Former owner of Cultura Paraiso in Cusco Peru, Chef Zach Berger has been back home in the Hudson Valley focusing on his love of culinary adventure with private chef services, catering and popup events. With passion of food and travel Zach brings flavors from regions all over the world while keeping his roots in the Hudson Valley very dear to him using fresh and local foraged/farmed ingredients. Zach is in the process of putting together his Cultural Paradise HV cookbook which will include local farms and makers from all over the region. The Hudson Valley is important to Zach and it absolutely shows through his dishes.
Chef Todd Butler
Growing up in Medina, Ohio, i started to learn to cook when he I moved to Naples, Florida while finishing high school. Where i learned to appreciate food and different flavor profiles, working at several higher end fine dining kitchens.
I have traveled throughout most of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia. Was was fortunate to be able to travel Asia and take a cooking class at a local woman’s house. I’ve been through Napa Valley, where I learned the importance of pairings my food with wine.
Eventually in my early 20’s, I move to Denver, Colorado, where I worked my way up to sous chef and eventually my first gig as the chef, running my own kitchen. I spent 9 years in Denver learning from some of the areas top chefs and perfecting my cooking style and blending flavors from all different regions. Finally I landed Richmond, Virginia for the last 20 years running kitchens at top named restaurants and catering companies when I finally started my own small catering company 16 years ago, eventually turning it into five different concepts and a wedding venue. After 6 years of the wedding venue, I went back to just straight catering weddings, fine events, wine dinners, corporate catering and government events.
I’ve enjoyed the ride ride along the way. I have an amazing career and life, daughter, fiancé and family. Catering gives me the freedom to cook what I want and have time to still be with family and travel, without the late nights and long hours of a restaurant.
I grew up in St. Louis.
My Sicilian grandmother (Nana [naa-naa]) was raised on the “Hill.”
My name is Melissa Maugeri, a.k.a. ChefMel. I live in St. Louis with my wonderful wife and two amazing daughters. I love to travel, play golf, go fishing and “glamping.” Cooking and creating in the kitchen is my passion, and feeding my friends and family is my “love language.”
Growing up, I loved my Nana’s pasta sauce; my mom would make a version with a little sugar. Those were the only red sauces I liked. What I didn’t know then, and would discover later as an adult, is that I do not prefer oregano. After many trials of “doctoring” the sauces I would buy, and realizing I didn’t like that spice, I decided to try and make my own sauce from scratch.
I watched my Nana make hers. It was an all-day process. I decided to vary what she did, and opt for a shorter process, add a little sugar and finish with a nice Merlot. I thought it turned out pretty good… then I shared it with my coworkers at our potluck the next day. They raved and raved and then expected me to bring pasta with this sauce to EVERY potluck from now on! They requested that I make more batches and sell them to them. I would make it, can it in quart jars, and bring it in and sell out in minutes. I did this repeatedly and then decided to try craft shows. I would sell out at shows and have to take orders and go back to my kitchen and make more. I moved up into the Farmer’s Markets and continued this side hustle for a while.
The next logical, but HUGE, step was for me to have the sauce mass-produced. It took a lot of perseverance and a lot of NOs until doors started to open. I have been so fortunate to have so many people help me along the way, and who continue to help as we grow and are expanding. I am so grateful for all of you who have enjoyed my sauce and have told others about it! Keep enjoying and sharing, and if you haven’t tried it yet, go get some and enjoy!!
I am now ecstatic about another opportunity, having my own cooking show! “Simply Sauced with ChefMel” is a dream-come-true! I have always thought I could pull off a cooking show, and now I have the opportunity to do just that! I hope you enjoy watching me simplify some great Italian dishes that you can replicate and make yourself!
Chef Parind Vora is a classically trained chef in the old vernacular. Born in Mumbai (Bombay), India, his family emigrated to the U.S. in 1976. Since arriving he has lived in New York City, West Virginia and South Carolina. He eventually found his way into restaurant work as a teenager. A few years later, he attended St. Matthews University; School of Medicine. While there, Parind was in the top 15% of his Medical school class. He was passionate about the world of medicine but could never quite shake his love of food. During the final part of his third year of medical school, Parind decided that the kitchen was where he belonged. He left St. Matthew’s and resumed his travels, soaking up as much food knowledge as he could along the way.
Parind’s globetrotting has since come to define his cooking style. He is essentially self taught in theory but was mentored by his travels, both domestically and abroad. Growing up in an Indian household, the first concept he mastered was the use of spices and their flavor combinations. Each part of the world he has visited since then has added a layer of complexity to his cooking. Every food experience he had left an indelible mark on his cuisine. His cuisine is now described as “Modern American,” but is culturally honest and done with a unique approach. Parind seeks to meld classic technique with subtle Indian seasoning and world influences. Alongside his genuine devotion to fine wine, this combination makes for unmistakable American food.
This taste for powerful flavor combinations doesn’t go unnoticed. Since opening Jezebel, he has been invited to cook for the oldest winery in Spain as well as the world renowned James Beard House in New York City. Parind’s food has big flavors and is seasoned assertively, yet is nuanced, complex, and most importantly, balanced. He creates the entire menu at Jezebel in order to take advantage of local, seasonal products…a menu that can only come from skill, understanding and exuberance.
As Parind launched his global catering business he is catering from Europe, Caribbean to any city in the US. Please inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org. His love of cooking mandate that Restaurant Jezebel stays open and now will be available on limited schedule. Please call our sister restaurant Lockhart Bistro for more information and to reserve soon to prevent disappointment.
Public Television chef and host Christy Rost is the author of three cookbooks, a television and radio personality, lifestyle authority, entertaining guru, cooking teacher, recipe developer, home restoration expert, Registered Nurse, and popular guest chef for food and wine festivals, home shows, women’s expos, major retailers, and charity events.
Based in Texas and passionately dedicated to the celebration of Home and Family, Christy’s focus on sustainability, farm to plate, cooking with local ingredients, and food and wine pairings is heavily influenced by the months she lives and works in her recently-restored 1898 Breckenridge, Colorado historic mountain home. Conversing with farmers, ranchers, wine producers, distillers and food artisans, and being intimately connected each day with the land, water, and nature, has a profound effect on Christy’s commitment to sustainability.
