Chef Mark William Allison
Meet Chef Mark
Mark William Allison is a father, chef, educator, author, motivator of healthy eating.
Mark is a Master Chef of Great Britain and currently he is the Executive Chef of Culinary Innovation at the Cabarrus Health Alliance (CHA). His job entails the development of instructional approaches and curriculum to provide the local community of Cabarrus and Rowan counties with a world class education in healthy eating and culinary arts.
As the former Director of Culinary Nutrition for the Dole Nutrition Institute, based at the North Carolina Research Campus, Mark worked alongside scientists to prove the many health benefits of eating a nutrient-dense diet. He was in charge of all recipe development for the Dole Food Company and their partnership with the Walt Disney Corporation.
Former Dean of Culinary Arts Education at Johnson & Wales University (JWU), Mark is a native of England who has worked around the world in culinary arts for over 40 years, from restaurants, hotels, corporate recipe development to culinary arts education. He is the author of “150 Projects to Get You into Culinary Arts”, “3 boys & a chef”, “3 boys & a chef 2” and “Let’s Be Smart About Diabetes”.
He is the recipient of numerous culinary and educational honors: in 2012 he received the America Diabetes Association’s “Father of the Year Award”; in 2011 the JWU Publishing Award; 2009 JWU Community Service Award; 2008 JWU “Teacher of the Year Award”; and in 2006 the JWU “Outstanding Service Award”.
In 2003, he received the Teacher of the Year Award at Neath Port College, Wales, United Kingdom. He was personally honored by then Prime Minister Tony Blair for his dedication to the Education and Hospitality field in Wales in 2003 at 10 Downing Street, London, England. That same year he won the Craft Guild of Chefs Education & Training Award, which is considered nationally the ultimate achievement in culinary arts education in the United Kingdom.
Mark is also a frequent writer for numerous culinary publications around the world. He has appeared live on TV and Radio in the UK and US, most recently the Cooking Channels’ “Cooking School Confidential”, and PBS’s “Overdraft” and “Ice-cream Nation”. He appears regularly on WCNC the “Charlotte Today Show” and Fox 11 Los Angeles “Good Morning LA”. He has his own blog www.chefmarkallison.com which offers easy healthy recipes that the whole family can enjoy.
Mark lives in Charlotte, NC with his three sons, Jonathan, Matthew and James.
Chef Rick Moonen
Meet Chef Rick
Nicknamed “The Godfather of Sustainability,” celebrity chef and restaurateur Rick Moonen has been one of the country’s leading advocates for the sustainable seafood movement, bringing national awareness to this subject for the last 25 years all across the globe. He is a founding member of Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Blue Ribbon Task Force and received the 2011 Chef of the Year Award from them as well as a Department of State’s Diplomatic Culinary Partnership Initiative Member.
Chef Moonen has been featured in Food & Wine, SAVEUR, Bon Appétit, Food Arts, USA Today, Gourmet Magazine, Forbes, Travel + Leisure and more. He has competed twice as a contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters and was a fan favorite. He has appeared on multiple national television shows, including “Beat Bobby Flay,” “The TODAY Show,” “Good Morning America,” “CBS This Morning,” and has been a regular on Home and Family for years.
Among his many accomplishments throughout his career including: Chef of the Year Award from Chefs of America in 1993; Seafood Champion from Seafood Alliance in 2006; American Academy Restauranteur of the Year from the Nevada Restaurant Association in 2009; receiving a James Beard Award for Television Show and nomination for Best Chef In the America in 2010; StarChefs International Chefs Conference Community Award in 2010; Monterey Bay Aquarium Chef of the Year in 2011; Humanitarian of the Year by the American Culinary Federation in 2013; and induction into the American Academy of Chefs Culinary Hall of Fame in 2014. He has also raised several thousand dollars for charities including the Scleroderma Foundation, Three Square Food Bank, Saint Baldrick’s, Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Autism Speaks and City Meals on Wheels. When he inititially opened his restaurants in Las Vegas, he had a day named after him (April 1) as “Moonen No Foolin’ Day” from Mayor Goodman.
Currently, Chef Moonen is a brand ambassador for True North Seafood and has presented to the food industry on sustainability in Paris, Vancouver, Toronto, Milan, New Zealand, Greece and more. He is also the Chef Advocate for Feast it Forward, an online network and lifestyle brand that serves as a guide to the conscious consumer, including an original digital show that encourages people to live a flavorful life as they enlighten viewers and open minds through a unique platform to experience all things food, drink, entertainment and philanthropy.
Chef Jamie Bostian
Meet Chef Jamie
Jamie is the Executive Chef for The Pines at Davidson. An upscale continuing care retirement community in Davidson, NC. He was brought on in January 2020 to help brand and launch several new dinning concepts for the community. Since arriving at The Pines he has introduced several local partnerships with local vendors to the residences, and shift the focus of the food to quality and sustainable while focusing on flavor and creativity.
Previous to The Pines he was the Executive Chef for The Peninsula Yacht Club on Lake Norman just north of Charlotte, NC. He started as the club’s Sous chef in 2008 and was promoted to The clubs executive chef in 2013. In that time the club grown from 800 memberships to 1200 memberships!
Jamie recognized his passion for cooking at the early age of 12. In high school he decided he wanted to become a chef. He then pursued his education at Johnson & Wales University in both Charleston and Charlotte, where he obtained his AS in Culinary Arts and BS in Food Service Management. He later in 2019 earned his CEC (certified executive chef) through the American Culinary Federation.
