Chef Andoni Aduriz

Avant-garde, Spanish-born chef Andoni Luis Aduriz grew up in the heart of the Basque culinary landscape. After his academic and culinary studies, he joined the team at Ferran Adrià’s legendary experimental restaurant, El Bulli. In 1998, he brought the spirit of research and development to his own restaurant, Mugaritz, which has held two Michelin stars since 2006. Consistently ranked among the world’s best restaurants, Mugaritz bridges the gap between innovation and tradition, experimenting with local Basque techniques and ingredients. For his work at Mugaritz, Chef Aduriz is regarded as a pioneer of modernist cuisine. It was nearly 20 years before Chef Aduriz opened his next restaurant, a contemporary Basque-Latin restaurant called Topa Sukaldería, in his hometown of San Sebastián. Like Mugaritz, Topa Sukaldería gives a nod to local ingredients and traditions, but with an innovative Latin flair.

Chef Aduriz is an avid academic and educator, traveling worldwide to give lectures and demonstrations to culinary students and researchers, including at The Culinary Institute of America. He champions local ingredients and healthy eating, and he serves on the Tufts University Nutrition Council. He is author, co-author, or contributor for many books, including Mugaritz, A Natural Science of Cooking.


Dominique Ansel

Dominique Ansel is the chef and owner of Dominique Ansel Bakery, Dominique Ansel Kitchen, and U.P. at Dominique Ansel Kitchen in New York City; Dominique Ansel Bakery and 189 by Dominique Ansel in Los Angeles; and Dominique Ansel Bakery in Tokyo and London. Chef Ansel is widely known for his creation of the Cronut, a croissant and doughnut hybrid. The pastry has been hailed in media around the world, and demand has been so great that it sells for up to 20 times its retail price on the black market. The chef’s other popular inventions include his Frozen S’more, Magic Soufflé, and Milk & Cookie Shots. The New York Post proclaimed Chef Ansel the “Willy Wonka of NYC” and Food & Wine called him a “culinary Van Gogh.”

Prior to starting his own businesses, he was renowned in New York as executive pastry chef at Daniel, Chef Daniel Boulud’s flagship French restaurant. During his six years there, Chef Ansel was part of the team that led the restaurant to receive its first four-star New York Times review, receive three Michelin stars, and earn the James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant of the Year.

Chef Ansel has been honored with many accolades throughout his career. In 2017, he was named the World’s Best Pastry Chef by the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards. He also received the prestigious Ordre du Mérite Agricole award, one of the highest honors in France, in 2015 for his dedication to promoting French cuisine and culture. The previous year, he won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef and was named one of Vanity Fair’s “50 Most Influential French in the World.”

Chef Ansel is often noted for his support of various charities, including the Food Bank for New York City, City Harvest, and God’s Love We Deliver. His first cookbook, Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes, was published in 2014.


Lidia Bastianich

Lidia Bastianich is an Emmy award-winning public television host, best‐selling cookbook author, restaurateur, and owner of a flourishing food and entertainment business. Lidia has married her two passions in life—family and food—to create multiple culinary endeavors alongside her two children, Joe and Tanya.

Lidia is the chef/owner of four acclaimed New York City restaurants—Felidia, Becco, Esca, and Del Posto—as well as Lidia’s Pittsburgh and Lidia’s Kansas City with her daughter Tanya. She is the founder and president of Tavola Productions, an entertainment company that produces high-quality broadcast programs.

Along with her son Joe and Oscar Farinetti, Lidia opened Eataly, the largest artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace in New York City and Chicago. Today there are 38 Eataly stores in Japan, Italy, South Korea, Germany, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Qatar, Brazil, Sweden, and Russia. She also has a line of pastas and all-natural sauces called LIDIA’S.

Lidia is the author of 13 cookbooks and three children’s books. She has been nominated for 16 James Beard Awards and has won seven—Outstanding Chef (2002), Best Chef NYC (1999), Who’s Who in Food & Beverage in America (1996), and four others for her television shows, Lidia Celebrates America and Lidia’s Italy: Sweet Napoli. She has also won two Emmys as outstanding culinary host, and currently hosts the popular PBS series Lidia’s Kitchen.

Giving freely of her time and knowledge, Lidia participates in community service activities and special events on behalf of several foundations and Public Television.


Chef Rick Bayless

Rick Bayless is an American chef who specializes in traditional Mexican cuisine. An Oklahoma native, Chef Bayless was raised in a family of barbecue restaurateurs, and his training began early. While studying Spanish and Latin American culture, he grew interested in the cuisines of the regions.

In the late 1970s, Chef Bayless hosted the PBS series Cooking Mexican. He lived and studied in Mexico for six years before publishing his first book, Authentic Mexican: Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico. In 1987, Chef Bayless and his wife Deann opened their first restaurant, the now-iconic Frontera Grill in Chicago. He was named Best New Chef by Food & Wine one year later. The following year, they opened the city’s first Mexican fine dining restaurant, Topolobampo, which holds one Michelin star and earned the 2017 Outstanding Restaurant Award by the James Beard Foundation. Since that time, Chef Bayless has opened more than 10 restaurants throughout the United States.

In addition to eight awards from the James Beard Foundation, Chef Bayless has been recognized with awards from the International Association for Culinary Professionals, the National Julia Child Cookbook Award, and was an Emmy nominee for his show Mexico: One Plate at a Time.

Chef Bayless is a strong supporter of ethical and sustainable agricultural practices. He was a founding member of Chefs Collaborative, a network of food-service professionals designed to promote sustainable food practices. Chef Bayless and his team at Frontera Grill also launched the Frontera Farmers Foundation to support Chicago-area farmers. In 1998, he was named Humanitarian of the Year.


Daniel Boulud

A native of Saint-Pierree-de-Chandieu, France, Daniel Boulud is considered one of America’s leading culinary authorities and is one of the most revered chefs in New York, the city he has called home since 1982.

Chef Boulud is chef-owner of Bar Boulud, Boulud Sud, Café Boulud, DB Bistro Moderne, Daniel, The Bar at Daniel, DBGB Kitchen & Bar, Épicerie Boulud, Bar Pleiades, DJBar, DB Bistro & Oyster Bar, and Maison Boulud. In all of his restaurants, customers find the warm welcome the chef is renowned for, combined with traces of the soulfully satisfying traditional cooking he grew up with on his family’s Rhône Valley farm.

Daniel Boulud is the author of ten cookbooks, including Daniel: My French Cuisine and the recently updated version of Letter to a Young Chef. He is the recipient of three James Beard Foundation awards—including Outstanding Restaurant, Outstanding Chef, and Outstanding Restaurateur—and was named a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the French government. In 2011, he received a Leadership Award (the Augie) from The Culinary Institute of America for Chef of the Year.

A generous and energetic supporter of Citymeals-on-Wheels, Chef Boulud has served on the organization’s board of directors since 2000 and was appointed the board’s co-president in October 2013. He is also co-founder and chairman of the Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation, created to inspire culinary excellence in young professionals and preserve the traditions and quality of classic cuisine in America through scholarships, internships, and access to a council of established culinary professionals.


Chef David Burke

Brooklyn-born chef David Burke is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America. After receiving his diploma, Chef Burke went on to work with legendary chefs in both France and the U.S., including Pierre Troisgros, Daniel Boulud, Charlie Palmer, and the CIA’s own Waldy Malouf. He received three stars from The New York Times as chef at River Café in New York City and later became the only American to win France’s Meilleurs Ouvriers de France Diplôme d’Honneur.

In 1992, Chef Burke began a partnership with Smith & Wollensky, opening the Park Avenue Café with the company’s CEO. Four years later, he became Vice President of Culinary Development for the Smith & Wollenksy Restaurant Group. In 2003, Chef Burke opened his very own restaurant, David Burke & Donatella. In the time since, has opened or lent his name to more than 15 restaurants and bars all over the country.

