2017 CELEBRITY CHEFS
Hubert Keller, a Frenchman classically trained by France’s top Chefs, is now one of America’s most widely recognized and acclaimed chefs. Chef Keller reside in Las Vegas, where he operates Fleur by Hubert Keller, featuring his contemporary French cooking accented with cuisine around the world. With his palate-attuned to America’s evolving tastes, Chef Keller launchedhis widely popular Burger Bar Restaurants in Las Vegas, San Francisco and Beijing.
He has won numerous awards including the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef: California and has been elected to the Foundation’s prestigious Who’s Who in Food and Beverage. Food and Wine magazine tapped him as one of the Ten Best Chefs in America, and Restaurant & Institutions gave him its Ivy Award.
Chef Keller has cooked for several United States Presidents and was the first guest chef invited to the White House to personally prepare his sophisticated menu to President Clinton and his family. Chef Keller is also know for his performance as a judge on Top Chef as well as for his grace-under-pressure performance as a contestant in the first season of Top Chef Masters on Bravo. Chef Keller was as well a resident judge on Top Chef Just Desserts on Bravo.
Keller appears frequently in the media including appearances on “The Chew” on ABC, “Regis & Kelly” on ABC, “Rachel Ray”, “The Travel Channel“, “ The Food Channel Network”, “The Real House Wife’s from Orange County”, “Good Morning America”, and “Bizarre Foods” with Andrew Zimmern. Chef Keller’s own cooking show, Secrets of a Chef, airs on PBS and is currently in Season 4.
Dubbed a “Rebel with a Cuisinart” in the New York Times for his early championing of original, multi-course vegetarian menu in a 4-start setting. Chef Keller consistently cooks with a light hand and an eye on health. This led to his developing recipes for inclusion in Dr. Dean Ornish’s best selling cookbook, Eat More, Weigh Less.
Chef Keller’s own cookbooks include The Cuisine of Hubert Keller (Ten Speed Press) and Burger Bar, Build your Own Burgers (Willey0. And his latest cookbook “Souvenirs” Memoires, Stories and Recipes from My Life, written with Penelope Wisner, (Andrews McMeel) released October 2012.
Richard Blais is a successful chef, restaurateur, James Beard nominated cookbook author and television personality. Perhaps most recognizable as a recurring judge on Bravo’s Top Chef and the winner of Top Chef All-Stars, Blais grew up on Long Island working as a “poissonier” at McDonald’s. It was here where he first dabbled in deconstruction in cuisine, serving filet-o-fish sandwiches sans top bun. Blais went on to graduate from the Culinary Institute of America and train at The French Laundry, Daniel, Chez Panisse, and el Bulli.
Blais currently owns and operates Trail Blais, a forward-thinking culinary company that has consulted on, designed, and operated popular eateries including multiple outposts of Flip Burger Boutique. In San Diego, where he currently resides, Blais is a partner at the popular Juniper & Ivy and Crack Shack restaurants, which will be expanding to 4 locations in the coming months.
Early 2017 will bring Blais’ second cookbook, So Good (May 16, 2017), and the introduction of Man vs Master on the FYI Network.
In addition to Top Chef, Blais regularly appears on Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen, Guy’s Grocery Games, Cooks vs. Cons, and Celebrity Food Fight. He will also be appearing this fall on FOX’s MasterChef and MasterChef Junior.
He resides with his wife Jazmin and their two daughters Riley and Embry. When not behind the stove, Blais may be found training for his next marathon, working on his next cookbook or cheering on his favorite English Premiere League soccer team.
Nobu Matsuhisa is the creative force behind Nobu Restaurants, coupling time-honored classic Japanese dishes with inventive new flavors and cooking techniques. Chef Nobu’s cuisine pays homage to his formative years as a Tokyo sushi restaurant apprentice while celebrating his later travels in South America, where experimentation in local spices and cooking techniques created the foundation for his contemporary Japanese culinary style. Chef Nobu assesses both the quality and availability of fish and sushi chefs at each potential new restaurant location. His ability to source promising sushi chef candidates ensures a rich talent pool for the Nobu Restaurants network. As Nobu Restaurants has expanded around the globe, Chef Nobu has increased his focus on quality control, undertaking among the sushi chefs. Chef Nobu is also responsible for teaching his new fishes to head chefs across the Nobu network, passing along his cutting edge culinary innovations without sacrificing consistency.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Brooke Williamson has carved out an impressive résumé full of leading roles and professional achievement, such as being the youngest female chef to ever cook at the James Beard House. Although officially beginning her career at the young age of 17, Williamson always wanted to be a chef for as long as she can remember. “I love creating things that make people happy, and I’ve found that food genuinely does that,” she explains.