He has worked at The Charleston Grill, The Point Lake and Golf Club, and also at Solace Restaurant. Jamie is the current Vice President for the ACF Chefs of Charlotte Chapter and part of the chefs move to school’s initiative a program to encourage and educate kids to eat fruits and vegetables.
Jamie has been featured in Club and Resort magazine as well as the National Culinary Review. Outside of work, he enjoys watching the Carolina Panthers and Charlotte Hornets, as well as cooking for his family and friends. Teaching anyone who will listen about cooking & Food, and he loves visiting farmer’s markets and using fresh, local, sustainable ingredients.
Chef Michael Battocletti
Meet Chef Michael
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Michael Battocletti was classically trained under C.M.C. Aiden Murphy and C.E.C. Dan Holtgrave at Old Warson Country Club.
In 2012, Battocletti moved to Chicago to further his skillset at the Alinea Group restaurant, Next. Rising through the ranks quickly, Battocletti became a sous chef after only a couple of months and continued to work under chef Grant Achatz and Dave Beran for the next four years. After his time at Next, Battocletti began working for Lettuce Entertain You, one of the countries largest privately
owned restaurant groups. He spent time as executive chef of Mon Ami Gabi, RPM Italian, and RPM Steak, while also helping to develop the RPM Seafood menu.
Chef Battocletti recently started consulting for various hospitality operations, allowing him to pursue his passion for creating new relationships and recipes based on sustainable sourcing.
Chef George Mandakas
Meet Chef George
Growing up only minutes outside of New York City and having access to some of the richest east coast fisheries, George Mandakas has had a life-long relationship with local, sustainable seafood thanks to his love of the ocean and his Greek-American heritage. Following a transition from his previous career as a Corporate Research Scientist investigating the genetic and molecular effects of toxicants and contaminants upon various biological systems, including early research in aquatic toxicology on local fish species around the Hudson River Basin, George’s culinary talents blossomed under the mentorship of James Beard Award winning Chef Kirk Avondoglio, Executive Chef/Owner of Perona Farms, who is known throughout the international restaurant scene for his world famous smoked salmon.
With his passion for fresh, healthy Mediterranean cuisine, George leveraged his unique combination of award-winning culinary talents and scientific experience to bring new dimensions to each of the food concepts in which he became involved, being featured in many print and web media outlets including Travel and Leisure, The New York Times, AM New York, NJ Monthly, HGTV, Greatist.com, Yahoo.com and Jersey Bites, as well as his appearance on ABC-TVs The Chew for his “World’s Best Sandwich”. As a Chef, George has been recognized not only for his balanced and responsible use of modernist techniques with respect to traditional cuisine but also for his passionate support of the development of responsible and renewable food systems, both in sustainable agriculture and fisheries. Championing the use and integration of by-catch, trash and under utilized aquatic species into mainstream restaurant menus, George has spent the bulk of his culinary career demonstrating, educating and preparing innovative seafood dishes for both his welcomed guests as well as his Chef colleagues. Besides his efforts related to the promotion of seafood-based product streams, George is driven by philanthropy and is heavily involved in many community-based partnerships for culinary relief, food rescue and distribution and meal production. These organizations include City Harvest NYC, NJ Foodshed Alliance, Dock to Dish, Manna House, Project Self Sufficiency, Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen and the Borden Avenue Homeless Veterans Shelter.
Professionally, George has shared his culinary vision and culture in some of the NY/NJ area’s best kitchens including his tenure as Chef de Cuisine at Escape, Montclair, NJ; the Executive Chef/Manager of The Blue Olive Market (Kellari Hospitality Group), the first of its kind Greek and Mediterranean inspired gourmet marketplace/cafe/wine bar in Manhattan specializing in fresh, locally-sourced seafood and produce where he developed innovative team and customer-based educational programs designed to showcase the health benefits and history of Greek and Mediterranean cuisine; The Executive Chef of the Boro Hotel and Beebe’s Restaurant in Long Island City; and most recently, Executive Chef, Fordham University (Aramark Corp) where he has instituted newly created Chef-driven healthy menus, Vegan-based food programs, Healthy Cooking Demonstration events, The Kitchen Garden Project and a Chef moderated Dine and Learn Educational Series on the Cognitive benefits of the Mediterranean Diet.
Second only to his dedication to culinary relief and education, is his quest to help develop and promote healthy, responsible and sustainable food systems. As a member of the Forever Oceans Culinary Advisory Board, George is looking forward to lending his culinary expertise and passion for consumer education to the successful growth of this innovative and eco-friendly mariculture endeavor.
Chef Nancy Waldeck
Meet Chef Nancy
Healthy Chef Partyologist Nancy Waldeck’s exuberant approach to healthy cuisine and remarkable wine leads her to deliver over 100 classes a year in interesting locations – from a United States embassy in Africa to corporate offices like Google, Workday and Porsche USA, from hospital wellness centers to classrooms of students and alumni at Emory and Georgia Tech Universities. An author of two cookbooks and an Emory University Certified Health Coach she loves speaking to gatherings from tiny farmers markets to huge international conferences.
A media veteran she hosts “Food Travels with Nancy Waldeck”, a cooking and wine show hosted by Atlanta’s AIB network, has been called “Atlanta’s Favorite Healthy Chef” by Fox 5, and presents monthly healthy cooking and wine pairing segments for NBC’s Atlanta and Company. As part of ongoing efforts in “culinary diplomacy”, in 2018 she served in Russia in collaboration with the USDA and the State Department.
