn’t until she moved to the United States that her passion for wine truly took flight. Now head Sommelière at Café Boulud in Palm Beach, FL, Mariya was born and raised in a small town in Bulgaria’s Thracian Lowlands region.
Never imagining that she was destined to become a wine professional, Mariya originally moved to the United States in 2000 to pursue her dream of graduating from an Ivy League MBA Program. She soon began working in restaurants while applying for business school and accumulated experience in some of New England’s finest establishments. First at Rebecca’s and l’Escale in Greenwich, CT and later at The Pearl in Nantucket, she was well placed to learn from some of the best in the business. Following a summer season in Nantucket, she passed her first Sommelier Exam. Although her dream of being accepted to an MBA program had come true in 2005, by that time Mariya’s career path had taken off in a different direction.
While she takes interest in wine making regions around the world, Mariya admits a preference for France, especially the Champagne, Northern Rhone and Burgundy regions. She particularly delights in tasting wines alongside chefs to develop menu pairing profiles for their cooking. Her talent is apparent in the one of a kind wine tasting dinners Mariya hosts at Café Boulud.
Mariya’s her first nine years here in the US have been entirely different from what she had envisioned. Yet she’s spent them fulfilling her very own American success story, inspired by her favorite quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”. Today, Mariya Kovacheva is not only a Master Sommelier candidate but is also completing her Diploma in Wine and Spirits. Most importantly, she oversees the wine and spirits program at Café Boulud Palm Beach, with a cellar of over 500 selections and Wine Spectator Magazine “Best of Award of Excellence” awards since 2004. Mariya first joined Café Boulud in February 2008 and was promoted to Head Sommelier in the fall of
Enhancing the guests’ dining experience through personalized selections and training her peers in the craft of wine service, Mariya feels privileged to be surrounded every day by what she loves most. Wine!cafebouludHead Sommelière
50 eggs, Miami
CEO and founder of 50 Eggs Restaurant Group, John Kunkel, worked his way up through the restaurant industry, tackling every position from dishwasher to general manager. His extensive knowledge of restaurant operations, paired with inexhaustible passion and drive, has directly contributed to his continuing success.
Kunkel began his career washing dishes at the age of 15 in Atlanta, Ga. and quickly worked his way up to lead cook. Having worked as GM for concepts such as Chili’s Grill and Bar and Einstein Bros Bagels, John went on to open his first concept Taste Bakery Cafe on South Beach just before the age of thirty. Taste Bakery Cafe quickly became a favorite of foodies and celebrities and just three years later, at the height of Taste’s success, John sold his first concept to open his second, Lime Fresh Mexican Grill. During Lime’s first week, sales skyrocketed and the restaurant acquired its signature line out the door. In 2010 Kunkel signed a Master License Agreement with Ruby Tuesday, Inc. to expand his concept from 10 locations throughout Florida to more than 200 across the Southeast United States.
Kunkel opened his next concept, Yardbird Southern Table and Bar, in October 2011 – a partnership with Executive Chef Jeffrey McInnis featuring the best of traditional Southern comfort cuisine, executed and infused with modern technique. The chef-driven neighborhood dining concept is the first Southern restaurant of its kind to hit the area and utilizes seasonal, fresh ingredients and a made-from-scratch ethic. In 2012, Yardbird was named James Beard Semifinalist for Best New Restaurant South and also recognized as one of Bon Appetit’s 50 Best New Restaurants.
Later this year, the 50 Eggs brand will open two new concepts in South Florida – Khong, a passion project of Kunkel’s serving Southeast Asian street fare, and Swine Southern Table and Bar, a porcine-focused Southern spot in Coral Gables.https://twitter.com/50eggsinc
Mike Lata is Chef/Partner of FIG Restaurant in Charleston, SC, which he opened in 2003 with Partner Adam Nemirow. 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 “James Beard 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 Appetit, 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 Best Thing I Ever Ate” Food Network show. 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.
Lata’s upcoming culinary adventures include a classic oyster bar and seafood hall—The Ordinary—in the heart of the Charleston’s Upper King Design District. A fall 2012 opening is planned.
When he’s not in the kitchen, Mike can be found hitting the links, riding his prized Ducati motorcycles, or enjoying life with his fiancé, Emilee, and their newborn son, Henry.mikelataChefs Feed the NeedChef/Owner
Café Boulud, Palm Beach
Jim Leiken, recently named Executive Chef at Café Boulud In Palm Beach, is a seasoned veter- an of Daniel Boulud’s New York restaurants. “Working in my kitchens over the last ten years, Jim has, again and again, demonstrated his passion and palate. He has the talent, creativity and leadership to take the reins at Café Boulud in Palm Beach. Jim has been through the ‘school of Boulud’ with excellent grades, while maintaining his own unique character and culi- nary style,” Boulud said.
Jim first joined the team at New York’s DANIEL in October 2001, working his way from ban- quet cook to garde manger chef de partie to saucier and finally tournant. He took on even greater responsibility as Sous Chef at New York’s DB Bistro Moderne in 2004, becoming flu- ent in the restaurant’s authentic bistro-cooking with a flavorful and straight forward approach.
At the same time, he learned just what it takes to run a busy kitchen and lead a team. This was a sound foundation for his next challenge, as Daniel Boulud tapped Jim for a promotion to the Executive Chef position at New York’s DBGB Kitchen and Bar in spring 2009. He fulfilled that role with success until June 2011 when he was named Execu- tive Chef at Café Boulud in Palm Beach.
Born and raised in New York, Chef Jim Leiken’s cooking style has evolved over the course of 14 years he spent cooking there. From the city’s thee Michelin star gastronomic temples to its inimitable food trucks and street carts, the unparalleled melding of cultures and cuisines have all contributed to his culinary education. But Jim firmly believes it has been in Daniel Boulud’s kitchens that he has mastered the fundamentals of French cuisine and technique. “Without an understanding of basic technique and a strong knowledge of the foundations your predecessors have laid,” Jim says, “a modern chef would be lost. You can have the best products and the best cooks, but if you don’t have a well trained palate and understand why some things work together and why some don’t, as well as a firm grasp of culinary tradition, it would be impossible to move forward.”
Jim began his cooking career after graduating from Wesleyan University in 1996 with a history degree and a desire to express his creativity. Pursuing a long-standing amateur interest, he enrolled in culinary arts classes at Manhattan’s New School, which led to an externship at Chef Wayne Nish’s March Restaurant. Natural culinary talent and a strong work ethic led to a burgeoning career, including working with celebrated New York chefs Floyd Cardoz at Tabla, Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern and finally, Daniel Boulud. The caliber of cooking he was exposed to, along with Daniel Boulud’s mentorship, reinforced Jim’s insistence on uncompromising standards both in his own work and in that of his team. “This extends from the way you comport yourself as a professional in the kitchen and the way you treat your colleagues,” says Jim, “to the quality of the products you accept from your purveyors and the details of every dish you serve to your guests.”
At DBGB Kitchen and Bar, guests savored everything from Jim’s baked oysters with jambon de Paris crust, to the ‘Frenchie’ burger with arugula and crispy pork belly, or roasted bone marrow with pickled mustard seeds and grilled country toast. As of July 14, 2011, when Jim takes on his new role as Café Boulud Palm Beach’s Executive Chef, he’ll be turning his talents to a whole new French-American menu, whether it’s for a sophisticated dinner, a relaxing Sunday brunch or one of the irresistible sandwiches served on the terrace. Chef Jim Leiken’s talent will only serve to build upon the restaurant’s long established reputation for excellence.