Williamson began her culinary career as a teacher’s assistant at the Epicurean Institute of Los Angeles, followed by securing her first kitchen position as a pastry assistant at Fenix at the Argyle Hotel, under the tutelage of Michelin-starred Chef Ken Frank. Her undeniable star quality and concentrated creative energy brought her to Chef Michael McCarty’s nationally acclaimed restaurant Michael’s of Santa Monica, where she worked her way up from line cook to being their youngest sous chef. Desiring to travel and experience other restaurants, Williamson later staged at the renowned Daniel restaurant by Chef and Owner Daniel Boulud in New York City. Two years later, Williamson was appointed her first executive chef position at the notable Los Angeles restaurant Boxer. Following that, she opened the Brentwood eatery Zax as Executive Chef, where she began to develop her signature California-inspired cuisine—infused with local ingredients, global flavors, and centered around the idea that simplicity goes a long way. While at Zax, she also met her husband and business partner Nick Roberts.
The two opened their first independent venture together a couple years later, Amuse Café in Venice, followed by Beechwood restaurant soon after, earning them the title of “Rising Star Chefs” from StarChefs in 2004. Although both are now closed, in 2009, the wife and husband team opened Hudson House, an elevated gastropub in Redondo Beach, followed by The Tripel in 2011, a modern American and craft beer dining destination in the neighboring beachfront community of Playa del Rey. During that time, Williamson became certified by The Court of Master Sommeliers, given her strong interest in wine that first sparked in the early 2000s after traveling extensively through France and Spain. In 2014, the culinary couple debuted a unique four-in-one-concept, Playa Provisions, featuring a grab-and-go marketplace, King Beach; an artisanal ice cream shop, Small Batch; a seafood dining spot, Dockside; and an intimate whiskey bar, Grain. Williamson was a runner-up on Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 10 in Seattle, which catapulted her career and led to her participating in other national shows like Bravo’s “Top Chef Duels,” Esquire network’s “Knife Fight” (where she took home the win), and starring as the host and mentor on MTV’s “House of Food.” In June 2015, Williamson and Roberts opened Tripli-Kit, a culinary-focused retail store, selling unique kitchen gadgets, cookbooks, and other cooking essentials. In October 2016, the duo debuted their fifth venture in Playa Vista, a fast casual, Hawaiian concept called Da Kikokiko, celebrating Hawaii’s popular street foods, including: poké, shave ice, and musubi. During her day-to-day operations, she works alongside Roberts creating new menus, running the front and back of the house, and managing their multiple concepts.
When she finds time outside of her many ventures, Williamson stays active by running, bike riding, and playing chase with her 8-year-old son, Hudson.
Chef Fabio Viviani has possessed a passion for food since his childhood growing up in Florence, Italy. Between his training in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine at IPSSAR Saffi and working with culinary luminaries such as Alessandro Panzani and Saverio Carmagini, Viviani owned and operated five restaurants in Florence, a farm house, and two nightclubs by the time he was 27. Although a well-respected businessman in Italy, he was ready for a change and in 2005, Viviani moved to Ventura County, CA, where he opened Café Firenze in Moorpark, CA.
Teaming up with one of Chicago’s most innovative restaurant consulting groups, Dine|Amic, Viviani went on to open Siena Tavern in Chicago in 2013, receiving accolades from Michigan Avenue and Chicago Tribune, to name a few. The year 2014 saw the debut of both Mercato by Fabio Viviani, a quick-service Italian concept with branches in Chicago and San Diego, and Fabio Viviani Wine Collection featuring wines from his two wineries in California. In 2015, Viviani continued to make a name for himself in Chicago by opening Bar Siena and Prime & Provisions. The following year, Viviani expanded beyond Chicago to open Osteria by Fabio Viviani at the LAX Delta Terminal and several other Mercato by Fabio locations in Tempe, Phoenix, Cleveland, and Benton Harbor. He plans to open a Detroit branch in March 2017, hot on the heels of his February 2017 opening of Portico by Fabio Viviani in the del Lago Resort & Casino in Tyre, NY. Moreover, in late 2016, he purchased a lobster fishing company in Maine to launch a home seafood delivery service called Lobster by Fabio.
