Speakers

We were blown away by the incredible presenters that joined us in Charleston this year. Read on to see who was there, and their full bios. And stay tuned for 2014’s lineup!

Simon Andrews Chef Simon Andrews CEC, studied at the Culinary Institute of America in the early 1990’s, after emigrating from Ireland and began his career as an apprentice pastry chef with the Italian bistro, Sfuzzi.  After assisting with restaurant openings in NY and resort operations in NC as Executive Sous Chef, Simon’s interest in simplistic farm-to-table Southern cooking brought him to Kiawah Resorts as Executive Banquet Chef and Director of Operations for Banquets. Simon began at the Francis Marion Hotel with Maverick Southern Kitchens and later became employed directly by the independent historic hotel as Executive Chef, offering the finest banquet food and beverage for Charleston’s premier events.  Chef Andrews is an adjunct teacher at The Culinary Institute of Charleston and is a Certified Executive Chef with the ACF.
R_Elledge_110224_3031_RB_FT_026_RGB Rick Bayless is a six-time James Beard Award-winning chef. His highly rated Public Television Series, Mexico—One Plate at a Time can be found on television sets coast to coast, as well as his award winning, eight cookbooks. In 2012, Rick was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Best Culinary Host. Rick’s second book, Mexican Kitchen, won the Julia Childs IACP cookbook of the year award in 1996, and his fourth book, Mexico—One Plate at a Time won James Beard Best International Cookbook of the Year award in 2001. Click here for a full bio.
Jane Black Headshot Jane Black is a journalist who covers food politics, trends, and sustainability issues. Her column, Smarter Food, appears monthly in the Washington Post and her work has appeared regularly in the New York Times, Food & Wine, and New York magazine.She is currently at work on a book about one West Virginia town’s struggle build a healthier food culture and whether the food “revolution” can cross geographical, cultural, and class boundaries.
 Haven Headshot Haven Bourque is the Founder of HavenBMedia, Media relations for food, environment and community.Haven has 18 years in communications, working with diverse organizations ranging from prestigious non-profits to small start-up businesses, large corporations and individuals working on food systems, health and wellness, sustainable seafood and social justice.
 Sheila Bowman Sheila Bowman is the Manager of Culinary and Strategic Initiatives for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. Trained as a marine scientist and passionate about conservation, Sheila’s current work focuses on developing strategies for culinary audiences – including chefs, culinary media – that support the purchase of seafood from fisheries and fish farms that are minimizing their environmental impacts.Now in its thirteenth year, Seafood Watch is the leading source of science-based seafood recommendations in the U.S. For more information, Seafoodwatch.org or join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter (@SeafoodWatch).
 SeanBrock_WEB Sean Brock attended Johnson & Wales University and worked in acclaimed restaurants throughout the South before accepting a position with the Neighborhood Dining Group (NDG) as executive chef at McCrady’s in Charleston in 2006. In 2010 Brock opened Husk, also in Charleston and named “Best New Restaurant in America” by Bon Appétit in 2011, followed by Husk Nashville in 2013. Husk is a celebration of Southern ingredients, only serving food that is indigenous to the South, with an emphasis on the ingredients and the people who grow them. Brock has been nominated for several James Beard Awards, winning “Best Chef Southeast” in 2010, and was nominated for the “Outstanding Chef” award in 2013.
 Jayne 1 cropped lo res (2) Jayne Buckley is Vice President, Strategic Business Implementation for Foodbuy, A Division of Compass Group NAD. Compass Group North America Division is a 13 billion organization with over 170,000 associates. In her role, Jayne is responsible for a team of 60 associates that ensure the purchasing business needs of over 9000 operating units are taken care of. Her current portfolio of responsibilities includes the corporate travel program management, purchasing communications, inflation reporting , marketing, support desk management, determining food and beverage specifications, corporate social responsibility initiatives, health, safety and environment along with field disaster and crisis planning.Jayne Buckley joined Compass Group North America when they acquired a Canadian Company, Beaver Foods in 1999. She has over 30 years of management experience in the food service industry. Prior to joining Foodbuy she held a number of senior operational and marketing roles in both England and Canada. She has held executive roles in strategic account management, quality standards, major events and for 10 years owned and operated highly successful restaurants in Western Canada. She holds a degree in hospitality, is an internationally certified facilitator and is a member of the Hotel and Catering Institute of London, England.Jayne is married with two children and lives in Lake Wylie, SC.