Her ongoing fascination with the history, food, and people of the American West is reflected in Christy’s more recent immersion into cowboy cuisine and live-fire cooking. While introducing readers, audiences, and event guests to American frontier and Native American heritage foods such as bison, venison, lamb, chiles and beans, Christy provides tasty solutions for today’s healthy diets, and a connection with American West culture.
Christy’s expertise in home restoration and celebrating home and family has been featured nationwide each November 2009 through 2016 on PBS and CREATE TV stations with her one-hour Holiday production for American Public Television, A Home For Christy Rost: Thanksgiving, centered around her stunning historic mountain home, “Swan’s Nest”. This highly-acclaimed and much-loved television show, has reached 91% of U.S. households in more than 6,600 broadcasts, and is a testament to Christy’s passion for family, friends, home, gardening, historic preservation, home decorating, food, wine, and celebrating each day around the table with her signature style of casual elegance.
Christy was the host and executive producer of her own Texas television cooking and lifestyle show Just Like Home for 12 years, has been interviewed by Oprah.com and Martha Stewart Radio, and is a frequent guest on WGN-TV in Chicago, FOX-4 in Dallas, and KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh for her expertise in cooking, entertaining, and easy mealtime solutions. From programs reaching 40 million viewers to local television markets, Christy has appeared in Atlanta, Austin, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Houston, El Paso, Green Bay, Madison, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Providence, Rochester, Rockford, San Antonio, San Diego, St Louis, Syracuse, Youngstown, and many more.
In 2014, Christy hosted a 10-day Mediterranean culinary cruise from Athens to Barcelona in partnership with Cruising With The Chefs and Oceania Cruises. She has extensive experience presenting for major retailers, food and wine festivals, and women’s expos. Popular presentations include cooking techniques, entertaining tips, adding fresh and updated elements to the table and home, decorating how-to’s, and dining etiquette for clients such as Macy’s, Kaufmann’s, Foley’s, Mikasa, World Market, Napa Style, Sur La Table, Whole Foods, Market Street, Market District, A Southern Season, Kitchenware Outfitters, The Cook’s Nook, The Kitchenette, Carr Valley Cheese Cooking School, Texas Cooks!, Snowmass Culinary Festival, Visions: The Women’s Expo, Head To Toe Women’s Expo, Women’s Living Expo, Taste Addison, The Dallas Outdoor Flower and Living Show, The Dallas Home & Garden Show, The Fort Worth Home & Garden Show, The State Fair of Texas, The Santa Angela Festival, Milestone Culinary Center, The Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row, Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business, and many other venues.
Christy’s latest book, Celebrating Home: A Handbook For Gracious Living (Bright Sky Press) is a beautiful blend of tantalizing recipes inspired by Christy’s life in Texas and Colorado, home decorating how-to’s, entertaining tips, seasonal table settings, and more than 100 gorgeous, full-color photographs by award-winning photographer Rick Souders, set in the intimacy of Christy’s 19th century mountain home.
Christy’s first cookbook, The Family Table: Where Great Food, Friends and Family Gather Together (Capital Books, Inc) was published in hardcover in 2004 and was released in a paperback edition in 2005. The book is designed to inspire families, friends, and neighbors to gather around the table to celebrate daily life and special occasions, and contains 250 original recipes, extensive wine notes and wine suggestions, and entertaining tips.
Christy’s second cookbook, Where’s My Spatula? Fast, Healthy Meals When Your Kitchen or Your Life Is A Mess (Capital Books, Inc) was published in 2008, and provides quick, easy recipes and solutions to get delicious, nutritious meals on the table when life is busy. Christy knows first hand how messy life can be. She developed the recipes and wrote this book while restoring her historic Colorado home.
Executive Chef Mark
Executive Chef Mark Gaylord started his culinary journey at the age of 11 years old. In 1978 he took a job washing dishes two days per week at The American Legion down the street from his home in Marengo Illinois. After one year of washing dishes and having the desire to learn how to cook he was promoted to a cook’s position at the age of 12 years old.
He continued working at several local Marengo establishments before deciding that upon his high school graduation in 1985 he would move to Charleston South Carolina to attend Johnson & Wales University. Mark attended the two-year Culinary program and received a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts.
Upon Graduating in 1987 Mark moved to Hilton Head Island and started a 3-year tour with Marriott Hotels. 1 year in Hilton Head Island S.C., one year at the Marriott O’Hare in Chicago where he became the lead banquet cook and completed his management training before becoming a kitchen manager at the Oakbrook Marriott in Illinois.
In 1991 Mark relocated back to Charleston S.C. where he worked for a period of 9 years with Garibaldi Group. Garibaldi’s Italian Bistro, Bistro Savannah in Savannah Ga., The Olde Pink House in Savannah Ga. and Anson in Charleston. Mark worked as a carpenter assisting in the total building renovation of Anson which took over a year and a half where he became the Sous Chef and later The Executive Chef.
While with the Garibaldi Group, Mark had a publicist from Atlanta Ga. and was featured in The Atlanta Constitution, The Washington Post and The New York Times. He was given a Zagat review at Bistro Savannah and was labeled the best Seafood restaurant in GA. Mark along with Chef Dan Kim of Garibaldi’s under the Director of Operations Glenn Roberts, owner of Anson Mills, served a 5 course Southern Flavors dinner at the James Beard House in New York City with the assistance of Tyler Florence who recently relocated to New York after working at Anson in Charleston. Mark was also featured in the national Chaine de Rotisseurs magazine for hosting a southern flavors wine dinner for the members.
Mark then moved Back to Hilton Head Island where he worked with the Lowrey Group for a period of 8 years. He held the titles of Executive Chef, General Manager and Director of Operations throughout his eight years. During this time, he ran The Boathouse as Executive Chef and later General Manager, was the Executive Chef at Antonio’s fine dining Italian Bistro, and Executive Chef turned Director of operations for Celebration Events Catering.
