Must be 21 years of age or older to attend Sun Wine and Food Fest.
Chefs are subject to change.
Aarón Sánchez is an award-winning chef, TV personality, cookbook author and philanthropist. He is the chef/owner of Johnny Sánchez, located in New Orleans and co-star of FOX’s MasterChef and MasterChef Junior. He is a partner/creative director of Cocina, the first online content platform dedicated to celebrating Latin lifestyle through its vibrant culinary culture. One of the world’s most distinguished Latin chefs Sánchez, is passionate about preserving his family’s legacy through food and encouraging diversity in the kitchen. He has starred in multiple Food Network shows, most notably as a long-term judge on the award-winning series Chopped and Chopped Junior. He was the host of the Emmy-nominated Cooking Channel series, Taco Trip, and has appeared on a number of other shows including: Next Iron Chef, Best Thing I Ever Ate, Best. Ever and Guilty Pleasures. Additionally, Sánchez was the host of two Spanish-language shows on Fox Life, 3 Minutos con Aarón, and MOTOCHEFS. A third-generation cookbook author, he has written two books - his first, La Comida del Barrio was published in May 2003 and his second, Simple Food, Big Flavor: Unforgettable Mexican-Inspired Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours was released in October 2011. Celebrated by both critics and contemporaries, Sánchez has won a James Beard Award for Television Studio Program (2012) and has been recognized by the Hispanic Federation and NBC Latino as a leader for the Hispanic community. In 2016, he founded the Aarón Sánchez Scholarship Fund (ASSF), an initiative empowering aspiring chefs from the Latin community. ASSF provides recipients with full culinary scholarships to the International Culinary Center (ICC) in New York City as well as mentorship opportunities. Sánchez’s creativity extends beyond the kitchen. He is a partner at Daredevil Tattoo in NYC, a world-famous tattoo shop and museum. An avid music lover and enjoys cooking to the sounds of the Alabama Shakes, Amos Lee, Lenny Kravitz and The Cure. He has a son, Yuma, and lives in New Orleans, LA.
Adam Young began his career at the age of 12 washing dishes at the local inn in his hometown of Brandon, VT. He grew up on a working dairy farm, where he would milk the cows before school and developed a strong work ethic, set forth by his farming parents. He went on to attend New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, VT and found himself working all along the East Coast after graduation. He was fortunate to work under the late French Master Chef René Bajeux, and Olympic Chef Joe Faria, where he gained a strong passion for cultivating the talents of the next generation of young chefs. Before opening Sift Bake Shop in the spring of 2016, Young was the executive pastry chef at Ocean House Hotel & Resort, a Forbes Five Star, Five Diamond, Relais & Chateaux property where he was on the opening culinary team and ran a 24-hour pastry operation for six years. In 2016, he left Ocean House to venture out on his own, and opened Sift Bake Shop in May of 2016 to rave reviews. He has since opened a second location in Watch Hill, RI, and is currently working to expand Sift Mystic in 2019. Most recently Young competed on Food Network’s Best Baker in America, where he was crowned winner in June of 2018. Young is also a frequent contributor to Food Network. Currently Young is working on writing his own cookbook and enjoys spending his free time with his wife and daughter.
Currently the executive chef at the Boston Urban Hospitality restaurant group, Chef Adrienne Wright works closely with the culinary teams at each restaurant. Chef Adrienne oversees menu creation and execution across three different concepts: Deuxave, Boston Chops and dbar. In December of 2011, Adrienne began working at Deuxave where she began as sous chef and rose through the ranks to become Chef de Cuisine. She made such an impact on the company that she was promoted to Executive Chef at Boston Urban Hospitality in 2017. Adrienne takes pride in helping to create thoughtful and innovative menus of for all three of the Boston Urban Hospitality restaurants. She recently helped open the second location of Boston Chops in Downtown Crossing with the team.
In 2015, Adrienne was featured on Zagat Boston’s "30 under 30" list. She loves to travel and draws inspiration from her own heritage as well as the cultures she has experienced. Her passion is making elevated and inspired dishes that blend flavors, techniques and ethnicities. A competitor at heart, she was part of the winning team in 2017 for Boston’s Culinary Fight Club.
Grand Tasting Chef Demonstration - 2:15pm - 2:45pm | Celebrity Chef Dine Around
Alex Guarnaschelli is the daughter of esteemed cookbook editor, Maria Guarnaschelli. She spent her childhood surrounded by global cuisine dictated by whatever book her mother was working on at the time. This early emphasis on her palate shaped her future in food, and upon graduation from Barnard College in ‘91, Alex decided to further explore her culinary interests.
Throughout her culinary career, Chef Alex Guarnaschelli has worked in some of the world’s top restaurants including Guy Savoy’s eponymous Michelin three-star kitchen in Paris, Larry Forgione’s An American Place, Daniel Boulud’s namesake Daniel in New York City and Joachim Splichal’s Patina restaurant in Los Angeles.
Since 2003, Guarnaschelli has helmed the kitchen as executive chef of Butter Restaurant, where she brings New Yorkers a menu of eclectic American and green market-inspired fare. She is a recurring judge on the popular prime-time series Chopped and a chef coach on America’s Best Cook. In 2012, she bested nine rival chefs to win The Next Iron Chef: Redemption and joined the ranks of Kitchen Stadium’s Iron Chefs.
Grand Tasting Chef Demonstration - 2:30pm – 3:00pm | Celebrity Chef Dine Around
When he’s not in the restaurant, he indulges his food obsession with his regular segment Farm to Fork on WBUR Radio Boston, competes with the BBQ team he co-founded with Pit Master Chris Hart, iQUE (winners of the Jack Daniel's World BBQ Championship and over 35 KCBS Grand Championships), authors cookbooks (The Fearless Chef, Wicked Good Barbecue, Wicked Good Burgers, Grill to Perfection and a new project in the works), and advocates tirelessly for area charities, most notably Share our Strength and Rodman Celebration. Chef Husbands lends his expertise as a Massachusetts Restaurant Association board member, an honorary chair of Share Our Strength’s annual Taste of the Nation event and restaurant chair of the Rodman Celebration.
Co-owner of Hollywood restaurant Grub, this native of San Francisco has appeared on Bravo's Top Chef and Top Chef Masters as well as Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels. Grub's signature cuisine, "California Comfort Food," has won a broad range of awards from “Best Breakfast in LA” to “Best Brunch Spot,” is famous for its tuna melt and was featured on The Travel Channel's Bacon Paradise with her "Crack Bacon." She made her famous "Ba-Da-Bing Betty's Grilled Cheese Sandwich" for Al Roker on Today. Betty also operates the highly successful As You Like It Catering with her partner Denise DeCarlo.
