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The 2014 Culinary Institute of America’s Leadership Awards (also known as the “Augie,” after chef Auguste Escoffier) were held in the ballroom of Midtown’s Grand Hyatt on Thursday evening. The culinary elite and CIA students alike gathered to honor four stars of the food world: chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, chef Masaharu Morimoto, Unilever CEO Leo Oosterveer, and Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya.
The event also featured a silent auction where guests could bid on items ranging from a trip to France to a private cooking lesson, which raised thousands of dollars that will go toward student scholarships.
While the evening’s honorees thanked the CIA for their recognition and support, they also made sure to discuss relevant culinary issues, including sustainability, food availability, and the increase in global food quality.
“We aren’t ready for the future yet,” Oosterveer, who recently launched the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, told the crowd. “If everyone ate like we do in the U.S. and Europe, we would need three planets. But if we change to new business models, we can feed everybody. But we can’t do it alone, which is why partnerships like the one Unilever has with the CIA are so important.”
Jean-Georges, who within the past couple weeks was awarded four stars from the New York Times for his flagship eponymous New York restaurant, opened a restaurant in Tokyo, and became an American citizen, lauded the availability of first-rate ingredients.
“Forty years ago, the Union Square farmer’s market only sold apples and potatoes,” he said. “In 1987 farmers came to us with catalogues, and we told them to bring us everything they could grow. Same with local fish; the fishermen were here, but everything was still imported. Since then there’s been a sea change and I’m just lucky to be a part of it. Now we have the best ingredients in history.”
Morimoto, who sang a traditional Japanese fishing song for the audience, also noted the availability of top ingredients and a willingness on the part of Americans to try them.
“I represent the American dream,” he said. “In 1985, when I arrived here, I had no idea that this is where I’d end up. But the American people understand different cultures and are willing to step out of their comfort zone to experience them.”
Ulukaya, a Turkish immigrant who founded the company after realizing that the yogurt sold in American supermarkets was inferior to what he was used to growing up, spent two years perfecting his recipe and was named the 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young.
“I always put the human being at the center of everything,” he said. “We’re constantly thinking that somebody is going to eat this, and it needs to be the best possible product that it can be. Most supermarkets want better food for everyone. If Chobani plays a small part in that, then I’m proud.”
The awards are given yearly to honor those who excel in professional excellence, health and wellness, global cuisine and culture, sustainability, and food ethics. Last year’s honorees included chefs Rick Bayless and Daniel Humm.
Jean-Georges, Morimoto Honored at 2014 CIA Leadership Awards - Recipes
By Student Blogger Morgan
Every year the CIA hosts an event in New York City that honors four major leaders for their positive contributions to the food industry and simultaneously raises scholarship money for our students on all four campuses. This year's theme was 'The Power of Food', and I had the pleasure of being a student volunteer for the event. We kicked the day off with a private press conference with the four honorees and the president of the CIA, Tim Ryan.
- Jean-Georges Vongerichten: chef/owner of Jean-Georges Restaurants for Professional Excellence and Innovation.
- Hamdi Ulukaya: founder and CEO of Chobani, Inc. for Health and Wellness.
- Masaharu Morimoto: chef/owner of Morimoto Restaurants for World Cuisines and Cultures.
- Leo Oosterveer: CEO of Unilever Food Solutions for Sustainability and Food Ethics
President Ryan introduced each honoree who then shared their own story of how they came up in the food industry, and their prospective plans for the future. It resonated with me, personally to hear Hamdi Ulukaya speak about the importance of a quality product. He said shame on the manufacturer who makes a product that they wouldn't feed to their own children to provide for a brighter future in any industry it is the responsibility of the leaders to consider the affect of their product on consumers. The press conference was my favorite part because the personalities of each honoree really came out, and it was clear that each of their awards was very well deserved.
The cocktail party was catered by the Hyatt Hotel, but each honoree also nominated an up and coming chef in the industry to create an appetizer or canape that was served. A few lucky CIA students helped these chefs prepare and serve their dishes during the cocktail party.
The main fundraiser of the event is a silent auction featuring exotic trips, packages and prizes that have been graciously donated to the CIA from all across the world. The prizes ranged from a week long trip to Cuzco, Peru and Macchu Picchu, to a state of the art CIA brand knife kit. All proceeds from the auction go directly into the student scholarship fund and provide grants and scholarships for our students to be able to afford an education at the CIA. As a thank you to all donors and attendees at the event, CIA students created this video.
Jean-Georges, Morimoto Honored at 2014 CIA Leadership Awards - Recipes
Daniel Boulud, a native of Lyon, France, is today considered one of America’s leading culinary authorities and one of the most revered French chefs in New York, the city he has called home since 1982. He is probably best known for the exquisitely refined DANIEL, the three Michelin-star Relais & Châteaux restaurant. Over the last two decades, Boulud has evolved from a chef to a chef-restaurateur, bringing his artistry to NYC restaurants Café Boulud, Bar Boulud, Boulud Sud, db Bistro Moderne, DBGB Kitchen and Bar and Épicerie Boulud. Outside of New York, the chef’s seasonal French-American cooking is found in Washington, DC, Boston, Florida, Las Vegas, London, Singapore, Montréal and Toronto. Daniel Boulud is the author of eight cookbooks, the recipient of multiple James Beard Foundation awards including “Outstanding Restaurateur,” “Best Chef of New York City” and “Outstanding Chef of the Year”. In 2006 Boulud was named a Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur by the French government for his contribution to the advancement of French culinary culture.