Mark moved his skills for a period of 3 years to The Jazz Corner in The Village at Wexford next door to the Food Network’s Robert Irvine’s restaurant Eat. Mark assisted the team in reaching the number one ranked restaurant on Trip Advisor out of the 220 plus restaurants on Hilton Head Island. Still today there are some of his seasonal recipes being used at The Jazz Corner and they are still ranked #1 after 10 years of Mark having to relocate back to Illinois for Family Matters.
After relocating to Illinois in 2010 Mark was the executive Banquet Chef at The Grand Geneva Resort where he was a Mentor to the Wilmot High School Pro Start team before landing in his current roll as an Executive Chef with Sodexo. His account is at the corporate headquarters of A J Gallagher where he oversees the daily operations of the 6-station café as well as the in-house Breakfast, Lunch and dinner catering for Gallagher’s global clients.
Since being back in Illinois Mark has competed and placed first in The Culinary Fight Club’s Sip and Bite competition in December of 2016. This win gave him the invitation to compete in the Culinary Fight Fest which consisted of all the first-place competitors during the 2016 season. With the assistance of his chosen teammates Mark secured the win and was able to compete at the World Food Championship in the Gulf Shores of Alabama.
Mark has a son Davis, a daughter Abby, two stepdaughters Sarah and Samantha as well as his beautiful wife Carolynn and currently lives in Spring Grove Illinois.
As a native of Charleston, South Carolina, Ava developed an appreciation for dishes
traditional to the lowcountry region. Locally grown produce, meats and other protein sources, play a major role in her menu development, for which she constantly seeks only the freshest, and best ingredients.
Her passion for food began in her mother’s kitchen as a young girl. From that point, her culinary skills have expanded to include robust flavors, fine dining and classic low country cuisine. Her culinary skills have landed her numerous catering and private event opportunities, including personal chef to services to multiple players from the NBA Charlotte Hornets.
Chef Ava is committed to providing outstanding customer service and delicious food to clients, guests and visitors of Ava’s Lowcountry Cuisine. Chef Ava is a wounded warrior who decided to pursue her passion and completely change her career direction. Upon retirement from active duty service as a logistician with the U.S. Army Special Operations, she enrolled into the Chef’s Academy in Morrisville, NC to further her pursuit in Culinary Arts.
With a passion for travel, sailing, SCUBA diving and cooking, Chef Sandy began her professional culinary path aboard a private yacht in the Caribbean Virgin Islands after a 25 year career in Technology on Wall Street.
Chef Sandy began cooking at a young age by making (with just a little bit of help from Mom) Soufflé au Fromage, which turned out to be somewhat too grown up for her 10 year old palate, but she absolutely loved the beautiful dish that resulted and the reaction from the grown ups in her family, who really enjoyed the dish.
Since that time, she has continued to hone her cooking chops, doing a lot of study, course work and experimentation, ultimately creating her own recipe database which houses thousands of recipes that represent her body of work.
She now has the opportunity to share her craft on a larger scale, with her cooking show viewers and charter guests aboard the 62’ luxury catamaran, Le Rêve, sailing in the Virgin Islands, Leeward Islands, the Bahamas and New England.
Her global menu is a tribute to her travels throughout Thailand, China, India, Africa, Australia, Central and South America, Canada, Europe, North America and the Caribbean.
Chef Sandy loves experimenting with new cuisines, ingredients, cultures and techniques and looks forward to sharing her experiences with her viewers and her guests aboard her charter yacht, Le Rêve.
Keeping it Kosher: Chef Elan and Chef Tollan
We’re just two brothers who love to cook. Inspired by our father David Teyf, who is also a chef, we decided early on in life that we would never take the traditional roads in life. Chef Tollan began as a competitive weightlifter and personal trainer who transitioned into the world of cuisine and comedy, where his constant barbs and sardonic wit, as well as his vast nutritional knowledge, will help you understand the true relationship between man and food. He was classically trained in Le Cordon Bleu of Madrid, Spain. He now serves as the Director of Events and Executive Chef for Madison and Park Hospitality Group, as well as the co-owner of Lox Cafe in Manhattan, and Greenwich and Delancey in Greenwich, Connecticut. Chef Elan studied in Le Cordon Bleu Paris for four years, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in cuisine and business hospitality management. He worked in some of the most esteemed hotels and restaurants in the world such as, The George V in Paris, and the St Regis in Florence, Italy. His approach to cooking is one of extreme precision, hyper self-criticism, and a deep love for the natural produce. He believes that perfection is not impossible to achieve, it is just very difficult. Chef Tollan keeps Chef Elan grounded by reminding him that cooking can be fun and therapeutic. This balance of intensity and composure helps to create a harmonious environment where food transcends our biological urges and becomes an art. Chef Elan serves as the menu development coordinator for Madison and Park Hospitality Group, as well as the Executive Chef of Greenwich and Delancey, and Lox Cafe. Our food can be described as Eastern European, Jewish Cuisine that can be considered aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Kosher food is heavily stigmatized and we are here to prove that if given the proper treatment, it can rival that of michelin star plates. Our father who immigrated from Minsk, Belarus and who also studied in Le Cordon Bleu Paris, is our greatest inspiration, and the true mastermind behind our restaurants and catering services. We are just two brothers, working with our father, creating beautiful, memorable, and comforting food for the soul.
From The Ocean To The Fire
Chef Danny is about to embark on a new adventure as the executive chef at The Club at Pelican Preserve in Ft. Myers, Florida. He has been the Chef at The Club at Pradera in Colorado for the last 16 months.
Before COVID-19 closed the island, Chef Danny was the Chef for the Sunshine Suites on Seven Mile Beach in the Cayman Islands with responsibilities including menu development, food and labor control and daily function of the restaurant.
Prior to moving, Danny was Executive Chef of MorningStar Senior Living. He also served for fifteen years as the Executive Chef of Sanctuary Golf Course, an invitation-only facility in Castle Pines, Colorado. For the first ten years there, he was also the chef at the Wildlife Experience, a museum and event center in Parker, Colorado and co-owned location with the golf-course.
Before moving to Colorado in 1998, Chef spent two years as Executive Chef for Overlea/Great Occasions Caterers in Maryland overseeing all on- and off-premise catering as well as their commissary and concession business. This included helping with their kosher catering facility.