Bobby Flay is an award-winning chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and media personality. He has opened scores of restaurants in New York City, Las Vegas and beyond, such as Gato, Mesa Grill, Bobby Flay Steak and Bar Americain. In addition to his fine dining restaurants, there are 17 outposts of his Fast Casual concept, Bobby’s Burger Palace. He is the author of 14 best-selling cookbooks and has starred in 14 Food Network programs, including Beat Bobby Flay and Iron Chef America. Among his many distinctions are the 1993 James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef of the Year, his induction into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America in 2007 and five Daytime Emmy Awards for Boy Meets Grill, Grill It! with Bobby Flay and Barbecue Addiction. In 2015, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the first chef ever to be awarded one.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, Chef Brian Duffy had his first experiences in the kitchen as a young child with his big Irish-Italian family, which led him to study at Philadelphia's The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College. Duffy is perhaps most recognized from his abundant television appearances on the wildly popular Spike TV series Bar Rescue, where he tours the country (sometimes on his Harley Davidson) reforming failing bars and restaurants with his "tell it like it is" style. He made his on-camera debut on the Food Network series Date Plate and has appeared on countless segments on the DIY Network, HGTV, NBC and Fine Living Network. Chef Duffy is returning for his second time to judge the Food Network series Beat Bobby Flay and has appeared on Today since 2006 for the St. Patrick's Day Irish cook-off. He even has his own signature spice, "Duffified Spice," which is available on his website.
Chef Plum is an award-winning chef and multi time Food Network winner. He is the host of the groundbreaking series Restaurant Road Trip the host of Random Acts of Cooking on Only Good TV and his series Edible on the Road is available on Amazon prime now.
Chef Plum is also the host of the number one live digital audio program Plumluvfoods Live every Thursday, with such great guests as Guy Fieri, Myron Mixon, and Chad Minton!
Chef Plum is seen all over from talk shows to national commercials and loves to use local ingredients to make something special.
Executive Chef Chip Miller’s love for the hospitality industry began with his first restaurant job in high school. After graduating, Miller attended Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island where he earned his Associate’s in Culinary Arts and Bachelor’s in Restaurant Management. In 1996, Miller followed his first boss to Mohegan Sun, one of the largest casinos in the United States, located in Uncasville, CT – where he worked in several of the casino’s restaurants, including opening Atlantis in Paradise Island in the Bahamas.
Miller spent 14 years at Mohegan Sun and nine of those years as Executive Sous Chef, overseeing several outlets, from the steak house to Italian cuisine, as well as numerous lounges. From there, Chef Miller spent time as the Executive Chef of Aetna in Hartford, Connecticut as well as Executive Chef of The Hartford Society Room and Riverhouse Catering before returning to Mohegan Sun to take the helm as Executive Chef of Michael Jordan’s Steak House and 23.sportcafe in 2015.
Celebrity Chef Dine Around
The young and talented Christopher Coombs pursued an education at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in New York, and got his first taste of upscale dining while working at Blue Ginger under award-winning Chef Ming Tsai upon graduation. In August of 2006, Coombs came in contact with Brian Piccini and the duo joined forces to start Boston Urban Hospitality Inc., with a focus on fresh, local, seasonally-inspired menus. In 2010, Coombs opened his first restaurant with Piccini, Deuxave, located in Boston’s Back Bay.
Since then, Coombs’ success has been grabbing the attention of both local and national media, including an appearance on Food Network’s Chopped, and being recognized by Forbes Magazine for their “30 Under 30” award in the food & wine industry. In early 2013, Coombs opened Boston Chops, located in the heart of Boston’s South End. Chops is Boston’s first urban steak bistro studded with the panache that steakhouses are known for, but tailored with a refined, casual twist.
Govind Armstrong’s acclaimed California cuisine has evolved from his passionate commitment to sustainability and locality, and straightforward seasonal approach to cooking. Armstrong made a heralded mark with his Table 8 restaurants in Los Angeles and Miami, followed by the highly popular 8oz Burger Bar currently located in several cities nationwide. His new Post and Beam and Willie Jane restaurants in California offer a wide range of inventive, southern style dishes. Armstrong has been a guest chef aboard the Queen Mary 2, and was featured in People's "50 Most Beautiful" issue, Bon Appétite, Gourmet and O. He has numerous television appearances including The Oprah Winfrey Show, Iron Chef America, Today, Top Chef and Top Chef Masters. Armstrong is also the author of Small Bites, Big Nights: Seductive Little Plates for Intimate Occasions and Lavish Parties.
Ihsan was born and raised in Istanbul, surrounded by bazaars full of varied flavors and fragrances. He studied at UC Berkeley and played volleyball for the Golden Bears. In 1982, Gurdal moved to Cambridge, MA where he became head volleyball coach at Harvard. He followed his passion for food, working at a local specialty grocer called Formaggio Kitchen. Following retirement from Harvard volleyball, Gurdal put all of his energy into Formaggio Kitchen and, in 1992, took over ownership of the shop. Since then, he has established Formaggio Kitchen as one of the leading retailers of gourmet foods in the country.
Born and raised in "The BBQ capital of the world" Kansas City, Missouri, McDonald spent his high school years working for one of the best barbecue restaurants in the city. Upon graduating from school, he joined the Navy and, in his travels across the U.S. and abroad, was always on the lookout for great BBQ. Much to his dismay, nothing lived up to the barbecue he grew up eating back home. This forced him to rely on his skills he picked up while working in high school. From wood and meat selection to his homemade sauces and rubs, he has nearly perfected his craft. Always being told by his friends and family that his BBQ should and could be sold, he decided to take the next step and with that, Bear's Smokehouse BBQ was born in June 2013. Bear's Smokehouse BBQ now has two locations. One is in Windsor on Route 75 near Bradley International Airport, and its second location opened in Hartford. They have received numerous awards as the “Best BBQ in CT” and an excellent rating by The New York Times.
Jason Santos, celebrity chef, owner & executive chef at Boston’s Abby Lane, Citrus & Salt and Buttermilk & Bourbon restaurants, is a master in his craft. His fusion of new techniques and exotic ingredients into bistro fare earned plaudits from several Boston publications, including The Boston Globe, where he landed on the cover of the food section. Santos appeared on Season 7 of Fox’s hit television show Hell’s Kitchen, where he was the fan favorite and garnered the attention of one of the industry’s top critics, Chef Gordon Ramsay. Nationally recognized as a leader in his field, Santos continues to inspire while displaying his masterpieces for the world to see.