Chef Burke is recognized for his numerous television credits, including Top Chef Masters, Iron Chef America, and Every Day with Rachael Ray. He is an author and a pioneer in culinary technology, holding a patent for a process to dry-age steaks with Himalayan pink salt.


Andrew Carmellini

Chef Andrew Carmellini has certainly been busy since his days as executive chef for Café Boulud. He’s been shaping dynamic and award-winning menus at his restaurants under the NoHo Hospitality Group, which includes Locanda Verde; The Dutch in New York and Miami; Lafayette; Bar Primi; Little Park and Evening Bar at the Smythe Hotel; The Public Theater, which includes the celebrated nightclub Joe’s Pub and The Library at the Public; the Rec Pier Chop House and The Cannon Room in The Sagamore Pendry Hotel in Baltimore; and multiple Sausage Boss locations in Madison Square Garden.

His latest project is in partnership with the 23-story, 183-room William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Chef Carmellini is the creative mastermind behind the hotel’s Leuca Restaurant, Westlight rooftop bar, and seasonal eatery Mister Dip. There, he’ll be serving burgers, fries, and soft serve ice cream out of a chrome, retro-fitted 1974 Airstream camper in the hotel’s Vale Park.

In 2000, Chef Carmellini was named Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine and won a James Beard Foundation Award for Rising Star Chef. He was nominated three times by the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: New York City, winning the prestigious award in 2005. In February 2017, he was named a semi-finalist for Outstanding Chef by the James Beard Foundation, the fifth consecutive year Chef Carmellini has received the distinction.

Widely respected by his peers, Carmellini is a “cook’s cook.” Known in kitchen circles as A.C., Chef Carmellini has the reputation of being an encyclopedia of food. In 2008, he co-authored Urban Italian: True Stories and Simple Recipes from a Life in Food with his wife, Gwen Hyman. The pair published their second cookbook, American Flavor, in 2011.


Julia Child

Julia Child is an American treasure best known for making French cuisine accessible to the American home cook through her PBS show The Art of French Cooking. Julia graduated from Smith college. During World War II, she performed clerical work in Sri Lanka and Chile for the Office of Strategic Services. It was there that Julia met her husband Paul, who was also in foreign service. After the war, they moved to Paris where they resided for six years during which time she attended the Cordon Bleu cooking school. Along with two French friends, Julia founded L’Ecole des Trois Gourmandes and wrote the best-selling cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

In 1961 Julia and Paul Childs settled in Cambridge, MA. She caught the attention of Boston’s public television station when she was doing a promotional appearance for her book. PBS saw an enthusiastic, exuberant, and unflappable person and soon her show, The French Chef was born. The immensely popular show aired 206 episodes and encouraged the American public to try French cooking at home. She was so popular, she went on to host Julia Child and Company, Dinner at Julia’s, Baking with Julia, and In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs. She was the author of 17 cookbooks and an autobiography, My Life in France.

Julia received many kudos, including a Peabody Award, an Emmy Award, and a National Book Award. She was appointed to the French Legion of Honour and received the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom. A portion of her kitchen is on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.


Chef Michael Chiarello

Michael Chiarello is the tastemaker behind NapaStyle and Chiarello Family Vineyards. He was chef/owner of the former Tra Vigne Restaurant, and is now the successful owner of the Bottega Restaurant in Yountville, CA and the recently opened Coqueta on Pier Five in San Francisco. In addition, he is an Emmy-winning Food Network and Fine Living Network personality and cookbook author.

Over Chef Chiarello’s illustrious career, he has drawn on his Southern Italian roots and Napa Valley way of life to pioneer culinary and lifestyle innovations that inspire friends and family to gather around the table to create meaningful traditions in their own lives.

Raised in the central California community of Turlock, Chef Chiarello followed his childhood dream of becoming a world-class chef. He began apprenticing in restaurants at age 14 and, in 1982, graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Following attendance at Florida International University’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Michael began his professional career opening acclaimed restaurant, Toby’s, in Miami, FL.

In 1986, Chef Chiarello moved back to his roots to open the Tra Vigne Restaurant in Napa Valley, where he acted as executive chef and partner for it and seven other restaurants until creating NapaStyle in 2000. The author of eight cookbooks, Chef Chiarello is no stranger to accolades. His Bottega Restaurant has been named Best Newcomer by Zagat, Top 10 by Forbes magazine, Top 20 by Esquire, and Top 100 Bay Area by Michael Bauer of the San Francisco Chronicle. Coqueta restaurant focuses on his interpretation of traditional Spanish cuisine, wine, and inspired cocktails.

Chef Chiarello incorporates his personal passion for living seasonally and sustainably into all of his businesses including the earth-friendly farming practices he employs at Chiarello Vineyards.


Chef Michael Colameco

Chef Colameco is a 1982 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and is also and author, and radio and TV host. He worked at the Four Seasons Restaurant, Windows on The World, The Maurice, Tavern on the Green, and, by the age of 31, was the executive chef at The Ritz-Carlton, in New York City. Eventually Chef Colameco opened his own seasonal restaurant, The Globe, in Cape May, NJ. Along with being the host/producer of Mike Colameco’s Real Food, he was the host/producer of Food Talk on WOR710AM for six years. Chef Colameco is currently the host/producer of Mike Colameco’s Food Talk on the Heritage Radio Network. He is the author of Mike Colameco’s Food Lover’s Guide to New York City, published by John Wiley & Sons in 2009, and has written for Saveur, Edible Manhattan, Guitar Aficionado, Snooth, and Edible New Jersey.


Marcel Desaulniers

“I attribute my success in life to three things,” says Marcel Desaulniers. “A great upbringing, my service in the Marine Corps, and the CIA.”

And what success he’s had. The former executive chef and co-owner of The Trellis Café, Restaurant, and Grill in Williamsburg, VA, Marcel is also a prolific cookbook author perhaps best known for Death by Chocolate. In addition, Marcel, his restaurant, and his books have racked up an impressive list of industry accolades, including an Ivy Award, induction into Nations Restaurant News’s Fine Dining Hall of Fame, IFMA’s Silver Plate Award, and four James Beard Foundation Awards.

In between it all, for more than 20 years, he has somehow found time to actively support his alma mater. Now a Trustee Emeritus and Life Fellow of the Institute, Marcel has mentored students; twice delivered the commencement address (including at his daughter’s—Danielle ’96—graduation); performed a demo for the CIA’s Great Chefs Series; put on a fundraising dinner for The Trellis’s 10th anniversary to benefit the college; and served on the Alumni, Executive, Long-Range Planning, and Educational Policy Committees of the Board of Trustees. Fittingly, in 1996 he received the CIA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

“All the recognition I’ve received from the school means a lot to me,” Marcel says. “Without the CIA, I might still be in Rhode Island pressing shirts. My mom was widowed at an early age and had to raise six kids on her own, so I worked all through high school. When I visited the CIA campus in New Haven, I was so impressed by all the chefs in their white uniforms, the mansions on Prospect Street…I immediately took a shine to it. At the time, there was nothing in the country like it. But I don’t think you can even compare the CIA today to the way it was then. I served on the Educational Policy Committee for about 10 years, and to see the transformation in the level of excellence…it was amazing.”

In 2010, Marcel retired from the Trellis, but didn’t rest on his laurels for long—just two years later, he and his wife Connie opened a new restaurant, MAD about Chocolate!, in Williamsburg. They later sold the restaurant in 2016. He’s kept busy writing more cookbooks, sharing his recipes—and recipe for success—with appreciative home cooks everywhere.