Nancy is a Dame d’Escoffier, member of the Forever Oceans Chef Advisory Board, 2018 Member of the Year of the International Association of Culinary professionals, three-time board member of the Angels on Earth and a member of the Society of Wine Educators.
Her internationally recognized advanced certificate from London’s Wine and Spirits Education Trust allows her to teach both enthusiasts and professionals wine basics and beyond. At the intersection of wine, cuisine and travel is where her expertise and passion meet, connect and result in fascinating and informative classes, tours, stories and more. Come share a glass with a Healthy Chef Partyologist in the kitchen, on the page or on the road. It’s going to be fun!
Chef Peter Spear
Meet Chef Peter
From an early age, I have known that I wanted to be a chef. I grew up in a house of food and beverage household. My father was a chef, and my mother worked the in the front of the of country clubs. I started cooking with my dad when I was 13 years old in his restaurants, most of them where in Florida. Working with him I have cooked in classic Italian restaurants, Greek dinners, beachfront dinners, seafood shacks, and even a couple years in waffle house during the off seasons of the panhandle of Florida.
I currently hold multiple certifications including Certified Executive Chef (CEC) from the American Culinary Federation, Certified Culinary Administrator (CCA) from the American Culinary Federation, a Worlds Certified Executive Chef (WCEC) from the World Association of Chefs, and Pro Chef Level 2 (PCII) from the Culinary Institute of America. I am also preparing for the Certified Master Chef (CMC) I have the plans to take the test on its next cycle. I have over 25 medals in ACF culinary competitions across the United States. I was one of the founding members to help restart the Raleigh NC ACF chapter; I held the position as chapter secretary for the past two years. I also received the American Culinary Federations Presidential Medallion in 2018 one of only 23 chefs to receive this honor last year. I was also awarded the California ACF Presidential Medallion in 2019 from Chef Robert Phillips. I am also the 2020 South Carolina Seafood Winner to represent the state in the National Cooking Competition (Great American Seafood Cook Off). Along with running a culinary program, I work with the local police department and host kids cooking camps 4 to 6 times a year.
Chef Robert Reineken
Meet Chef Robert
Chef Reinken is a 22-year veteran of the hospitality industry.
Originally from southern California, Robert graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte North Carolina with a degree in Foodservice Management. Since college, Robert has spent his culinary career in 4 and 5 diamond hotels on both coasts, as well as some of the top private country clubs in the country. Seafood has always been a large part of his culinary inspiration, especially during his time in Maryland near the Chesapeake and while cooking at resorts on the coast of Southern California.
Chef Andres Prussing
Meet Chef Andres
Born and raised in Santiago, Chile. His love and passion for the culinary world grew in him at a very early age as he enjoyed cooking every weekend passed down recipes from his grandmother. Andres attended culinary school at INACAP in Santiago, graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Culinary Arts and Administration in 2008.
Early in his career Andres discovered his love for challenges and competitions. He won his first two medals: Silver (2006) and Gold (2007) Medal at the Pan-American Culinary Olympics sponsored by WACS in Uruguay, representing his country.
With his drive to keep pushing forward, he left his hometown and started an Internship at EL Cingle, a 2 Michelin Star Restaurant in Barcelona, Spain at the edge of 20. Upon completion of his internship Andres returned to his hometown Chile and began working as an Assistant Corporate Chef for NESTLE Chile, meanwhile in his spare time he created his own catering company Bienenstich.
New opportunities arise and early in 2010 Andres moved to the United States and begun working as restaurant chef at Whitney’s restaurant at the Marriott Miami Dadeland were he was exposed to a variety of international cuisines and styles.
Andres made his presence known in the Miami area and quickly was promoted to Chef Tournant at the JW Marriott in Downtown Miami, where he open a new Coffee Shop Intermezzo and bring back the higher standard working with Chef Daniel Goldich.
In 2013 Andres decided to relocate to the city of Charlotte in North Carolina and start a new journey as Executive Chef for the Hilton Charlotte Center City. While in Charlotte, Andres came back to the competition stage and won several medals in ACF competitions.
Late in 2017 Andres join to the Charlotte Marriott Center City to be part of the new Project “Red Domino” where recently he was promoted as Executive Chef of the hotel overseeing all the Outlets including Stoke, Coco and the Director and Banquets.
Chef Kevin Mitchell
Meet Chef Kevin
Chef Kevin Mitchell’s culinary work embraces traditional American flavors, sumptuous soul food flair and delicate French cuisine. This broad mastery of global and regional techniques earned him the Grumpy Gourmet’s title of “Super Chef.”
Chef Mitchell began his training as a young boy in his grandmother’s kitchen, where he first paid his dues by picking greens – cleaning collard greens, kale and spinach. This experience laid the foundation for his dedication to moving food from the fresh market to a white tablecloth, and he’s steadily climbed up the culinary ranks ever since.
A balance of home teachings with professional training has helped establish Chef Mitchell as the creator of tasty yet healthy fares. Yet his subtlety and refinements were born out of disciplined training earned at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, where he holds two degrees – an Associate degree in Occupational Studies and a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Culinary Arts Management.