Chef Danny is an ACF Certified Executive Chef (2014); also, an ACF Certified Culinary Administrator (2015); holds CPR/First Aid certifications; and is a Certified Proctor/Instructor and manager certified with ServSafe. Additionally, he instructed the 2nd year class of apprentices for the Colorado Chefs Association for 3 years and is a certification evaluator for the ACF. He completed his culinary education at the Baltimore International Culinary College in 1992 and is active in several culinary events in the Denver area including cooking for the current and past governor of Colorado.
Obviously based on the theme of the show he loves cooking seafood. He also has a passion for BBQ and Caribbean food. I addition he enjoys pairing food not only with wine but beer and spirits.
Chef David Knight’s heart and soul is ingrained in the culinary field. He has over 30 years’ experience as a professional chef, chef instructor and business owner. His vast experience in culinary and pastry, and diverse background has shaped him into the versatile and experienced Executive Chef/Business Owner he is today.
Dave has worked in upscale and high-end restaurants, country clubs and culinary schools throughout Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, Vermont and Washington D.C. He has cooked for celebrities and dignitaries including President George Bush Sr., President Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama, members of the Secret Service Detail, Jacques Pepin, Roland Mesnier, Willie Nelson, Ricky Schroeder, Juliette Binoche, Albert Kumin, the New York Giants, Iowa Hawkeyes basketball team, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and Senator Mark Udall.
Dave has a proven reputation with a solid work ethic, a wide body of knowledge in the science and physics of food, and is well-versed in fine dining preparation and delivery. Dave has complimented his leadership experience with over 20 years combined service in the US Army, Navy, and Search and Rescue teams and Back-of-the-House (BOH) management experience.
EDUCATION and PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS
MILITARY and VOLUNTEER SERVICE
AWARDS and RECOGNITION
NEWS and FEATURES
Chef K’s Kitchen
Chef K began discovering her passion for food while growing up in a village outside of Torino, Italy with her mother. She spent a lot of time in the kitchens learning from the mommas and the grandmas of local Italian friends. Amazed by the amount of passion the Italians put into all of their dishes and preparing every meal with only the freshest of ingredients, Chef K decided this was her calling. Upon returning to the United States to go to College, Chef K continued to study different cuisine. Starting as a prep cook at a gourmet camp-style resort in West Virginia, she worked her way to Executive Chef. In 2004 she moved to Williamsburg, Virginia where she has opened and continue s to run her catering company “Chef K Cooking”
Chef K has been featured LIVE since 2014 on WTVR CBS-6 “The Virginia This Morning Show” 9-10am weekdays in Richmond, Virginia. Watch Chef K cooking her signature dishes over the past 8+ years – search “Chef K WTVR” or “Chef K CBS 6” or on YouTube for her most recent episodes.
Chef K has Two Published Cookbooks After talking with many customers and friends over the years she realized the overall desire to eat healthier, however the biggest complaint was “low fat just doesn’t taste as good, where is the flavor?” so she created “Phat Taste! Little Fat!” where you can enjoy some of your favorite recipes with all that wonderful flavor and only a quarter of the fat. Chef K is very proud of her second cookbook “Chef K Goes to Yorktown Market Days” which is a compilation of delicious and healthy soup and salad recipes that she created for the local Farmer’s Market in historic Yorktown, Virginia.
Chef K is devoted to supporting local programs that help Americans. Every copy of her first cookbook “Phat Taste Little Fat” provides 24 meals to hungry Americans through the Feeding America Program. Similarly, a percentage of the proceeds from “Chef K Goes to Yorktown Market Days” provides help for the Fisher House Foundation, supporting American military veterans and their families. Chef K is active in supporting the Natasha House, Here for the Girls, the Watermen’s Museum in Historic Yorktown, Home’s for Our Troops, March of Dimes and numerous other local charities.
Chef K was invited to work with the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum and NASA to complete the first episode and live edition of the STEM in 30 Program to educate middle school students throughout the United States about preparing healthy nutritious menus for the astronauts in the space station as well as what we eat here on earth. Visit the Smithsonian Website to see the live broadcast of “Vacuum Packed Space Food: It’s What’s for Dinner” originally presented on November 19, 2014: http://airandspace.si.edu/explore-and-learn/stem-in-30/archive/?id=13618
Comments by Torri S. Strickland
Producer, Local Programming • WTVR-TV/DT
,: 3301 W. Broad St. · Richmond, VA 23230
“Chef K is one of the best Chefs I’ve booked in about 3 years! She is AWESOME!!! I’m still waiting for yesterday’s ratings to come in, but I know her segment skyrocketed. She has great energy and her presentation is just what I hope for when booking guests. We look forward to having her on again and again and again J”
“I anticipated your segment to show a spike in the ratings and it did J You were awesome so thank you. I most DEFINITELY would like you back. You are a dream guest – everything I hope for in a cooking segment and then some J”
“The segments were OUTSTANDING”
“You always hit a home run – Great to have you join us again”
“Thank YOU – another homerun segment – YOU = GREAT! Would love to get you in the line up the end of next month”
CHEF DEBRA LaROCCA-WALKER
Chef Debra LaRocca-Walker is first generation Sicilian-American having learned to cook and bake in her Nona’s kitchen as a young girl. Chef Debra is a Florida native and has received 4 educational degrees in different industries and embarked in her first career as a Registered Nurse/Healthcare Administrator working with pediatrics and geriatrics before being appointed Executive Director of a state health plan. During these years, Chef Debra started LaMezzaluna Catering part time that served events for local and state politicians, businesses and private events applying all the skills and recipes she learned as a child.
After leaving healthcare, Chef Debra went to seminary and became an ordained minister specializing in Pastoral Care and served for 6 years, part time in a mission church. One of her passions was feeding and clothing at-risk children, elderly, shut ins, poor and needy in her community and she created a non-profit called Angel Meals where she prepared, delivered and served over 17,000 hot, made from scratch meals in 6 years and hosted free Thanksgiving/Christmas/Easter communal meals for those in need. She also started a clothing house at the church where families in need could ‘shop’ for free clothing when picking up their meals. She was a drug/alcohol addiction recovery counselor and started a recovery group through her mission church to assist community members in their recovery efforts.
