On Saturday and Sunday, April 16–17, 2016, passionate food-lovers enjoyed an intimate weekend of hands-on master classes, cooking and conversation with more than 30 of the culinary industry’s most celebrated talents; for two days of sensory adventure. Join us in 2017 to cook, taste, laugh, and learn from some of the world’s culinary giants, making memories that will last a lifetime. 2016 participating chefs included:
Mario by Mary
Einat Admony is chef and owner of Balaboosta, Bar Bolonat, Combina, and the Taïm restaurants in New York City and author of Balaboosta: Bold Mediterranean Recipes to Feed the People You Love. A native of Israel, Einat currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Stefan Nafziger, and their two young children, Liam and Mika.
As director and pastry chef of Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery, Alessandra Altieri oversees the brand’s operations, in addition to leading the kitchen and retail teams nationwide. She first joined the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group in 2009 as pastry sous chef at Per Se and was promoted to pastry chef for Bouchon Bakery at Time Warner Center. Following that, she was the opening pastry chef for Bouchon Bakery at Rockefeller Center and became its general manager two years later. Alessandra attended culinary school at The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College of Philadelphia, where she earned an associates degree in pastry arts.
Dan Barber is chef and co-owner of Blue Hill, in New York City, and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, located within the nonprofit Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. He is the author of The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food, and his opinions on food and agriculture policy have appeared in the New York Times and many other publications. Dan, an ICC alumni, has received multiple James Beard Awards, including “Best Chef: New York City” in 2006 and the “Outstanding Chef” in 2009. Also in 2009, he was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.
Chef of the modern Italian Lincoln Ristorante, Jonathan Benno is meticulous by nature and precise by training, having worked in the nation’s fi nest kitchens: as chef de cuisine at Per Se for six years, sous chef at Craft, and sous chef at The French Laundry. With technique grounded in artisanal practices and processes, Jonathan sources the best local ingredients at Lincoln Ristorante and prepares them with authentic Italian methods and spirit. His work has been recognized by top publications, including “Best New Restaurant in America” by GQ in 2011 and “Best New Restaurants of 2011” by Esquire.
Jonathan Bethony, baker at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, led Washington State University’s Bread Lab from its inception. Several baking-related jobs followed his graduation from the acclaimed San Francisco Baking Institute. He then began developing artisan bread programs for area bakeries, including Good Earth Natural Foods in Marin County, where he strove to produce the highest quality products using local and organic ingredients while employing time-honored processing techniques. This journey led Jonathan to the doorstep of the famous Craig Ponsford, who introduced him to the latest and greatest trends in whole-grain milling and baking.
Pastry chef Richard Capizzi has derived his cooking philosophy and enhanced his skills during the time he spent with some of the world’s most renowned chefs, from Thomas Keller to Jean-Louis Palladin and Pascal Brunstein. Richard has had stints at acclaimed restaurants such as The Russian Tea Room, Mondrian Pastry, The Chocolate Loft/Garrison Confections, Per Se, Bouchon Bakery and most recently, Lincoln Ristorante. He has received many accolades, including the Société Culinaire Philanthropique’s Award for Exceptional Taste at the 14th Annual U.S. Pastry Competition. He was the youngest and the first pastry chef ever to sweep the entire competition. Dessert Professional named Richard one of the top 10 best pastry chefs in 2009.
Cesare Casella is Dean of Italian Studies at the International Culinary Center and Chief of the Department of Nourishment Arts at the Center for Discovery. Chef Cesare also consults and creates artisanal Italian-style salumi in the United States and is the Founder of Republic of Beans, Inc. specializing in imported Italian heirloom products. Cesare was previously the owner and executive chef of Salumeria Rosi in New York City.
Chung Chow, chef de cuisine at Noreetuh, is classically trained in French technique and has spent a majority of his career with the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group in both casual and fine dining operations, first at Bouchon Bistro in Yountville, CA, and later at Per Se in New York. After spending three years as a sous chef, Chung left to help Jonathan Benno open Lincoln Ristorante at Lincoln Center. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Honolulu, Chung takes a personal interest in the cuisines and cultures of East Asia and the Pacific Rim, and it’s evident in the menu at Noreetuh.