Perhaps best known for his television debut on Bravo’s hit reality series Top Chef—earning the “Fan Favorite” title—his on-screen appearances have propelled him to become one of the fastest growing household names in the country. He is a recurring guest on national television shows such as Good Morning America, The Rachael Ray Show, The Chew, and countless Food Network Shows such as Cutthroat Kitchen: All-Star Tournament, which he won. In February 2017, he also released his own online cooking show, “Fabio’s Kitchen,” a 52-episode series hosted on YouTube.
Off-screen, Viviani is a regular headliner at global food events and festivals. He also has his own lines of cookware and culinary gadgets, and has been a proud spokesman for international brands such as Arnold Premium Breads, Bialetti Cookware, Bertolli, Johnsonville Sausage, and Legends of Europe. He has authored three successful cookbooks: Café Firenze Cookbook, New York Times Best- Seller Fabio’s Italian Kitchen and Fabio’s American Home Kitchen and is planning to release his fourth cookbook, Fabio’s 30-Minute Italian, in May 2017.
Among Viviani’s other passions, he has a knack for business and entrepreneurship. A prolific tech investor and business speaker, not only has he delivered over 300 keynotes in the past 7 years, but he has also featured at several Fortune 500 companies’ corporate functions to share expertise in branding, social media, and marketing. In 2016, Viviani launched his Know-How Leadership Academy, an online educational platform with guides and courses for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Most recently, he merged his mind for innovation with his passion for food when he collaborated with Chicago-based Sapphire Apps to release Food Porn Emoji by Chef Fabio Viviani, the first HD food emoji keyboard on the app market.
His varied accomplishments have impressed many, resulting in his induction into the Chicago Culinary Museum and Chefs Hall of Fame as 2017 Chef of the Year on March 8, 2017. Following Viviani’s initiation, the mayor of Chicago also declared March 8, 2017 to be Chef Fabio Viviani Day in Chicago, encouraging Chicagoans to recognize his achievements and contributions not only to his home city of Chicago, but also to the nation’s culinary scene.
Chef Casey Thompson, a native Texan, spearheads a number of culinary endeavors: three-time Bravo “Top Chef” competitor, culinary consultant for California wineries, international wine ambassador, food-centric world traveler, and, of course, chef, for upcoming concepts in the Southwest and on the West Coast. Her culinary personality fosters the union of Southern cuisine and hospitality with market-fresh ingredients sourced humanely from local farmers. In support of ethical animal treatment, Thompson places priority on sourcing sustainably raised and butchered meat and seafood. “I believe in big, bold, adventurous flavors rather than subtle or nuanced tones,” she says. “I want people to have fun while they’re eating,” says Thompson.
Born and raised in Texas, Thompson’s lifelong affinity for food sparked at a young age in her family’s kitchen, where she experimented with different recipes alongside her grandmothers, learning and creating within their distinct Southern and French culinary perspectives. Mansion on Turtle Creek, a Dallas mainstay then led by renowned chef Dean Fearing, provided Thompson’s foray into the industry as a prep cook, and saw her excel through the ranks for four years to earn the sous chef position. She then signed on as executive chef for Shinsei, a Pan-Asian restaurant in Dallas from Dean Fearing’s wife, Lynae, and veteran restaurateur Tracy Rathbun.
In 2007, Bravo network approached Thompson to appear on “Top Chef” season three, which she finished as runner-up and fan favorite. She came back to the hit show for its eighth season, “Top Chef: All-Stars,” and graces the show again for season 14, filmed in Charleston, SC. “Before Top Chef, I never thought of myself as competitive,” she explains. “It revealed my capabilities, taught me how to handle pressure and work with others, and introduced a flood of new inspirations.”
With her first experience on “Top Chef” complete, Thompson moved to Northern California in 2008, consulting with numerous wineries to pair their varietals with locally sourced dishes, and jetting off to places like Australia and Thailand to garner insight and inspiration from disparate cultures and cuisines.
She went on to launch Brownstone restaurant in Ft. Worth, TX in 2010, become the U.S. Ambassador for Moët-Hennessy’s Terrazas de los Andes Argentinian wine, and partner in San Francisco’s Aveline restaurant in 2014, while consulting for other culinary concepts in the Bay Area and beyond. The chef now joins San Diego’s The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe as executive chef, presenting a contemporary locavore menu with Texan influences, and extends her culinary expertise to Santa Fe, NM at the upcoming boutique El Rey Inn.