In 1996, Chef Mitchell became Chef de Cuisine at the Marble Gang Restaurant and was also inducted into the Columbus Chapter of the American Culinary Federation. Since then, he’s held Sous Chef positions at the Wyandotte Restaurant and the Westin Great Southern Hotel. In 2000, Chef Mitchell became Executive Chef to Cornell University’s most popular dining facility on campus, Willard Straight Dining, which has hosted prestigious events such as “The Cross Country Gourmet,” “Chinese New Year,” “Year of the Snake” and Cornell’s traditional Festival of Black Gospel, infusing a French & Caribbean influence in traditional African American culinary presentations.
In August of 2002 Chef Mitchell dedicated his culinary skills to the Sun Dial Restaurant located in the Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. The restaurant is one of the only to serve prime dry-aged beef.
In August 2004 Chef Mitchell was promoted to the position of Chef de Cuisine and in March 2005 he was promoted to Executive Sous Chef of the Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport Hotel where he oversaw the hotel’s DEMA restaurant and banquet operations. The restaurant featured Asian inspired global cuisine.
In March 2007 Chef Mitchell served as Executive Sous Chef of Seldom Blues Supper Club in downtown Detroit, where he assisted Corporate Chef Jerry Nottage in the day to day kitchen operations. From there Chef Mitchell became Palette Chef at the MGM Grand Detroit Hotel and Casino. There he oversaw all production of a 600 seat Tapas style buffet concept in the Casino with an average cover count of 1500 meals per day.
In December of 2008 Chef Mitchell became the first African American Chef Instructor at the Culinary Institute of Charleston located within Trident Technical College in Charleston, South Carolina. At the Institute Chef Mitchell is involved in designing new curriculum for new students as well as teach classes. Chef Mitchell ran the test kitchen for the Gullah Cuisine cookbook, authored by Chef Charlotte Jenkins of Gullah Cuisine restaurant in Mt. Pleasant, SC., and published by Joggling Board Press. Working with Chef Jenkins, he tested all of the recipes for the book.
In March 2009 became the Executive Director of the BCA Charleston Chapter with its’ inception during the Diversity Dinner in conjunction with Charleston Wine and Food Festival. Chef Mitchell also was Chef Coordinator for Gullah Luncheon, Charleston Wine Food Festival.
In March 2009 Chef Mitchell officially founded the student BCA Chapter at the Dining for Diversity The CIC/BCA Chapter will be working with the Lowcountry Food Bank in its training kitchen, which will provide meals to over 1,000 people in the Food Bank’s Kids Café programs. The students will train participants in kitchen work flow, sanitation, safe food handling methods, and farm-to-table sourcing.
In June 2010 Chef Mitchell was a guest chef at Marvin Wood’s Live Healthy & Thrive Expo,
Atlanta, Ga. Chef Mitchell was also a guest chef at Chef Joe Randall’s Cooking School in Savannah Georgia in September 2010.
In November of 2011 Chef Mitchell earned his Certified Executive Chef designation from the American Culinary Federation as well as his Certified Food Service Educator designation from the Food Service Educators Learning Community.
In April of 2012 Chef Mitchell became the secretary of the newly formed Edna Lewis Foundation, who mission is to honor, cultivate, and preserve, the rich African-American culinary history by offering a variety of events and programs designed to educate, inspire, entertain, and promote a deeper understanding of Southern culinary culture and heritage.
In May of 2013 Chef Mitchell has appointed to the Board of Slow Foods Charleston. Slow Foods Charleston is an 8 year-old, local non-profit convivium (chapter) of Slow Food USA.
Slow Food is an idea, a way of living, and a way of eating. Slow Food Charleston is part of a global grassroots movement that supports, preserves, and promotes local food systems and good nutrition for all. In June of 2018 he was appointed to the national board of directors.
In March of 2015 Chef Mitchell was selected to participate in the James Beard Foundation Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change on Avery Island, Louisiana. The Chefs Boot Camp is a multi-day educational retreat. Each Boot Camp is held at different locations across the country. Participants receive policy and advocacy training while learning about important issues, challenges, and opportunities facing our food system.
In April 2015, Chef Mitchell was Chef Coordinator for Nat Fuller’s Feast, a recreation of a banquet held in Charleston in 1865 by renowned chef and caterer Nat Fuller. The original feast, held at Fuller’s famous Bachelor’s Retreat restaurant, was the first to bring together both black and white patrons to break bread in a celebration of the end of the Civil War.
In November of 2015 Chef Mitchell hosted a “Field Pea Tasting” the he Conducted a tasting of over 20 varieties of field peas to acknowledge the work of George Washington Carver.
In August 2016 Chef Mitchell began his graduate studies at the University of Mississippi and graduated in 2018. There he focused on Southern Foodways, the preservation of Southern ingredients and the history of African Americans in the culinary arts.
In August of 2016 Chef Mitchell also became a Nathalie Dupree Graduate Fellow of the Southern Foodways Alliance. The mission of the SFA is to document, study, and explore the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. Our work sets a welcome table where all may consider our history and our future in a spirit of respect and reconciliation.
In 2017 Chef Mitchell became a member of Slow Food USA Cooks’ Alliance. The Slow Food Cooks’ Alliance is a network uniting cooks around the world who are committed to defending and celebrating biodiversity, food traditions, local cultures, and artisanal food producers.