Suzanne Cupps is chef de cuisine at Untitled and Studio Cafe, both in the Whitney Museum of American Art. Born and raised in Aiken, SC, Suzanne was exposed to the concept of farm to table at an early age while spending summers on her grandfather’s farm. After graduating from the Institute of Culinary Education in 2005, Suzanne began her culinary career with Union Square Hospitality Group as an extern at Gramercy Tavern, and later went on to hone her skills at Anita Lo’s restaurant, Annisa. In 2011, Suzanne returned to Gramercy Tavern as a line cook, and she most recently held the position of Tavern sous chef.
As a young man, Ricky Estrellado worked for Grand Air Caterers, preparing meals for a diverse clientele, including Malaysian Airlines and United Airlines. His passion for cooking drew him from his home in the Philippines to attend culinary school in New York. After graduating first in his class at the New York Restaurant School in 1994, following a brief stint at Montrachet in Tribeca, Drew Nieporent asked Ricky to join his team at Nobu, where he quickly worked his way from prep cook to chef de cuisine. He currently oversees the hot kitchens of both Nobu New York and Nobu Next Door as executive chef.
Amanda Freitag is a judge on Food Network’s Chopped and co-host of the network’s popular American Diner Revival, where she lends her culinary expertise to struggling classic diners across the country. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Amanda began her career as rotissier and garde manger at Vong under the guidance of Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. In the years following, Amanda spent time as chef de cuisine at Verbena in New York, traveled to France to work at venerable L’Arpège under Chef Alain Passard, worked as chef de cuisine at Cesca, and climbed the ranks to executive chef at Gusto in the West Village, where her food was met with critical acclaim.
Jose Garces is a James Beard Award winner and chef-owner of over a dozen restaurants around the country, author of two cookbooks Latin Evolution and The Latin Road Home, and one of seven chefs in the country to hold the coveted title of Iron Chef. Jose’s acclaimed concepts range from authentic Andalusian tapas and modern Mexican street food to European bistro and artisanal American fare. His restaurants include Volver, The Olde Bar, Rural Society, Buena Onda, Amada, Distrito, Garces Trading co., JG Domestic, Tinto, Village Whiskey, and, in partnership with Sage Hospitality, Mercat a la Planxa. In spring 2016, Jose will open Amada, his first restaurant in New York, at Brookfield Place in Battery Park City.
Baker Zachary Golper and his wife and business partner, Kate Wheatcroft, moved to New York City to open Bien Cuit in the Boerum Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. In the 13 years prior to opening Bien Cuit, Zachary trained in bread and pastry across the continental United States and France. At the end of 2011, Bien Cuit was named “Best New Bakery” by the Village Voice and made Best of 2011 lists in both the New York Times and New York magazine
Kerry Heffernan began working in restaurants at age 15, bicycled through Europe after high school, and then attended the Culinary Institute of America, graduating second in his class. Kerry honed his skills at such highly regarded restaurants as Montrachet, Le Régence, Restaurant Bouley, and Mondrian before landing his first job as chef de cuisine at One Fifth Avenue. He was runner-up on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, competing on behalf of City Harvest, and then appeared as a guest judge on Top Chef All-Stars. Kerry is currently working on a cookbook about foraging, fishing, and cooking on the East End of Long Island.
François Hiegel is the executive head baker for the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group, where he oversees the bread program at Chef Keller’s fine dining restaurants, The French Laundry and Per Se, as well as the bread production at Bouchon Bakery, which has five locations in Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, New York, and Yountville, CA. He develops recipes, manages a team of bakers across the country, and thrives on the organization required to make bread consistently in several different climates. Before moving to the United States, François worked in Strasbourg, France, as the assistant head baker at Au Pain de Mon Grand-Père, and in London at The Arts Club and Princi.
Alex Hitz, author of My Beverly Hills Kitchen: Classic Southern Cooking with a French Twist, has a down-to-earth food philosophy firmly grounded in his mother’s Atlanta kitchen as well as his childhood family home in France. As a teenager, he landed his first job in an Atlanta restaurant, The Patio by the River, which he later co-owned with one of his mentors, Mary Boyle Hataway. Alex trained at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, and Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School, which became the Institute of Culinary Education. As exclusive food columnist at House Beautiful, Alex shared his step-by-step recipes, tips, and no-nonsense approach to cooking and entertaining in his monthly column, “Alex’s Kitchen.”