 Emile DeFelice Emile DeFelice is an artisanal pork producer, and operates Caw Caw Creek Pastured Pork in St. Matthews, SC. For many years he was a board member and South Carolina director of Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, as well as the founding Chair of the South Carolina Food Policy Committee. In 2006 he was a losing (but effective!) candidate for SC Commissioner of Agriculture, running on his slogan “Put Your State On Your Plate,” founded Columbia, SC’s All Local Farmers’ Market in 2005, and recently served as a member of then-candidate Senator Obama’s Agriculture Advisory Committee. Emile loves food, the challenge of farming and business, and finding ways to connect farmers and feeders.
craig deihl, cypress restaurant, charleston, sc Chef Craig Deihl is the Executive Chef at Cypress in Charleston, SC and a two-time James Beard award nominee. Deihl is a founding member of the Butcher’s Guild, a network of meat professionals that promotes responsible butchering through education and community. Since 2011, he has led Slow Food Charleston’s Chefs-in-Schools program, which places local chefs in schools and educates students on healthy food choices through classroom demonstrations, after-school programs, tastings and professional development. Deihl is also a steadfast observer of the Sustainable Seafood Initiative, a program that works with partner chefs to help ensure future fish populations and promote the use of sustainable and local seafood in South Carolina’s restaurants.
 Rachel Dutton photo 2013 Rachel Dutton is a Bauer Fellow at the Harvard University Center for Systems biology.  After receiving her PhD in Microbiology from Harvard Medical School, she founded her own lab with the mission of using cheese as a way to understand microbial ecosystems. Her lab is studying cheeses from around the world, and looking at how cheese microbes interact with each other to form communities.  In addition, the lab is collaborating with chefs (David Chang and Dan Felder, Momofuku) and cheesemakers (Jasper Hill Farm, VT) to develop fermented foods using native microbes.  Research from the Dutton lab has been featured in Lucky Peach magazine, The Mind of a Chef TV series on PBS, the Boston Globe, NPR, and the New York Times.
Barry Estabrook Barry Estabrook is the author of Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit, which received an award for investigative journalism from the International Association of Culinary Professionals. A James-Beard-Award winning journalist, Estabrook was a contributing editor at Gourmet magazine. In addition to editing and writing regular features on food politics, his work has also appeared in the New York Times “Dining” section and the New York Times Magazine, Men’s Health, Saveur, Gastronomica, TheAtlantic.com and many other national magazines.
 Dan Felder Headshot Daniel Felder is the Head of Research + Development at Momofuku’s Culinary Lab. Daniel joined the Momofuku team in 2008 at Noodle Bar and then Ko. He began working at the Culinary Lab in 2011 where he focuses on the intersection of microbiology, food science, and flavor, in collaboration with scientists from Harvard University, UCLA, MIT, Yale, and New York University. In January of 2012, Daniel co-published his first article “Defining Microbial Terroir: the use of native fungi for the study of traditional fermentative processes” in the International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science.
