Chris Koetke, MBA,CEC, CCE

Executive Director, Kendall College School of Culinary Arts
Koetke draws high marks in his role as Executive Director for Kendall’s School of Culinary Arts, thanks to his extensive experience in France’s finest kitchens (Pavillon Elysees and Pierre Gagnaire) and his years in upscale Chicago French restaurants (Le Francais, L’Escargot and Les Nomades). His passion for culinary arts and sustainability has earned him national acclaim.

Randy Zweiban

Executive Chef/Owner, Province
Zweiban, a culinary veteran and protégé of Rich Melman and Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Inc., brought Latino-inspired culinary culture to Nacional 27, Chicago’s first Nuevo Latino restaurant. His Province concept is Chicago’s first full service restaurant to receive Gold Level LEED certification and offers a seasonal menu, an extensive, sustainable wine list and local brew on tap. Zweiban has garnered award-winning acclaim in Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Newsweek and USA Today.

Derek Brown

Co-Owner/Writer/Mixologist, The Coumbia Room, Washington D.C., The Passenger and Columbia Room, Washington, D.C.
Brown’s passion for bartending began at his first job in a local Adams Morgan bar, where he developed a thirst for precise technique and the history behind the drinks. The opening of The Passenger and Columbia Room with his brother, Tom, met with wide acclaim. Accolades comprise inclusion in such lists as Bon Appetit’s Top 10 Best New Cocktail Bars and GQ's 25 Best Cocktail Bars in America. Brown gained recognition as one of the top five new sommeliers by Wine & Spirits magazine in 2007.

Lynn House

Chief Mixologist, Blackbird, Chicago
A champion mixologist, House previously shared her beverage expertise at Graham Elliot and The Drawing Room before taking charge of the cocktail program at Blackbird. House’s most recent competition wins include 2011 Top Ten Finalist for Tales of the Cocktail, 2011 National Finalist for Don Q Ultimate Mix Off and 2011 National Finalist for Bacardi Legacy.

Charles Joly

Mixologist, The Drawing Room, Chicago
Joly’s innovative cocktail program combines classic pre-Prohibition-era drinks and contemporary creations that emphasize seasonal, fresh, house-made ingredients. His USBG mixology certification has earned him world-renown as Chicago Tribune’s 2011 Beverage Professional of the Year, America’s Top Bartender 2010 (On the Rock, NBC) and a first-place winner in the 2010 Del Maguey Mezcal competition.

Eamon Rockey

General Manager, Atera (formerly Compose), NYC
Rockey’s CIA degree and his tenure at NYC’s esteemed Gilt and Eleven Madison Park gifted him an eye for delivering flawlessly integrated service. His passion is providing guests with world-class dining and drink experiences, whether tempting them with classically inspired cocktails, meticulously brewed sakes or craft beers.

Bill Kim

Chef/Owner, Urbanbelly, Chicago; Belly Shack, Chicago
Kim built his reputation as a creator of exciting Asian dishes as Executive Chef at Chicago’s Le Lan. He then made a culinary splash by leaving Le Lan to open Urban Belly, a fast casual modern noodle and dumpling concept. He followed with Belly Shack in 2009, this time inflecting his signature affordable, creative pan-Asian cuisine with Latin notes.

Pano I. Karatassos

Executive Chef, Kyma, Atlanta, GA
Pano I. Karatassos created a culinary stir at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry Kitchen in Napa Valley and at NYC’s Jean-Georges and Le Bernadin before assuming his current dual role as Executive Chef at Kyma and a leader in the Buckhead Restaurant Group. His modern take on Greek cuisine respects his intense French training while staying true to his Greek roots.

Michael Paley

Executive Chef, Proof on Main, Louisville, KY
Paley’s exciting, accessible menu pays homage to local farmers, artesian producers and sustainable agriculture. His prior experience at Boca Raton’s Lucca showed him the value of using only the freshest seasonal ingredients to create simple, elegant dishes. In addition to buying locally, Paley makes more than 70 percent of his cured meats in house.

Chris Pandel

Executive Chef, The Bristol, Chicago
Pandel began his restaurant career in NYC before heading to Chicago to work with his mentor, Rick Tramonto, at Tru. Tramonto later tapped Pandel to design menus and kitchens at the restaurant group Cenitare. At Cenitare, Pandel met John Ross, and the team joined Phillip Walters to develop The Bristol, where Pandel relishes being a hands-on cook again.

