JEREMIAH BACON | Executive Chef The Macintosh • Charleston, SC
With a name like Bacon, Jeremiah was destined to be a chef. A native of Johns Island, SC, he learned to appreciate at an early age the seasonal bounty and eclectic flavors that the Lowcountry has to offer.
After graduating from the College of Charleston with a degree in Philosophy, Jeremiah attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. then moved to New York City where he honed his skills in the kitchens of some of the city’s most legendary restaurants, including River Café, Le Bernardin and Per Se.
After refining his skills in the Northeast for 10 years, he returned home to the Lowcountry and incorporated a local-first philosophy into his culinary practices, first at Carolina’s and then as executive chef at Oak Steakhouse.
As executive chef of the Macintosh, Bacon continues to build upon his relationships with local farmers and purveyors to incorporate their food into his menu. His finely tuned talents and palate are reflected in the restaurant’s menu, which serves technique-driven dishes that are locally sourced and seasonally inspired.
TYLER BROWN | Executive Chef Capitol Grille • Nashville, TN
Executive Chef Tyler Brown, recently named one of Esquire Magazine’s Four New Chefs to watch, leads one of Nashville’s highly-praised restaurants. Chef Tyler Brown spends most days divided between the duties of an Executive Chef and those of a farmer. A typical day includes overseeing the day to day operation of the restaurant and then jumping on his John Deere to work on a piece of land at the farm. Overseeing the Land Trust for Tennessee’s Glen Leven Farm, located just 5 miles from the front door of The Hermitage Hotel, Chef/Farmer Brown uses sustainable farming practices to ensure everything comes out of the ground just as nature intended. He then uses these vegetables on the menu in the Capitol Grille. The efforts to operate the farm have been extremely successful and have recently grown to include a herd of cattle as well as bees.
Next, in the Capitol Grille, Chef Brown strives to serve cultural sustainability by paying homage to the great Southern dishes and cooking practices of the past to ensure they are not forgotten. In fact, many of his recipes came from the recipe box of his grandmother.
During Brown’s tenure at the Capitol Grille, the dining establishment has not only earned the coveted Forbes Four Star and AAA Four Diamond designations, but was also voted one of America’s best restaurants by Gourmet magazine, on The Food Network, and was recognized at the James Beard House.
Prior to his position at the Capitol Grille, Brown graduated Magna Cum Laude from Johnson & Wales University in 1997 with an Associates Degree in Applied Science in Culinary Arts and was introduced to the culinary industry by his mother, who is also an accomplished chef. Brown worked at a number of fine dining restaurants including his position as Chef de Partie at Peninsula Grill in Charleston, S.C., a Forbes Four-Star / AAA Five-Diamond, and recognized Relais & Chateaux dining establishment. Currently, there are only 453 recognized establishments worldwide, all of which must meet rigorous criteria for quality. Brown then held the Executive Sous Chef position in 1999 at Fearrington House in Chapel Hill, N.C., a Relais & Chateaux property, before becoming the Executive Chef and Partner in 2001 of Southern Comforts BBQ & Soul, an upscale comfort food establishment in Charlotte, N.C.
Brown became Chef de Cuisine of the Capitol Grille in 2003 and emerged as a leader in the kitchen Brown surfaced as one of Nashville’s most talented chefs, establishing relationships with the local community organizations and producers to become a forerunner in the Southeastern culinary community with progressive, southern cuisine. He is a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance, and is currently on the board of the Slow Food USA – Nashville Chapter. In 2010 and again in 2012, Brown was among the semi-finalists for the James Beard Award “Best Chef, Southeast”.
DAVID CARRIER | Executive Sous Chef The Cloister and Beach Club • Sea Island, GA
David Carrier spent the majority of his childhood days in his parent’s Northern Italian restaurant in Queens, NY. It was at that young age that true hospitality was etched into his mind. After graduating Xavier High School in Manhattan, David pursued an undergraduate degree from Cazenovia College. It was in this lakeside, central New York town where David got back into the business and found his calling.
Soon after graduation David enrolled in The French Culinary Institute and began his culinary journey. After receiving his degree, he moved to Yountville, California to work under Chef Thomas Keller at The French Laundry. It was here where he honed his skills, developed his cooking philosophies, and had the opportunity to work alongside Grant Achatz, then Sous Chef of The French Laundry.
In 2001 David accompanied Grant in a move to Evanston, Illinois to work at Trio. Before long David became the Sous Chef to the soon-to-be-famous culinary genius. When David completed his time at Trio in July of 2004 he began a quest to find his own kitchen. In 2005 he and his wife moved to Apalachicola, Florida, where they opened Avenue Sea. This was their first opportunity to work together and their introduction to the marvels of southern hospitality and cuisine. David had the opportunity to return to Chicago to open Kith & Kin in Lincoln Park. His food garnered many accolades and he was awarded Michelin’s Bib Gourmand recognition.
2011 brought David back to the south, where entered the resort world for the first time as an Executive Sous Chef at The Cloister and Beach Club on Sea Island, Georgia, a Forbes Five-Star property. He was promoted to Executive Chef of both in 2012, and currently oversees the culinary operations of the hotel’s dining collection.
BRANDON CARTER | Executive Chef • Palmetto Bluff, SC
Brandon Carter is Executive Chef of The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, currently ranked the #1 hotel in the United States by the readers of Conde Nast. Carter joined The Inn at Palmetto Bluff as Chef de Cuisine in January 2011, assisting with the management of the River House Restaurant, including menu planning and all aspects of production and service. One year later, Brandon took the helm as Executive Chef where he oversees four restaurants, twice as many menus, and is the grand poobah of everything on your plate at Music to Your Mouth.
In 2013, under Carter’s leadership, Palmetto Bluff was named the #7 food lover destination by Bon Appetit magazine. Carter and Palmetto Bluff continue to explore the foodways – the stories, the farmers, the artisans, the culture, and the traditions - of the south.