twitter_profile_pic Tim Fitzgerald is a Marine Scientist & the Senior Policy Specialist at the Oceans Program Environmental Defense Fund. Tim directs EDF’s sustainable seafood program, and specializes in the intersection of environmental sustainability and public health. He is also a senior member of EDF’s National Policy team, advocating for more sustainable federal fisheries management policies. Tim serves on the conservation board of Ecofish LLC and is an advisor to Fair Trade USA, SeaWeb and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Fitzgerald also develops sustainable sourcing policies for retailers, food service companies, restaurants and other major seafood buyers. Tim earned an M.Sc. (2002) in Zoology from the University of Hawai’i, and a B.S. (1998) in Biology from Duke University. His graduate research focused on the behavioral ecology and sensory physiology of tropical sharks, making appearances on Discovery Channel’s Shark Week and National Geographic Explorer. He is a frequent speaker on conservation and human health issues concerning the U.S. seafood market, and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and NPR’s Fresh Air, in addition to invited testimony in front of the President’s Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
Ganzler_Maisie Maisie Ganzler (formerly Greenawalt) joined Bon Appétit Management Company in 1994 and has since been instrumental in shaping the company’s overall strategic direction. Maisie oversees Bon Appétit’s culinary development and purchasing policy efforts as well as leads the marketing and communications initiatives. In 1999, Maisie helped develop the Farm to Fork program, a groundbreaking company-wide initiative to buy locally, and has since helped create and launch a number of Bon Appétit’s other progressive sustainable initiatives and purchasing policies. Most recently, Maisie has been focused on farmworker rights. She is vice-chair of the Equitable Food Initiative, a new, integrated labor standards initiative led by United Farm Workers, Pesticide Action Network, and the Consumer Federation of America; she served from 20010-2013 on the board of Food Alliance.
 Web_Res_PaulGreenberg Head Shot Paul Greenberg is the New York Times bestselling author of the James Beard award-wining Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food.He is currently a Fellow with the Blue Ocean Institute and the Writer-in-Residence at New York’s South Street Seaport Museum.For more information: www.fourfish.org@4fishgreenberg,www.facebook.com/fourfish.
 leslieH (1) Leslie Hatfield serves as senior editor at GRACE, where she leads the communication department as well as the blog, Ecocentric. Leslie has also contributed to Alternet, The Huffington Post, Edible Chesapeake and The Ethicurean, and served as lead author of the publication Cultivating the Web: High Tech Tools for the Sustainable Food Movement. Originally from Washington State, Leslie earned her BA from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, and an MA in Public Communication from American University in Washington, DC. Follow her on Twitter @lesliehatfield.
Chef Drew Hedlund at Lowcountry Gospel Brunch 2012 A native of Naples, Florida, Drew Hedlund has been working in restaurants since his youth. “I’ve done it all,” he shares, “from working as an expediter to serving tables to working behind the scenes in the kitchen.”After graduating from Johnson and Wales University in 1999, he served as the Resident Chef of Dewees Island and as the Chef de Cuisine at the former 101 Pitt in Mt. Pleasant. Hedlund teamed up a second time with 101 Pitt’s Jim Epper at Fleet Landing just after its opening, and now fills Epper’s shoes as Head Chef. What is Hedlund’s favorite thing about working at Fleet? “You can’t beat the view—our restaurant sits right on the water.”
PeterHoffman Peter Hoffman is the chef owner of Back Forty (2007) and Back Forty West (2012), the restaurant he opened on Prince St. after operating Savoy in the same location for over 20 years. Both restaurants work with a simple premise — to create delicious and memorable meals by sourcing the very best seasonal ingredients from local farmers, serving it in a casual intelligent setting. Termed by the New York Times “A Locavore Before the Word Existed”, Hoffman has a long commitment to seasonal cooking along with an awareness of the environmental impact of his sourcing.In addition, Peter is a longstanding member of Chefs Collaborative, a former Board Member and President of the Board.
 Rowan Author 2012 small Our Master of Ceremonies, Rowan Jacobsen, will return for a third year. Rowan is the author of A Geography of OystersFruitless FallAmerican Terroir, and other books.He’s won some Beard and IACP awards and has appeared in the Best Food Writing and Best American Science & Nature Writing anthologies. He writes for Outside, Harper’s, the New York Times, and others. He is at work on an apple bestiary.