THOMAS KELLER, PRESIDENT
Renowned for his culinary skills and his impeccable standards, Thomas Keller is the chef and proprietor of The French Laundry, a Yountville, California landmark that has been hailed as the finest restaurant in the world. Ten years after opening this, his first restaurant, in 1994, he followed with Per Se, which brought his distinctive fine dining style to Manhattan. Today, both restaurants enjoy three-star Michelin ratings, making Keller the first and only American-born chef to hold multiple three-star ratings from the prestigious dining guide. Chef Keller has also opened Bouchon, Bar Bouchon, Bouchon Bakery, and Ad Hoc, each of which contributes to the new paradigm he has set within the hospitality industry. More than one million copies of Chef Keller's books, including the New York Times bestsellers “Ad Hoc at Home” and "Bouchon Bakery," and "The French Laundry," “Bouchon," and “Under Pressure,” a book devoted to sous vide cooking, are in print. Keller was designated a Chevalier of The French Legion of Honor in 2011, the highest decoration in France, in recognition of his lifelong commitment to the traditions of French cuisine and his role in elevating cooking in America. He is only the third American culinary figure to be so honored.
JÉRÔME BOCUSE, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT
Jérôme Bocuse is a native of Lyon, France, and is the son of Paul Bocuse, the legendary chef and founder of the Bocuse d’Or. Jérôme Bocuse has been involved with the Bocuse d’Or International planning since 1993 and officially assumed Monsieur Paul Bocuse's responsibilities as President of the Bocuse d'Or in October 2016. In addition, Jérôme Bocuse owns and operates Les Chefs de France and Monsieur Paul restaurants at the France Pavilion at Walt Disney World’s Epcot® in Orlando, Florida. The two restaurants made their debut for the opening of Epcot in 1982 and were originally owned and operated by Paul Bocuse, Gaston Lenôtre and Roger Vergé.
Jérôme Bocuse is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and the Florida International School of Hospitality Management. As a founding member, Jérôme Bocuse continues to support ment'or's Grant and Young Chef programs.
DR. TIM RYAN, BOARD MEMBER
Dr. Tim Ryan has served as president of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) since 2001. Dr. Ryan graduated from the CIA in 1977 and received bachelor’s and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees from the University of New Haven. He earned his doctorate degree in education from The University of Pennsylvania. With the unique background of being a Certified Master Chef and Culinary Olympic champion with an Ivy League doctoral degree, he is the first alumnus and faculty member to rise through the CIA to become president.
In more than three decades at the college, Dr. Ryan has been instrumental in generating the sustained excellence, innovation, and growth that have shaped today’s CIA. His thought leadership has guided The Culinary Institute of America to a position of prominence on such important matters as health and wellness, world flavors, food ethics, and sustainability. To Learn more, click here.
EDMONDO SCHWARTZ, BOARD MEMBER
Edmondo Schwartz is an entrepreneur and financier. His interests include real estate, entertainment and finance. He is the Founder and President of EMS, a full-service real estate firm Co-founder and Managing Director of Greenwich Entertainment, LLC, which distributes foreign, independent and documentary films and produces and distributes its own documentaries and feature films and Managing Partner at SMS Capital, LLC, an investment firm that owns and operates a variety of businesses in fields such as oil production, banking, restaurants, manufacturing and movie exhibition. Mr. Schwartz resides in Alpine, New Jersey with his wife and four children. In addition to the mento'r BKB Foundation, Mr. Schwartz’s charitable interests have included the Bergen Performing Arts Center, the Make a Wish Foundation of Metro New York and The Englewood Hospital and Medical Center.
GAVIN KAYSEN, TEAM USA PRESIDENT
After graduating in 2001 from the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, VT, Gavin Kaysen worked at Domaine Chandon in Yountville, CA, L’Auberge de Lavaux in Lausanne, Switzerland, and the famed L’Escargot in London, before becoming executive chef at El Bizcocho in San Diego, where he was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs. In late 2007, he joined Chef Daniel Boulud as chef de cuisine of Café Boulud in New York City, where he later earned the James Beard Rising Star Chef award and a coveted Michelin star. Gavin Kaysen ultimately returned home to Minneapolis to open Spoon and Stable, a 2015 James Beard Award Finalist for Best New Restaurant.
Today, Gavin Kaysen helps the next generation of young culinarians refine their skills in the kitchen. He currently serves as Team USA’s Vice President, bringing an intimate knowledge of the Bocuse d’Or, as he proudly represented the US in 2007. In 2015, he successfully led Team USA to a record-breaking 2nd Place victory, the first medal and podium placement for the United States. This set the stage for future success, and in 2017 Team USA claimed first place for the very first time.
Bellecour, Gavin Kaysen’s second restaurant, opened in spring 2017. The French bistro is a nod to his friends and mentors Chefs Daniel Boulud and Paul Bocuse.
BRIAN DIAMOND, TREASURER
Brian Diamond has served as Chief Financial Officer of The Dinex Group since January 2016, having previously served as Director of Finance to The Dinex Group from May 2013 to December 2015. Prior to joining The Dinex Group, Brian was Vice President of Finance for Culinary Concepts Hospitality Group, a subsidiary of Starwood Hotel and Resorts Worldwide. Culinary Concepts was a joint venture between Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Catterton Partners, and Starwood Hotel and Resorts Worldwide. During his time at Culinary Concepts, there were 24 new restaurant opening all across the world. Prior to Culinary Concepts Hospitality Group, Brian served as CFO for the Tao Group. Tao Group operates the highest grossing restaurant in the United Sates. Brian started his career at Smith and Wollensky Restaurant Group in June of 1996. Brian held various financial positions there ending as their Director of Financial Reporting in April of 2007. Smith and Wollensky expanded nationally and went public during Brian’s tenure with the company. Brian received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Miami (FL) in 1994. He currently resides in Livingston, NJ with his wife and two children.