Rocco DiSpirito

Chef Rocco DiSpirito opened his premier restaurant, Union Pacific, in 1997 in New York City to widespread critical acclaim. The New York Times gave the restaurant a three-star rating in 1998, saying, “Mr. DiSpirito seems to think about flavor in ways that ordinary people don’t.” In 2002, Union Pacific earned a second three-star review from the New York Observer.

In addition to his position at Union Pacific, Chef DiSpirito was consulting chef for Tuscan and chef and co-owner of Rocco’s 22nd Street, which celebrated the Italian-American cuisine on which he was raised. NBC featured the behind-the-scenes preparation and opening of Rocco’s 22nd Street in the reality show The Restaurant, which aired in July 2003.

Chef DiSpirito was a featured chef on the Food Network’s Melting Pot Mediterranean and has served as a guest judge on Top Chef. He is a New York Times bestselling author of nine cookbooks including the Now Eat This series, Rocco’s Real Life Recipes, Rocco Gets Real, Rocco’s Five Minute Flavor, Rocco’s Italian American, and Flavor. He hosted a reality cooking show on Bravo TV called Rocco’s Dinner Party and has a new syndicated program called Now Eat This! with Rocco DiSpirito in which he challenges families and individuals to make over their diets and adopt a healthier lifestyle.


John Doherty

Perhaps it was prophesied when the graduating class of 1978 at The Culinary Institute of America voted John Doherty as the student most likely to succeed. By the time he turned 27, he was named executive chef at The Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.

The year was 1985, and Chef Doherty became the youngest person ever named to the position of executive chef in the New York landmark’s notable history. “Being called on to cook for special guests was one of the biggest thrills of my job. But I also loved the challenge the hotel presented to me every day,” says Chef Doherty, now the executive chef and owner of BlackBarn near Madison Square Park and BlackBarn Shop, Café, and Bar in the Chelsea Market in New York City. His culinary philosophy is simple: quality ingredients, classic technique, and a focus on flavor. “I prefer just three key ingredients per dish, highlighting the best of the season and focusing on cooking methods that enhance existing shapes, flavors, textures, and colors instead of complicating them,” he explains.

Beyond cooking technique and creativity, Chef Doherty has admirable leadership abilities that are key to the success of his restaurant. Here again, he insists on a three-ingredient recipe of “giving crystal-clear direction, setting measurable expectations, and holding people accountable. They are essential criteria for a successful team.”

Chef Doherty co-authored The Waldorf-Astoria Cookbook, which was released in September 2006. Then in January 2009, after 30 years, he left the Waldorf-Astoria and formed JCM Hospitality Group with industry veterans Mark Wood and Christian Palikuca. “I had been looking for a restaurant space on and off for 15 years,” says Chef Doherty. “When I walked into the space on 26th Street with a view of Madison Square Park I knew this was the place.” The highlight of the restaurant is the Chef’s Table, where patrons get a front row seat close to the action while enjoying five courses made from seasonal ingredients. “The Chef’s Table is a way for me to reconnect with customers by cooking and interacting with them throughout the meal,” he says.

Chef Doherty has opened Porto-Vivo Restaurant in Huntington, NY and the Diamond Mills Inn in Saugerties, NY and developed more than 60 products for Chicken Soup for the Soul Foods.

In 2014, he founded Heavenly Harvest Foundation to help fight hunger in the United States. The not-for-profit makes delicious and nutritious foods that exceed the USDA recommendations for nutritional requirements for one meal. The package of food is fully cooked and shelf-stable for up to a year. The meals are distributed to food banks and soup kitchens to reach those in need at no cost.

Chef Doherty is an advisory board member to New York’s City Harvest. He has been awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Johnson & Wales and an honorary master’s from The Culinary Institute of America, as well as a Leadership award from Niagara University and the Food Arts Silver Spoon Award.

With a career full of accomplishments and accolades to his credit, it would appear John Doherty’s CIA classmates were right on the money when they voted him “most likely to succeed”—because that’s exactly what he has done.


Chef Alain Ducasse

Chef Alain Ducasse is a chef and restaurateur who learned to love food growing up on a farm in Southwestern France. After an apprenticeship, he began work in the kitchen at Michael Guérard’s Les Prés d’Eugénie. After working as an assistant in several restaurants, Chef Ducasse took over as executive chef at La Terrasse in the Hôtel Juana on the Côte d’Azur. He earned his first two Michelin stars in 1984. He then assumed restaurant and management positions within the Hôtel de Paris in Monte Carlo. In 1988, he opened his own small country inn in Provence. In 1996, he opened Le Parc, a new restaurant in a Sofitel hotel in Paris, which earned three Michelin stars just eight months after opening.

Continuing his successful streak in the hotel and restaurant space, Chef Ducasse opened his first American restaurant in New York City’s Essex Hotel. Since that time, he has opened restaurants all over the world, including Las Vegas, Beirut, London, Morocco, and the popular Le Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower. Chef Ducasse was the first chef to win three Michelin stars for three separate restaurants in the same year.


Chef Olivier Fernández

Chef Frenández studied at Barcelona’s Escola de Pastisseria Gremi de Barcelona (EPGB) in Spain, where he has been pastry dean since 2007. Under his leadership, EPGB has become a training center in Spain and gained international recognition as a model pastry school. Chef Fernández spent much of his career as pastry chef at the luxurious five-star Gran Hotel La Florida. In 2009, he received the Master Pastry Chef award from Barcelona’s Guild of Chefs. He, along with other faculty at EPGB, wrote and created the book PLAY, that gives 60 inventive recipes for desserts that are also reminiscent of toys.


Chef Bobby Flay

Bobby Flay says it best. “Food is the epicenter of my life—what inspires me every day,” he explains. “It’s the way I make my living, the way I relax, the way I express myself, and how I keep healthy. I communicate with the world, and experience the world, through food.” Chef Flay—known for his innovative Southwestern and Mediterranean cuisine—opened his first restaurant, Mesa Grill, in 1991, and won immediate attention and acclaim. Just two short year later, he won the James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star Chef of the Year award and launched Bolo, a fine-dining Spanish restaurant. He expanded his restaurant empire with Mesa Grill spin-offs as well as his bistro-style Bar Americain and Bobby’s Burger Palace. He appeared on the Food Network for the first time in 1994 and soon became a fixture.

Chef Flay has hosted Grill It! With Bobby Flay, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, and Beat Bobby Flay. He was, for many years, an Iron Chef. He gave up the mantel in 2018.


Chef Larry Forgione

A pioneer of American regional cuisine, Larry Forgione is a world-renowned chef, author, and restaurateur. Following his graduation from the CIA in 1974, Chef Forgione went to London to work at the prestigious Connaught Hotel, where he experienced the true potential of using farm-fresh ingredients. In 1977, he returned to the U.S. to work as executive chef for New York’s Club El Morocco and Regine’s. He then became executive chef/director for The River Café and began his tradition of using only American ingredients in dishes.

In 1983, Chef Forgione opened the award-winning An American Place on Manhattan’s Upper East Side with one goal—to put American food on the map. The restaurant, earned three stars from The New York Times, induction into the Nation’s Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame, and many other honors. He later opened An American Place restaurants in Las Vegas, NV and St. Louis, MO.

In 1993, to help showcase farm-fresh products and the individuals producing them, Chef Forgione co-founded American Spoon Foods, a catalog and group of retail shops offering specialty food products from the same native sources that he uses. The following year, he opened The Beekman 1766 Tavern at America’s oldest inn, the Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck, NY. It was named one of Esquire magazine’s Best New Restaurants and selected as one of the 10 Best Destination Restaurants by The New York Times. In 2000, Hilton Hotels tapped Chef Forgione to handle the food and beverage operations for its two new luxury hotels in New York City, The Times Square Hilton and the Embassy Suites Hotel. He is the author of the James Beard Award-winning cookbook, An American Place and collaborated on the book Heart Healthy Cooking for All Seasons.