In 2017 Chef Mitchell was featured in the Emmy nominated Hailstorm Dabney, a documentary based on the life of John Dabney. John Dabney was a renowned African American restauranteur in 19 th -century Richmond Virginia. https://www.hailstormdabney.com/watch
In 2018 Chef Mitchell was appointed to the board of directors for Bread and Butter. Bread and
Butter, a burgeoning nonprofit organization aimed at connecting Charleston’s hospitality industry with the community at large through staffing and service initiatives. Bread and Butter has two goals. One to eliminate the hospitality staff shortage in Charleston by helping organizations place trained, screened workers in jobs and two, Connect the hospitality community with organizations in need and make it easy for them to contribute to ongoing charitable initiatives
In April of 2019 Chef Mitchell hosted a dinner at Drayton Hall called ‘A Night to Remember.
Drayton Hall is a former plantation, where he paid tribute to the African American cooks of Drayton Hall at a Society of 1738 program, by devising a tasteful menu of offerings, borrowed from historical research of the Drayton Papers and enriched by his own expertise as a chef with a deep knowledge of tradition. The accent was on local foods, which were prepared by his students at the Culinary Institute of Charleston
In 2019 Chef was contracted by the University of South Carolina Press to write a book that addresses South Carolina products and dishes. He will write this book with Dr. David Shields, professor at the University of South Carolina.
At the end of 2019 Chef Mitchell was appointed by the governor of South Carolina as a South Carolina Chef Ambassador. Every year, a Chef Ambassador is selected from the state’s four regions: the Upstate, Midlands, Pee Dee, and the Lowcountry. Each Chef Ambassador’s professional creativity and personal style is contributed to an ongoing effort to promote the state’s authentic culinary experiences and encourage the incorporation of buying local into every day meal planning – all while bringing a taste of the Palmetto State to dinner tables across the state and increasing demand for the best of what South Carolina has to offer. The Chef Ambassadors work closely with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) and South Carolina Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT) by attending and participating in a variety of public events, performing cooking demonstrations, taking part in educational discussions on establishing healthy eating habits for children, and showcasing the best of South Carolina’s bounty in both agriculture and tourism.
He is a founding father of the BCA, Bridging Culinary Awareness, formally the Black Culinarian Alliance. Throughout his professional career, Chef Mitchell has maintained a commitment to promoting the value of professionally trained chefs, and he has volunteered his time and talents to various non-profit organizations where he has showcased his culinary skills.
Chef Mitchell has also has held several lectures on his work uncovering the stories of formerly enslaved and freed cooks and his master’s thesis “FROM BLACK HANDS TO WHITE MOUTHS: CHARLESTON’S FREED AND ENSLAVED COOKS AND THEIR INFLUENCE ON THE FOOD OF THE SOUTH”
Chef Robert Mancuso
Meet Chef Robert
Robert J. Mancuso, one of only seventy two Certified Master Chefs in the United States is currently director of culinary operations for a prominent club in the San Francisco Bay area.
A Pennsylvania native, Mancuso brings a wealth of culinary knowledge and skills to the club, having worked for private country clubs, restaurants and hotels in the United States, and being the recipient of numerous national and international culinary awards. A high honors graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York in 1990.
Mancuso’s impressive career began when he personally cooked all private events at The Salish Lodge in Seattle, Washington, where he apprenticed under world-class Master Chef, David Kellaway, CMC. He was later Executive Chef at Timber Hearth Grille, located at the premier Cordillera Resort in Vail, Colorado. He also worked as Executive Chef for the June Creek Grille at the Sonnenalp Golf Club in Vail, Colorado, and as Executive Chef at Colorado’s premier French establishment the Normandy Restaurant in Denver. In 1998 Chef Mancuso joined Bert Cutino at the world famous Sardine Factory restaurant in Monterey California where he presided over successful operations for nearly eight years. Prior to his time in the Bay Area, Chef Mancuso served as Executive Chef of The Country Club in Chestnut Hill, MA.
His outstanding talents warranted membership in the 1996 Culinary Olympic Team USA, which represents 25,000 chefs from the American Culinary Federation and currently 72 countries from the World Association of Cooks Society. Membership on the team afforded Mancuso the opportunity to pursue international studies and participate in culinary competitions in Brazil, England, and Germany. Additional personal honors include 13 gold medals in national and international competitions. He has also been honored by The Les Toques Blanches, an honor society of chefs in the United States, which is affiliated with France and Les Amis d’Escoffier Society.
In October 2010, Chef Mancuso successfully completed eight days of testing to earn the designation of Certified Master Chef. He is now one of 72 certified master chefs in the country. As stated by the American Culinary Federation: The CMC designation is the highest level of certification a chef can receive. It represents the pinnacle of professionalism and skill.
Most recently, in 2020, Chef Mancuso has become a diploma graduate of the Wine and Spirit Education Trust and is the only person in the world to hold the diploma certificate in wine education and certified master chef designation and is equally committed to obtain the final level of the program Master of Wine.
Chef Mancuso has been involved with many charities including Meals on Wheels and has been a featured chef for Leon and Sylvia Panetta’s Annual Evening to Honor Lives in Public Service, to raise funds for their School of Public Policy. He has done television and live demonstrations for many other organizations and has mentored many students in the culinary field.
Chef Charles Carroll
Meet Chef Charles
Chef Charles Carroll is an award-winning chef who travels the world speaking on championship thinking and personal greatness. The past-president of the World Association of Chefs Societies, he’s been lauded by five U.S. presidents for his work with U.S. troops abroad. A luminary of the Culinary Olympics held every four years in Germany, he is currently the executive chef of Houston’s prestigious River Oaks Country Club.