Benchmarc Restaurants, New York
David Lombardo is the Wine + Beverage Director for Benchmarc Restaurants by Marc Murphy in New York City, overseeing the wine and cocktail lists at Landmarc [Tribeca] and [at the Time Warner Center] and Ditch Plains [West Village] and [Upper West Side]. Lombardo crafted his own wine education through tasting, reading and traveling to wine regions throughout Europe and North and South America. Since its opening in 2004, Landmarc [Tribeca] has become a neighborhood favorite, well-known for its unique wine program, which has translated to the all the restaurants making them a favorite with bar-goers and diners alike. Lombardo is also a wine educator at the Astor Center and has appeared on Kelly Choi’s Eat Out NY and Martha Stewart’s Morning Living talk radio. Credentials aside, it’s the attitude surrounding wine that makes Benchmarc Restaurants — and Lombardo — known for its approach to wine. “Our wine program is designed to take some of the seriousness out of drinking wine. We want guests to have an open mind, be adventurous and above all else, to enjoy.”F&B Director
3030 Ocean, Ft. Lauderdale
Dean James Max
“My love of food comes from living in Florence, Italy, my technique from working with French chefs and my understanding of what freshness is all about from growing up on a farm in Virginia.”
You would never have had to meet Chef Dean to feel his passion, sincerity, and respect for what you are about to eat, regardless of the course. I would equate his cooking to the enthusiasm of a child, the wisdom of a professor, and the talent of an artist rolled up in one.
2012 Advisory Board for the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival
2010 Crowned King of American Seafood after winning the Great American Seafood Cook-off in New Orleans representing the state of Florida
2009, 2010, 2011 Finalist for Best Chef of the South, James Beard Foundation
2005 Boca Raton Magazine voted Chef Max “Best Chef” in south Florida.
2005 Readers Poll for New Times resulted in 4 awards for 3030 Ocean…Best Seafood, Best Service, Best Raw Bar, Best Broward Restaurant
2006 National Restaurant Association voted Chef Max Best chef of South Florida
2006 3030 Ocean received Best Seafood Restaurant, and Chef Max Best Chef
2007 Best Chef South Florida, Fort Lauderdale Magazine
2008 Best Chef Boca Raton Magazine
2009 Best Chef South Florida, New Times Magazine
2009 Chef Chair for Taste of the Nation
2007-2009 Best Seafood Restaurant South Florida by Gold Coast Magazine
2008-09 Board member at large Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association
2005-2009 Board member of the Seafood & Aquaculture Advisory Board reporting to the Department of Agriculture
2004-2009 Sponsored by the Wild American Shrimp Organization
2008-09 Board member for the culinary division of the Art Institute, Fort Lauderdale
Considering his position as one of South Florida’s foremost seafood provocateurs, it’s not surprising to discover that Dean James Max, the Executive Chef of 3030 Ocean, located on Fort Lauderdale beach at the beautiful Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa, grew up on small farm just minutes from the rich shores of Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay. “There’s something about the water which is magical to me,” Max muses in the introduction to his cookbook, A Life by the Sea, which was released in April 2006. “My love of food is fed from the fond memories of smells and tastes of my childhood.”
The memories of his teenage years, spent fishing and cooking with his chef grandfather on the Jersey Shore resonate at 3030. Launched in December 2000, the warm, open space is the perfect venue for Max’s sophisticated yet simple modern American seafood creations, full of fresh-from-the ocean oysters, clams, fish and crabs. “Modern cuisine embraces a dedication to simplicity, freshness and intensity of flavor,” Max says. “Sourcing is the key. My cuisine relies more on balancing flavors than on heavy spicing so finding the best ingredients available is a must.”
3030 is on the verge of its nine-year anniversary, which Max will honor with his annual charity gala for Kids in Distress. Equally significant, he released his first cookbook, A Life by the Sea. Boasting a cornucopia of amazing recipes, insights, cooking tips and gorgeous images by renowned photographer Quentin Bacon, the 200-page compendium, available for sale at the restaurant, most national book retailers and on Amazon.com, aims to enlighten readers on the benefits of seafood-rich diet while assuaging their fears of cooking seafood. “The delicate nature of fish scares home cooks,” Max says. “To cut down on the fear factor, I intentionally kept the recipes simple but stylish. The book was a two-year labor of love aimed at demystifying seafood.” In addition, Max spent a portion of 2006 on a national book tour with Sur la Table, a chain of high-end food retail stores who regularly host culinary scribes ranging from Wolfgang Puck to Donna Hay, among others. Chef Max is due to release his second book, “3030 Ocean, A lifestyle” which will be in time to honor their 10-year anniversary. The book will highlight a decade of culinary dedication and feature their best recipes over the past years. The book will be an entertainment style layout, which will delve into the secrets of a restaurants success. Look for the book to hit the stands by April of 2010.
Chef Max previously from Woodside in Brentwood, California, where as Owner/Chef, he was responsible for all aspects of operations of this highly acclaimed restaurant. While at Woodside, Chef Max was profiled by Sunset Magazine and The Los Angeles Times “Dean James Max steps right into the groove with his polished dishes” says S. Irene Virbila. His modern American cuisine has been noted as “stylish” and “tongue-tingling” by Gourmet Magazine where he received a stellar review. The James Beard Foundation recognized Chef Max as a “Great Regional Chef of America.” ML Warren, Sun Sentinel, called Max a “Culinary Dynamo” and described his food as “Unadulterated Joy”.
Prior to his position at the Woodside, Chef Max was Executive Chef of Mumbo Jumbo Restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia where he was a partner with super star chef Guenter Seeger. Chef Max’s resume also includes positions as Executive Chef with Brasserie Savoy located in the Savoy Hotel in San Francisco, Gerard’s Place in Washington D.C. and the Ritz Carlton Dining Room in Pentagon City, Virginia and The Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta, Georgia.
A Stuart, Florida native, Chef Max grew up in the food business. As a young child, he received hands-on experience from his father, a produce broker. Soon, the family moved to Virginia and lived on a farm. “Growing up in an organic environment gave me an early insight about what freshness really is and how foods work together,” “I even had my own jalapeño patch when I was nine” said Max. Chef Max holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Florida State University with a Hotel and Restaurant Minor. He has also attended the Florence Study Center in Florence, Italy. He has appeared on the Home & Garden Television’s “Smart Solutions” series, also on “The Organic Farmer”, as well as numerous national news shows like Fox & Friends and the TV Food Network’s Challenge.deanjamesmaxShare Our StrengthChef/Owner
PGA National, PB Gardens
A native of Dublin, Ireland, Maybury brings 25 yrs of culinary experience to the Pga National Resort and Spa.
Chef Maybury began his career with a traditional apprenticeship, working in some of Ireland’s top restaurants and hotels and with the best chefs. He also attended Dublin College of Catering where he was instructed by Kevin Thornton, Peter Timmins and Noel McHugh.
Chef Maybury’s recent experience includes, Executive Chef at Loews Miami Beach Hotel, where he was host chef for the past 3 South Beach Wine and Food Tribute Dinners, Executive Chef at the Peninsula Hotel in New York City, where he was in charge of Zagat rated restaurant “Fives” and Chef de Cuisine in both the Grand Hyatt Hotel New York and the Hyatt Regency Hotel and Resort in the Cayman Islands.
In April 2010, Chef Maybury was invited to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City, where his menu “A taste of Miami” won rave reviews
Maybury was selected in 2006 to participate in the Lufthansa Airlines Starchef program, where he was responsible for creating a menu of gourmet meals for first and business class passengers on flights to and from Germany
His work has prompted prominent publications such as Forbes, Sunday Post, Food Arts, San Diego Tribune, Traditional Home and Healing Lifestyles to feature Maybury and select recipes from his various chef positions.
Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, Miami
Jeffrey McInnis was born to either fish or cook, and to this day, he would gladly do either. Born in Niceville, Florida (and yes, that is a real city in the Florida panhandle) in 1978, where waterfront property was not yet reserved for simply the elite, he was surrounded by the magic of the ocean. He grew up on fishing boats, bringing in only the freshest catch and by 16, he was peeling shrimp, cleaning squid, cutting fish and cooking on the line at The Marina Cafe.