Throughout his career, Chef Forgione has received numerous accolades, including America’s Best Chef from the James Beard Foundation, the Silver Spoon Award from Food Arts, and Chef of the Year from The Culinary Institute of America. He was a judge in the 1991 Bocuse d’Or competition and a silver medalist in the 1976 British Culinary Olympics.


Pierre Hermé

Heir to four generations of Alsatian bakery and pastry-making tradition, Pierre Hermé arrived in Paris at the age of 14 to start his first apprenticeship with Gaston Lenôtre, called by Vogue “the Picasso of Pastry.” Pierre Hermé went on to invent his own unique world of tastes, sensations, and pleasures, taking a unique approach to the profession of pastry chef, leading him to revolutionize even the most firmly entrenched traditions.

He created the Maison Pierre Hermé Paris in 1998 with his associate Charles Znaty. The first Pierre Hermé Paris boutique opened in Tokyo in 1998, followed in 2001 by a boutique in Paris. Success was immediate in Tokyo and Paris alike. Every day, enthusiastic gourmets and connoisseurs from around the world flocked there. In late 2004, a second Parisian boutique, with its very innovative interior design. In early 2005, Tokyo saw the inauguration of the latest Pierre Hermé Paris concepts—the Luxury Convenience Store and the Chocolate Bar. Both establishments are situated in the Omotesando district, where all major imported brands and fashion houses reside. In 2008, Pierre Hermé and Charles Znaty launched the first Macarons & Chocolates Pierre Hermé Paris boutique in Paris. In 2010, they inaugurated the Maison Pierre Hermé on rue Fortuny in Paris, home to the Atelier de Création.

The company has been expanding on the international scene since 2010, with several boutiques now located in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.


Thomas Keller

Widely regarded as one of America’s finest chefs, Thomas Keller is chef and owner of The French Laundry, Bouchon, Bouchon Bakery, and Ad Hoc + Addendum in Yountville, CA; Bouchon and Bouchon Bakery in Las Vegas; Per Se, Bouchon Bakery & Café, Bouchon Bakery, and TAK Room in New York City; and The Surf Club Restaurant in Miami. Chef Keller is also co-author of the award-winning cookbooks The French Laundry Cookbook, Bouchon, Bouchon Bakery, Ad Hoc at Home, and Under Pressure.

His first restaurant job was as a dishwasher. “Without understanding at that time, I learned six disciplines which were critical to me becoming a really good cook, and then a really good chef. Those six disciplines are organization, efficiency, critical feedback, repetition, rituals, and teamwork,” he says.

Chef Keller learned to cook from his mother while working at the Palm Beach, FL restaurant she managed. With no professional training, he moved to France in 1983 and served estagiere apprenticeships in 10 Michelin-starred restaurants, including Taillevent, Guy Savoy, and Le Pré Catalan. By the early 1980s, Chef Keller gained national recognition working at La Reserve and Restaurant Raphael in New York City. He then opened Rakel to rave reviews before moving to the West Coast in 1991 to become executive chef of Checkers Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. In 1994, he opened French Laundry.

The French Laundry is the most decorated of Chef Keller’s restaurants, earning a four-star rating from Michael Bauer in the San Francisco Chronicle. The establishment has also appeared annually on the list of 100 Best Restaurants in the world since 2003 and receive numerous James Beard Foundation Awards. The French Laundry also received a DiRoNa Award, the Robert Mondavi Culinary Award for Excellence, and a Restaurants & Institutions Ivy Award. In 1999, it was inducted into the Nation’s Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame.

Per Se, which opened in 2004, has garnered its fair share of accolades as well. In the first-ever Michelin Red Guide of restaurants and hotels in New York City released in 2005, Per Se was one of only four restaurants to earn the coveted three stars. Earlier that year, it won the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant.

In 2008, Chef Keller, along with Chef Jérôme Bocuse and Chef Daniel Boulud, founded Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation (Ment’or) to inspire culinary excellence in young professionals and preserve the traditions and quality of classic cuisine in America. In 2015, Team USA took home the silver medal in the Bocuse d’Or competition in Lyon, France, the best finish ever for the team at that time. That changed in 2017 when Team USA won the gold medal!

Chef Keller was named Best Chef in California in 1996, Best Chef in America in 1997, and inducted into Who’s Who in Food & Beverage by the James Beard Foundation in 2000. In 2011, the French government named him a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in recognition of his lifelong commitment to the traditions of French cuisine and his role in elevating culinary art in America. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for The Culinary Institute of America.


Melissa Kelly

Melissa Kelly is the executive chef and proprietor of Primo, a restaurant located in mid-coast Maine. She is the 2013 James Beard Foundation Award winner Best Chef: Northeast award. She also received this award in 1999, making her the first 2-time winner of the same award.

Chef Kelly grew up on Long Island. Her earliest cooking lessons took place in her Italian grandmother’s kitchen. In fact, she still favors Mediterranean accented foods. First in her 1988 graduating class from The Culinary Institute of America, Melissa earned both the Richard T. Keating Award and the American Hotel Foundation Scholarship. She also received two CIA scholarships for scholastic achievement. Prior to attending the Culinary Institute, Melissa studied business administration at SUNY Farmingdale, New York and at the University of Maine.

After graduation Melissa’s first position was as rounds man at the American Restaurant at the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV. She was soon selected to be the assistant to the Greenbrier Cooking School.

After this, Melissa returned to New York to work as a grill cook for Larry Forgione at his highly acclaimed New York eatery, An American Place. Melissa moved with Chef Forgione to his new location on 32nd Street, holding the position of garde manger. In 1990, she was named sous chef at An American Place. In 1991, she earned the title of executive chef for Larry Forgione’s Beekman 1766 Tavern. After two successful years at The Beekman, Chef Forgione put Melissa in charge of opening An American Place Waterside, in Miami, Florida.

Continuing to broaden her culinary skills, Melissa moved west to work with Reed Heron of restaurant Lulu and the legendary Alice Waters. Of her boss at Chez Panisse, Melissa says, “I didn’t have a style when I got there. By the time I left, I did—simplicity, seasonality, freshness.”

In 2002, Melissa and her husband, pastry chef Price Kushner, completely refurbished an 1890 Victorian home in Rockland, ME. Named Primo after her Italian grandfather, Primo Magnani, Kelly’s ode to responsible growing introduced East Coast diners to the idea of farm-to-table with its use of local products and the restaurant’s own four acres of gardens, greenhouses, chicken coops, bees, and roaming pigs. At peak season, about 80% of the ingredients used in Primo’s kitchen are sourced from the farm. “It’s a full circle kitchen,” she says. “The farm provides honey, fruits, veggies, eggs, edible flowers, micro-greens, fresh chicken, and house-cured and smoked meats. Nothing is wasted; everything has its place. It is a continuous cycle that occurs throughout the restaurant with the kitchen, the animals, and the gardens.”


Emeril Lagasse

Famed chef, restaurateur, television personality, and author Emeril Lagasse discovered his lifelong passion for the culinary arts in his mother’s kitchen in Fall River, MA. As a teenager, he added baking and pastry skills to his repertoire working in a Portuguese bakery. The young Emeril declined a full scholarship to the New England Conservatory of Music to pursue a career as a professional chef, earning his associate degree from Johnson & Wales University. After graduation, Chef Lagasse traveled to Paris and Lyon, where he polished his skills and learned the art of classic French cooking. He later worked in fine restaurants in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia before being lured to New Orleans by Dick and Ella Brennan. Chef Lagasse established his star as the executive chef for the Brennans’ legendary Commander’s Palace.

