Bullard Restaurant (Portland, OR)
Doug Adams, a standout contestant on Season 12 of BRAVO’s Top Chef, is most definitely up to something. Born in Colorado, raised in Texas, he got his start in the kitchens of Missoula, Montana before moving to Portland to attend the Western Culinary Institute (now Le Cordon Bleu). Adams launched his career in Portland at Lucier, did a stint in the kitchen with Portland’s Andy Ricker, and helped acclaimed Chef Greg Denton open MetroVino before moving to the city’s iconic Paley’s Place. When Chef Vitaly Paley opened Imperial, Adams helped to launch the restaurant as Sous Chef before being tapped to lead the team as Chef de Cuisine in 2014. At Imperial, Adams’ creative energy and leadership earned him a nomination as a 2016 James Beard Award “Rising Star, 2015 Chef of the Year” from Eater PDX and Imperial itself the distinction of “2015 Best Restaurant” from Willamette Week. He left Imperial in July 2016 to pursue his upcoming Bullard restaurant in the Woodlark boutique hotel in Downtown Portland.
Gather & Feast (Australia)
Ashley is a self-taught cook, recipe developer and stylist from Melbourne, Australia. In 2014, along with her husband Mike, Ashley launched ‘Gather & Feast’, a website featuring beautiful healthy food and free recipes and resources for styling gatherings with ease and confidence. Gather & Feast was inspired by a thought of the multifaceted meaning of to gather and feast. The gathering together of beautiful food, and also the gathering together of friends and loved ones. To feast, to celebrate, to share, to enjoy, to love. Ashley has styled and developed recipes for a number of clients including KitchenAid, HP, Loving Earth, WellCo, The Design Files, Pana Chocolate and Chigo Design. She has been featured in various publications, most recently the Huffington Post, Woman’s Day, Elle, Zeit Magazine, Martha Stewart, Camille Styles, Where Women Cook, and The Design Files. When she’s not in the kitchen, Ashley can be found exploring farmers markets and gourmet food stores, discovering her new favourite gelato flavour, and visiting Melbourne’s new city cafes and restaurants.
Bottle+Kitchen (Portland, OR)
Leading the innovative culinary team at Bottle+Kitchen is Chef de Cuisine Tim Alves. A few months before his 30th birthday Alves got his first restaurant job in a neighborhood pizza place. He says the food was garbage but fell in love with cooking. He soon moved on to Cira33 as a brunch cook and worked his way up to Head Chef. This is where Alves truly fell in love with cooking and started to refine his craft. From here he went on to study under James Beard award winning chef Greg Higgins. At Higgins, Alves discovered the true beauty of food, or what he calls “the magic of a sprinkle.” He believes in the simple beauty of cooking, where a sprinkle of salt or sugar can transform a dish from “meh” to “yes please!” With fresh eyes and childlike wonder Alves is ready to make a splash in the dynamic Portland food scene by creating distinct flavor combinations that celebrate authentic regional cuisine. He is most excited by cooking the kind of food he loves to eat, and at the end of the day going home to his beloved cat Chubbs.
Gramercy Tavern (New York, NY)
Michael Anthony is Executive Chef and Partner of Gramercy Tavern, as well as Executive Chef of Untitled and Studio Cafe at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Mike grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and graduated from Indiana University. He moved to France in 1992 and spent five years training and working in several renowned kitchens. When he returned to the U.S., he joined the team at Restaurant Daniel, then became Chef de Cuisine at March Restaurant before moving on to ultimately become Executive Chef at Blue Hill Stone Barns. In September 2006 Mike took the position of Executive Chef at Gramercy Tavern. In this role he leads the restaurant into its next chapter while staying true to its original vision: to honor the rich tradition of American cooking and bring guests together in a convivial spirit of community to enjoy exceptional, seasonal food. Passionate about using ingredients that can be traced to their sources, Mike forges strong ties between the restaurant and local farmers. Mike was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs” in 2002 and was also lauded in Bon Appétit’s “Next Generation” in 2003. In 2008, Gramercy Tavern earned the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Restaurant. In 2012, Michael won the James Beard Award for “Best Chef in New York City” and in 2015, he won the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Chef,” a national recognition. In 2016, Michael’s V is for Vegetables won the James Beard Award for “Vegetable Focused and Vegetarian” cookbooks.
St. Jack (Portland, OR)
Aaron Barnett’s fascination with 60’s and 70’s culture, from food to music, began as a kid growing up in Canada with parents who instilled in him a love of cooking and eating well. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in L.A., Barnett landed at Lumière in Vancouver, B.C., followed by Restaurant Gary Danko in San Francisco—two of the world’s premier dining destinations. Learning from the industry’s most talented and impassioned chefs proved to be pivotal for Barnett. When he opened St. Jack in 2010, his mission was to create Portland Oregon’s quintessential French restaurant. The result—a homage to the traditional Bouchons of Lyon, taking on classic and often adventurous bistro fare using Pacific Northwest ingredients and Barnett’s expert influence—has indeed become a Portland institution. St. Jack has won multiple awards, including the Oregonian’s Rising Star in 2010, the Portland Rising Star Chef award in 2011, and a nod from James Beard in 2012. Like St. Jack, Barnett’s second project, La Moule, which opened in 2015, is a celebration of time, place, and rustic refinement, offering an unabashedly playful, modernized spin on retro, continental cuisine and French technique. When Barnett is not at his restaurants, he enjoys exploring Oregon and appreciating music with his wife and son.
Olmsted (Brooklyn, NY)
Baxtrom has spent the past decade working in some of the world’s most exciting kitchens, including Alinea, Per Se, Atera (where he met horticulturalist Ian Rothman), Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and most recently Lysverket in Norway. In spring 2016, Baxtrom opened Olmsted, just two blocks from Prospect Park. At this neighborhood restaurant, Baxtrom fuses his experience and training with his respect for agriculture, creating a vegetable-focused menu. Since opening, the restaurant has received numerous accolades from The New York Times, Food & Wine, Eater, and others.
Big's Chicken (Portland, OR)
Vermont native Benjamin Bettinger moved to Portland in 2001 to attend Le Cordon Bleu’s Western Culinary Institute. His dedication and leadership in school resulted in a coveted internship with chef Vitaly Paley at Paley’s Place. Ben’s commitment and hard work resulted in a promotion to sous chef at Paley’s Place where he continued to cultivate his skills while developing strong relationships with local farmers, ranchers, foragers and purveyors. While there, the restaurant received numerous accolades, including chef Paley’s James Beard Award for “Best Chef Northwest,” and Ben rose to Chef de Cuisine. In 2008, he accepted the position of Executive Chef of Beaker and Flask, which opened in 2009 to critical acclaim, including “Restaurant of the Year “by Willamette Week. He and Paley remained in close contact, so much so that he served as sous chef in a victory against chef Jose Garces on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America in 2011. The two collaborated with the opening of Paley’s Imperial Restaurant in September of 2012 where Ben served as executive chef. After two years developing systems for both Imperial and Portland Penny Diner he accepted a position at Laurelhurst Market as Executive Chef.
Blue Smoke (New York, NY)
Growing up in the small town of Thibodaux, Louisiana in a family that practiced seasonal rituals such as catching catfish, duck hunting, making fig preserves, and cleaning shrimp, Jean-Paul grew up surrounded by vibrant Southern cuisine, prepared by two parents who had a passion for living off the land and cooking with fresh, seasonal ingredients. These early experiences of flavorful food, and the way it brought family and friends together, left their imprint on Jean-Paul, who enrolled at John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University, where he received his Bachelor’s degree. During his time in culinary school, Jean-Paul was selected as one of four lucky students to participate in an exchange program with the Paul Bocuse Institute in Lyon, France. The trip opened his eyes to the richness of French food culture and the seriousness with which they treated their national cuisine. After completing his formal studies, he worked at Étoile restaurant at the Domaine Chandon winery in Napa and then moved to San Francisco to become opening sous chef at EPIC Roasthouse under Chef Jan Birnbaum. In 2007, finding himself craving a change of pace, Jean-Paul moved to the island of St. Thomas, where he served as sous chef of two local restaurants and developed a true passion for soul food, which played a pivotal role in helping define his vision as a Southern chef. In early 2009, Jean-Paul decided to return to the U.S., and packed his bags to head to New York City, despite not knowing anyone there and never having visited. Soon after, he joined the Maialino team three months after Union Square Hospitality Group opened the Roman-inspired trattoria in Gramercy Park. In 2014, Jean-Paul became Executive Chef of Blue Smoke Enterprises, which includes Blue Smoke, Jazz Standard and Blue Smoke On The Road.
Bakeshop (Portland, OR)
Kim Boyce moved to Portland in June 2010 as former Spago and Campanile Pastry Chef, on the heels of publishing her James Beard award-winning cookbook, Good to the Grain. Boyce’s cookbook broke the mold for whole-grain baking. By teaching home cooks that you can have your rye flour cake and eat it too, she’s opened up a new world for bakers interested in heirloom, whole grain flavors. You can find her most days at her retail and wholesale bakery, Bakeshop, open since 2011 in Northeast Portland. She has contributed to Bon Appétit, O, NPR, Portland Monthly, Whole Living and the Los Angeles Times.
Eggslut (Los Angeles, CA)
Angelino Alvin Cailan grew up in a Filipino household with parents who encouraged hard work. By the time he was a senior in high school, he had moved from scraping plates to managing a kitchen. Alvin studied business at California State University Fullerton and landed a job at a construction firm. The job didn’t last long, but in a stroke of luck, he walked away with two years severance – money he used to bankroll the culinary career plan of his dreams. Alvin went to the Oregon Culinary Institute and spent time at Matthew Lightner’s Castagna, Elias Cairo’s Olympia Provisions, Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, and French Laundry. He also made rounds at Spago and Hatfield’s in his hometown. After graduation, Alvin served as Michael Hannigan’s Chef de Partie at Portland, Oregon’s Ten 01, before returning to California to work at chef David LeFevre’s MBeach Post – where he cooked a lot of eggs. Putting all his eggs in one basket, he launched the wildly successful EggSlut. After long days of making breakfast in downtown Los Angeles, chef Alvin took comfort in ramen. In 2014, he teamed up with chef Nathan Asamoto to develop a from scratch ramen concept, and the two debuted Ramen Champ.
Olympia Provisions (Portland, OR)
Olympia Provisions chef/owner/salumist Elias Cairo is a first generation Greek-American who learned the craft of charcuterie by watching his father, who cured meat at the family’s home in Salt Lake City. These old world preparations and preservation techniques set the foundation for his lifelong fascination with meat. Elias started cooking at a young age in his father’s restaurants, and at the age of 20 began a trade apprenticeship in Switzerland, where for over four years he was taught classic techniques of cooking, butchery, and charcuterie. Eli then received a formal culinary education in Switzerland and shortly after, apprenticed in a hotel kitchen in Greece. In the summer of 2009, Elias opened Olympia Provisions, Oregon’s first USDA-certified meat curing facility, and two European-style deli and restaurants. At Olympia Provisions, Elias approaches the craft of charcuterie with purity and patience. The Olympia Provisions team butchers antibiotic-free Pacific Northwest pork, holding its cured meats in natural casings. When he’s not curing meat and trying new foods, Elias spends much of his free time in the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest, fly-fishing and rock climbing. His adventurous spirit has brought on many adventures both local and worldwide, and shows no signs of stopping.
RingSide Steakhouse Uptown (Portland, OR)
Chef Beau started his culinary career while still in high school, working dinner service at a local cafe after school. After graduation Beau traveled the U.S. working in New York, and Colorado for major hotels and eventually returned to Portland to attend Western Culinary Institute and serve as Sous Chef at Huber’s. Beau opened The Northwest Restaurant in the Columbia Gorge in the early 90’s, was Chef and Owner at Chalet Swiss on Mt. Hood, and has been Executive Chef for Ringside Steakhouse since 1998. Beau likes to stay connected to Portland’s food scene by working events like Feast, and John Gorham’s Versus at Plaza Del Toro with some of the city’s best chefs. And at Ringside, he is pushing the culinary boundaries of what a classic American steakhouse can be.
Bar Amá (Los Angeles, CA)
Josef Centeno is the Chef-Owner of six Los Angeles restaurants. He has been called the “culinary mayor” of downtown L.A. and “a prime mover of what we’ve come to think of as Los Angeles cuisine.” (He wouldn’t ever say this about himself.) Josef opened his first restaurant, Eastern Mediterranean-influenced Bäco Mercat, in 2011, one of the first restaurants to shift critical attention to the center of downtown. Others soon followed: Tex-Mex restaurant Bar Amá, Italian- and Japanese-influenced Orsa & Winston, American cafe and bar Ledlow, and vegetable-centered P.Y.T.—all on the same block. He recently ventured across town to Culver City, where he opened BäcoShop. Josef likes macchiatos, surfing, and hanging out with his two dogs—Bear and Winston.
Souvla (San Francisco, CA)
Tony Cervone is the culinary force behind Souvla, overseeing menu quality and consistency, team training, and daily culinary operations of the restaurant. Tony has been integral in developing the culinary team in anticipation of the company’s scaling efforts, setting the restaurant group up for success in the next stage of business. Prior to joining Souvla, Tony served as Chef de Cuisine of Kokkari Estiatorio, San Francisco’s #1 rated restaurant and the benchmark for fine dining Greek cuisine on the West Coast, for nearly a decade. Tony’s approachability, warm personality and innate leadership in the kitchen has created an atmosphere of collaboration and camaraderie, and Souvla’s dining room and kitchen teams alike love working for and with him.