CharlotteJenkins Charlotte Jenkins, chef and owner of Gullah Cuisine in Mt. Pleasant, SC, has been cooking Gullah foods since she was nine years old. It wasn’t until she moved to New York and started entertaining guests in her home that she realized there was something special about her Gullah culture. Jenkins’ first stint was catering. While catering throughout the Lowcountry, customers suggested they wanted to be able to eat Jenkins’ food more often. In 1997 she opened Gullah Cuisine. She and her husband also operate CJ’s Catering Service.
 Sandor Katz Headshot Sandor Ellix Katz is a fermentation revivalist. His book Wild Fermentation (2003), which Newsweek called “the fermenting bible,” and the hundreds of fermentation workshops he has taught across North America and beyond, have helped to catalyze a broad revival of the fermentation arts. A self-taught experimentalist who lives in rural Tennessee, the New York Times calls him “one of the unlikely rock stars of the American food scene.” According to the Times, “Mr. Katz has become for fermentation what Timothy Leary was for psychedelic drugs: a charismatic, consciousness-raising thinker and advocate who wants people to see the world in a new way.” His latest book, The Art of Fermentation (2012), received a James Beard award. Sandor teaches fermentation workshops in Tennessee and many other places. For more information, check out his website www.wildfermentation.com.
Eric Kinniburgh Eric Kinniburgh is the Director of Culinary for Boloco. He was raised in Montpelier, Vermont for most of his childhood. From an early age, Eric was introduced to real food practices including a large, bountiful garden that provided a harvest each year and a mother that knew the importance of good food, grown responsibly and cooked properly. Eric’s experience ranges from working with the New England Culinary Institute, to founding and hosting a local television show, Soup2Nuts, and other entrepreneurial food ventures throughout New England. Eric now lives in Cambridge, MA with his wife Eva. When not working Eric enjoys exploring Boston’s vibrant scene of top quality restaurants as well as traveling to find new cutting edge places.
S3bslTtuppsp-9l7_YreG6P4Hhdngy42tmOAoHWJfKQ Melissa Kogut became Executive Director of Chefs Collaborative, a national organization of chefs working to transform our food system, in August, 2007.  Under Melissa’s leadership, Chefs Collaborative has grown from a network of 5,000 to 12,000 chefs and food professionals; launched the annual Chefs Collaborative Summit in 2009, bringing together the leading thinkers about our food system and galvanizing chefs to share best practices; and wrote The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook, published by Taunton Press and featured in The New York Times, on CBS This Morning, and in Martha Stewart Magazine (among many outlets). In May 2010, Chefs Collaborative was honored to be invited to deliver a panel to Environmental Protection Agency staff and dignitaries for a series celebrating the 40thanniversary of the agency.  Melissa has a background in nonprofit management and community organizing.
Mike-Lata-Headshot_Gately-Williams Mike Lata is Chef/Partner of FIG Restaurant and Chef/Co-Owner of The Ordinary in Charleston, SC. A native New Englander, Mike started his culinary career at an early age, working in kitchens in Boston, New Orleans, Atlanta and France before landing in Charleston in 1998.Mike is a hands-on, self-taught chef who continues to delight making the most basic things delicious, creating food that is bright, uncomplicated and understated. His longstanding and outspoken commitment to support local farmers, fishermen and purveyors has cemented his position as a notable champion for Charleston’s flourishing culinary renaissance. Mike is an active member of the Southern Foodways Alliance, and co-founder of the Charleston Slow Foodconvivium
Matt and Ted Lee web Matt and Ted Lee grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. When they left to attend colleges in the Northeast, they so missed the foods of their hometown that they founded The Lee Bros. Boiled Peanuts Catalogue, a mail-order catalogue for southern pantry staples like stone-ground grits, fig preserves, and, of course, boiled peanuts. When an editor of a travel magazine asked them to write a story about road-tripping their home state in search of great food, they embarked on a second career as food and travel journalists. They currently are contributing editors at Travel + Leisure and frequently write food stories for Bon Appetit, The New York Times, Fine Cooking and Food & Wine, among other publications.
