Bullard Restaurant (Portland, OR)
Texas native Doug Adams is a cook’s cook known for his creativity, balance of flavors and hustle in the kitchen. A finalist on Season 12 of Bravo’s Top Chef, Adams launched his culinary career in Portland at Lucier before working alongside acclaimed chefs Greg Denton at MetroVino and Vitaly Paley at Paley’s Place. In 2012, Paley tapped Adams to be the Sous Chef of his new downtown restaurant, Imperial, where Adams soon earned the role of Chef de Cuisine. Adams’ creative energy, thoughtful dishes and leadership was quickly recognized, earning him a nomination as a 2016 James Beard Award Rising Star, the title of 2015 Chef of the Year from Eater Portland and Imperial the 2015 Best Restaurant from Willamette Week. In September 2016, Adams announced his upcoming project, Bullard, a downtown Portland restaurant in the new Woodlark Hotel named after his hometown in East Texas. At Bullard, Adams will draw inspiration from his small town Texas upbringing and new Portland roots to present his interpretation of modern Texas cooking.
Neolokal (Istanbul, Turkey)
Maksut Aşkar studied tourism and hotel management at high school and university. During his education, he studied both culinary and service management. Maksut Aşkar worked in food and beverage industry while and after his studies. This period led him into a passion for taste design and he reflected this passion in various projects. He transformed the tastes he designed into art exhibitions, consulted and designed events for many important food & beverage brands and entities. His last eight years have passed chasing his dream as a chef; by opening his very first restaurant in 2007, Multi where he proved his skills to himself. Then in 2009, another restaurant followed the first one which was named Lilbitz where he served tasting menus changing every 15 days. In 2011, he opened his third restaurant; Sekizistanbul with the motto “neo local cuisine” in which he was able to work deeply into his roots, childhood memories and emotions. After three years of success and his twenty second year in the industry, he opened up his latest restaurant in SALT Galata Museum where he brought Anatolian Cuisine into modern scene. The motto he previously used, became the name of the restaurant, Neolokal. With modern takes on Anatolian Cuisine, he cooks deeply into the heart of guests who experience “neolokal” with refined family cooking, of not only Maksut’s childhood and emotions but also the root and traditions within this very geography, in which he believes is the real Anatolian Cuisine. In 2014, he was awarded “The Best Chef of The Year” by Time Out magazine. In 2015, he was awarded the “Le Proche” prize on the tenth anniversary of Omnivore Paris. He also represents his cuisine and the way of thinking in various international events in the world.
Reem's Califorinia (Oakland, CA)
Reem founded Reem’s California in 2015 with a passion for Arab street corner bakeries and the vibrant communities that surround them. Her food is inspired by her Palestinian-Syrian upbringing and the connection to her family, heritage and community that Arab aromas, flavors and techniques evoke. Before dedicating herself to a culinary career, Reem worked for a decade as a community and labor organizer, and brings the spirit of social justice and activism to all her projects. Reem was named a James Beard Semifinalist in the Best Chef: West in 2018 and 2019, Thrillist’s “2018 Chef of the Year”, San Francisco Magazine’s “2018 Chef of the Year,” and San Francisco Chronicle’s “2017 Rising Star Chef.” Reem’s California was also named one of Food & Wine’s “2018 Top 10 Restaurants of the Year.”
Portland Mercado (Portland, OR)
The son of a Thai immigrant on the island of Oahu, Chef Chris Bailey grew fond of Southeast Asian and Hawaiian cuisines, now central to his style of cooking. Chef Bailey cooked in several prominent restaurants in Portland including Clyde Common and Din Din Supper Club before taking on a role as culinary enterprise developer at the Portland Mercado, a Latin market hall in SE Portland’s Foster-Powell’s neighborhood, advising and empowering Latino and immigrant-owned food startups in the greater Portland community.
Restaurant St. Jack (Portland, OR)
Aaron Barnett’s fascination with 60s and 70s 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.
Laurelhurst Market (Portland, OR)
Ben Bettinger moved to Portland, Oregon to chase the culinary dream. Once here Bettinger attended Western Culinary Institute which helped land him a spot at acclaimed restaurant Paley’s Place. Bettinger worked under Paley for nearly a decade climbing the ranks and eventually securing the CDC position. Bettinger went on to open the short lived but very Popular spot Beaker and Flask with Kevin Ludwig. Beaker and Flask quickly was voted Best Restaurant by the WW publication. Bettinger now is Executive Chef at Laurelhurst Market and Co-Owner of Your Neighborhood Restaurant Group with partners Jason Owens, David Kreifels and Ben Dyer.
Hogstone's Wood Oven (Orcas Island, WA)
Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Chef Jay Blackinton moved back to Orcas Island in 2009 to pursue a life lived off the land. After years spent farming and learning about self-sufficiency, he thought it would be a good idea to open a restaurant (idiot) based on the principles with which he originally came to the island. To revere place, time, and flavor in pursuit of a better and more enlightened life. To take a modern and hedonistic approach to the old agrarian and native foodways of the islands. Now in business for six years, Blackinton and his partner Jocelyn Cecil started the fine dining alter ego to Hogstone, Ælder in 2017 a few months after being awarded Food & Wine‘s prestigious Best New Chef Award. A five-time James Beard Foundation Semifinalist for Rising Star Chef, Jay continues to pursue creating a real cuisine of the Pacific Northwest and its San Juan Islands. He hates ketchup. Always has.
Bakeshop (Portland, OR)
Kim Boyce trained as a pastry chef, first apprenticing with Sherry Yard at the original Spago in West Hollywood and later working closely with Nancy Silverton at Campanile in Los Angeles. It didn’t seem that baking could get much better than that, but when she left the professional kitchen to start a family, it did. Determined to create delicious cakes, muffins, breads, tarts, and cookies that her kids (and everybody else) would love, she began experimenting with whole-grain flours, and found they brought so much more flavor, texture, and color to the plate. It was a life-changing epiphany, and her James Beard Award-winning cookbook, Good to the Grain, is the happy result. 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 Kim most days at her retail and wholesale bakery, Bakeshop, open since 2011 in NE Portland. She has since been a James Beard Award Semifinalist for Outstanding Baker in both 2016 and 2019, and has contributed to Bon Appétit, O, NPR, Portland Monthly, Whole Living and the Los Angeles Times.
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.
Urdaneta (Portland, OR)
Javier Canteras is the Chef/Owner of Urdaneta, a tapas-style restaurant deeply rooted in the appreciation for traditional Spanish gastronomy and drink. Quietly tucked away from the bustling Alberta neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, Canteras’ urbane menu is dedicated to inventive pintxos, and alongside a menu of hearty, old world tapas, celebrates his Basque upbringing with bold, sophisticated flavors that transcend the typical Spanish fare. Canteras’ family moved to the US when he was five. A native of Spain, he frequently took trips back with his family where he learned to make desserts and family dishes alongside his father and grandfather. His family cooked together, creating simple yet inventive meals that drew inspiration from recipes passed down throughout the years, the fresh produce found at local farmer markets, food trucks, and tapas bars found across the vast Basque region. The ideas of family meals were – and still are – important to Canteras and his family. Before his grandfather’s passing, Canteras’ fondest memory was of the traditional txokos, a somewhat secret society made up of members who came together to cook and experiment with new techniques. Many of the dishes on his menu reflect those rare moments in time – a fond childhood memory or recent homecoming – of his native Spain, which he now shares with Portland’s growing Spanish food scene.
Raymonds Restaurant (Newfoundland, Canada)
Jeremy Charles is the Chef and Co-Owner of Raymonds Restaurant, frequently ranked as the top restaurant in Canada and has received numerous awards. He opened Raymonds in St. John’s, Newfoundland in 2010 and its more casual sister restaurant, The Merchant Tavern in 2015. Charles has twice won the enRoute Best New Restaurant in Canada Award. He was featured in Season 11 of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown and lives in St. John’s, Canada.
Olympia Oyster Bar (Portland, OR)
Maylin Chavez is the Chef and Owner of Olympia Oyster Bar in Portland, Oregon, Co-Founder of Portland’s newest oyster festival, Shuck Portland, and a native to Tijuana, Baja California Norte. Maylin brings her heritage and passion for the sea to each dish she prepares at Olympia Oyster Bar, her neighborhood dedicated oyster and wine bar serving small seasonal seafood plates and unique oyster preparations. Each dish is inspired by Maylin’s Mexican heritage and the global flavors of Japan and the Mediterranean. Olympia’s menu sets out to feature the honest beauty of seafood without over-manipulating it or masking its flavors. She is a passionate advocate for aquaculture and works directly with oyster and shellfish farmers and fisherman to procure the best oysters, shellfish and seafood for her restaurant. Her personal and professional experiences cooking in Baja alongside Baja’s, San Diego’s, and Portland’s top chefs; as well as abroad. Being surrounded by the rich diversity of ingredients has created a direct imprint on her cuisine. Her cuisine and restaurant have been featured in Bon Appétit’s September 2016 issue for Best New Restaurants, Eater’s 38 Hot List, Wine and Spirits Magazine, Portland Monthly Magazine, Top 10 Seafood Restaurants in PDX, the Food Network’s Best Oyster Bars in America, and will soon be featured in a national magazine for her creative take on oysters, in Where Women Cook.
Ataula (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 restaurant Ataula in 2013. In early 2016 he co-founded Portland’s first xurros (churros) shop, 180 Xurros with wife Cristina Baez. José was chosen as Portland Monthly’s Chef of the Year and he was nominated for Best Chef: Northwest by the James Beard Foundation in 2015, 2016, 2019.
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 in New York City for 10 years before opening Han Oak in his live/work space in 2016. A casual 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 National, GQ, Esquire, and Peter was named as one of Food & Wine Magazine‘s 2017 “Best New Chefs.” And in 2019, Peter was named a Finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s, Best Chef: Northwest.
Fat Rice (Chicago, IL)
Growing up in Lowell, Massachusetts, Abraham Conlon’s culinary beginning was heavily impacted by his Portuguese heritage and a strong Southeast Asian presence in his community. Alongside partner Adrienne Lo, Abraham opened Fat Rice in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood in 2012 as a return to his roots. The restaurant harmonizes the rich influence of his upbringing with his own unique culinary exploration. Fat Rice’s menu focuses on food from the modest traditions of Macau and is prepared with a respect for ritual, custom, and technique. The acclaimed concept has been recognized by Bon Appétit (Top 10 Best Restaurants in America, 2013), Jean Banchet Awards (Best New Restaurant winner, 2013), the James Beard Awards (Best Chef: Great Lakes winner, 2018), StarChefs (“Rising Star” 2015) and many others. In July 2016, Abe and Adrienne also opened The Bakery at Fat Rice, a Chinese Bakery and evening petisco bar, as well as The Ladies’ Room, a 250-square-foot craft cocktail lounge inspired by the fantan (Chinese gambling halls) and red light districts that proliferated around Macau in the mid 19th and 20th centuries. His most recent work includes releasing his first book, The Adventures of Fat Rice, a compilation of recipes that explores the vibrant food culture of Macau.
Jackrabbit (Portland, OR)
Chris Cosentino is the Chef and Co-Owner of San Francisco’s celebrated Cockscomb restaurant; Jackrabbit in Portland, Oregon; and Acacia House at Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Napa Valley – alongside partner Oliver Wharton and parent company Delicious MFG & CO. He is also 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 opened Cockscomb in 2014, showcasing a range of sustainable meat cuts and dishes inspired by the city’s culinary history, which San Francisco Chronicle restaurant critic Michael Bauer awarded three stars, deeming that: “There’s nothing else like it, and Cosentino has a consistent, unwavering vision.” 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 late August 2017, Cosentino, along with writer and photographer Michael Harlan Turkell, debuted Offal Good: Cooking From The Heart, With Guts (Clarkson Potter), a resource for mastering how to cook and honor the animals we eat and explore the unique quality of our ingredients. He is also the author of Beginnings: My Way To Start A Meal.
Cervo's (New York, NY)
Aaron Crowder is Chef and Partner at Cervo’s in New York City where they specialize in cooking seafood inspired by Spain and Portugal.
Bad Saint (Washington, D.C.)
Tom Cunanan is the Chef at Bad Saint, a Filipino restaurant in Washington, D.C. A quintessentially American chef, Tom immigrated to the U.S at age three and worked his way up the ladder of restaurant kitchens over the course of 20 years. Since his first job as a dishwasher at age 16, Tom has worked at many of Washington, D.C.’s notable restaurants, including Corduroy, Vidalia, Bibiana, Oyamel, Hook, and PS7’s. His professional experience spans a spectrum of global cuisines, including classic French, New American, Chinese, Turkish, Mexican, and Italian. He has trained with Chefs Rodney Scruggs, Peter Smith, Tom Powers, Jonathan Seningen, Susur Lee, Ed Witt, and Jeffrey Buben. Since it opened in 2015, Bad Saint has been reviewed in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Washingtonian magazine. It was named the #2 Best New Restaurant by Bon Appétit magazine in 2016. In 2019, Cunanan received his third James Beard Foundation nomination for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic region. Tom graduated with a Culinary Associate’s degree from the Art Institute of Washington in 2005. He was born in Olongapo City, Philippines and grew up in Hyattsville, Maryland.
Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton
Ox Restaurant (Portland, OR)
– Chefs and Owners of Ox Restaurant and Bistro Agnes
– 2017 winners James Beard Foundation: Best Chef Northwest
– 2014 Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs
Together, the two chefs opened the Argentine-inspired Ox Restaurant in April of 2012, and their new Parisian-style French bistro, called Bistro Agnes, in January of 2018 in Portland, Oregon. They also released their debut cookbook, Around the Fire, in March 2016 (published by Ten Speed Press), to critical acclaim. Born in Schenectady, New York and raised in Rutland, Vermont, Greg knew he wanted to be a chef from age four. He started working in kitchens at age nine. Gabrielle’s passion for food developed at a young age as well, during summers spent in her grandmother’s kitchen in the Andean highlands of Ecuador. Both Greg and Gabrielle graduated from culinary school with honors, Greg in 1996 from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and Gabrielle in 1999 from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco.
Trifecta Tavern (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.
Little Red Fox (Washington, D.C.)
Bobby’s earliest memory of a life-changing meal was as a six-year-old in his hometown of Winchester, Virginia (home of Patsy Cline). A babysitter served him a tuna casserole with instant macaroni and cheese, frozen peas, and canned tuna. Before you think of cringing, you should know that it was…amazing. Later that same year, Bobby had his first slice of pizza from a mall food court, a homemade doughnut from his first bakery visit, and kielbasa. Bobby came to realize that good food could potentially be anywhere, and he’s been inviting himself to meals ever since. In 2007, Bobby traded a semi-lucrative PR career, a downtown apartment, and a nine-foot-long Victorian sofa to follow his dreams of cooking for a living. He’s most recently worked at DC restaurants Ripple, The Partisan and Urbana. His biggest claim to fame to-date is a to-go entree he made for Jay-Z, but his dream is to make a multi-course meal for Bernadette Peters.
The Waiting Room (Portland, OR)
Thomas Dunklin is Co-Owner and Chef at The Waiting Room in Portland, Oregon. Dunklin and his longtime friend, Co-Owner and Chef, Kyle Rourke, share their Southern comfort, charm and hospitality, fueled by their signature fried chicken, oysters and champagne combo, in this former Victorian style public house. Dunklin, a New Orleans native, is no stranger to the lifestyle of southern crawfish boils and backyard BBQs. At the age of eight, Dunklin had a brief glimpse into his future when his aunt gifted him the culinary classic, Betty Crocker Easy Cooking. After graduating with a double BA in Journalism and Film from the University of New Mexico, he began his extensive culinary track that threw him into various roles ranging from Sous Chef at Emeril’s Delmonico in New Orleans to Executive Chef at Three Degrees and B&O American Brasserie. Dunklin eventually landed as the Director of Culinary Programs for Kimpton Restaurants across the nation.
Quaintrelle (Portland, OR)
Ryley Eckersley always had a fondness for art, culture, music, travel, new ideas, academia, shared moments and experiences, so naturally he gravitated towards food and its possibilities for creative expression. Born and raised in London, a move to America, and his nomadic lifestyle through Southern France, Barcelona, North Carolina, Manhattan, Central America to name a few, Eckersley’s culinary style reflects his lifelong wanderlust and curiosity. After arriving in Oregon in 2011, Eckersley led the kitchen at Jen’s Garden in Sisters and later opened DRAKE in Bend in 2013. After moving his family to Portland and a stint at Olympia Provisions, he took over the kitchen at DOC where he further honed his style of food. Landing at Quaintrelle signifies all the puzzle pieces all coming together, where he can create beautiful, unpretentious dishes with as much direct connection to farm, oceans and ranches as possible.
Boke Bowl (Portland, OR)
Patrick Fleming is the Chef and Co-Owner of Boke Bowl in Portland, Oregon. Boke Bowl came to fruition in January 2010 when Fleming wanted to create a meal in a single bowl that was reflective of all his past cooking experiences. He spearheaded the roaming pop-up with Co-Owner Brannon Riceci—who he’s known since college. Fleming credits most of his professional cooking influences to Julia McColskey while working at Universal Café in San Francisco and being part of the opening culinary team of the W Hotel. He then spent six months in Bath, England working under Martin Blunos at the two-star Michelin restaurant, Lettonie. After a brief time cooking at Bluehour restaurant in Portland, he accepted a position as Head Chef at the Oregon Golf Club. Both Fleming and Riceci work closely with the Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership at their alma mater Lewis and Clark College, through speaking engagements, cooking demonstrations, and internships at Boke Bowl.
RingSide Steakhouse (Portland, OR)
Nick Flores’ career started in his early twenties in San Francisco where he attended the California Culinary Academy. Graduating at the top of his class, he quickly landed Pastry Chef jobs at notable restaurants around the city, including Michelin-starred Cortez, two Michelin-starred Aqua Restaurant and Michael Mina’s RN-74. Following his stint in San Francisco, Flores moved down the coastline to Santa Barbara where he opened a trio of restaurants in a 10,000 square foot space, taking on the dual role of Executive Sous Chef and Executive Pastry Chef. This took Flores out of the kitchen more than he preferred so when approached to join the RingSide team, he decided to make another move. Today, Nick oversees the kitchen at RingSide Steakhouse, as Chef de Cuisine, where his poise has allowed him to stay true to a traditional steakhouse while also creating artfully crafted plates that combine unexpected flavors and often feature savory ingredients used in traditionally sweet dishes; a nod to his pastry roots and something only a balanced chef can achieve.
Franklin Barbecue (Austin, TX)
Austin, Texas based barbecue cook, grilling guy, 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. In 2015, Aaron won the coveted James Beard Award for Best Chef Southwest. Aaron’s second book, Franklin Steak, showcases his deep love for steak by exploring dry aging, reverse searing, and other cooking methods.
The Food Market (Baltimore, MD)
Chad is a Baltimore chef who really feels he “gets “ what the great people of his hometown are looking for when it comes to what they want to eat! At a young age Chad gained a lot of respect for hospitality, the kitchen and especially food while cleaning dishes and tables to stay “fly” in high school. When he was able to work full time he jumped into the kitchen with two feet and has been cooking, developing, producing and loving food ever since. After attending Baltimore International College Chad as remained a man of goals and a great desire to get ahead while keeping a humble personality. Chef Chad was responsible for “the greatest restaurant turn around, maybe ever,“ with City Café where he was named “Best New Chef“ 2010 by Baltimore magazine. With a knack for making classics his own Chef Chad delivered his vision of an upscale down to earth restaurant, The Food Market in Hampden where you can find him working in his open kitchen and talking with guests. Since then he has opened La Food Marketa, a sister to The Food Market with offerings of modern Mexican cuisine. He has also opened Tigerstyle, a hip hop street food carry out. Over the last few years he has also created Hoopla! Catering just so you could have all of our brands to yourself. Lastly Quality Snowballs, a true Baltimore dessert pastime of shaved ice and plenty of fun toppings and combinations. Chad is also known for always thinking as well as doing what he says he will do so keep an eye out to see what he will develop next!
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.
Tiffin Asha (Portland, OR)
Elizabeth Golay is the chef and owner of Tiffin Asha, a South Indian restaurant located in Northeast Portland, Oregon, where traditional methods of Indian cooking are woven into Pacific Northwest ingredients while incorporating her love of textures and colors into a dish. Golay grew up in Washington, and developed a love of food from an early age with her mom being her first inspiration. Her appreciation for food and desire to learn led her to pursue a degree at the California Culinary Academy (CCA) in San Francisco, CA. Upon graduating, Golay worked at the famed Citizen Cake, and later decided to move back to Seattle. It was here where the story of Tiffin Asha really began. Shortly after moving back, Golay began dating her future wife, Sheila Bommakanti, whose family is from Andhra Pradesh. Bommakanti, having grown up with South Indian food and trying to impress her new girlfriend, mentioned South Indian food to Golay. She became hooked and obsessed. She fell in love with the cuisine and was determined to learn more. Golay and Bommakanti moved to Boston in 2006, and Golay began working at the esteemed Oleana under Chef Ana Sortun and Chef de Cuisine Cassie Piuma, a pivotal moment in Golay’s career. It was through this experience, seeing Sortun’s passion for Eastern Mediterranean food, that Golay realized her passion for South Indian food could be realized through her own restaurant. Golay and Bommakanti were married in Massachusetts and moved back to Seattle in 2009, where Golay worked under Chef Jerry Traunfeld as Pastry Chef at Poppy. After moving back, the two knew it was time for Golay to pursue her love of South Indian cuisine full time. Bommakanti had a career move that landed them in Portland in 2012, and in 2013, Golay opened Tiffin Asha as a food cart in Portland. In January 2017, after over a decade of research, studying, recipe testing, and travels, Golay finally opened her South Indian restaurant, Tiffin Asha. ‘Tiffin’ is a type of food in South India, most often referring to dosa, vada and idli. ‘Asha’ means hope or wish. Having married into the culture, Golay understands the importance of respect for tradition, and at Tiffin Asha she provides a unique approach to South Indian food that is both authentic and modern.
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 Daughters, Tasty n Alder, Mediterranean Exploration Company (MEC), Shalom Y’all, BYH Burgers, and PLAZA DEL TORO. 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 Restaurant and Lounge (Portland, OR)
Chef Gregory Gourdet is the culinary mastermind behind Departure restaurants in Portland, Oregon and Denver, Colorado, where he pairs local ingredients with the bold flavors and traditions of Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Korea to create modern Asian fare. Gourdet’s extensive global travels to research and understand other cultures allow him to see Oregon’s lush bounty through an Asian lens, producing a constantly evolving seasonal menu inspired by cooking methods and ingredients from abroad. A two-time James Beard Award semi-finalist and native New Yorker from Queens, Gourdet honed his culinary skills within celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant dynasty. In the spring of 2010, Gourdet took the reins at Departure. 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, his fame skyrocketed as he earned runner-up in Bravo’s Top Chef Season 12. After much acclaim, he went on to open the second location of Departure in Denver in the summer of 2016. In 2017, he appeared on ABC’s 30 Years: A Celebration of the James Beard Foundation, as the crew filmed his journey from the Portland kitchen to New York City as he prepared for his first dinner at the iconic James Beard House. In 2018, Gourdet appeared on Food Network’s Iron Chef Showdown, competing with Iron Chef Michael Symon in the final round. He currently resides in Portland but splits his time between the two nature-loving cities.
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 Appétit’s “Best New Restaurants of 2016.”
Proud Mary Coffee (Portland, OR)
The kitchen is a place where all cultures come together to serve one purpose, which is to make people happy through sharing food. No matter where you are from, there is an ingredient that reminds you of something special. A country boy from the South Australian outback! Growing up in his small hometown of Hawker in the Flinders Ranges – he gained the knowledge and skills of indigenous campfire cooking, bush tucker collecting, and native foraging. Observing and learning about this cultural food lifestyle from a young age gave Barney an understanding and appreciation for the importance of seasonality and sustainability, as well as the importance of diversity of ingredients and flavours.
Little T Baker (Portland, OR)
An out and proud believer in the gospel of gluten, Tim Healea is the owner and principal baker of Little T Baker, which has two neighborhood locations in Portland, Oregon. “Gluten is magic,” he says. “It is truly the backbone of bread, allowing exceptional loaves to come to life.” For ten years at Little T, he has been a wizard of wheat and 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. For the past couple of years, 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.
Trinket (Portland, OR)
Chef-Owner of Trinket, Gina Helvie, curates the homey casual vibe as well as the distinct yet classic menu for Southeast Portland’s brunch destination. Trinket, named after Helvie’s mother Trinka, opened in 2013. The menu is made up of all Helvie’s favorites and family recipes. Born and raised in Napa California and the daughter of a restaurant professional, Helvie was executing table side wine service for family dinner parties at nine years old; the industry is in her blood. After moving to Portland in 2003 to attend Western Culinary, Helvie achieved success in front and back of the house at restaurants ranging from Olea to Jake’s to Laurelhurst Market. The passion needed to survive in the fast paced food scene comes from a love for the basics: genuine service, neighborhood customers, and great fucking Hollandaise!
Spatzle and Speck at Park Avenue Wines (Portland, OR)
Karl Holl is a chef, butcher, forager and farmer all tied into one. Growing up in a small town in Vermont, Karl’s passion for cooking started at a very young age. He cooked alongside his Oma at her small restaurant and quickly knew that he wanted to pursue a career in food. After moving to San Francisco to start his culinary career and a brief stint in Colorado, Karl joined the Outstanding in the Field tour for a year where he had the opportunity to travel the country and see farming first hand, cooking from the farm. Ninety farms later, he found himself with a group of friends on a mountain side in Oregon living his dream of growing and raising everything he cooks. After a little over three years building LetUmEat, Karl recently ventured off for a new beginning with what he calls, Spatzle and Speck. There, he continues to grow and raise everything he cooks while diving into his love of northern Italian cuisine. In this new chapter, he’s going back to where it all started, alongside his Oma, and is drawing inspiration from her German roots. Karl has taken over the kitchen at Park Avenue Fine Wines in downtown Portland serving what he’s grown.
Howard and Anita Hsu
Sweet Auburn BBQ (Atlanta, GA)
Born in California, siblings Howard and Anita Hsu are third-generation restaurateurs who grew up in a Malaysian-Chinese family deeply involved in the restaurant industry. They spent their teenage years in Georgia working in their parents’ restaurants, where they gained an appreciation for cooking. Sharing a love of barbecue, Howard and Anita started to experiment with recipes for smoked meats. After months of trial and error, they developed a repertoire of truly special dishes and took their Asian-inspired barbecue on the road with one of Atlanta’s first food trucks. As their business grew, they needed a larger space, and they were grateful to be invited to plant roots in Sweet Auburn Curb Market near downtown Atlanta. Thus, the name “Sweet Auburn Barbecue” was born. They then opened Sweet Auburn Barbecue’s next location, a larger, full-service restaurant and bar in Atlanta’s buzzing Poncey-Highland neighborhood. Inspired by the Hsus’ Malaysian-Chinese roots and Georgia upbringing, Sweet Auburn Barbecue offers traditional, Southern barbecue with an Asian flare. The menu demonstrates a range of innovative cooking styles, with dishes from pimento cheese wontons to coconut lemongrass ribs.