Previously, Carter served as Chef de Cuisine and Chef de Partie at The Ritz-Carlton Naples in South Florida, assisting with the management of three of the hotels restaurants from 2004 to 2008. Carter also served as the Executive Chef of the Belly General Store and as the Chef de Cuisine of Mumbo Jumbo Bar and Grill from 2000 to 2004.
ANDY CHABOT | Sommelier and Director of Food and Beverage Blackberry Farm • Walland, TN
Andy has always had an interest in how things taste. After working his way through local restaurants, Andy headed straight for the CIA to round out his education in the culinary arts and restaurant management. After a stint at Little Nell, Andy found his true interest in the front of house. He graduated from the CIA in 2001 and moved to Walland and began his career with Blackberry Farm in 2002. He soon became involved in the young wine program. In less than 6 years, Blackberry’s wine cellar grew from 17,000 bottles to 166,000. With Proprietor Sam Beall’s enthusiasm and passion and Andy Chabot’s talent on the floor, the wine program has become synonymous with the success of Blackberry Farm. In 2014, Andy and the wine program received the James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine Program.
Andy has proceeded past the advanced level of the Court of Master Sommeliers Exam and was the recipient of the Michael Biccorsani Scholarship. Today, Andy is responsible for all aspects of managing Blackberry Farm’s Grand Award winning wine program.
ASHLEY CHRISTENSEN | Chef + Proprietor Poole's Diner • Raleigh, NC
Since making Raleigh her home, Ashley Christensen has sought to foster community through food, philanthropy and the stimulation of the city’s downtown neighborhood.
Ashley began cooking during college, throwing dinner parties for her friends and family. These intimate gatherings helped her recognize her passion for cooking and sharing food, and ultimately led to her first professional cooking job at the age of 21. Upon taking the position, she knew she had found her life’s work.
After working in some of the Triangle’s top kitchens, Ashley opened Poole’s Diner in 2007, which takes its name and décor from the building’s original tenant--one of downtown Raleigh’s first restaurants. The shotgun space offers an evolving chalkboard menu of comfort-food classics, re-imagined through a philosophy of locally grown, seasonal ingredients and French-influenced technique. In 2011, Ashley opened three new ventures, all housed in a corner building once occupied by a Piggly Wiggly. Beasley’s Chicken + Honey is an ode to fried chicken and classic Southern sides; Chuck’s offers burgers and frites with signature updates; and Fox Liquor Bar, housed in the building’s basement, features a menu of more than 50 craft cocktails, as well as beer, wine and bar snacks. When she’s not in the kitchen, Ashley focuses her time on a number of local and regional charities. She is a board member of the Frankie Lemmon foundation and a co-chair of its annual fundraising event, Triangle Wine Experience. She is also an active member of the Southern Foodways Alliance and founded the quarterly event, Stir the Pot, in which she hosts visiting chefs at Poole’s and in her home to raise funds for the SFA’s documentary initiatives. Ashley’s work has gained national attention from such publications as Bon Appétit, Gourmet, The New York Times, Southern Living and Garden & Gun. Ashley was named one of the “Female Chefs of the Next Generation” by Bon Appétit in 2008 and is a three-time James Beard semi-finalist for “Best Chef: Southeast.” She has appeared on Food Network’s popular series Iron Chef America and MSNBC’s Your Business.
ASHLEY COPE | Pastry Chef • Palmetto Bluff, SC
Since 2008, Pastry Chef Ashley Cope has masterfully created the fine pastries, desserts and bread for guests at Palmetto Bluff. Among her signature sweet treats are Cope’s Bacon Bourbon Pecan Mousse, Black Bottom Crème Brulee and homemade ice cream.
To encourage guests to get creative with their own desserts, Cope created the ‘make your own dessert’ bar at the Canoe Club restaurant. Guests can experiment with a wide assortment of sweets to create their own custom-made dessert and satisfy their sweet tooth. During the 2012 and 2013 Music to Your Mouth Festivals, Cope delighted guests with the presentation of her candy bacon forest, made with candied and chocolate dipped bacon.
A New England native, Cope quickly became very fond of the Lowcountry’s temperate weather and laid-back lifestyle. Her appreciation for the southern lifestyle is infused into every dish she prepares using only the finest, locally sourced ingredients. She specializes in creating visually appealing pastries and developing unique flavor combinations for ice cream and sorbets.
Cope attended Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, N.C., where she earned her associate’s degree in baking and pastry arts and bachelor’s degree in foodservice management.
SCOTT CRAWFORD | Executive Chef Standard Foods • Raleigh, NC
Chef Scott Crawford – celebrated for his refined, modern regional American cooking – has partnered to form Nash Square Hospitality, and will soon open his own restaurants in downtown Raleigh. Standard Foods – a restaurant and neighborhood grocery with adjacent urban garden – will offer Crawford’s progressive Southern comfort food in the restaurant, and his prepared foods, charcuterie, frozen custards and more in the grocery when it opens Fall 2014; Crawford’s flagship Nash Tavern will open in 2015.
Crawford earned the Forbes 5-star award at Herons in The Umstead Hotel and Spa, and previously at The Georgian Room at The Cloister Hotel in Sea Island in 2006, and at Woodlands Resort & Inn in 2004. Under Crawford’s direction, Herons was named among the “101 Best Places to Eat in the World” in Newsweek in 2012. Crawford received James Beard Foundation semi-finalist nominations for “Best Chef: Southeast” the past 3 years, and accolades in Art Culinaire, Food & Wine, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Southern Living.
Crawford effortlessly translates local, seasonal ingredients and classic, often Southern, ideas for a contemporary palate. He is a master at pairing unexpected flavors, applying modern techniques with integrity, and exercising precision to brighten each ingredient’s flavor and purpose. The result – Chef Scott Crawford’s cooking is a fresh, ingenious, modern take on Southern food today.