His passion for fresh local food was further inspired by his frequent trips and long southern summers spent with both sets of grandparents on their working Alabama farms. The newly coined restaurant term “farm to table” was more than an expression, but a reality for McInnis as a child. His grandparents only ate what they raised, from milking their own dairy cows and churning butter, to making their own blackberry jelly preserves from fresh picks of the day.
After high school, McInnis left the Florida panhandle behind to pursue his dream of perfecting his passion and attended culinary school at Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina. But after a lifetime of southern food and determined to avoid being “type-cast” for only a single style cuisine, McInnis set off to travel the rest of the country and world after graduating from culinary school. His goal was to not only to learn about preparing a new food, but to experience the culture that provides the very heart and soul and the freshness of that cuisine.
He began his travels as Sous Chef at Asolare, a Caribbean-Asian restaurant in St. John, Virgin Islands. Next, in San Francisco, McInnis worked at fine dining Asian-French restaurant, Azie. While there, he learned Japanese cuisine from the sushi chefs, and at the same time, polished up his French technique. From San Francisco, McInnis moved to rural Virginia, where he worked at Keswick Hall, an exclusive 5-star hotel owned by the Orient Express.
In 2004, McInnis returned to Florida and worked with famed Chef Norman Van Aken at Norman’s in Miami. In 2006, he became Chef de Cuisine of The DiLido Beach Club at the Ritz Carlton. While there, McInnis traveled to North Africa and Europe where he studied other cultures’ history, techniques and food and incorporated these experiences into creating a Southern Mediterranean and North African-inspired menu.
Shortly thereafter, McInnis cooked his way into the finals of the popular television show, Top Chef, putting McInnis and his talent front and center on a national stage. In 2010, McInnis became the Executive Chef for the Miami based restaurant, gigi. Utilizing his signature culinary style, McInnis developed a highly acclaimed menu, catapulting gigi into the limelight as one of Miami’s most popular new restaurants. In 2011, McInnis was nominated for Peoples Choice Best New Chef by Food and Wine Magazine.
With the tremendous success of gigi and more than twenty years of embracing and absorbing cuisines as a student of food, McInnis has returned to his true culinary roots and brought a little taste of the south to Miami Beach. In March of 2011, McInnis left gigi to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a chef/partner for the new Miami concept, Yardbird Southern Table and Bar.
Within the first 6 months of opening, Yardbird had already received national recognition from The New York Times, Southern Living, Food & Wine, Esquire, Bon Appetit and many more. In January of 2012 Yardbird was given a 3 ½ star review from the Miami Herald and a perfect review from the Miami New Times. However the most exciting honor came only 4 months after opening when McInnis was nominated as a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef: South,” award. The same year, Yardbird was also nominated as “Best New Restaurant” – quite an accomplishment in such a short amount of time.
Jeff now spends his days bringing the “South” back to South Florida at Yardbird, and enjoys fishing on his days off.chefmcinnisCommon ThreadsExecutive Chef/Partner
Andrew McNamara, MS
Andrew is the Director of Fine Wine/ Master Sommelier for Premier Beverage Company, a member of the Charmer-Sunbelt Group. He works through the State of Florida to help maintain Premier’s “put the customer first” initiative, to broaden its wine scope through education and training, as well as directing the Fine Wine divison. Both the Premier staff and its customers have access to Andrew’s expertise.
Prior to arriving at Premier Beverage Company, Andrew was a member of the prestigious sommelier team at the Breakers Palm Beach. Shortly after arriving at L’Escalier, McNamara passed the three-part Court of Master Sommelier’s Advanced Sommelier Exam and the following year, he competed in the Finals of the Best Young Sommelier in America Competition. Then in March 2007, he became the 10th person to win the Krug Cup – a prestigious award given to a person who passes the Master Sommelier Exam on the first attempt with the highest score, joining a group of just 14 other individuals who hold that accolade. Andrew oversaw the beverage operations of L’Escalier, the award-winning signature restaurant at The Breakers – winner of the AAA Five Diamond award and the Wine Spectator Grand Award since its inception in 1981, as well as the Tapestry Bar. Prior to departing the Breakers, he designed and ran the beverage program for the Phillips Point Club by the Breakers. He also assisted with purchasing for the other 7 restaurants at resort. Andrew was active in staff training throughout the hotel, participating in the resort’s intensive employee wine class.
Andrew got his start in the wine business at Arthur’s Wine Shop in Charlotte, North Carolina. McNamara holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Davidson College in Davidson, N.C.
Andrew was named one of the “Best New Sommeliers of 2008″ by Wine and Spirits Magazine and has been a guest speaker at events such as the Charlotte Wine and Food Weekend and the Kapalua Wine and Food Festival.
In 2010, Andrew was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Guild of Sommeliers. The Guild of Sommeliers is a non-profit, member-run organization, committed to excellence, development, inspiration and exchange of information for wine service professionals and wine enthusiasts across the U.S.Master Sommelier
Max's Harvest, Delray Beach
Ever since bussing his first table at his parent’s coffee shop in Long Island, NY at the age of 10 he was certain the restaurant business was for him. Cooking alongside his grandmother with vegetables picked from the garden on Sundays help the culinary bug get under his skin and by the age of 20 he was certain that he wanted to make cooking his life.
After foregoing culinary school to spend time under the tutelage of South Florida’s premier chefs such as Mark Militello, Norman Van Aken & Peter Boloukos, Miracolo met Dennis Max and Chef Patrick Broadhead of Max’s Grille and helped them open Max’s Place in Bal Harbor as Executive Sous Chef in 2000.
Miracolo then ventured west to Dallas to work at The Mansion on Turtle Creek under Dean Fearing, and Abacus & Jasper’s under Kent Rathbun before moving to Denver, Colorado to open Rhapsody at Clear Creek in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
Upon his return to South Florida in 2005, he rejoined the Max’s family and worked at Max’s Grille as Executive Sous Chef until 2009 when he was selected to take the helm at Fort Lauderdale’s critically acclaimed Himmarshee Bar & Grille, a restaurant he opened as a sous chef back in 1997. After a successful two year tenure there his passion for using all natural, locally sourced & sustainable fare led to him once again back with the Max Group to open Max’s Harvest in June of 2011 to much acclaim. Harvest was named “Best Restaurant in Palm Beach County” as well as Miracolo earning “Best Chef in Palm Beach County” by New Times, “Rising Star Chef” by the Palm Beach Post and selected as a “Best of the Best Chef” at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.Executive Chef
Four Seasons Resort, Palm Beach
Mom. Apple pie. Racquetball. Darryl Moiles’ passion for cooking grew from time spent whipping up American classics with his mother. Their specialty was apple pie, and he has blue ribbons from the 4-H Club to prove it. Who knew that his work with local farmers would become so important again later in his professional life? Moiles was a high school student in the early 1990s when he opened a steakhouse just outside of Oxford, Massachusetts with his brother, a college freshman. “There was a local racquetball club that needed help with their restaurant operation and my brother Bryan and I took on the responsibility and renamed it DB Steaks. It was a major endeavor for a couple of young guys.”
Moiles’ Four Seasons career began in Boston, where he was dazzled by the energy of multiple kitchens as well as the opportunity to cook for Julia Child, a dining room regular who occasionally found her way to the kitchen. Next, he moved to Southern California to realise a culinary dream. “There’s more olive oil and less butter out there,” he says with a laugh, noting that his first exposure to California cuisine was a “culture shock.” He stayed on for ten years and became practiced in the art of maximising local produce and seasonal fare, ultimately rising to executive sous chef.