Honors and Accomplishments
- Served on eight United States Culinary Olympic National Teams.
ACF New England Olympic Team in 1988, Gold Medalist; Team USA Northeast 1992, 2nd in World; Team USA National 1993, Basel Switzerland, 3rd in World; Manager of Team USA National Apprentice Team; Team USA 2000 national team, 4 gold and 1 silver; 2004 Manager of the United States Regional Team, 3rd in World and Best in World Category B; coach for 2008 United States Culinary Olympic Team.
- Chef of the Year (1988, 2005)
- ACF President’s Medallion (1989, 1999, 2005 and 2014)
- James Beard Foundation – one of the Great Country Inn Chefs (1993) • Educator of the Year by the ACFEI (1993)
- Central Regional “Good Taste Award” (2006)
- World Master Chefs Association (member- 2000)
- American Academy of Chefs (member- 2001)
- Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs (member- 2002)
- Distinguished Visiting Author Award – Johnson and Wales
- Lifetime Achievement Award- Cordon d’ Or
- Crystal Icon Award – International Special Events Society
- Ambassador- Culinary Institute of America (CIA).
- World Association of Chefs Societies President (2016)
One of Chef Carroll’s proudest moments was creating and producing “Operation HOT” (Honoring Our Troops) in 2011 and again in 2013. Chef Carroll put together a team of 21 celebrities and support team, raised $450,000, assembled 30,000 pounds of show gear, produced a total of 8 shows (2 Vegas-style), and fed 8,000 troops a home-cooked meal in the middle of a war zone in Afghanistan. For his collective efforts in organizing these events, Chef Carroll was recognized by 5 past U.S. presidents and invited to a reception at the White House. In September of 2013 he was presented with the Honorable Order of Saint Martin Award, given to him by the U.S. Army for his significant contributions to soldiers based in the Middle East.
- The Recipe: a Story of Loss, Love and the Ingredients of Greatness
- Leadership Lessons from a Chef: Finding Time to be Great
- Tasting Success: Your Guide to Becoming a Professional Chef
Podcast: The Recipe Podcast: Celebrity Secrets to a Successful Life
Chef Laurent Quenioux
Meet Chef Laurent
Growing up in Sologne, France, Bistro LQ Owner & Executive Chef Laurent Quenioux developed his love of game and wild strawberries with his parents: he would hunt duck, partridge, rabbit and hare with his father, and practice cooking his mother’s recipes at home in the kitchen. When he completed his education, he entered into an apprenticeship in the South of France where, according to Laurent, “everything is about fat duck, goose liver and foie gras.”
After working and honing his skills in some of the finest kitchens in France, Laurent moved to the United States with a team from L’Oasis at La Napoule to open The Regency Club in Los Angeles. In the 80’s, he introduced the celebrated and award-winning 7th Street Bistro in downtown Los Angeles, serving groundbreaking French Nouvelle California cuisine which became a favorite spot for the mayor and Hollywood celebrities. Subway construction led to the closing of the 7th Street Bistro after a decade, and Laurent spent the late 1990s as the Executive Chef for Dodgers Stadium.
In the early 2000s, he returned to his restaurant roots with the debut of the cozy Bistro K in Pasadena, earning accolades for his originality and precision with a revolutionary menu designed to open the senses and minds of his guests to new possibilities, tastes and textures. With the opening of Bistro LQ in July 2009, Laurent brought his edgy style and ingenuity to a larger & more central location in Los Angeles near West Hollywood.
Feeling a need to take new risks and expand his vision, Laurent closed Bistro LQ in Spring of 2011 for a culinary and creative sabbatical. Presently Laurent is working on a biographic book project while cooking at his popular experimental “Fooding” Supper Club @MaMaison and around Los Angeles, London, Paris and Amsterdam.
Chef James Kremer
Meet Chef James
Chef James was raised on Hilton Head Island SC where he developed a love for the Oceans and seafood. Growing up on a resort island has some great advantages, not only the beaches but amazing restaurants where Chef James was able to learn from master chefs and work at some of the best seafood restaurants on the east coast. Chef James continued his education at the world renowned French Culinary Institute, NY, NY where he graduated with distinction and has gone on to earn his Certified Executive Chef certificate along with being one of only 660 American Academy of Chefs Members in the world. Chef James has taken his talent’s around the US leading the culinary teams at premier private country clubs in Savannah, GA- Montgomery IL, Bluffton SC, Peoria IL and now in the Chicagoland area where he is the Executive Chef of the Hinsdale Golf Club. When Chef James is not at work he volunteers his time at local charitable organizations having raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help feed those that need help. Chef James has a supportive wonderful family including his wife Maria of 22 years, two young sons ages 18 and 13 and an overly friendly Golden Retriever named Max. Chef James has served as President of several local ACF chapters and is the Current President of the Club Chefs of America, Greater Chicago Chapter.
Chef Matthew Vasquez
Meet Chef Matthew
Chef Matthew Vasquez is a Corporate Executive Chef working with some of the largest food companies in the United States. His passion for advocating culinary sustainability has been very apparent over the past decade. His dedication to raising awareness and promoting sustainable solutions for both sea and land-based food supplies has led his ongoing passion in supporting some of the largest food services companies in the country to adopt sustainable food practices.
Chef Matthew has made it his mission to educate the food industry, as well as the home cook, about simple and effective methods for cooking and eating fresh, seasonable, and sustainable foods.