Rick Gresh

Executive Chef, David Burke’s Primehouse at The James Chicago
Gresh’s menu at David Burke’s Primehouse offers a modern take on the classic steak. His prior experience includes gigs at such elegant locations as the Waldorf Astoria (NYC) and Trio (Evanston) and the hip jazz club Green Dolphin Street (Chicago). Gresh’s talents have twice garnered him a spot as a USA competition finalist in the world’s premier culinary competition, the Bocuse D’Or.

Shanna Pacifico

Chef de Cuisine, Back Forty, NYC
Pacifico’s international travels and her experience as a line cook at Savoy Restaurant (NYC) inspire her local, seasonal approach and her simple, full-flavored preparations. Her Back Forty menu emphasizes American regional food traditions, particularly those of the South and the Mid-Atlantic. To meet the challenge of maintaining moderate menu prices while still sourcing meat properly, Pacifico buys whole animals directly from known farmers and butchers them at her restaurant.

Doug Piper

Master Butcher,NSW/ACT Business Development Manager Domestic Marketing, Meat & Livestock Australia
Piper’s 34-year career includes an impressive array of managerial and butchery positions. He joined Meat and Livestock Australia in 2007. By 2009 he was promoted to his current position focusing on both retail and foodservice. His team facilitates beef and lamb workshops that include meat appreciation training, paddock-to-plate tours and educational tours for chefs and butchers. Piper’s expert butchery skills have been highlighted in an interactive DVD for both butchers and chefs to be used worldwide.

Patrick Sheerin

Executive Chef, The Signature Room, Chicago
Patrick Sheerin has a creative hand in developing key menus for the Signature Room dining room and its special events. He infuses the menu with locally grown foods; lighter sauces and interesting vegetable gelatins complement the traditionally classic steak and fish dishes. Sheerin is often a guest on radio and TV and has written columns for Local Beet.

Greg Hall

Founder/Ciderist, Virtue Cider
Gregory Hall is one of the country’s most innovative craft brewers. In May 2011 he stepped down as brewmaster at the Goose Island Beer Company (founded by his father, John) to pursue his new venture, Virtue Cider. In this farm-to-bottle project, Hall uses the highest quality Midwestern heirloom apples to produce ciders combining Old World traditions with modern craft cider fermentation and aging techniques. During his Goose Island tenure, Hall became the first brewer to use bourbon barrels to age stout.

Joncarl Lachman

Chef/Owner, Vincent and HB Home Bistro, Chicago
Lachman showcased his culinary talents in such high-profile kitchens as Inside Restaurant (NYC), Restaurant Nora (Washington, D.C.), and Urban Epicure (Chicago) before joining HB as Executive Chef. He also recently opened Vincent, an American bistro with a strong Dutch accent that Chicago magazine recently included on its list of Best New Restaurants. Lachman is the 2002 winner of the S. Pellegrino Almost Famous chef contest. His experiences in London and Spain shape his adventurous culinary approach.

Marcus Jernmark

Executive Chef, Aquavit, NYC
Jernmark focuses on the purest expression of modern, authentic Scandinavian cuisine at Aquavit, a fine dining restaurant. Previously, Jernmark worked as the Executive Chef at the Swedish Consulate in New York, where he catered to celebrities, royalties, politicians and more than 25 Nobel Prize winners. Under Jernmark’s tutelage, Aquavit received a flattering two-star review from The New York Times in August 2010. In March 2011 he was named one of the 30 Under 30 by Zagat, an honor given to New York’s hottest up-and-comers in the hospitality industry.

Sarah Elizabeth Ippel

Founder & Executive Director, Academy for Global Citizenship, Chicago
Ippel opened the Academy for Global Citizenship, a public elementary school, in 2008 in Chicago’s underserved Southwest side. The AGC is committed to environmental sustainability and is internationally renowned for its model green school initiatives, which include daily organic breakfast and lunch, a solar learning lab, a schoolyard vegetable garden, rain barrels, composting, yoga, nutrition education, a faculty wellness program and a comprehensive sustainability curriculum. In 2010, Ippel was recognized with Chicago Magazine’s Green Award and was selected as a US Delegate to Terra Madre, where she met with representatives from over 60 nations to discuss sustainability of food systems.