With culinary projects sprinkled across the country, Thompson roots herself in California’s Napa Valley, where her husband, Michael DeSantis, operates Harumph Wines. The couple resides with their 90-pound Labradoodle, Sam, and enjoys the outdoors and traveling abroad.
Born and raised in Beijing China, Chef Shirley Chung was exposed to international cuisine at an early age by her grandmother, Liang Si Yi, former Director of The Red Cross in China. Shirley immigrated to America at age 17 for college and worked in Silicon Valley for a few years after graduating. Shirley decided to follow her passion for food so she left her career in high tech behind and enrolled in California Culinary Academy San Francisco. She is trained in classic French and Italian cuisine, worked and opened restaurants for Thomas Keller, Guy Savoy and Mario Batali. After she opened CarneVino as Chef de Cuisine for the Batali group, CarneVino earned multiple awards for Best Steak House internationally. Prior to being a finalist on season 11 of “Top Chef” in New Orleans, she held the Executive Chef Position at China Poblano, by Jose Andres, which was nominated for the Best New Restaurant Award by the James Beard Foundation in 2011. While working at China Poblano, she fell in love with Mexican cuisine and learned more about her own heritage. In 2014, Shirley opened a restaurant in Orange County, Twenty Eight, featuring modern Chinese cuisine. Recently, Shirley has been competing on season 14 of BravoTV’s Top Chef. She used this opportunity to showcase her Chinese American Cuisine during the competition and she was rewarded by being named the runner up of Top Chef. Shirley is currently working on opening her next concept in Los Angeles. Steamers Co. is a fast-casual counter service seafood driven restaurant with an oyster bar.
Venezuelan-born restaurateur, TV personality, TV producer, philanthropist and published author Lorena Garcia is currently one of the country’s leading chefs, well known for numerous TV series, a successful chain of restaurants, and cookbooks. On the heels of the success of her first cookbook, Lorena Garcia’s New Latin Classics, Garcia has taken her love of cooking to the next level by creating the Lorena Bella Kitchen Collection for HSN.
Garcia first embraced a love of food as a child, at family gatherings while growing up in Caracas, Venezuela. Garcia originally planned to be a lawyer, finishing her associate degree and paralegal studies while learning English, but she soon realized her heart was not in it. Garcia left the legal world behind her and enrolled at Johnson & Wales University, graduating with a
Bachelors degree in culinary arts and more recently received an honorary doctorate degree in culinary arts. With a world of choices ahead, she set out on a tour of countries known for great cuisine. In Paris she took her first job as an apprentice at the Ritz-Carlton, subsequently working her way through Italy, Japan, Korea, Thailand and China. Returning to the U.S., she spent three years under acclaimed chef Pascal Oudin at the Grand Bay Hotel. She continued to hone her chops, and helped prepare a few, doing time at Jeffery Chodorow’s China Grill and Red Square.
In July 2002 Garcia took the leap and opened her own restaurant, Food Café, and then Elements Tierra, two successful restaurants in Miami’s Design District that featured an eclectic mix of Latin and Asian-inspired dishes (both sold in 2008). Recognizing a need for great comfort food for stressed-out travelers, in February 2011 she brought her talents as an executive chef to
Miami International Airport (in American Airlines terminal) with the opening of Lorena Garcia Cocina, a healthier take on traditional Latin cuisine. She opened her second traveler’s restaurant in August 2012 at the Atlanta International Airport (Delta International). Garcia’s third restaurant TAPAS Y COCINA by Lorena Garcia opened September 2016 in Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport. In addition to Garcia’s restaurants, the Lorena Garcia Culinary Loft located in Miami, FL is available for private events and television productions.
Garcia’s latest restaurant project together with 50 eggs is CHICA Las Vegas at the Venetian Hotel slated to open Spring 2017. Expect an exciting diverse menu that draws inspiration from classic renditions and give guests the opportunity to explore the flavors of Latin American cuisine as one culture, with influences from Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, among many more.