Chesa (Portland, OR)
José Chesa is a chef. Cooking is not just his job, it is his life. The son of an Aragonian chef, José was exposed to quality food from day one. He grew up cooking alongside his father and grandmother, and he began to display his own talent and acute palate at a very early age. It soon became clear that he had inherited his family’s passion for gastronomic excellence, and with it, José began traveling the globe, honing his craft at prestigious venues including Arpege, Can Fabes, and Fleur-de-Sel. Portland became home for his family and new restaurant Ataula in 2014. In early 2016 he co-founded Portland’s first xurros (churros) shop, 180 with wife Cristina and partner David Martin. Also in 2016, with his wife Cristina and partner, Emily Metivier, José opened his second Spanish restaurant Chesa, which is dedicated to his father. In 2014, José was chosen as Portland Monthly’s “Chef of the Year,” and in 2016 and 2017, he was nominated for “Best Chef Northwest” by the James Beard Foundation.
Han Oak (Portland, OR)
From an early age, Peter Cho developed an intuitive grasp of cooking from his Korean immigrant mother. Peter, a native Oregonian, cut his teeth at New York City’s Spotted Pig before taking over as Executive Chef its sister restaurant, The Breslin. In 2016, Cho opened Han Oak in his home, a prix-fixe Korean-American restaurant merging classic Korean flavors with local ingredients and inventive western techniques. In its debut year Han Oak has garnered Best New Restaurant recognitions from James Beard Foundation, Eater, Thrillist, GQ and Peter was named as one of Food & Wine Magazine‘s 2017 “Best New Chefs.”
Urban Farmer Restaurant (Portland, OR)
Chef Matt Christianson redefines the modern steakhouse by emphasizing sustainable ingredients and simple preparation as executive chef for The Nines Hotel & Director of Culinary Operations for Urban Farmer with locations in Portland, Oregon, Cleveland, Ohio, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After graduating from CIA’s Hyde Park campus in 1997, Christianson worked with Bradley Ogden and the Lark Creek Restaurant Group. He quickly became executive chef at The Lark Creek Inn where he served farm-to-table cuisine. After honing his skills at several restaurants across the country, Urban Farmer united his love of sourcing local ingredients with his affinity for urban environments. He prides himself on being “farmer-centric” and brings the idea of a ‘food community’ to Urban Farmer by maintaining excellent relationships with local farmers and growers.
Petunia's Pies & Pastries (Portland, OR)
Lisa Clark is the Founder/Owner of Petunia’s Pies & Pastries in Portland, OR, where she creates a plethora of innovative desserts, pastries and savory dishes featuring fresh, seasonal, local, wholesome ingredients that are ENTIRELY gluten free & vegan. A self taught creator, Lisa was inspired by her great love for baking, her major food sensitivities and health problems that began at a young age, general well-being and fitness, and most of all, the passing of her mother, from whom she learned the skill of traditional baking technique, and how to express love through creation and nourishment. In 2010, Lisa founded the very first entirely gluten free & vegan baking business in Portland, OR; Petunia’s Pies & Pastries. At the point that she began sharing her inventive, alternative ingredient focused wares with the Rose City, things grew more quickly than Lisa could have ever imagined. On her own at the age of 24, she grew the business from a small farmer’s market operation and expanded into major Portland area wholesale markets (now available at 75+locations), weddings & event services, and shipping product throughout country. In 2014, Lisa opened her first brick & mortar full service café in the popular West End of downtown Portland where she offers the same unique desserts and pastries she is known for, savory dishes, ice cream, cocktails and espresso. Lisa & Petunia’s Pies & Pastries have been featured in Food & Wine, Bon Appétit & Sunset Magazines, The New York Times, and has competed on The Cooking Channel’s Sugar Showdown.
Besaw's (Portland, OR)
Chef Dustin Clark’s rise to Portland’s culinary elite, stemmed from an innate Pacific Northwest Cuisine sensibility: source the finest local ingredients, know your farmers and make lasting relationships, follow your passion, and the cuisine will reflect the integrity. After attending New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, an externship provided Dustin the inspiration to relocate from his home in South Dakota to Portland, Oregon. Dustin’s first few years were split honing his skills between restaurant legend, Zefiro, and what would come to be known as the legendary Pacific Northwest Cuisine restaurant, Wildwood – two groundbreaking restaurants in Portland’s modern dining history. Under the tutelage of Wildwood founder Cory Schreiber, Dustin quickly climbed the ranks, reaching Executive Chef within a few years. Dustin is widely recognized as having elevated Wildwood to its iconic status through his innovative palate and flavor combinations, rigorous technique, as well as being one of the earliest adopters of farm-to-table cooking. In his current role of Executive Chef at Besaw’s, Dustin explores the opportunity to to elevate the game on classic comfort foods, and evolve yet another Portland institution. His long-standing farmer relationships and love of quality product are helping establish the new location of Besaw’s as a neighborhood staple. Next door, the menu at The Solo Club, where Dustin is Executive Chef and Partner at the jewel-box bar, draw inspiration from his travels from around the globe with influences as far away as the Mediterranean and Asia.
Hai Hospitality (Austin, TX)
In May of 2003, Uchi opened in Austin, TX with Tyson Cole as Executive Chef and Co-Owner. Cole’s seamless blending of global ingredients with traditional Japanese flavors to create his celebrated “perfect bite” gained him local, regional and national attention and Uchi soon became one of the top fine dining destinations in Austin. The accolades continued when he was awarded a coveted spot on Food & Wine Magazine’s “Best New Chefs of 2005” list. In May 2011, Cole received a James Beard Foundation Award for “Best Chef Southwest.” Cole celebrated a James Beard Foundation Semi-Finalist nod for “Outstanding Chef in 2016.” Cole opened his second restaurant in Austin, Uchiko, in July 2010 and celebrated the release of Uchi the Cookbook in March 2011. In 2012, he opened an Uchi in Houston, Uchi Dallas in June 2015, and a new concept, Top Knot, in Dallas in February 2016. In 2015, what was formerly known as Uchi Restaurant Group changed its name to Hai Hospitality, a sign of the evolution of the brand and the path ahead. Chef Cole will open a new concept, Loro, in Austin in fall 2017.
Compère Lapin (New Orleans, LA)
Compère Lapin Chef/Owner Nina Compton has more than 15 years’ experience manning the stoves of some of the finest restaurants in the country. Leaving the cozy, warm winters of the Caribbean, Nina chose to move to chilly Hyde Park, NY. Graduating from The Culinary Institute of America, Nina began her professional journey at Daniel in New York City, working and continuing her culinary education alongside world-renowned chef/ restaurateur Daniel Boulud and his team. After moving to Miami, she continued to work with the best, joining the crews of Norman Van Aken at Norman’s, Philippe Ruiz at Palme d’Or, and Casa Casuarina, a private club and boutique hotel in Miami Beach where she rose from sous chef to executive chef of the small yet highly acclaimed property. During a star turn on Bravo’s acclaimed cooking competition show, Top Chef, she was a finalist and fan favorite. An opportunity with Provenance Hotels lured Nina to New Orleans where she opened her first solo restaurant, Compère Lapin, at the Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery in the Warehouse District on June 2, 2015. In addition to her huge success on her first restaurant, Nina is also currently the culinary ambassador for St. Lucia. Nina was recently named one of Food & Wine’s “Best New Chefs 2017” and is a James Beard Award finalist for “Best Chef South.”
Abraham Conlon & Adrienne Lo
Fat Rice (Chicago, IL)
Growing up in Lowell MA, Abraham Conlon’s culinary beginning was heavily impacted by his Portuguese heritage and a strong Southeast Asian presence in his community. Starting his professional culinary career at the age of 15, he started training at the Culinary Institute of America while studying fusion techniques under Norman Van Aken. The next stage in Abraham’s career was running Chez Asian Bistro in the Dominican Republic, melding traditional Southeast Asian styles with local ingredients, followed by Augustine’s at Fredericksburg Square in Virginia, where he at the time became the youngest chef to be awarded a Four Diamond Award by AAA. Adrienne Lo, a Chicago native with Chinese heritage, travelled extensively from studying local cuisine in Northern India to learning traditional Sichuanese dishes in Chengdu. Their current venture, Fat Rice is a return to their respective roots focusing on food from modest traditions, prepared with an immense respect for ritual, custom, and technique. Fat Rice was named “Best 10 New Restaurants” by Bon Appétit, recognized as “Restaurant of the Year 2014 and 2015” by Jean Banchet Awards, and was a 2016 James Beard Awards finalist for “Best Chef Great Lakes.”
Jackrabbit (Portland, OR)
Chris Cosentino is the Chef and Co-Owner of San Francisco’s celebrated Cockscomb restaurant – alongside partner Oliver Wharton and parent company Delicious MFG & CO – and the Chef and Co-Creator of Boccalone artisanal salumeria. Cosentino’s first Executive Chef position began at Incanto in 2002 where his innovative Italian and whole animal cookery drew critical acclaim. Cosentino has appeared on Food Network’s Next Iron Chef America, Chefs vs. City, and Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, earning over $140,000 for The Michael J. Fox Foundation as the season four winner. In March 2017, Cosentino and Wharton opened Jackrabbit in Portland, OR, a restaurant inspired by the Pacific Northwest’s rich history, ingredient sourcing and artisans, located within The Duniway hotel. He is releasing a cookbook, Offal Good (August 2017; Clarkson Potter), and recently debuted Acacia House at the new Las Alcobas Napa Valley.
Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton
OX Restaurant (Portland, OR)
Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton Chef/Owners Ox Restaurant and SuperBite. Together, the two chefs opened Ox Restaurant in April of 2012 and SuperBite in April of 2016 in Portland, Oregon. Ox Restaurant serves Argentine-inspired Portland food. In the short amount of time that Ox has been open, Ox and the Dentons have received the following recognition: 2015, 2016, 2017 finalists James Beard Foundation, “Best Chef Northwest;” 2014 Food & Wine Magazine’s “Best New Chefs;” 2013, 2014 semi-finalists James Beard Foundation, “Best Chef Northwest;” 2013 semi-finalists James Beard Foundation, “Best New Restaurant in America;” The Oregonian’s “Restaurant of the Year 2013;” “Top 50 Best New Restaurants” by Bon Appétit Magazine. Greg and Gabrielle opened their second restaurant, SuperBite: “2016 Portland Best Spin-Off of the Year” Award by Eater.com; “2016 Best New Restaurants” Thrillist, 2016 Best Dishes of 2016, Truffled Spaghettio’s, The Oregonian. Their debut cookbook, Around the Fire, was released in March 2016 (published by Ten Speed Press), to critical acclaim.
Jackrabbit (Portland, OR)
Chris DiMinno grew up in the suburbs of New York City in a large Italian family. In the DiMinno home, food was not simply a form of sustenance, but a lifestyle. DiMinno has worked at Telepan Restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and in the kitchen of farm-to-table guru Dan Barber at his iconic restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns, where he honed his technique and the philosophy that would guide it. Most recently, DiMinno was executive chef at the acclaimed Portland restaurant Clyde Common in the Ace Hotel, then resident chef and event planner at Chris King Precision Components, the Northwest Portland bicycle parts manufacturer. He is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in 2005.
Park Kitchen (Portland, OR)
Working with world-renowned chef Bradley Ogden at his Lark Creek Inn restaurant in California, the elements that would characterize Scott’s food philosophies were brought into focus. Drawn in by the abundant local produce of the region, Scott began putting down roots in Portland in 1993. He began working with leading chefs and restaurateurs in Portland including David Machado of Lauro, Cory Schreiber of Wildwood (1999 James Beard Award winner), and Greg Higgins of Higgins (2002 James Beard Award winner). Scott’s talent and desire was clear, and it wasn’t long before he was made Executive Chef at Northwest neighborhood favorite Tapeo. In 2003, Scott realized a long-held desire and opened Park Kitchen. The restaurant expresses his love of cooking and respect for the integrity of local ingredients in a menu that is reflective of the changing seasons. With a staff that shares a common dedication and vision, Park Kitchen provides a welcoming atmosphere and a fresh, flavorful menu.
Tom Douglas Seattle Kitchen Restaurants (Seattle, WA)
Tom Douglas, Seattle-based chef and James Beard Award Winner, has been cooking up Pacific Northwest cuisine since 1984, opening his own restaurant, Dahlia Lounge, in 1989. For the last 30 years, he’s made a name for himself by opening 13 full-service restaurants; an event space, Palace Ballroom; a cooking school, Hot Stove Society; and a product line including rubs, spices and knives. Beyond the restaurants, Tom has a weekly radio show, “Seattle Kitchen,” where he talks food, wine, and anything else that’s on his mind. The recognizable chef can be found at any of his restaurants on a given day putting in the work to create a successful restaurant group. As he reminds himself and his staff, “no one can out effort us.”