Benchmarc Restaurants, New York
Ask Chef Marc Murphy where he grew up and he’ll fire off a list of cosmopolitan destinations — Milan, Paris, Villefranche, Washington DC, Rome and Genoa — “and that’s before I turned 12,” he’ll explain. This dizzying list of hometowns served as an excellent education in French and Italian cuisine, though as a teenager this was not his first passion. When the reality hit that he didn’t have the funds to become a professional race car driver, Murphy followed his brother to the Institute of Culinary Education. Following graduation, he apprenticed at restaurants in France and Italy before returning to New York where he landed a job as a line cook at Terrance Brennan’s Prix Fixe. He stayed there for almost two years, working his way through every station in the kitchen and forging a professional bond with Brennan’s Sous Chefs Joseph Fortunato and David Pasternak.
Eager to return to Europe, Murphy flew to Paris and landed a position at the one-star Le Miraville, where he stayed for one and a half years. Afterwards, he staged at the famed Louis XV in Monte Carlo, where Executive Chef Alain Ducasse was so impressed with Murphy’s skills that he personally made arrangements for him to work with Sylvain Portay at Le Cirque once he returned to the States. Murphy still considers Portay to be his greatest teacher. “Sylvain was above all concerned with coaxing out the most vibrant, interesting flavors any ingredient had to offer, yet he insisted on minimal manipulation,” he recalls. Following Le Cirque, Fortunato tapped him to work as a Sous Chef at Layla, Drew Nieporent’s Middle Eastern fantasy in TriBeCa, where he met consultant Georges Masraff. When Masraff joined forces to open Cellar in the Sky at Windows on the World, he recruited Murphy to serve as Executive Chef. After receiving critical acclaim, including a two-star review from the New York Times, Murphy headed uptown to serve as Executive Chef of La Fourchette where the Times’ critic Ruth Reichl awarded him another glowing two-star review, citing his “open desire to transform food [so that] in his hands, even a simple green salad … Looks like a ruffled hat in a painting by Renoir.”
In March 2004, Murphy opened his first solo enterprise with Landmarc [Tribeca], which won rave reviews both for its eclectic French and Italian menu as well as its highly untraditional wine list. Following its success, Murphy opened Ditch Plains in the West Village in 2006 serving casual, beach-style cuisine such as lobster rolls, fish tacos and the infamous ditch dog as well as other comfort food favorites. In 2007, Murphy was given the opportunity to open another Landmarc restaurant in the prestigious Time Warner Center where he brought his bistro-style cuisine midtown. Ditch Plains has also expanded in the past few years with an outpost in the newly renovated Brooklyn Bridge Park and most recently in spring 2011 with a new Upper West Side location. Murphy’s restaurants now fall under the Benchmarc Restaurants by Marc Murphy name, where he acts as executive chef and owner. In addition to the restaurants, Murphy also heads up the company’s catering division, Benchmarc Events by Marc Murphy, where his signature style of accessible contemporary cuisine transcends the boundaries of what is offered in his restaurant locations.
Today, Murphy’s involvement in the industry moves beyond the restaurants as well, with a regular role as a judge on The Food Network’s highest rated hit, CHOPPED as well as appearances on IRON CHEF AMERICA, HOT CHEFS, THE MARTHA STEWART SHOW, MAKE MY DAY, UNIQUE EATS, THE BEST THING I EVER ATE, BEST THING I EVER MADE, THE RACHEL RAY SHOW and THE TODAY SHOW among others. He is the Vice President of the Manhattan chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association, a board member of City Harvest, Culintro, Passport NYC at the 92nd Street Y Culinary Camp and is both the official spokesperson and a member of the Leadership Council for Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.chefmarcmurphyShare Our StrengthChef/Owner
Sundy House, Delray Beach
Sarah Ortiz, a Florida native, has been delighting diners with her sweet creations in and around the South Florida area for the past 10 years. Sarah graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island where she embarked on an internship in Vienna, Austria that really pushed her love for the sweet side of the kitchen. Upon her return from Europe, she began working under Chef Fredric Monnet at The Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne, where she worked her way up to assistant pastry chef.
Sarah has held the position of Pastry Chef for Michelle Bernstein at her flagship Michy’s in Miami as well as The Omphoy Ocean Resort. She has recently taken over as Pastry Chef at the historic Sundy House in Delray Beach, Florida.Pastry Chef
Virginia Philip Wine Shop & Academy, West Palm Beach
Advanced Sommelier Richard Paladino is enjoying “a first” in his long career in the wine industry. In 2011 he teamed up with former colleague Master Sommelier Virginia Philip to serve as the Resident Sommelier & Instructor at her eponymous boutique wine academy in downtown West Palm Beach. The Virginia Philip Wine Shop & Academy offers Paladino a unique opportunity to serve as an educator to other wine lovers. At the boutique shop, Paladino devotes one-on-one time with clients, passing on his knowledge and teaching them about his latest wine discovery. He also loves a wine challenge – such as the hunt for a rare wine for a client.
Paladino was raised in Long Island, New York, and moved to Miami to attend Florida International University, where he received a bachelor of science in hospitality management in 1995. Then he headed north to The Breakers, Palm Beach, where he settled into a long and rewarding career at the luxury resort.
Paladino spent 13 years at The Breakers, serving as a sommelier to the property’s AAA Five Diamond Award-winning French restaurant L’Escalier, assisting with The Grand Award list of 1,600 bottles. While there, he studied and worked hand in hand with Master Sommelier Virginia Philip, and fellow advanced sommeliers Andrew McNamara and Juan Gomez (both McNamara and Gomez passed the Master Sommelier exam in 2007). All the while, Paladino was refining his palate and cultivating his wine knowledge.
During his tenure at the luxury resort, he took first place in the Best Jeune (Young) Sommelier Competition’s southeastern regional event in 2004. The ten regional winners competed in national finals, where Paladino won the second place medal. The next year Paladino passed the third level course – out of four – through the Court of Master Sommeliers to obtain his Advanced Certification.
Paladino’s range of experience also involves several freestanding restaurants in South Florida, as well as several in Eastern Long Island.
When Paladino isn’t perfecting his palate, he can be found indulging in the company of friends and family around a great meal and, of course, bottles of wine. Or Champagne, his “true love.”Advanced Sommelier
The Breakers, Palm Beach
Master Sommelier Virginia Philip’s career includes a list of recognition spanning more than a decade. An expert among experts, her mastery and opinion is sought by journalists, colleagues and other sommeliers alike. In 2002 Philip became the 11th woman in the world to earn the extraordinary accreditation of Master Sommelier, the highest certification of international proficiency (today there are only 25 women out of 204 professionals worldwide). She has won the national title of “Best Sommelier of the United States” from the American Sommelier Association and sat on the Board of Directors for the Court of Master Sommeliers. With continuing acknowledgment of her skill, the eminent James Beard Foundation nominated Philip for Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional 2012.
Philip utilizes her profound understanding of wine – and her adaptable approach – across a gamut of outlets. As Master Sommelier for the iconic The Breakers Palm Beach, Philip leads the beverage department for nine restaurants and bars and 14 wine lists, including the resort’s prized 1,600-selection list, which has won Wine Spectator‘s Grand Award every year since its inception in 1981. In addition, working in tandem with the Domaine du Tariquet wine making team in Gascony, France, Philip creates The Breakers’ house wine blend, a program she initiated and implemented in 2004.
Philip is knowledgeable, yet approachable, current and well-connected to the industry. Emphasizing these traits, she fulfilled a lifetime dream when she opened the Virginia Philip Wine Shop & Academy off the infamous Clematis Street in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach. With approximately 450 personally-selected offerings, the boutique shop offers an outlet for her to share her extensive knowledge and generous demeanor with guests, often in a one-on-one basis. Philip also offers weekly wine education programs with guest appearances from national and international winemakers, her friends and colleagues.