While tending to his ever-growing garden Chef Matthew has become a passionate fermenter and preservationist in traditional cooking methods. He lives in Florida with his wife Kristy and their dog Chico.
Chef William Mouchet
Meet Chef Mouchet
William Mouchet is a native of North Carolina and a professionally trained chef in multiple Michelin starred restaurants. He is a graduate of Johnson and Wales University. He holds a B.S. in Hospitality & Food Service Management. While attending school he had the pleasure to compete in a small number of collegiate level culinary competitions with the guidance of Chef Mark Allison, the former Dean of Culinary Arts Education.
He is experienced in the most innovative cooking techniques the culinary profession is using as of today. William has a keen attention detail and applies a refined approach to cuisine. He has a rich background in working with the highest quality seafood on the global market.
His first professional culinary job was working with Mike Lata at his highly acclaimed seafood restaurant The Ordinary in Charleston S.C., where all the seafood and shellfish was sustainably caught and raised in the coastal South Carolina waters. Upon leaving The Ordinary in 2014 he moved to California and worked at Bouchon Bistro, Thomas Keller’s classic French Bistro located in Napa California.
In 2015 William took a position at world-renowned The French Laundry restaurant where he was eventually promoted to the position of sous chef. While at the restaurant one of his duties was to purchase all the seafood that the restaurant used. He had the opportunity to work with many seafood purveyors and sustainable aquaculture farms that provided some of the highest quality seafood on the global market.
While working at Bouchon Bistro and The French Laundry he was asked to be a team member of the Bocuse d’Or culinary competition. The Bocuse d’Or is a prestigious global culinary competition that is held every two years, it has been dubbed “the culinary Olympics”. His role was team assistant in 2015 and team sous chef in 2017. It involved training and organizing the team to compete in the competition. Ultimately, they placed 2nd in 2015, and 1st in 2017, both historic moments for each team in that they were the 1st Americans to place that high on the podium in the history of the competition.
William has since left The French Laundry and moved to coastal Southern California to work on independent restaurant projects.
Chef George Georgiades
Meet Chef Georgiades
Chef Ron Duprat
Meet Chef Duprat
Chef Masa Endo
Meet Chef Endo
What makes Chef Masa happiest is see other people’s happy smiles. As he believes in “Continuation will become a force”, he would continue to strive whenever he encountered adversities. That was how he developed his skills in cooking and hospitality.
In 1996, he decided to come to the US where, a dream of his ever since he visited US to study abroad while studying at university. He landed in LA, where he had studied before, and was very fascinated by the culture of the movies and music.
The restaurant where he got his very first job was a small sushi bar in Santa Monica and was a very busy restaurant, providing traditional sushi along with new creative rolls. The owner/chef encouraged him to be an apprentice of sushi chef. At first, he wasn’t quite interested in becoming a sushi chef. He didn’t like sushi or fish at all, but he had no choice, if he didn’t take the position, he would have to pack up and fly back home. Chef Masa accepted the position with a bit of reluctance, however, soon enough he discovered that being a sushi chef was his dream job.
Since he had an experience in working at both front and back of the house, and loved both in different ways, by working as a sushi chef, he could enjoy both part of the positions at the same time! That is where Chef Masa began his new chapter as a sushi chef.
Chef Norman Van Aken
Meet Chef Van Aken
“Before the celebrity chef craze… before the start of Food Network, Norman Van Aken was starting a revolution. He was doing something unheard of at the time, taking local ethnic flavors, merging them together at restaurants where he worked.” — The Smithsonian
Norman Van Aken is best known for introducing “fusion” into the lexicon of global cookery. He is also known as “the founding father of New World Cuisine” – a celebration of Latin, Caribbean, Asian, American and African flavors thus pioneering a new, visionary way of cooking in America. He is the only Floridian Chef inducted into the prestigious James Beard Foundation’s list of “Who’s Who in American Food and Beverage”. He was a 2016 MenuMasters Hall of Fame inductee along with previous winners Wolfgang Puck and Jacques Pépin.
Van Aken is a James Beard semi-finalist for “Best Chef in America” and his namesake restaurant NORMAN’S, in Coral Gables, was a finalist for “Outstanding Restaurant in America.” The only one thus far in the entire state of Florida. He founded NORMAN’S at the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando in 2003, a semi-finalist for “Outstanding Restaurant in America” in 2019. The restaurant is in the process moving to the Dr. Phillips area of Orlando into a larger, more modern space within the Dellagio Town Center.
He has received myriad accolades over the years, and has represented the United States with international recognitions that include being honored alongside Alice Waters, Paul Prudhomme and Mark Miller as one of the “Founders of New American Cuisine” at Spain’s International Summit of Gastronomy ‘Madrid Fusión’ (2006) He represented the State of Florida at the USA Pavilion at EXPO Milano/World’s Fair.
Van Aken has shared his cooking and career, authoring six cookbooks (Feast of Sunlight; The Exotic Fruit Book; Norman’s New World Cuisine; New World Kitchen; My Key West Kitchen; Norman Van Aken’s Florida Kitchen) and a memoir (No Experience Necessary… The Culinary Odyssey of Chef Norman Van Aken). His cookbooks have been hailed by Anthony Bourdain, Charlie Trotter, Thomas Keller, Emeril Lagasse, Daniel Boulud, Eric Ripert, and Wolfgang Puck. His memoir captured the attention of the prestigious IACP/Julia Child Award and received a ‘finalist nomination’ along with Michael Pollan, Anne Willan and Luke Barr. His latest published book, Norman Van Aken’s My Florida Kitchen, was selected to represent the USA in the local category of the Gourmand International World Cookbook Awards and has been awarded the Florida Book Award’s Gold Medal for Cooking. In 2020 he began donating his personal collection of papers, menus, photographs, letters, etc. to the Otto G. Richter Library at the University of Miami special collections. He has joined other famous Floridians Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, Charles Deering and Janet Reno in this culturally and community enriching way.