Chef Lagasse is now the chef-proprietor of 11 restaurants in New Orleans; Las Vegas; Miramar Beach, FL; and Bethlehem, PA. He launched his first establishment, Emeril’s Restaurant (now Emeril’s New Orleans) in 1990. His latest venture and first-ever burger restaurant, Burgers And More by Emeril, opened at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in 2009.

A national media personality, Chef Lagasse has hosted more than 1,500 shows on the Food Network, is the food correspondent for ABC’s Good Morning America, and hosts Emeril Green on Discovery’s Planet Green. In addition, Essence of Emeril can be seen on the Food Network, Emeril Live! appears on both Fine Living and the Food Network, and Emeril’s Florida is shown on the Cooking Channel. He is the author of 19 bestselling books and has a signature line of kitchen and food products.

Chef Lagasse’s long list of professional honors includes being named Best Southeast Regional Chef by the James Beard Foundation in 1991, winning the Food Arts Silver Spoon Award in 1998, and earning recognition from Restaurants & Institutions as Executive of the Year in 2004. His exceptional contributions to the industry have also been recognized with the 2005 Distinguished Service Award from Wine Spectator, induction into the Nation’s Restaurant News MenuMasters Hall of Fame in 2006, and the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award from Food Network’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival.

In September 2002, he established the Emeril Lagasse Foundation to support children’s education and non-profit organizations offering culinary, nutrition, garden, arts, and life skills programs. The Foundation’s primary fundraiser, Carnivale du Vin, has consistently ranked among the Top 10 U.S. Charity Wine Auctions in Wine Spectator and, since 2005, has raised more than $9 million for children’s charities.


Emily Luchetti

Chef Luchetti has helped to define what great pastry in America means. After attending culinary school and working within New York restaurants and Jeremiah Tower’s legendary Stars in San Francisco, she switched to the sweet side of the kitchen and didn’t look back. She was the pastry chef at Stars for eight years and also co-owned the retail bakery StarBake.

She has served as executive pastry chef at San Francisco’s Farallon and Waterbar. In 2014, she joined the dynamic and creative team at Big Night Restaurant Group—which includes The Cavalier, Marlowe, Park Tavern, Leo’s Oyster Bar.

Chef Luchetti’s creates simple, elegant desserts that are full of flavor. “My goal in creating desserts is to make them fun, straightforward and flavorful— desserts designed to please, delight, and just make life rosier,” she said. Accolades have rolled in for Chef Luchetti’s delights. She was honored in 1998 with San Francisco Focus Magazine Pastry Chef of the Year. In 2001 she received the Women Chefs & Restaurateurs Golden Whisk Award. In 2003, Food Arts magazine presented her with the Silver Spoon Award. And in 2004, Chef Luchetti earned James Beard Foundation award for Outstanding Pastry Chef. In 2009 the San Francisco Chronicle chose her as one of the 20 Visionary Chefs in the Bay Area, and she was inducted into the Culinary Pioneers of America. In 2012, she was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America.

Emily is passionate about teaching and mentoring chefs and restaurateurs, serving as a dean at The International Culinary Center in New York and California. She is the founder of dessertworthy, a movement to empower people to be more mindful of their sugar and fat indulgences. Chef Luchetti has served on the James Beard Foundation Board of Trustees for the past 10 years; four as the chair of the James Beard Awards Committee and five years as the chairperson for the Board of Trustees. She also serves as an Oxfam Sister of the Planet.


Waldy Malouf

An abiding love for the CIA, active support of the college and its students, extensive industry connections, career success—these are ideal qualities to have for the senior director of food and beverage operations at The Culinary Institute of America. And they describe Waldy Malouf to a tee.

Chef Malouf is responsible for food and beverage operations at all three CIA campuses in the U.S., including restaurants, student dining, special events, and catering. He manages the CIA Restaurant Group, overseeing the enhancement of the customer experience at all 10 concepts while ensuring student learning in these restaurants remains unparalleled.

His highly accomplished career in the foodservice industry included serving as co-owner and director of operations of Beacon Restaurant, a favorite destination for New Yorkers for 13 years. In addition to his duties at the CIA, he’s currently the CEO and founder of HIGH HEAT Pizza Burgers & Tap in Greenwich Village and founder and creator of Waldy’s Wood Fired Pizza & Penne.

A CIA graduate, Chef Malouf served as the chair of the Alumni Council from 2006 to 2012, sat on the college’s Education Committee, and was the co-project manager on the construction of The Egg, the student union and dining facility on the New York campus. He formed a partnership with craft beer maker Brooklyn Brewery to build an on-site microbrewery and learning classroom—The Brewery at the CIA—that produces beer for all five of the campus’s commercial restaurants.

But the demands of a food career have never stopped him from playing a large role in all manner of CIA-sponsored events, from reunions to fundraisers. He feels it’s important to give back to the college that helped him get to where he is today. “The CIA exposed me to the myriad opportunities that exist in the food and beverage industry,” he says. “I was able to utilize that education to grow and become a leader in our industry.”

And what a leader he’s been. He’s worked in such prestigious New York City locations as the Four Seasons, La Côte Basque, the St. Regis Hotel, and La Crémaillère. He ran The Hudson River Club in Lower Manhattan, where he developed a signature cuisine featured in The Hudson River Valley Cookbook, his Julia Child Cookbook Award-winning text. He is also the author of High Heat: Grilling and Roasting Year-Round. And he worked with the late Joe Baum at the legendary Rainbow Room, where he earned many awards and accolades.

Chef Malouf co-founded the Windows of Hope Family Relief Fund after the September 11, 2001 attacks and remains one of the organization’s three directors.


Charles Mampel

Chef Mampel is a Catalan pastry chef, chocolatier, and ice cream maker. At the age of 13, he began an apprenticeship at La Pastorale La Divina Pastores in Barcelona. At 22, he opened his first bakery, Saint Honore. Seven years later he decided to hone his craft at other bakeries. In 1999, he was awarded the title of Best Master Pastry Chef in Spain, and in 2000, he went on to win the title of Champion Pastry Chef of the Euroamericas.

In 2005 Chef Mampel opened Bubó, a boutique pastry concept offering unique pastries, chocolates, and sweets. The design of the store is unusual in that it resembles a jewelry store more than a pastry shop! Over 10 years, Chef Mampel has expanded Bubó to seven locations in Barcelona, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Tokyo.

Chef Mampel has served as advisor and trainer for companies like Valrhona and Pavona Italy. He works with schools both nationally and internationally giving courses and training all around the world.

Chef Mampel has received many accolades including winning the Best Chocolate Cake at the Pastry World Championship in Lyon, France in 2005 and receiving the Medal de Or from the Gremi de Pastisseria of Barcelona in 2010. He was elected to become a member of the exclusive Relais Dessert in 2008.


Mark Miller

Born in Boston, MA, Chef Miller moved to Northern California in 1967 to study anthropology at Berkeley. But food called to him and he began exploring a culinary life at Chez Panisse, under the great chef Alice Waters. Trip to France, with the vivid and knowledgeable Richard Olney solidified his interest. He went on to cook at the Santa Fe Grill in Berkeley, CA, prior to Jeremiah Tower’s arrival at the restaurant. In 1979, he started Fourth Street Grill, also in Berkeley, where he is credited with founding “Modern Southwestern Cuisine.”

In 1983, Great Chefs Television was producing a 13-part series titled, Great Chefs of San Francisco for PBS. That began an association with Chef Miller that spanned 10 years, four restaurants, and 15 dishes. After he sold Fourth Street Grill, Great Chefs caught up with Chef Miller again at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago in Los Angeles, where they were producing Great Chefs of the West for PBS. In 1987, Chef Miller opened Coyote Café in Santa Fe, NM. In 1991, he opened “Red Sage” restaurant in Washington, DC and yet another restaurant called Wildfire in Sydney, Australia in 2002. Chef Miller is the author of 10 book that focus on Southwestern cuisine.