Philips involvement in the industry is great in scope. Every year since 2010 she is invited to judge the Decanter World Wine Awards in London, joining approximately 200 other Master Sommeliers, Masters of Wines and other well-known sommeliers, buyers and journalists from 25 countries. She is one of only about six Americans participating. Her efforts continue in hospitality as Wine Consultant for Stephane’s in Boca Raton, FL, a concept created by a French restaurateur who built Europe’s largest collection of brasseries. She also is the official wine critic for the premier launch of XIX by Keyshawn Johnson, the NFL great’s new super-premium label.
Philip’s interest in wine began at an early age, studying the subject in college and working at a vineyard one summer. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1989 with a B.S. in hotel and restaurant management from Johnson & Wales University. Prior to her arrival at The Breakers Palm Beach, she worked at many accredited resorts and restaurants, most notably the Five Diamond/Five Star Award-winning resort The Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado.
Master Sommelier Virginia Philip has brought notoriety and attention to the outlets she supports with appearances on “The Today Show” and Food Network and recognition in Food & Wine, Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast and Decanter. And her passion to taste and learn and, especially, to share her expertise on this subject will continue to grow and evolve with each new project.VirginiaPhilipGary Sinise FoundationMaster Sommelieré
The Sugar Monkey, West Palm Beach
From an early age, Jennifer Reed proved a precociously independent cook. As a child she taught herself to make her own dinners and even birthday cakes—a talent that guaranteed her birthday parties were the delight and envy of her friends. Augmenting babysitting income as a teenager with stints in the kitchen in a local diner eventually led Jennifer to pursue a career as a chef and Jennifer sought formal training at the Culinary Institute of America. Being a vegetarian at the time, she enrolled to study pastry rather than culinary arts, and she has never looked back on her switch to the sweeter side of the kitchen. Jennifer joined the restaurant family of Daniel Boulud to work with acclaimed Pastry Chef Remy Fünfrock at Café Boulud New York in 2000. She was named Pastry Chef of Café Boulud Palm Beach in 2005, and garnered much attention for her delicate desserts and especially her wedding and special occasion cakes. In 2008, after eight years working with Daniel, Jennifer left Café Boulud to focus on her new business.
The sugar monkey’s infusion of French training with her playful Midwestern spirit and a distinctly feminine touch bring you modern American pastries, wedding and special occasion cakes and consulting services. Her use of natural and organic products, fresh fruits, single estate chocolates, and European style butter has created a demand for the sugar monkey’s sweets throughout South Florida. From four star plated desserts for a hundred, to ultra-luxe tiered wedding cakes, to custom designed favors; the sugar monkey is your source for anything your sweet tooth desires.
Jennifer and the sugar monkey have been featured in Palm Beach Illustrated, Boca Raton Magazine, Garden and Gun and the Shiny Sheet amongst others. While we don’t “kiss and tell”, we do take pride in servicing some of the most high profile clients in the area with any and all of their ‘sweet’ needs. The sugar monkey is the proud provider of key lime pie for all of Shake Shacks’ Florida locations for their signature Key Lime Pie Oh My Concrete. We also work with the best and brightest event planners in the area, as well as select local restaurants and shops for their dessert needs.thesugarmonkeyShare Our StrengthPastry Chef
Le Cirque, New York
Born and raised in Martiques in the South of France, the culinary arts were a family affair for Olivier Reginensi at an early age. Whenever he was not in school, Reginensi could be found in the kitchen of his uncle’s bar and brasserie peeling vegetables, washing mushrooms and organizing the dry goods pantry. This early experience not only taught Reginensi the work ethic and efficiency required of a chef, but also fostered his passion for cooking.
Classically trained in the South of France by Monsieur Gaucher, Reginensi honed his craft through several apprenticeships at Provençal restaurants such as the Michelin starred Abbaye de Sainte Croix and the two Michelin star L’Escale in Carry-le-Rouet., where his family still owns a brasserie called the GM.
Eager to expand his culinary horizons, Reginensi worked with Chef René Bergès of Relais Sainte-Victoire perfecting the fundamentals of Provençal cuisine before moving on to spend two years with Chef Charles Plumex of Prieuré in Thonon-les-Bains mastering traditional Rhône-Alpes cuisine. From there, Reginensi spent one season at the three Michelin starred Les Prés d’Eugénie under famed chef Michel Guérard, where he learned le “Grande Cuisine Francaise” working at stations such as “la cheminee” and sauces. After his time at Les Prés d’Eugénie , Reginensi assumed the role of sous chef at Château Eza on the French Riviera under chef Chef André Signoret, a former chef at Le Crillon and Le Grand Vefour. Impressed by Reginensi’s discipline and technique, Chef Signoret recommended him for a position as chef de partie at New York’s Le Cirque under Chef Sylvain Portay in 1993, where he learned the quality of service required in New York City fine dining.
After one year at Le Cirque, Reginensi accepted a sous chef position at Trois Jean working with acclaimed chef Jean-Louis Dumonet. Two years later, after being approached with an offer to serve as sous chef under Chef Sylvain Portay once again, Reginensi moved to San Francisco to join the chef and serves as his sous chef at The Ritz-Carlton. During Reginensi’s tenure there, the restaurant was awarded four stars by The San Francisco Examiner and The San Francisco Chronicle, 5 Mobil Stars, and a AAA Five Diamond Award. While in the Bay Area, Reginensi also contributed to two books written by famed chef Alain Ducasse, L’Atelier of Alain Ducasse: The Artistry of a Master Chef and His Protégés (2000) and Harvesting Excellence (2000).
In 2000 Olivier accepted an offer from Chef Ducasse to return to New York and join his team at his restaurant at the Essex House, which subsequently garnered four stars from The New York Times. Seeking a new challenge, Reginensi left the Essex House to work for celebrated chef and fellow Le Cirque alum, Daniel Boulud, as sous chef at his critically acclaimed restaurant Daniel. During his time at Daniel, the restaurant received four stars from The New York Times and Reginensi also contributed to Chef Boulud’s book, Chef Daniel Boulud: Cooking in New York City (2002). After working at Daniel, Chef Reginensi moved on to serve as a private chef for a prominent family in New York City for seven years.
After a little less than a year serving as Executive Chef at the Hotel Americano, Reginensi joined Le Cirque where he will travel the path of so many great chefs before him while simultaneously making his own mark on this legendary New York restaurant.
Olivier Reginensi lives in New York City with his wife and two children.
oreginensiCity HarvestExecutive Chef
“Make things happen.”
That’s the mantra that celebrated Chef Kevin Sbraga reminds himself of daily to keep his focus on why he works in the competitive culinary world and what he wants to achieve. “I’ve always made goals for myself,” says the chef, winner of Bravo TV’s “Top Chef: Season 7” and owner of modern American Sbraga in Philadelphia. “I put myself in positions that have room to grow. I’m not one to sit around and wait, so I make things happen on my own.”
In 2008, Sbraga—who had previously held positions in Atlanta and Philly kitchens—applied that philosophy to his consulting work with Jose Garces to test recipes for the chef-proprietor’s Latin Evolution cookbook. Sbraga impressed Garces with his dedication, which ultimately earned him a full-time role as culinary director of Garces Restaurant Group.
With Garces’ support, he also competed in the Bocuse d’Or USA culinary competition in fall 2008. He fondly remembers the competition as “one of the toughest meals I’ve ever created,” as he impressed the judges and earned the award for Best Meat Presentation. His philosophy to create new opportunities worked well when, after returning from Bocuse d’Or, he found himself looking for his next culinary challenge. After exploring several leads, he was hand selected by Stephen Starr for the position of executive chef at Rat’s Restaurant at the Grounds for Sculpture, an arboretum in Hamilton, NJ.
In 2010, Sbraga relished the opportunity to join the season seven cast of the popular TV show “Top Chef”—utilizing competition knowledge from Bocuse d’Or to secure himself a spot in the finale. In between the taping of the regular season and the final episode, Sbraga experienced a moment of clarity. “I realized I needed to do my own thing,” he says. “Even though I hadn’t won yet, I felt like I’d won already because I had the found the confidence I needed to open my own restaurant.”