JULIA RUSSELL, BOARD OFFICER
Julia Russell holds the position of Senior Director, Global Loyalty Strategy & Innovation at Wyndham Hotel Group, where she is responsible for managing the value proposition and global acquisition strategy across all channels for the Wyndham Rewards loyalty program. Prior to joining the company in 2013, Julia worked for American Express for 14 years in a variety of strategy, business development and product marketing roles. Julia first joined American Express as a manager of interactive strategy and transitioned to roles that include management of Corporate Card products for North America, Global Merchant Services network strategy and business development, Delta co-brand portfolio relationship management and management of consumer Platinum & Centurion Card benefits. Prior to American Express, Julia worked for the French Trade Commission, a division of the French Ministry of Economy, Industry and Employment, as a commercial attaché. Julia holds an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a BA from Lehigh University. She lives in NJ with her husband and their two young daughters.
SEAN WEISSBART, GENERAL COUNSEL
Sean R. Weissbart is a Partner at Blank Rome LLP in NYC, focusing on domestic and international estate planning, estate and trust administration, and litigated matters in the Surrogate’s Court. He also advises tax-exempt organizations on matters from applications for tax exemption to avoidance of excise taxes and the unrelated business income tax. He is an Adjunct Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, teaching Income Taxation of Trusts and Estates, and Fordham University School of Law, teaching Trusts and Estates Drafting. His articles have been featured in The ACTEC Law Journal, The Journal of Taxation, and Estate Planning. He has received the MFY Justice Award for outstanding pro bono representation and, since 2015, has been selected every year by Super Lawyers magazine as a “Rising Star” in the fields of estate planning, probate, and nonprofit organizations.
YOUNG YUN, SECRETARY
Young Yun joined Men’tor in 2013 as Executive Director after a 14-year tenure at American Express. Her knowledge and experience in strategic and business development, customer loyalty and marketing help her lead the Foundation. She serves as the voice of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, including Chef/Founders Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, and Jérôme Bocuse, helping to bring their vision and mission to fruition. As Executive Director at Men’tor, Young develops strategic partnerships and marketing programs which continue to elevate the organization, while working to ensure that Team USA has the support it needs to compete on a global stage at the Bocuse d’Or competition. She was a critical part of the success that led to Team USA’s 2015 Silver Medal and Team USA’s 2017 Gold Medal wins. Under her leadership, she also spearheaded the re-branding of the Foundation and launched two new programs to support young chefs across America. Young graduated with a BA in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania and lives in NYC with her family.
Hamdi Ulukaya was born in 1972 to a Kurdish family in Turkey.  His family owned and operated a sheep, goat, and dairy farm near the Euphrates River in İliç, Erzincan Province, where they made cheese and yogurt.    The family often led a seasonally semi-nomadic existence tending and herding their flocks. Ulukaya is uncertain of his exact birth date because he was born during one of the family's mountain treks, although he uses October 26 as his birthday. 
After studying political science at Ankara University, in 1994 Ulukaya moved to the United States to study English at Adelphi University on Long Island, New York.  In 1997 he moved upstate and transferred to the University at Albany, State University of New York where he enrolled in a few business courses.  
He ended up taking a job on an upstate farm. During a visit, his father persuaded Ulukaya to import the family's feta cheese from Turkey, after tasting the inferior cheese available locally. When the imported cheese proved popular, Ulukaya opened a small wholesale feta cheese plant of his own, called Euphrates, in Johnstown, New York in 2002.    The venture was modestly successful but by the two-year mark it had just barely broken even.  Ulukaya later recalled, "It was two years of the most challenging days of my life." 
Inception and development Edit
In the spring of 2005, Ulukaya noticed a piece of junk mail advertising a fully equipped yogurt factory for sale in South Edmeston, New York, 65 miles (105 km) west of his feta cheese factory.  The 84-year-old factory had been closed by Kraft Foods.   Although he initially threw the flier away,  Ulukaya toured the plant the following day and decided to buy it, against the advice of his attorney and business advisor.  Ulukaya financed the purchase within five months with a loan from the Small Business Administration, plus local business-incentive grants.    He initially named his new company Agro Farma, and hired a handful of the former Kraft employees.  
Ulukaya decided to make an alternative to American-style yogurt. He preferred the yoghurt, with which he grew up with in Turkey.  He brought over a yogurt master from Turkey, Mustafa Dogan, with whom he spent nearly two years developing and perfecting his own yogurt recipe.  Using different bacterial cultures at differing temperatures and fermentation durations, they tested hundreds of recipes to come up with a yogurt with the desired taste, texture, and natural shelf life. 
Strained, is much thicker, creamier, and tangier, with a higher protein content, as the whey is strained out.  To manufacture strained yogurt, Ulukaya needed a million-dollar commercial machine called a milk separator, which the American-style Kraft factory did not have. He found a used one in Wisconsin and negotiated to buy it for $50,000. On his trip to pick up the separator, the name "Chobani" – a variation on çoban, the Turkish word for shepherd – popped into his head.  
Ulukaya made Chobani yogurt without preservatives.    Since he could not afford advertising, he invested time and money on the product's packaging, using a distinctive new bowl-style shape to differentiate the brand.  
In October 2007, he shipped his first order of Chobani, a few hundred cases, to a grocer on Long Island. The store repeated the order the following week.  
Ulukaya's early business approach included strategies the larger companies did not use. Rather than pay stores a slotting fee, which his start-up company could not afford, he paid stores in yogurt rather than in cash to stock his wares. He also negotiated to pay off the slotting fees over time as the yogurt sold.   He also implemented in-store samples so customers could taste the product and purchase it immediately.  Lacking the budget for traditional marketing, after hearing customers phoning in to say that they loved Chobani, Ulukaya had his small team reach out to bloggers, Facebook, and Twitter to have constant and direct communication with consumers.  In 2010 he also created a sampling truck, the CHOmobile, which handed out free cups of Chobani yogurt at festivals, parades, and other family-friendly events all over the U.S.    In its first year, the sample truck gave away 150,000 full-size containers of Chobani. 