JOHN CURRENCE | Executive Chef/Owner City Grocery • Oxford, MS
John Currence was born and raised in New Orleans to a family that loved to cook and spend time in the kitchen. His parents’ travels during his childhood, combined with the family’s several years in Europe, brought the dishes of the world to their dinner table, while time spent hunting and fishing in South Louisiana began the education in the foods of his home.
Currence’s first restaurant job was washing dishes at Bill Neal’s Crook’s Corner. He worked his way up through the Crook’s kitchen, and after three years, returned to New Orleans to open Gautreau’s as sous chef. After several years, Currence moved on to the Brennan family of restaurants to help open Bacco before settling in Oxford, MS, and opening City Grocery in 1992. In the time since, the City Grocery Restaurant Group has seen a number of openings, including Nacho Mama’s, Kalo’s, Ajax Diner, City Grocery Catering Company, Bouré, Big Bad Breakfast and Snackbar.
Recipient of 2009 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: South, Currence was honored as Restaurateur Of The Year and Chef Of The Year by the Mississippi Restaurant Association in 1998. In 2006, he received the Southern Foodways Alliance Guardian of Tradition Award and won the 2008 Great American Seafood Cookoff in New Orleans and the 2009 Charleston Food and Wine Festival’s Iron Chef Challenge.
Current projects include: a cookbook and Adventures of The Big Bad Chef video series, trips through the lesser known food spots of the Deep South. Starting spring 2011, Currence can be seen competing on Bravo’s season three of Top Chef Masters.
JUSTIN DEVILLIER | Executive Chef and Owner La Petite Grocery • New Orleans, LA
Justin Devillier was raised in Dana Point, California, a small beach town in South Orange County. He spent summers fishing for Yellowtail and Albacore tuna, and in the fall and winter he would dive for lobsters just steps from his front door. This bounty of local seafood inspired Justin to enter the culinary industry and after working in local restaurants right out of high school, he decided to focus all of his time on becoming a chef.
In 2003, Devillier moved to New Orleans and cooked in the kitchens of Bacco, Stella and Peristyle. While at Peristyle, he worked with Chef Anne Kearny-Sands and learned the intricacies of French cuisine.
Devillier joined the La Petite Grocery team in 2004 and became sous chef a year later. After Hurricane Katrina, he helped re-build La Petite Grocery’s infrastructure by managing the daily specials and training the new line cooks. In February 2007, he was promoted to executive chef and was named a 2008 “Chef to Watch” by the Times-Picayune. In 2009, the New Orleans City Business Culinary Connoisseurs named him one of the city’s best chefs and also recognized La Petite Grocery as the “Best Neighborhood Restaurant”.
He and his wife Mia bought La Petite Grocery in 2010, and he has since been named a James Beard Award finalist for Best Chef: South in 2012, 2013, and 2014. In March 2014, Justin and the team at La Petite Grocery proudly celebrated 10 years of operation at the restaurant. When he has free time, he can be found fishing, or at the beach with his wife and two young daughters.
JOHN T. EDGE | Director Southern Foodways Alliance
John T. Edge writes a monthly column, “United Tastes,” for the New York Times. He is a contributing editor at Garden & Gun. He is a longtime columnist for the Oxford American. He was a contributing editor at Gourmet.
His work for Saveur and other magazines has been featured in seven editions of the Best Food Writing compilation. He has been nominated for five James Beard Foundation Awards, including two M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Awards. In 2009, he was inducted into Beard's Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America.
Edge holds a master’s degree in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi. He is director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, an institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, where he documents and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the American South. The SFA has completed more than 450 oral histories and 20 films, focusing on the likes of fried chicken cooks, row crop farmers, oystermen, and bartenders.
He has a number of books to his credit, including the James Beard Award-nominated cookbook, A Gracious Plenty: Recipes and Recollections from the American South.
Edge has served as culinary curator for the weekend edition of NPR’s All Things Considered, and he has been featured on dozens of television shows, from CBS Sunday Morning to Iron Chef.
He lives in Oxford, Mississippi, with his son, Jess, and his wife, Blair Hobbs, teacher, and painter.
CHRIS HASTINGS | Chef and Co-owner Hot and Hot Fish Club • Birmingham, AL
Chris Hastings is chef of the nationally celebrated Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Alabama, which he owns with his wife Idie. Located in a historic building on the city’s Southside, the award-winning restaurant has earned a reputation for serving some of the finest and freshest dishes in the region.
Chris first became enamored with food during family vacations spent in the low country of South Carolina. After high school, he was accepted to Appalachian State University in North Carolina, but he deferred his admission for a year to work in the kitchen at Silver Cricket in Charlotte. John Daly, the chef at the Silver Cricket, noticed his skill and suggested he apply to culinary school. Chris attended Johnson & Wales in Providence, Rhode Island.
Chris returned to the South after graduation, accepting a position as a chef at the Ritz Carlton in Atlanta, where he learned to apply European influences to Southern cuisine. On a weekend trip to Birmingham, Chris met chef Frank Stitt of the acclaimed Highlands Bar and Grill. The two stayed in touch and, soon after, Chris relocated to Birmingham to work for Stitt as chef de cuisine. He also helped open Bottega, Stitt’s Mediterranean restaurant. During this time, Chris first traveled to California, where he met his future mentor, chef Bradley Ogden.
In 1989, Chris moved to San Francisco, where he opened the Lark Creek Inn with chef Ogden. While in California, Chris witnessed the rise of the farm-to-table movement first-hand, as he visited the farmer's markets to source ingredients and helped test recipes for Ogden’s cookbook.