Peter Mondavi, Jr.

Peter Mondavi, Jr. is the second son of Peter and Blanche Mondavi and grandson of Cesare and Rosa Mondavi, the Napa Valley pioneers who purchased the historic Charles Krug winery in 1943.

Born and raised around grapes and wine, Peter Mondavi’s education began at the winery, where he and his brother Marc sanded fermenting tanks, unpacked glasses, worked in the winery’s laboratory, and drove tractors through the vineyards. He went on to study at Stanford University, earning a BS in mechanical engineering and an MS in engineering management, followed by an MBA.

Mr. Mondavi’s responsibilities include day-to-day operations such as winemaking and overseeing their vineyards, as well as directing sales and marketing for the Charles Krug-Peter Mondavi Family brand. He is often on the road, where his busy travel schedule combines winemaker dinners, consumer education, sales meetings with the distributor network, and chain meetings around the country.

Along with the resurgence of the brand, resurgence in the winery itself has taken shape. Peter, Marc, and their father committed $9.5 million to the historic renovation of the original stone structures on the property. A two-year construction project under their tutelage brought new life to the 1872 Redwood Cellar, which now serves as the Charles Krug-Peter Mondavi Family Reserve barrel room, and the 1881 Carriage House that is now an elegant entertainment venue for winery events.

Mr. Mondavi is a member of numerous wine-related organizations, including the Wine and Food Society of San Francisco and the American Society for Enology and Viticulture. A prolific fundraiser, Mr. Mondavi has a long-standing partnership with Morton’s—The Steakhouse to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In addition, he sits on the board of the Yountville Appellation Association and the Bottlenotes Advisory Board. Mr. Mondavi is a former board member of both the Napa Valley Vintners Association and Family Winemakers of California. He lives in the Napa Valley with his wife Katie Williams-Mondavi and their two children.


Chef Rick Moonen

Rick Moonen is an American chef, restaurateur, and activist, known for his support of sustainable fishing practices. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Chef Moonen went on to work at New York City culinary institutions like La Côte Basque, Le Cirque, and The Water Club. He joined the kitchen at Oceana as executive chef before opening his own New York restaurant, rm.

In 2005, Chef Moonen closed his New York restaurant to open Rick Moonen’s rm seafood at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The two-in-one restaurant, with sushi and raw bar on one level and a more upscale restaurant on another, served globally-inspired “state of the art sustainable seafood.” The restaurant has undergone transformations since its inception, but remains an acclaimed dining destination.

To further his commitment to safe and sustainable fishing and seafood practices, Chef Moonen travels the country educating about conservation and the dangers of overfishing. He has testified on environmental policy issues, and he is a founding member of Seafood Choices Alliance. Chef Moonen was named Chef of the Year by the Monterey Bay Aquarium in 2011 and Humanitarian of the Year by the American Culinary Federation in 2013.


Sara Moulton

While a young chef at Boston’s Cybele’s Restaurant, Sara Moulton met Julia Child—an encounter that blossomed into a lifelong friendship. Julia invited Sara to be an associate chef on her PBS series Julia Child and More Company, and Sara’s introduction to television began.

After moving to New York in 1981, Sara worked at fine-dining restaurants Café New Amsterdam and La Tulipe. She also became an instructor at Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School, where she discovered her love of teaching.

Sara joined Gourmet magazine as a food editor in 1984, and in three short years was named the magazine’s executive chef. At the same time, she became the executive chef for ABC’s Good Morning America, working first behind the scenes and then on-air. Her knowledge, personality, and ability to connect with an audience was noticed by Food Network.

Sara ended up being one of the most successful chefs of Food Network’s first decade. Her popular show, Cooking Live, ran for five years and was immediately followed by Sara’s Secrets. Her current show on PBS, Sara’s Weeknight Meals, is in its seventh season and has been nominated for a James Beard Foundation award five years in a row. In 2002, she was named to the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who in Food and Beverage in America. She is the author of four popular cookbooks, writes the weekly column KitchenWise for the AP, and is a monthly columnist for the Washington Post. She’s also co-host of a weekly segment on Milk Street Radio.

Sara co-founded the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance to create a network for female food professionals. A teacher at heart, her mission has always been to help the home cook land a tasty dinner on the table every night.


Chef Ewald Notter

A master of modern-day confectionery arts, Chef Ewald Notter is known as a celebrated competitor, eminent teacher and author. His eye for color, texture, and detail enable him to create masterpieces in sugar and chocolate.

Chef Notter has worked and competed in more than 15 countries, winning numerous awards. As part to the U.S. National Team at the World Pastry Championship in 2001 in Lyon, France, he scored the highest-ever recorded number of points for sugar, 699 out of 700, helping the U.S. Team achieve its first gold medal. Ewald has been honored by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences with the 5-Star Diamond award as one of the “Finest Confectionery Chefs of the World.” He was also the first pastry professional inducted into the Pastry Art and Design Hall of Fame. Today, Chef Notter remains a prominent figure in competitions as coach and distinguished judge. Ewald has starred in four videos involving chocolate and sugar decoration for The Culinary Institute of America.

Chef Notter is the founder and director of education of Notter School of Pastry Arts in Orlando, FL. The school was recognized as one of the world’s most prestigious pastry schools, with teaching methods based on the artist-apprentice model practiced in Europe for many centuries.


Chef Patrick O’Connell

Patrick O’Connell is a self-taught chef known for pioneering American farm-to-table cuisine. Born and raised in Washington, DC, he started a catering company in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Six years later, he opened his acclaimed Inn at Little Washington in a former gas station 60 miles outside of Washington, DC.

Outside the distribution range of large purveyors, the Inn at Little Washington relied on local farmers and artisanal produce. It has since earned three Michelin stars and, 40 years after opening, is still consistently ranked as one of the best restaurants in the Washington DC area. Chef O’Connell has said, “…I’ve never really thought of it as a restaurant—just a hideaway in the country owned by someone who likes to entertain a lot. For over 30 years it has felt as if we’ve been hosting one continuous house party.”

In addition to the accolades for his restaurant and inn, Chef O’Connell was named Outstanding Chef in America (2001) and Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic Region (1993) by the James Beard Foundation. He was also one of the original inductees into “Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.” He is a best-selling author and frequent television fixture, including appearances on Top Chef and the TODAY show.


Chef Paul Prudomme

Chef Paul Prudhomme propelled the distinctive cuisine of his native Louisiana into the international spotlight by creating exciting and new American and international dishes.

As the youngest of 13 children, Chef Paul learned the importance of using the freshest ingredients, while cooking at his mother’s side. In his early 20’s, Chef Paul’s curiosity for life and cultural customs prompted him to leave his hometown of Opelousas, LA in search of the next, great flavors. From an Indian reservation all the way to the finest, five-star restaurant, Chef Paul learned to love, appreciate, and blend the flavors of his youth with those of many other cultures.

In July 1979, Chef Paul and his wife, K, opened K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen in the historic French Quarter of New Orleans. They had no idea their modest 62-seat restaurant would soon become an international dining destination. In 1996, a renovation more than double its seating capacity and K-Paul’s started taking dinner reservations.

As a result of endless requests for his seasoning secrets, Chef Paul started bottling and selling his own line of herbs and spices, including the famous Blackened Redfish Magic®. He later expanded the Magic Seasoning Blends® product line to include Salt Free & Sugar Free Seasonings, Seasoned and Smoked Meats, Magic Pepper Sauce, and a line of Cooking Sauce/Marinades. Today, Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blends® are distributed in all 50 states and in more than 30 countries around the world, where his blends are popular with home cooks and professional chefs alike.