 Clare Leschin Hoar Headshot Clare Leschin-Hoar is a regular contributor at TakePart and Voice of San Diego where she covers seafood, food policy, GMO labeling, food safety and related agricultural issues.Over the years her work has appeared in Scientific American, The Boston Globe, Eating Well, Wall Street Journal, San Diego Magazine and many more. Find her on Twitter @c_leschin.
 Chef Michael Leviton A seven-time James Beard Foundation Award nominee and recipient of national awards from Food & Wine,Bon AppétitGourmet and Saveur, Chef Michael Leviton is dedicated to the simple and pure preparation of local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients.After working alongside some of the world’s best chefs in New York City and San Francisco, including Eric Ripert and Gilbert Le Coze at Le Bernadin, Daniel Boulud at Le Cirque and Joyce Goldstein at Square One, Leviton returned to the Boston area and opened Lumière (1999), a celebrated French-inspired neighborhood bistro in West Newton, and Area Four (2011), a bakery/coffeehouse and bar/restaurant in Cambridge guided by local, seasonal ingredients and wood-fired cooking. Leviton’s firm commitment to sustainability resulted in his 2010 appointment as Chair of Chefs Collaborative. In this role, Leviton leads by example, encouraging both the restaurant industry and the average consumer to act on a small level by shopping locally in order to impact the way food is raised, grown and distributed globally.
KerryMarkMarhefka_Edited Kerry and Mark Marhefka are Owners of Abundant Seafood in Charleston, SC. The son of a commercial fisherman, Mark Marhefka began his career in commercial fishing the day after he graduated from high school in 1979. It wasn’t long before Mark bought his own boat, the Fishing Vessel Amy Marie, and has spent the years fishing the waters of the southeast from North Carolina to Florida. Mark and Kerry live in Mount Pleasant with their children.
TheresaMarquez_03-11_47772 Theresa Marquez After 17 years as Chief Marketing Executive, helping grow CROPP Cooperative from $5 million in 1994 to $860 million in 2012, Theresa Marquez has recently changed her role and is now serving as the Mission Executive for the nation’s largest organic farmer cooperative and the largest farmer-owned organic brand, Organic Valley. A pioneer of the natural foods movement, Marquez has been a passionate advocate for organic farming and organic foods since 1978. Well known for her unwavering belief that organic is the key to solving many of the challenges we face today in the food system, Marquez has demonstrated that organic can make a difference for farmers, citizens and the planet. In 2010, the Organic Trade Association honored Marquez with the Organic Leadership Award for her outstanding initiative and devotion to organic.This year, Marquez is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Earth Dinner, an activity she launched to help expand the appeal of Earth day and to connect our activities on behalf of the environment with the food we eat.
MardiMellon_WEB Margaret Mellon is a senior scientist with the Food & Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).  Dr. Mellon is one of the nation’s most respected experts on biotechnology and food safety. She holds a doctorate in molecular biology and a law degree from the University of Virginia. She was formerly a research fellow in molecular virology at Purdue University and program director for the Environmental Law Institute.
 Kevin Mitchell Chef Kevin Mitchell joined the Culinary Institute of Charleston on December 15, 2008 as a full-time chef instructor. He holds both an associate of occupational studies degree in culinary arts and a bachelor of professional studies degree in culinary arts management from the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY. He serves as a national judge for the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation ProStart competition. He is a member of the American Culinary Federation and earned his ACF Certified Executive Chef designation in 2011. Chef Mitchell ran the test kitchen for the Gullah Cuisine cookbook, which was authored by Chef Charlotte Jenkins of Gullah Cuisine Restaurant in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, and published by the Evening Post Publishing Company. In March 2009, Chef Mitchell became Executive Director of the BCA Charleston Chapter. Its formation was celebrated at the CIC’s Diversity Dinner for the 2010 BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival. Chef Mitchell was also Chef Coordinator for the Gullah Luncheon at the 2010 BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival.
