Victor Scargle was on his way to an economics degree when he shifted gears and took on an American Culinary Federation apprenticeship with the esteemed Red Lion Hotels culinary program. There he found a mentor who encouraged him to work with chefs in Miami and New York. After numerous learning experiences in both, Scargle returned home to the Bay Area to work for Michael Mina at Aqua, and other Mina Restaurant Group projects, where he was honored as one of San Francisco Chronicle’s “Rising Star Chefs”.
Scargle moved along to work with celebrated Chef Traci Des Jardins then found a great opportunity with The Patina Group as executive chef of Julia’s Kitchen at COPIA: The American Center for Food, Wine and the Arts. Victor worked with the garden curators to form a seamless alliance between garden and kitchens. His talents led to three and a half stars from the San Francisco Chronicle. The closing of The Center led Scargle to the luxurious Bardessono Hotel & Spa to guide the evolution of LUCY restaurant to showcase the bounty of fresh produce sourced from the property’s gardens, local farmers, fishmongers, foragers and artisan Napa Valley purveyors. When Bardessono was sold, The Culinary Institute of America tapped Scargle to lead the re-opening team at Copia under their ownership. After establishing a strong kitchen team, Scargle had an opportunity to join legendary winemaker and visionary Jean Charles Boisset and the Boisset Collection of wine, food and lifestyle as culinary director of the food division. Scargle is currently developing Atelier Fine Foods and Catering and the Yountville Brewery for the Boisset Collection.
Serving: Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras on Cherry & Peppercorn Brioche with micro Arugula & an Angelica Gastrique
Chef/Owner-Gunshow, Revival, Terminus City, Communion, Gamechanger at Suntrust Park Atlanta, GAWhile always pushing himself to look at the restaurant industry in innovative ways, chef, restaurateur, speaker and author Kevin Gillespie’s passions lie in serving quality food every day.
After graduating from the Art Institute of Atlanta, Gillespie worked in restaurants in Atlanta and Oregon before opening Gunshow in 2013. In 2015, he opened Revival, a fresh take on the family-style dinner and later opened Communion, an outdoor special events venue. Red Beard Restaurants was established in 2015, allowing Gillespie to ensure smart expansion and provide consulting services to other start-ups. Kevin Gillespie’s Gamechanger opened in August 2017 in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and his latest endeavor, a partnership called RedWether Collaborative, aims to take the current food hall trend to the next level by opening two concepts in Kansas City, Missouri and Nashville, Tennessee by mid-2018.
Gillespie was one of three finalists and the “fan favorite” on the sixth season of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” He was named a 2015 and 2017 semi-finalist and 2016 finalist for the James Beard Award’s Best Chef: South award and was a semi-finalist for the Rising Star Chef of the Year award for three consecutive years. Gillespie was also nominated for Food & Wine’s People’s Best New Chef and named in Forbes’ 30 Under 30. Gillespie released Pure Pork Awesomeness in 2015, a follow-up to the James Beard Award finalist Fire in My Belly.
Serving: Jurgielewicz & Son Duck Confit in a Vidalia Onion Tomato Gravy with Anson Mills Rice Grits
Owner Sweet Cheeks & Tiger Mama Boston, MA
Chef Tiffani Faison of Sweet Cheeks and Tiger Mama in Boston has made a name for herself nationwide for her dynamic personality, fierce work ethic and distinct ability to create restaurants that are warm, creative, and instantly loveable. This year, Tiffani is a finalist for the James Beard Awards Best Chef: Northeast.
Tiffani began her career working under such renowned chefs as Daniel Boulud, Alain Ducasse, and Todd English. In 2006, she placed runner-up on the very first season of Bravo’s Top Chef, then returned for Top Chef Season 8 “All Stars/Duels” where she was also runner-up. In 2010 she become Executive Chef of the southern Italian restaurant, Rocca Kitchen & Bar. After transforming Rocca into a critically acclaimed restaurant with a three-star review from The Boston Globe, Tiffani set her sights on creating her own restaurant.
Drawing inspiration from her love of Southern barbecue and extensive travels in Texas, Tiffani opened Sweet Cheeks in Boston in 2011. Sweet Cheeks garnered a three-star review from The Boston Globe, and it has since been awarded “Boston’s Best Barbecue” for six straight years by Boston magazine. Forbes deemed its biscuits the “Best Biscuits in the World.”