In 2009, the chain stores Stop & Shop and ShopRite began carrying Chobani,  and by the middle of 2009, Chobani was selling 200,000 cases a week.  Later that same year, a major breakthrough came when the warehouse club stores BJ's Wholesale Club and Costco began carrying the brand.   Ulukaya began adding new product lines to his brand in 2010. 
After BJ's and Costco began carrying Chobani in 2009, the company doubled its sales every year through 2013.  With an eye on Australian and Asian markets, in 2011 Ulukaya acquired Melbourne dairy producer Bead Foods, and began manufacturing and selling Chobani in Australia.   In mid 2012, he initiated an $88.5 million expansion for the company, acquiring 100 acres next to its upstate New York facility and building an 80,000-square-foot addition. The expansion was partially funded by $1.5 million in New York State grants for economic development.  
Since strained or Greek yogurt uses three times the amount of milk per cup that unstrained yogurt does, to keep up with Chobani's ever-increasing market, in December 2012 the company opened the world's largest yogurt factory in Twin Falls, Idaho, a $450 million investment.  In 2012 Chobani had more than $1 billion in annual sales,   and in 2012 it became the world's leading yogurt brand.  Ulukaya joined the world's billionaires in the early 2010s. 
In March 2016, Chobani announced that it will be incrementally investing almost $100 million into the Greek yogurt plants it has in Twin Falls, Idaho.  In 2015 the Twin Falls plant employed more than 1,000 people, almost 100 of whom were hired in the last half of 2015. Chobani planned to add a global research and development facility for the Twin Falls scientific team, plus office expansions and an employee cafeteria. In the summer of 2016, they planned to start production of a yogurt-based dip and drinkable yogurt in the Twin Falls factory. 
In November 2019, Ulukaya announced Chobani's biggest expansion to date with new oat-based products and natural dairy creamers, marking the company's first foray outside of the yogurt aisle. 
Thursday, May 15, 2014
NRA Show 2014 - Chef Magazine's Product Showcase
A round-up of must-see booths with new and old innovative products at the National Restaurant Association Show
Over the course of four days, more than 18,000 suppliers and tens of thousands of buyers will visit the booths at the National Restaurant Association, Hotel-Motel Show taking place May 17-20 at McCormick Place in Chicago.
Trends and topics highlighted at the almost 100-year-old show include operational issues, menu development, sustainability, marketing, technology, special dietary needs, health and nutrition. More than 70 educational sessions will be led by industry experts. Guests can experience what's possible in sustainable horticulture and urban farming at the McCormick Place Rooftop Garden Tour taking place on Sunday and Tuesday. In addition the International Wine, Spirits and Beer Event will coincide with the show May 18-19.
Stop by our May advertisers' must-see booths to learn about new products and see how they can be used in your restaurant.
DayMark • 866/517-0490, daymarksafety.com • Booth: 3201
The 9700 offers a range of features that no other unit on the market can boast, including an 8.4-inch Hot Touch Full Color display and a premier labeling provider bringing the most innovative labeling options to the prep table. The patent-pending DissolveMark Direct Thermal label technology allows flexibility in the kitchen and the performance you have come to expect from DayMark's Dissolve-a-way Labeling.
Equipex • 800/649-7885, equipex.com • Booth: 1612
Vitroceramic salamanders offer instant-on and infinite power setting features for movable top Vitroceramic models. The electric finishing ovens have a Quartz or Vitroceramic heating element. Models with an adjustable, movable top or a fixed top and adjustable bottom trays pull out with a wire rack. They can be free standing or wall mounted (kit optional), and infrared cooking enables operator to melt, brown, roast or glaze meat, fish, soups and desserts.
Worcester Industrial Products Corp. • 800/533-5711, shortening-shuttle.us • Booth: 1737
The Shortening Shuttle Waste Oil Carrier returns to the NRA Show for the 24th year. See the changes made to the device over the years. Representatives have models, accessories and ideas to help transport waste oil from kitchen to recycle area.
Alto-Shaam, Inc. • 262/251-3800, alto-shaam.com • Booth: 4840
Alto-Shaam's latest line of Combi ovens, the CT PROformance Combitherm Ovens, deliver a unique combination of features, expanding menu offerings by providing endless versatility and reliability in the kitchen. Considered an alternative for a convection oven, kettle, steamer, fryer, smoker and dehydrator, the line features the new PROpower setting. While in turbo mode, the CT PROformance operates up to 80 percent faster than conventional technology and can preheat up to 575 degrees Fahrenheit. The Absolute Humidity Control allows the user to select a precise humidity level from zero to 100 percent and the CombiSmoke feature increases versatility by allowing operators to smoke any product, hot or cold.
Robot Coupe USA • 800/824-1646, robot-coupe.com • Booth: 4037
The new table-top Robot Coupe CL51 Vegetable Prep Processor is designed to process from 20 to 300 meals per service. The CL51 has two hoppers that provide consistent processing of all fruits and vegetables and its kidney-shaped feed holds seven tomatoes use its cylindrical feed tube for long, thin veggies. Slice, ripple cut, grate, julienne, dice and French fry in various sizes with its 52 steel discs.
Boggiatto • 831/424-8952, boggiattoproduce.com • Booth: 7928
Chefs have spoken. Garden Hearts are one of the most requested brands of romaine hearts in the industry. Why? Consistent quality, superior yield, minimal prep, and they are inexpensive. Your guests deserve the best and so does your bottom line.
Master-Bilt • 800/647-1284, master-bilt.com • Booth: 4257
Master-Bilt's ENERGY STAR qualified, bottom-mounted medium (BMG Plus) and low-temp (BLG Plus) glass door cooler and freezer merchandisers, deliver value and performance. High end design features include full-height glass doors, four adjustable cantilever shelves per door, and double strip LED lighting for maximum product visibility and illumination.