He is a chef, restaurateur and cookbook author who is recognized as one of the leading authorities on New England food and its history, in particular seafood. In 1983, he opened Jasper's, a restaurant on Boston's waterfront. It was here that he carved out a niche in the local food scene deconstructing classics on his haute cuisine menu. Jasper's more casual summer shack restaurants are located at Mohegan Sun and Boston, Cambridge and Dedham, Massachusetts. He has four cookbooks - Jasper White's Cooking from New England, Lobster at Home, Fifty Chowders and The Summer Shack Cookbook: The Complete Guide to Shore Food.
Celebrity Chef Dine Around
Kathy Wakile, Italian-American New Jersey mother, sister, daughter and wife, has been busy developing her hobbies into a career while still keeping her family the priority. Juggling home, work and family she manages to find time for other activities that are close to her heart, which is supporting The Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation to help raise brain tumor awareness.
Kathy’s national best-selling dessert cookbook Indulge: Delicious Little Desserts That Keep Life Real Sweet has inspired her dessert line, Indulge By Kathy Wakile, to expand from the cannoli kit to gluten-free desserts, specialty coffees and more! Recently Kathy has opened Pizza Love Restaurant with her husband and their two longtime friends and is enjoying every minute of food, family and fun!
Celebrity Chef Dine Around
Chef Canteenwalla is a visionary artist whose hands-on familiarity with restaurant operations, attention to detail, wealth of culinary knowledge and vast global experience characterize his many accomplishments. His ambition to perfect the art of dining reflects his sincere love of food and genuine dedication to exceptional service. The former executive chef of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, MS, Canteenwalla has helmed restaurants and resorts around the world, including Cambodia, Indonesia, Dubai and Thailand. He is a four-time participant in the Best Hotel Chefs in America series at the James House and, along with Chef Kerry Simon, co-champion of Iron Chef American battle hamburger. His restaurant, Society Café at Encore, was named one of the “Best New Restaurants of 2009” by celebrated food critic John Mariani.
Celebrity Chef Dine Around
Executive Chef, "Private Chef to The Stars" & Author of "Beyond My Chef Coat" Kevin Des Chenes has over 24 years of experience in the Hospitality industry. He was named "Top Chef" by Las Vegas Food & Wine and is the winner of "Top Celebrity Chef Showdown". He has been a Chef Expert for Gordon Ramsey and appeared as a Featured Chef on Food Network's Chef Wanted, Great Food Truck Race & Beat Bobby Flay, as well as The Today Show, Nationally Syndicated Better Show, CT Style, Pickler & Ben, Fox Morning Show & The Rhode Show among others. He is also an advocate for charities such as Boston Children's Hospital & The Light Foundation. Chef Kevin's creativity in the kitchen & on the screen has not gone unnoticed. Having served as Executive Chef at New England landmarks such as 156 Bistro, Centro Martini & Washington Square Tavern. He has since Launched a successful Private Chef Company and become one of the most sought after Chef's in the industry, working with some great people including; John Legend, Giuliana Rancic, Kathie Lee & Hoda, Isiah Thomas, Jim Courier, Little Big Town, Various New England Patriots & Red Sox players and coaches, among others. You never know what he'll do next so keep your eyes peeled for this seasoned Chef, and if you find him in a city near you take your taste buds on an Epic Journey with Chef Kev D!
Currently, Chef Lynn Mansel is the Pastry Chef of all Mohegan Sun-owned restaurants. In this position, he approves all pastry menu decisions, oversees the entire pastry staff and continues to cook up unique pastries for holidays and special occasions.
Chef Maneet Chauhan is the founding partner and president of Morph Hospitality Group in Nashville, Tennessee. She is a recipient of the 2012 James Beard Foundation Broadcast Media Award for her role as a permanent judge on Food Network’s “Chopped,” and sits on the panel of judges for Food Network’s “Wedding Cake Championship”. She has also written her own cookbook, Flavors of My World. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Chauhan worked in some of the finest hotels in India before the start of her professional career in the States.
Heavily lauded by print and broadcast media in the United States and abroad, Chef Chauhan has been featured in publications such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, The Local Palate, Wine Enthusiast, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New York Post, Times of India, The Telegraph and more. Her television appearances include “The View” (ABC), “CBS This Morning’s The Dish” (CBS), “Designing Spaces” (Lifetime), “Iron Chef” and “Next Iron Chef” (Food Network).
Locally, Maneet was the 2016 Chair for March of Dimes Signature Chef Auction and selected to be featured as one of The Nashville Business Journal’s 40 under 40 list, as well as Nashville Lifestyles Women in Business, which honored local women who are at the top of their industry.
A former model turned Hollywood celebrity chef, Manoushcka leaned all she knows at the knee of her mother, Jacqueline, and her professionally trained Haitian grandmother, Olga. Often described as the “Carrie Bradshaw" of cooking, Guerrier brings fashion and personality to food and is equally at home in her Louboutins as she is in her apron and cooking mitts. Featured on Food Network's Private Chefs of Beverly Hills and on OWN Network's My OWN Time. Guerrier has also been on E's Giuliana and Bill show. Her focus on teaching singles how to serve up chic, easy and affordable meals makes her one of the most sought-after chefs in L.A.
Marcus Samuelsson is the acclaimed chef behind many restaurants worldwide including Red Rooster Harlem, Red Rooster London, and Marcus B&P. Samuelsson was the youngest person to ever receive a three-star review from The New York Times and has won multiple James Beard Foundation Awards including Best Chef: New York City. He was tasked with planning and executing the Obama Administration’s first State dinner honoring Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Samuelsson was also crowned champion of television shows Top Chef Masters and Chopped All Stars, and served as a mentor on ABC’s The Taste. A committed philanthropist, Samuelsson coproduces the annual week-long festival Harlem EatUp!, which celebrates the food, art, and culture of Harlem. Samuelsson is co-chair of the board of directors for Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP). In May 2016, he was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. He is the author of multiple books including The New York Times bestselling memoir Yes, Chef, the young adult version-- Make It Messy, Marcus Off Duty cookbook, and his latest book-- The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem. In addition, he is one of the founders of the website Food Republic. Recent restaurant openings include: Red Rooster Shoreditch in East London; Marcus B&P in Newark, New Jersey; and Streetbird Express at the world-famous Madison Square Garden. Samuelsson recently debuted his new TV series titled No Passport Required with VOX/Eater and PBS.