Chef Debra continued to work in the food industry as Executive Chef/Manager in large conference centers, steakhouses and upscale restaurants designing menus and managing all aspects of the businesses and catering events, but her passion was always pastries.
Through the years, Chef Debra’s lifelong dream of becoming a degreed Pastry Chef was still in her heart. Her precious son Tyler, a Firefighter/EMT was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 27 and he asked her one thing; after his passing to fulfill her dreams and go back to school, get her degree in Pastry Arts and open her own bakery/restaurant. Chef Debra would sit beside his bed and they collaborated about the different pastries she could make for her new bakery. After his passing, and a time for grieving, Chef Debra kept her promise.
After graduation with a degree in Advanced Pastry Arts, Rocca’s Bakery & Confections was born. Chef Debra’s passion is pastry but also teaching the home baker how to re-create the same items in their own kitchen by simplifying more complicated recipes and teaching the home baker traditional techniques of pastries. Chef Debra’s passion and love for pastries and food can be tasted in every creation she bakes.
Rocca’s Bakery & Confections continues to bake and spread joy through event catering, pastries, celebration cakes, pies, breads and confections in Greensboro, NC in addition to Rocca’s Bakery online store which ships nationwide. Rocca’s Bakery motto is “We Bake Your Day Better”.
Chef Kevin Roberts
Louisiana born; Mississippi raised! Kevin was destined to be in the kitchen from a young age and was born into a family of cooks and caterers. By age 5, he was standing next to his grandma learning how to make old fashioned Southern Style biscuits. At age 9, he was coming home from the 3rd grade just to watch “Great Chefs of the World” on Discovery Channel. This inspired him to set up his parents old VHS Camcorder on a tripod to record his very own TV Cooking show! Where he showcased his skills with Kraft macaroni and chicken nuggets. By age 15, he was flipping burgers at a fast-food joint and the rest was history.
Kevin took a different route in life and comes from the school of hard knocks. With over 20 years in the restaurant industry. He’s a high school dropout who spent his younger 20’s traveling the country working at seasonal resorts as a line cook in Alaska, California, and Florida. He finally settled back into his hometown of Vicksburg, MS. Where he helped opened a few unique restaurants which led to a local celebrity chef status.
In 2015, Kevin developed a series of health issues due to years of bad dieting and the party chef lifestyle. This led to a newfound love for healthy food and fitness. In 2018, Kevin left the hustle and bustle of the restaurant industry to pursue a life in personal training. He quickly found that food was the most important aspect to a healthy regiment and couldn’t stay out of the kitchen. He created Fit Chef Catering, a healthy meal prep business that was started by selling meals out of the trunk of his car at the gym. That has since grown into a massive operation throughout central Mississippi with 4 physical store locations, online ordering, full fledge catering and soon to offer nationwide shipping.
James Jens has over two decades of cooking professionally, but a lifetime of passion for food. Starting with helping in his mother’s kitchen cook the family meal and canning the bounty of the family garden or creating for foods and nutrition projects for 4-H. His first “paid” event was cooking for a high school friends pre-dance dinner meal for him and his date.
After high school James attended Fox Vall3ey Technical College for Culinary arts and then embarked in a whirlwind culinary career. With stops at multiple independent white linen restaurants, two 4-diamond resorts, 1 5-diamond resort and multiple private country clubs prior to starting Dinners with Class.
Dinners with class is a personal chef, catering, cooking class service company that creates personalized culinary experiences for each client’s event. Menus range from tapas to multi course tasting menus to interactive chef stations cooking in front of guests, the sky is the creative limit.
Along with his passion for all things culinary, his hobbies include traveling with his high school sweetheart turned wife and their two kids, watching and attending Indy car races, local Wisconsin sport teams and sailing.
After graduating college in 1970, I pursued my 1st career as a Reading specialist, working with Elementary age students. Then, in 1976, we moved to Naples, Italy for my husband’s commitment in the Navy. It was there that I discovered my love for cooking, baking , and eating well. When we returned to the States, I began my baking Career from my home kitchen. I started selling cakes and pastries to restaurants and caterers. In 1986, I purchased a French Bakery in Haddonfield, NJ called La Patisserie Francaise. It was here that I continued to explore my passion for French Pastries and cakes. During this time we won many awards for our pasties and cakes from Philadelphia Magazine for “Best Of Philly”. Our Ricotta Cheesecake was one of our awards. We also provided special desserts for the Cezanne Exhibit, opening night, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and created a replica of the Bourse Building for the 100th Anniversary.
In 2006, we decided to leave retail sales and focus on Wedding and other larger special occasion cakes. Since then, we have won Best Wedding Cake for The Knot, and Couples Choice Award for Wedding Wire, every year since 2012. We are also known for our Vegan and Gluten free selections, as well as other dietary restrictions in cakes. We get a lot of pleasure in making a person’s cake dream come true. All cakes and pasties are made to order large or small.
Chef Carl L.
Carl L. Huckaby II (Chef Chip) began his career standing on five-gallon buckets alongside his father, Chef Carl L. Huckaby CEC, CCE, CEPC, AAC, FMP.
It was Chef Chip’s greatest advantage to learn beside his father, his mentor, in their family bakeries and restaurants. He stayed by his father’s side, learning the trade and committing himself to achieving goals of his own in the culinary arts.
He’s worked at beloved restaurants like the Hillview Country Club in Franklin, Indiana, the famed Chez Jean Restaurant Francais in Camby, Indiana, as well as the world-renowned Indianapolis Motor Speedway as Executive Chef of the Brickyard Crossing Golf Resort & Inn.
From there, he transitioned to helm Barto’s Banquets and Catering at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. In coalition with owner John Barto, they redefined the image of “State Fair Food” and it was there that he and John would launch Food Guys Catering in January of 2014, providing a truly customized catering option for Central Indiana.
Everyone deserves those happy moments. Everybody deserves good food made fresh!
In 2019, Chef Chip joined his expertise with Keith Johnson at Smokehouse Catering Company to continue growing with each other and provide “Good Food Made Fresh.”