While Chris found his time in California invaluable, he moved back to Birmingham in 1991 with the goal of opening a restaurant with Idie. Chris returned to work for Chef Stitt while planning for the future. In 1995, the Hastings opened the Hot and Hot Fish Club, a restaurant that offers warm hospitality, contemporary American cuisine with Southern influences and a beautiful space filled with the work of local artisans.
Chris released his first cookbook: The Hot and Hot Fish Club Cookbook, A Celebration of Food, Family and Traditions (Running Press, October 2009). Far more than a recipe book, the pages offer a glimpse of Chris and Idie’s home and work life on a month-by-month basis and how they gather at the table with family and friends to celebrate the passing seasons. In 2010, the book was selected by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) as a finalist in the annual Cookbook Awards' Food Photography and Styling category.
Chef Hastings and Hot and Hot Fish Club have been featured in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bon Appetit, Food Arts, Nation’s Restaurant News, Sante’ Magazine, Men’s Journal, Metropolitan Home, Executive Traveler, Garden & Gun, Time Magazine, Southern Living, and Delta’s Sky Magazine. He has appeared on NBC’s “Roker on the Road”, the Martha Stewart Show, the CBS “Early Show” and CNN’s Eatocracy.
In addition to his work at Hot and Hot Fish Club, Chris is also a consultant and culinary advisor to restaurants across the country, a member of the Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation’s Culinary Council and is a member of the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission. In February 2012, Chris competed in Food Network’s Iron Chef America and triumphed over Chef Bobby Flay in ‘Battle Sausage’. He is also a 2012 James Beard award winner for ‘Best Chef of the South.’ He lives in Birmingham with his wife Idie and two sons Zeb and Vincent.
LINTON HOPKINS | Chef/Owner Restaurant Eugene • Atlanta, GA
Linton Hopkins is executive chef and owner of Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta, which he runs with his wife Gina. The recipient of the 2012 James Beard Award for "Best Chef: Southeast," Hopkins is committed to celebrating the rich bounty of Georgia farms through his meticulous house-‐made preparations of naturally raised meats and local produce as well as highlighting seafood from the nearby Gulf and Georgia coastlines.
Hopkins, a fourth-generation Atlanta resident, took his first restaurant job at a catering company at age 15, and continued working in kitchens through college. After earning an anthropology degree from Emory University, Hopkins was on track to attend medical school, but switched gears and opted to pursue his passion for cooking at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.
While in culinary school, Hopkins completed an externship at Mr. B’s Bistro in New Orleans working under chef Gerard Maras. After graduating in 1995, he sharpened his skills at The Grill Room at the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans as sous chef and eventually worked his way up to saucier. He later relocated to DC Coast, a seafood restaurant in Washington, D.C., where he met his wife, Gina, who worked in the front-of‐house. In 2004, the Atlanta native returned to his hometown to open Restaurant Eugene, named after his grandfather. Hopkins has since been named a “Best New Chef” by Food & Wine magazine.
In 2008, Hopkins expanded his operations with Holeman & Finch Public House and H&F Bread Co. The newest endeavor, H&F Bottle Shop, a retail wine and spirits market, opened in 2011. In addition, Hopkins founded the Peachtree Road Farmers Market with his wife and is a member of the Georgia Organics Chef Advisory Committee, Atlanta Local Foods Initiative, Atlanta Public Schools District Wellness Council and the Southern Foodways Alliance.
MATT JORDING | Owner & Executive Chef The Sage Room • Hilton Head, SC
Matt Jording, executive chef and owner of Sage Room, was born in Omaha, NE, and grew up in Fairfax, VA. Matt is a self-taught chef who began traveling early on to define his own way of cooking. Matt moved to Hilton Head in 1995 and worked at local restaurants until he opened Sage Room in March of 2002. He built his kitchen in the middle of the restaurant with a ten seat chef’s counter surrounding it. Matt’s intention was to give his customers a one-on-one dining experience. It worked! The chef's counter has proven to be the most popular and memorable place in the restaurant. From prep to plate, everything is done in this extremely open kitchen for all to see.
JOSHUA KEELER | Owner & Executive Chef Two Boroughs Larder • Charleston, SC
Chef Joshua Keeler received his culinary degree from the New England Culinary Institute in Burlington, Vermont.It was there in Vermont, where “farm-to‐table” was embedded in the culture before the cliché ever existed, that Josh developed his ethos on food – sourcing ingredients directly, cooking with the seasons, and fostering creativity on the plate. Josh then took his skills to Philadelphia where he cooked in several restaurants.
In 2009, Charleston drew Josh and his wife, Heather, southward with its promise of good weather, great people and a blossoming food scene. Their vision was to be active participants in that culinary rebirth, helping to nudge the scene even further along. Thus their restaurant, Two Boroughs Larder, in downtown Charleston was born in August 2011.
The restaurant’s identity is rooted in Josh’s strong food ethos and the idea that one should not have to put on a tie and/or high heels to eat good, creative food. Hence his ever-evolving, boundary-pushing menu in a casual, cozy atmosphere.
ANTHONY LAMAS | Chef & Owner Seviche • Louisville, KY
Anthony Lamas’ roots in the Latin culinary tradition run deep, as he found his passion for food while working in his family’s Spanish restaurant as a child. Likewise, his mother’s heirloom recipes sparked his interest in the cuisine of his Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage. By helping to prepare meals on the family farm and participating in Future Farmers of America, Lamas was practicing the “farm to table” philosophy before it was a national movement. To pursue his dream of becoming a professional chef, Lamas trained with the San Diego Culinary Apprenticeship Program and worked with Jeff Tunks at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort. Under Tunks’ tutelage, Lamas explored West Coast flavors while developing Pacific Rim recipes, and he credits the acclaimed chef as his mentor.