EdgeCraft home of Chef'sChoice • 800/342-3255, edgecraft.com • Booth: 3105
The Model 2100 Chef'sChoice Commercial Electric Knife Sharpener from EdgeCraft Corporation is a perfect solution for quickly sharpening knives in a cost and time efficient manner in today's commercial environment. Anyone can quickly and easily put a razor sharp edge on all commercial cutlery with this item. This three-stage Diamond Hone sharpener with advanced technology sharpens both fine-edge and serrated knives. It's dishwasher safe and includes a removable 20 degree edge sharpening module.
Jean-Georges, Morimoto Honored at 2014 CIA Leadership Awards - Recipes
# CAN Advisory Board Member
Named as one of Time’s “100” Most Influential People and awarded “Outstanding Chef” by the James Beard Foundation, José Andrés is an internationally-recognized culinary innovator, author, educator, television personality, humanitarian and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup. A pioneer of Spanish tapas in the United States, he is also known for his groundbreaking avant-garde cuisine and his award-winning group of restaurants that spans 21 concepts throughout the country in Washington, DC, Miami, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. He is a committed advocate of food and hunger issues and is known for championing the role of chefs in the national debate on food policy. This work has earned him awards and distinctions such as Outstanding American by Choice, awarded by President Barack Obama and the McCall-Pierpaoli humanitarian award. In 2015, he was named EY Master Entrepreneur of the Year in Greater Washington for his leadership and impact on the global business community.
Executive Chef/Partner, The Red Hen
Like many young chefs these days, Michael Friedman’s culinary career developed out of sheer happenstance. Hailing from Westfield, New Jersey, Friedman graduated from Boston University’s College of Communications before tackling his first position in a professional kitchen. He landed a job as a prep cook with a bustling French bistro, Mon Ami Gabi and from then on, he knew a cook’s life was for him. Friedman spent three years with Rich Melman’s Lettuce Entertain You group, rising to sous chef in just eight months before enrolling in the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.
Friedman used his time wisely while in school, staging at notable restaurants in his off time, including Los Angeles’ Lucques and Morimoto in New York. At Danny Meyer’s The Modern in The Museum of Modern Art, he learned the true meaning of professionalism in the kitchen, and was taught to cook at a very high level with top-notch ingredients. Graduating at the top of his CIA class, he began working for famed Spanish Chef Jose Andres at his powerhouse Eastern Mediterranean restaurant, Zaytinya.
After two years as a chef with Chef Andres, Friedman left his mentor to travel the world. Eating through Italy, Greece, Turkey and Northern Africa, Friedman picked up the interesting and exciting nuances of each country. He headed back to the US and spent time staging in some influential kitchens, including San Francisco’s Incanto, Philadelphia’s Vetri and New York’s Scarpetta.
Mike returned to DC as Chef de Cuisine of Proof, a wine-centric restaurant specializing in local, seasonal fare. Under the tutelage of Executive Chef Haidar Karoum, Friedman learned to hone his craft and simplify his style to let the ingredients shine.
At his first solo venture, Friedman offers his guests at The Red Hen a focused selection of Italian-influenced dishes, interpreted with Mid-Atlantic ingredients – his version of modern comfort food. In The Red Hen’s opening year, it garnered two “RAMMY” awards from The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, including Best New Restaurant and Rising Culinary Star, and Friedman was selected as one of the People’s Best New Chefs by Food & Wine Magazine. The Red Hen also won the 2013 “Restaurant of the Year” award from Eater DC and was awarded three star reviews from both The Washington Post and Washingtonian Magazine.
TV Host, American Grilled, Travel Channel and Chef/Owner, Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery
New Orleans-born TV personality and chef, David Guas, is widely familiar from his frequent appearances on "The Today Show," “The Talk,” “Food Network,” and his role as host and co-judge of Travel Channel’s summer competition series, "American Grilled." With no battle for attention, Guas has garnered national praise in publications like Food & Wine, Southern Living, Garden & Gun, Saveur and Bon Appétit for showcasing the soul of the South in his sinfully delicious, Louisiana-style favorites and signature desserts at his neighborhood spot in Arlington, Virginia, Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery. And his second Eatery opened at Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, occupying an historic Carriage House on Washington's Capitol Hill commissioned by President Abraham Lincoln. Not with a moment to spare, Guas just completed his second cookbook with Oxmoor House, Grill Nation: 200 Surefire Recipes, Tips, and Techniques to Grill like a Pro, released April 2015. His first cookbook, DamGoodSweet: Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth, New Orleans Style [Taunton Press 2009] was a James Beard Award finalist and was named one of Food & Wine’s “Best New Dessert Cookbooks.” This hunting, fishing, Harley-riding chef, and father of two sons, is a long-term member of Southern Foodways Alliance Slow Food USA Share Our Strength Chefs for Equality Real Food for Kids U.S. State Department and the James Beard Foundation's Culinary Diplomacy Initiative spokesperson for the National Honey Board a former board member of Best Buddies in Virginia and is a founding member of District Hogs, a group of DC-area restaurant professionals who ride motorcycles for fun, adventure, food, and charity.
Chief Pastry Officer Big Night Restaurant Group (Marlowe, Park Tavern & Cavalier Restaurants)
As the CPO for Big Night Restaurant Group Emily is responsible for creating the dessert menus for their 3 restaurants in San Francisco.
Emily is the founder of #dessertworthy a social media movement to empower individuals to make healthier lifestyle choices and to be mindful of their dessert and sugar indulgences.
After attending culinary school, working in a few restaurants in New York, and staging in France, Emily moved to San Francisco and joined the opening culinary team at Jeremiah Tower’s legendary Stars Restaurant in San Francisco. Three years later she made the switch to the sweet side of the kitchen and has never looked back. She was the pastry chef at Stars for eight years and also co-owned the retail bakery StarBake.
Emily was the executive pastry chef at San Francisco’s Farallon from 1997-20014 and Waterbar from 2008-2014.