CHEF CELESTE Celeste Gill Chef Celeste received her culinary training in Hawaii with a degree in Food Science. She became the first female cook at the Salvation Army Alcohol Treatment Center. While in the military, Chef Celeste moved to Virginia and became the Dietary manager for Sunrise Assisted living. ensuring the nutritional and quality meals for seniors. Chef Celeste wrote the menus, procured all staples and managed the dietary staff. That position advanced to traveling to various senior complexes in the area providing special events for seniors. This experience set her on a career path to upgrade the senior dining experience with delicious and nutritious meals. This includes writing menus for the dietitians and seasonings with her senior seasoning blends.
Chef Celeste is CCR certified and registered with SAMS for the past 14 years, serving the National Guard and seniors during national disasters in and around the Baton Rouge and surrounding areas. She is also certified food handler, certified Food service manager as well as certified food management instructor and proctor the Servsafe national program. Her team members are also certified foodservice Servsafe COVID-19 certified as well as managers which ensures the highest safety practices for our seniors.
Chef Celeste combines fresh local ingredients whenever possible to her delicious menu options.
@@@@@giving back section
Cooking with kids
Goals for 2020 and moving forward
Chef Celeste and her team have over 25 years experience in the senior nutritional field. Her inventive culinary style has earned her several accolades, including Chef of the Year from the American Culinary Federation, the Seafood Award from Capital Chefs’ Showcase, and first place in the Fall Heat Cooking Competition. Because these events led to so many requests for spices and seasonings, Chef Celeste began packaging and selling her own Louisiana Honey Mustard and proprietary Senior Seasoning spice blends.
Event spaces Teaching Chef Celeste and her team have over 25 years experience in the senior nutritional field. Her inventive culinary style has earned her several accolades, including Chef of the Year from the American Culinary Federation, the Seafood Award from Capital Chefs’ Showcase, and first place in the Fall Heat Cooking Competition. Because these events led to so many requests for spices and seasonings, Chef Celeste began packaging and selling her own Louisiana Honey Mustard and proprietary Senior Seasoning spice blends. Based in Baton Rouge, Chef Celeste and her expanding team have their finger on the pulse of healthy senior dining. The team provide meals for The EBR Council on Aging, serving 22 Senior Centers/Nutritional Feeding Sites with 1100 hot meals served daily and 1800 Meals on Wheels daily. Southside Gardens Retirement Center for the past 12 years, serving meals to independent as well as Assisted living residents, some with special diet requirements. The Spine Hospital of Louisiana, where dietary ranks with the hospital in the top 5% in the country, Rehab at Neuromedical and dietary services at The Surgical Specialty Center. 520 Spain, the newest venture is a beautiful refurbished house in downtown Baton Rouge that’s open to host events. Chef Celeste loves to teach and has extensive experience in sharing her fresh take on healthy Louisiana cuisine through live presentations, cooking classes, and local and national television, such as the Food Network. She has produced and co-hosted the cable television show, “Cooking Up Louisiana Treasures”
Chef Bob Sargent was born in Elmira, New York, and knew at a very early age that cooking was one of the things that brought him, and others around him joy. Starting his first restaurant job at the age of 16 bussing tables, he has been in the kitchen for 34 years. In that time, his culinary exploits have taken him around the world. Bob’s first inroad into international cuisine was a pastry apprenticeship in Caux, Switzerland, from there he created and taught a culinary program in Bhutan. He has spent as much time as possible traveling the world, studying, and sampling cuisines in Thailand, Europe, Mexico, and South America. Along with his extensive experience across the world, he has worked and trained across the US, in places such as San Francisco, the Delaware Coast, New York, and Boston before settling in Boulder, Colorado in 1997.
Since then, Chef Sargent has opened and worked in some of Boulder’s best restaurants before founding Savory Cuisines Catering. Now open 19 for years, Savory Cuisines started as a small, private chef service out of his garage, and has since grown to be Boulder’s largest catering company. Bob’s passion for cooking is only rivaled by his passions for running and weightlifting, and he is an advocate of a mostly plant-based diet. Outside of his travels nationally and abroad, he prepared vegetarian fare at Naropa University, and on the Grateful Dead, and Phish concert tours. A graduate of the Culinary School of the Rockies, now Escoffier Culinary School, and has had the opportunity to teach at both schools.
1570 Eastward Ho Lane, Marathon, Florida 33050 – The Florida Keys
I’ve lived in the Keys and have been in the Restaurant & Hospitality Industry for 40 plus years.I’ve owned, worked, and managed a previous business – The Coffee House, for 21 of those years.
2018 I registered with Escoffier Culinary Arts and completed my Chef degree in 2021.I started a new business in 2018, Clouds in my Coffee Catering, and opened “ The Table” in 2021 as a private and personal event location.
I’m the 1st in 5 Generations of Italian women cooks to have a Chef’s degree.
My grandparents after moving to the United States of America from Calabria and Naples, Italy, where they were Cheese makers and Goat herders settled in New Jersey. After opening several restaurants, they imported chefs from Geneva to work in the kitchens. Growing up in this environment she learned many recipes which she then taught to me while working in the kitchens with her.
In the early 60’s my mother became a food writer for the New York and New Jersey papers. My mother had a tremendous influence on me during those formative years.
While raising 7 children and hosting the Governor of New Jersey and federal dignitaries she did not leave out articles which touched on recipes and cooking styles to encompass feeding a family on pennies
a day. My mother and Grandmother where the embodiment of Italian Cooks & cooking.
In 1969 my Family moved to The Fabulous Florida keys, where I grew up and live today. I continued working in kitchens whenever time allowed. After High School, I married and had 2 daughters. Traveled with the Army and came back home in 1995, started working in the banking Industry to broaden my business skills. Although always a second job in a kitchen to make ends meet.
In 1997 I opened my 1st restaurant, then a second in 2010.
Through good fortune I had the great opportunity to travel to France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal, where my passion blossomed for great Food and Wine pairing. Today this is what I enjoy the most: Hosting
Wine Dinners and the pairing of great wines & foods using local sourcing and incorporating local fresh catch and ingredients from the Florida Key’s & Caribbean Regions. My menus, through personal input,
are designed for each client group, this gives me great room for imaginative use of local resources.