 Gary by Dennis Moroney GP Nabhan is recognized internationally as a pioneer in the heirloom seed conservation and locavore movements, and has been collaborating with CC staff and chefs for a dozen years on initiatives such as Renewing America’s Food Traditions. He is an orchardkeeper and “food chain restorationist” based in Patagonia Arizona and  Kellogg Endowed Chair at the University of Arizona. His two 2013 books are entitled Growing Food in a Hotter Drier Land (from Chelsea Green) and Cumin, Camels and Caravans: A Spice Odyssey (from University of California Press food history series). Utne Reader honored him as one of twelve innovators making the world a better place to love (and eat.)
Scott Nichols Web Scott Nichols is a Director of Verlasso®, a provider of salmon raised in harmony with the natural environment. At Verlasso, Scott is responsible for NGO engagement and participated in WWF’s Salmon Aquaculture Dialogues for several years. He works with environmental and sustainability leaders to discover ways to evolve aquaculture to meet the ever-growing demand for fish while preserving ocean ecosystems and biodiversity. His public outreach is devoted to translating the values of sustainable seafood for consumers so they see the tangible connections between their purchase decisions and preserving the environment to ensure continuing fish availability for future generations.Previously, Scott worked extensively on biodiversity projects in Africa and South America, giving him a deep appreciation for developing comprehensive approaches to sustainable food production. Scott’s education includes a Ph.D. in biochemistry from UCLA and Wharton’s Advanced Management Program.
Michel Nischan Web As the son of displaced farmers, Michel Nischan, CEO, Founder and President of Wholesome Wave, grew up with a great appreciation for local agriculture and those who work the land. He translated these childhood values into a career as a James Beard Award-winning chef, author and restaurateur, becoming a catalyst for change in the sustainable food movement.A lifetime Ashoka Fellow, Michel serves on the Board of Trustees for the James Beard Foundation, and The Rodale Institute.
BonniePowell_WEB Before joining Bon Appétit Management Company as director of communications, Bonnie Powell was food editor of the environmental news magazine Grist, deputy editor of Edible San Francisco, and cofounder of one of the very first food-politics blogs, The Ethicurean (she still Tweets under @ethicurean). Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Mother Jones, San Francisco Chronicle, and elsewhere. She founded the Bay Area’s first meat CSA and continues to run one as a volunteer.
Chef Matthew Raiford in the Organic Garden.  Little St. Simons Island, GA. CheFarmer Matthew Raiford is currently the Program Coordinator and Associate Professor of Culinary Arts at the College of Coastal Georgia. He is also a farmer who has returned home to Brunswick, Georgia to become the sixth generation farmer on his families’ land that they have owned since 1874. Gilliard Farms, LLC is a Georgia Centennial Family Farm. He has a Bachelor’s of Professional Studies degree in Culinary Arts from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and a certificate in Ecological Horticulture from UC Santa Cruz in California. CheFarmer Raiford  is also a member of Slow Food USA.
Urvashi Rangan Urvashi Rangan, PhD, is an environmental health scientist and toxicologist. She leads Consumer Reports’ Consumer Safety and Sustainability Group and serves as the Executive Director of its Food Safety and Sustainability Center. Dr. Rangan oversees all of Consumer Reports’ safety testing projects, risk assessments, and serves as the lead spokesperson on these issues, translating complex scientific concepts into actionable consumer advice and policy recommendations. She has expertise in food safety issues, food labeling, risk assessment and sustainable production practices. In addition to appearing frequently in major news outlets, she also testifies to government bodies, has given lectures at various universities and conferences and has directly challenged critics of a sustainable food system.
GlennRoberts Glenn Roberts grain epiphany occurred after a long career in historic restoration and hospitality design. Without telling anyone, he sold everything he owned in 1998 to found Anson Mills in Charleston, South Carolina. His mission: to reintroduce extinct foundation ingredients of the Antebellum Southern pantry that his mother loved. He chose to grow and share organic heirloom rice, corn and wheat ingredients with chefs in the Southeast. These ingredients define the fabled cuisine of the Carolina Rice Kitchen. Today Anson Mills produces artisan organic heirloom grain, legume, and oil seed ingredients for cutting edge chefs and home cooks worldwide.