The Walrus and the Carpenter (Seattle, WA)
Renee Erickson is a James Beard awarding winning chef, author, and co-partner of six properties in Seattle, Washington: The Walrus and the Carpenter, The Whale Win, Barnacle, Bar Melusine, Bateau and General Porpoise. As a Seattle native (well, Woodinville to be exact), Renee’s restaurants highlight the bounty of the Pacific Northwest with a European sensibility. Bon Appetit Magazine has compared her to M.F.K. Fisher, Elizabeth David, and Julia Child. Renee’s culinary career began in 1998 when she bought the Boat Street Cafe and over the next 18 years transformed it into a northwest institution. Her brand, Boat Street Pickles, can be found at better grocery stores across the North America and Asia. Dedicated to creating an environment that not only nourishes the body, but feeds the soul, her restaurant design work with business partners, Chad Dale and Jeremy Price, have received national press and attention. Renee Erickson’s food, casual style, and appreciation of simple beauty is an inspiration to her staff and guests in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. In 2014 she published her first cookbook “A boat, a whale and a walrus” to critical acclaim, finding itself on top reading lists while winning a 2015 PNBA book award – the first for a cookbook. Renee graduated from the University of Washington with a BFA and lives in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood with her husband Dan and her dog Arlo.
Unit 120 (Los Angeles, CA)
Southern California native Isa Fabro started off as an executive in the film and music industries, but realized that she wanted to work in food. While in culinary school, she immediately began working for top restaurants in Los Angeles. Her evolution from savory chef to pastry chef, combined with creativity, ultra high technique, and years of experience, propelled her in the fine dining scene. Her style is new and inventive, yet still respects the affinity of ingredients and classic aesthetics; her memorable dishes leave lasting impressions. Chef Isa Fabro is now embarking on her own endeavors, exploring original concepts, while consulting with high profile restaurant and hospitality groups to develop their brands.
Saxon + Parole (New York, NY)
Brad Farmerie grew up in Pittsburgh in a food-loving family. Farmerie had originally intended to pursue the savory side of life, but the Le Cordon Bleu staff convinced him to follow the route of the Grand Diplôme. Working with famed New Zealand chef Peter Gordon at the Sugar Club in 1996 was one of his greatest influences, and he went on to assist Gordon and Anna Hansen in opening The Providores and Tapa Room in 2001. In 2003, Farmerie moved back to the States to head up the kitchen of PUBLIC with AvroKO Hospitality Group, garnering two James Beard awards and a Michelin star. Farmerie opened Saxon + Parole in 2011. Most recent endeavors by Farmerie and the AvroKO Hospitality Group include the opening of Saxon + Parole Moscow, the group’s first international restaurant project, in 2013; the creation of the inflight menu for JetBlue’s recently launched Mint experience in 2014; the NYC grand openings of GENUINE Superette, and GENUINE Liquorette, an underground bodega-style watering hole in 2015; and most recently the opening of mezcal and tequila-focused bar Ghost Donkey in November 2016. He holds the ongoing title of “dad” by his children Bruno and Scarlet.
(New York, NY)
Jessica Fiorillo is the voice behind Feed Me Dearly, a food and lifestyle blog about health and healing. Diagnosed with late stage cancer in her early 20s, Jessica took to natural foods as a way to heal her body. Her food is vegetable-centric, featuring a range of produce from her local markets and CSA which she supplements with high quality proteins and gluten-free grains. Her work has been featured in publications such as Edible Manhattan, SELF magazine, and The Daily Meal. She was recently voted by BuzzFeed as one of the top Instagrammers to follow if you love food.
Secret Supper (Portland, OR)
Danielle is a seasoned creative professional who brings her ideas to life through Secret Supper. As an accredited wine expert and former interior designer, she blends these two worlds together to craft visually striking inspirations and experiences that center around food, wine and place. Her portfolio showcases a range of exceptionally well-crafted events from across the world, earning her high praise and a respected reputation sought by the leading brands she collaborates with. Recently she relocated from Seattle, WA to Portland, OR and can be found exploring about with her husband and two dogs while she attempts to taste and celebrate everything that’s good.
Boke Dokie (Portland, OR)
Chef Patrick Fleming of Boke Bowl and Boke Dokie Restaurants in Portland, Oregon has always had a passion for Asian comfort food, despite growing up in New Orleans. Fleming worked in kitchens in New Orleans, San Francisco, the U.K. (at a two-star Michelin restaurant), and Seattle prior to settling down in Portland. Before Boke opened as a brick and mortar, they existed as a once a month pop-up at several Portland restaurants. Now Boke Bowl has two Portland locations, serving Portland-style Asian comfort food featuring ramen, steam buns, pickles, salads, dim sum, and more. He recently rolled out Boke Dokie, a fried chicken and tofu sandwich concept with three locations in Portland. When not working he spends as much time as he can with his wife and two sons.
Lola Restaurant (Seattle, WA)
Matt Fortner became Chef of Lola in 2016 after three years as Chef at Tom Douglas’ Trattoria Cuoco. Matt’s passion for Mediterranean cuisine has suited him well at Lola. He focuses his attention on utilizing the best of the season’s vegetables and on whole animal butchery. Matt lives with his wife Stacy in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle in a house with a chicken coop full of guinea hens in the back yard.
Franklin Barbecue (Austin, TX)
Austin Texas based barbecue cook, restaurant owner, educator and writer. Aaron is a self taught BBQ expert, who has quickly risen to be one of the most well known pit bosses in the barbecue world. He never cuts corners on choosing quality meats and spending the time it really takes to make the best BBQ in the country.
Ned Ludd (Portland, OR)
Jason French is the Chef and Owner at Ned Ludd, an American craft kitchen and Elder Hall, a gathering space in Portland, Oregon. Inspired by classic traditions of farm driven craft cookery, Jason’s menus perfectly embody his culinary philosophy of seasonally delicious fare. Produced solely out of a large wood oven, the cuisine of Ned Ludd is best described as thoughtful and intentional food. Jason and his team believe that great food ultimately requires more passion for and attention to the harmony created when one genuinely considers its provenance, preparation and presentation.
Lardo (Portland, OR)
After years of working on the East Coast from New York to Vermont, Rick Gencarelli and his family decided to settle in Portland, Oregon in 2009. A sandwich shop that worships at the altar of bovine and swine, Lardo sandwiches were created to satisfy all the senses. Rick’s style encompasses old world techniques and contemporary flourishes as he proudly celebrates pushing the limits! A few years ago, pushing the concept of “artisan comfort food slung in a no-frills fashion,” Rick dove into the arena of hand made pasta, and Grassa was born.
Nuestra Cocina (Portland, OR)
Benjamin Gonzales is the Chef/Owner of Nuestra Cocina, a successful Mexican restaurant in Southeast Portland. He was born and raised in Los Angeles, California with his eight brothers and sisters and his parents who were natives from Tlatenango, Zacatecas and Tampico, Tamaulipas. They enriched his life with many talents, mainly focusing on family gatherings and food preparation, which influenced Benjamin to eventually direct his career towards cooking. After marrying his wife Shannon, they moved up north and relocated to Portland, Oregon. In Portland, he opened different restaurants for Kimpton Group and later Pacific N.W. Management Group. He worked as Chef and Sous Chef for over eight years controlling and managing the kitchen in its entirety. Returning to his Mexican heritage and his passion for Mexican cuisine, Benjamin and his wife decided to open their own restaurant, and in March 2004, Nuestra Cocina Restaurant opened. It has since been recognized in Gourmet Magazine, Chef Gonzales was voted “Rising Star” in The Oregonian’s Diner’s Guide 2005, and acknowledged in “America’s Top Restaurants 2016” by Zagat Survey.
General Porpoise Coffee and Doughnuts (Seattle, WA)
Clare Gordon is a product of her favorite part of the world – the Pacific Northwest. Growing up in Portland, Oregon, she started baking at Kenny & Zuke’s and ran the dessert program at Ava Gene’s when it opened (with various stages in Italy, France, and England in between). She moved to Seattle in 2013 to work with Jason Stratton at Aragona for a year before spending time with modern Middle Eastern flavors at Mamnoon. Clare’s love of simple food made with love, good technique and beautiful ingredients drew her to Renee Erickson’s restaurant family, where she enjoys a blend of English and French inspirations at Capitol Hill’s Bateau and Bar Melusine (meanwhile sating the neighborhood’s sweet tooth with filled sugar doughnuts at General Porpoise). She also spends her vacation time every year cooking for bartenders from across the country at Camp Runamok in Kentucky. She is thrilled to participate in Feast this year, as she has attended at least a little bit of the festival since its inception!
Kenny & Zuke's Delicatessen (Portland, OR)
A native New Yorker, Ken Gordon took a childhood love of good food and turned it into a wide ranging 40 year career as a chef. After working his way through restaurants in Boston and San Francisco, Gordon moved to Paris for three years, then returned to his native New York City, working at restaurants such as The Quilted Giraffe, Le Chantilly and Cafe Luxembourg. In 1987 he opened his own restaurant, the critically-acclaimed French bistro, L’Ecluse, closing it in 1990 and moving to Portland, Oregon. In Portland, Gordon found fertile ground for his personal style of big flavors and eclectic comfort food. He opened the pioneering 28 East, then the trend-setting take-out shop Ken’s Home Plate, which in 2003 morphed into the small neighborhood bistro Ken’s Place. It was here that he began smoking meats – first producing Portland’s best BBQ, then superb wood-smoked pastrami.In 2007 Gordon opened Kenny & Zuke’s Delicatessen in Downtown Portland. Kenny & Zuke’s has attracted a huge local following as one of Portland’s hottest restaurants, as well as national attention as a pioneer in the lost art of Jewish Delicatessen. In 2009, Gordon opened a second location – Kenny & Zuke’s Bagelworks, and recently opened a location at Portland International Airport. In January of 2012, Gordon was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.Within 48 hours he was hired by The Oregonian newspaper to write the popular weekly column, “Diary of a Diabetic Chef,” chronicling his successful reversal of the disease and his use of diet and exercise to get in shape.
Toro Bravo (Portland, OR)
John Gorham is Co-Owner and Executive Chef of iconic Portland restaurants Toro Bravo, Tasty n Sons, Tasty n Alder, PLAZA DEL TORO and Co-Owner of Mediterranean Exploration Company, Shalom Y’all and BYH Burgers. Gorham’s first cookbook, The Toro Bravo Cookbook: Stories. Recipes. No Bull., was published by McSweeney’s in 2013 and earned praise and accolades from national media and chefs alike. Gorham’s second Cookbook, The Tasty Book, featuring recipes from both Tasty n Sons and Tasty n Alder, will be published in fall of 2017 by Sasquatch. Gorham believes that a chef’s cuisine and style is influenced by a trade route composed of travels, past work, cities lived in, and foods that their family made growing up. A ‘chef of the people’, Gorham celebrates a range of global cuisines at his influential restaurants; each with a unique identity but all embodying the quintessential Portland dining experience of family-style dishes, house-made charcuterie and seasonal sustainably-sourced ingredients.
Departure (Portland, OR)
Chef Gregory Gourdet is the culinary mastermind behind Departure restaurants in Portland, OR and Denver, CO, where he pairs local bounty with the bold flavors and traditions of Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Korea to create modern Asian fare. A self-proclaimed health freak and avid runner, Gourdet views food as nourishment. His mindful life approach shines through in his cooking, as he offers diners dishes that allow freshness, seasonality, and bold, alternative ingredients to star on the plate. Gourdet grew up enjoying ethnic cuisine, especially traditional Haitian dishes emphasizing fish, rice and beans, roasted meats, pickled chilies, coconut, and plenty of herbs. It was while studying at the University of Montana and rooming with an avid cook that he discovered his culinary passion. He started as a dishwasher at a Missoula café, embarked on a semester abroad in France, and finally made his way back to New York after graduation to attend the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. He became the first student to land a highly coveted internship with Vongerichten, whom he trained under for close to seven years at three of his New York City properties. In 2008, Gourdet arrived in Portland, where he helped open Sage Restaurant Group’s Urban Farmer in the Nines Hotel, and then served as Executive Chef for Saucebox, one of Portland’s oldest Asian-inspired cafés. In the spring of 2010, he took the reins at Departure, the Nines’ modern Asian rooftop restaurant, quickly gaining praise for his innovative dishes that combine local ingredients of the Pacific Northwest with meaningful preparations. In 2013, Gourdet was named “Chef of the Year” by the Oregon Department of Agriculture; he was dubbed Eater Portland’s “Chef of the Year” in 2014. In 2015, Gourdet was named as a Semi-Finalist by the James Beard Foundation for “Best Chef Northwest.” He was also runner-up in Bravo’s Top Chef Season 12.
KEX Hostel (Reykjavík, Iceland)
Óli Gústa is born and raised in a small village in the East part of Iceland. Growing up in that environment Óli has much respect for nature and his cultural heritage. As no fan of classical cooking his style has more flare of the New Nordic kitchen with a hint of country style cooking. Óli emphasises on straight forward dishes without pretence, focusing on local high quality produce. He is now a restaurant GM at four different restaurants in Reykjavík city; KEX Hostel, The Anonymous pizza place, Mikkeller & Friends Reykjavík and DILL Restaurant which earned a Michelin star this year. Óli uses every opportunity to travel and explore his culinary heritage and spending time with his family; the wife Lára and three children.