Dick was raised in Connecticut…and is the founder of Bites By Eydt…as early as high school he developed a passion for food, entertaining and the hospitality business.
He was fascinated by the restaurant and hotel industry…the rhythms and choreography of it all. No wonder when he finished high school, he headed the Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. There he immersed himself in his studies and explored in the ins and outs of the fine dining and the hotel industry.
After graduation, Dick set out to work in some of the most iconic restaurants across America. First to New York City at Windows on the World Restaurant in the World Trade Center, Chicago for a group of hotels & restaurants operated by VMS and then on to Opus in Los Angeles the sister restaurant of the legendary Le Bernadin in New York City. Dick’s passion for food and preparation led him to sharing dishes with friends and family, and pointed towards his career in the catering industry.
Drawing of his vast experience he created Bites By Eydt a catering company serving clients along the Eastern Seaboard, from Manhattan to Greenwich, CT, to Nantucket to Florida’s Vero Beach & Boca Raton to our home base in Atlanta. What makes us different from other catering companies? We bring the food, oversized plates, Riedel wine glasses, flatware and William Sonoma service platters and prepare the food, serve and clean up, so our clients don’t have to wash a dish or clean a glass. This is what has made Bites By Eydt a success.
Creating unique venues and events during the era of Covid has presented challenges to be sure. That’s why Bites By Eydt has introduced an innovative protocol. Covid-19 rapid testing that will be available at any catering event ensuring that all guests will be safe and at ease to enjoy their event. Dick became a TV host on the Roku channel program, Eat This TV
My name is Nadine Whitehead, I am married to Jeff and have 2 grown daughters Danita and Chandra and 3 grandchildren and a dog mom to Poppy and Bella. I have a passion for baking and have made cakes for others for nearly 40 years.
After having a successful cake business in Sidney MT for several years, I had a few years that I was working so much that I had to put it on the back burner for a while. I am now able to make cakes as needed and started a business out of my home in St Joseph, MO called County Road Cakes. I have learned many new techniques so I would be able to fill the many needs of the modern couple or anyone with a rustic need, a Birthday, a graduation, a new baby, a retirement or any occasion!
I am currently a member of ICES the International Cake Exploration Societe, Missouri/Kansas ICES and Cakes for Smiles, I am very excited about what may be ahead!
Chef Winston Williams has not only raised the bar for Caribbean haute cuisine but has also created a heightened awareness for “Floribbean Cuisine” …. Classical cuisine with a Caribbean twist. Chef Winston has made this a very relevant affair.
A native from the United States Virgin Islands (U.S.V.I.) “AMERICAS PARADISE”.
Chef Winston first realized his passion for cooking while helping his mother and grandmother prepare family recipes that had been passed down for generations.
Owner and Executive Chef, this culinary wonder now manages to run his own Catering business “CateringCC”, provides personal Chef services, curated dinners, catering consultations, cooking classes and last but certainly not least he has become a culinary philanthropist through his YouTube channel for simple meals geared towards the home cook. Thanks to his YouTube channel and weekly “DATE NIGHT LIVE” cooking show, Chef Winston has become a local icon in the culinary arena and is looked upon by a whole new generation of budding chefs and caterers who take inspiration from him and consider Chef Winston as their “mentor and role model” within the industry. Chef Winston has appeared on several food and cooking shows, where he was called for his expertise and guidance or, as a judge.
I Live For Dessert offers Old World recipes and Modern Creations to our hungry customers with awesome Tastebuds.
At I Live For Dessert, we’re here to help you find the perfect dessert. We use a variety of fresh, organic ingredients to make sure you love each and every bite. Whether you prefer pastries, bread, tarts, frozen desserts, cookies, cakes, or something a little more unusual, we have a sweet for your palate.
Justin Fields was born in New York City. Growing up in the Bronx, he was influenced by the hustle and bustle of NYC. From a young age he had a very creative personality, getting involved in art classes, reading comic books and emulating artists of the time. The multi-cultural environment mixed with his love to eat would be the building blocks of his culinary journey.
Justin attended the Culinary Arts program at Bergen Technical High School in Hackensack NJ. This is where his appetite for culinary success began. Upon graduation in 2000, Justin enrolled into the Culinary Arts program at JWU in Providence, RI. During his schooling Justin moved to Maui, Hawaii for an internship to work at Roy’s Kahana Bar and Grill. He left the mainland with nothing but a suitcase, a plane ticket and a desire to make it to the top.
Taking his career even further, Justin decided to continue his education with JWU and received his BA in Restaurant Management in 2004. After finishing his BA, Roy’s Restaurant was the #1 opportunity on his radar, and he landed a position as sous chef trainer in Philadelphia. Ultimately becoming Chef Partner of Roy’s Sarasota in December of 2008.
That is when a new path presented itself in 2013. As a result of his immense creativity and talent, he transitioned to Corporate Chef / Research & Develop world. Within 4 years he was promoted to Executive Chef / Director of Research and Development, playing an integral role in building brand recognition for multiple concepts. Chef Justin added an international presence to his arsenal in 2020 becoming the culinary lead for multiple international concepts, expanding his brand coverage and global cuisine knowledge.
Chef Clay White is a born and raised North Carolinian. He became passionate about cooking while watching and learning from his grandmother as she cooked every meal for his family. He fell in love with food and food preparation at an early age. Although life took him in a very different direction, his passion for food was always there. ChefClay is a Desert Storm Veteran having served honorably in the United States Army until he got out in the early 90’s. He and his wife moved to Moore County in 1997 and fell in love with the area.
ChefClay graduated with honors from culinary school and is a Former Culinary Instructor at Fayetteville Technical Community College where he taught Global Cuisine, Garde Manger, Purchasing, Wine appreciation, Menu Design, ServSafe and others. ChefClay is also a certified ServSafe Instructor and Proctor offering private classes in Moore and surrounding counties.
Recently ChefClay completed the level one Court of Masters Sommelier and is studying for Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), the Certified Wine Expert (CWE) and the Certified Sommelier (CS).