In December 2015, Tiffani opened her second Boston restaurant, Tiger Mama, a chic, tropical meets urban atmosphere with a menu that journeys through Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia. In April 2016, The Boston Globe called Tiger Mama “a spectacular restaurant” with dishes that you’ll “take to the grave” and hospitality that “feels generous and natural.”
Honoring her culinary achievements, Boston magazine awarded Tiffani “Best Chef: General Excellence” in its 2016 “Best of Boston” issue. In November 2016, the Boston Business Journal named Tiffani to its 2016 Power 50 list, “The Game Changers.” She’s been a frequent guest judge on Food Network’s Chopped and Chopped Grill Masters and has made frequent appearances on NBC’s TODAY, CBS This Morning and PBS’s Simply Ming.
Tiffani lives in Jamaica Plain with her wife and business partner Kelly Walsh and furry kids. She is a tireless advocate of LGBT human rights.
Serving: Spicy Thai Basil Chicken with a crispy Quail Egg
Joy Crump, Executive Chef/Partner Foode, Mercantile, and 6 Bears & a Goat Fredericksburg, VA
Joy Crump, a Pennsylvania native, is known for crafting the seasons’ best locally-sourced ingredients into comfortably refined dishes.
A culinary graduate of the Art Institute of Atlanta, Crump honed her skills alongside Atlanta farm-to-table pioneers, Chef Michael Tuohy and Chef Kevin Gillepsie.
In 2011, Crump opened her first restaurant, FOODE in Historic Downtown Fredericksburg, Virginia with business partner Beth Black. In 2014, the duo opened their second restaurant, the breakfast-centric Mercantile, also in Fredericksburg. And in May of 2017 they added microbrewery 6 Bears & A Goat to their restaurant group.
Crump has had the honor of cooking at the James Beard House in both 2016 and 2017, and is actively involved in the James Beard Foundation’s Impact Programs for Food Policy, Chef Advocacy and Change.
Serving: Smoked Pork Lettuce Wraps with Pickled Peaches & Candied Jalapenos
Jean-Robert de Cavel, Chef/Partner Jean-Robert’s Table, Le Bar a Boeuf, French Crust Cafe, Frenchie Fresh, Restaurant L Cincinnati, OH
Jean-Robert was born in France and worked abroad before moving to the United States. His first experience in the US was in New York City where he served as the Chef de Cuisine at Le Régence & La Gauloise within Plaza Athénée. He moved to Cincinnati in 1993 to become the Chef de Cuisine at the Maisonette, maintaining the restaurant’s Mobil 5 Star rating during his tenure. He was a founding partner and Chef de Cuisine at Jean-Robert at Pigall’s, JeanRo Bistro, Pho Paris, Greenup Café, and Lavomatic Café. He was named a Master Chef by Maîtres Cuisiniers de France in 2007. In 2009, he was named Chef-in-Residence at the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State.
In 2010 Jean-Robert’s Table opened in downtown Cincinnati and in 2013, French Crust Café joined the area. It moved to Findlay Market in 2016, transforming to French Crust Café & Bistro. Le Bar a Boeuf began serving customers on Victory Parkway in 2015 and in 2016 Jean-Robert joined forces with partners to open the fast-casual Frenchie Fresh and the fine dining delight Restaurant L.
Serving: Ballotine of Quail on an Arugula Salad with Grains, Vegetables & Goat Cheese and a Banyuls Dressing
Matthew McClure, Executive Chef The Hive at 21c Bentonville - Bentonville, AR
Matthew McClure was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, where hunting, fishing and his grandmother’s cooking ignited his passion for food. After studying at the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, he settled in Boston working at a number of restaurants including Troquet, Harvest and No. 9 Park under the direction of Barbara Lynch.
After years in Boston, Matt was eager to get back to Arkansas to reconnect with the ingredients and foodways of his childhood. He returned to Little Rock where he worked under Lee Richardson at Ashley’s at the Capital Hotel, developing strong relationships with local farmers and producers, and rediscovering the agricultural resources of his home state.