Cathy Roheim web Cathy Roheim is currently Professor and Department Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology at the University of Idaho, following many years as Professor in the Department of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics at the University of Rhode Island. She has published extensively in the area of seafood markets and international trade. She currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program, and previously served on the Stakeholder Advisory Council of the Marine Stewardship Council. Dr. Roheim earned her Ph.D. in natural resource economics from the University of California at Davis.
Michael Rubino Web Michael Rubino, Ph.D, is director of the Office of Aquaculture at the National Marine Fisheries Service.  He joined NOAA in 2004 to lead NOAA’s renewed commitment to marine aquaculture. Earlier he worked at the World Bank where he developed environmental investment funds and was the president of an aquaculture R&D company and a partner in a shrimp farm in South Carolina. He holds a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan
Top Chef Michael Ruhlman is a well-known author, food blogger, cook, and journalist whose mission is to translate the chef’s craft for every kitchen.He has authored or co-authored more than a dozen books about food and cooking, including Ruhlman’s Twenty, which won both a James Beard Foundation award and an International Association of Culinary Professionals award.
 KimSeversonHeadshot Kim Severson will join us again as a core speaker and moderator. Kim is the Atlanta Bureau Chief for the New York Times, and an acclaimed writer. Prior to her position in Atlanta, she was a dining writer for The New York Times for six years, and also wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle. She has won several regional and national awards for news and feature writing, including the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism for her work on childhood obesity in 2002 and four James Beard awards for food writing.
PJ Stoops web PJ Stoops cooked in restaurants for several years in Austin, which led to a year cooking in southern France, which led to several years in northern Thailand, where he finally learned to eat. Returning from Chiang Mai, he decided, despite knowing nothing at all about the Gulf of Mexico, its fishes, or the business of seafood, to become a fishmonger. His business is built around the idea that we can catch, market, process, cook, and eat fish a lot more rationally. His days are spent ogling fish at the dock, selling fish, delivering fish, hanging salted fish all around his house, and eating fish.
Stephen Stryjewski Winner of the 2011 James Beard Foundation “Best Chef South” Stephen Stryjewski is the Chef and co-owner of the award winning Cochon Restaurant in New Orleans’ Warehouse District. Prior to opening Cochon, he worked with his now partner Donald Link at Herbsaint Restaurant where he was recognized for his delicious, simple, straightforward cuisine and his commitment to using local, seasonal ingredients. That commitment has continued through to Butcher, an artisanal meat shop and “sWine Bar” that opened in 2009 focusing on European cured meats and Cajun sausages. This spring Stephen will open Pêche Seafood Grill with his chef partners Donald Link and Ryan Prewitt.
Allen Susser The opening of CHEF ALLEN’S restaurant in 1986 became the pinnacle in a journey of fascination, talent and vision for Chef Allen Susser.Chef Allen Susser was born in Brooklyn, New York on December 25, 1956 into a family heritage rich with celebrating life through food. Among his fondest memories as a child was the discovery of the cultural importance placed on food. “Those years,” he has said “gave me the balance; and my deep respect for food.” The impact was so deeply interesting, that he resolved early to his career goal in the Culinary Arts.He graduated in 1976 at the top of his class from the New York City Technical College, Restaurant Management School. He received his Bachelors Degree in Hospitality, from Florida International University in 1978 (School of Hospitality Management, graduate with honors). He is also the recipient of the Ward Arbury Award and Alumni of the Year in 1993. Read full bio >>
AWasserman Headshot Arlin Wasserman is the founder and principal of Changing Tastes. Since 2003, Changing Tastes has worked with food and agriculture companies, venture and philanthropic investors to realize new opportunities at the intersection of sustainability, public health, culinary and demographic trends.Arlin also chairs the Sustainable Business Leadership Council at The Culinary Institute of America, and has served on the board of the Sustainable Food Lab and as a fellow at the Aspen Institute. Nearly two decades ago, Arlin led some of the nation’s first work on the economic, environmental and culinary benefits of local food systems and how terroir fits into the U.S. consumer mindset, before being awarded a national Food and Society Policy Fellowship, funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. Arlin also has served as an advisor on food and agriculture, innovation and development issues to the United States Department of Agriculture and several of the nation’s largest private foundations. He has spoken before the European Union Parliament on geographically identified foods and global trade policy. From 2007 to early 2012 Arlin served as Vice President of Sustainability at Sodexo, the world’s leading institutional food service provider, developing and implementing the company’s first sustainability strategy. Arlin holds a Master of Science in Natural Resources and a Master of Public Health, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economics, all from the University of Michigan.