Pizza Jerk and Bunk Sandwiches (Portland, OR)
In 2008, Tommy Habetz and Nick Wood, opened “a gritty east-side shop called Bunk and launched Portland’s sandwich revolution with one devastating pork-belly Cubano” (Karen Brooks, Portland Monthly). Hailing from the kitchens of Mario Batali and Bobby Flay, Tommy Habetz joined forces with Nick Wood and began making unpretentious and delicious sandwiches, made with the best ingredients. Since 2008, Bunk has expanded to five locations in Portland (as well as outposts in the Moda Center and Providence Park). Media praise from The New York Times, Food Network, and Bon Appétit have made Bunk a favorite for locals as well as a must-eat option for visitors. In November of 2015, Tommy opened Pizza Jerk, a New Haven style pizza joint in the Cully neighborhood of Portland. Pizza Jerk was named one of Bon Appetit’s “Best New Restaurants of 2016.”
Prune (New York, NY)
Gabrielle Hamilton is the Chef/Owner of PRUNE, which she opened in New York City’s East Village in October 1999. PRUNE has been recognized in all major press, both nationally and internationally, and is regularly cited in the top 100 lists of all major food magazines. Gabrielle has made numerous television appearances including segments with Martha Stewart, Mark Bittman, and Mike Colameco and was the victor in her Iron Chef America battle against Bobby Flay on the Food Network in 2008. Most notably, she won an Emmy for her role in season four of the award-winning PBS series Mind of a Chef. Gabrielle has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, GQ, Bon Appetit, Saveur, Food & Wine, Afar, Travel and Leisure, Vogue, The Wall Street Journal, Elle, and House Beautiful. Her work has been anthologized in Best Food Writing 2001-2006, 2011 and 2013. Gabrielle was nominated for Best Chef NYC in 2009 and 2010 by the James Beard Foundation and in 2011 won the category. She is the author of The New York Times bestseller Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef, which has been published in six languages and won the James Beard Foundation’s award for “Writing and Literature in 2012.” She won her third James Beard award in 2015 for her piece “Into the Vines” published in Afar. Most recently, she wrote the cookbook, Prune, featuring 250 recipes from her East Village restaurant. She is a monthly columnist for The New York Times Magazine and is currently at work on her next book, a memoir, to be completed in 2017.
Little T Baker (Portland, OR)
“Gluten is magic,” says Tim Healea, the Owner and Principal Baker of Little T Baker, which has three neighborhood locations in Portland. “It is the backbone of bread, creating its structure. Without it, good bread is not possible.” For eight years at Little T, he has carefully cultivated the key ingredients for an exceptional bread bakery—the best wheat and grains from local growers and purveyors; a small team of bakers with deep knowledge of fermentation and baking science; a dedication to traditional hand-shaping skills; and a serious love and passion for baking. Tim was previously the longtime head baker at Pearl Bakery, and in 2002 he took the silver medal as part of Team USA at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie in Paris. Most recently, he’s worked with Little T’s bakers to experiment with alternative fermentation techniques and heritage grains, creating unique and “magical” daily breads that incorporate everything from white wine to rhubarb syrup to red flint corn to candy cap mushrooms.
Vestal (Seattle, WA)
Joshua Henderson started his career out of an airstream trailer with the American street food diner skillet. He then went on to form the Huxley Wallace Collective that includes such notable restaurants as Westward, Great State Burger and Vestal. He is committed to a simple but well-executed food that celebrates technique, the ingredient, and a bit of nostalgia. He is charging through life with his team and partners at Huxley Wallace as well as his partner Kim, her two kids Luca and Stella and of course with his two boys Huxley and Wallace.
Han Ly Hwang
Kim Jong Grillin (Portland, OR)
Chef Han Ly Hwang first began cooking his way through the DC metro area at the age of sixteen. After moving to Portland, Oregon, he began to focus and specialize in Korean cuisine and in 2009 his first Korean BBQ food cart, Kim Jong Grillin’ was born. Within a few short months of being open, Kim Jong Grillin’ claimed the Judges Choice Award at Willamette Week’s Eat Mobile Food Festival in 2010. Since then, Han has been a contestant on Food Network’s Chopped twice and can be found in his two new popular Kim Jong Smokehouse restaurants.
JORY, at The Allison (Newberg, OR)
Graduating at top of his class from Portland’s Western Culinary Institute where he received the Grand Toque Award, Chef Sunny Jin went on to complete his externship at Napa Valley’s famed French Laundry working for three years under renowned chefs Thomas Keller and Corey Lee. Following this experience, Sunny took the opportunity to work at the top-rated restaurant in the southern hemisphere, Sydney, Australia’s Tetsuya’s, working alongside eponymous chef owner Tetsuya Wakuda. Before his return to the states he had the rare distinction of preparing for a season at El Bulli, the world’s top-rated restaurant, located in Catalonia (Spain). He worked at El Bulli for the 2009 season under Ferran Adria and Oriol Castro and, thereafter, traveled throughout Europe to explore the culinary cultures of France, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. Upon his return to the U.S., Sunny recognized the emergence of Oregon as one of the country’s preeminent food and wine destinations. His search for a position led him to JORY at The Allison which has been among the state’s best reviewed new restaurants since its opening.
JuneBaby (Seattle, WA)
Edouardo Jordan was born and raised in St. Petersburg and attended college at the University of Florida. After graduating with dual degrees in business administration and sports management, Jordan decided to enroll in culinary school at the Le Cordon Bleu in Orlando. Following graduation from culinary school, Jordan’s ambition brought him to renowned restaurants such as The French Laundry, where he apprenticed, Per Se, and Lincoln Ristorante in New York. With thought of raising a family and opening a restaurant in mind, Jordan moved to Seattle where he began working at Sitka and Spruce as sous chef. In 2013, Jordan was asked to open Bar Sajor as chef de cuisine and used this as an opportunity to learn as much as he could about opening a restaurant. Taking this knowledge and experience he had gained from Bar Sajor, Jordan officially opened the doors to his restaurant, Salare, in June of 2015. Salare takes influences from France, Italy, the American south, and the Caribbean and has become one of Seattle’s hottest restaurants. Chef Jordan was nominated for a James Beard Award in 2016, has been named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chef of 2016, Salare was listed as a best new restaurant in America in 2016 by Eater National, and is a 2017 James Beard Award finalist.
Liholiho Yacht Club (San Francisco, CA)
Recognized for his heritage-driven cooking style with California ingredients Chef/Owner Ravi Kapur opened Liholiho Yacht Club in January 2015 in San Francisco with rave reviews. Born in Hawaii in 1976 to his Hawaiian Chinese mother and Indian father, the flavors of the diverse and strong food cultures of the islands have cultivated his palate and are in his DNA. Kapur’s desire to cook sparked while in college. In 1998 he moved to San Francisco to attend the California Culinary Academy. After graduation he moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and worked at The Compound Restaurant and Coyote Café. He returned to San Francisco and worked at Redwood Park. Next, he joined Nancy Oakes’ Boulevard. He worked there for eight years and progressed from Cook to Sous Chef to Chef de Cuisine. In 2010 he became the Executive Chef of Boulevard’s sister restaurant, Prospect. In May 2011, Kapur’s life changed forever with the birth of his son, Makoa. By 2012 he began his popular series of pop-ups also known as Liholiho Yacht Club. Four years later in January 2015, Kapur and his partner Jeff Hanak of NOPA & Nopalito opened their restaurant in the lower Nob Hill area of San Francisco. The new brick and mortar Liholiho Yacht Club is a destination experience that represents the sum of their core values, expectations and inspiration. Liholiho Yacht Club is the playful name used by Kapur’s Kealoha Uncles in Maui back in the day when they formed a club to raise money to fund their hobby of racing Hobie Cats (not yachts) and they lived on Liholiho Street (not at the marina). Really, it was an early version of a beach pop-up that offered good local food, live music, and fun hang out time with friends! Kapur has been featured in an episode of PBS’s Movable Feast TV show, in a video produced by Vice and on Iron Chef America.
Crown Paella (Portland, OR)
Chef Scott Ketterman is known for his bold, inventive take on classic Spanish cooking. Raised in the Appalachian hills, Ketterman began his career learning the ins and outs of seafood cookery in a family-run fish house on the shores of Maryland. Ketterman’s love of the sea and the mountains soon drew him to Portland where he studied charcuterie at Viande Meats and quickly worked his way up the ranks in the well-regarded kitchens of Paley’s Place and the Heathman Restaurant. Ready for adventure, he set off for Europe, working at Numero 75 in Avignon, France, and both Akelare and Mugaritz in San Sebastian, Spain. Upon returning to Portland, Ketterman took the helm at Simpatica, where he oversaw the successful supper club and catering company for four years. But Spain was never far from his mind. In 2011, Ketterman co-founded Crown Paella with his wife Emily, sparking a reputation as the man with the biggest pans, and continues to create inspired roving feasts across the Pacific Northwest.
Andina (Portland, OR)
Dustin Koerner joined Andina’s culinary team in spring of 2015 from Austin, Texas. Koerner brings a depth of management experience from his leadership in many great kitchens throughout Texas, working with a wide variety of global cuisines, from Italian to Japanese. Koerner is skilled in organization, but also has a passion for creative cooking and seasonal produce. Koerner’s culinary journey began at the early age of 14, when he got a job working at a restaurant in his hometown of Pilot Point, Texas. After earning a business degree, Dustin attended culinary school at El Centro in Dallas, Texas later gaining experience in many of the city’s best restaurants, including Nonna, where during his tenure as Sous Chef, the restaurant was praised by Bon Appetít and The New York Times. Koerner’s most recent position in Austin at 2 Dine 4 Catering saw him leading a large culinary team as well as cooking intimate dinners for the Supper Friends dinner series where he was able to express his creative side. Koerner is honored to work in the prestigious kitchen at Andina and to explore the incredible culinary ingredients and outdoor opportunities that Oregon has to offer.
Danwei Canting (Portland, OR)
A Portland native, Kyo’s primary culinary influences range from the foods of his mother’s Korean home cooking to technique-driven, modern American cooking. Kyo always knew the restaurant world was where he would thrive and put a thoughtful career course in place right out of high school by starting with culinary school in Seattle, then to Rockenwagner in Los Angeles, and Scooter Kanfer at the house restaurant in West Hollywood. Like many great chefs before him, California is where Kyo developed a keen appreciation for market driven menus and New American cooking. But after some time in these lauded kitchens the Pacific Northwest harkened him home. Back in Seattle Kyo took over the kitchen at Mona’s Bistro, working closely as ever with farmers and foragers to source the best product possible. To refine his knowledge of top end product and modern European technique, Kyo took the boldest step in his career and moved to Spain to work for chef Andoni Aduriz at the internationally regarded Mugaritz in the Basque country. Here he obtained a chef de partie position and learned revolutionary techniques that focus on labor-intensive preparation with a high standard for bright flavor, simple tastes and evocative textures. After a transformative year in Spain, Kyo joined Ethan Stowell in Seattle at his fine dining restaurant Union, working with the region’s best seafood and Italian ingredients. The Portland allure reached Kyo in 2009 with an opportunity at clarklewis where he invigorated the product-sourcing program, and evolved the farm-to-table menu. In the summer of 2014, Koo took the reins in the kitchen at Bluehour, where he continued to evolve his food perspective and style. In 2015, Kyo parted ways with Bluehour to develop and open Danwei Canting. He is currently working on his second restaurant concept, superhawk.
Eva Kosmas Flores
AdventuresInCooking.com (Portland, OR)
Eva Kosmas Flores was born and raised in Portland, Oregon where she worked at her family’s Greek deli throughout her childhood. She started her food blog, Adventures in Cooking, in 2009 as a way to share recipes with friends and family, and the blog’s popularity quickly grew. In 2014 she co-founded Secret Supper, which are long-table gatherings that celebrate seasonal cooking and local ingredients in scenic locations. She resides in Northeast Portland where she has a small homestead with her husband, two dogs, one cat, seven chickens, and hive of bees. Eva has authored two cookbooks, Adventures in Chicken (released October 2016), and First We Eat (due out Spring 2018).
Clyde Common (Portland, OR)
Carlo Lamagna is the Executive Chef at Clyde Common and Twisted Filipino Dinner Series where he leads the kitchens in preparing simple yet exquisitely executed food from a menu that has no boundaries or borders. Lamagna was born in the Philippines, and lived in Canada and Michigan until he was a teenager when he returned to the Philippines. Starting out as a psychology major in college, it wasn’t long until he discovered his passion for cooking and moved back to Michigan at 20 to begin his culinary career. Lamagna cooked at several restaurants in Detroit before attending culinary school at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. After graduating, he moved to Chicago and worked with Bruce Sherman at North Pond where he learned the importance of seasonality and supporting local farmers and purveyors. From here, Lamagna went to Europe, traveling to Germany, France and Spain to gather more culinary perspective, each destination helped to shape his cooking style today. Returning to Chicago, Lamagna started working with Paul Virant, whose vast knowledge of preserving and pickling opened Lamagna’s eyes to a different way of cooking. At the core of Lamagna’s cooking is his family and his Filipino heritage, both of which played significant roles in his career. At Clyde Common and his Twisted Filipino Dinners, Lamagna’s dishes are a glimpse into his life: where he’s come from and where he’s been, coming together to make something new.