In 2012, Matt joined the opening team of The Hive, located at 21c Museum Hotel Bentonville. At The Hive, Matt showcases the refined, country cuisine of the High South, focusing on the local ingredients of Northwest Arkansas and the region’s traditional methods of cooking. The menu at The Hive is reflective of the geography and culinary landscape of the region, showcasing Matt’s longstanding commitment to support local farmers and purveyors. Matt was named James Beard Award semifinalist for the “Best Chef: South” award in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, and was a speaker at the 2016 James Beard Foundation Conference: Now Trending: The Making of a Food Movement. Matt was awarded Food & Wine Magazine’s “The People’s Best New Chef” award for the Midwest in 2015. He is also an active member of the Southern Foodways Alliance.
Serving: Jurgielewicz & Son Farm Duck Tamales with Pecan Salsa Macha
Executive Chef, Partner Talde, Rice & Gold, Massoni, The Heights, The Crown, Clare’s The Corner, Little Red Truck Brooklyn, Jersey City, Miami, Manhattan, West Palm Beach
Dale Talde’s passion for cooking began at a young age in his native Chicago where he learned to prepare meals alongside his mother in the kitchen. The proud son of Filipino immigrants, he grew up immersed in his family’s cultural heritage, while also enjoying the life of a typical American kid.
Dale applies this distinct Asian-American experience to the menu of his eponymous restaurant, TALDE, which first opened in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood in 2012. TALDE now has multiple locations, including Jersey City, NJ and Miami, FL. Dale debuted his first project in Manhattan with the opening of Massoni at the Arlo NoMad Hotel in November 2016. His second Manhattan restaurant called Rice & Gold opened in October 2017 at the 50 Bowery Hotel in Chinatown. Dale's latest project includes three locations in the food hall Grandview Public Market in West Palm Beach. They are called The Corner, Clare's and Little Red Truck.
In addition to his work in the kitchen, Dale was also a three-time cheftestant on Bravo’s Emmy Award-winning culinary show, “Top Chef.” He competed in Season 4, “All Star” Season 8, “Top Chef Duels”, and became one of the show’s most popular cast members. Dale has competed on “Chopped,” “Iron Chef America,” “Knife Fight” and was also head judge on “Knife Fight” Season 4, as well as guest judge on both “Chopped” and “Beat Bobby Flay.”
Serving: Trumpet Mushroom Hand Roll with Wasabi & Scallions
Chef Dave mans the helms at Churchill Downs where he oversees thousands of events. Derby week, his team will cook for over 300,000 people, governing everything from the infield hotdog stands to The lavish spread in The Mansion and Millionaires Row. This is Dave's third year representing Churchill Downs at Taste of Derby.
Serving: Caramel Opera: Bittersweet Guittard Ganache with Cashew Jacondem, Caramel Glaze & Vanilla Bean Cream
Neal Bodenheimer, Restaurateur/Mixologist- Cane & Table, Cure, Alfredo Nogueira, Executive Chef- Cane & Table New Orleans, LA
Alfredo Nogueira is the Executive Chef of Cane & Table where he brings early island colonial cuisine to the French Quarter in New Orleans. Diners feast on Caribbean-influenced dishes such as peas + rice, mofongo, green gumbo and ceviche.
Neal Bodenheimer is the restaurateur and mixologist behind Cure and Cane & Table in New Orleans. Founded in 2009, Cure is nationally known as a pioneer in the New Orlean’s craft cocktail movement. In addition to being named best bars in America by Esquire, Cure is a three-time “Best Bar Program” nominee by the James Beard Foundation. Neal is also the co-owner of Cane & Table, named one of the Five Best Cocktail Bars in America by Bon Appétit and “Best Bar Program” nominee by the James Beard Foundation. Neal, along with the The Solomon family, signed a letter of intent to take over Tales of the Cocktail, the largest annual trade conference and gathering of spirits industry professionals in New Orleans.
Serving: Gulf Fish Escabeche with Avocado Mousse on a Sourdough Toast
Levon Wallace,Executive Chef Gray & Dudley at 21c Nashville, TN
Levon Wallace’s thoughtful approach combines technique, creativity and aesthetics to create menus that reflect his West Coast roots. A California native and graduate of the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, Wallace apprenticed at some of the city’s finest restaurants before becoming Chef de Cuisine at the Ojai Valley Inn, receiving both AAA Four and Five Diamond Restaurant Awards.
Wallace previously worked with 21c Museum Hotels in Louisville, when he joined Proof on Main in 2012. During his time there, 21c Louisville was selected among Bon Appetit’s “10 Best Hotels for Food Lovers” and he was selected by Star Chefs as the 2014 Rising Star Chef. Wallace returned to 21c Museum Hotels in September 2017 after serving as the opening executive chef of James Beard Award winner Donald Link’s Cochon Butcher Nashville.