Grand Tasting Chef Demonstration - 4:00pm – 4:30pm | Celebrity Chef Dine Around
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Michael Aeyal Ginor is Co-founder and Chef of Hudson Valley Foie Gras. HVFG has received the 1996 Award for Excellence from the James Beard Foundation. He was honored with the 1997 Angel Award from the James Beard Foundation for dedication, contribution and foresight and in 1998 Michael received the American Master Taster Award from the American Tasting Institute.
Celebrity Chef Dine Around
Michele Ragussis is a New England chef with Greek and Italian heritage. She uses Mediterranean accents in her food which make it very unique. Ragussis loves the cuisine and people of New England, has been cooking for 18 years and loves to do food television. Some shows include Chopped, Food Network Star, NBC's Food Fighters, Beat Bobby Flay and Midnight Feast.
Working alongside my Uncle Mike in the kitchen taught me everything I needed to know to be not only the person, but the Chef I am today. My Uncle Mike was the most amazing person I’ve ever known. He taught me how to cook, but also how to love everything about the culinary arts. He gave me the passion and skill that I needed to make a career from what I love most, and every day I am grateful for having had him in my life.
My career has taken me all around the world, but the greatest part of my journey, thus far, has been building my company. I take great pride in the success of Chef Mike’s Catering Company. When a client calls me still raving about the wedding I catered for them more than twenty years ago and asks me to cater their child’s wedding now, that is the greatest feeling in the world! I love sharing what I do with others and creating strong and lasting relationships with my clients.
With over 20 years of culinary experience, coupled with a passion for his craft, creative and artistic talent and his strong leadership roles, Chef Nick Calias has lead the culinary operation at The Colonnade Hotel, Brasserie Jo and Huntington Hotels for the past 12 years. He was awarded 2013 “Chef of the Year” from The Epicurean Club of Boston and the American Culinary Federation. In 2015 he was named “Chef of the Year” from the Massachusetts Restaurant Association. Calias’ first opportunity was as an executive chef of The Beach House Restaurant in Hampton, NH. During that time, he was featured on The Phantom Gourmet & Wine Spectator. A couple years later Calias took the realms over at the Sheraton Ferncroft Hotel & Country Club. He was the youngest executive chef in the region for Starwood Hotels and has been running hotels ever since.
Calias went to Newbury College to earn his degree in culinary arts. He received his certification through the American Culinary Federation as a Certified Executive Chef (CEC) in 2008 and in 2014 received his Certified Culinary Administrator Certification (CCA).
Calias has participated in judging for the Mass Pro Start for the last 10 years, and has been a national judge for the National Pro Start & San Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef competitions, as well as NH Skills. He is an active member of the ACF. Calias has been a featured contestant on Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games and supports Guy’s Cooking with Kids as a featured chef for Best Buddies Celebrity Chef Food and Wine Festival.
Roblé Ali has quickly become one of the most recognizable chefs and one of the very few young African-Americans in the culinary world with national notoriety. The influential and charismatic chef has provided his services to some of today's most notable individuals including President Obama, Leonardo DiCaprio, John Legend, Jack Nicholson, Michael Jackson, Vanessa Williams, the Olsen Twins and Rhianna to name a few. Roblé is also currently the traveling food corespondent for ABC's The Chew.
Executive Chef Robert Sisca is one of New England’s true culinary talents. Chef Sisca has a profound appreciation and passion for combining ingredient-driven cuisine with the refined and classic techniques that he has honed at some of the country’s most exclusive culinary destinations. Sisca worked at the historic One if by Land, Two if by Sea in New York City prior to becoming sous chef at the renowned Le Bernardin. During his tenure, Le Bernardin earned the coveted Michelin Three Star award and four stars from the New York Times. After working with Rhode Island based G Hospitality restaurant group and launching Garde East on Martha’s Vineyard to local and national acclaim, Sisca has returned to Bistro du Midi. He opened Bistro du Midi in 2009 and is proud to return to the kitchen where he earned his initial accolades for epicurean excellence. Sisca is a two-time nominee for Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chef” (2011 and 2012), has been invited to cook at the James Beard House on numerous occasions and received a three star review from The Boston Globe as well as an “A” rating from The Boston Herald.
Rocco DiSpirito is a James Beard Award-winning celebrity chef and the author of eleven highly-acclaimed books and three #1 New York Times bestsellers, including The Pound a Day Diet. DiSpirito has starred on numerous television shows and is frequently featured as a food and weight loss expert in print and online media. He is the founder of The Pound a Day Diet fresh-food delivery service and personally cooks for and coaches hundreds of clients to wellness as a passionate health advocate. He lives in New York.
Though he was born in Boston, Chef Timothy Willis grew up in New Jersey, just outside of Philadelphia. He spent most of his summers at the Jersey shore with his grandparents tending to their gardens, where he found his love for fresh local produce. In high school, he spent two years in a culinary arts program. While in vocational school, he had the opportunity to stage and work for the renowned chef, George Perrier at Le Bec Fin, where he was able to see a four star restaurant in full swing. During those high school years, Willis got his first real job as a cook at Ron Jaworski’s Eagles Nest. After high school, Willis headed to Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island to pursue his career as a chef. While in school he worked at many of Providence’s fine Italian restaurants including Bella Vista and Capriccio.
His first internship, part of the Johnson & Wales program, was with Marriott where he was part of the opening team of the Ritz Carlton in Philadelphia. During that stint, he participated in catering a party for the mid-Atlantic Emmy’s. His second internship was with Jasper White’s Summer Shack during their opening at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. Willis loved the concept of the Summer Shack, where the motto is “food is love” and all the food was prepared simply, from scratch, using the best quality seafood and local produce. He flourished in this environment and after starting as a Grill Cook, he worked his way to Sous Chef at the Mohegan Sun location. Today, after moving to the Boston area, he is the Executive Chef of the original Summer Shack in Cambridge, where he oversees the food operations for both the restaurant and their growing catering division.
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Todd English is a renowned chef, restaurateur, author, entrepreneur and television star based in Boston and New York City. English is a four-time James Beard Award winner and inductee into the James Beard Foundation's "Who's Who in Food and Beverage in America." Todd has authored four critically-acclaimed cookbooks, with his most recent, Cooking In Everyday English that was released in October 2011.
English has also created the record-breaking housewares line, The Todd English Collection, and hosts the Emmy-nominated PBS travel series Food Trip with Todd English. Todd English Enterprises includes over twenty innovative restaurants spanning the country and abroad, and is most well-known for his Mediterranean restaurant Olives, with locations in Las Vegas, Mexico City, Abu Dhabi and the Bahamas.