Han Ly Hwang
Kim Jong Grillin (Portland, OR)
KIM JONG GRILLIN FOR LYFE!!!!!
2009 Judges Choice award Best Food Cart
2014 Food Network Chopped “Food Truck Fight”
2015 Food Network Chopped “Redemption”
2016 Feast Portland Sandwich Invitational Champion
2018 Bongappitit Season 3 Contestant
2018 Feast Portland 80’s vs 90’s Winner Team 90’s (We won with a salad)
Full Heart Hospitality, Inc (Charlotte, VT)
Matt Jennings is a New England-based chef and author. He has owned and operated two restaurants in the past 20 years – the acclaimed Farmstead, Inc. in Providence and more recently, Townsman, in Boston. Matt recently underwent major life changes including embracing sobriety and fitness and has pivoted to bring his unique blend of personal and workplace wellness to the food, beverage and hospitality world via his latest project – Full Heart Hospitality. Full Heart is a hospitality-based consultancy focused on ‘creative and sustainable solutions’. Full Heart has had a global impact with a variety of clients from QSR, retail and large restaurant groups, to hotels, luxury retreats, shared work spaces and beyond. When Matt’s not hustling Full Heart, he’s probably at his farm in Vermont, pulling vegetables from the ground and spending time with is beautiful wife Kate, their two boys Sawyer and Coleman and their howling Blue Tick coonhound, Hank.
Sam Jones BBQ (Winterville, NC)
Sam Jones is the third generation to cook traditional whole hog barbecue at Skylight Inn in Ayden, NC. Sam’s family opened Skylight Inn in 1947 with a very humble beginning. Since then, they have always stayed true to what has made them what they are—a standard bearer for wood-cooked eastern NC style barbecue. Skylight Inn, as well as Sam, have been mentioned among the greats when it comes to legendary barbecue joints and pitmasters in many publications and several TV shows. In 2012, Sam was named as one of the “Top Ten Pitmasters in South” by Southern Living. In 2003, Skylight Inn was honored with a James Beard award for America’s Classics. In the fall of 2015, Sam opened Sam Jones BBQ in Winterville, NC—a new restaurant, but with all the indicators of traditional BBQ. With no freezers and a detached pit house turning out freshly smoked meats, the integrity of the eastern NC BBQ is surely safe here. Now adding author to his titles, Whole Hog was published in May of 2019. He is passionate about his craft and holds high standards for what traditional barbeque is. More importantly, Sam is known for just being a nice guy that loves what he does.
Olympia Provisions NW (Portland, OR)
Midway through his junior year as a business major at the University of Texas at Austin, Eric realized he just wasn’t a suit and tie kind of guy. He did love cooking for his roommates though, and being a pragmatist, Eric figured if he became a cook, he’d at least always be able to eat. He picked up a job as a griddle cook at a country club pool cabana, and was instantly hooked, so he dropped out of college to cook and prepare for culinary school (his parents were thrilled). After graduating from California Culinary Academy in 2001, Eric did his externship at the Savoy Hotel in London, then spent a summer working at Portland’s venerable Café Castagna with future OP partners Elias Cairo and Nate Tilden, before moving to the Bay Area, where he worked with chef Bradley Ogden at The Lark Creek Inn in Larkspur. After returning to Portland a decade later, Eric spent five years behind the stove at acclaimed wine bar Bar Avignon, before “rejoining the band” at OP. On his off time, he relentlessly hounds small local farmers for their most interesting produce, and hangs out with his wonderful wife Murphy and their small home zoo of two dogs and two cats.
Salare (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. In April 2017, Chef Jordan opened his second restaurant, JuneBaby and received much attention both nationally and locally. Chef Jordan was nominated for a James Beard Award in 2016, has been named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chef of 2016 and JuneBaby Restaurant Best New Restaurant for 2018, Salare was listed as a best new restaurant in America in 2016 by Eater National. Chef Jordan is a 2017 James Beard Award Finalists, and received the prestigious 2018 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef Northwest and Best New Restaurant for JuneBaby Restaurant. In December of 2018, he opened his third restaurant, Lucinda Grain Bar.
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. 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 DNA – a treasure he draws from to create his unique and delicious food at LYC. Kapur’s desire to cook sparked while in college. Two years later he began his cook to chef journey. 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 & Coyote Café. He returned to San Francisco and joined Nancy Oakes’ of Boulevard. He worked alongside her for eight years and progressed from cook to Sous Chef to Chef de Cuisine. In 2010 he became the Executive Chef of Prospect. In May 2011, Kapur’s life changed forever with the birth of his son, Makoa. Later that fall, Kapur resigned from Prospect in order to be an active parent during Makoa’s formative years. By 2012 he began his popular series of pop-ups also known as Liholiho Yacht Club. For the first time in his career he could elevate the soul of his culinary style – his heritage-driven food. People loved it and wanted more! It was during this hiatus when the reality of having his own restaurant solidified. 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. Simply put, they offer hospitality, service, delicious food created from the best ingredients California has to offer and an atmosphere that is fun and energetic. #GetJag
The Palestinian Table (Philadelphia, PA)
Reem Kassis is a Palestinian writer and author of the James Beard-nominated cookbook, The Palestinian Table. Born and raised in Jerusalem, she spent days in her grandmothers’, mother’s, and aunts’ kitchens soaking up everything there was to know about Palestinian cooking. After two undergraduate degrees from UPenn, an MBA from Wharton, an MSc from the London School of Economics and experience as a business consultant at McKinsey, Reem turned her back on the corporate world and followed her heart into the kitchen where is now using the power of food and storytelling to preserve the rich culinary traditions of Palestinians and share them with the world. Her debut book, The Palestinian Table, was endorsed by Anthony Bourdain and named one of NPR’s best books of 2017, and has been featured in The New York Times, New York magazine, Saveur, food52, Travel + Lesiure, and Departures. It is the first Palestinian cookbook ever nominated for a James Beard Award. It was also nominated for the Andre Simon Award, The Edward Stanford Award, The Palestine Book Awards and won The Guild of Food Writers First Book Award 2018. Reem is now working on her second cookbook on the evolving and cross-cultural food of the Middle East.
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.
Kindred (Davidson, NC)
Chef Joe Kindred is the Chef/Owner of Kindred in Davidson, NC, and Hello, Sailor in Cornelius, NC, with his wife, Katy Kindred. After attending Johnson and Wales in Charleston, SC, Joe became the first intern for Nobles in Charlotte, NC, before moving to Chicago for the next chapter and challenge. His tenure in Chicago saw stints at Tru, one sixtyblue, and The Pump Room, where he met Katy. Before the couple got married, opening a restaurant had always been a dream of theirs. They moved to San Francisco together, where Joe worked at acclaimed restaurant Delfina under Chef Craig Stoll. Out of a desire to move closer to family, the Kindreds uprooted back to North Carolina, where he was hired again by Chef Jim Noble to be the Chef for Rooster’s Uptown and lead culinary manager for Noble’s four restaurants. With their roots back in North Carolina, they began to work on realizing their dream of a restaurant of their own. They did so with their namesake Kindred, housed in one of the city’s most historic downtown buildings, followed two years later by Hello, Sailor, located on Lake Norman at a location that he frequented growing up as a child. Chef Joe was a Semifinalist for the James Beard Best Chef: Southeast in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. He lives in his hometown of Davidson with Katy, their three kids Alba, Luca, and Graydon, and their dogs.
Arigato (Portland, OR)
Raised on the central coast of California, Shaun took an interest in cooking at a young age. He utilized this training from a Japanese chef to work his way through a variety of Japanese restaurants before moving to Las Vegas to accept the position of Chef de Cuisine at Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood. Later, he joined Sushi Samba in Las Vegas as Executive Sous Chef then helped Bradley Ogden open Root 246 as Chef de Cuisine. Next, Shaun spent some time as the Executive Chef at Martis Camp, a Lake Tahoe club that was voted, “#1 private club in the nation,” by Forbes Magazine before moving to Chicago to become the Executive Chef of The Dawson. Next, Shaun was a corporate chef and oversaw the operations for the back of house at PABU San Francisco and Ramen Bar for the Mina Group in San Francisco. Most recently Shaun ran Momofuku Las Vegas for David Chang. Now he is operating as a pop up restaurant Arigato inside of Mikkeller Portland with his beautiful wife Jamie King. The husband and wife duo plan on opening their space Arigato in 2020 with the Chefstable group.
Normandie (Portland, OR)
Heather Kintler is Executive Chef and co-owner of Normandie, a seafood heavy bistro located in SE Portland. Her cooking style is adventurous and bold; much like herself. While studying Photography, she began working as a prep cook and quickly discovered that cooking was the creative outlet she had been searching for. Within three years she rose to Executive Chef at Emiliano’s Café. Florida couldn’t hold Heather’s creativity, so she chased ingredients to Portland. She spent 16 years as executive Sous Chef at The Veritable Quandary. During her tenure she honed her leadership skills in a high-volume restaurant. After the closure of VQ she joined Side Yard Farm & Kitchen as Sous Chef and Co-Farm Manager. Her experience on a community oriented organic farm deepened her understanding of utilizing every part of vegetables and herbs, from root to seed, fruit and flower. Through a humble and grounded approach, Kintler provides an elevated experience of what a neighborhood bistro can be, by showcasing the abundance of the Pacific Northwest, sourcing responsibly and locally. Her menus are built to please thrill seekers, artists, but most importantly the everyday human. With the use of simple ingredients and bold flavors, Heather transforms the ordinary to unexpected.
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 before moving to Portland in 2009. 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, Kyo 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 pursue a partnership with Jim Kyle and Dave Singh with the Danwei Canting concept. Kyo is currently developing his fine dining concept, superhawk.
Fried Egg I'm in Love (Portland, OR)
Jace Krause wanted to be a professional musician, but accidentally created “Portland’s signature breakfast sandwich” (according to the Oregonian) somewhere along the way. He started Fried Egg I’m In Love as a food cart in 2012, but launched a brick-and-mortar version of the concept in early 2019. His food has been featured on Food Network and the Cooking Channel, as well as in The Guardian and Travel + Leisure. The tasty sandwiches have also attracted the attention of Fred Armisen, Andrew Zimmern, Wayne Coyne, Tom Morello, and many more.
Magna (Portland, OR)
Chef Carlo Lamagna is a Philippine-born, Detroit-raised, CIA- and Chicago-trained chef. Lamagna is the Chef-Owner of modern Filipino restaurant, Magna, located in Portland, Oregon. In the city of Lamagna’s early childhood, Detroit, he grew up amongst Midwestern sensibility and genteel, gained a strong sense of family and an understanding that food was from farms, not grocery stores. His mother Gloria sent young Lamagna and his elder siblings to the Philippines to live with their father, Wilfredo. Gloria and Willie wanted their children to be in touch with their culture. From his father, cooking and eating in the way that he himself grew up was a key point in Carlo’s understanding and appreciation of Filipino food and culture. Lamagna began a pop-up dining series, Twisted Filipino, in 2013 in Chicago and continued them here in Portland with great success. While Lamagna cites respected chefs influential in his career, philosophy, and leadership style like Certified Master Chef Brian Beland at the Country Club of Detroit, Bruce Sherman of North Pond, and Paul Virant of Vie in Chicago, the chef he most reveres is his late father, Willie, who, alongside his mother Gloria, serves as a major influence of Magna.
Pacific Coast Fruit Company (Portland, OR)
Chef Lacy Larson is the Executive Chef at Pacific Coast Fruit Company (Portland, OR and Kent, WA). She has spent the past 20 years working in the food industry from fast food to fine dining until eventually finding her passion in recipe development. Her culinary education began at Oregon Culinary Institute with an internship at Moto in Chicago, IL working under Homaro Cantu. This experience led her to work with notable local chefs Vitaly Paley, Patrick McKee, and Jenn Louis before finally launching her recipe development career at New Seasons Market. Six years later she found a home at Pacific Coast Fruit Company. There, she adds her creative culinary mind to fresh produce solutions for their foodservice operators and grocery retail customers. Along this background, she has also appeared on Food Network’s Guys Grocery Games, one episode of which she was declared the winner. Additionally, she has competed in the Women’s Chefs and Restaurateur’s Food Games with Top Chef winner Brooke Williamson. Pacific Coast Fruit Company is extremely thrilled to have Chef Lacy help service their customers from the true mind of a chef.
La Neta (Portland, OR)
Chef Johnny Leach’s journey to the kitchens of La Neta and Tope in the Hoxton began early in life, spending time with his Mexican grandfather. After growing up and attending culinary school in Oregon, Leach made his way to New York at the age of 22. He cooked in numerous kitchens, including Del Posto, eventually joining David Chang’s culinary team at Momofuku. In 2009, he opened Ma Peche as Chef de Cuisine. Despite working primarily with Asian flavors, Leach was continually drawn back to the flavors and rich culinary traditions of Mexico. Leach returned to Portland in 2014, and opened his first restaurant, Chalino, loosely inspired by the food of Mexico City. Recently, in joining the team at Submarine Hospitality (Tusk, Ava Gene’s) as Executive Chef of the Hoxton Portland, he’s able to explore those techniques and flavors further through a much larger platform. There Leach has found his dream job, a venue to explore the varied flavors of regional Mexican cuisine while drawing upon the seasonal produce, meats, beans and grains available in the Pacific Northwest.