At Gray & Dudley, Wallace’s approach is eclectic with a variety of influences, inspired by the Mediterranean, regions of France and Italy and his own West Coast roots. The market-driven menu changes frequently with a selection of dishes that are fresh, bright, simple and playful.
Serving: Chilled Crab Noodles with Meyer Lemon Aioli, English Peas & Smoked Pork Jowl
Justin Devillier, Executive Chef/Owner La Petite Grocery, Balise New Orleans, LA
Chef Justin Devillier is the Chef/Owner of La Petite Grocery and Balise in New Orleans, and the 2016 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: South.
Devillier was raised in a small beach town in California, where the bounty of local seafood inspired him to become a chef. In 2003, Devillier moved to New Orleans and cooked in the kitchens of Bacco, Stella and Peristyle, where he learned the intricacies of French cuisine from his mentor, Chef Anne Kearny-Sands.
In 2004, Devillier joined the team at La Petite Grocery, housed in a century-old building with a storied history, and was promoted from line cook to sous chef within one year. Following Hurricane Katrina, Devillier helped re-build the restaurant’s infrastructure and was promoted to executive chef in 2007. Three years later, Devillier and his wife Mia took ownership of the restaurant, where he puts his creative spin on traditional New Orleans cuisine with dishes like Turtle Bolognese, Panéed Rabbit, and Blue Crab Beignets. In 2016 and 2017, the restaurant was named as one of Eater’s 38 Essential Restaurants in America.
In early 2015 the Devilliers opened their second restaurant, Balise, named after the first French settlement at the mouth of the Mississippi River. Set in a 19th century Creole townhouse in the Central Business District, Balise is a modern New Orleans tavern that celebrates the port city’s unique access to a wide variety of ingredients. In the summer of 2018, the Devilliers will open a Parisian-style Brasserie in New Orleans’ historic French Quarter.
Serving: Fried Chicken Rillettes with Buttermilk Mayo, Chicories & Tabasco Honey Vinaigrette
Tory McPhail, Executive Chef Commander’s Palace New Orleans, LA
James Beard award-winning Chef Tory McPhail has led the Commander’s Palace kitchen for 16 years and is widely recognized as a true culinary scholar. Tory’s time spent outside the kitchen is a key to his success; he immerses himself in the academia of food, soaking up intricate details about the origins and complexities of the foods he selects for his menus. He works closely with his growers, producers and vendors; his forays into fields, fishing boats and beyond are a treasured ritual that net delightful results.
In 2013, Tory was awarded the coveted James Beard Foundation “Best Chef: South”. And Commander’s is annually included on almost every “best restaurant” list across the country. In addition to his work at Commander’s, Tory is a partner in SoBu and is the founder of Tory McPhail foods .
A native of Washington, he learned about food at an early age from his family’s farm -to -table lifestyle. He received his degree in Culinary Science at Seattle Community College and headed to New Orleans upon graduation. Tory worked under Chef Jamie Shannon at Commander’s Palace, working his way through all of the 12 stations before taking off to hone his craft at The Breakers, L’escargot in London and The Picasso Room in Las Vegas. He sharpened his taste buds and talents with Caribbean Creole at Mongoose in the US Virgin Islands, then returned to Las Vegas as executive sous chef at Commander’s Palace. New Orleans called him back in 2002 and he has been at the helm of the kitchen at Commander’s Palace since.
Serving: Flambéed Crawfish Tamales with Lemon infused Tequila, Garlic & Calabrian Chili Butter
Josh Thomsen,Executive Chef,Sunset Terrace, Edison, Vue 1913,The Omni Grove Park Inn Asheville, NC
As Executive Chef of The Omni Grove Park Inn’s Sammons Wing, Josh Thomsen oversees kitchen operations, menu creation and the overall dining experience of three of the four signature restaurants, the iconic chophouse, Sunset Terrace, EDISON, craft ales + kitchen, and Vue 1913 an American Brasserie. Thomsen joined The Omni Grove Park Inn from Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa in Manalapan, Fla., where as Executive Chef he oversaw four dining venues, banquets, in-room dining and a private club level. He also raised the property from a Forbes four-star/five diamond ranking to five-star/five-diamond status, a rating it held for the duration of his two-year service.