Red Star Tavern (Portland, OR)
With a culinary career that includes learning from legendary mentors and cooking on land and at sea, Dolan Lane is back in familiar territory. Heading up the Red Star kitchen, he’ll further showcase his innate knack for working with local ingredients. Dolan went to school for photography but soon discovered that restaurant life fit his big picture. He enrolled in California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and graduated in 1993, landing his first job in Seattle at local mainstay, Tulio, where Dolan was mentored by Executive Chef Walter Pisano. From there, Dolan ventured afar as part of the culinary staff at Holland America Cruise Lines’ Wind Star Fleet, cruising to France on a four-mast sailboat. Upon returning, Dolan settled in Portland, where he worked alongside Chef Kenny Giambalvo at Pazzo Ristorante and later climbed the ladder to become the Chef de Cuisine at Bruce Carey’s Bluehour. He then moved to its sister restaurant, clarklewis, and remained for five years as Executive Chef, before returning to Bluehour with the same title. Eventually, Dolan landed at Meriwether’s, a Portland favorite that has its own five-acre farm. With a direct hand in the farm-to-table experience, he created in-the-moment seasonal menus and let his passion for sustainability flourish. Now, at Red Star Tavern, Dolan continues to build his legacy of supporting Portland community farms. With go-to suppliers like Your Kitchen Garden and Sauvie Island Organics, he captures what’s in season and puts it to delicious purpose with Mediterranean, Italian and French influences.
The Dabney (Washington, DC)
Jeremiah Langhorne is the Chef and Co-Owner of The Dabney, located in Washington, D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood. Langhorne returned to his Mid-Atlantic roots in this new restaurant venture after five years at McCrady’s restaurant in Charleston, SC, where he worked as Chef de Cuisine under Executive Chef Sean Brock. Jeremiah focuses on modern American food with strong regional and historic influences and incorporates his interests in foraging, charcuterie and farming. The Dabney received a Michelin star in Washington, D.C.’s inaugural Michelin Guide in October 2016.
Ruddick/Wood (Newberg, OR)
In 2013, Chef Paul Losch opened the highly seasonal New American restaurant Ruddick/Wood with Co-Owner Kyle Lattimer in Newberg, Oregon. The restaurant was a long time coming for Paul, who started his culinary career nearly two decades earlier. At age 13, he was barely big enough for his apron when he started working at a snack bar in rural Pennsylvania. Life and his career took Paul across the country, through the Culinary Institute of America, Manhattan, and Colorado, before he eventually landed in Portland in 2008. Thoughtful flavor combinations and gorgeous plating earned him loyalists at restaurants Vino Paradiso and DOC, but he was restless for his own spot. A Craigslist post led him to his eventual business partner Kyle, and the two founded Ruddick/Wood a short time later. Paul seeks out skilled local farmers and purveyors and highlights their products with diverse techniques. While he came up during the “fusion food” boom, you won’t find any Frankenstein food monstrosities on Paul’s refined menus. Influence might be drawn from his Lebanese mother or his father’s love of pasta, and fiddlehead ferns might pop with fish sauce on a plate next to house-aged ribeye. The restaurant is a staple among locals and wine country visitors alike.
Ray (Portland, OR)
Jenn Louis is the Chef/Owner of Ray restaurant in Portland, OR. She has competed on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, was named one of Food & Wine‘s “Best New Chefs,” and her simple, sophisticated cooking style, utilizing seasonal Pacific Northwest ingredients, has earned her two nominations for the James Beard Foundation Award of Best Chef Northwest. Her debut cookbook, Pasta By Hand published in 2015, was nominated for an IACP Award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals in the category of “Single Subject Cookbooks,” and her second book, “The Book Of Greens” debuted in April 2017. Jenn is actively involved with nonprofits including Alex’s Lemonade and Share Our Strength.
Mae (Portland, OR)
Maya Lovelace spent her early years in rural North Carolina, then moved to Atlanta, Georgia for a taste of city life. After abandoning a surely lucrative career hinging on a triple major in psychology, philosophy and French to pursue her love of cooking, she ended up spending time in some serious kitchens. Atlanta, Charleston, Portland… she ate and drank and worked her way through them all, and under the tutelage of many chefs along the way, she learned not only technique, but also how to appreciate and get back in touch with her country roots. She served time on the opening line of Husk under Sean Brock, dedicating time to learning both old southern preservation techniques and dirty kitchen talk alike. She moved to Portland to work under Naomi Pomeroy at Beast, relishing the bounty of produce and natural beauty that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Now, she is focused on cooking updated southern Appalachian fare at Mae, which is named in honor of her late grandmother.
Barbara Lynch Gruppo (Boston, MA)
Two-time James Beard Award-Winner and Relais & Chateaux Grand Chef, Barbara Lynch is regarded as one of the world’s leading chefs and restaurateurs. After working under some of Boston’s greatest culinary talents, Barbara traveled to Italy, where she learned about the country’s cuisine firsthand from local women. Inspired by this formative trip, Barbara earned a spot among Food & Wine’s “Best New Chefs in America” in 1996 as Executive Chef at Galleria Italiana. In 1998, Barbara opened a restaurant of her own, No. 9 Park in Boston’s Beacon Hill. Now, as Chef/Owner of Barbara Lynch’s Gruppo, Barbara oversees seven celebrated culinary concepts, No. 9 Park, B&G Oysters, The Butcher Shop, Stir, Drink, Sportello, and Menton. Barbara’s cookbook, Stir: Mixing It Up in The Italian Tradition received a Gourmand Award for Best Chef Cookbook. Her memoir, Out of Line was published in April 2017.
Bollywood Theater (Portland, OR)
Troy MacLarty is chef and owner of Bollywood Theater, the award winning Indian restaurant that brings hard to find, thoughtfully made Indian street food to Portland, Oregon. Following extensive research and travels to India, he set out to design an Indian restaurant that reflected the cultural experiences one might find in Mumbai, from the restaurant décor, including steel cups and plates, to the food and drinks. The restaurant’s small plates, thali meals, extensive vegetarian dishes and cocktails have cultivated a large fan base, with lines out the door most nights. Fans include many Indian-Americans nostalgic for the food of the subcontinent and appreciating Troy’s authentic preparation on hard to find items.
Salt & Straw (Portland, OR)
As head ice cream maker for Salt & Straw with locations in Portland, LA, and San Francisco, Tyler has been instrumental, along with cousin and Salt & Straw founder and CEO Kim Malek, in creating the chef-driven, small batch ice cream movement. Malek and his team hand make flavors that showcase the best local, organic and sustainable ingredients from Oregon and California producers and artisans while using all natural cream from local farmers in each city. Since the company’s inception in early 2011, Malek has created more than 300 ice creams, each with its own unique flavor profile. Based on his accomplishments, Tyler was selected as one of Forbes “30 Under 30: The Food & Drink Masters Changing How We Eat,” named a Zagat “30 Under 30” Semi-Finalist for 2017, one of the Portland Business Journal’s “40 Under 40,” and one of the Eater “Young Guns” Semi-Finalists for 2013. Portland Business Journal named Salt & Straw one of the “100 Fastest Growing Private Companies in Oregon” for 2014, and The Oregonian named Salt & Straw as one of “Oregon’s Top Workplaces” in both 2014 and 2015. He discovered his passion for blending flavors together when studying abroad in Beijing, China and traveling throughout Vietnam and Cambodia.
OddFellows (Brooklyn, NY)
Sam Mason is the Chef/Owner of both Empire Mayonnaise Co. a luxury, exotically flavored mayonnaise company, and OddFellows Ice Cream Co., both based in Brooklyn, NY. After studying at Johnson & Wales University, he honed his craft and built his reputation working for Jean Louis Palladin, Paul Liebrandt, and Wylie Dufresne. Formerly the Chef at TAILOR restaurant in SoHo, and the Pastry Chef at WD~50, Mason is considered to be one of the most creative chefs in America. His aesthetic culinary vision uses inventive ingredients to produce sweet as well as savory dishes that continually surprise the palate.
Estela (New York, NY)
Ignacio Mattos is the Chef and Co-Owner of Matter House, the team behind Estela, Café Altro Paradiso, Flora Bar and Flora Coffee. Born in Uruguay, Ignacio began his career in the kitchens of Francis Mallmann, Judy Rodgers, and Alice Waters. He moved to New York City in 2006 to become chef of the NoHo institution, Il Buco. Ignacio then opened Isa in Williamsburg, where his adventurous cooking earned the restaurant a James Beard Award nomination for “Best New Restaurant” in 2012. In late 2012, Ignacio met his collaborator and partner, Thomas Carter, and together they opened Estela in 2013, which was named one of the best restaurants in the country by Bon Appétit and earned a glowing review from The New York Times. In February 2016, the two opened Café Altro Paradiso, serving modern renditions of regional Italian dishes, including those inspired by Ignacio’s Italian grandmother, in a sleek, minimalist space. Ignacio and Thomas opened Flora Bar and Flora Coffee in October 2016 at the Met Breuer, with a seafood-forward menu that brings their inventive and elegant approach to Marcel Breuer’s historic Upper East Side building. At Estela, Café Altro Paradiso and Flora Bar, Ignacio cooks food that is comforting and bold, reflecting his varied experiences and the cultures of New York City, the city he calls home. Ignacio has been nominated for the James Beard Award for “Best Chef NYC” in both 2015 and 2016. As The New York Times critic Pete Wells put it, his “dishes are original and, in their way, simple, and it’s that combination that makes you want to give in to them.”
Pastaworks at Providore Fine Foods (Portland, OR)
Derek McCarthy, Pastaworks’ Executive Chef, is an East Coast-born redhead of Italian and Irish descent – which predestined him for a fiery career in the kitchen. Fifteen years spent in the Bay Area at a number of well-regarded establishments such as The Blue Plate and The Presidio Social Club in San Francisco, and an almost decade-long stint owning his own restaurant, Tastings Restaurant and Wine Bar in Healdsburg (and Maui) molded Derek into a guy who knows how to make seriously delicious food. In 2015, Derek wisely moved to Portland, and was soon lured to Pastaworks’ by the enticing prospect of pulling together a brand-new kitchen and staff less than a month before the opening of their new specialty marketplace, Providore Fine Foods. Because this wasn’t enough of a challenge, two months later, Derek was tasked with opening Arrosto, Pastaworks’ Mediterranean chicken rotisserie restaurant. Both Pastaworks at Providore and Arrosto have blazed a delicious trail ever since with the redhead chef leading the way.
Ava Gene's (Portland, OR)
Joshua is the Executive Chef/Owner of Ava Gene’s in Portland, OR. Having grown up in the Midwest, Joshua came to the Pacific Northwest to attend Cordon Bleu in Portland, Oregon. After years of racking up culinary cred at the country’s top restaurants from San Francisco (Lark Creek Inn, Roxanne’s) to New York City (Momofuku, Franny’s, Blue Hill), he managed the trailblazing Four Season Farm in coastal Maine, which completely transformed his approach to cooking. It was there that he developed an appreciation for every part of the plant, root to leaf, and learned to coax the best from vegetables at their peak. Joshua’s debut cookbook, Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables, was published in May of 2017 by Artisan Books. In the summer of 2016, Joshua McFadden and Luke Dirks formed Submarine Hospitality, which acquired ownership of Ava Gene’s and opened Tusk with Executive Chef/Partner Sam Smith. Ava Gene’s was named one of Bon Appétit’s “Top 10 Best New Restaurants” shortly after opening, and Tusk was named one of Food & Wine’s “Restaurants of the Year in 2017.”
Pastrami Zombie by Sammich (Ashland, OR)
To get a sense of Melissa McMillan’s no-shortcuts attitude, just sink your teeth into her signature Montreal-style pastrami sandwich, which she serves at her two eateries in Oregon. In 2013, she opened Sammich in Ashland, her first brick-and-mortar restaurant; three years later, her Pastrami Zombie food truck launched in Portland to rave reviews. Each locally sourced ingredient tells a different part of McMillan’s story. She traces her obsession with homemade meats back to her childhood in Texas, the heart of barbecue country. It’s why she roasts, smokes, and cures it all in-house. Everything else she puts between two slices of bread comes from an obsession with no-gimmicks Chicago delis, something she missed when she left the Windy City. With a religious fervor for baseball, she borrows her motto from her favorite team, the Chicago Cubs: “Do simple better.” That ethos has earned her ink in national publications such as The New York Times and Sunset magazine. She even landed on Portland Monthly’s list of top women business owners. But McMillan finds the most satisfaction when she hangs out with her four brothers, coaches baseball in her community and peers through her food-truck window at happy customers trying to smile as they stuff their faces with kick-ass sandwiches.
Lauretta Jean's (Portland, OR)
Kate McMillen grew up in a small Idaho town where her Grandmother, Lauretta Jean, had her making pie from the age of 10. She continued on her path to pastry perfection moving to Montana working at Bernice’s Bakery and eventually landing in Portland. She began her pie shop at the Farmer’s Market in 2011. She now has two brick and mortars and has been crimping her way into hearts ever since.
Trifecta Tavern and Bakery (Portland, OR)
Rich Meyer began his cooking career in western Maryland, in 1990, where he cooked at the Park Circle restaurant for a year and a half. After traveling around the United States for a month, he found himself moving to Steamboat Spring, CO where he stayed for the next three years cooking, skiing, fishing and hiking. After Colorado, the next move was to Portland, OR, where he enrolled in Western Culinary Institute for the next 12 months. After graduation, in 1994, Rich was hired on at Higgins restaurant, a new place that had just opened in Southwest Portland. Rich identified with the philosophy of Higgins, constantly changing menu ideas, direct purchasing from farmers, fishermen, foragers. During his time there, he was fortunate to travel to France, Austria, Czech Republic, and Cuba, along with many cities in the United States. In 2013, Ken Forkish of Ken’s Artisan Bakery and Artisan Pizza approached Rich about opening a new restaurant. What became of that meeting is Trifecta tavern and bakery, a full restaurant, bar, and a bakery that produces bread late in the afternoon.