KCBS/NCBS Certified Judge/Table Captain and has a Competition BBQ Team.
My passion is rooted in the joy that comes from preparing and sharing food. I am a self-taught cook, with years of guidance from my Japanese mother, Sumiko and grandmother, Yoko, who came to this country before the second world war. These two talented women showed me the value of working by hand with the ingredients local to your home. They knew how to avoid waste and to deploy one’s imagination with ingredients you have on hand. I grew up between a New York City apartment and a farm in Vermont where my father taught me how to milk a cow, make butter, drive a tractor and make maple syrup. Both my parent’s lifelong journey in the making and sharing of food, at the table we still sit at, is rooted in my consciousness. I have cooked professionally for over 40 years, almost always in unusual capacities. Some examples include cooking for months in a tent camp for fisherman in the Alaskan Bush, out of Avon rafts for The Nature Conservancy donors on rivers in Montana, for 100’s of families bringing prepared food to their doorsteps in Denver, Colorado and for the past 5 years cooking meals that are made fresh and vacuum sealed for the 100’s of guests we take to our high camp at 11,000 feet on the Grand Teton in Wyoming. Eating healthy, delicious food from only the best ingredients, has always been essential to my life as the mother of four children and for keeping our clients at The Mountain Guides feeling their best on long, strenuous days in the mountains.
Chef Shelly Meyer began cooking professionally in 2000 catering for elite clientele in the Arabian Horse Industry.
She once cooked an upscale plated dinner successfully for 75 people, in a horse barn, with only a portable grill. She explains it’s times like those that teach you how to handle any adversity and find solutions to challenges.
In 2005 Shelly and husband Brad opened Bradley O’s Steakhouse in her hometown of Hamilton, Montana.
Each recipe was created or approved by them before it went on the menu. After 10 years, they retired from the brick-and-mortar restaurant and Shelly started as a Private & Personal Chef. Even after years of experience, enjoying cooking so much, she decided to go through culinary school and get her certification. Receiving rave reviews, Chef Shelly has been a Private Chef for very notable clientele, business moguls, movie stars, professional athletes, etc. Shelly cooks mainly wild game at home that’s harvested by her husband. She developed a vast array of flavors and techniques that pair best with game. Chef Shelly began offering farmed game to her clients after realizing they were looking for this option.
In 2020 Shelly began commercially manufacturing her Made In Montana seasoning blends. Montana Flavor 2 Savor spices are successfully sold wholesale to multiple Montana retailers, and nationwide through their website.
In 2021, Chef Shelly Meyer became a TV Host on the national Roku channel, Eat This TV
Jennifer Bajsel, local DFW private chef and owner of the personal chef/boutique catering company.
Getting Saucy, began her professional cooking career in 2011, as she pursued her professional culinary degree at The International School of Culinary Arts at The Art Institute Dallas.
Chef Jennifer is an upstate New York native and has resided in Dallas, TX for over 25 years.
Her latest culinary venture is hosting her own Italian cooking show on Eat This TV” network. Jennifer has also appeared on two Food Network shows.
In 2015 she appeared on Beat Bobby Flay and in January of 2019 she was on “Chopped”.Chef Jennifer’s passion is advocating for a better American food system.
As a food advocate, Jennifer promotes utilizing organic, non-GMO ingredients from local sustainable farms, and promotes animal and environmental welfare. Not only does the New York native spend time advocating for a better food system but she also volunteers at the North Texas Food Bank and supports Independence Gardens in Dallas.
Jennifer’s upbringing and life experiences have taught her to give back to the community, as she has gone through many rough times, including the passing of both of her parents.
Chef Bajsel’s culinary style is Italian cuisine including a farm to table focus on nutrition. Jennifer promotes eating healthy well-balance meals to her private clients while meeting their individual tastes.
She utilizes organic, non-GMO, seasonal ingredients while featuring global flavors.
As one of America’s most versatile, experienced and educated culinary professionals, Diane Henderiks is on a mission to teach new levels of cooking and eating well – while enjoying every minute of it! She has appeared on Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, ABC News, The CBS Early Show, The Chew and many other media outlets. With her background as a Registered Dietitian, Certified Personal Trainer, and chef, Diane provides a wealth of knowledge for the home cook. Following her respected culinary and nutritional expertise makes it simple to take ordinary ingredients to new culinary heights. She makes it easily doable to whip up amazing dishes with her creative, healthy recipes. “Any dish can be revamped to be good for you, it just takes a little education and finesse!” Her message rings true. Diane has the distinct honor of being featured in both Shape Magazine and the New York Times and is also is a proud member of Les Dames d’Escoffier.
Diane is creator and host of the television show “Fresh to Frozen and Back”, the first of its kind show teaching how to prepare fresh meals, freeze and defrost them properly, then bring back to the table at a later date. It is currently airing on ROKU, Amazon FireTV, Altice media and Public Broadcasting Network. She serves on the advisory board for the American Vegetarian Association, the Hudson County Community College Culinary Arts Institute and the Culinary Council for Chefs Society, an organization focused on educating the public about the health benefits and flavors of Korean fermentation and cuisine. She is an active member of the American Dietetic Association, International Association of Culinary Professionals and Women Chefs and Restaurateurs. Diane also has a strong passion for her work with non-profit organizations including Autism Speaks, Warriors in Motion, the Boomer Esiason Foundation and the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation and the organizations resident guest chef for JBJ Soul Kitchen, a non-profit community restaurant that serves paying and in-need customers. In her day to day business Diane nourishes clients via Diane Daily Dish, her prepared meal delivery service at The Jersey Shore. She finds contentment in mornings at the beach with her dog Sydney, cooking at home and spending time with family.
Host, Creator, Executive Producer at Gadget Queen TV Show on Eat This TV Network/ On Air Personality QVC Home Shopping
Millennial professional Chef Lee Wright combines his knack for eating and cooking locally with his love of water and snow skiing and action and adventure as he travels the world and shows us how to EAT, SKI, LIVE! Come along on with Chef Lee on this global TV series to eat locally, explore mightily, live boldly, and discover your balance!