Embassy Suites (Portland, OR)Paul Linthacum is a Portland native who learned his skills from the school of hard knocks. He apprenticed under chefs such as Morgan Brownlow at Clark Lewis, Kurt Spack at Alba Osteria and Nick Yanes at H5O before coming to Embassy Suites as lead cook. After a short two years he was promoted to Sous Chef and then Executive Sous Chef. Under Paul’s leadership the Embassy kitchen has moved to sourcing sustainable seafood and meats, local products and maintains a thriving rooftop garden. As a Portland native Paul cares about his community, in doing so he makes sure all his unused food goes to local food banks to feed the less fortunate. He also volunteers at career days at local elementary schools to inspire the next generation of chefs.
Fat Rice (Chicago, IL)
Growing up in a Chinese American household, Adrienne learned at an early age that food and hospitality were central to the family unit. She has travelled the world extensively, furthering her respect for heritage as expressed through cuisine. As Co-Founder and General Manager of X-marx, a traveling supper club, Adrienne displayed this expertise through her creation of comfort and conviviality among strangers in diverse locations. Currently she is Co-Owner and Director of Operations at Fat Rice, where she employs this knowledge to lead her front of house servers, a space known for its unique and inviting atmosphere and incredible service. Adrienne received the Zagat’s 30 Under 30 Trailblazer Award for young professionals who have helped define Chicago’s nextwave of culinary greatness.
Beeswing (Portland, OR)
Ian and I met while cooking at a restaurant on Division St in 2003, I worked the cold side he worked the hot side. We’ve been cooking together all over the west coast ever since. Our restaurant Beeswing (pronounced Bee’s Wing) is in the Cully neighborhood. The name is an old fashioned word for the ingredient cream of tartar. Pretty exciting stuff.
Yonder (Portland, OR)
Maya Lovelace, originally from the small town of Beaufort, NC, is an award-winning Portland chef – but she’s also the great-grand-daughter of Western North Carolina bootlegger. Her 15 years of experience in the kitchens of Atlanta GA, Charleston SC, and Portland, OR led her full-circle, back to the storied cuisine of her home state and the American Southeast at-large. Her new restaurant, Yonder, is an expression of love for that region and a retelling of its storied cuisines. Chef Lovelace planted the seeds for Yonder when she launched her award-winning pop-up supper club, Mae, in early 2015. Through the years that followed, she stacked accolades from Eater, Zagat, and the James Beard Foundation for her exquisite Southern cooking and storytelling, earning her position among the great chefs of the Pacific Northwest as a cook and an educator.
Afuri (Portland, OR)
Grant joined AFURI in 2017, and now shakes noodles, semi-professionally. He shares his time between AFURI Izakaya in SE, the DT counter service AFURI ramen + dumpling, and planning for the next openings this year in Cupertino, Vancouver, Canada, and HK!
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)
Tyler Malek is the Co-Founder and Head Ice Cream Maker for Salt & Straw Ice Cream based in Portland, Oregon. About to enroll in culinary school in Seattle in early 2011, Tyler heard that his cousin Kim Malek was opening an ice cream shop. He convinced her to take him on, dropped everything he was doing, loaded up his car, drove to Portland and set up his workspace in Kim’s kitchen. Using an ice cream maker he found at the Goodwill, Tyler began his new role as head ice cream maker testing his endless ideas for ice cream recipes. In May 2011, Kim and Tyler started Salt & Straw serving eight flavors from a push cart and have since built their family run business around making unbelievably delicious ice creams designed to tell the narrative of artisans, meaningful food movements, and important social causes. Salt & Straw presently has scoop shops in Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, and the Downtown Disney® District in Anaheim, California. The company creates a unique menu in each city that changes every four weeks, makes ice cream by hand in small batches and designs a generous store experience that’s personalized and welcoming. In 2019 Malek has led his team in dedicating 20 percent of Salt & Straw’s menu to be vegan, focused on bringing the same level of thoughtful indulgence to non-dairy flavors as he does with others. Salt & Straw ice creams are also available in New York City at select partners such as Daily Provisions and is served on first-class flights on Alaska Airlines. Since opening, Tyler has created more than 600 flavors and spends most of his time working with his R&D department, which designs future flavors and hunts for new stories.The team constantly partners with more than 100 industry leaders each year, collaborating with James Beard Award-winning chefs, renowned national microbreweries, best in class local and organic farmers and a variety of other food experts. Due in large part to his continuing pursuit for taste provoking creations and changing the way people experience ice cream, Tyler was selected as one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” for “Changing the Way America Eats,” named Zagat “30 Under 30” for 2017, one of the Portland Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” and one of the Eater Young Guns Semifinalists. Tyler currently lives in SW Portland with his wife, three dogs and a blind cat. Tyler recently revealed the stories and inspirations behind the beloved company in the highly anticipated debut cookbook, The Salt & Straw Ice Cream Cookbook. Through sharing more than 100 recipes, he set out to prove at home cooks can create their own original flavors inspired by seasonal ingredients and local flavors, makers and dishes.
Rider at Hotel Theodore (Seattle, WA)
Rider Executive Chef Daniel Mallahan grew up in Everett, Washington where he spent summers fishing, foraging and exploring all the treasures the Pacific Northwest has to offer. In 2008, after studying Business Management at Western Washington University, Daniel moved to San Francisco to pursue cooking professionally. After graduating from the California Culinary Academy he began working at the new FIVE Restaurant, a local market driven concept in Berkeley, California. In 2011 Daniel began working for James Beard Award winning Chef Nancy Oakes at the Michelin-starred Boulevard restaurant in San Francisco. Daniel quickly rose through the ranks and earned a spot in management in this highly successful and competitive restaurant. During the summer of 2016 Daniel got the opportunity to work with world renowned Chef Cristina Bowerman in Rome, Italy. He was able to spend time with the teams from both of Cristina’s restaurants, Michelin-starred Glass Hostaria and her modern Italian space, Romeo Chef and Baker. In 2017 Daniel moved to Rider as Chef de Cuisine and in 2018 was promoted to Executive Chef.
Ava Gene's (Portland, OR)
Having grown up in the Midwest, Joshua came to the Pacific Northwest to attend Le Cordon Bleu in Portland, Oregon. Since then, he’s cooked in some of the top kitchens in San Francisco (Lark Creek Inn, Roxanne’s), Chicago (North Pond), and New York (Franny’s, Momofuku, Blue Hill and Lupa.) He also spent time in Rome working at the American Academy, an Alice Waters project. Wanting to get closer to his artistic medium, Joshua spent two years farming and cooking in coastal Maine, running Four Season Farm, owned by Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman. In the summer of 2016, he and Luke Dirks formed Submarine Hospitality, which acquired ownership of Ava Gene’s just before opening Tusk with Executive Chef/Partner Sam Smith. In 2018 Submarine Hospitality partnered with the Hoxton Portland to create three unique food and beverage concepts within the new hotel (La Neta, Tope and the hidden basement bar). Joshua’s James Beard Award-winning cookbook, Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables, of 225 vegetable-focused recipes, was released in May of 2017 by Artisan Books. Next up: Cicoria, a pizzeria next door to Ava Gene’s melding Roman-style pizza with the Wisconsin-style tavern pies of his youth.
Estes (Portland, OR)
Patrick McKee is the Executive Chef of Estes, and the former Executive Chef at Perlot, and former Executive Chef at Vitaly Paley’s landmark restaurant, Paley’s Place. McKee’s love of food began early in his life, and he credits his mom for his love of cooking. He remembers Sunday night dinners with his parents being a day-long affair, when his mom primarily made Italian food, which influenced McKee’s palate and eventually inspired the conception of Estes. McKee began his culinary career in Portland in 1994 with positions at Santé, and Jazz de Opus, where he worked as a line cook and began to develop his culinary skills. After Jazz de Opus, he began working at Zefiro under Chris Israel, Mint and then Castagna. He then moved to Eugene for a change of pace and worked at Marché, where he continued working with local Pacific Northwest ingredients. From Marché, McKee took his first role as Executive Chef at Eugene’s Red Agave. When he decided to move back to Portland, James Beard Award-winning Chef Vitaly Paley was the first person he called to inquire about a job. In 2017, McKee became the Executive Chef at Perlot—a creative, globally-inspired neighborhood restaurant—before starting Estes in 2019.
Sammich (Portland, 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 three 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. Now the Sammich Queen has opened her third location, Sammich PDX in December of 2017. 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 ten. She continued on her path to pastry perfection moving to Montana working at Bernice’s Bakery and eventually landing in Portland, Oregon. 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.
Commander's Palace (New Orleans, LA)
Tory McPhail hails from Ferndale, WA, a small town near the Canadian border, where he learned to appreciate local goods and the comfortable gathering place of his parents’ kitchen. Corn planted in the spring would become dinner in the summer; fish caught in the afternoon from his family’s stocked pond would make it to the plate by dusk. He attended Seattle Community College and received an ACF-accredited degree in culinary science. Compelled by New Orleans’ history, soul, and Mardi Gras celebrations, he moved upon graduation and at just 19, he was hired by Commander’s Palace Executive Chef Jamie Shannon. He worked diligently through all 12 stations of the kitchen, honing his craft and making a positive impression on his boss. In search of “as much experience as possible, as quickly as possible,” McPhail later completed a series of culinary stints, including the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach; the Michelin-starred L’Escargot in London and the Michelin two-star Picasso Room; and the Caribbean/Creole-intensive Mongoose Restaurant in the U.S. Virgin Islands. In 2000, McPhail returned to the Commander’s family as Executive Sous Chef at Commander’s Palace Las Vegas. New Orleans and Chef Shannon beckoned, and he returned to the Big Easy to become executive chef of Commander’s Palace in 2002. Today, McPhail continues his dedication to creating and sustaining strong relationships with local purveyors, as well as executing exciting dishes in the Commander’s kitchen. A passionate and resolute chef who pursues culinary perfection, McPhail delights in exploring a variety of flavors in his seasonal menus—embracing Creole traditions while updating classic dishes with fresh, local ingredients. Among other awards, McPhail is a James Beard Rising Star Chef and Best Chef: South winner.
Portland Mercado (Portland, OR)
From Toluca, Mexico; working on the best Chicago kitchens, now bringing his cooking to Portland, based on his roots and childhood memories, Chef Harol is going to take you on a journey of flavors from Mexico to your palate.
Highlands Bar & Grill (Birmingham, AL)
In 1982, Dolester Miles heard about a young chef named Frank Stitt who was opening a restaurant in Birmingham’s Southside neighborhood, and she wanted to be a part of it. She was hired as garde manger, but her passion was baking. Six years later, when Bottega opened, she asked if she could make desserts for the new restaurant. Stitt said yes. Today, Miles is the executive pastry chef for Highlands Bar & Grill, Bottega and Chez Fonfon. Her love of baking began as a teenager in nearby Bessemer, Ala. She was the happiest when in the kitchen with her mother and aunt, welcoming every opportunity to learn. Dol, as she was known then and now, especially enjoyed making brown sugar poundcakes, German chocolate cakes and pecan pies for family reunions, birthdays and holidays. A love for these classic Southern desserts is evident on the menus at Pardis and Frank Stitt’s award-winning restaurants. Southern Living recently noted regulars “know that saving room for dessert is non negotiable” and added “nowhere is her brilliance more evident than in the legendary Coconut Pecan Cake. It’s beloved. It’s unforgettable.” Thirty six years after joining the opening team at Highlands Bar & Grill, Miles received the 2018 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef in America. She still lives in Bessemer and enjoys spending time with family and friends and baking for her two grandsons.
Mediterranean Exploration Company (Portland, OR)
Kasey Mills is Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Mediterranean Exploration Company (M.E.C.) in the Pearl District of downtown Portland serving innovative cuisine from the eastern Mediterranean and beyond, Shalom Y’all Israeli restaurants on the East and West sides of Portland, and BYH Burgers in the Pine Street Market and McMinnville’s Atticus Hotel featuring classic Americana cheeseburgers and fries with flavors to take you back to your childhood. Mills opened M.E.C. in 2014, Shalom Y’all in 2016, BYH Burgers in 2017, and second Shalom Y’all Restaurant and BYH Burgers & Bar locations in 2018 with mentor and Portland restaurateur John Gorham, owner of Toro Bravo, Tasty n Sons and Tasty n Alder, and PLAZA DEL TORO. Mills and Gorham have worked closely together since opening Toro Bravo in 2007. Inspired by the way a region’s cuisine tells a story of its peoples’ interactions and exchanges over time, Mills aims to bring the rich cultural history of the eastern Mediterranean to the Pacific Northwest. His menus of diverse yet cohesive dishes at M.E.C. and Shalom Y’all pay 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. Working as a ski lift operator at that time, he received sage advice from his father to find a job that he could take pride in. One night, craving manicotti, Mills decided to try his hand at a recipe on the back of a box and took such pride in his efforts and creating something, decided he wanted to be a cook. As luck would have it, his neighbor was a local chef and invited Mills to work for him. Mills moved to Portland, Oregon from South Dakota in 2001 to attend culinary school and immediately began working six days a week while taking classes, working his way up the ranks at well regarded restaurants in the area including the original McCormick and Schmick’s, Oba, Fratelli, and Fenouil. When he heard John Gorham was planning to open a new Spanish restaurant, he introduced himself and was offered the job of Sous Chef of Toro Bravo. He worked directly under Gorham for three years before being promoted Chef de Cuisine. After seven years at Toro Bravo, Mills opened M.E.C as a Co-Owner with Gorham. 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. Mills finds inspiration in his world travels as much as his explorations in his own garden and through the pages of cookbooks. In his free time, he also enjoys camping and spending time with his wife, Dori, their two schnauzers Mr. Brown and The Dude, and their son, Leopold Malloy Mills.