Coquine (Portland, OR)
Chef Katy Millard started her cooking career at Guy Savoy’s bistro in France, grew her skill set under the tutelage of Michelin-star chef Michel Troisgros, and perfected her technique at some of the best fine dining kitchens in Europe including the Mirabeau in Monaco and Le Château de la Chèvre d’Or in Eze. She developed her personal style as Sous Chef of Daniel Patterson’s Coi and later helped him open Plum. She moved to Portland, Oregon in 2010 where she hosted a celebrated pop-up dinner series called Coquine for three years until she found the perfect brick-and-mortar space to open a restaurant by the same name in summer 2015. Coquine, which Katy opened with her husband and perennial party host Ksandek Podbielski, is an ambitious, full service restaurant and neighborhood café serving a sophisticated, unfussy menu in a distinctive yet welcoming space. Millard’s foundation in French technique brings focus and intention to her cooking; striving for consistency, perfection and purpose in every dish. Her playful, casual style shines through to create unpretentiously elegant food you can – and want to – eat every day.
Mediterranean Exploration Company (Portland, OR)
Kasey Mills is Executive Chef and Co‐Owner of Mediterranean Exploration Company, a Portland, Oregon restaurant serving innovative cuisine that brings the rich cultural history of the Eastern Mediterranean to the Pacific Northwest with a menu of diverse yet cohesive dishes paying tribute to the exploration of people across the Mediterranean throughout history. Mills didn’t have a passion for cooking or any experience in restaurants until he was 20 years old when he moved to Portland, Oregon from South Dakota to attend culinary school and worked simultaneously working six days a week. Eventually making his way up the ranks at well regarded restaurants including Oba, Fratelli, Fenouil, and eventually working his way from sous chef to chef de cuisine at Toro Bravo. In 2014, Mills opened M.E.C as a Co‐Owner with mentor and Portland restaurateur, John Gorham, owner of Toro Bravo, Tasty n Sons, Tasty n Alder, and Plaza del Toro. The two have become like brothers in their time in the kitchen trenches and their travels to Israel and the surrounding area for menu research.
Lovely's Fifty-Fifty (Portland, OR)
Sarah Minnick grew up in Portland, Oregon. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design and an Associate degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, California. Following college, Sarah returned to Portland and worked three years for Adidas in apparel development before, in 2003, opening her first restaurant, Lovely Hula Hands. Lovely Hula Hands was inspired by Alice Waters’ renowned Chez Panisse and focused on seasonal ingredients grown by local farmers. In 2010, after seven years, Lovely Hula Hands closed, and the Minnick sisters re-invented themselves in the form of a pizza and ice cream shop called Lovely’s Fifty-Fifty, this time with Sarah moving into the kitchen. As a pizza maker, Sarah is self-taught. Her signature crust is made from a sourdough featuring her starter affectionately known as “Jake.” Sarah has fostered close relationships with local farmers and producers and buys 100% of the vegetables, cheese and meat used in her pizzas from them. Food critics and fans have declared Sarah’s pizza the quintessential “Portland” pizza. In March 2017, she was awarded the best pizza title at Identita Golose in Milan, Italy. Examples of what you might find on the menu include: “roasted apricots, fresh fenugreek greens and pink echinacea flowers,” “farm egg, chanterelles, mustard flowers and buttery Sleeping Beauty cheese,” and “roasted potato, sage, caramelized onions, farm egg and grassy Saint Servais cheese.”
Kachka (Portland, OR)
The first-generation American daughter of Belarusian immigrants, Chef Bonnie Morales (née Frumkin) grew up in Chicago in a big family that brought with them the distinctive culture of food and drink of the former Soviet Union. Morales briefly pursued a career in product design before quickly deciding that her calling was cooking (fun fact: she still designs all of Kachka’s logos and graphics). She trained at the Culinary Institute of America, then honed her skills in several of New York and Chicago’s Michelin starred restaurants. In 2014, Bonnie and her husband Israel opened their dream restaurant in Portland, OR, devoted to the Russian food that Bonnie grew up with, along with the boisterous, convivial eating and drinking style that goes with it. Kachka has received many accolades from publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Food & Wine. Eater included Kachka on their list of “Best Restaurants in America” in 2015 and 2016. Chef Morales was named one of Tasting Table’s “New Originals,” and one of Bon Appétit’s “Next Generation” chefs. When Bonnie Morales isn’t in the kitchen, she’s been at work on her first cookbook, Kachka: A Return to Russian Cooking (November, 2017 from Flatiron Books).
Double Dragon (Portland, OR)
Pete has been working in Portland kitchens for twenty five years. Now he is running one.
Podnah's Barbecue (Portland, OR)
Rodney Muirhead grew up in Waxahachie, Texas, where he learned the art of barbecue and dirty songs from his grandfather, J.R. “Podnah” Muirhead. After leaving Texas and a short stint in New York, Rodney made his way to Portland, Oregon, where he has been cooking barbecue for the last ten years.
Kristen D. Murray
Måurice (Portland, OR)
As a little girl, Kristen grew up surrounded by her great aunt’s vegetable garden: sweet peas, peppers, lettuces, herbs, raspberry bushes, and persimmon, fig and kumquat trees. Baking with her grandmother and great aunt, she transformed those fruits into her earliest desserts. Kristen’s professional pastry and culinary career has been shaped by adventures in San Francisco, New York City, Boston and France. Prior to moving to Portland, Kristen assisted Les Nouvelles Mères Cuisinières at Le Picnic in Courchevel, France, where she had the opportunity to work with pastry goddess Christine Ferber, who left an impressionable mark to say the least, and Kristin fell in love with the culture and people. Portland has become Kristen’s second home to New England and her travels in France. Her dream restaurant and pastry shop is a deeply personal project for Murray from design, detail, to food. It is to encompass her Norwegian heritage with her love of French culture and cuisine and of course, all things pastry, thus, MÅURICE: A Pastry Luncheonette is born.
Langbaan (Portland, OR)
Earl is a Chef/Owner of Hat Yai, Langbaan, PaaDee restaurant in Portland, OR. Hat Yai has been recognized on both the local and national level, including: “2016 Top 10 Best New Restaurants” from USA Today. Langbaan has also been recognized on both a local and national level, including: the number two spot in GQ‘s “25 Most Outstanding Restaurants of 2015,” a four-star restaurant rating by The Oregonian, a 2015 James Beard Award Semi-Finalist for “Best New Restaurant in America,” and both The Oregonian and Portland Monthly’s “Restaurant of the Year 2014.” Earl was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand. Although he grew up cooking and working in the family kitchen and restaurant, Earl never considered making a career in the kitchen until he moved to America.
Cosme (New York, NY)
Fueled by a constant exploration of Mexico’s ingredients and culinary history, passion for subtle flavor compositions and deeply personal approach to the idea of simply cooking what you have, Olvera has become a leader in Mexico’s new gastronomy. Over time, he has created a cosmopolitan cuisine that is modern in approach but anchored by Mexican tradition. Olvera prefers not to categorize his dishes, and believes one should not overthink or over-describe cooking. Instead, it is flavor that drives and guides him. “Flavor is life,” he says. Enrique’s hard work has earned him international recognition and admiration. This 2017, in a historical first for a Mexican Chef, Olvera made it with two of his restaurants at the prestigious “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” list, placing Pujol – operating for seventeen years – at the #20 and Cosme – opened barely two years ago – at the #40 rankings, respectively.
Launderette (Austin, TX)
Known as one of the most recognizable chefs on the Austin culinary scene, Rene Ortiz has made an indelible mark with his vibrant and global flavors. In 2016 Rene’s neighborhood café, Launderette, was recognized by the James Beard Foundation as a Finalist for “Best New Restaurant.” He is also Chef and Partner of Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon, a casual dining concept focused on Mexican pollo al carbon, which recently opened its second Austin location. Previously, Rene was nominated for the James Beard Foundation Award for “Best Chef Southwest” for his work at Austin’s La Condesa and Sway.
Daniel N Oseas
Broder Café (Portland, OR)
Daniel has been at Broder’s Clinton Street location for over four years. In that time he has cooked and served over 435,000 aebleskiver to the dining public while simultaneously providing a stable home for four cats. In his free time Daniel enjoys gardening and cheating death.
Imperial (Portland, OR)
Vitaly Paley is the Chef and Owner of Headwaters, Imperial, and Paley’s Place. With a 2005 James Beard Award and a 2011 win on Iron Chef America, Russian-born and French-trained Vitaly believes cooking is as much about soul searching and mood as it is about technique. As the Chef and Co-Owner of Paley’s Place Bistro & Bar, Vitaly has been instrumental in defining regional Northwest cuisine. After attending Julliard as a concert pianist, Paley found his passion for cooking and earned a Grand Diplôme from the French Culinary Institute. In February 1995, he and his wife Kimberly realized their dream when they opened Paley’s Place. The Paleys opened Imperial and Portland Penny Diner in downtown Portland in 2012. Always creating, Paley launched his pop-up DaNet in 2014, where he cooks the cuisine of his roots. In 2016, Paley opened Headwaters at the Heathman Hotel in downtown Portland, showcasing local ingredients from Oregon’s diverse bounty, from farm to sea, in addition to the Russian Tea Experience by Vitaly Paley, hosted in the property’s historic tea court.
Beast (Portland, OR)
Naomi Pomeroy is a native Oregonian who grew up cooking on a step stool in the kitchen next to her mother who spent her early years in Rouen, France, and with grandmother Vivian, who hailed from New Orleans. Naomi’s Portland restaurant Beast is a refined version of the food of her childhood. Her second venture, Expatriate, is a cocktail bar with southeast Asian drinking snacks. In addition to numerous awards and accolades, in 2014 Naomi took home the award for Best Chef Northwest from the James Beard Foundation. Her first cookbook, Taste and Technique, was released in 2016, and received awards from the IACP and James Beard Foundation.
Suzette on Belmont (Portland, OR)
Native Portlander Jehnee Rains founded Suzette, a crêperie and espresso bar, as a food cart and carriage house on Alberta Street in 2009. By 2012, Suzette was ready to set down roots at the current restaurant space on Belmont St. It all began after Jehnee earned her art degree at Reed College and moved to the Bay Area – where she jumped from canvas to kitchen. Jehnee became a 4 a.m. pie baker in 1994, and over the next 11 years she headed pastry departments at some of the Bay Area’s finest restaurants, including Quince in San Francisco and Chez Panisse in Berkeley – where she wrote the recipe for Crêpes Suzette in the Chez Panisse Fruit cookbook. After returning to Portland in 2005, Jehnee created desserts for Ripe, Bluehour, and Clarklewis before opening Suzette. Time away from the kitchen is spent hiking Mt. Tabor and putzing in the garden. Her berries, cherries, and figs; lavender, rose geranium, lemon verbena, veggies and flowers are faithfully guarded by three crazy cats against any violent weed removal. Adam, her faithful recipe tester, bartender, waiter, dishwasher, photographer, electronics specialist, and husband, easily distracts them with anything that moves in the grass.
Pok Pok (Portland, OR)
Andy Ricker is the Chef/Owner of Michelin starred Pok Pok Ny in Red Hook, Brooklyn as well as five other restaurants in Portland. He first visited Thailand as a backer in 1987. Since then, he has spent several months each year traveling, eating, cooking and studying the food culture in Thailand and neighboring countries. He is also the Founder and Owner of Pok Pok Som (a drinking vinegar company) and is a partner in Pok Pok Thaan (a charcoal importing enterprise). Among other achievements and accolades, Andy is a two time James Beard Award winner and best selling cookbook author.
Biwa (Portland, OR)
Gabe Rosen had dreamed of running a restaurant since he was a little kid in Iowa so he moved out to Oregon to go to cooking school in the late 90’s. He got a Japanese degree, moved to Japan, came back, and then in 2007 opened an Izakaya called Biwa with his amazing wife, Kina. In 2015 Gabe and Kina opened their magical realism diner, increasingly Mexican fusion ramen shop, Noraneko, under the Hawthorne Bridge. Biwa underwent significant renovations in 2016 and at that time they created a new cocktail bar and Japanese late night diner, Parasol. Gabe is interested in everyday contemporary cuisine in Japan, vernacular world cuisines, gardening and agriculture with a focus on food preservation, raw bars and clam strips, the culture of restaurants, cooking with live fuel, and managing and teaching a team of people. Gabe’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Bon Appétit, Sunset, and Cowboys and Indians.
The Painted Lady (Newberg, OR)
Chef Allen Routt, and his wife, Jessica Bagley-Routt are the owners of The Painted Lady Restaurant in Newberg, Oregon. Opened in 2005, The Painted Lady is Oregon’s only Forbes four star, and AAA four diamond awarded restaurant. Allen was raised in Roanoke, Virginia and worked in local restaurants during high school before attending The Culinary Institute of America at the age of nineteen. After interning with Bradley Ogden, he set his sights on earning the opportunity to work for some of the country’s top regional chefs including: Patrick O’Connell, Jean Louis Palladin, Roberto Donna, Mark Milletello, and Alessandro Stratta. Over the past decade, The Painted Lady Restaurant has been featured in national and regional media, and garnered many accolades. The acclaimed chef branched out in 2014 to open Storrs Smokehouse, also in downtown Newberg, bringing some of the best Southern and Texas style BBQ to Oregon’s wine country.