Chef Van Aken has appeared on various television shows from CNN’s “Parts Unknown” with Anthony Bourdain to “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” He is often cited as a culinary expert in publications such as The New York Times and Saveur. Additionally, Van Aken is the host of “A Word on Food” a radio show that airs weekly on WLRN (NPR) from Palm Beach to Key West. When he is not in the kitchen, he can be found spending time with his wife, Janet; son, Justin; daughter-in-law Lourdes; and his pride and joy, his granddaughter, Audrey Quinn Van Aken.
Chef Ashten Garrett
Meet Chef Garrett
When Chef Ashten was three years old, his parents bought him a fully equipped toy kitchen and his own set of pots and utensils. The microwave had a bell, the refrigerator dispensed water and the stove burners turned orange like a flame. He was hooked! Most kids outgrow the pots and pans stage, but not Chef Ashten. Later, he received an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas and baked all the desserts in one day. Through the glass paneled oven door, he watched in amazement as the batter transformed into something delicious. Eventually, he advanced to the authentic pots and pans in his mother’s kitchen and also enrolled in culinary classes during summer breaks. It is while participating in those classes that his passion for cooking was firmly established.
In preparation for college, Chef Ashten enrolled in the Chef Prep and Hospitality Management Program at his high school. This opportunity helped him tremendously, as it provided hands-on experience in a professional kitchen. While participating in this program, Chef Ashten was inducted into the National Technical Honors Society and National Honors Society in recognition of his achievements in the areas of scholarship, leadership, responsibility, citizenship, and commitment to the culinary field. Outside of his accomplishments in culinary arts, he was captain of the varsity football team and participated in various volunteer activities. Summers during Chef Ashten’s high school years were spent working at a fine dining restaurant and a catering service where he gained valuable experience from being introduced to numerous departments within the restaurant industry.
After high school, Chef Ashten graduated Summa Cum Laude from Johnson and Wales University in Miami, Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management and an Associate of Arts Degree in Culinary Arts. During his senior year he studied throughout Italy, where he immersed himself in the culture and learned to create authentic Italian cuisine. Following his study abroad, Chef Ashten was one of seven students chosen from a competitive field of 800 applicants, to return to Italy to participate in a program called the Tuttotoscana Study Away Program/James Beard Foundation. This experience involved three weeks of intense study in Florence, Italy and one week that included both instruction and presentation at the James Beard House in New York City. Ashten has also traveled to Spain and France cultivating his palate and culinary techniques while creating innovative and entrancing dishes.
Upon graduation, Chef Ashten was selected to participate in the Culinary Arts Manager in Training Program at the Marriott International Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio, where he is currently employed as the Senior Culinary Arts Manager. In May of 2019, Chef Ashten earned top honors by competing against five other culinarians in the Marriott International Masters of the Craft Culinary Arts Competition held in Cleveland, Ohio.
In February 2020, Chef Ashten was invited to return to Florence, Italy to compete in Federazione Italiana Cuochi Campionati Della Cucina Italiana 2020. This is a global competition sponsored by The World Association of Chefs Societies. Talented chefs attended from all over the world to compete. After six days of challenging lectures, dish composition, recipe development and practice, the team and Chef Ashten traveled to Rimini, Italy to prepare and present their dishes. They won The Bronze Medal for their creations.
After several taxing interviews, Chef Ashten was selected to compete on Food Network’s show, Guy’s Grocery Games. The episode was titled America’s Next Chefs. Contestants were given mandatory ingredients and a shopping cart. Contestants literally had to run around Guy’s supermarket (Flavortown), gathering additional ingredients of their choosing, in order to create individual dishes to present to the judges. Each round was a race against the clock. Contestants were given full access to all equipment and had their choice of preparation techniques to assist in completing the challenge. After three demanding and highly competitive rounds, Chef Ashten finished in first place! The episode aired March 18, 2020.
Chef Ashten has always dreamed of studying at a Michelin Star restaurant and in February 2020 that dream came true. He was awarded a grant from the prestigious Ment’or BKB Foundation in conjunction with Sysco Foods to train for two months at any Michelin restaurant in the world. This experience will take place in 2021.
Ashten has been recognized and awarded for his multiple culinary and hospitality achievements in various organizations, including the James Beard Foundation, National Black Chef’s Association, and the American Culinary Federation. He has been featured in multiple publications including the NEWH magazine, ACF’s Sizzle magazine and the JWU Alumni Associated Press.
Chef Ashten is a member of the American Culinary Federation, American Culinary Federation Young Chefs Club, National Society of Minorities in Hospitality, American Hotel and Lodging Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
In Chef Ashten’s spare time, he enjoys reading, exercising, being outdoors, traveling, trying new foods, writing recipes, and hanging out with friends and family. Chef Ashten looks forward to networking with other chefs and hospitality professionals, studying and growing within the fascinating fields of cooking and hospitality, while expanding his passion for the culinary arts.
Ashten M. Garrett