Chef Eric Ripert

Eric Ripert was born in France and learned to cook at a young age from his mother. He was encouraged by a local chef to attend culinary school. When he was 17, he moved to Paris and worked at La Tour d’Argent, and then under renowned chef Joël Robuchon at Jamin.

After fulfilling his military service and several more years at Jamin, Chef Ripert moved to Washington, DC and was hired as sous chef in Jean-Louis Palladin’s restaurant at the Watergate Hotel. He later moved to New York City and worked under David Bouley. In 1994, Chef Ripert became the executive chef at the fish and seafood-focused Le Bernardin, where he earned a four-star rating from The New York Times. He became part-owner of the restaurant a few years later. Le Bernardin has been a Michelin three-star restaurant since 2006 and is consistently ranked as one of the top restaurants in the world.

In addition to his many James Beard awards, Chef Ripert boasts Emmy Award-winning television credits and a number of best-selling books, including his memoir, 32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line. He is an active philanthropist, serving as the vice chairman of the board of City Harvest, which works to raise funds to feed food-insecure New Yorkers.


Michael Romano

Chef Michael Romano’s life in cooking began at New York City’s Serendipity in 1971. It was only when he was promoted from frozen-drink man to evening line cook that Romano knew for certain that cooking was what he loved doing. Recognizing the ambition and talent in the young chef, Serendipity’s proprietors introduced him to James Beard, which was indeed serendipitous, as Beard guided Romano toward the New York City Technical College, where he subsequently blossomed as a cook.

Upon graduating, his first stage at the illustrious Hotel Bristol in Paris opened doors for him across Europe. After a stint alongside France’s renowned Michel Guérard’s at Regine’s, Chef Roano made his way to Eugenie les Bains, Guérards’ Michelin three-star flagship restaurant and spa in southwestern France, to work as commis poisoner and saucier.

In 1979, Chef Romano was engaged to work, again under the auspices of Michel Guérard, on the estate of a Swiss entrepreneur Henri Lavanchy. During that time, he also staged at the Michelin two-star Chapon Fin restaurant in Bordeaux. Eventually returning to Switzerland, Chef Romano then became chef de cuisine of one of the top Swiss restaurants of the day, the Michelin two-star Chez Max in Zurich.

In 1984, Chef Romano returned to the U.S. and became chef de cuisine at the venerable La Caravelle in New York City. Only the third chef in the restaurant’s history, and the first American to hold the position, Chef Romano was a smash hit; the restaurant achieved a second star in The New York Times rating during his four-year tenure.

In 1988, Romano joined the staff at Union Square Café and a short year later it was awarded three stars by The New York Times. Proprietor Danny Meyer asked Romano to be his partner in 1993. The restaurant received the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Restaurant of the Year award in 1997. Meyer and Romano collaborated on writing The Union Square Café Cookbook, which was published by Harper Collins in 1994.

Over the course of his career, Chef Romano has been the recipient of various nominations and awards, including Food & Wine magazine’s Top Ten Chefs in the USA and a James Beard Foundation nomination for New York City’s Best Chef. Today, Chef Romano can be found working as both executive chef and director, at Union Square Tokyo, the Japanese outpost of the New York restaurant. Romano works as executive chef and director.


Chef Marcus Samuelsson

Marcus Samuelsson is an acclaimed Swedish chef and owner of the wildly popular Red Rooster in Harlem, New York City. After graduating from culinary school in Sweden, Chef Samuelsson apprenticed in Switzerland and Austria, and then in the U.S. at Restaurant Aquavit. When he was only 24 years old, he became the executive chef of Aquavit, and became the youngest chef to ever receive a three-star review from The New York Times. He was named Best Chef: New York City by the James Beard Foundation, and in 2003, he opened Riingo, a New York Japanese-fusion restaurant.

His restaurant Red Rooster, which opened in 2010, specializes in comfort foods and celebrates the diverse roots of Harlem. To celebrate the neighborhood, Chef Samuelsson co-produced Harlem EatUp!, a food and culture festival launched in 2015. In 2017, he opened the second Red Rooster location in London.

Chef Samuelsson is an award-winner book author, including his New York Times best-selling memoir, Yes, Chef, and his African-inspired cookbook, The Soul of a New Cuisine, which was named Best International Cookbook by the James Beard Foundation. Chef Samuelsson’s television show, Inner Chef, aired in 2005, and he’s been featured on a number of other shows like Chopped, Top Chef Masters, and Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. In November of 2009, Chef Samuelsson was the guest chef for President Barack Obama’s first state dinner.


Jamie Shannon

Jamie Shannon was the chef who succeeded Emeril Lagasse at Commander’s Palace in New Orleans—the venerable restaurant in the city’s Garden District owned by the Brennan family. He won numerous awards for his unabashed celebration of Creole traditions and ingredients. Chef Shannon often said his menu relied on foods grown, hunted, or fished within 100 miles of his stove, and he sometimes bagged the quail or speckled-belly geese he served. He also prided himself on producing his own staples, whether spicy andouille sausage, fresh Creole cream cheese, or even Worcestershire sauce.

Chef Shannon had a gift for making the richest Creole dishes seem refreshingly New American. His seafood and sausage gumbos were an artful mélange, with every element sending out a clear message of powerful flavor. His first signature dish, shrimp stuffed with tasso ham and sauced with five-pepper jelly, was also renowned for its innovative pairing of Louisiana favorites—sweetness and heat. Chef Shannon graduated from The Culinary Institute of America, and arrived with professional training in 1984.


André Soltner

Some may call André Soltner, chef of the famed Lutèce restaurant, the first superstar chef in America, but he wouldn’t like that designation. André considered himself a craftsman who focused on executing proper techniques, classic menus, and traditional French food with accents of his native Alsace. Growing up in the region with the most Michelin-starred restaurants in all of France, André began his apprenticeship at the age of 15 at the Hôtel du Parc in the town of Mulhouse. By the time he was 27, he was the chef at Chez Hansi restaurant in Paris. He came to New York in 1961 to run the kitchen at Lutèce, and soon became full partner with André Surmain. Together they changed the landscape of French food and fine dining in America. Years before anyone else, André insisted on using the freshest ingredients.

André bought Lutèce from Surmain in 1973, and he and his wife Simone took up residence in an apartment above the restaurant. Although Lutèce was one of the most exclusive restaurants in New York City with a four-star rating from The New York Times, it still managed to radiate a warm, homey feeling—with Andre always in the kitchen and Simone welcoming the guests at the door.

André has received more than two-dozen honors and awards in the U.S. and France, including Officier du Mérite National, the Lauréat du Concours du Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, Chevalier du Mérite Agricole, Légion d’Honneur, the Grande Médaille d’Or from the Académie Culinaire de France, and a James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1995, he co-authored The Lutèce Cookbook and the following year established the André and Simone Soltner Food Education Scholarship to assist applicants seeking a culinary career.


Angelo Sosa

Angelo Sosa is executive chef/co-owner of Manhattan restaurant Añejo Tequilaria y Restaurante with two locations, one in Hell’s Kitchen and one in Tribeca, specializing in serving unique tequilas and traditional Mexican fare. The Tribeca outpost includes Abajo, a Mexican cantina-speakeasy within the restaurant, offering ingredient-driven cocktails and a small bites menu. He is also owner of Sosa Consulting Group.