In 1992, Lamas discovered Louisville, Kentucky as an emerging culinary destination and moved there with the dream of cooking with leading local talent while working toward opening his own restaurant. His style of cooking was unique to the area, and in 2005 he opened Seviche to rave reviews. Early accolades included Lamas being named a “Top Chef to Watch” by Louisville Magazine. Seviche has consistently maintained a four-star rating from the Louisville Courier-Journal, and Latina.com named Lamas a “leader of the Latin food revolution” alongside chefs like Douglas Rodriguez and Jose Garces.
With his passionate nature and engaging personality, Lamas is also a seasoned TV chef – he has won on Food Networks’ Extreme Chef, he has appeared on the Cooking Channel’s America’s Best Bites and he was featured in Back Home, a TV documentary produced by Diego Luna that explored his culinary connections to Mexico. Most recently, he competed on the debut episode of Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay and helped bring new life to a struggling sports bar on an episode of SPIKE TV’s Bar Rescue. Southern Living, Food Arts, Bon Appétit and Wine Spectator have also highlighted Lamas’ talent.
Lamas has also garnered significant national attention for Seviche. He has cooked at the James Beard House and has been honored numerous times as a James Beard Foundation semifinalist. John Mariani of Esquire said, "Seviche has emerged as one of America’s best and most innovative Nuevo Latino restaurants with plenty of the chef’s personality in every dish…If you have time for one meal in Louisville, make it Seviche."
In addition to his commitment to spicing up the South with his Nuevo Latino cuisine, Lamas is dedicated to raising awareness of sustainable seafood practices, and his efforts earned him a Seafood Ambassador Award at the 2011 Monterey Bay Aquarium Cooking for Solutions festival. Seviche is now a restaurant partner in the Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.
Lamas is very active on the food festival circuit, including participation in the Taste of Derby, the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games “Cookin’ in the Bluegrass” Celebrity Chef Dinner Series, and the Fork, Cork and Style Festival with Emeril Lagasse in Louisville and Chicago. He has also been featured at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, the BB&T Charleston Wine and Food Festival and the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival.
MIKE LATA | Chef/Partner FIG Restaurant • Charleston, SC
Mike Lata is a self-taught chef whose passion for food and talent for cooking was inspired at an early age while growing up in New England. Lata developed an appreciation for homegrown, home-cooked food during his childhood spent helping his Polish grandparents in their garden in Massachusetts. He officially began his culinary career traveling from restaurant to restaurant along the East Coast, working in various kitchens in Boston, Martha’s Vineyard and later down south in Louisiana and Georgia. After working for the Brennan family at BACCO in New Orleans, Lata relocated to Atlanta, where he became Chef de Cuisine at Jean Banchet’s Ciboulette.
It was not until Lata landed in Atlanta that he had to make a conscious decision about his cooking philosophy and what type of chef he ultimately wanted to become. Having been an avid reader about the organic and natural-food movement in California, Lata made a determined effort to work with local farmers, ranchers and suppliers whose dedication to natural, sustainable agriculture was evident.
Lata joined the Charleston dining scene ranks in 1998 as Executive Chef at Anson, where we held the reigns for four years. Soon after his arrival, Anson was granted a five star review by the Charleston Post & Courier, and Lata hosted the first out-of-house James Beard event in the state of South Carolina. While at Anson, Lata began a dialogue with then-Manager Adam Nemirow about a concept for a restaurant that fit with both men’s philosophies and styles. They turned their dream into a reality when the opened FIG in 2003. Since opening FIG, Lata has continued to garner praise from numerous local and national publications, and he has returned as a host of two more dinners at the James Beard house in New York, among other honors.
A James Beard Award nominee in both 2007 and 2008 for Best Chef in the Southeast, Lata is a hard-working, enormously passionate chef who strives to refine and improve his cuisine every night, strongly believing that high-quality, fresh and seasonal ingredients are paramount for creating dishes that are clean, simple and delicious.
Those who have the opportunity to enjoy Lata’s seasonal cuisine agree with the legendary New York Times food editor, R.W. Apple, who said, “There is much to like about FIG.”
ROB MCDANIEL | Executive Chef SpringHouse • Lake Martin, AL
He is passionate about his grandmothers' cooking, supporting local farmers and preserving southern cooking methods. Rob practices his incomparable skills and knowledge of Southern traditional cooking and presents exceptional products from local producers in a modern way.
After graduating from Auburn University in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management, Rob headed north to Montpelier, Vermont where he studied at the New England Culinary Institute. During his time at NECI, Rob began to appreciate sustainable living and cooking, supporting local and organic farmers and the importance of using local resources. Before leaving NECI, Rob moved to Grayton Beach, Florida where he worked for chef Johnny Earles at Criolla's. Upon graduating from NECI in 2004, Rob moved back to the South, where he worked as sous chef for Chris and Idie Hastings at their Birmingham-based restaurant, Hot and Hot Fish Club}Rob McDaniel is general manager and executive chef at SpringHouse restaurant at Russell Crossroads on Lake Martin in Alabama. Using the skills he learned at NECI, combined with the Hot and Hot style, he began to realize that southern food and sustainability are intricately tied.
In 2007, Rob left the Hastings to continue his culinary path as a chef with Jim 'N Nick's BBQ. During his time at Jim 'N Nick's, Rob began to appreciate theculture behind southern cooking and its methods. Two years later, Rob got the opportunity that he had been looking for when Russell Lands On Lake Martin offered Rob the executive chef position at SpringHouse restaurant in Russell Crossroads on Lake Martin. SpringHouse, opened in 2009, has allowed Rob to express his love for sustainable southern food and the preservation of its methods. Food has a story, and Rob loves telling that story equally to cooking it.
In 2013, he added a wider audience, serving also as General Manager of the reborn Kowaliga Restaurant, which has its own colorful story in the history of Lake Martin a wider audience, serving also as General Manager of the reborn Kowaliga Restaurant, which has its own colorful story in the history of Lake Martin.