Gilson began his career at age 15, when he apprenticed with Chef Charles Draghi at Marcuccio’s in the North End. He completed his formal culinary arts training at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, where his expert wine knowledge won him the 2004 R.C. Knopf Student Achievement Scholarship. Gilson’s vision has seen early success, as within three months of opening Puritan & Company, he received two 2013 James Beard Award nominations: “Best New Restaurant” and “Rising Star Chef of the Year.” Puritan & Co. was also named one of Bon Appetit’s “50 Best New Restaurants” of 2013.
Catalyst restaurant’s chef/owner William Kovel’s interest in food “sparked” at an early age and led him to travel in pursuit of delicious food. A native of West Hartford, Connecticut, William Kovel cooked in a variety of cities and countries before settling back down in New England. Kovel received his degree in Culinary and Hospitality Studies at Southern New Hampshire University prior to moving out west to San Francisco where he was able to broaden his knowledge of cuisine and technique beyond the east coast. Kovel’s culinary career has brought him overseas to London and across the United States before he decided to settle in Boston with his own restaurant, which he has spent the last year planning and building Catalyst in Cambridge. Catalyst embodies the expertise and cooking techniques that Kovel is known for and opened in August 2011.
In addition to his work in the community, DJ Irie is an international sensation with a contagious enthusiasm and larger-than-life personality. While he’s certainly an authority on electrifying any party, the Irie Music brainchild is no ordinary DJ. Serving as the official DJ of the 3-time NBA World Champion Miami HEAT, Carnival Cruise Lines and superstar Jamie Foxx, Irie’s partnerships also feature a "Who’s Who" of blue-chip companies and brands, including the likes of Pepsi, Target and Breakthrough Beverage. The St. Croix native is also the man behind Irie Music, Corp., co-owner of Lou La Vie Exotic Car Rental, SweetKix.com, Pucci’s Pizza and Venture Projects, LLC investment firm. He’s the #1 choice for countless celebrities and high-profile events everywhere from South Beach to Singapore, and has performed on some of the world’s biggest stages, including the American Music Awards, MTV VMA’s, FIFA World Cup, International Premier Tennis League, Daytona 500, Super Bowl, and NBA All-Star and at corporate events for Louis Vuitton, Google, Red Bull, Hublot and General Motors, just to name a few.
Will Evans has spent the last decade as the primary songwriter, drummer, and front man for the roots Rock outfit Barefoot Truth. Will recorded four full length albums and several EP’s of his original music with the band. Their most recent release, "Carry Us On", debuted at #10 on the iTunes Rock Chart, and as of 2018, the band has surpassed over 20 million plays on Spotify. With Barefoot Truth on an extended hiatus, Will has opened a new chapter in his musical journey.
In his live performances, Will uses his impressive looping skills to combine his drumming background with his highly energized and entertaining acoustic style. When Will is on stage, the crowds always get to their feet and he always gets to their hearts. Will has shared the stage with many top artists including Crosby and Nash, Grace Potter, Bruce Hornsby, Rusted Root, Trevor Hall, Donavon Frankenreiter, Railroad Earth and members of Dispatch.
Ryan Kristafer is the host of CT STYLE on WTNH - ABC 8, which airs weekdays at 9:00am following Good Morning America. When he's away from the camera, he emcees events across the country, getting his start right here at Mohegan Sun! He's an all-star at bear hugs, gaining practice from giving away over $1 million on-stage. But most of all, he enjoys watching Netflix and drinking red wine.
With her trademark spiky blond hair and pumped-up personality, Anne Burrell has worked at some of the top restaurants in New York, studied the culinary landscape and traditions of Italy, and is a New York Times best-selling cookbook author.
In September 2015, Anne hosted the series premiere of Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition, where she mentored a team of celebrities who were in serious need of some cooking pointers. Anne also hosts Food Network's Worst Cooks in America, a primetime show where she leads a team of hopeless home cooks from around the country through culinary boot camp. Anne also hosted Chef Wanted, where she put top-notch chefs through the ultimate job interview as they strived to land Executive Chef positions in restaurants around the country. Burrell hosted Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, where she eliminated the intimidation of restaurant dishes and revealed concise, easy-to master techniques for the at-home cook. Anne also starred in her own right in Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs. She published her first cookbook, Cook Like a Rock Star, in 2011, which gives home cooks the confidence and support to be rock stars in their own kitchens. Her cookbook earned a place on The New York Times Best Seller List. Anne’s second cookbook, Own Your Kitchen: Recipes to Inspire and Empower was released in October 2013.
Burrell has been featured in Food & Wine, Food Network Magazine, People and The New York Times. She has been a guest on Good Morning America, The Talk, TODAY and The Rachael Ray Show. Anne feels fortunate to have found a field that satisfies her so completely. "I feel so lucky that I have found my true passion in life."
Martina McBride is a multiple Grammy® nominated country icon, whose incomparable vocals have kept her at the top of the charts garnering six No. 1 hits and twenty top 10 singles. Selling more than 18 million albums to date, McBride has earned fourteen Gold, nine Platinum, three Double Platinum and two Triple Platinum certifications. Most recently McBride released It’s The Holiday Season, a 9-song holiday album. For this album, McBride collaborated with the late Patrick "Pat" Williams who arranged a set of classic Christmas songs with accompaniment from more than 35 world-class musicians at the famed Capitol Studio in Los Angeles and Blackbird Studio in Nashville. This release follows her 1998 multiplatinum White Christmas. On October 30, 2018 Martina released her second cookbook, Martina’s Kitchen Mix: My Recipe Playlist for Real Life. The new collection includes nearly 300 pages of family recipes and new creations from her own kitchen. In 2014, McBride released her first book, Around the Table, a full-color illustrated collection of her favorite recipes, hosting tips, practical menu planning advice, and themed décor inspiration. Last year also saw the debut of McBride’s Food Network show, Martina’s Table. McBride shares recipes from her cookbooks, what life on the road is like, and hosts inspirational gatherings for friends and family. Martina’s Table can currently be seen on the Food Network every Sunday at 11am CT and through most streaming providers. McBride has been honored with more than 15 major music awards, including four wins from the Country Music Association and three Academy of Country Music Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year. When Martina isn’t in the studio, she focuses her time on charitable causes dear to her heart. Through her Team Music Is Love charity initiative, Martina partners with non-profit causes to help many of the communities she's performing in. Martina also invites fans to join her team in making the world a better place through the power of music. Since 2011, Team Music Is Love has been responsible for many successful fundraising and volunteer projects helping causes such as hunger relief, cancer research, combating domestic violence and helping children in need. McBride has been awarded the Covenant House Beacon of Hope Award and Music Business Association’s prestigious Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award for her philanthropic efforts on behalf of domestic violence. McBride resides in Nashville with her husband, John, and their three daughters.