Lovely's Fifty-Fifty (Portland, OR)
Portland native Sarah Minnick opened her first restaurant, Lovely Hula Hands, in 2003 focused on seasonal ingredients grown by local farmers. In 2010, the restaurant closed and re-invented itself in the form of a pizza and ice cream shop called Lovely’s Fifty-Fifty with the same vegetable-driven philosophy. Food critics and fans have declared Sarah’s pizza the quintessential “Portland” pizza. Her pizzas are for the adventurous spirit as they adhere to no rules, only to bring justice to the high-quality ingredients she is inspired by and dedicated to. In 2018, Sarah was nominated for a James Beard Best Chef: Northwest award. She lives, cooks and gardens in Portland, Oregon with her daughter, Sophie, and son, Otto.
Konbi (Los Angeles, CA)
Nick is originally from Alabama, where he began his culinary career at age 18 in Frank Stitt’s Bottega Restaurant. From there, he made his way to New York City to work with Tien Ho and David Chang at Momofuku before leaving to join Joaquin Baca at The Brooklyn Star. The next stop was Paul Kahan’s Blackbird in Chicago before returning to New York City to open Montmartre. Now, Nick owns and operates Konbi in Los Angeles’ Echo Park neighborhood with Co-Chef and Co-Owner Akira Akuto. Akira and Nick met working at Momofuku Ssam Bar in New York in 2007. They were the consulting chefs on the now-closed Osso when it earned its three star review from Besha Rodell at LA Weekly (RIP). Konbi, as an idea, has been four years in the making – the same length of time Nick has been in LA. When Nick isn’t at Konbi…just kidding, he’s always at Konbi. It’s a brand new restaurant. Find him there.
Kachka (Portland, OR)
The first-generation American daughter of Belarusian immigrants, Chef Bonnie Morales grew up in Chicago in a large family that brought with them the distinctive culture of food and drink of the former Soviet Union. She trained at the Culinary Institute of America, then honed her skills in several of New York and Chicago’s Michelin starred restaurants including Tru, where she met her future husband and business partner, Israel Morales. In 2014, the Morales’ opened Kachka, their dream restaurant devoted to the food that Bonnie grew up with, inspired by Russia and former Soviet republics. Kachka’s received myriad accolades, including Eater’s Best Restaurants in America from 2015-2018. Last year Kachka relocated into a larger space in Portland’s Central Eastside, and the original location reopened as Kachinka, a fun, casual sister restaurant focusing on Russian-inspired drinking food. Morales was recently named a Rising Star Chef by StarChefs, and was a Finalist for the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Northwest in 2018. Her first cookbook, Kachka: A Return to Russian Cooking, written with Deena Prichep, was released in 2017 to critical acclaim.
Longsong (Melbourne, Australia)
David Moyle takes a cooperative approach to cooking. He is adamant about using locally-grown produce, that very much dictates his menu. 1996: The Latin, Melbourne with Bill Marchetti. 2001: The Stokehouse, Melbourne with Maurice Esposito. 2003: Circa, The Prince, Melbourne under Andrew McConnell in his first head chef role. 2007: A keen surfer, David moved to Byron Bay spending three and a half years at The Pacific Dining Room at The Beach Hotel. During his time in Byron Bay David developed a strong connection with the local farmers and market gardeners who would drop off fresh produce on a daily basis. 2010: Named in an elite group of the next generation of influencers in the industry by Gourmet Traveller. 2013: Fell in love with Tasmania’s terroir and moved to Hobart where he headed the kitchen at The Stackings at Peppermint Bay winning Gourmet Traveller’s Regional Restaurant of the Year award and ‘best use of regional produce’ at Delicious Produce Awards. 2015: Opened his Hobart restaurant, Franklin, to great acclaim. David’s menu borrows from nature and the Tasmanian wilderness. Predominantly seafood focused, it changes daily depending on what local foragers and farmers bring. Amongst a myriad of rewards and accolades, Franklin was voted one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants and the 10th best restaurant in the country by 500 of his peers in the 2016 AFR Australia’s Top 100 Restaurants. 2017: David opened a new Thai-influenced bar and grill, LongSong upstairs from the iconic modern Thai restaurant Longrain. 2018: Headed up Flinders Island Food & Crayfish Festival with (all-star chef lineup) James Viles (Biota), Mark Labrooy (Three Blue Ducks), Matt Stone and Jo Barrett (Oakridge) along with sommelier Alice Chugg.
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.
eem (Portland, OR)
Bio coming soon!
Suerte (Austin, TX)
Renowned chef and local Austinite for almost a decade, Fermín Núñez is executive chef of masa-focused Mexican restaurant, Suerte. Raised in Mexico, Núñez’s love for the explosive taste of Mexican cuisine ignited as he learned to enjoy and capture the culinary experience that so often accompanies exuberant gatherings between family and friends. Previously assisting chefs at Austin favorites like Launderette, La Condesa and Uchiko, Núñez loves showing a more personal side of himself to those who walk through Suerte’s doors. Núñez’s positive reputation hails from his attention to detail and dedication to creating a respectful culture among coworkers. Núñez holds a Culinary Arts Associate’s degree from The Art Institute of Houston.
Kith/Kin (Washington, D.C.)
Kwame’s mother first exposed him to cooking in the family’s Bronx apartment where he helped peel shrimp and fabricate vegetables for her catering company. At age 11, Onwuachi moved to Nigeria to live with his grandfather who introduced him to a much different culture and cuisine from that of New York City. After returning to the States and graduating high school, Onwuachi moved to Baton Rouge where he got his first kitchen job cooking for the crews cleaning up the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf Coast. The job allowed Onwuachi to save enough money to move back to New York City where he found a job waiting tables at Craft. Wanting to venture out on his own, he sold candy on the subway raising $20,000 in two months. The funds allowed him to start his own catering company Coterie Catering. Onwuachi found his passion for cooking through catering and yearned for formal training, so he enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park. The training led to jobs at Per Se, Thomas Keller’s Michelin star-awarded New York City restaurant, and Eleven Madison Park, the upscale Madison Avenue restaurant headed by famed chef Daniel Humm. In 2014, Dinner Lab selected Onwuachi to join eight other chefs for its pop-up dinner competition which awards the winner a chance to open a new restaurant. He spent nine months cooking across the country, eventually winning the competition, but instead of taking Dinner Lab up on its offer, Onwuachi ventured out with Washington D.C. businessmen who he met through the series. Onwuachi then introduced them to his CIA roommate and Eleven Madison Park colleague Greg Vakiner who signed on to manage The Shaw Bijou. Kwame Onwuachi went on to participate on Top Chef ending as a semifinalist in the top six. He also was awarded Forbes “30 under 30” as well as Zagat’s “30 under 30.” He has cooked at The White House, James Beard House, as well as Chef’s Club in New York City. Kwame has secured a book deal with The Knopf Doubleday Group for a memoir and is now the Executive Chef of critically-acclaimed Kith/Kin at the InterContinental Washington D.C. – The Wharf, a much buzzed about restaurant claiming its place in the District’s thriving dining scene for its creative Afro-Caribbean fare since its opening in October 2017. Kwame also opened two locations of Philly Wing Fry, a thoughtful, fast casual restaurant in Washington, D.C.
Ivan Ramen (New York City, NY)
Ivan’s journey began with a dishwashing job at a sushi bar when he was 15. He discovered a culture and cuisine that would shape the rest of his life. Upon graduating high school, Ivan decided to major in Japanese language and literature at the University of Colorado, Boulder. After graduating, Ivan immediately moved to Japan to teach English and he quickly cemented his love of everything Japanese. He returned to the US in 1990 and enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America, and began his culinary training. Upon graduation from the CIA, and stints at Mesa Grill, Lutece, and Restaurant Associates, Ivan returned to Tokyo to live in the country that he fell in love with. He had still never thought to combine his love for cooking and Japan, but that was soon to change. Ivan was anxious to start a food-related business in Japan but was unsure of which direction to take. He thought about opening a cooking school, a sandwich shop, even a pizzeria. It was his wife’s suggestion that he open a ramen shop. This move seemed destined for failure in a country where ramen enjoys a cult-like status. Incredibly, Ivan not only succeeded, but became one of the top ramen shops in Tokyo, an unheard of accomplishment for a foreigner. In 2010 a second shop, Ivan Ramen Plus, was opened. In 2012, Ivan returned to NY with the hopes of opening a business back home, while continuing to operate his two shops in Tokyo. In the meantime his cookbook “Ivan Ramen” was published. His first venture in the US, Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop, opened at the Gotham West Market on 600 11th Avenue in November of 2013 to huge crowds and critical acclaim. Soon after, his US flagship, Ivan Ramen opened at 25 Clinton Street on New York’s Lower East Side. Both restaurants continue to enjoy critical acclaim and have been mentioned in countless magazines, websites, blogs, and television programs. Ivan is widely recognized as the American authority on ramen and all things Japanese. His effortless crossover from American to Japanese cultures has given him a distinct advantage. He speaks fluent Japanese, and has a deep understanding of the culture which allows him to present a product that appeals to both Japanese and American audiences. In February of 2017, Ivan was featured in the hit NETFLIX series CHEFS TABLE, instantly vaulting him into the company of some of the world’s great chefs and restaurateurs. This honor has driven even more fans of ramen into the Ivan’s restaurants where he continues to serve them his uniquely “Ivan” cuisine.
Rosa Rosa (Portland, OR)
Chef and restaurateur Vitaly Paley is both a leader and a trailblazer in the Portland culinary landscape. With a James Beard Award for Best Chef: Northwest and a win on Food Network’s Iron Chef America under his belt, the Russian-born, New York City-raised and French-trained chef has been instrumental in defining regional Northwest cuisine. With his wife and partner Kimberly Paley, Vitaly helms five restaurants in Portland: Paley’s Place, Imperial, Headwaters, The Crown, and the recently-opened Rosa Rosa. Named after Vitaly’s grandmother Rosa, and as an ode to the City of Roses, the menu at Rosa Rosa takes inspiration from the rich culinary traditions born across the Caucasus Mountains to the Mediterranean Sea.
Mama Bird (Portland, OR)
Gabriel Pascuzzi is the Chef and Owner of Mama Bird and Stacked Sandwich Shop. His career working in fine dining restaurants has included stints at Colicchio & Sons and Daniel Boulud Bistro Moderne in New York City, Paulée Restaurant in Oregon wine country, Noma in Copenhagen, and Multnomah Whiskey Library in his native Portland. In 2017, Gabriel opened Stacked Sandwich Shop; shortly thereafter, he was named Eater Portland’s Chef of the Year. Stacked is the culmination of Gabriel’s many years in the fine dining world, where he learned technique, discipline and enormous respect for ingredients. That same philosophy, coupled with his interest in wellness through food, has guided his menu at Mama Bird, which opened early this summer in Portland’s bustling Slabtown neighborhood.
Fish & Game (Hudson, NY)
Pelaccio, the creator of the legendary Fatty Crab and ‘Cue restaurants, moved to Hudson in 2011 with his wife Jori Jayne Emde, renowned fermentationist and alchemist, and has shaped the burgeoning dining scene in downtown Hudson with his two restaurants, Fish & Game (2013), with partners Patrick Milling Smith and Kevin Pomplun, and BackBar (2015), with Pomplun, Milling Smith and partner Michael Davis. His interest and investment in the resources and ingredients from the Hudson Valley environs changed the culinary landscape in his neck of the woods and are depicted in his book, Project 258: Making Dinner at Fish & Game, published in 2017. He received the 2016 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Northeast, was a 2015 James Beard Award Finalist for Outstanding Restaurant Design, and was a 2016 James Beard Award Semifinalist for Best New Restaurant. He is also the author of the award-winning book Eat with Your Hands, published in 2012, and is pretty fucking mind-blowing.
Octavia (San Francisco, CA)
Chef Melissa Perello has been an avid cook since childhood. Spending summers in the kitchen in northern Texas with her grandmother, Frances, the young chef was influenced by culinary titans like Julia Child and Nathalie Dupree. Following her passion, Perello worked in a kitchen at a local country club during high school and later attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. Upon graduation, Perello moved across the country to San Francisco to begin her career at Aqua, where Michael Mina was both a teacher and an important influence on the rising star chef. After her time at Aqua, Perello moved to Charles Nob Hill, working alongside chef Ron Siegel, whom she credits as a defining influence. During her time at Charles Nob Hill, Perello began cultivating long-lasting relationships with purveyors and farmers, giving her access to the finest locally produced ingredients – a practice that would become a staple of her culinary style. Shortly after joining Chef Siegel at Charles Nob Hill, Perello ascended to the position of Executive Chef, where she garnered critical acclaim from local and national outlets, and was named one of San Francisco Chronicle’s Rising Star Chefs in 2002. Perello also earned three consecutive James Beard Foundation Award Rising Star Chef nominations in 2002, 2003 and 2004, and was lauded as one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs in 2004. In 2005, Perello took the helm at the highly respected Fifth Floor restaurant in downtown San Francisco. The Fifth Floor already had a reputation as one of the country’s top restaurants, however, with Perello’s arrival, she elevated the restaurant’s cuisine, earning the restaurant a coveted Michelin star in 2006. After years in the kitchen and a whirlwind of early successes, Perello took a hiatus from the restaurant industry to travel and refocus on food with the ultimate goal of opening a restaurant and making her own mark on San Francisco. In 2009, Frances was born. Named for the grandmother who had nurtured her young talent, Frances quickly gained critical praise and glowing reviews, both locally and nationally, from such institutions as the James Beard Foundation, Bon Appétit and Esquire magazines. Frances also earned a Michelin star. In 2015, Perello’s second San Francisco restaurant, Octavia, opened, quickly earning critical acclaim and a Michelin star in its first year, which it still holds today. With the same culinary ethos that has made her restaurants beloved staples in the San Francisco dining scene, Perello plans to expand her culinary influence with the summer 2019 opening of M. Georgina at Row DTLA, one of Los Angeles’ most anticipated and largest adaptive reuse developments. Named after her other grandmother, M. Georgina will follow in the style of Frances and Octavia, with an approachable-yet-elevated use of seasonal, responsibly sourced ingredients complemented by warm, gracious service.