Sbraga went on to win “Top Chef: Season 7,” and by October 2011, he had opened the doors to his eponymous restaurant. With menus that focus on pairing the most flavorful ingredients available with the perfect beverages, Sbraga restaurant delights its guests with an ever-changing array of taste experiences. “I learned on ‘Top Chef’ that you can’t always play by the rules, and no matter what, you’ve got to cook from the heart and cook what’s good,” he says. “That’s what I’m doing now at Sbraga and what I hope to accomplish with any other concepts I open in the future.”
The Johnson & Wales University, Miami, graduate lives in his hometown of Willingboro, NJ, 20 minutes outside of Philadelphia with his wife, Jesmary, the restaurant’s pastry chef, and their two children, Jenae, 7, and Angelo, 2. A travel enthusiast, Sbraga hits the open road on his motorcycle in his spare time.
###ksbragaWorld Vision InternationalChef/Owner
Blue Collar Restaurant, Miami
Born and raised in Miami, Florida Daniel Serfer returns to his hometown to open Blue Collar Restaurant. Though Serfer spent some time working in restaurants during college, he had always planned on becoming a lawyer. After graduating from Florida State University in 2004, while preparing a dinner and studying for the LSATs, he realized his real inspiration came from cooking and not the law. In 2004 Serfer was accepted into the acclaimed culinary school, Le Cordon Bleu in Miramar. Upon enrolling Serfer took his first real restaurant job at famed Chef Allen’s of Aventura, Florida.
Serfer worked at Chef Allen’s for 5 years, eventually gaining the title of Chef de Cuisine, which he held for the last 2 ½ years of his career there. During this time he was even brought in as a chef consultant on the FOX hit show Kitchen Nightmares. The show aired at a later date in 2010. Looking to gain more experience in the culinary world, Serfer decided it was time to move on taking a position as Executive Chef at The 15TH Street Fisheries & Dockside Café in Fort Lauderdale. During his residency there, Serfer revamped the entire restaurant, creating a more modern and approachable menu and increasing sales by 30%.
Inspired by Serfer’s success with 15th Street Fisheries, the Fisheries sent him to New York City to train with the Union Square Hospitality Group where he was able to observe the workings of their acclaimed restaurants Grammercy Tavern and The Modern. Falling in love with the city, Serfer took a job as Chef de Cuisine of the Tribeca Grand Hotel in 2010. During his time there he was proud to serve many notable guests including Kanye West, Jim Carrey & Jay Z.
During a vacation to Miami to visit family in 2011, Serfer became privy to a great opportunity – American Noodle Bar was closing and he could purchase the space and start something of his own. Anxious to make his mark on the culinary world, Serfer packed his bags and began work on his new concept: Blue Collar Restaurant. Serfer looks forward to serving locals contemporary comfort food in a laid back environment that feels like home. With an emphasis on value, portion sizes always surpass price. The menu is fun and approachable while remaining diverse enough to please every diner, from carnivore to vegetarian.bluecollarmiamiChef/Owner
The Breakers, Palm Beach
In May 1996, a talented young chef named Jeff Simms joined the culinary team at The Breakers Palm Beach, one of America’s legendary resort destinations. Today, Simms holds the position of executive chef of banquets at the award-winning resort. An effective leader who engages a variety of employees from all over the world, he oversees a team of 60 staff members to orchestrate all resort banquet operations including food service at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. Whether the venue is a majestic ballroom at The Breakers or a captivating beach paradise on the island of Palm Beach, Simms’ goal is to deliver the highest level of food quality and presentation to hundreds of guests. His outstanding banquet fare rivals that served in the finest restaurants in the country, yet he is able to deliver that quality to an average of 15,000 guests per month.
Poised and self-confident, Chef Simms deals with a wide variety of people and can be counted on to get the difficult job done, whether his brand of upscale food service is served to 10, 50, 500 or even more. He coordinates meticulously prepared and artfully presented meals that are consistently rated the highest quality by the most discerning clients. Chef Simms’ banquet fare wows everyone from the discriminating chairperson of a gala fundraising event, to the seasoned corporate meeting planner, to the most demanding mother of the bride.
The key to Chef Simms’ success is two-fold. Firstly, it is his personal mission to procure top-of-the-line products from the most respected purveyors. “We obtain absolutely the best available locally sourced products on the market, as these core ingredients are the foundation for outstanding cuisine,” he said. “We then concentrate on using methods of preparation that liberate the true nature of the food,” he continued.
“While we try to be cutting edge in our presentation and service, this approach to food preparation is what releases the purest flavor of our dishes. We want to create nothing less than ‘delectable’ for our guests.”
An example is one of The Breakers’ favorite classics, rack of lamb. Chef only buys lamb from a small farm in Colorado, a practice that has been in place for the many years he’s worked at the resort. “We know how this farm controls the harvest, and while we tried other lamb from other sources, none match the incredible flavor profile of our traditional purveyor,” he said. And following suit, he and his banquet culinary team prepare rack of lamb with nothing more than a light Dijonnaise crust – which consistently earns rave reviews.
Simms attended Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Prior to his arrival at The Breakers Palm Beach, he was the executive chef at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. He has garnered many culinary accolades, particularly for his expertise in preparing restaurant-quality cuisine in a banquet setting. He received the Outstanding Sales Achievement Award and Manager of the Quarter from The Breakers. Simms also earned numerous industry accolades, including the Culinary Excellence Award from La Chaine Des Rotisseurs, a prestigious food and wine society, and the Outstanding Culinary Achievement Award from the American Academy of Chefs. Johnson & Wales University, renowned for its culinary arts education program, honored Simms as Distinguished Visiting Chef and The Palm Beach Daily News named him one of 100 leaders in Palm Beach.
Under Simms’ leadership, The Breakers received the Award of Excellence from the American Culinary Federation in 2012. The award was created to honor properties that demonstrate excellence and passion for the culinary arts through its unparalleled food and beverage program. Simms also received the Chef of the Year Award in 2011 and 2007, and Member of the Year Award in 2005 from the American Culinary Federation of Palm Beach County.
With what free time Chef Simms has left in his day, he donates his culinary artistry to local charities such as the Quantum House, Children’s Home Society, the Cancer Alliance of Health and Hope and the Chef and the Child Foundation. These endeavors have earned him a laundry list of community service awards and a trophy of honors. He is currently a member of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), and serves as Second Vice President of the ACF Palm Beach County Chapter’s Board of Directors.
Chef Simms’ thirst for knowledge is manifested in continuing education programs, from both Penn State and Johnson and Wales Universities. He enjoys “paying it forward” and passing on his skills, experiences and wealth of knowledge by teaching and training young chefs, particularly apprentices and externs. Without a doubt, one of these young chefs that has been privileged to work with Chef will name him as mentor.Feeding South FloridaExecutive Chef
Lantana Jacks, Lantana
Charles Steadman has long been guiding Palm Beach’s cocktail culture. A Untied States Bartenders Guild member, Steadman’s experiences behind the shaker have taken him across the globe, working on various gigs for Remy Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Marriott and Waldorf Astoria hotels as well as a milieu of restaurants and special events. And, as the longtime barman for The Breakers’ Echo, Steadman helped develop some of the savviest sips to come from the Island for more than a decade.
Now, as director of Luxe Libations, a full-service bar company concentrating in cocktail creation, costing, presentation and training for events and businesses, as well as managing partner of Lantana Jacks Bar & Grill, Steadman is using his personal cocktail style—a cross between classic and contemporary—to continuing to develop and enhance South Florida’s cocktail scene and beyond.