For New York Times best-selling author Buddy Valastro, mixing eggs, sugar, butter and flour means a lot more than "making a cake." As a fourth generation baker, it’s a constant source of pleasure, pride and creativity. Creating amazing cakes connects Valastro with the memory of his father Buddy Sr. and his extended Italian family history. His talent and passion for the family business, Carlo’s Bakery, has earned the straight-talking cake expert the moniker, and TLC TV show, Cake Boss. Expanding outside of Hoboken for the first time, Valastro and the famiglia built a 100,000 square-foot baking facility in Jersey City in 2011, opened multiple new locations throughout the United States and in Brazil. In October 2013, he brought his family’s classic Italian recipes to the table, opening his first restaurant, Buddy V’s, in the Venetian Las Vegas; he then went on to open additional Buddy V’s restaurants in San Antonio, TX and Bethlehem, PA. Old favorites and new recipes are on the menu as well as desserts you know and love from Carlo’s Bakery.
Bio coming soon.
Through her work in professional restaurant kitchens, as a food television personality and now author, Amanda Freitag has become more than a chef, she is The Chef Next Door. While the moniker is derived from the title of Amanda’s first cookbook, The Chef Next Door: A Pro Chef's Recipes for Fun, Fearless Home Cooking (Houghton Mifflin; 2015), it also aptly conveys both her professionalism and warm, accessible personality. These traits have served her well as a judge on Food Network’s hit series, Chopped, and as the co-‐host of Food Network’s American Diner Revival with Ty Pennington.
BIO COMING SOON
Murphy’s involvement in the industry moves beyond the restaurants as well, with a regular role as a judge on The Food Network’s highest rated hits, CHOPPED and CHOPPED JUNIOR as well as appearances on CHOPPED AFTER HOURS, IRON CHEF AMERICA, GUYS’S GROCERY GAMES, BEAT BOBBY FLAY, WORST COOKS IN AMERICA, THE KITCHEN, UNIQUE EATS, THE BEST THING I EVER MADE, THE RACHAEL RAY SHOW, THE CHEW, GOOD MORNING AMERICA, THE TODAY SHOW and HSN among others. He is the President of the Manhattan chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association, both a board member and Food Council member of City Harvest, and a member of the Food + Finance High School’s Industry Advisory Board. Marc sits on the Leadership Council for Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign and has been a national spokesperson for Share Our Strength’s Dine Out For No Kid Hungry initiative. In 2012, Marc joined the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Culinary Partnership, where he takes part in public diplomacy programs that engage foreign audiences abroad as well as those visiting the United States. He has traveled to Italy, China and Turkey as part ofthis program thus far. Marc is the Author of Season with Authority: Confident Home Cooking his debut cookbook which was released in April 2015 and continues to be a top seller.
Chef David Rose was raised with a very diverse and curious palate. He was born in New Jersey to Jamaican parents that were professional chefs. Chef David’s culinary interest led him to enroll at the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts College (Tucker, GA), where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. Living in Atlanta for more than a decade, Chef Rose finds inspiration in his surroundings and identifies as a Southern chef. He creatively reinterprets classic Southern fare by incorporating the refinement of his French culinary training, his signature bold flavors, and the occasional flair from his family’s Jamaican recipes.
Chef Rose is a Food Network/TV personality and serves as a national brand ambassador for Nissan USA, Big Green Egg, and Davidoff/ Camacho Cigars. As a Big Green Egg Ambassador, Chef David is a huge grill aficionado – whenever he can, he incorporates grilled and smoked components to his dishes. Additionally, Chef David is the founder and creator of the TLC Experience (Tastings • Libations • Cigars), where he partners with spirits and cigar companies to create extraordinary, one-of-a=kind dining experiences. Last year, Rose appeared as a finalist on Food Network Star (Season 13), cooking head-to-head with Bobby Flay and receiving praise from Giada de Laurentiis. Chef David Rose regularly appears as a guest chef on The Steve Harvey Show, Food Network, Hallmark Home & Family, Pickler & Ben, HLN, Sisters Circle Live, Fox & Friends, local morning shows across the country, and as a celebrity chef judge for the CBS Chef’s Classic.
BIO COMING SOON
After nearly three decades in the kitchens of the most esteemed restaurants in the world, Ralph Scamardella serves as Partner and Chef of Tao Group Hospitality, overseeing all chefs and concepts in New York (TAO Uptown, TAO Downtown, LAVO Italian Restaurant, food & beverage at Dream Downtown and Dream Midtown, and food & beverage at Moxy Times Square including Legasea, and Moxy East Village including Cathédrale); Las Vegas (TAO Asian Bistro at The Venetian, TAO Beach and LAVO Italian Restaurant at The Palazzo); and Los Angeles (TAO, Luchini, and food & beverage at Dream Los Angeles).
As the son of Italian immigrants, Scamardella developed an affinity for cooking with fresh ingredients early on, enjoying seasonal produce as staples in the family’s cooking within their Brooklyn kitchen.
Scamardella began his studies at New York City’s Technology Institute, learning to master the business of hotel and restaurant management while simultaneously building his culinary skills at The Plaza Hotel’s French restaurant. He then moved on to hone his skills with one of the world’s true master chefs, working under mentor Daniel Boulud at Polo Restaurant.
Paving the way to distinction early, he received a two-star rating from The New York Times at Vanessa’s restaurant, where he served as Executive Chef. Scamardella went on to have a large hand in the success of the opening and driving concept behind Carmine’s, as chef and partner. After nearly 15 years and several successful projects, he left the kitchen to consult for restaurants such as The Strip House, Harrah’s Casino, and Cessca.
Upon joining Tao Group Hospitality in 2007 as Corporate Executive Chef and Partner, Scamardella opened LAVO Italian Restaurant and TAO Beach in Las Vegas. He then went on to open LAVO Italian Restaurant in New York, as well as TAO Downtown in Chelsea, Bodega Negra at Dream Downtown, and The Rickey and Fishbowl at Dream Midtown. Next up in Los Angeles, Scamardella oversaw the opening of the new TAO location, as well as new brand concept Luchini Pizzaeria & Bar. At Moxy Times Square and Moxy East Village, Scamardella opened three more brand new concepts with Legasea, Magic Hour Rooftop & Bar and Cathédrale. In 2018, Scamardella helped open LAVO Singapore, atop the iconic Marina Bay Sands SkyPark, and then in 2019 lead the way on another new brand concept with the opening of Koma, a modern Japanese restaurant. TAO Group’s most recent U.S. expansion introduced TAO Asian Bistro & Nightclub to Chicago, in September 2018.