THADDEUS MILLER | Sommelier • Palmetto Bluff, SC
Thaddeus grew up in Marietta, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. Introduced to the industry by his uncle who works for a beverage distributor, he worked several odd jobs until finding his niche. He happened upon that opportunity when he met Jeff Ingram, a young sommelier opening his own restaurant, The Brickyard. Jeff was willing to share his knowledge and Thaddeus had a passion for learning every aspect of the restaurant business. His diligence and desire was rewarded when he became a partner in the business and later, earned his certification as a sommelier. Thaddeus has served as Beverage Manager for Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Sommelier at The Greenbrier Resort’s premier restaurant, Prime 44 West. He joined the Inn at Palmetto Bluff team in August 2013 and began impacting the acclaimed resort’s beverage operations immediately. Thaddeus is known for his vast collection of bowties and effusive nature. He now calls Old Town Bluffton home where he lives with his wife, Christa, and cocker spaniel, Daisy.
ORCHID PAULMEIER | Chef/Owner One Hot Mama's • Hilton Head, SC
Owning a restaurant was always part of “Mama” Orchid Paulmeier’s American Dream. “Growing up in a Filipino family in Chicago, I learned the joy of big family dinners with lots of traditional Filipino dishes,” she said, “as well as the fundamentals of home cooking and using what you have in the kitchen.”
She started her culinary career as an ice cream scooper in high school. Intent on learning more about the restaurant business, Orchid accepted an internship on Hilton Head Island in 1994, and decided this is where she wanted to live. So along with her high-school-sweetheart husband, Mike, Orchid settled in the Lowcountry and began digging in to the deep, colorful cooking traditions of this region. Just days before her 30th birthday in 2003, Orchid opened One Hot Mama’s as part of the SERG Group which owns a number of area restaurants, designing the menu and creating all the signature sauces herself. “I blended Southern favorites like collards, cornbread and slow-cooked barbecue, with my own family recipes,” she said, describing the cuisine as “comfort food with a kick.”
Last summer, Orchid became familiar to millions of people throughout the country when she auditioned for and won a slot on Food Network Star, Season 7. The series took 15 chefs and put them in what has become a familiar reality TV showdown. While she didn’t take home the grand prize, her culinary creations were praised by the judges and she was consistently one of the leaders in the fan vote.
But that little taste of the spotlight hasn’t change Orchid’s priorities: Family, friends and food. (Because nothing tastes better than that.)
CHARLES PEJEAU | Charbar Co. • Hilton Head, SC
Chef Charles Pejeau attended the Florida Culinary Institute and has honed his culinary skills at prestigious restaurants in South Florida, and local favorites including Robert Irvine’s E.A.T. on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina and the award winning Inn at Palmetto Bluff. Chef Pejeau joined the Charbar Co. team in July of 2012, and began working on the culinary offering and concept launch. Charbar Co.’s New American focused menu was a new challenge for the up and coming chef. Since opening last fall, the Charbar team has won every regional “Best Burger” award in coastal South Carolina and our signature burger was recently featured in Southern Living Magazine as “Best of the South”. Pejeau is continuously pushing the limits on burgers, crafting classic creations with a unique flair, including daily fresh ground meat blends, classic desserts made in-house, house made sauces, fresh breads and a creative menu that offers a variety of flavor profiles that are sure to please.
Unafraid of taking calculated risks and energetically driven to achieve his goals, this young chef is setting out to implement new standards for fast casual burgers within his industry. He is setting out to build an innovative restaurant empire the old fashioned way- through hard work, forward thinking and a genuine passion for the craft of hospitality, while at the same time providing an incredible value that appeals to your everyday consumer.
ANNE QUATRANO | Chef/Owner Bacchanalia, Floataway Café, Star Provisions, Provisions to Go, Quinones at Bacchanalia, Abattoir • Atlanta, GA
Chef. Innovator. Visionary. Anne Quatrano is widely held to be one of the country’s greatest chefs. Her meticulous attention to detail dovetails seamlessly with her devotion to freshness, flavor and simplicity. A longtime proponent of sustainability, Anne has – since her earliest days - prided herself in using locally grown seasonal and organic produce, much of which is from her own organic gardens. Together with her husband, award-winning chef Clifford Harrison, she operates six of Atlanta’s most celebrated restaurants - Bacchanalia, Floataway Café, Star Provisions, Provisions to Go, Quinones at Bacchanalia and Abattoir.
Originally from Connecticut, Anne attributes her passion for cooking to spending time with her grandmother in the kitchen. Though she grew up in New England, Anne developed deep roots in Georgia by spending summers at her mother’s family farm, Summerland, near Cartersville. Anne is now the fifth generation of her family to live on the farm.
Her culinary career began at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, where she met her husband and partner, Clifford Harrison. It was the 80s, and both chefs developed a keen sense of place as well as process. Highly influenced by chefs such as Alice Waters and Judy Rodgers (with whom Anne apprenticed), the two were instilled with an understanding of ingredients as well as technique, and the mantra has proven itself in their every endeavor. After graduation in 1987, they moved to New York where she and Clifford worked as a chef team at Bimini Twist, La Petit Ferme and the Grolier Club. In 1991, Anne was chosen as part of the James Beard Foundation’s "Discovery Chefs of the Year" with Harrison. This distinction was to be the first of many accolades from the prestigious James Beard Foundation, including later nods as nominees for the "Best Chef of the Southeast" in the years 2000, 2001 and 2002, and subsequently as the winners of the coveted award in 2003.