For a firsthand experience, “escape the day” with Steadman over at Lantana Jacks and sample a few of the sips that have made him one of the most sought-after and praised mixologists in town.Mixologist
Cochon, New Orleans
Winner of the 2011 James Beard Foundations “Best Chef South” Stephen Stryjewski is the Chef and co-owner of the award winning Cochon Restaurant in New Orleans’ Warehouse District. Prior to opening Cochon, he worked with his now partner Donald Link at Herbsaint Restaurant where he was recognized for his delicious, simple, straightforward cuisine and his commitment to using local, seasonal ingredients. That commitment has continued through to Butcher, an artisanal meat shop and “sWine Bar” that opened in 2009 focusing on European cured meats and Cajun sausages and an expansion of Cochon to Lafayette Louisiana.
The James Beard Foundation named Cochon a “Best New Restaurant” finalist in 2007. Stephen’s cooking has been recognized in the New York Times by Frank Bruni, “Coast to Coast Restaurants that Count”; and Sam Sifton, and “Dishes that Earned their Stars” as well as Best New Chef by New Orleans Magazine; a Chef to Watch by the Times-Picayune; Cochon has been recognized consistently in the Top Ten New Orleans Restaurants in the Times-Picayune Dining Guide.
In 1997, Stephen graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and went on to work for some of the most notable chefs and restaurants in America including Michael Chiarello at TraVigne, Jamie Shannon at Commanders Palace, and Jeff Buben at Vidalia. Stephen grew up moving frequently as an “Army Brat” and has traveled extensively in the United States and Europe. He resides in New Orleans’ Irish Channel with his wife and two girls.cracklinfatChefs CollaborativeChef/Partner
Food Network Host Unwrapped
Walk down any street in America with TV host Marc Summers and you’ll discover that daytime viewers of all ages will stop to say hello. Nighttime viewers will recognize him from his famous appearance with Burt Reynolds on The Tonight Show, and his guest appearances on Politically Incorrect. Marc has also appeared on numerous morning and talk shows including Oprah, The View and The Today Show.
Born in Indianapolis, Marc enjoyed entertaining and dabbled in magic as a child. He wound up in Los Angeles working as a comedian, later combining his comedic and magic skills at the Magic Castle, a theme restaurant and club. His foray into hosting started when, as a CBS page, he filled in for an announcer ofThe Joker’s Wild. His quick wit and charm gained immediate notice, and Marc began performing studio audience warm-ups for such shows as Soap, Alice, and Star Search. Soon after, Marc was offered the chance to host Nickelodeon’s Double Dare, little realizing this would be the springboard to his future in television.
Marc enjoyed his nearly 10-year association with Nickelodeon, including an ongoing role as a programming consultant, producer and director. He became a recognized TV personality from hosting Double Dare as well as the equally popular What Would You Do?. His enthusiasm and ability to encourage people to do anything made both shows instant hits, putting the network on the map.
But no project better showcased his talent than Nickelodeon’s Pick Your Brain. Marc was creator, executive producer and host of this syndicated game show featuring three young contestants. Like many of Marc’s shows, it stressed teamwork and healthy competition with parents.
After five years as a correspondent and guest host on ABC’s Home Show, during which he covered such stories as families with relatives in the Gulf War and the Branch Davidian stand-off live in Waco, TX, Marc began hosting Lifetime’s daily lifestyle series Our Home. Today, Marc covers the sweeter things in life as host of Food Network’s Unwrapped and is a host and judge of Food Network’s Ultimate Recipe Showdown.
Marc admits that all this exposure has allowed him to live out many dreams, such as hitting against Orel Hersheiser in Dodger Stadium and flying an F-18 with the Blue Angels.
“The thing I enjoy most about my career is the variety of things I’ve been able to accomplish,” he says.
Marc also serves as executive producer of Food Network’s popular primetime show Restaurant: Impossible, 24$ in 24 Hours and assorted specials. Marc splits his time between Los Angeles and Philadelphia.
Alex’s Lemonade StandOfficial Festival Host
Jacques Torres Chocolates, New York
Fondly referred to as Mr. Chocolate, Jacques Torres (www.mrchocolate.com) is the authority on all things related to this confectionery delight. Through his early years as a pastry chef, Jacques developed a deep affinity and passion for chocolate. Raised in France, Jacques fulfilled his American dream in 2000 with the opening of his first chocolate factory, Jacques Torres Chocolate in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Jacques was a pioneer—the first artisan chocolatier to start from cocoa beans to make his own chocolate. Jacques prides himself on specializing in fresh, hand-crafted chocolates using premium ingredients free of preservatives and artificial flavors.
Jacques and his chocolate became an instant success attracting fans from all over the country. In 2004, he opened his second chocolate factory and flagship store, Jacques Torres Chocolate, in downtown New York City on Hudson Street. With a retail viewing space surrounded by 5,000 square feet of a chocolate manufacturing plant, at the Hudson St. workshop, visitors can peer into Jacques’ venerated process of turning cocoa beans into chocolate bars. Today, Jacques produces and sells his chocolates and other high-end confectionery products at his two workshops and retail-only boutiques on the Upper West Side, Chelsea Market, and Rockefeller Center, all in Manhattan.
Jacques’ story begins in Bandol, France, a small town in the southern region of Provence. At an early age, Jacques was inspired to start a culinary career thanks to his love for food and making people happy. Despite not having extensive prior training, but having 3 years apprenticeship, Jacques considered himself a craftsman and, in 1980, landed a job with Michelin two-star chef Jacques Maximin at the Hotel Negresco starting a relationship that would last 8 years and take him around the globe. In 1986, Jacques was awarded the prestigious M.O.F. medal, the youngest chef to earn the distinction. Jacques counts his M.O.F. coach, Lou Lou Franchain, as a role model – along with Frank Mars of M&M Mars and Leonardo DaVinci who have served as sources of inspiration throughout his career.
In 1988, he ventured to the U.S. as the Corporate Pastry Chef for Ritz Carlton. It was Jacques’ intention to pursue the American dream. In 1989, the legendary Sirio Maccioni invited Jacques to work at New York City’s most famous restaurant, Le Cirque. For 11 years, Jacques served presidents, kings, and celebrities in his every day work at the iconic restaurant.
During his time at Le Cirque, Jacques released a 52 episode public television series, Dessert Circus with Jacques Torres, along with two companion cookbooks, Dessert Circus: Extraordinary Desserts You Can Make At Home (William Morrow), which earned a 1999 James Beard Award nomination, and Dessert Circus At Home (William Morrow). He also hosted a television series, Chocolate with Jacques Torres, on the Food Network for three years. Jacques’ third cookbook, A Year in Chocolate (Stewart, Tabori and Chang) was released in 2008. He continues to participate in culinary events and make guest appearances on television shows such as Top Chef: Just Desserts and Chopped All Stars. Additionally, Jacques proudly serves as Dean of Pastry Arts at New York’s The French Culinary Institute.
Jacques generously donates his time to many national charity organizations including American Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, God’s Love We Deliver, New York’s Hard of Hearing Association, Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Center, the Association to Benefit Children, Make a Wish Foundation, and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. He loves children and dedicates himself to causes that support their well-being and happiness.
Jacques makes his home in New York City where he often spends nights on his beloved boat docked in the Hudson River. He is a boating and fishing aficionado and feels just as at home on the water as he does in the chocolate factory. Jacques is married to Hasty Torres, a fellow chocolatier who founded her own chocolate shop in Beverly Hills called Madame Chocolat.
For more information about Jacques Torres Chocolates, please contact The Brooks Group at 212-768-0860 or @brooksgrouppr.jacquestorresSt. Jude Children’s Research HospitalChef/Owner
Legendary Chef Norman Van Aken is known internationally as “the founding father of New World Cuisine,” a celebration of Latin, Caribbean, Asian, African and American flavors. He is also known for introducing the concept of “fusion” to the culinary world in a symposium on American cooking in Santa Fe in 1988. He is the only Floridian inducted into the prestigious James Beard list of “Who’s Who in American Food and Beverage.” His restaurant “NORMAN’S” was nominated as a finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Restaurant in America”. He has been a semi-finalist for “Best Chef in America”.