Previously, Thomsen spent three years as executive chef/partner of Agricola in Princeton, N.J., one of the top-rated restaurants in the Garden State, where he penned the cookbook Agricola, Thank a Farmer. He also served four years as executive chef of Claremont Resort and Spa in Berkeley, Calif., where he was recognized as a “Rising Star Chef” by StarChefs.com in 2010. Other dining destinations among Thomsen’s extensive work history are Tao at the Venetian Resort and Boa Steakhouses in Las Vegas and Los Angeles; The Lodge at Pebble Beach in Monterey, Calif; Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles and The French Laundry in Yountville, Calif.
Born and raised in Woodcliff Lake, N.J., Thomsen grew up eyeing work in the culinary world, an ambition he credits to his father. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. Thomsen is always involved in giving back to the community by supporting local Food Banks, Meals on Wheels, The James Beard Foundation, Edible Schoolyard, and The V Foundation of Cancer Research.
Serving: Royal Red Shrimp over Anson MIlls Grits with Tasso Gravy
Timon Balloo, Executive Chef/Partner Sugarcane Brooklyn/Miami/Las Vegas
As the culinary heart of SUGARCANE raw bar grill, Executive Chef and Partner Timon Balloo draws from his broad range of influences and experiences to bring bold, global flavors to every dish on the menu. From his own Chinese, Indian-Trinidadian heritage to his classic European training, to the diverse kitchens in which he built his career, each step along the way has led Balloo to become the chef he is today.
Through the international program of extended studies at Johnson & Wales, Balloo traveled to Belgium to work at Hotel Métropole in 1998. Under the French Master, Chef Dominique Michou, Balloo honed his classical culinary training skills. Balloo went on to become Junior Sous Chef at Azul in Miami’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel under the leadership of Michelle Bernstein. From contemporary Spanish cuisine at La Broche in Miami to the intersection of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian dishes at SUSHISAMBA in New York City, Balloo eventually earned Executive Chef status. He partnered with Amir Ben-Zion to launch Domo Japones in Miami’s Design District.
An opportunity to reconnect with Samba Brands Management in 2009 brought Balloo back to the growing restaurant group as Executive Chef and Partner of SUGARCANE raw bar grill, which opened in 2010. It was here that he was able to bring together everything he had learned about global flavors and techniques. Shortly after the restaurant’s debut, SUGARCANE raw bar grill was named a James Beard Awards semifinalist for “Best New Restaurant” and Balloo was nominated for “The People’s Best New Chef” by Food and Wine in 2013.
Serving: Oven Roasted Carrots with Herb whipped Marscarpone & Pistachio Granola
Ian Gresik, Executive Chef/Owner The Arbour Pasadena, CA
Chef Ian Gresik is the owner of The Arbour, an upscale farm to table California cuisine restaurant located in the beautiful city of Pasadena, California.
Ian Gresik's lifelong culinary journey began at an early age in his native Southern California, where he attended the prestigious California School of Culinary Arts Le Cordon Bleu and graduated at the top of his class. Since then, his culinary career has been taking him back and forth between pastry and savory roles in kitchens across the United States and abroad, providing him with over eighteen years of culinary experience.
Ian was also the former Chef of the award winning Drago Centro in downtown Los Angeles. Before Drago Centro he worked as the Pastry Chef at Patina restaurant and was the youngest pastry chef in the US with a Michelin star.
A chef with many hats, Ian's commitment to perfection is something you can literally taste.
Serving: Wild Mushroom Agnolotti with Shaved Truffles
Chef De Cuisine – Lincoln Tavern Co-Founder- So We Flew Inc. Underground Dining Experiences, Founding Chef De Cuisine- Loco Taqueria
Professionally trained with 12+ years experience in a diverse selection of cuisines. During his career he has successfully opened and cultivated two large scale restaurants (300+ seating) from inception. Tim has studied abroad to learn international cooking techniques in Chile, Argentina and Italy. His passion and specialty is creating dishes utilizing seasonal ingredients, modern techniques and flavor innovation.
Serving: Buttermilk & Bourbon Pork Tenderloin, Sweet Corn Huancaina & Radish Salad with a julep vinaigrette Paired with the Angry Orchard Crisp Cornbread Ice Cream with charred Blueberry, Praline Crumble and Basil Paired with the Angry Orchard Rose'