Le Pigeon (Portland, OR)
Two-time James Beard Award-winning chef Gabriel Rucker is Chef/Co-Owner of Le Pigeon and Little Bird Bistro in Portland, Oregon. His edgy, highly original, and recipe-free masterpieces, evocative of French bistro signatures and classic American fare, have gained him both regional and national acclaim. In 2003 he landed a coveted job at Paley’s Place, after two years he moved on to Gotham Tavern as Sous Chef. In June of 2006, Rucker opened Le Pigeon and became an overnight success. In 2011, Rucker and his business partner Andrew Fortgang opened Little Bird, a downtown Portland bistro that went on to win The Oregonian’s 2012 “Restaurant of the Year.” Rucker and his team released their first cookbook, Le Pigeon: Cooking at the Dirty Bird (Ten Speed Press), in September 2013. Rucker is one of Portland’s most respected and decorated chefs, earning many accolades, including two James Beard Awards: “Rising Star Chef” in 2011 and “Best Chef Northwest” in 2013, as well as a nomination for “Outstanding Chef” in 2016 and 2017, Food & Wine “Best New Chef” 2007, The Oregonian’s “Restaurant of the Year” and Portland Monthly’s “Chefs of the Year,” he has been featured on NBC New York and Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.
Castagna Restaurant (Portland, OR)
Geovanna Salas hails from Chicago, where she worked as a Pastry Chef at the lauded A10 and Table 52. Rumors of Portland’s burgeoning food scene lured her to Castagna in early 2015. She cites her parent’s love of sweets as her inspiration to become a Pastry Chef.
Local Ocean Seafoods (Newport, OR)
Chef Enrique Sanchez-Rodriguez learned the culinary arts from the ground up with Chef Patrick Wheeler at the Embarcadero Resort & Marina from 1995 to 2004. He met Charlie Branford in 2003, and was inspired by the culinary adventures of both Branford and Bruce Jackson, who responded to his desire to learn with enthusiasm! He loves to pass on this inspiration to his crew. Indeed, encouragement from Branford and Jackson brought Enrique to the new concept restaurant they envisioned. A part of the Local Ocean team since the beginning, Enrique’s passion is to “bring global flavors together on one plate,” following the fundamentals of fresh ingredients, tastes and textures. He likens the process to that of a play: the plate is an expression of his artistry, the food an expression of his soulful approach.
Park Kitchen (Portland, OR)
David Sapp is a Southerner at heart. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia and grew up surrounded by true Southern cuisine prepared in his Grandfather’s kitchen. He spent days in that kitchen; watching, listening and tasting, and absorbing his mentor’s skills and love of Southern cuisine. In 2008 David set his foot firmly on the road to becoming a chef, moving to Portland and enrolling in Western Culinary. He interned under Dolan Lane and Kyo Koo at Clarklewis, honing his skills and allowing his art to take shape, before moving on to simultaneously work as a chef instructor at Sur La Table and curate the breakfast room at the Ace Hotel. David joined the Park Kitchen team in 2013, working under Chef de Cuisine Ethan Snyder. In 2014 he took over as chef, where he upholds the Park Kitchen tradition of careful attention to Pacific Northwest flavors while bringing the warmth and hospitality of his Southern roots to the table.
The Country Cat (Portland, OR)
Jackie is the Executive Pastry Chef and Co-Owner of The Country Cat’s two locations – in Montavilla and at Portland International Airport, as well as multi-use event space, The Calico Room – in Portland, Oregon. Jackie started experimenting with food at an early age and quickly fell in love with cookbooks, tackling her first recipe at just 10 years old – a puff pastry dessert from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She studied the Anthropology of Food at the University of Oregon then moved to Portland in 1995 where she worked her way through restaurant kitchens as a savory chef including Wildwood Restaurant and Paley’s Place. She then switched gears to pastry – learning about and appreciating the preciseness and scientific aspects of baking – while working at Café Azul and Lauro Kitchen. With a sole focus on pastries for over 10 years now, Jackie and husband Adam, have launched a product line, Broken Cleaver, and released their first cookbook, Heartlandia: Heritage Recipes from Portland’s The Country Cat (Houghton Mifflin) which was nominated for an IACP award.
Launderette (Austin, TX)
Whimsical and complex, Laura’s work embodies her background in art history and a lifelong passion for food. After honing her skills in New York at Craftbar and Brooklyn’s Marlow & Sons and Diner, Laura moved to Austin in 2009 to open La Condesa. As Executive Pastry Chef, she oversaw the subsequent expansion of La Condesa Napa as well as sister restaurant Sway in Austin. In February 2015, Laura and longtime culinary partner Rene Ortiz joined forces to open East Austin neighborhood café Launderette. Located in the heart of the Holly neighborhood, Launderette was nominated as a finalist for the 2016 James Beard Award for “Best New Restaurant.” Laura is also Pastry Chef and Partner of Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon, a casual dining concept focused on Mexican pollo al carbon, which recently opened its second Austin location. Laura’s passion for her work has gained high praise from both local and national press. She was named “Best New Pastry Chef” 2012 by Food & Wine magazine and has been a James Beard Foundation Semi-Finalist for “Outstanding Pastry Chef” four times most recently in 2016 and 2017 for her work at Launderette.
Waypoint (Cambridge, MA)
Chef Michael Scelfo’s career path has never been a linear one – twists, turns and many travels in between have brought him to this moment. His second restaurant Waypoint, recognized by Food & Wine magazine as one of the “Best New Restaurants” of 2017, signals a natural next step along his culinary journey. The menu reflects his forward-thinking approach to coastally-inspired fare – marrying his time spent along the Atlantic and Pacific shores. At his award-winning Alden & Harlow, he extended the concept of the domestic kitchen table into his first owned and operated restaurant. Located in the iconic Casablanca restaurant space in Cambridge, Alden & Harlow pays homage to its chef’s roots by making each ingredient shine, and ultimately, cooking from his heart. In September 2016, Conde Nast Traveler named Alden & Harlow one of the “Best Restaurants in the World.” In 2016, the James Beard Foundation honored him as a Semi-Finalist for “Best Chef Northeast.” In 2016, Boston magazine honored Alden & Harlow with “Best Restaurant: General Excellence.”
Irving Street Kitchen (Portland, OR)
Executive Chef and Owner Sarah Schafer leads Irving Street Kitchen, guiding guests through a story of past and present via a marriage of her East and West coast influences. Schafer is one of Portland’s powerhouse female chefs, always on the cutting edge of the local food scene with standout, casually elegant American cuisine. By the time she was 14, she worked at a small Boston bakery as a prep steward and eventually became a master at creating traditional wedding cakes. Upon graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 1993, Schafer worked under some of the most respected chefs in the restaurant industry – with Ken Oringer, Tom Colicchio and Danny Meyer as her mentors, she became the first female Sous Chef at Gramercy Tavern and helped open Eleven Madison Park. Schafer eventually made her way to San Francisco to be closer to family and helped open Daniel Patterson’s Elizabeth Daniel. After several years in the Bay Area, the Pacific Northwest beckoned to Schafer and in 2010 Irving Street Kitchen was born.
Mother's Bistro (Portland, OR)
Lisa Schroeder is the Executive Chef and Owner of Mother’s Bistro & Bar in Downtown Portland. She’s also the author of Mother’s Best cookbook, a mother, grandmother, and mother hen to over 75 employees. Lisa’s a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and was chosen as a Top Student Chef by Food & Wine magazine. She honed her cooking skills at Le Cirque & Lespinasse in New York and Moulins des Mougins and L’Auberge de L’Eridan in France. She opened Mother’s Bistro & Bar in 2000 to rave reviews and the “Restaurant of the Year” title from Willamette Week. Lisa has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, QVC, Roker on the Road and many other television programs. She is the recipient of the Oregon Commission for Women “Woman of Achievement Award,” Portland Business Journal‘s “Businesswoman of the Year” award, IACP’s Chef/Restaurateur “Award of Excellence” and “Restaurateur of the Year” by Independent Restaurateur Magazine. Mother’s Bistro & Bar has received numerous accolades as well, including “Top Restaurant Bargain” from Food & Wine magazine, “Best Brunch” and “Best Comfort Food” by Urbanspoon, Tripadvisor, Citysearch and other websites. Lisa is also an active member of the community offering up her restaurant for causes in which she believes and participating in a numerous charity events and fundraisers.
Taqueria Nueve (Portland, OR)
Billy was raised in Port Clinton, Ohio on a fruit and vegetable farm. His parents cooked a homemade supper nightly, and this is where he picked up the basics of cooking a simple meal. With a fondness for cooking, he started cooking out of a cookbook in high school and began his first job in a kitchen at Trotters Tavern while attending college at Bowling Green State University. After graduating from BGSU with a degree in Business Administration, Billy moved across the country to Portland in 1996. He has worked at some of Portland’s best restaurants, including Jake’s Famous Crawfish, Tapeo and Paley’s Place. Billy opened his first restaurant, Taqueria Nueve, in 2000 and then D.F. Restaurant in 2005. Sadly, in 2008, both restaurants closed. For the next 5 years Billy honed his skills as the executive chef of Food in Bloom catering. But the bug to own his own restaurant bit again and in January of 2014, Billy reopened Taqueria Nueve in southeast Portland.
Salad for President (Brooklyn, NY)
Julia Sherman runs Salad for President, an evolving publishing project that draws a meaningful connection between food, art and everyday obsessions. This online platform serves as a springboard for events, collaborations and public programming. In the summer of 2014, Salad For President created the first ever MoMA PS1 Salad Garden, reimagining the previously unused rooftop of the museum as a public space for heirloom vegetables, performances and dinners. The second Salad Garden was installed at the Los Angeles Getty Museum in 2015. Sherman’s Salad for President: A Cookbook Inspired by Artists was published by Abrams Books in May 2017.
Figlia (Portland, OR)
Matthew Sigler, Executive Chef of Renata in Portland, Oregon, focuses his artistry in the kitchen on handcrafted pastas, hearth fired cuisine, featuring an extensive whole animal program, and seasonal wood-fired pizzas. Leaving Middle Tennessee State University and procuring work washing dishes at a local campus restaurant, he soon transitioned to working the line in various restaurants near the university. He decided to forge ahead with his culinary career and made his way to San Francisco, where he was accepted into Le Cordon Bleu College of College of Culinary Arts, and was awarded a coveted externship at Quince in San Francisco, where his passion for the art of pasta and butchery unfolded as well as the seasonal bounty of Northern California. From Quince, Matt progressed to Foreign Cinema in San Francisco, in 2009, where he helped to open critically acclaimed Flour + Water in San Francisco, crafting their infamous pastas and eventually elevating to the position of Chef de Cuisine of Flour + Water and Salumeria. In 2013 Sigler left Flour + Water for a consulting stint in Chicago and spent the majority of 2014 cooking and traveling in Colombia and Italy before landing in Portland to join the Renata family.
Smokehouse Tavern (Portland, OR)
B.J. Smith, Top Chef Season 14 contestant, is the Owner and Executive Chef of Smokehouse Tavern and Kim Jong Smokehouse in Portland, Oregon as well as the newest Smokehouse location, Smokehouse Provisions, in Vancouver, Washington. Smith brings more than two decades of culinary experience to his role, applying both classic and modern cooking techniques to high quality ingredients provided by local farmers including Cattail Creek Farm, Prairie Creek Farms and Your Kitchen Garden. Growing up in a restaurant family, Smith recalls spending most of his childhood at his parent’s Coney Island restaurant in South Bend, Indiana where his first role in food was as a junior prep cook, cutting fries and making chili next to his mom and dad. His love for cooking brought him to the former Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon where he graduated in 1997. Post graduation life led him to the kitchens of nationally acclaimed restaurants: Le Bernardin and Gotham Bar and Grill in New York City, Citrus in Los Angeles and Paley’s Place, Veritable Quandary and Olea Restaurant in Portland, Oregon. Smith conceived Smokehouse in 2010 as a way to apply all he had learned in his fine dining cooking career, but deliver an approachable menu where guests can get their hands dirty and reminisce over food as though at a good friend’s BBQ. His first location, Smokehouse 21, located in Northwest Portland, debuted in November of 2011, followed by Smokehouse Tavern in 2015, Vancouver’s Smokehouse Provisions in 2016 and Kim Jong Smokehouse in 2016.
Tusk (Portland, OR)
Sam Smith was born in the birthplace of modern, American farm-to-table cooking: Berkeley, CA. After growing up within this unique supply chain connecting area farms to urban restaurants, Sam received a degree in English Literature from Villanova University. Following his graduation, he attended culinary school at The Restaurant School, then honed his skills and developed his palate in a multitude of restaurants around Philadelphia. Sam’s culinary talent was on full display for the first time when he became the opening Sous Chef at Zahav, which immediately established itself as the country’s preeminent modern-Israeli restaurant. Sam moved to Portland in 2012, where he joined Joshua McFadden to open Ava Gene’s as the restaurant’s Chef de Cuisine. For years, Sam has dreamed of combining his passion for local farming and produce with a vision for modern Middle Eastern food in Portland. Tusk is the realization of that dream.