HMS Host, a global leader in creating dining experiences for travel venues, such as train stations and airports. The company operates in 112 airports around the globe, including the 20 busiest in North America, 99 travel plazas on motorways throughout the U.S. and Canada, and operates the destination retail stores at the Empire State Building and Space Center Houston. Garcia is
now the consultant for HSM Host’s proprietary brands, working in menu consulting and recipe development along with other top celebrity chefs including, Rick Bayless, Todd English, Wolfgang Puck, Kathy Casey and David Burke. Garcia will now bring her delicious Latin flavor to travelers with Lorena Garcia Tapas, an eatery available at several international airports.
Given her Latin upbringing and charismatic personality, Garcia was first offered the chance to showcase her skills on Telemundo, Gems and Mundo TV, hosting the shows “Vida Gourmet,” “Cocine Mundos,” “De Mañanita” and “El Arte del Buen Gusto,” as well as the Utilisima/FoxLife series “Sazón con Lorena Garcia”, “Lorena en su Salsa” and Emmy-nominated “El mejor de los peores.” Garcia competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters,” season four among a dozen award-winning chefs for the title and $100,000 for their charity of choice. Garcia has also served as a judge on “Cocineros
al limite,” and Telemundo’s “Top Chef: Estrellas”. More recently Garcia has appeared on NBC’s “Food Fighters” season one and on Food Network’s “Guys Grocery Games.” Garcia also appeared on Bravo’s “Recipe for deception” and the 2nd season of NBC’s Food Fighters.
Food Hunters, produced in collaboration with Viacom, Garcia and Cinemat is a new and innovative format for kids. The show is currently in its first season and premiered on Nickelodeon Latin America, October 16, 2016. Garcia also worked as consulting producer and had acting appearances for Nickelodeon Latin America’s new scripted series “Toni la chef” and the English language series titled “Talia in the kitchen.”
Garcia would go on to become one of the best-known Latin chefs in America as well, with appearances on Bravo as a guest chef on its “Top Chef All-Stars,” on NBC as a chef on “The Biggest Loser” and a judge and investor on “America’s Next Great Restaurant.” Garcia has also been featured on the CNN special documentary “Latinos in America” and as a guest on such talk
programs as “Queen Latifah,” “The Talk,” “The Chew” and “The Today Show.”
Garcia created “Big Chef, Little Chef” as a comprehensive non-profit program to help children and their families take control of their eating habits and, ultimately, their lives. At the Clinton Foundation’s Health Matters: Activating Health in Every Generation conference, Garcia pledged to lend her expertise to create healthier recipes available free to any school in the country, partnering with The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation was also her charity of choice for “Top Chef Masters.”
Her recipes are featured in periodicals such as People Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Saveur, and even business magazines such as Kiplinger’s and Entrepreneur. Garcia’s first cookbook, Lorena Garcia’s New Latin Classics: Fresh Ideas for Favorite Dishes (Ballantine Books) gives traditional and often complex Latin dishes a healthier, simpler makeover. Garcia teaches home cooks everywhere how to wow family and friends with delicious New Latin dishes and how to add a Latin accent to many others. Spanish language edition Lorena Garcia’s Nuevos Clasicos Latinos was released on April 7, 2015. Her second cookbook Lorena Garcia’s New Taco Classics, released on September 29th, 2015 in both English and Spanish language editions.
In addition to her cookbooks, Garcia decided to take her love of helping others to cook at home a step further, with her new cookware line, the Lorena Bella Kitchen Collection available for purchase on HSN, HSN.com and HSN mobile. Her line features Oven to Table Serve ware By Corningware®, inter-twining tradition and function in chic colors and multi-function products designed to save time and energy in the kitchen while making cooking approachable and more fun.
The Lorena Bella Collection also includes Ceramic Cookware and Bakeware with HSN Exclusive Innovative Technolon+ Ceramic Non-Stick Technology, a patented ceramic based nano non-stick technology, health conscious cookware that is PTFE and PFOA free, environmentally friendly, using less energy to manufacture, scratch, abrasion and heat resistant, lightweight, dishwasher safe, all available in chic colors making a stylish and modern collection with a splash Latin flair.
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 Blue Door Kitchen and Garden, Southern Art and Bourbon Bar, 1500 South at the Naples Bay Resort and his latest restaurant Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.
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.
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; Back to the Family; and Art Smith’s Healthy Comfort, with a focus on healthy cooking and healthy living, 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 March of 2016 his latest cookbook Smart Cooking was released in conjunction of his line of the Chef Art Smith Smartbowl Cooking System.