Hart's (New York, NY)
Nick Perkins is a Chef/Co-Owner of the award-winning restaurants Hart’s and Cervo’s, as well as the recently opened wine bar, The Fly, in New York City.
Che Fico (San Francisco, CA)
Raised in the farm-covered hills of Northeastern Ohio, Angela Pinkerton grew up appreciating the natural beauty of food and the success that hard work will produce. After graduating from L’Academie de Cuisine’s pastry program in Washington, D.C., she built a solid foundation with a two year stay in the pastry kitchens at The Ritz-Carlton. Angela moved to New York City in 2007, accepting a pastry cook position at the acclaimed Eleven Madison Park. In 2009, she became Executive Pastry Chef. Named Outstanding Pastry Chef in 2011 by the James Beard Foundation, Angela was a key contributor to the restaurant achieving many of its accolades including a Four Star review by the New York Times, three Michelin stars and inclusion on World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Pinkerton relocated to San Francisco to begin her consulting business, IAMPinkerton and became the Pastry Chef Consultant of modern pastry salon, Craftsman & Wolves. Pinkerton joined forces with fellow Eleven Madison Park alum David Nayfeld and Matt Brewer to open their first project, Che Fico in 2018. Pinkerton oversees pastry operations at the rustic Italian restaurant which was named one of the Top 10 Best New Restaurants in America by Bon Appétit. In April 2019, the trio opened Che Fico Alimentari, an off-shoot of Che Fico, inspired by the wine bars of Rome.
Thomas and Mariah Pisha-Duffly
Gado Gado (Portland, OR)
Thomas Pisha-Duffly is the Chef and Co-Owner of Gado Gado in Portland’s Hollywood District. What is Gado Gado, you might ask? The easy answer is: it’s complicated. Part fusion love child of Thomas’ Indo-Chinese cultural heritage and New England roots, and part neo-tropical cocktail bar with soul and hip-hop blasting on vinyl, Gado Gado bucks convention in favor of a good time. Our dining room vibes are the domain of Mariah Pisha-Duffly, Gado Gado co-owner and hospitality guru. Chef Tom and Mariah Pisha-Duffly want you to come to the party, and make sure you come hungry!
Beast (Portland, OR)
Naomi Pomeroy, a native Oregonian, develops produce forward and locally focused food at Beast, her intimate tasting menu restaurant in Portland, Oregon. She is also the co-proprietor of the lauded NE Portland cocktail bar, Expatriate. Pomeroy was the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: Northwest recipient in 2014 and published her award winning cookbook, Taste and Technique, in 2016. In 2018 she and her husband Kyle Linden Webster opened a floral design studio and plant shop Colibri, which focuses on seasonal, floral heavy arrangements and installations. Naomi’s passion for creativity has provided opportunities to teach cooking classes in Tuscany and in 2018, she was awarded a grant from the Toshiba Foundation to develop and teach recipes utilizing traditional Japanese ingredients with western cooking techniques. International travel is a huge passion for her, and she is always looking to expand her opportunities to do more of it.
Nong's Khao Man Gai (Portland, OR)
Nong Poonsukwattana first came to the United States in 2009 with $70 and two suitcases. Working in restaurants and saving money, Nong opened her first Thai chicken and rice food cart later that year. Today, with two food carts, a food truck, and a brick and mortar restaurant, she brings joy to all her customers and her community – one chicken and rice at the time.
Althea Grey Potter
Oui! Wine Bar + Restaurant (Portland, OR)
Althea Grey Potter has been a food enthusiast since she was very young. It is no surprise that the child of an artist and a chemist became a chef. Raised in rural Massachusetts by counter culture parents, as a small child she harvested fresh vegetables from the organic family garden with her parents and discovered the deliciousness of eating tomatoes warm from the sun and crisp snap peas right off the vine. Her parents were both incredible cooks and baked bread, sprouted grains, made yogurt and fermented their own kimchi before it was cool. As a young girl, Althea spent much of her time playing in the kitchen. She hosted her first dinner party at age nine. Althea got her first job in a restaurant at a small town roadside stand at age fifteen and has worked in the food industry since that fateful day. At Oui! Wine Bar and Restaurant, Althea creates big flavors out of a tiny kitchen nestled inside the SE Wine Collective wine cellar. Her creative takes on global cuisine have garnered attention from near and far. Althea continues to be incredibly passionate about food, farms, cooking and wine. She especially loves the inspiration that working seasonal vegetables brings to her menu.
Broder Café (Portland, OR)
From a young age, food has been very important to Dylan. He grew up off the grid in the forests of Washington and his love of food began by watching his mother cook amazing, healthy meals solely on a wood stove. Food in his household wasn’t something that just happened. There were no switches, no microwaves, nothing instant. Dinner started at the woodpile and in the garden. Before dinner could be made, the wood had to be carried in, the fire started, built up and maintained. Food was never mundane. It came from a place of love but also of sweat and effort, from tomatoes tasting of the sun and the summers heat to the mushrooms scavenged from the forest floor, still rich with earthy soil. Dylan’s fascination with food carried into his adult life and while working odd jobs in his twenties, his free time consisted fully of teaching himself how to cook, learning about ingredients, finding and carrying on family food traditions.
Boke Bowl (Portland, OR)
Brannon Riceci is the Co-Owner and General Manager of Boke Bowl in Portland, Oregon. Boke Bowl’s concept became a reality in January 2010 when Patrick Fleming approached Riceci, wanting to create a meal that reflected Fleming’s past cooking experiences into one bowl. Riceci and Fleming met in college, and now work closely with the Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership at their alma mater Lewis and Clark College, through speaking engagements, cooking demonstrations, and internships at Boke Bowl. Riceci’s been earning his business skills since the age of 12, working as a paperboy, later as a whitewater river guide in Idaho, and then at Bridgeport Brewing Company in Portland, Oregon pulling beer and making pizza. Riceci earned his pilot license and began flying planes professionally in 1999 working as a flight instructor, ambulance pilot and charter pilot, before starting Boke Bowl.
Pok Pok (Portland, OR)
Andy Ricker worked in restaurants, fields, factories, shops and construction sites all over the world before opening his first restaurant, Pok Pok, in Portland, Oregon in 2005. He has since gone on to open and close several other restaurants of a similar ilk in Portland, Los Angeles and NYC and is the founder of Som beverage company. A two time James Beard Award winner and a once upon a time holder of a Michelin star for Pok Pok Ny, Andy splits his time between Chiang Mai, Thailand and Portland, Oregon. He is also the author of Pok Pok: Food and Stories from the Streets, Homes and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand, Pok Pok: The Drinking Food of Thailand, and Pok Pok: Noodles.
The Waiting Room (Portland, OR)
Kyle Rourke is Co-Owner and Chef at The Waiting Room in Portland, Oregon. Rourke and his longtime friend, Co-Owner and Chef, Thomas Dunklin share their Southern comfort, charm and hospitality, fueled by their signature fried chicken, oysters and champagne combo, in this former Victorian style public house. Born into a family of bakers and restaurateurs, holidays at home gave Rourke his first real taste of classic, homestyle cooking, where the number of desserts equated to the number of savory bites on the dining room table. Rourke’s grandfather, a WWII army veteran, was an experienced cook and ran food and beverage operations for Howard Johnsons Motor Lodges along the east coast and in the south. Rourke’s knowledge and appreciation of his grandfather’s extensive background in the food industry led him to try his hand in culinary school, in addition to pursuing a Business Marketing degree at San Diego State University for a few years before eventually launching a business venture of his own. Preparing food that is technique driven, understated, and layered is Rourke’s motto. He believes little techniques can be stacked upon one another to build and develop complex flavors with high quality ingredients that are not lost in wordy descriptions or names. He learned many of the key rules he still follows to this day during his time as an Executive Chef at Red Star Tavern in Portland, Oregon and as a business partner for Hoboken Pizza in San Diego, California.
Le Pigeon (Portland, OR)
Two-time James Beard Award-winning Chef Gabriel Rucker is Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Le Pigeon, Little Bird Bistro and Canard 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. When school no longer piqued his interest, Rucker moved to the kitchen where his natural talent took flight. In 2003 he landed a coveted job at Paley’s Place and, after two years in the esteemed kitchen, he moved on to the Gotham Building 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 Bistro, a Downtown Portland bistro that went on to win The Oregonian’s 2012 Restaurant of the Year. In 2018, Rucker and Fortgang opened Canard next door to Le Pigeon, an all-day cafe serving breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner with a serious wine program and wild French bar food. Canard went on to win The Oregonian’s Restaurant of the Year, Portland Monthly’s Restaurant of the Year, a Best New Restaurant James Beard Award nomination, was named one of the 18 Best New Restaurants of 2018 by Eater and one of Thrillist’s Hottest New Restaurants.
Farmhouse Kitchen (Portland, OR)
Chef/Owner, Kasem ‘Pop’ Saengsawang, is originally from Loei but spent most of his adulthood in Bangkok. He attributes his passion for food to his daily trips to the local market with his grandma (Laos side of the family). Chef Kasem is a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef with a Computer Science Degree. He came to the States hoping to be the next Bill Gates.
Burger Stevens (Portland, OR)
A native of Rochester, New York, Don’s first jobs were cooking in private clubs. This led to an insatiable hunger to learn from the best: Joel Robuchon, Gordon Ramsay, Guy Savoy, Michael Mina and Bradley Ogden. After what seemed like a lifetime in Michelin-starred kitchens, Don ended up as the private chef in Beverly Hills. Deciding to move to Portland, Burger Stevens was created…along with a burger obsession.
Güero (Portland, OR)
Megan Sanchez is the Chef and Co-Owner of Güero, in Portland, Oregon. Her culinary journey began in her Northwest childhood home, at the table of her Egyptian mother and Mexican father. There, dinnertime was an education in entertaining guests, often bringing gifted cooks–grandparents, friends from overseas – into the kitchen. As an adult, Sanchez continued her gastronomic study during time spent living in France and working in agriculture and cheesemaking. In 2013, Sanchez, with her partner Alec Morrison, opened Güero in a vintage Silver Streak trailer. The tortería soon earned local and national acclaim, and in 2017, it found a new, larger home just three blocks from its original location. Today, Sanchez sits at the helm of this unique restaurant dedicated to the unsung hero of Mexican street food, and to the Sanchez family tradition of warm hospitality.
The Country Cat (Portland, OR)
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, Biology, and Women’s Studies at the University of Oregon then moved to Portland in 1995 where she worked her way through restaurant kitchens as a savory chef including the lauded Wildwood Restaurant and Paley’s Place. Loving the science behind cooking and its effect on ingredients, she then switched gears to pastry. With no formal training, Jackie’s on-the-job education proved time, dedication and repetition were the keys to perfecting the craft. With a sole focus on pastries for over 15 years now, Jackie’s approach is warm and patient, but meticulous and infused with love. She simply could not live without her mixer and offset icing spatula. And while you’ll never find a microwave in her pastry kitchen, you’ll always find fresh vanilla beans and parchment paper. She loves to create whimsical takes on classic desserts, admitting a fresh pie coming out of the oven hugs her with a warm blanket of happiness that makes her smile.
The Longfellow Bar (Cambridge, MA)
In 2014, Chef Scelfo opened Alden & Harlow where he figuratively extends his family’s kitchen table into his first owned and operated restaurant. Located in the iconic Casablanca restaurant space in Harvard Square, Chef Scelfo pays homage to his roots, makes each ingredient shine, and ultimately, cooks from his heart. Amongst its honors, Alden & Harlow was highlighted as one of the Best Restaurants in the Northeast by Arrive magazine. In September 2016, Conde Nast Traveler named Alden & Harlow one of the Best Restaurants in the World. Bon Appetit magazine nominated Alden & Harlow as one of 50 nominees for America’s Best New Restaurants. And in 2015, Alden & Harlow was a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation Awards in the Best New Restaurant category and Chef Michael Scelfo was a semi-finalist in the category of Best Chef Northeast in 2016. In 2016, Michael Scelfo opened his second restaurant Waypoint in Harvard Square. The menu reflects his forward-thinking approach to coastally-inspired fare. In The New York Times, writer Jason Tesauro said Waypoint is, “vibrant enough for a happy hour pop-in, yet intimate enough for after-dark canoodling over caviar and cocktails.” In January 2017, Boston Magazine awarded Waypoint a three-star review boasting, “with full-bore flavors and opulent ingredients, [Waypoint] gives pristine seafood—and everything else on the menu—the Midas touch.” And in 2017, Food & Wine magazine named Waypoint one of their Best New Restaurants. In 2018, Scelfo will open The Longfellow Bar at Alden & Harlow above Alden & Harlow at 40 Brattle Street in Cambridge.
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. Schafer’s training and experience provide the backbone of her thoughtful and collaborative menu. Upon graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 1993, Schafer immediately began working under some of the most respected chefs in the restaurant industry. Noting 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. Schafer was the 2017 winner of Wild About Game, Nicky USA’s competitive game cooking competition between Portland and Seattle’s best chefs.