The petite powerhouse is the author of Stars Desserts (HarperCollins, 1991), Four Star Desserts (HarperCollins, 1995), A Passion for Desserts (Chronicle Books, 2003), A Passion for Ice Cream (Chronicle Books, 2006), and The Fearless Baker (Little, Brown and Company, 2011). Her first two books were rereleased as Classic Stars Desserts (Chronicle Books, 2007).
In 2007 Emily co-hosted the PBS show-The Holiday Table. Other television appearances include Jacques Pepin’s PBS Essential Pepin. Martha Stewart Living and The Food Network. She is a regular contributor to California Bountiful sponsored by the California Farm Bureau. Over her many years of dessert making her recipes have appeared in Oprah, Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Every Day with Rachel Ray, Better Homes & Gardens, Woman’s Day, Redbook, More, Family Circle and Good Housekeeping Magazines.
Emily’s honors include the 1998 San Francisco Focus Magazine Pastry Chef of the Year, the 2001 Women Chefs & Restaurateurs Golden Whisk Award, the 2003 Food Arts magazine Silver Spoon Award, and the 2004 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef. In 2009 The San Francisco Chronicle chose Luchetti as one of 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.
From 1994 to 1999, she served as chairperson of Women Chefs & Restaurateurs. Emily has served on the James Beard Foundation board of trustees for six years, four years as the chair of the James Beard Awards Committee. She is currently chairperson for the Board of Trustees. Emily is a Dean at The International Culinary Center in New York and California and also serves as an Oxfam Sister of the Planet.
Executive Chef (Ripple, Roofers Union and Jug & Table Restaurants)
In her role as Executive Chef at Ripple, Roofers Union, and Jug & Table Marjorie Meek-Bradley brings fresh creativity and broad experience to both concepts. A California native, Meek-Bradley cooks sustainably, using grass fed proteins and organic produce from local farms. Meek-Bradley was nationally recognized as a semifinalist for the prestigious James Beard Foundation and the Food & Wine Best New Chef awards. Meek-Bradley has served in many top-rated restaurants and her impressive pedigree includes having worked for Thomas Keller, Jose Andres, and Marcus Samuelsson. Meek-Bradley is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier and the Women Chefs & Restauranteurs organizations.
Executive Chef & Co-Owner, Cress Restaurant
Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics & Computer Science, Stetson University
Hari Pulapaka is the Executive Chef and Co-Owner of the highly acclaimed Cress Restaurant in DeLand FL. Hari is also a full-time tenured Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Stetson University. Hari lives a full life driven by two full-time professions.
As a chef, Hari received a classical culinary degree in 2005 from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Orlando, has trained at Canoe in Toronto and opened Cress in 2008 with his wife Dr. Jenneffer Pulapaka, who is a podiatric surgeon with her own private practice The DeLand Foot and Leg Center. Jenneffer is also co-owner of Cress and is its Wine Director and General Manager. Cress was recently rated the #1 restaurant in the Greater Orlando area by ZAGAT and one of America’s Top Restaurants. Hari is a four-time (2015, 2014, 2013, 2011) semifinalist for The James Beard Award for Best Chef South and a two-time (2013, 2012) nominee for Food & Wine Magazine’s The People’s Best New Chef. Hari attended the first official James Beard Foundation Boot Camp in Louisville for Policy and Action as one of only 15 chefs nationwide and now serves on the advisory board of CAN (The Chef Action Network) which is supported by the James Beard Foundation. Hari has cooked at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City on four occasions. Hari & Jenneffer were invited participants in 2013 to serve on the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force. The couple actively supports a wide variety of philanthropic endeavours all across Central Florida and help raise thousands of dollars every year for a variety of food and health related causes. Since the inception and more so now, Hari is passionate about finding ways to improve the regional food system of Central Florida in particular, and the nation, as a whole. Hari is one of the founding members of goFLA (Greater Orlando Food Leaders Alliance), a growing network of chefs, farmers, food writers, and artisans who are dedicated to promoting Central Florida as a dining destination and showcasing the tremendous food bounty of our region. Cress Restaurant has hosted multiple “Lesser Fish” Dinners and continues to champion sustainability issues in Central Florida including maintaining an active Food Waste Program. Cress Restaurant is a restaurant partner of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program, one of only a handful in the State of Florida. Hari is also a Certified Executive Chef of The American Culinary Federation and is an Approved Certification Evaluator (ACE). Hari has completed his first book “Dreaming in Spice” which launched on January 29, 2015.
As a mathematician, Hari received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from The University of Florida in 1995 under the direction of Professor Andrew Vince, an M.S. in Mathematics under the supervision of Professor James Lawrence at George Mason University, and a B.Sc. in Mathematics from St. Xavier’s College at the University of Mumbai. Hari is has published several papers in graph theory, number theory, and problem solving. After holding academic positions at Valdosta State University and a visiting position at Georgia Tech, Hari is in his 16th year at Stetson University and teaches a wide variety of courses in Mathematics at the undergraduate level.
Celebrity Chef and Humanitarian
Chef Art Smith loves the idea of bringing people together through food. It’s partly what made him the success he is today. He is the executive chef and co-owner of Table fifty-two, Art and Soul, Southern Art and Bourbon Bar, and LYFE Kitchen restaurants.
Art Smith has received the culinary profession's highest awards and has cooked for some of the world's most famous celebrities. In 1997, Smith became the personal, day-to-day chef to Oprah Winfrey, a position that lasted ten years. Smith now coordinates and cooks for special events all around the world.
Most recently Smith has made several television appearances including ABC’s Lady Gaga Thanksgiving Special, Top Chef, Top Chef Duels, and returned to Top Chef Masters (for the second time), where he quickly became an audience favorite. Smith was also featured in an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition where he lent a hand to a deserving family that has devoted their lives to providing meals for the less fortunate members of their community.