He is the Chef and Director of Restaurants at The Miami Culinary Institute as well as the Chef-Owner of “NORMAN’S at the Ritz-Carlton, Grande Lakes, Orlando”.
In 2006, he was honored as one of the “Founders of the New American Cuisine,” alongside Alice Waters, Paul Prudhomme, and Mark Miller at Spain’s International Summit of Gastronomy ‘Madrid Fusión’ event.
Chef Norman Van Aken has published four books: Feast of Sunlight 1988, The Exotic Fruit Book 1995, Norman’s New World Cuisine 1997, and New World Kitchen 2003. His next book will be published in October, (2012) “My Key West Kitchen” and is co- authored with his son, Justin.
“Norman Van Aken is the Walt Whitman of American Cuisine” — Charlie Trotter
Vetri Restaurant, Philadelphia
Trained in Bergamo, Italy, by some of the region’s most noted chefs, Marc Vetri brings a bold, contemporary sensibility to classic Italian cooking. Within two years of opening his eponymous Philadelphia restaurant, Marc was named one of Food & Wine’s Ten Best New Chefs and received the Philadelphia Inquirer’s highest restaurant rating. In 2005, Marc won the James Beard Award for “Best Chef Mid-Atlantic.”
Marc opened Vetri, his intimate fine-dining restaurant in the heart of Center City Philadelphia in 1998. His outstanding pastas, innovative flavor combinations and artful presentations captured diners’ imaginations and propelled Marc to the forefront of culinary trends. February 2007, Marc opened Osteria just north of Center City at 640 North Broad Street. The much larger and more casual second restaurant is the perfect place for traditional Italian thin crust pizza, homemade pastas and wood grilled meats and fish. Osteria was nominated for “Best New Restaurant” in 2008 by James Beard Foundation.
In January 2010, Marc opened his third restaurant, Amis, located in Washington Square at 412 South 13th Street. Inspired by Rome’s neighborhood trattorias, this smaller but energetic restaurant specializes in small plates such as handcrafted pastas and house cured meats. In November 2010, Bon Appetit named Amis one of the top “10 Places for Pasta” in the country. Marc’s latest venture, Alla Spina, an Italian gastropub also located on North Broad Street, opened February 2012.
In all of the restaurants, Marc’s flavors are simple yet pronounced. Freshness is his muse. He chooses the finest seasonal ingredients from local farm markets and premium purveyors around the US and Italy. He keeps cooking to a minimum and preparations straightforward. “Cooking is about finding high-quality, regional ingredients,” he says, “then using the simplest techniques to convey their purity.”
Marc’s is the author of Il Viaggio di Vetri (Ten Speed Press, Oct. 1, 2008) a collection of more than 125 of his most-requested dishes. The book tells the story of Marc’s culinary journey from Philadelphia to California to Italy to New York and finally, back to Philly to share the Italian cuisine he loves with the people in his hometown. His second cookbook, Rustic Italian Food (Ten Speed Press, Nov. 1, 2011), brought artisan cooking into home kitchens and was named one of the top cookbooks of 2011 by such outlets as Bon Appetit, St. Petersburg Times and The Huffington Post.
Marc is actively involved in many philanthropic causes. In 2009, Marc and his business partner, Jeff Benjamin, created the Vetri Foundation for Children. Its mission is to promote healthy living styles among at-risk youth. One of the foundation’s signature initiatives is its “Eatiquette” school lunch improvement program in children experience the connection between good and healthy living. Marc and Jeff are also the founders of the “Great Chefs Event,” which brings together scores of the country’s greatest chefs to raise money and awareness for the pediatric cancer charity, Alex’s Lemonade Stand.
Marc lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Megan, and their three children. He enjoys spending Sundays cooking with his children and teaching them how to make pasta.
marcvetriVetri Foundation for ChildrenChef/Owner
Firenze Osteria, North Hollywood
Chef Fabio Viviani has possessed a passion for food since his childhood growing up in Florence, Italy. At age 11, Viviani worked nights at a local bakery (since he was too young to officially join the staff) and, over his teenage years, held several positions in the restaurant industry, even serving under the mentorship of Simone Mugnaini, an iconic figure in the Italian restaurant scene.
Between his training in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine at IPSSAR Saffi and working with culinary luminaries such as Simone Mugnaini, Alessandro Panzani and Saverio Carmagini, Viviani owned and operated 5 restaurants in Florence, a Farm House and 2 nightclubs by the time he was 27. Although a well-respected business man in Italy, he was ready for a change and moved to Ventura County, CA. There he opened Cafe Firenze in Moorpark and, soon after, popular Los Angeles Italian eatery, Firenze Osteria, North Hollywood.
Fabio Viviani is perhaps best known for his appearance on season 5 of Bravo’s hit reality series “Top Chef” in 2008, earning the “Fan Favorite” title. Viviani returned to Bravo in 2010 to compete in their “Top Chef All Stars” edition and a spinoff culinary reality show “Life after Top Chef”, on air now. His on screen appearances have propelled him to become one of the fastest growing household names in the country. A gregarious host and entertaining guest, Viviani has appeared in a number of television cooking segments and is a recurring guest on television shows such as Good Morning America, The Talk, The Chew, Ellen Degeneres, Good Day LA, Access Hollywood, and hosts a regular spot on QVC channel with various kitchen appliances and products. He is also the host of the award-winning web series “Chow Ciao!” on Yahoo!, the #1 lifestyle and food show on the internet that airs weekly on Mondays.
Off screen, Viviani is a regular headliner at global food events and festivals, sells a line of ceramics cookware at Bed Bath & Beyond, and is a proud endorser of beloved brands such as Bialetti Cookwear, Bertolli Olive Oil and Yahoo.com. He has authored two successful cookbooks, Cafe Firenze Cookbook and The Skinny Country, and his e-book Did I Really Make Breakfast?, appeared on multiple Amazon bestseller lists within weeks of release. He will also share is family recipes with the world in a cookbook, due out in 2013. Viviani regularly shares recipes with his fans through is newsletter, Fabio’s Kitchen Academy. Rounding out the Fabio Viviani brand, Viviani offers elite restaurant consulting through his program, Firenze Consulting. Teaming up with the Chicago’s most innovative restaurant consulting group, Dine|Amic, Viviani will also open a third restaurant called Siena Tavern in Chicago, Illinois in 2013.fabiovivianiAmerican Humane Association
Malcolm's, Palm Beach
Born and raised in New York, Chef Michael Wurster has become a staple in modern innovative cuisine in New York over the last 10 years and continues to push the boundaries in fine dining kitchens. Michael has achieved many critical accolades in print and online for his unique and inspired cuisine, appeared on CBS Morning and was named “A Chef I will be watching closely” by Esquires John Mariani.
A graduate of the famed Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park New York, Michael honed his craft in the kitchens of Le Cirque 2000 under Sottah Kuhn when the restaurant received 4 stars from the New York Times, Alain Ducasse New York as part of the opening 4 Starred team and The French Laundry in California under Thomas Keller amongst others. In 2001 at just 26, Michael was named Chef de Cuisine of the Relais & Chateaux famed Lutèce in New York. Chef Wurster also held the same position at 11 Madison Park before heading off to remake ICON Restaurant for W Hotels on 39th street in Murray Hill on Manhattans east side as their Executive Chef. Most recently Michael was chosen, amongst many of New York’s culinary elite, to become the Chef behind the stoves at the landmark Tavern on the Green by Dean Poll.
While reinventing his cuisine Michael has become a staunch advocate toward responsible cooking and sustainable foods through modern technique. Chef Wurster feels a personal responsibility to pass on ingredients to the next generation of chefs while continuing to pursue new and innovative technique to bring sustainable food to all of his creations and those that he mentors along the way.malcolmsomphoyExecutive Chef
Welcome to the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival 2012!