Chef, restaurateur, and TV personality Judy Joo spent years as a successful analyst at Morgan Stanley before deciding to pursue her true passion and enroll in the French Culinary Institute, now ICC. After moving to London, she competed for and won the UK version of Iron Chef, becoming one of four chefs to hold the title there. As host of Cooking Channel’s Korean Food Made Simple, Judy has become a culinary ambassador for Korean cuisine. In 2014, she opened her first London restaurant, JINJUU (Korean for “pearl”), and she opened a second outpost in Hong Kong last year. Her first cookbook, Korean Food Made Simple, will be released this May.
James Beard Award–winning and Michelin-starred chef Gabriel Kreuther serves refined, French-influenced cuisine with a distinctly New York spirit at his eponymous restaurant, which has received three stars from the New York Times and been awarded a Michelin star. A native of Alsace, France, Gabriel enrolled in culinary school at École Hôtelière in Strasbourg, where he began his formal education and went on to work his way up the ranks of Michelin-starred kitchens in Germany, France, and Switzerland. In 2004, Gabriel joined Danny Meyer to open The Modern, where his cuisine garnered the restaurant critical acclaim, and Gabriel himself won the James Beard Foundation Award for “Best Chef: New York City” in 2009.
As a teenager growing up in London, Liebrandt cooked for some the world’s most esteemed restaurants and chefs. He traces his turning point from cook to chef to a life-changing year he spent working under the brilliant Pierre Gagnaire at his eponymous three-star restaurant in Paris. He opened his first restaurant Corton in 2008, which was awarded two Michelin and was nominated as “Best New Restaurant in the United States” by the James Beard Foundation. In 2013, Liebrandt opened The Elm in Brooklyn, which after six weeks was voted best new restaurant in the US in Esquire magazine’s “Best New Restaurants” list. His first book, To the Bone, was published in December 2013.
Michael Lomonaco is the chef/owner of the highly successful Porter House New York at the Time Warner Center, where he recently opened the new lounge, Center Bar. A veteran of the New York restaurant scene, he has fans who have followed him from ‘21’ to Windows on the World, Wild Blue, Noche, Guastavino’s, and onward. Long a familiar face to TV audiences, Michael hosted “Epicurious” and Michael’s Place on Travel Channel and Food Network, and has published two cookbooks, The ‘21’ Cookbook and Nightly Specials. Michael is deeply dedicated to community support and charitable causes and co-founded the Windows of Hope Family Relief Fund in the wake of September 11.
After majoring in Japanese language and literature at college, Ivan Orkin moved to Japan to teach English in the country he would one day call home. He then spent years in New York cooking everything except Japanese food. Stints at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill, Judson Grill, and Lutèce honed his understanding of hospitality, food, and cooking. Ivan made history as the only American to open a ramen shop in Japan. Its meteoric success was the springboard for Ivan to open two successful restaurants in NYC: Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop and Ivan Ramen. He is also the author of the acclaimed cookbook Ivan Ramen Love: Obsession and Recipes from Tokyo’s Most Unlikely Noodle Shop.
Ellie Pegler oversees the bread program for Michael White’s newest restaurant, Vaucluse, producing artisan breads and French classics. Ellie is a native of Lincoln, NE, and a graduate of the University of Nebraska. She got an early start and fell in love with baking and bread at her first job, making cookies as a teenager at the Cookie Company in her hometown. After college, Ellie attended the French Culinary Institute, now ICC, and graduated from the bread, culinary arts, and culinary entrepreneurship programs. She is a veteran baker who has worked at several Michelin-rated restaurants, including Aquavit and Marea, and leads a bakery team at Vaucluse focusing on naturally leavened breads, house-milled flours, traditional Viennoiserie, and French breads.
Celebrated chef Missy Robbins is recognized for her exemplary Italian cuisine focusing on simple, flavorful ingredients. While chef of A Voce restaurants, she received critical acclaim for creating classic Italian specialties with a contemporary twist. Missy has been recognized for her talents, earning many of the food world’s top accolades, and was inducted into the Institute of Culinary Education’s Hall of Fame. In 2010, Missy was named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs. She was the only woman included on the list and the only chef from New York. She opened her first restaurant, Lilia, in January 2016 in North Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Daniel Rose’s restaurant, SPRING, where he is chef and owner, has been at the forefront of the Paris and international dining scene since opening its first 16-seat location in 2006. He cooked for some of the world’s most esteemed Michelin three-star restaurants and chefs before a life-changing year as head chef at a restaurant in Panajachel, Guatemala. In September of 2015, Rose opened La Bourse et La Vie, a traditional bistro, and he has two new projects in the works for 2016: Chez La Vieille in Paris and his first stateside restaurant in New York’s 11 Howard hotel.