After graduating from The Culinary Institute of America with high honors, Chef Sosa went to work on the line for Christian Bertrand at the four-diamond Stonehenge Restaurant & Inn in Ridgefield, CT. He later served as Chef Bertrand’s sous chef at Acqua when it opened in 1998 in Westport, CT. The following year, he was referred by Chef Bertrand to work with Jean-Georges Vongerichten, his future mentor. Chef Sosa would later become executive sous chef at TanDa, located on New York’s Park Avenue; return to Chef Vongerichten’s employ at the Ocean Club at Dune restaurant in the Bahamas; serve as executive sous chef at Jean-Georges in New York; and join the opening team for Spice Market, also as executive sous chef. In 2005, Chef Sosa became the executive chef at Yumcha in the West Village, where his interpretation of modern Chinese cuisine gained widespread acclaim. Later that year, he turned his attention to consulting for top restaurants such as Stephen Starr’s Buddakan, Masaharu Morimoto’s Morimoto, and Alain Ducasse’s Spoon.

Chef Sosa launched his first restaurant, the fast-casual concept Xie Xie, in 2009, and it quickly earned’s New York’s Rising Star award for “Best New Restaurant Concept.” A year later, he was cast as a Season 7 “cheftestant” on Bravo’s hit reality show Top Chef, and later competed on Top Chef All-Stars.

As the show drew to a close, Chef Sosa launched Social Eatz, a gastropub whose menu reinterprets New York City staples with flavors from across Asia. Within just seven months of opening, Social Eatz was named Best Burger in New York City (and shortly after that, best in the nation) in’s readers’ choice poll. Chef Sosa next focused his attention on the West Coast, consulting on a menu revamp at the iconic Malibu Inn and joining SmithHouse Tap and Grill as consulting chef. In early 2012, he made his triumphant return to the East Coast with the award-winning Añejo Tequilaria y Restaurante, which offers his modern take on traditional Mexican cuisine.

His first cookbook, Flavor Exposed: 100 Global Recipes from Sweet to Salty, Earthy to Spicy, was released in 2012. His second book, Healthy Latin Eating: Our Favorite Family Recipes Remixed, was written in collaboration with TV and radio personality Angie Martinez and released in 2015.


Chef Jeremiah Towers

Chef Jeremiah Tower is an American celebrity chef known for his contributions to the style of California cuisine. After years of education abroad, Tower attended Harvard University where he earned his bachelor’s and then his master’s degree in architecture. Finding himself in need of work, he applied in 1972 for a job at Alice Water’s now-iconic Chez Panisse. Despite having no culinary experience, he was hired and quickly proved his worth. Within a year, he was running the kitchen.

Chef Tower left Chez Panisse in 1978 and went on to work in several California restaurants before opening his own restaurant, Stars, in San Francisco. Known for its stage-like kitchen with Chef Towers at the center of the action, Stars was one of the top-earning restaurants in the Bay Area. He went on to open branches in Napa, Palo Alto, Manila, and Singapore. Many up-and-coming chefs worked under Chef Tower at Stars, including Mark Franz, and the CIA’s own Brendan Walsh.

Regarded as one of America’s first celebrity chefs, Chef Tower lent his name to a number of product and commercial endorsements. He went into quiet retirement in Mexico for nearly 15 years, before signing on for a very short-lived turn as executive chef of New York City’s Tavern on the Green in 2014.


Charlie Trotter

American chef and restaurateur Chef Trotter achieved national acclaim as the proprietor of his eponymous Chicago restaurant. He opened Charlie Trotter’s at the young age of 28 and it soon became a mecca for fine dining, earning numerous accolades for his cuisine. The restaurant received eight James Beard Awards, was inducted into the exclusive Relais & Châteax organization, and had a five-star Mobil Travel Guide rating.

Chef Trotter, who honed his skills during stages at some of the top restaurants in France, shaped his point of view by experimenting and improvising with local ingredients. He fashioned elaborate price-fixed menus that were spontaneous and changed every day. He was so popular that he soon landed his own television show The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter, on PBS. The show was awarded the Best National Television Cooking Show by the James Beard Foundation. Chef Trotter was the author of best-selling cookbooks, including Charlie Trotter’s and The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter. His restaurant became a training ground for such future kitchen greats as Grant Achatz, Homaro Cantu, Graham Ellio, and Della Gossett.


Chef Roy Yamaguchi

Roy Yamaguchi is the chef and founder of a group of restaurants including thirty Roy’s Restaurants in the U.S. alone. He is known as the innovator of Hawaiian-fusion cuisine, which combines California, French, and Japanese techniques with traditions and ingredients from the islands. In 1993, he was named Best Pacific Northwest Chef by the James Beard Foundation.

Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, Chef Yamaguchi is the son of a Hawaii-born father and Japanese mother. He enrolled in The Culinary Institute of America for his culinary training, and upon graduating, Chef Yamaguchi worked in prestigious California fine-dining restaurants, like L’Escoffier, L’Ermitage, and Michael’s. He opened his first restaurant in 1984, 385 North, in Los Angeles, and then in 1988, he moved to Honolulu and opened the first Roy’s Restaurant.

Chef Yamaguchi co-founded the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival and serves on tourism boards to help promote American tourism, especially in Hawaii. He is also a member of the U.S. Department of State’s American Chef Corps, which works to promote the culinary world in diplomatic engagement. He serves as a trustee or member of the boards of many culinary foundations, including the Hawaiian Education Foundation. He also serves on the board of The Culinary Institute of America

Chef Yamaguchi is the public face of Hawaiian fusion, hosting six seasons of the PBS series Hawaii Cooks with Roy Yamaguchi. He was also featured on My Country, My Kitchen, which explored the cuisine of his birthplace in Japan.


Martin Yan

The celebrated host of more than 2,500 cooking shows broadcast worldwide, Martin Yan enjoys distinction as a Certified Master Chinese Chef, highly-respected food consultant, cooking instructor, and prolific author. His diverse talents have found expression in 26 cookbooks, including the award-winning Martin Yan’s Feast, Martin Yan’s Asian Favorites, Chinese Cooking for Dummies, Martin Yan’s Chinatown Cooking, and Martin Yan’s Quick & Easy. His latest cookbook, Martin Yan’s China, documents his travels and culinary discoveries throughout the far reaches of China.

Born in Guangzhou, China to a restaurateur father and a mother who operated a grocery store, Chef Yan possessed a passion for cooking at an early age. His formal induction into the culinary world began at age 13 with an apprenticeship at a popular Hong Kong restaurant. He refined his natural talent at the Overseas Institute of Cookery in Hong Kong and then pursued an MS in food science at the University of California, Davis in the United States. Chef Yan discovered a flair for teaching when he became an instructor in the university’s extension program. In 1978, he pioneered a daily Chinese cooking television show: the now-classic Yan Can Cook. Infusing lessons with his characteristic warmth, humor, and vitality, Chef Yan quickly won a devoted following. He developed the show’s format into a culinary travelogue, featuring culinary hot spots throughout Asia.

A valued instructor at top culinary institutions, Chef Yan has taught at The Culinary Institute of America, including at its Worlds of Flavor Conference and Festival on the Greystone campus in St. Helena, CA and as part of the college’s Great Chefs Series in Hyde Park, NY. He has also taught at Johnson & Wales University, the California Culinary Academy, and the Chinese Cuisine Institute in Hong Kong. In 1985, Chef Yan founded the Yan Can Cooking School in California. That was followed in 2007 by The Martin Yan Culinary Arts Center, a unique international culinary academy for professional chefs in Shenzhen, China. Also a restaurateur, Chef Yan offers inventive pan-Asian menus at his M.Y. China restaurant in San Francisco.

Internationally recognized by his industry peers, Martin Yan is the recipient of a long list of awards and honors, including induction into both the Nation’s Restaurant News MenuMasters Hall of Fame and American Academy of Chefs Hall of Fame and earning the Research Chefs Association Pioneer Award.