Smith has made regular television appearances on programs such as Iron Chef America, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Nightline, Fox News, Extra, Entertainment Tonight, BBQ Pitmasters, The Talk, The Dr. Oz Show and The Oprah Winfrey Show. He has appeared on the cover of Parade magazine, and has been featured in Cooking Light magazine. He is a regular contributor to Standup magazine, whose proceeds benefit The Ben Cohen Standup Foundation, which raises awareness of the long-term, damaging effects of bullying.
Smith is the author of four award-winning cookbooks: Back to the Table Kitchen Life: Real Food for Real Families and Back to the Family. He contributed recipes and cooking advice to The Spectrum, the newest book by ground-breaking cardiologist and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Dean Ornish. In May of 2013 his latest cookbook was released, Art Smith’s Healthy Comfort, with a focus on healthy cooking and healthy living, (published by Harper One 2013).
Smith is the founder of Common Threads, a non-profit organization teaching low-income children to cook wholesome and affordable meals since 2003. He believes that through hands-on cooking and introducing children to fresh foods we can help prevent childhood obesity, reverse the trend of poor eating habits, and learn about diversity and tolerance through the celebration of our cultural differences and our commonalities.
Smith was honored by Chicago magazine as a Chicagoan of the Year in 2007. That same year, the prestigious James Beard Foundation named him Humanitarian of the Year. In 2008 Chef Art Smith received an Honorary MBA Degree, awarded by the Dedman School of Hospitality at Florida State University. Smith was inducted into the Chicago Culinary Museums Hall of Fame in 2010. September 30th 2010 was proclaimed by Richard M. Daley, Mayor of The City of Chicago as Chef Art Smith Day in Chicago. May 19, 2012 Chef Art Smith received an Honorary Doctorate of Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales University, North Miami Campus.
Smith lives in Chicago and Florida with his husband Jesus Salgueiro, their four children Azumy, Zuky, Brando and Angel, and of course three dogs, seven cats, 15 fish and a couple of turtles.
Executive Chef - The Surf Lodge, The Pig and Poet
Sam Talbot is a chef, author, philanthropist and television personality based in Brooklyn, NY. Talbot's genuine approachability, natural charisma and profound knowledge of food and healthy living allow him to float effortlessly between the worlds of food, fashion and entertainment.
Diagnosed at a young age with Type 1 Diabetes, Talbot lives every hour with a deep understanding of the impact of food on life and life on food. This unique perspective has become the driving force in all of his projects and has put him at the forefront of the sustainable living movement, seeking to break down walls between the way we eat and the way we live.
Talbot is the founding Executive Chef of The Surf Lodge in Montauk, NY and during his time there it became a nationally acclaimed culinary destination. He went on to work with Morgans Hotel Group, opening Imperial No. Nine, a chic sustainable seafood restaurant at the Mondrian SoHo, all while championing his philanthropic causes and publishing his first book, The Sweet Lilfe: Diabetes without Boundaries (Rodale). He was a semi-finalist on season 2 of Bravo's Top Chef - was voted "fan favorite" and subsequently named one of People Magazines "Sexiest Men Alive" in 2012.
In 2015, Talbot is launching several exciting ventures that are close to his heart. From a new restaurant in Camden, Maine (The Pig and Poet) to stylish and rugged aprons that pay homage to his grandmother (Sam & Beatrice), Talbot looks forward to expanding his portfolio and exploring new territory while remaining true to his culinary roots. In addition, Talbot recently created the delicious and locally sourced menu for West Village coffee shop and general store, The Elk, and is excited to be one of the founding forces behind Beyond Type 1, a non-profit organization focusing on inspiring the Diabetic community to live their best lives.
Bryan Voltaggio has become one of the most recognized and influential chefs in contemporary American cooking starting in 2008 with the opening of his flagship VOLT. With VOLT, the seasonally driven restaurant in his hometown of Frederick, MD, Voltaggio has delivered an electric shock of culinary innovation to the Chesapeake region, which he loves for its rich culinary history and access to high-quality ingredients. “I grew up here, so I feel like I have a responsibility to this region,” he says. “With each restaurant I open, I hope to reach new audience and show them that good food and the bounty of what the region has to offer very much go hand in hand.”
His cooking style is in service to the local products he uses, and his dedication is evident across all of his projects: VOLT, which expresses local ingredients through the lens of innovative technique Range in Washington, D.C., which trumpets the artisan food movement by concentrating focus on such elements as bread baking, charcuterie, pizza, and wood-fire cooking Aggio, in D.C. and Baltimore, which tips its hat to the Mid-Atlantic region’s rich Italian-American heritage Family Meal in Maryland and Virgina, which serves updates on home-cooked staples, and Lunchbox, a fast-casual sandwich concept.
The chef’s passion for cooking was already cemented at a young age, having grown up in an Italian-American family. He served as sous chef and executive chef at two regional hotel restaurants by the age of 20. Aware of his need for more formal training, he attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, during which time he also cooked at the highly acclaimed Hamilton Inn in nearby Millerton. He ascended to the top of the fine-dining world during a nine-year run as executive under Charlie Palmer at Charlie Palmer Steak in Washington, D.C.
Voltaggio has been a finalist on Bravo’s “Top Chef,” as well as “Top Chef Masters”—the first contestant to compete on both shows—during which he raised funds for Share Our Strength, a charity he avidly supports throughout the year. The James Beard Foundation Award recognized VOLT in 2009 as a finalist for “Best New Restaurant.” In 2011, Voltaggio and his brother, Michael Voltaggio of L.A.’s INK, co-authored the cookbook, Volt.INK his second cookbook, a solo venture, HOME was released early 2015.
Even with the recognition that has come with television, cookbook publishing, and restaurant expansion, Voltaggio’s goals for the future remain true to the reason he began cooking as a teenager in the first place. “I love to make people happy,” he says. “I’m measuring success by looking at the opportunities to provide more for my community.” Voltaggio and his wife, Jennifer, live in Frederick with their son, Thacher, and two daughters, Piper and Ever.