Wildwood (Portland, OR)
A native Oregonian, Cory Schreiber grew up in Dan & Louis Oyster Bar, his family’s Portland restaurant founded by Cory’s great grandfather in 1907. After working for 13 years in restaurants from San Francisco to Chicago to Boston, Cory returned home to the West Coast in 1994, to open Wildwood Restaurant. He quickly joined the ranks of leaders of the region’s bustling culinary scene, winning the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Northwest in 1998. In 2000, he published his first cookbook, Wildwood: Cooking from the Source in the Pacific Northwest (Ten Speed Press). For a man who cherishes the land, its people, and its produce with the same ferocity that native Oregonian Beard did, there could hardly be more fitting professional accomplishments. In 2007, Cory left Wildwood to apply his deep knowledge and considerable experience with local, seasonal food as the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Farm-to-School Program Manager. During his tenure with the ODA, he wrote his second cookbook, Rustic Fruit Desserts (Ten Speed Press, 2009), which he co-authored with Julie Richardson. In January 2010, Cory joined the faculty of the Art Institute of Portland as its “culinary artist in residence,” a post he held until 2016. During his time there, Cory brought a contemporary focus to seasonal cooking, with an emphasis on sourcing and preparing high quality ingredients. Sharp, the school’s restaurant, was the outlet for Cory’s detailed curriculum, which examined how ingredient selection, technique, flavor and texture are directly tied to success on the plate. Currently, Cory is a chef consultant for Sysco, the nation’s largest foodservice marketer and distributor. Whether cooking in the kitchen or meeting up with producers in the field, Cory is excited to have the opportunity to affect change by working for a company committed to conducting their business sustainably, especially in the areas of food, operations and community.
Mother's Bistro & Bar (Portland, OR)
Lisa Schroeder is Owner and Chef of Mother’s Bistro Bar, a restaurant inspired by home-cooked foods from mothers around the world, located in Downtown Portland, Oregon. Schroeder is a mother, grandmother, chef, restaurateur and author devoted to providing better-than-authentic renditions of traditional home-cooked dishes at her popular, award-winning restaurant. In 1992, while juggling a marketing and catering career, and raising her daughter, Schroeder realized there was no place that served the kind of food she would make if she had the time. She concluded what the world needed was a place which served “Mother Food” – slow-cooked dishes, such as braises and stews, made with love. From that moment on, Lisa was determined to open such a restaurant and spent the next eight years working toward that dream. Schroeder soon gave up her business career and enrolled at The Culinary Institute of America. While there, she was selected as one of the Top Ten Student Chefs in America by Food and Wine Magazine. After graduating with honors in 1995, she continued honing her skills at two four-star restaurants in New York City – Lespinasse and Le Cirque. Her education continued with apprenticeships in Provence, France at Roger Verge’s Moulin des Mougins and at Mark Veyrat’s L’Auberge de L’Eridan in Haute Savoie. In addition to this invaluable training, she toured France, Italy, Spain, Morocco and Switzerland where she gained an understanding of regional cuisine and indigenous products, affirming her belief that some of the best regional meals are not found in restaurants, but in homes, made by mothers. Searching for a new beginning, Lisa returned to the states and relocated to Portland, Oregon in 1998. She was the Chef at Besaw’s Café for two years while continuing to plan her restaurant-to-be. Mother’s received the “Restaurant of the Year” award from Willamette Week in 2000 and, in 2002, was recognized by Food & Wine Magazine as one of America’s Top Restaurant Bargains. Mother’s has been voted Best Brunch by Portland Monthly Magazine, Willamette Week, and Citysearch and has been voted a favorite on Tripadvisor, Yelp and many other sites. In 2009, Schroeder released her critically acclaimed cookbook, Mother’s Best, she is the recipient of the Portland Business Journal’s Businesswoman of the Year award and IACP Chef/Restaurateur Award of Excellence. Chef Schroeder nurtures her community as well as her guests. She participates in numerous charities and causes including Share Our Strength, Basic Rights Oregon, Our House, the Raphael House and Bradley Angle House. In 2019, Schroeder made the tough decision to relocate Mother’s to a larger location, as they were bursting at the seams in the place where she and her team resided for 19 years. Schroeder is excited for Mother’s to “live on forever” in their new home.
Pollo Norte (Portland, OR)
In 2008, Wade Shelton returned to Portland from an extended stay in Mexico City with a restaurant concept in mind – a neighborhood chicken shack in the style of the incredible rotisseries throughout Latin America. He approached his brother Kelly Shelton and his friend Ryan Gibson to bring the craving for the satisfying, crispy skinned bird into reality. Ryan has led kitchens in a variety of settings, including the popular original Taqueria Nueve and as the Chef at Portland hotspot Rontoms. Kelly’s talent was the perfect match with a background in lead roles in a number of Northwest restaurants and resorts, including Roche Harbor, ClarkLewis, Chef de Cuisine at Genoa and he also held posts at Xico and Luce over the years. Pollo Norte started out as a hole in the wall in the 42nd street neighborhood and now resides on NE Glisan in the heart of Laurelhurst with a bar and patio bonus. Since the opening in 2014, Pollo Norte is regularly listed in the Best of in local media, has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and named as one of the nation’s top Mexican restaurants by Thrillist. A Chef’s Life even took a particular liking to their chicken dripped cabbage
XLB (Portland, OR)
Started cooking in 2001 at Italian turn and burns. Moved to New York to work French, Scandinavian and Thai fine dining. Came to Portland to cook eclectic world cuisine. Currently making Chinese comfort food.
UB Preserv (Houston, TX)
Midwest-raised, James Beard Award-winning Chef Chris Shepherd has helped change the landscape of the Houston culinary scene since opening Underbelly in 2012. He built the restaurant to support the Houston food community and its suppliers by buying local and drawing inspiration from the people and cultures that live in the city. Thanks to Chris’ vision and passion, Underbelly was a James Beard Award Semifinalist for Best New Restaurant, was named one of the best new restaurants in the country by Bon Appétit and Esquire and was named one of 38 essential restaurants in America by Eater. Chris was named one of the 10 Best New Chefs in America by Food & Wine in 2013 and was then awarded the 2014 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest. In 2017, Chris opened One Fifth, a five-year restaurant project that changes concepts every year. He closed Underbelly in March 2018 to convert the building into Georgia James, his take on a steakhouse. He also opened UB Preserv as his culinary interpretation of Houston’s evolution. He continues to tell the story of Houston food, but without limitations of locality and whole animal butchery. He formed Underbelly Hospitality in 2018 to preserve the ethos of Underbelly—learning about diverse cultures through food. In 2019, all three restaurants—UB Preserv, One Fifth Mediterranean and Georgia James—nabbed the No. 1 spot on Texas Monthly‘s list of the Best New Restaurants in Texas, and Georgia James was included on GQ’s list of the best new restaurants in America. He was a Semifinalist for the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef in 2019. Chris’ first cookbook, Cook Like a Local: Flavors that Will Change the Way You Cook – and See the World, will be published by Clarkson Potter in September 2019. Chris’ foundation Southern Smoke has donated more than $1.3 million to the National MS Society, in honor of his friend who lives with multiple sclerosis, and to those in the food and beverage industry in crisis.
il Solito (Portland, OR)
The grandson of Nebraska dairy farmers, Chef Matt figured out early where he wanted to focus his culinary artistry: hand-crafted pastas, whole animal butchery, seasonal ingredients, rustic preparations. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of College of Culinary Arts in San Francisco, Matt trained at some of the Bay Area’s top restaurants, including Quince, Foreign Cinema and Flour + Water, where he honed his pasta- and salumi-making chops before taking a sabbatical in Colombia and Italy in 2014. As Executive Chef at Portland’s Renata, he developed relationships with local farmers, ranchers and artisans that now enrich his work at Il Solito. When he’s not at work in his own restaurant, he’s usually eating or drinking in someone else’s, but this “aspiring outdoorsman” is also trying to spend more time enjoying the natural charms of the Pacific Northwest.
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.
Eventide Oyster Co. (Boston, MA)
Arlin Smith has a beard, a daughter, and a hiatal hernia. He crushes wings every chance he gets.
Palomar (Portland, OR)
Jerrod Smith was born and raised in Oregon where he developed his passion for food from family gatherings and the ability of a great meal to bring people together. His first Chef David Bergen’s words have always driven him in the kitchen… “FOOD IS FUN!” Jerrod has worked as Sous Chef at the Joel Palmar House, Head Chef of The Barlow Room and Executive Sous Chef at Le Boullion.
Zahav (Philadelphia, PA)
Michael Solomonov is the Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Philadelphia’s pioneering Israeli restaurant, Zahav. He is the 2011 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic, a 2016 James Beard Award winner for Best International Cookbook and Book of the Year for his and Business Partner/Co-Author Steven Cook’s first cookbook, Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking, and the 2017 James Beard Award’s Outstanding Chef. In addition to his duties at Zahav, Chef Solomonov co-owns Philadelphia’s Federal Donuts, Dizengoff, Abe Fisher, Goldie, NYC’s Dizengoff, and the philanthropic Rooster Soup Company, which donates 100% of its profits to Broad Street Ministry Hospitality Collaborative that provides meals and essential services to individuals experiencing homelessness and hunger in Philadelphia. Also in 2017, Solomonov and the Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT) created a partnership to champion Israel’s extraordinarily diverse and vibrant culinary landscape.
Holy Roller (Austin, TX)
Acclaimed Chef Callie Speer opened Holy Roller, her all-day diner in downtown Austin in July of 2017. Creating a place where she, herself, would want to hang out, the space incorporates the spirit of punk rock with a hint of religious kitsch. This pretension-free restaurant is also the first venue for her to express the savory side of her considerable culinary talents and provides an avenue for all of her “little weird ideas” to come alive in once place. Holy Roller’s brunch-centric menu not only allows Speer to play without rules putting out dishes that are at once both nostalgic yet whimsical, but also work alongside her partner in crime, Britt Castro. Castro leads the charge on Holy Roller’s delicious and inventive pastry program putting out dishes such as the choco taco, for which the restaurant has become known. As noted by Austin American Statesman’s restaurant critic, Matthew Odam “the carefully crafted food and rock ‘n’ roll atmosphere aren’t the only things that make Holy Roller stand out in the Austin dining scene: The restaurant is run by an all-female management team.” That team of industry veterans include General Manager Dori Moreno-Korn, Lead Line Daniel Gaspar, Lead Pastry Katie Grimmer, and Bar Manager Hosanna Payne who not only amplify Speer’s special brand of boss lady swagger, but bring high-level creativity and hospitality know-how, to round out Holy Roller’s dining experience. Since opening in July 2017, Holy Roller and Chef Speer have received numerous accolades and recognition including a spot as one of Austin Monthly’s Best Restaurants, as well as rave reviews from the Austin Chronicle and Austin American Statesman. Named Eater Chef of the Year in 2017, Speer was also a 2013 Food & Wine magazine “People’s Best New Pastry Chef” nominee and a 2015 Culturemap “Pastry Chef of the Year” award-winner. Both Speer and Holy Roller are up for Best Chef and Best Restaurant awards, respectively, at the 2019 Culturemap Tastemaker Awards. Prior to opening Holy Roller Speer helped craft the pastry and bread programs for some of Austin’s most lauded dining destinations including Hotel Van Zandt (Geraldine’s and Café 605), Parkside, Jeffrey’s, and Chameleon Group’s Swift’s Attic, Delish Bakery and Wu Chow restaurant.
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.
Handsome Hog (Saint Paul, MN)
Growing up in Saint Paul, MN, Justin Sutherland spent his childhood in the kitchen watching his mother and grandmother cook, as well as his favorite TV show, Yan Can Cook. For his fifth birthday, Justin asked for and received an Easy Bake Oven. All of these things together, inspired him to pursue his passion and develop his career, centered on food and family. Graduating from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Atlanta, he soon returned to his roots in the Midwest, and began to hone his skills and experience. He worked for some of the Twin Cities’ top chefs and restaurants, including JD Fratzke, and Russell Klein at Meritage and Brasserie Zentral. Opening his first restaurant, the Handsome Hog in Lowertown, Saint Paul, Sutherland gained a reputation for excellence, noticed not only locally, but also nationally. An opportunity to appear on Iron Chef America resulted in his defeat of Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli of Butter NYC, and another call to compete on Bravo’s Top Chef Season 16. His second restaurant, the Pearl and the Thief opened to great fanfare in Stillwater Minnesota. After building a strong customer base, a decision was made to move the restaurant to downtown Minneapolis in the newly developed MOXY Downtown Hotel. As of January 2019, Sutherland and Pat Conroy were named Managing Partners of the Madison Restaurant Group that includes; PUBLIC kitchen + bar, Green Lantern Lounge, Handsome Hog, Ox-Cart Arcade & Rooftop, Gray Duck Tavern, the FITZ, Eagle Street Bar & Grille, and Fire & Whiskey. In March 2019, Sutherland was announced as Culinary Consultant for the brand new Allianz Field soccer stadium, working in tandem with the Minnesota United and Delaware North to bring the best of Saint Paul food into the stadium and launch a food truck to be parked outside every home game, Fare Well – Great Fare from Everywhere. Accolades and awards: Named Outstanding Chef at the 2019 Charlie Awards, Pearl & the Thief named one of the Best New Restaurants 2018 by Minneapolis St. Paul magazine, Handsome Hog named one of the 50 Best Restaurants 2019 by Minneapolis St. Paul magazine
Market Cooking (New York, NY)
David Tanis is the acclaimed author of A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes, named one of the 50 best cookbooks ever written by Britain’s Guardian/Observer, and two James Beard Foundation Award Finalists, Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys and One Good Dish: The Pleasures of a Simple Meal. His professional cooking career includes nearly 25 years as chef at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. Tanis now lives in New York City and writes the weekly New York Times column City Kitchen. His latest cookbook is David Tanis Market Cooking: Recipe and Revelations, Ingredient by Ingredient.