Chef Steve van der Merwe is the new, but highly experienced USA Corporate Chef for MSC Cruises. A native of South Africa, Chef van der Merwe learned his true passion for the culinary arts at a small pizzeria in South Africa. After completing his studies, van der Merwe experienced an apprenticeship at Southern Sun, one of South Africa’s leading hotel groups. His diverse career in the culinary arts includes roles in various hotels and restaurants, and reaching Master Chef as recognized by Chaine des Rotisseurs.
Chef has 20 years of experience in the cruise ship culinary industry, working with world-renowned establishments including Cunard Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and now MSC Cruises.
Chef Matthew Farrell graduated from the Accelerated Culinary Arts Certificate Program at the CIA at Greystone. He is the customer dedicated executive chef for American Airlines, gategroup based in Chicago, IL. He oversees over 30 units globally for gategroup.
Chef Ben Robinson has been featured on five seasons of Bravo’s hit series, Below Deck. The reality series profiles a group who work aboard mega yachts that sail in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. Robinson serves as the Executive Chef. His culinary skills have been featured as he’s created dishes not only on the open water, but often with unique and demanding requests. Chef Robinson is accomplished on both land and sea. He is a master chef that has worked under Italian chefs in Florence and gained an apprenticeship at Michelin three-star restaurant, The Fat Duck, based in the United Kingdom. Chef Robinson has been the head chef on yachts for over ten years, including on the largest sailing yacht in the world. He was born in Oxford, England and continued to attend boarding school there when his parents moved to the U.S. Eventually Ben and his brothers and sister all followed their parents to the states. When Ben is not filming Below Deck, he works on his successful catering business for which he travels all over the world, creating culinary masterpieces. Ben has made East Fort Lauderdale his home and caters many local residents’ intimate dinners, cocktail and large dinner celebrations. He is also available for private events, private cooking instruction and guests appearances. Ben says he is extremely flexible and the menu is absolutely up to the client. Whether it’s Asian inspired, continental or an Italian feast, Robinson’s job is to guide the client in creating an incredible menu. He has dedicated many years to producing high-quality cuisine with an outstanding presentation and beautiful flavor combinations. One of his favorite culinary delights is his seared diver scallop, chilled cauliflower purée and maple vinaigrette with pickled fennel. Another one is his blockette of tuna, orange fluid gel, caviar duo and watercress with crispy rice.
Chef Ben Ford officially earned his cooking stripes at some of the country's most established restaurants and alongside several of America's most treasured culinary icons. His acclaimed restaurant concept, Ford's Filling Station, is based on the fundamentals of teaching, cooking and foraging, and was awarded the prestigious Cochon555 prize. Despite all the accolades and achievements, it's the large-scale home entertaining he grew up with that's fueling his current passion. His cookbook, Taming the Feast: Ben Ford's Field Guide to Adventurous Cooking, focuses not only on bringing people together to eat good, sustainable organic food, but gathering lots - and lots - of people together to eat sumptuous feasts.
Bio coming soon
Robert Irvine is a world-class chef and entrepreneur, and a tireless philanthropic supporter of our nation’s military. The host of Food Network’s hit show Restaurant: Impossible, he has given struggling restaurateurs a second chance to turn their lives and businesses around in over 200 episodes and counting.
He would know a thing or two about running a successful business. In addition to his restaurants—Robert Irvine’s Public House at the Tropicana in Las Vegas and Fresh Kitchen by Robert Irvine within the Pentagon—he is the owner of FitCrunch, whose protein bars, powders, and snacks are available nationwide; Robert Irvine Foods, which makes prepared, restaurant-quality dishes available in grocery stores; and the Lansdale, PA-based Boardroom Spirits, creators of handcrafted vodka, rum, whiskey, and more. Two new signature products—Irvine’s Vodka and Irvine’s American Dry Gin—are in the beginning stages of a nationwide rollout.
A portion of the proceeds from all of Robert’s endeavors benefit the Robert Irvine Foundation. Created in 2014, the foundation gives back to our servicemen and women and first responders. Funds raised help at-need veterans and first responders in a variety of ways: training service dogs, making mental health and wellness services available, providing mobility devices for the disabled, and much more. For his charitable work and service on numerous USO tours, Robert is the recipient of several civilian honors, including Honorary Chief Petty Officer of the United States Navy, and the Medal of Honor Society’s Bob Hope Award.
In January 2021, Irvine signed an exclusive three-year multiplatform deal with Discovery, Inc. The deal saw him continue the incredibly successful run of Restaurant: Impossible, which films 39 episodes per year and garners 1.1 million viewers per week. It is currently filming Season 19, with Season 20 already picked up. Its spinoff, Restaurant: Impossible Revisit, films 13-18 episodes per year, which air directly after regular episodes of Restaurant: Impossible.
The Discovery deal also saw successful the revival of the cooking challenge show Dinner: Impossible after a 10-year hiatus, with a new season premiering on Oct. 5, 2021. Irvine also hosts the Discovery+/Food Network show The Globe which aired its first five-episode cycle in August, and Cheat Day USA, which will premiere on the Cooking Channel a few weeks later on Oct. 24. In December, Discovery+ will air Irvine vs. Taffer a three-episode competition show.
When not filming for television or working overseas with the USO, he can be found on tour with Robert Irvine LIVE, an unpredictable interactive cooking challenge done before a live audience in packed theaters. He is the distinguished author of four books, Mission: Cook, Impossible to Easy, Fit Fuel, and Family Table By Robert Irvine. He is also the publisher of Robert Irvine Magazine, a free digital publication delivering workouts, recipes, and motivational content.
Learn more at chefirvine.com.
Michael grew up by the stove. He hails from a family of Cuban chefs, including his dad, grandfather, and two uncles. He spent his summers as a youth at his father's Miami restaurant, doing whatever he could to get on the line. During his high school years in Pennsylvania, Michael worked nights at local restaurants, getting a taste for the restaurant world. When time for college came and his boxes packed, he decided to withdraw from Penn State (he'd make a terrible politician anyways) and do what he loved best, cooking. After attending the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, Michael made the move to New York City.
In New York Michael connected with the Olives NY group and worked under chef Michael Crain. After working at Olives in NY, Michael made his way to Boston to work at Olives in Charlestown. He soon took over the kitchen at Neptune Oyster in the North End. Michael started cooking at Neptune in 2008 and had a long run with much success, helping bring the restaurant local and national acclaim as Executive Chef. Seeking a way to continue to challenge himself, Michael departed Neptune to open Select Oyster Bar in Boston's Back Bay, which opened in April 2015 in Boston's Back Bay. Select has been fortunate to receive awards from local and national press, including Boston Magazine (Best New Restaurant, Best Wine Program, Best Seafood Restaurant) Food & Wine (America’s Best New Wine Bars), Improper Bostonian (Best Seafood Restaurant), among others.