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.
In 2015 Smith launched a non-profit organization, Reunion, Florida Garden and Kitchen School, in Madison FL at the historic Wardlaw-Smith House near his childhood home in Jasper, FL. At Reunion students of all ages receive free classes on southern cooking traditions, horticulture, and weather forecasting via Weather Stem systems.
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 Zumy, Zuky, Brando and Angel, and of course three dogs, seven cats, 15 fish and a couple of turtles.
Amar is the Executive Chef and Partner at the famed Broadway By Amar Santana in Laguna Beach, Ca and Vaca in Costa Mesa, Ca). Born in the Dominican Republic, Santana immigrated to the US at age 13 and began his culinary career at 16. He was mentored by some of the worlds most renowned chefs helping him develop his skills of expressing his passion through food. He as earned many accolades throughout his career, most recently Bravo’s Top Chef Season 13 runner up. By combining flavors and culinary traditions from all over the world, Chef Amar provides a truly unforgettable gastronomical experience.
Chef Brian Malarkey has created more than a dozen wildly successful restaurants across the United States including Herb & Wood, his newest concept in San Diego’s buzzing gastronomic neighborhood of Little Italy, which Zagat named one of 2016’s biggest restaurant openings and the San Diego Union Tribune is calling, “the most thoughtful, exquisitely executed, stylish restaurant of the year.” Malarkey’s other restaurants, under the management of Hakkasan Group – a worldwide entertainment, dining, nightlife, and hospitality company, include Searsucker (San Diego, Del Mar, Austin, Las Vegas) and Herringbone (La Jolla, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Las Vegas). He is also the partner/operator of three healthy, fast-service restaurants in San Diego named Green Acre, and Farmer & The Seahorse and chef/partner of Herb & Eatery, a market and cafe, connected to Herb & Wood. He is a regular judge on Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games, makes regular appearances on the Today Show, and was a Top Chef finalist and a winning mentor on ABC’s The Taste.
Chef Rick Moonen has been featured in Food & Wine, SAVEUR, Bon Appetit, Food Arts, USA Today, Travel + Leisure, and seen on Food Network’s Best Thing I Ever Ate, Top Chef, Top Chef Masters, TODAY, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Dan Rather Reports, and CNN. In addition, he has received numerous awards for his tireless efforts towards sustainability including Chef of the Year by the Monterey Bay Aquarium in 2011; and Humanitarian of the Year by the American Culinary Federation in 2013. In 2014, he was appointed to Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Blue Ribbon Task Force as one of the top twenty leading culinarians; and honored with the prestigious Vegas Dozen award by Saks Fifth Avenue, Green spun Media Group, and Keep Memory Alive. Using the finest treasures from the sea, Rick Moonen’s rm seafood features an all-American menu in a casual atmosphere, located in fabulous Las Vegas. Rick is a celebrated seafood chef and an early champion of sustainable fishing practices. In 2010, Rick was a finalist in the second season of Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.”
Chef Katsuji Tanabe is the son of a Japanese father, and Mexican mother. Born and raised in Mexico City, Katsuji spent his formative years watching and learning from chefs in the homes of the city’s elite, picking up recipes, techniques and sparking a lifelong passion for Mexican cooking along the way.
After his parents separation, a previously privileged Tanabe, found himself living in a oneroom apartment without a refrigerator, with his mother and siblings. Living conditions were poor and Katsuji recalls putting perishable foods by the window in an attempt to keeping it from spoiling. Determined to have a better life, Tanabe left for America in 1999, arriving in the country on a 6-month tourist visa and embarking on his culinary journey.
Jamie Gwen is a Culinary Institute of America Graduate, a Celebrity Chef and Syndicated Radio Host, a Certified Sommelier and a seven-time Cookbook Author. She can be seen on KTLA Channel 5, HSN, on national news shows and in print from coast-to-coast, sharing her seasonal lifestyle approach and her passion for food. She brings the best to radio with her weekly Syndicated Radio Show, heard every Sunday on 100 Radio Stations across the country and in her native Southern California on Talk Radio 790 KABC. Jamie has been seen on The Food Network, Master Chef, The Talk, Martha Stewart and Emeril Live and her 7th cookbook,
co-Authored by Lana Sills and entitled “Entertaining In Style”, just released. Find her daily dish at www.chefjamie.com and on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram @ChefJamieGwen.