Ari Weinzweig

CEO and co-founding partner, Zingerman's Community of Businesses, Ann Arbor, MI
Zingerman’s Community of Businesses includes Zingerman’s Delicatessen, Bakehouse, Creamery, Catering, Mail Order, ZingTrain, Coffee Company, Roadhouse and the newest business — Zingerman’s Candy Manufactory. Zingerman’s produces and sells full-flavored, traditional foods to the tune of $38,000,000 annually. Weinzweig was recognized as one of the “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America” by the 2006 James Beard Foundation and was awarded a Bon Appetit Lifetime Achievement Award. He recently published Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 1: A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business.

Rafi Taherian

Executive Director, Yale Dining, New Haven, CT
For the past three years, Taherian has served as the Executive Director for Yale Dining after culminating a successful, 13-year tenure as the Executive Director for Stanford Dining at Sanford University. Taherian focuses on ensuring operational excellence and delivery of over 14,000 meals per day in 28 foodservice operations, including residential college dining, graduate student dining, retail, convenience stores, cafés, catering and executive services, a commissary and a bakery. Taherian has been nationally recognized for his commitment to sustainability initiatives and distinction in dining programs. He has received numerous awards for his contributions to the hospitality industry during his 25-year career.

Dominique Crenn

Chef/Owner, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco, CA

Dominique Crenn’s new restaurant, Atelier Crenn, provides a modern take on fine-French cuisine and draws on the community as inspiration.

In 1997, Crenn made culinary history as the first female executive chef in Indonesia, heading the kitchen at the Jakarta Intercontinental Hotel. She returned to California in 1998 and worked her magic at the Manhattan Country Club in Manhattan Beach and at Abode Restaurant & Lounge in Santa Monica. Crenn has led the kitchen at Luce in San Francisco’s Intercontinental Hotel since 2008.

A Michelin star chef in 2010 and 2011, Crenn was named Esquire Magazine’s 2008 Chef of the Year and is a recent winner of the Iron Chef America competition.

Jared Van Camp

Chef/Owner, Old Town Social, Chicago, IL and Quality Social, San Diego, CA

Jared Van Camp’s love of art translates into an eye for detail and presentation. At his two restaurants, everything on the menu is made by hand on premise. His goal is to produce seasonal, unpretentious food that is blue collar in spirit and uses the freshest, high-quality ingredients. Van Camp is a 2011 Rising Star Concept Chef. In 2009, Time Out Chicago named him one of The 10 Most Important Chefs Right Now. He also was named 2010’s Best New Chef in Chicago in Time Out Chicago’s Eat Out Reader’s Choice Awards.

Richard Satnick

Owner, Dick’s Kitchen, Portland, OR

Richard Satnick’s desire to push foodservice toward a more healthful and sustainable outcome led him to develop his latest venture, Dick’s Kitchen, a diner that serves 100-percent, grass-fed beef burgers; lean game burgers; and other dishes, including vegetarian and vegan. DK aims to create delicious alternatives to artery-clogging high-fat, high-sugar, and salt-laden meals. Another goal of DK is to link consumers with ranchers and farmers: real people who are struggling to maintain traditional mixed-farming methods to combat the industrial food system. The second Dick’s Kitchen is slated to open in October, with a third Portland location currently in the planning stage.

Chandra Ram

Editor, Plate

Nathanial Zimet

Chef and Partner, Boucherie, New Orleans, LA

Nathanial Zimet has worked in some of New Orleans’ best kitchens, including Stella!, the Bank Café and Iris. While at Iris, Zimet developed the mobile “Que Crawl” van, which fed customers barbecue, slow-cooked greens and grits fries. At Boucherie, Zimet creates contemporary Southern cuisine based on outstanding ingredients. A pulled pork cake with potato confit and purple cabbage slaw could be described as a deconstruction of the traditional barbecue sandwich. “Fine dining for the people” is Boucherie’s motto; and Zimet and his partner, James Denio, take it seriously. That’s why New Orleans Magazine named Boucherie Best New Restaurant in December 2009.

Rob Levitt

Butcher/Co-Owner, The Butcher & Larder, Chicago, Illinois

The Butcher & Larder is Chicago’s first sustainable, whole-animal butcher shop. The shop custom cuts high-quality meat from animals that are responsibly raised on small, Midwestern family farms. The shop makes a variety of sausages, patés and prepared deli items for retail sale. In addition, The Butcher & Larder offers butchering and charcuterie classes. Levitt’s shop co-owner is his wife, Allie. Rob and Allie were co-owners of the now closed Mado restaurant in Chicago’s Wicker Park/Bucktown. Their combined resumes include stints at North Pond, Marché, del Toro, La Tache, Fiddlehead Café, 312 Chicago, Gramercy Tavern and The Park Avenue Café.

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