Dean Alain Sailhac had the pleasure of working in the kitchens of Le Cygne, Le Cirque, The Plaza Hotel, and the ‘21’ Club. It was Alain who helped Le Cygne capture their four stars from the New York Times and brought a three-star rating to legendary Le Cirque. In 2003, he was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.” Alain joined the International Culinary Center in 1990.
Taku Sato received culinary training in Japanese cuisine at various notable restaurants in Japan prior to joining the Nobu Fifty Seven team in 2005. Distinguished for his adroit dedication to the intricacies of sushi-making, he was promoted in 2012 to executive sushi chef of Nobu Fifty Seven. He currently oversees a staff of 20 chefs, as well as sushi bar operations. During his spare time, Taku also contributes to culinary events. Most recently, he participated at the Taste of the NFL as the NY Jets chef, he was guest chef at the De Gustibus Cooking School, and he led a Sakai knife demonstration at the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York.
Audrey Saunders, widely recognized as one of the pioneers of modern mixology, opened the award-winning Pegu Club in New York in 2005. Through her mentorship, Pegu is largely responsible for spawning a number of the finest U.S. mixologists, and many of Audrey’s innovations have been pivotal in advancing the direction of the beverage industry. Pegu Club has been called “The Harvard of Mixology” by the New York Times, and Imbibe magazine has also named Audrey one of the 25 most influential cocktail personalities of the past century. Audrey is currently working on opening a cocktail school within her hometown of Seattle, WA.
Mimi Sheraton is a pioneering food writer and former restaurant critic for Cue, the Village Voice, and the New York Times. Her writings on food and travel have appeared in Time, the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Smithsonian, Vogue, Town & Country, New York magazine, and Food & Wine. She has written 16 books, including The German Cookbook, which was reissued last year in a 50th anniversary edition, and a memoir, Eating My Words: An Appetite for Life. Her latest book, 1,000 Foods to Eat Before You Die, was published in 2015.
Executive chef Bryce Shuman attended the California Culinary Academy while working nights on the line at Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio. He worked at Eleven Madison Park alongside chef Daniel Humm for six years, and credits Humm with pushing him to achieve his full potential. In 2013, Bryce opened Betony with former Eleven Madison Park colleague Eamon Rockey. At Betony, Bryce’s menu is inspired by familiar flavors of food he loves presented in a distinctly modern way.
Chef Justin Smillie attended the Culinary Institute of America and worked at Mercer Kitchen, Gramercy Tavern, and Washington Park before becoming chef at Barbuto, where he fell in love with the bold flavors and rustic techniques that have shaped his cooking philosophy. In 2010, he helped open The Standard in New York, and then became executive chef of Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria, where he earned three stars from the New York Times. In 2014, he opened Upland with Stephen Starr, where he continues to pay tribute to his mentors and inspirations by offering dishes that showcase his California roots and seasonal, rustic culinary sensibilities.
Fondly referred to as “Mr. Chocolate,” Jacques Torres is the authority on all things related to this confectionery delight. Raised in France, Jacques fulfilled his American dream in 2000 with the opening of his first chocolate store and factory, Jacques Torres Chocolate, in Brooklyn. He prides himself on fresh, handcrafted chocolates using premium ingredients free of preservatives and artificial flavors. He has served as executive pastry chef at Le Cirque for 12 years, hosted several of his own series on Food Network and PBS, and has written three cookbooks. Jacques has nine locations throughout New York City. He created the Professional Pastry Arts curriculum at International Culinary Center, where he has long served as a dean.
Miroslav Uskokovic is the pastry chef of Untitled and Studio Cafe at the Whitney Museum, as well as Gramercy Tavern. Before joining the Gramercy Tavern team in 2013, Miroslav worked as the pastry chef at George Mendes’s Aldea, and pastry sous chef at Jean Georges under Johnny Iuzzini. Miroslav is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, and attended hospitality college in his native Serbia.
Bill Yosses is the former pastry chef at the White House, where he worked closely with Michelle Obama on her Let’s Move health initiative. Previously, he was the executive pastry chef at Bouley and The Dressing Room; a recipient of a James Beard “Who’s Who” Award, Bill is currently the chef/owner of Perfect Pie, with menus sourced responsibly with a wide range of whole-grain rich, vegan and farm-fresh ingredients.