In 1992, Quatrano moved home to her family property in Cartersville, Ga., where she designed the couple’s award-winning home on Summerland Farm. The welcoming homestead has been featured in Metropolitan Home, Food & Wine, Country Living, Bon Appetit, Great Chefs, Great Kitchens (Design Book) and many more. On the farm, her life with her husband mirrors their philosophy on food: They believe in going back to the basics to produce the spectacular. A model of self-sufficiency, their farm features a barn and show ring designed for their 20 horses and also is home to eight dogs, six cows, six Nubian nanny goats, two pigs, two cats and many messy, free-range chickens. Furthering her commitment to utilizing locally grown, seasonal and organic produce, Anne is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Georgia Organics, the member-supported non-profit organization that works to integrate healthy, sustainable and locally grown food into the lives of all Georgians.
Additional culinary kudos for Quatrano have included Food & Wine’s “10 Best New Chefs” award in 1995, the opportunity to represent Atlanta at the James Beard Olympic Preview in 1996 and the StarChefs.com “Rising Stars Mentor Award” in 2007. Most recently, Quatrano received the Women Chefs & Restaurateurs Golden Whisk Award in 2008; she also sat on the board for Women Chefs & Restaurateurs from 2000 to 2007 and is on the board of the James Beard Foundation. In 2010, Quatrano launched Sunday Supper South, an annual event in Atlanta bringing together lauded chefs from across the South to prepare a family-style supper as a fundraiser for the James Beard Foundation’s scholarship fund.
In addition to numerous local and national accolades, including a five-star review from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bacchanalia was honored in 1998 as an inductee to the Fine Dining Hall of Fame of the National Restaurant Association, a testament to Anne’s philosophy and hard work. Anne has been featured on CNN’s “On The Menu” and “Hot Chefs,” GPTV’s “Cooking for the Holidays,” Food Network’s “Great Chefs” and “Ultimate Kitchens,” CNN’s “Tips from the Top” and “Great Cities” on the Discovery Channel.
CRAIG ROGERS | Owner and Shepherd of Border Springs Farm • Patrick Springs, VA
Craig is the owner and shepherd of Border Springs Farm LLC in Patrick Springs, Virginia at the foothills to the Blue Ridge. His lamb is featured in restaurants from Las Vegas to New York City, from Orlando, Florida to Charleston SC and in Washington DC by some of the greatest and most well known chefs in America.
But Craig’s path to being a shepherd was long and winding, from an Engineer, to a Professor of Mechanical Engineering, to president of a micro-electronics company, an intellectual property expert witness and then finally - shepherd.
Border Springs Farm Lamb has been guided by Craig’s passion for great food, devotion to farming and animal husbandry that is sustainable with a reputation for excellence, and the intellectual challenge of showing how one can create a sustainable agricultural business. He is a frequent author of articles on issues relating to farming policy, farmer interactions with chefs, and the business of direct-from-the-farm sales.
Today, Border Springs Farm, LLC is focused on vertical integration and bringing their lamb to retail consumers with America’s only all-lamb shop in the famed Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia as well as on-line sales. The shop provides breakfast and lunch dishes prepared by Chef Nick Macri as well as an all-lamb butcher shop.
Border Springs Farm is also the host of the annual chef and industry-insider festival known as LAMBSTOCK.
STEVE SATTERFIELD | Co-owner/Executive Chef Miller Union • Atlanta, GA
Over his 20 years of experience in restaurants, chef Steven Satterfield has developed strong relationships with local farmers – a connection that has come to fruition in his and co-owner Neal McCarthy’s exciting restaurant venture, Miller Union. Named after the Miller Union Stockyards once located on the property, the restaurant inhabits a refurbished mid-century warehouse space in Atlanta’s former West Side meatpacking district.
Georgia native who spent his childhood in Savannah, Satterfield moved to Atlanta to attend the architecture program at Georgia Institute of Technology, with his final year of design studying abroad in Paris. After graduating in 1992, Satterfield was lured to music. Picking up the guitar for the first time, he began writing songs and formed Seely, the first American band signed to the UK label Too Pure. Within a year, Seely rocketed to the top 15 on college radio charts and toured various clubs all over the United States before disbanding in 2000.
During Seely’s band years, Satterfield found himself working in kitchens to supplement his income, which led to a passion he had not yet discovered: cooking. Between gigs and tours he landed a job at Floataway Café, part of the family of Atlanta restaurants owned and operated by heralded chef Anne Quatrano. His appointment to Floataway’s kitchen proved a turning point for his culinary career; it was here he discovered his fascination with fresh local ingredients. He began taking cooking seriously as an art form, eventually rising from the ranks at Decatur’s acclaimed Watershed under the tutelage of celebrated executive chef Scott Peacock.
As a child, Satterfield spent summers in Asheville, N.C., with his grandmother, Hilda, who taught him everything from stringing pole beans to making the perfect biscuit. Her simple approach to cooking, canning, preserving and using local ingredients is a philosophy that he references daily. Satterfield continues to develop deep connections with local growers, dairies and producers to curate the best ingredients the South has to offer. Miller Union is a testament to Satterfield’s commitment to cook with local and seasonal ingredients while employing as little manipulation as possible.
As a member of Slow Food Atlanta, Georgia Organics and the Southern Foodways Alliance, Satterfield remains actively engaged with Atlanta’s progressive culinary community. In 2011, Satterfield was nominated for Food & Wine magazine’s “People’s Best New Chef,” following Miller Union’s placement on the “Best New Restaurants in America” lists from Bon Appetit and Esquire, as well as Atlanta magazine’s “Restaurant of the Year” in 2010. The James Beard Foundation recognized Miller Union as a semifinalist for the national award of best new restaurant in 2010.
Satterfield lives in the historic neighborhood of Inman Park in Atlanta. An avid cyclist, he also enjoys exploring the Georgia coast, listening to new music, teaching people to cook, and researching cocktails with the bartenders of Miller Union.
