Nate Appleman (Chef/Butcher in New York) originally hails from Greenville, Ohio and loves to create seasonal dishes inspired by local produce, heritage meats, and Italian traditions. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, he most recently was the Executive Chef at A16 and SPQR in San Francisco. Appleman was recently named as a 2009 James Beard Foundation Award Rising Star Chef winner and Food & Wine 2009 Best New Chef, has been recognized by publications such as The New York Times and Bon Appétit and his first book, "A16 Food + Wine" (Ten Speed Press, 2008) earned two prestigious 2009 IACP Cookbook Awards.
Dominique Crenn (Chef de Cuisine of Luce at InterContinental San Francisco in San Francisco) grew up in Versailles, France where she learned to appreciate culinary arts and fine cuisine. Before earning business and marketing degrees at Paris universities, Crenn traveled throughout Europe learning regional cuisines and techniques. In 1988, she moved to San Francisco and has since built an impressive culinary resume working in notable restaurants including Stars and Campton Place. Crenn, named "Chef of the Year" by Esquire in October 2008, focuses on high-end artisanal and sustainable New American fare at Luce at Intercontinental San Francisco, named one of 20 "Best New Restaurants" by Esquire in October 2008.
New Jersey native traveled through Europe becoming proficient in French techniques and now loves cooking with fresh ingredients and Mediterranean flavors. In 2007, Freitag joined The Harrison bringing the restaurant numerous accolades including a two-star review from The New York Times. Freitag has battled Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America and has a recurring role as a judge on Chopped.
Brad Farmerie (Executive Chef of Double Crown, Madam Geneva, PUBLIC and The Monday Room in New York) is a Le Cordon Bleu graduate and known for exotic wine pairings and Asian-European fare. The Pittsburgh, Penn. native took a hiatus from studying mechanical engineering at The Pennsylvania State University to explore the cuisines and wines of the world while cooking at acclaimed restaurants such as Sugar Club and Chez Nico. Farmerie has received recognitions from The New York Times, Food Arts' Emerging Tastemakers, and The Michelin Guide.
Eric Greenspan (Executive Chef & Owner of The Foundry on Melrose in Los Angeles) has made his way from some of New York's most trying kitchens to one of the hottest chefs in Los Angeles. While attending UC Berkeley, Greenspan decided to further his culinary career by studying at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. He then honed his skills in New York City working with notable chefs such as David Bouley and Alain Ducasse. Since opening The Foundry on Melrose in 2006, Greenspan's French-inspired American style has been chosen as Conde Naste Traveler's "Best of the New" and added to food critic Jonathan Gold's "Essential 99."
Seamus Mullen (Executive Chef & Partner of Boqueria Flatiron and Boqueria Soho in New York) grew up on an organic farm in Vermont where he learned the value of farm-to-table eating. Mullen honed his skills cooking in local restaurants, studying abroad in Spain, and working with top chefs across the country like Floyd Cardoz. Mullen returned to New York and opened Boqueria Flatiron in 2006 and Boqueria Soho in 2008. By integrating local ingredients with classic Spanish techniques, Boqueria's Spanish fare has been praised by consumers and critics alike, earning a two-star review from The New York Times.
Jehangir Mehta (Executive Chef & Owner of Graffiti in New York) graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and secured pastry chef positions in some of New York's finest restaurants including Jean Gorges and Union Pacific. Mehta, who finds endless inspiration in fruits and spices, is renowned for his inventive creations and contemporary Indian and Persian influences. Since opening Graffiti in 2007, Mehta has garnered media attention from publications such as the New York Observer that called him "one of the most daring and original pastry chefs in New York."
Holly Smith (Chef & Owner of Cafe Juanita and Poco Carretto Gelato in Kirkland, Wash.) was awarded "Best Chef Northwest" by James Beard Foundation in 2008 and has received national acclaim for her Northern Italian-inspired cooking. After studying political science at Colby College, Smith traveled and found her true passion was restaurants and cooking. The Maryland native opened Cafe Juanita in 2000 and Poco Carretto Gelato in 2008. She uses a modern, local approach to innovatively bring food and wine together. Smith has been recognized by publications such as Gourmet Magazine.
Roberto Treviño (Executive Chef & Owner of Budatai in San Juan, Puerto Rico) grew up in the San Francisco area and moved to Puerto Rico to open El Conquistador where he fell in love with the local flavors. He opened Budatai in 2007 where he serves modern Asian-Latin cuisine. In addition to battling Mario Batali on Iron Chef America, Treviño has been featured on Rachael Ray's $40 a Day and in Conde Nast Traveler, Bon Appetit, and The New York Times.
Jose Garces (Executive Chef & Owner of Amada, Tinto, Distrito, Chifa and Village Whiskey in Philadelphia) spent years perfecting different cuisines in top-rated restaurants and is now well known for his signature Latin cooking style. Since 2005, the Chicago native has opened five restaurants, authored "Latin Evolution" (Lake Isle Press, 2008), won the 2009 "Best Chef Mid-Atlantic" award from the James Beard Foundation and battled Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America. Garces has also been featured in publications such as Food & Wine and The Wall Street Journal.