Aaharn (Hong Kong, HK)
Australian chef, author, television presenter, and restaurateur, David Thompson is considered by many to be the world’s leading authority on Thai cuisine. His connection to Thailand started with an unexpected detour on a 1986 holiday, which left the Sydney native in Bangkok. He discovered Thai food by “happy serendipity” and as a young chef began to immerse himself in the language as well as the cuisine. Eventually David found his way to recipes in Thai funeral books, ancient ceremonial recipes not often seen and rarely cooked. These manuscripts published as a memorial to the deceased often contain exceptional dishes. These documents have become his most valuable resource and inspiration. At first, Chef David Thompson opened restaurants outside of Bangkok, bringing the authenticity of Thai food culture and flavours to a wider audience. Initially he created exquisite heritage Thai dining experiences in Sydney in the early 1990s. In the early 2000’s David began to build an international reputation for his understanding and connection to Thai food, opening Nahm in London in 2001. His London establishment received a Michelin star within its first six months of opening. Nine years later, David did what many critics considered audacious: he closed the London restaurant to return to his beloved home, bringing Nahm to Bangkok. His loyal international following continued but now his cooking was respected and enjoyed among local Thais, thanks in part to his use of the finest quality ingredients. Exceptional produce is essential to great Thai cooking and many of the restaurants’ ingredients come from David’s own provenance company. The restaurant David created in Bangkok became a destination known for authentic Thai food and was quickly recognised as a World’s 50 Best Restaurant. Never one to stand still, Thompson created Long Chim, a restaurant reflecting his earliest influence and first Thai passion – the modern food found on the streets and in the markets of Bangkok. The philosophy is simple – fast food, full flavoured and affordable. “The streets of Bangkok are the part of Thai culture I love the most. You’ll find most Thais prefer to eat in the markets and on the streets – and it’s where you’ll find me too,” says Thompson. In March 2015, he officially opened the doors to the first Long Chim in Singapore. Australia followed with three establishments (Perth, Sydney, Melbourne) and his latest Long Chim opened early 2018 in Seoul, Korea. In 2016, David Thompson was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards for his dedication and commitment to Thai cuisine. In mid 2018, David was awarded the White Global Gastronomy Award for his contribution to Thai culinary heritage. And in November 2018, David opened Aaharn, his first restaurant in Hong Kong. New restaurant ventures are planned for 2019 in Bangkok culminating with a new flagship restaurant at the recently announced Orient Express Mahanakhon hotel and scheduled for open before the end of this year. He has released three books – Classic Thai Food in 1993, Thai Food in 2002 and Thai Street Food in 2010.
Blue Star Donuts (Portland, OR)
Stephanie Thornton is the Head Pastry Chef extraordinaire of Blue Star Donuts. Raised in a small farm town in Pennsylvania, Thornton’s first forays in baking were during her mother’s attempt to teach her fractions as they poured and measured together in the kitchen. Thornton received a Bachelor of Science in baking and pastry from Johnson & Wales culinary school, and went on to cut her culinary teeth in the depths of New York kitchens, including the Four Seasons Hotel and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. It was here that she perfected pastries like the black-belt boss that she is (literally). After moving to Portland with her husband, Thornton joined forces with restaurateurs Katie Poppe to develop a new gourmet donut concept based on a signature brioche dough. Since Blue Star’s inception in 2012, Chef Steph has been throwing down in the donut kitchen, creating beloved classics and exciting seasonals such as the Orange Olive Oil, Caramel Pear and Brandy Fritter, and Grapefruit with Smoked Paprika. Her works of donut art have been featured in Vogue, Forbes, the Food Network, the Travel Channel, and recently adorned the cover Bon Appétit.
Pho Kim (Portland, OR)
Chef Tony has started the opening of Vietnamese restaurants in the year 1990. Nearing 30 years of experience, he has been setting up businesses in Vietnam as well as America. Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Texas and Portland are the places in which many are able to experience his pho recipe. Coming up on its six year anniversary, Pho Kim has been his main priority as he has since moved to be in Portland full time. Chef Tony and his wife, Kim take pride in maintaining the ma and pop way of things, with Chef Tony making the broth himself and his wife greeting nearly every guest that comes through the doors. Before Pho Kim, the family was and still is well known in the Vietnamese community for their first restaurants called Pho Hung. The original shop is located in SE Portland on Powell Blvd and 47th Ave which is now run and owned by sister-in-law, Buu. Chef Tony has remained just as passionate about the flavorful taste, and special cold curing Vietnamese beef noodle soup as when he first started it all, about three decades ago.
Erik Van Kley
Arden (Portland, OR)
Erik Van Kley is the Executive Chef of Arden restaurant, a seasonally-driven, wine-focused restaurant in the heart of Portland’s Pearl District. Taking its name from Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” the forest of Arden was an idyllic retreat where those who escaped the city could live off the land and enjoy a simpler life. Arden invites guests to step out of the city and celebrate nature’s bounty with a menu that shifts with the seasons, with dishes that always let the high quality of the ingredients shine through. At Arden, Van Kley balances the incredible ingredients of the Pacific Northwest with global cooking inspiration, drawing on his years of experience heading some of Portland’s most acclaimed restaurants. A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Van Kley entered the culinary circuit in 1994 as a line cook at Rose’s Restaurant, a landmark in his lakeside hometown where he was first exposed to worldly food and techniques. After four years at Rose’s, Van Kley worked at Sierra Room in Grand Rapids rising to the position of Executive Chef in three years. In 2002, Van Kley relocated to Scottsdale, Arizona where he worked at Noyz Restaurant, Sugo Pastaria and Grazia Pizzeria before enrolling in Arizona Culinary Institute, graduating in 2005. Upon graduating, he set his sights on Portland, Oregon. Van Kley worked at the Gotham Building Tavern where he met his future colleague, two-time James Beard Award-winning Chef Gabriel Rucker, and Chef Tommy Habetz of Portland’s Bunk Sandwich empire, from whom he learned the valuable cooking skill of striking the perfect balance of salt and acidity in thoughtful, flavorful dishes. Rucker left to open Le Pigeon and recruited Van Kley for the Sous Chef position. In 2010, the team opened Little Bird Bistro with Van Kley at the helm as Chef de Cuisine. Van Kley’s inventive interpretations of classic French bistro fare earned Little Bird many accolades, including The Oregonian’s Restaurant of the Year 2012. From 2015 to 2017, Van Kley and his partner Gabriela Ramos opened and operated their own restaurant, Taylor Railworks, specializing in borderless American cuisine to critical acclaim. In 2017, Van Kley and Ramos were offered the irresistible opportunity to be part owners of their favorite neighborhood restaurant, Accanto, with Van Kley as Executive Chef and Ramos as General Manager and Beverage Director. At Accanto, Van Kley gave new life to the eight-year-old Italian restaurant through gradual and thoughtful changes. His fresh perspective, unconventional ingredients and flavors, and culinary precision, stayed true to Accanto’s dedicated neighborhood customer base while attracting exciting new, curious gourmands. When Accanto closed in 2018, Van Kley and Ramos took a moment to consider what was next. Van Kley consulted on the popular Bar Casa Vale for a short stint before accepting the role of head chef at Arden. Van Kley has been skateboarding for as long as he can remember and playing the electric guitar since age 11. He is also an avid comic book collector and loves spending time with his two Siamese cats, Ume and Shiso.
eem (Portland, OR)
Pitmaster Matt Vicedomini opened his popular food cart Matt’s BBQ in 2015 serving long lines of hungry barbecue fans, selling out almost every day. He is also Chef/Owner of EEM a thai barbecue cocktail bar and Matt’s BBQ tacos.
Terrane Italian Kitchen + Bar (Portland, OR)
Wyoming native AJ Voytko was originally an avid animator. He left college after two years to attend culinary school, where he fell in love with cooking. Voytko considers Chef Trey Foshee his biggest culinary influence. Foshee taught Voytko how to respect and magnificently prepare the food that came through the kitchen doors. Voytko was given the award of Youngest and Brightest Chef by Anthony Dias Blue and the Rising Star from the James Beard Foundation. He has even been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives for Food Network and the Travel Channel’s Food Paradise. Voytko is a passionate philanthropist, working with Unity Farms at the Oregon Food Bank and No Kid Hungry. When Voytko is not in the kitchen at The Porter, you can find him spending time with his family.
La Moule (Portland, OR)
To Elise Walker, sometimes it seems as though her passion for cooking somehow crept up on her, but she admits that it has actually always been a part of her life. Growing up in Burlington, Washington, a small town near the San Juan Islands, Elise enjoyed fishing with her family and entering 4-H baking contests. She also used to compete in Scottish Highland dancing. Her innate competitive streak, partnered with the satisfaction of making people happy through nourishment, has accelerated Elise’s growth in every kitchen she sets foot in. After graduating from the Western Culinary Institute (now Le Cordon Bleu), in Portland, Oregon, Elise landed an internship at Noble Rot and became the Sous Chef within a year. Elise moved on to Restaurant St. Jack and quickly assumed the post of Sous Chef once again. As Chef de Cuisine, Elise now mans the helm of Aaron Barnett’s newest project, La Moule, where her locally-sourced, imaginative dishes have solidified the restaurant’s status as a southeast Portland hotspot for food enthusiasts. Elise prides herself on dedication to fully realized, thoughtfully composed dishes using the best product available. She pushes the boundaries of traditional flavors by adding an unexpected element – and is relentless in her pursuit of perfecting the plate. Living in the Pacific Northwest grants Elise the privilege of working with some of the best produce available. To Elise, those farm fresh vegetables are the foundation of her creations. When Elise is out of the kitchen, she enjoys crafting, biking, and hanging out with her partner and animals – a dog and two cats. One cat, Hariette, is hairless, but still adorable.
Smallwares (Portland, OR)
Johanna Ware is the Owner and creative force behind Wares and Smallwares restaurant in Portland, Oregon. Before striking out on her own in Portland, Ware was Sous Chef for Nostrana, Public Restaurant (NYC), and various parts of David Chang’s Momofuku empire (NYC).
Nostrana (Portland, OR)
A channeler of the soul, psyche, and techniques of Italy, Chef Cathy Whims is a master of inventive regional Italian cuisine. Her many personal relationships with farmers and ranchers in the Pacific Northwest give her access to top quality ingredients, allowing her food to reflect the best of both the region and the season, in the true Italian spirit. At all three of her Portland, Oregon restaurants – the flagship Nostrana, urban pizza and cocktail spot Oven & Shaker, and her modern wine bar Enoteca Nostrana – Whims’ elemental regional Italian cooking has earned her six nominations for James Beard Best Chef: Northwest.
Canopy by Hilton Portland | Pearl District (Portland, OR)
Sara Woods is the Executive Chef at Canopy Portland | Pearl District—the only woman chef at a hotel in Portland,Oregon. Born and raised in Michigan, Woods then attended the Culinary Institute of America in upstate New York, which led her to work at some of the most renowned restaurants in New York City. Following stints at Oceana, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and Commerce Restaurant, Sara decided to branch out and further develop her craft as a food stylist and culinary producer with Martha Stewart and the Food Network. Seeking something new, she spent time with the critically acclaimed Zingerman’s company in Ann Arbor, Michigan before making her way to Portland to plant some roots and experience the growing and thriving Pacific Northwest culinary scene. After several years as celebrity chef Jenn Louis’ Chef de Cuisine at Lincoln and Ray, Woods joined the Canopy team as the Lead Culinary Enthusiast (also known as Executive Chef).
OK Omens (Portland, OR)
Known for continually pushing the boundaries of fine dining in Portland, Justin Woodward joined Castagna in 2009 and took on the role of executive chef in 2011. He brings with him a wide range of culinary experience, having worked for some of the world’s most esteemed restaurants, including Chef Rene Redzepi’s Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark, San Diego’s L’Auberge Del Mar, and Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz’s famed modernist establishment Mugaritz in San Sebastian, Spain. Before arriving at Castagna, Woodward worked under renowned pastry chef Alex Stupak at New York’s WD-50. In 2018 Woodward open Ok Omens, a fun, casual juxtaposition to Castagna. He was nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star Chef of the Year award in 2013 and was a finalist for the Best Chef: Northwest award in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. He is also a winner of the 2018 StarChefs Portland Rising Stars Award.
Revelry (Portland, OR)
Rachel Yang, a 2019 James Beard Award nominee for the 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 Appétit magazine, and Revel, a lively, casual space for street food-style comfort food. Trove, one of 2015 GQ’s 25 best new restaurants, features noodle bar, Korean bbq, and parfait window. Now Portland is the new home for her latest and most exciting restaurant, Revelry, opened in August 2016.
Nyum Bai (Oakland, CA)
Nyum Bai celebrates beautiful Cambodia through its cuisine and music from the golden era.
(San Diego, CA)
James Beard Best Chef West semifinalist Claudette Zepeda is a San Diego-based chef most recently known for her time as the executive chef & partner behind El Jardín, a regional Mexican restaurant in San Diego. During her tenure, El Jardín received a glowing review from the New York Times, inclusion on Esquire’s 2018 Best New Restaurants, and recognition from Michelin on their 2019 Bib Gourmand list. Zepeda was named both Eater San Diego and San Diego Union Tribune’s Chef of the Year in 2018. Prior to El Jardín, Zepeda was chef de cuisine at Javier Plascencia’s celebrated Bracero and also spent time alongside chef Gavin Kaysen at his former San Diego restaurant, El Bizcocho. Known for her fearless culinary style and bold approach to regional Mexican cuisine, Zepeda was a member of Buzzfeed’s inaugural Tasty talent program and former Top Chef Season 15 + Top Chef Mexico competitor. She continues to find inspiration from her frequent visits to Mexico.