RODNEY SCOTT | Proprietor Scott's Bar-B-Q • Hemingway, SC
Rodney Scott, proprietor Scott's Bar-B-Q, Hemingway, South Carolina: “We only cook with wood,” says Scott, a second-generation pitmaster, “and I'm so sure that we only cook with wood because we go out and chop it ourselves." Monday through Wednesday, you'll find Scott cutting down trees and chopping wood. Thursday through Saturday he burns wood down into the coals that he uses to cook a half-dozen whole hogs every night. Featured in Time, Saveur, and the New York Times, Scott is the subject of “Cut/Chop/Cook,” the 2010 Joe York Film, produced by the Southern foodways Alliance.
JACOB SESSOMS | Executive Chef/Owner Table, Tod's Tasties, The Imperial Life Bar • Asheville, NC
Jacob Sessoms is a Southerner--a Southerner with French culinary training. His restaurant, Table, located in Asheville, NC, is the result of channeling these two influences into one endeavor and has earned the inventive chef an array of accolades, including being named a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef: Southeast in 2010.
Nine years into his primary restaurant as executive chef, managing partner & wine director, Jacob and his wife own and manage a cafe and a craft cocktail and charcuterie bar (Todʼs Tasties & The Imperial Life). Even with so much on his plate, he imparts as much passion into his personal life as he does in his work. “I approach my vocation as I do my avocation,” Sessoms says. “My avocation is to exercise, to eat well, and to drink well, and my vocation is to cook, and I approach them as the same thing.”
When heʼs not at Table, Sessoms still carves out time to run and cycle in the Blue Ridge Mountains and spend time with Alicia and their two sons.
SARAH SIMMONS | Owner CITY GRIT, A Culinary Salon • New York, NY
Named one of "America’s Greatest New Cooks" by FOOD & WINE magazine, Sarah Simmons is the founder and chef of CITY GRIT, a culinary salon in Nolita.
The New York Times referred to CITY GRIT as the Off Broadway version of the James Beard House that has "quickly become a magnet for out-of-town talent." Simmons provides a platform for chefs from all over the world to showcase their talents and cook for a New York audience in addition to ever-changing menus of her own creation.
While the menu is constantly shifting, Sarah's Southern roots shine through in every experience at CITY GRIT, with its focus on warm hospitality and top-notch service. Sarah's dishes as well are always Southern-inspired, whether she's cooking a traditional Sunday supper, a dim sum feast or a Shabbat dinner.
In addition to scouting up-and-coming chefs to add to the CITY GRIT lineup, Sarah spends much of her time sourcing new purveyors, focusing on the artisan food-maker community, and stocking the kitchen with their ingredients to introduce to the visiting chefs.
"CITY GRIT really hits the high points of what dining ought to be: sharing, interacting, community. And Sarah is right there in the middle of everything," said John Currence, JBF Best Chef South 2009.
Since opening CITY GRIT in September 2011, Sarah has become an industry tastemaker and a frequent source for recognizing new culinary talent. She has hosted and cooked alongside both award-winning and emerging chefs, including Sean Brock, April Bloomfield, Marc Vetri, Paul Qui, Cathy Whims, Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo, Mike Solomonov, Gerard Kraft and Jason Vincent. Dana Cowin, editor-in-chief of FOOD & WINE, has called CITY GRIT "one of the most exciting and unique dining experiences in Manhattan."
In 2013 Sarah was recognized by the Charleston Wine + Food Festival as a "New & Notable" chef, and she was named one of the "100 Most Creative People in Business" by Fast Company magazine, which called her "the chef cooking up the most exciting dining experience in New York." CITY GRIT was named by Zagat in 2014 as "One of the Most Innovative Restaurants in the Country." She will be opening her second concept, Birds & Bubbles in 2014, which will focus on fried chicken & champagne and serve elevated southern dishes.
BILL SMITH | Executive Chef Crook's Corner • Chapel Hill, NC
A chef for more than 25 years, Bill Smith has cooked memorable suppers for most everyone who lives, farms or visits the good life in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He is as well known for a New York Times Notable and Food & Wine Best of the Best cookbook Seasoned in the South, as he is for remembering his customers' favorite dishes. The James Beard Awards (the Grammies or Oscars of the culinary kingdom) named Bill Smith a finalist for Best Chef Southeast in the spring of 2009. He is recognized for faithfully continuing the traditions established by Bill Neal at Crook's Corner and for developing, over the past decade, his own extremely creative and delicious, original dishes that have become classics —if not iconic Southern dishes.
Smith's stories and recipes are an open book, available in Seasoned in the South and on his blog, A Year in the Kitchen. A writer as well as an intuitive chef, his essays (commenting on such pleasures as "Cuisine de Gran Mere and Covered-dish Suppers," "Why Collards May Have Saved the South and are a New Year's Tradition," "Foraging for Flowers to make Honeysuckle Sorbet") have been featured in newspapers, radio, and television. In his book and blog and on the Crook's menu, there is genius in his sense of economy, flavors and storytelling, for even the simplest of dishes, like "Fresh Tomato Pasta" and "Fish in Paper." He also offers more complicated, creative ideas, such as "How to use a Whole Duck." And his dessert explorations are often inspired by friends' and customers' old family recipes. For the past few years he's improvised old fashioned layer cakes.
Bill Smith's latest writing topic is Immigrants in the Kitchen — inspired by and interwoven with his travel journals — from trips to Celaya, Mexico, to visit former staff who have returned there. He recently was interviewed on this topic for a much-discussed article in the Journal of Southern Cultures: "Taking the Heat and Dishing it Out in a Nuevo-New-South Kitchen." A little clarified history here: Smith never actually cooked with Bill Neal; he joined Crook's co-founder Gene Hamer in 1993. Smith came to Crook's Corner — from the Bill and Moreton Neal-established La Residence restaurant — by way of the Cat's Cradle, which he co-founded in the 1970s, and where he finds perhaps the most extensive-ever, rock-band, T-shirt collection. Smith's musical, literary and culinary interests may explain why he's been called "Chapel Hill's most quintessential resident."