Zahav (Philadelphia, PA)
Mike Solomonov is the James Beard Award winning Executive Chef/Co-Owner of Zahav and Co-Owner of Federal Donuts, Dizengoff, Abe Fisher, Goldie, and Rooster Soup Company. Born in Israel and raised in Pittsburgh, Solomonov can usually be found covered in flour working the bread station at Zahav.
Cosme (New York, NY)
Daniela Soto-Innes, comes from a long line of women who love food and cooking. Visiting food markets and restaurants in Mexico City from a young age, she was instilled with a curiosity for flavors and an interest in baking. At age five she was placed in after-school cooking classes and never looked back. After moving to the U.S. years later, she enrolled in the culinary program at her career academy high school from which she was recruited to work at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott at age 15. She then moved to Austin, Texas where she graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. After traveling and staging at restaurants in Texas, New York, and Europe, she joined Brennan’s of Houston where she worked throughout the whole kitchen helping Chef Danny Trace create tasting menus. Two years later, she joined the progressive American restaurant Triniti, followed by the charcuterie- driven restaurant, Underbelly with Chef Chris Shepherd, a mentor who pushed her to become a leader in the kitchen. After a stage in the kitchen of Pujol, Soto-Innes was offered a full-time position working alongside Chef Enrique Olvera. In 2014, she opened Cosme in New York City as Chef de Cuisine. After just a year and a half in the role, she was named the James Beard “Rising Star Chef of the Year.”
Meat Cheese Bread (Portland, OR)
John Stewart first joined the restaurant business at the age of 14, starting as a busser at a 24-hour diner in his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, before working his way through virtually every restaurant position in existence. He earned his Culinary Arts degree while working as a full-time cook, then after a stint in restaurant management, John headed west to Portland, drawn to the bounty of local produce, close-knit culinary community, and refreshing absence of lava rock lawns. After several years in the kitchens of Portland stalwarts Ciao Vito, Grand Central Baking Company, and Scott Dolich’s Park Kitchen, John opened Meat Cheese Bread in 2008, a small but mighty Buckman sandwich shop that prides itself on seasonally-inspired sandwiches (and its green chile-spiked breakfast burrito). In 2012, John secured the space next door to Meat Cheese Bread and opened its sister bar, Beer, where he can usually be found on a barstool, drinking something hoppy and ordering parts for his lowrider.
Joel Stocks And William Preisch
Holdfast & Deadshot (Portland, OR)
Joel and Will have been working together off and on since 2010 when they first met at Park Kitchen. They quickly realized they shared similar ideas about food and bourbon, and went on to open The Bent Brick. Both have been around food their entire lives, and worked in professional kitchens from a young age. Growing up in Cleveland, Will worked at his dad’s 24-hour diners from elementary school through high school. Since moving to Portland in 2005, he’s worked at Le Pigeon, Park Kitchen, and The Bent Brick. As a Portland native, Joel decided he wanted to cook in the sixth grade, setting his sights on the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. After graduating and returning to Portland, he worked at Noble Rot and 50 Plates besides the time he worked alongside Will. Before the start of Holdfast, Will was traveling on a culinary tour of Europe and Iceland and Joel was in Chicago, where he was the Sous Chef at the two Michelin-starred Graham Elliot Restaurant.
Noble Rot (Portland, OR)
Leather Storrs is a native Portlander and a crusty old coot. He owns Noble Rot with his wife Courtney and their partner Kimberly Bernosky. This year they celebrate fifteen years in business. The Rot is a wine driven, full service restaurant on the top floor of a four story, LEED Platinum building. Walls of glass face South and West, towards downtown Portland. The entire roof is a garden, providing fruits, vegetables and herbs eight months of the year. Storrs likes dirt. And foraging. And the Trail Blazers. Leather learned to cook from his Dad, a local architect. With his architecture and his food, the senior Storrs instilled a sense of place and the importance of celebrating and utilizing native material. Storrs is a graduate of The University of Colorado and The Culinary Institute of America. He credits his BA in English for preparing him to carry 50 lb. bags of onions. Storrs honed his cooking skills at Chez Panisse and The French Laundry. He sharpened his writing skills as a food critic in both Austin, Texas and Portland. Lately he’s been cooking with cannabis. Storrs serves multi-course, infused dinners featuring a variety of techniques including tincture cured fish, shake roasted vegetables, potted pork rillettes and sous vide potatoes and mushrooms (pomme de terre en saq plastique). His work has been featured on Bong Appetite. He also won a ridiculous cooking show on the Food Network called Extreme Chef (weed free). Leather lives in Southeast Portland with his wife, a dog and their two children, Rye and Charlotte – hands down the best things he’s ever made.
Ethan Stowell Restaurants (Seattle, WA)
Ethan Stowell is the Executive Chef and Owner of Ethan Stowell Restaurants in Seattle. His food philosophy is all about keeping it simple, using fresh ingredients, and allowing the food to do the talking.
Knife at The Highland Dallas (Dallas, TX)
Four-time James Beard “Best Southwest Chef” Semi-Finalist and Top Chef contestant Chef John Tesar is known for his stylish, modern American cuisine prepared with classic European techniques, innovative culinary perspective and no-nonsense personality. Throughout his 20 plus years in the restaurant industry, which started in La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Paris, he’s received national nods from Esquire (named to “Best New Restaurants” for two consecutive years), Food & Wine and The New York Times, appearances on The Today Show and The Early Show and winning the inaugural season of Food Network’s Extreme Chef. Tesar worked in Westhampton, New York and Las Vegas before putting down roots in Dallas in 2007 where he’s consulted for the menus at DRG Concepts’ Dallas Chop House and most recently Oak in the Design District to name a few. Knife at The Highland Dallas is Tesar’s vision of what a contemporary steakhouse should be. Opened in 2014 the chef-driven restaurant has continued to be recognized for reinventing the steakhouse experience. Most recently Knife’s pimento cheeseburger was featured as Best Burger in Dallas on “The 50 Greatest Burgers” list for Texas magazine and “Best Steakhouse” by D magazine’s “Best of Big D’s” list. Always looking ahead for the next project, Tesar announced he’s working with Flatiron Books and Macmillan on a book, Knife: Texas Steakhouse Meals at Home, that will be published in May 2017 in addition to a TV show.
Milk Bar (Brooklyn, NY)
Christina Tosi is the Founder and CEO of Milk Bar. After launching and leading the dessert program at the Momofuku restaurants in NY, she went on to build a culinary empire of her own, leading The New York Times to describe her as a “border crossing pastry chef.” The culinary trendsetter and sugar genius is a two-time James Beard Award winner, a Crain’s New York “40 Under 40” honoree, and the author of two highly acclaimed cookbooks, Momofuku Milk Bar and Milk Bar Life. Christina is also a judge on the hit cooking competition series Masterchef and Masterchef Junior on FOX, playing an integral role in mentoring and inspiring home cooks of all ages. She has graced the covers of Adweek and Cherry Bombe and was named one of the most innovative women in food and drink by Food & Wine. Christina is a big believer in giving back, not only does this highly motivated lady boss serve on the board of Hot Bread Kitchen and Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, she is also an adviser and investor in a handful of food startups, including the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) and Maple.
Deschutes Brewery (Portland, OR)
Jeff Usinowicz, corporate executive chef, Deschutes Brewery: Hailing from the New York City area, Jeff took his passion for cooking to the next level when he attended culinary school in Portland nearly 20 years ago. After returning to New York for more study, he opened Laslow’s Broadway Bistro in Portland with Chef Eric Laslow – winning many awards including the Oregonian’s “Restaurant of the Year” and an appearance at the James Beard House. After several more successful ventures, Jeff joined Deschutes in 2008 as executive chef for the Portland pub. He now serves as corporate executive chef, and travels all around the United States showcasing the culinary side of the brewery.
Erik Van Kley
Taylor Railworks (Portland, OR)
He has over twenty years of experience working in restaurants and has been managing kitchens for the past twelve. He has been working in Portland for the past nine years, building a reputation as one of the city’s most hard working and creative talents. He began his Portland career in the Gotham Building Tavern working with Tommy Habetz and then moved on to become the Sous Chef at Le Pigeon upon its inception. There, together with Gabriel Rucker, they created the cuisine which has helped cement Portland’s reputation in the national dining scene. He was the Executive Chef at Little Bird Bistro for four years before he opened Taylor Railworks. He has brought his creative and independent vision to bear on re-inventing American classics with an Asian flair.
Bryan Lee Weaver
Butcher & Bee (Nashville, TN)
After a successful run at Superba Snack Bar in Los Angeles, Bryan took the lead opening Butcher & Bee Nashville where he currently creates unique produce-driven cuisine praised by The Tennessean as “fresh, original and utterly delicious.”
Nostrana (Portland, OR)
A remarkable channeler of the soul and psyche of Italy, Chef Cathy Whims is the master of creating inventive regional Italian cuisine that reflects her close, personal relationships with farmers in the Pacific Northwest. From Nostrana, to Oven & Shaker, to Hamlet, all located in Portland, Oregon, Whims’ stripped down, elemental regional Italian cooking is worthy of her six nominations for the James Beard Foundation Award for “Best Chef Northwest.”
Joy the Baker (New Orleans, LA)
Joy Wilson is well known for her daily dabbles in butter and sugar as her blogging alter ego, Joy the Baker. Since it’s launch in 2008, Joy has received many accolades, including being selected as one of the “50 Best Food Blogs” by The London Times and “Best Baking and Dessert Blog” by Saveur. Joy is author of The Joy the Baker Cookbook, Homemade Decadence, and her latest book about brunch, Over Easy. A native California girl, Joy now lives in New Orleans with her big orange cat, Tron. When she’s not baking, blogging, or Instagramming she can be found searching for the best Sazerac in town.
Bunk Sandwiches (Portland, OR)
In 2008, Tommy Habetz and Nick Wood, opened “a gritty east-side shop called Bunk and launched Portland’s sandwich revolution with one devastating pork-belly Cubano” (Karen Brooks, Portland Monthly). Hailing from the kitchens of Mario Batali and Bobby Flay, Tommy Habetz joined forces with Nick Wood and began making unpretentious and delicious sandwiches, made with the best ingredients. Since 2008, Bunk has expanded to five locations in Portland (as well as outposts in the Moda Center and Providence Park). Media praise from The New York Times, Food Network, and Bon Appétit have made Bunk a favorite for locals as well as a must-eat option for visitors.
Castagna Restaurant (Portland, OR)
Justin Woodward enjoys the challenge of evolving cuisine, using ancient and modern techniques to bring out the essential nature of house-grown, foraged and local ingredients. Lauded by The Oregonian for his “powerfully creative dishes,” Karen Brooks, Portland Monthly food critic and author of The Mighty Gastropolis calls chef Woodward, “The only Portland chef cooking at Michelin-star level.” Executive Chef from 2011, Woodward arrived at Castagna in 2009 from New York’s WD-50, where he worked under Pastry Chef Alex Stupak at WD-50. This experience, along his time at a stagier at such world-class restaurants as Noma in Denmark and Mugaritz Restaurant in San Sebastian, Spain, has culminated in his current direction: cuisine that is seasonal and progressive, with a focus on surprising his guests with common and uncommon ingredients. 2015 and 2016 marked Woodward being chosen as a Finalist in the James Beard Foundation Awards for “Best Chef Northwest.”
Revelry (Portland, OR)
Rachel Yang, a 2017 James Beard Award nominee for “Best Chef Northwest,” is known for her singular culinary vision that artfully blends a love of bold, unexpected flavors with classic technique. Her food defies expectation and simple definition, and has earned her a reputation as an innovator and creative force. Yang’s food is beloved by seasoned, adventurous diners and often considered a revelation by newcomers eager to expand their palates. Her cuisine is informed equally by her personal history as a Korean native as well as her kitchen experience at restaurants Per Se, Essex House, and DB Bistro Moderne. Along with her Co-Chef and husband, Seif Chirchi, Yang owns three Seattle restaurants: Joule, a contemporary Korean steakhouse that was named one of 2013’s “Best New Restaurants in America” by Bon Appètit, and Revel, a lively, casual space for street food-style comfort food. Trove, one of GQ’s “25 Best New Restaurants” 2015, features a noodle bar, Korean BBQ, and a parfait window. Now Portland is the new home for her latest and most exciting restaurant, Revelry.
Jin Soo Yang
Bamboo Sushi (Portland, OR)
Jin Soo moved to Portland seven years ago from Charleston, South Carolina, after working for chef Bob Waggoner and chef Michelle Weaver at the Charleston Grill. Growing up he learned so much from with a great mother that cooked traditional Korean food and a multitude of different chefs along the way. Armed with an arsenal of cuisines to pull from, from classic French to Japanese teppanyaki, and seventeen years of experience, he immediately fell in love with what Oregon has to offer. For the past five years he has worked for Bamboo Sushi, where he started at the flagship restaurant on Southeast 28th and Pine, and has since opened three additional locations with Portland. With a fifth one set to open by the end of the year, he looks forward to expanding the restaurant concept and building another great family to join Portland’s ever growing food scene. His staff, their hard work, and the guests they serve on a nightly basis always honor Jin Soo.
Slow Bar (Portland, OR)
Slow Bar’s resident masshole, Luke Zembo got his culinary start working in restaurants along the south coast of Massachusetts and Connecticut. He made the move out to Portland in 2012 and found his home at Slow Bar. Now Chef/Kitchen Manager at Slow Bar, Zembo takes pride in culinary creativity and wicked good burgers.