Ari01The Ann Ari Weinzweig is CEO and co-founding partner of Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Zingerman’s Community of Businesses (ZCoB) has annual sales of over $45 million and includes Zingerman’s Delicatessen, Zingerman’s Bakehouse, Zingerman’s Creamery, Zingerman’s Mail Order, Zingerman’s Coffee Company, Zingerman’s Roadhouse, Zingerman’s Candy Manufactory and ZingTrain–a consulting and training company that shares Zingerman’s approach to business with like-minded organizations from around the world.   Ari is the author of a number of articles and books, includingZingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon(Zingerman’s Press), Zingerman’s Guide to Giving Great Service(Hyperion), and Zingerman’s Guide to Good Eating (Houghton Mifflin).  Ari’s newest books are Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part One; A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business and Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part Two: A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Being a Better Leader.
CathyWhims Cathy Whims is Chef/Owner of Nostrana and Oven & Shaker in Portland, OR. It’s not the awards or the notoriety that fuels the fire for this chef/restaurateur. It’s the quest to offer historically-based, authentic dishes that celebrate a sense of place and a local producer’s passion. She and her partner, David West, opened Nostrana in 2005 and quickly earned The Oregonian’s coveted designation as Best Restaurant of the Year. And this year, for the fifth consecutive year Cathy Whims has been nominated by the James Beard Foundation for Best Chef: Northwest.
 paul feeding Still living and working on the farm he grew up on, Paul Willis – co-founder and manager of Niman Ranch Pork Co. – holds immeasurable knowledge of the pork farming industry. Willis has always raised pigs the old-fashioned way on open pasture and deeply bedded pens. He uses no antibiotics or artificial growth hormones, believing that the humane treatment of animals results in better-tasting meat. Willis and Niman Ranch formed a partnership in 1995, and since then Willis has acted as a “hog farming crusader,” encouraging more than 400 like-minded family farmers to raise free range pigs exclusively for Niman Ranch Pork Co.
070212_mushroom_087.jpg Benjamin Wolfe is a microbiologist/mycologist at Harvard University, specializing in the microbiology of fermented foods. He has a B.Sc. from Cornell University and earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University studying the ecology and evolutionary origins of mushroom-forming fungi. He is currently a post-doctoral fellow with Rachel Dutton at Harvard’s FAS Center for Systems Biology where he is working on several projects exploring the ecology and genomics of cheese microbial communities.  He’s also working on a project to characterize the microbial diversity of American artisan salami. Ben teaches a food microbiology course at the Harvard Summer School, writes an online series about the biology of fine dining for Boston Magazine, and is a regular contributor to Lucky Peach magazine.
 Justin Yu - final Chef Justin Yu has worked some of the country’s most notable restaurants such as *17 in Houston, Texas, Green Zebra and Spring Restaurants in Chicago, Illinios and Ubuntu in Napa, California.After staging abroad at In de Wulf in Dranouter, Belgium and AOC and Geranium Restaurants in Copenhagen, Denmark, Justin has come home to open Oxheart to convey a progressive perspective on regional product. In his free time, Justin enjoys hamburgers, traveling, money cats and making side bets on fantasy football leagues.