Since Select opened, Michael opened Grand Tour in 2020 on Newbury Street in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. It is a Parisian bistro that is open for lunch and dinner and pays homage to Michael’s love of cycling. The restaurant was named one of Boston’s “50 Best Restaurants” in November 2021. The standouts include the steak frites, the crudo and the vegetable sides, along with the “Secret Lamb Burger” that is only available on the lunch menu.
Michael’s newest restaurant, Atlántico, opened in Boston’s South End in 2021. Serpa’s third restaurant was inspired by the simple seafood restaurants of Spain & Portugal. The restaurant showcases the highest quality local and imported Spanish & Portuguese seafood in an open and airy room. The beverage program features wines of Spain & Portugal as well as coastal inspired cocktails. The dining room has soaring windows looking out to the neighborhood as well as the restaurant’s large patio. It is casual enough for weekend brunch with the family and elegant enough for a special night out.
Michael lives in East Boston with his wife Lina who he met in the kitchen at Neptune Oyster. When he is not cooking, Michael is an avid cyclist, and participated in the 2014 & 2016 Pan Mass Challenge to benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Chefs Cycle for No Kid Hungry as well as supporting No Kid Hungry throughout the year with other various events.
Gilson began his career at age 15 when he apprenticed with Chef Charles Draghi at Marcuccio’s in the North End. He completed his formal culinary arts training at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, where his expert wine knowledge won him the 2004 R.C. Knopf Student Achievement Scholarship. Gilson’s vision has seen early success, as within three months of opening Puritan & Company, he received two 2013 James Beard Award nominations: “Best New Restaurant” and “Rising Star Chef of the Year.” Puritan & Co. was also named one of Bon Appetit’s “50 Best New Restaurants” of 2013.
Chef Nyesha J. Arrington developed a diverse palate and a love for cooking at a young age. Born into a multi-cultural family, by age five, she regularly helped her grandmother in the kitchen. With an undeniable talent she later studied at the prestigious Culinary School at the Art Institute of California in Los Angeles. Upon graduating, Chef Nyesha put her skills to the test in highly competitive environments. Today her resume includes work with legendary French chef Joel Robuchon at his Michelin and Mobil award-wining Las Vegas restaurants, L’Atelier and The Mansion, among others. Nyesha hit the national stage as a fan favorite on “Top Chef” season 9, is currently the host of “Plateworthy” on Eater, and will join Gordon Ramsay as a judge/mentor on FOX’s new culinary competition show “Next Level Chef.” Celebrated for her advocacy of using farm fresh, locally, and responsibly sourced ingredients, she believes food is like a work of art and every plate a canvas.
Chef Michael Symon cooks with soul. Growing up in a Greek and Sicilian family, the Cleveland native creates boldly flavored, deeply satisfying dishes at his restaurants: Lola, Mabel’s BBQ, Roast, Bar Symon and B Spot and Angeline. Michael also shares his exuberant, approachable cooking style and infectious laugh with viewers on Good Morning America as their Resident Chef.
Since being named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine in 1998, Michael and his restaurants have been awarded numerous honors: in 2000 Gourmet magazine chose Lola as one of “America’s Best Restaurants;” in 2010, Michael was the first chef ever to host the annual Farm Aid benefit concert; Bon Appetit magazine included B Spot on their list of “Top 10 Best New Burger Joints;” B Spot’s Fat Doug burger won the People’s Choice award at the SoBe Wine & Food Festival. In 2009, Michael earned The James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef Great Lakes.
Michael’s television career is full of appearances and hosting gigs, starting back in 1998 when he made his debut on the Food Network. You might remember him on The Melting Pot, Sara’s Secrets and hosting Cook Like an Iron Chef among many others over the years. In 2008 he went on to win The Next Iron Chef, earning him a permanent spot on the roster of esteemed Iron Chefs. In September 2011, he joined the cast of The Chew on ABC as one of the show’s five hosts. The Chew ran for seven seasons and received widespread critical acclaim including Daytime Emmys in 2015 and 2016, and as well as the hearts and stomachs of audiences across the US. In 2015 Michael traveled throughout the United States hosting Burgers, Brew and Ques, now in its 5th season, on Cooking Channel, tasting the best of America’s classics.
Partnering up with his best pal, Bobby Flay in 2019, they engaged in some healthy competition in Food Network’s BBQ Brawl: Flay Vs. Symon. In June 2020 Symon’s Dinners Cooking Out premiered on the Food Network and his fans quickly fell in love with watching Michael use his grilling and BBQ skills in his very own backyard. He’s also a mainstay on the Food Network Kitchen App where you can catch him teaching fans how to cook his favorite recipes.
While Michael shines on television, he is a genuine hometown guy who made his name cooking in his acclaimed restaurants. Lola opened in 1997 and is now a cornerstone of Cleveland’s dining scene. Roast brought Michael’s meat-centric cooking to Detroit’s Westin Book Cadillac in 2008, and after opening the first two Cleveland locations of B Spot in 2009, Michael has expanded with multiple locations throughout Ohio, Michigan and Indiana, showcasing his passion for burgers, bratwurst and beer. Mabel’s BBQ opened in 2016 and introduced a new style of mustard-based barbecue Clevelanders could call their own. In 2017, he opened Angeline at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City as a nod to his Sicilian mother, Angel.
Michael published his first cookbook, Michael Symon’s Live to Cook – Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen, in 2009, sharing home cook-friendly recipes that draw on the flavors of his heritage. Since Michael’s first cookbook release, he has also put out Carnivore, dedicated to meat lovers, 5 in 5, inspired by a popular speed-cooking segment on The Chew, 5 in 5 For Every Season. Michael’s latest releasing include Playing with Fire and Fix It with Food. Playing with Fire is a cookbook focused on BBQ and live fire grilling, while Fix It with Food came out of his own experiences in addressing auto-immune diseases and inflammation. All of Michael’s cookbooks were hugely successful and Carnivore, 5 in 5 and Fix It with Food made The New York Times Book Review best sellers list.
When he’s not working, Michael is playing golf, gardening in the backyard and spending time with his wife, Liz, their granddaughter Emmy and puppy, Norman.
Must be 21 years of age or older to attend Sun Wine and Food Fest.
Chefs are subject to change.