Chef/Partner, Koko Head Cafe, Hale Ohuna
Lee Anne Wong is the chef and owner of Koko Head Cafe in Honolulu, Hawaii. A native of Troy, New York, Wong graduated from the International Culinary Center (ICC), formerly known as the French Culinary Institute, and went on to stage and cook in some of the world’s best kitchens – including The French Laundry, Charlie Trotter’s of Chicago, Nobu, and Marcus Samuelsson’s Aquavit – as well as playing an integral role in the opening of Jean Georges Vongrichten’s Chinese concept, Restaurant 66. Wong also acted as the Executive Chef of Event Operations at ICC and prominently featured on Season One of Bravo’s Flagship Series “Top Chef” and its spin-off “Top Chef Masters.” Wong has been celebrated for her modern takes on global cooking in publications such as People, Food & Wine, and National Geographic and has also acted as a culinary consultant on the Warner Brothers film “No Reservations,” PBS’ “Chef Story,” Bravo’s “Rocco’s Dinner Party.”
In late 2013, Wong moved across the country from New York City to Honolulu where in 2014, she debuted Koko Head Cafe – an island style brunch house in the Kaimuki neighborhood – to popular acclaim, with Wong recognized on the cover of Honolulu Magazine, as well as in Bon Appétit, Honolulu Star-Advertiser and Huffington Post. Wong released her first cookbook, Dumplings All Day Wong, in August 2014 and she is currently preparing to open her second restaurant in Hawaii, Hale Ohuna, a modern Hawaiian noodle bar alongside a sake/whiskey lounge.
Chef, Anthropologist, Social Justice Advocate & Global Thought Leader
A three-time James Beard Award-winning TV personality, chef, writer and teacher, Andrew Zimmern is universally regarded as one of the most versatile and knowledgeable personalities in the food world. As the creator, executive producer and host of the Bizarre Foods franchise on Travel Channel (including Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre World, Bizarre Foods America and the new Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations), Andrew has explored cultures in more than 150 countries.
Motivated by his experiences over the years, Andrew has built a multi-faceted empire that shines the spotlight on impactful ways to think about, create and live with food. He is the founder of two multi-media production companies - Food Works and Intuitive Content. Food Works oversees all his projects to date including the award winning weekly podcast Go Fork Yourself with Andrew Zimmern and Molly Mogren. The newest venture, Intuitive Content, was established in early 2015 and will create long format content for cable and network broadcast.
Expanding his global “food-print” in the consumer market, Andrew partnered in 2014 with CHEFS Catalog to design a collection of premium, handcrafted cookware, spices and accessories. Andrew Zimmern’s Canteen, a fast casual concept he launched in 2012, reflects his fascination with food history from around the world. The business has since expanded to include a food truck and locations at various sports complexes, including Minnesota’s Target Field and Viking Stadium, and Kaufman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals.
Andrew has released three books - The Bizarre Truth, Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World of Food and Andrew Zimmern’s Field Guide to Exceptionally Weird, Wild & Wonderful Foods. In addition to his title as contributing editor, Food & Wine also tapped Andrew as a Chef-in-Residence in 2014, and he continues to work with Delta Sky Magazine as a senior editor. He is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Babson College’s Lewis Institute, sits on the board of directors for Services for the Underserved in New York City, The Taste of the NFL, Foodie Tout, and The National Youth Recovery Foundation, and is an honorary board member and Advisor to the Alliance for Coffee Excellence. In his rare downtime, he relaxes at home in Minneapolis, MN. with his wife, son and two uneaten pets.
Table of Contents
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ICA: Forgione vs. Wong
There are lots of tricks and treats in this sweet Halloween battle, as Iron Chef Marc Forgione is challenged by Chef Lee Anne Wong. Judges are Kathy Griffin, Donatella Arpaia Stewart (bun clearly still in oven) and Kelly Ripa. Chef Wong was a semi-finalist on “Top Chef” and appears on Cooking Channel’s “Unique Eats.”
How crappy have the last few Sundays been on Food Network? Obviously scripted taco truck challenges and Halloween candy cook-offs? Oy vey! Well your Sundays will stop sucking soon enough when Next Iron Chef 4 begins next week but you don’t have to wait for Kitchen Stadium drama as Iron Chef Forgione faces off against Top Chef veteran Lee Anne Wong in Battle: Halloween Candy.
Since she traded her fashion career for the culinary world, Chef Lee Anne Wong, has been bringing her modern-global fusion cuisine to the people. Born and raised in Troy, New York, Lee Anne is a 2 nd generation Chinese- American. After graduating from The French Culinary Institute (The FCI), Lee Anne worked for several years at Aquavit, and later served as part the opening staff at Jean Georges Vongrichten’s Chinese venture, restaurant 66.
She has also cooked and staged in critically acclaimed kitchens all over the world. After returning to The FCI as the Executive Chef of Event Operations, Chef Wong brought her culinary skills to an even wider audience when she appeared as a cheftestant on Season One of Bravo’s Flagship Series “Top Chef”. She returned to the show as a Supervising Culinary Producer on Top Chef, and its spin-off Top Chef Masters. She has also worked as a culinary consultant for movies and tv programs. Chef Wong has used her culinary skills to help further charitable causes, such as Women Chefs and Restaurateurs (WCR), Project By Project, and she sits on the Board of Directors for The Gohan Society.
Donatella and her husband, Dr. Allan Stewart, welcomed a son on Thursday, September 15th. They haven’t announced a name yet but did say their sweetest addition weighed 8 pounds, 3 ounces.An impressive resume to be sure but will be enough when she enters Kitchen Stadium?
Check below for the outcome.
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Taste: 23 Taste: 27
Plating: 15 Plating: 12
Originality: 13 Originality: 13
Total: 51 Total: 52
Watch the video: The reach of a restaurant: Thomas Keller at TEDxEast (June 2022).