The most celebrated chef on the international food scene and winner of 5 James Beard Foundation food awards; owner Babbo, Eataly and many other international restaurants.
Raised in Seattle, Mario attended high school in Madrid and studied the golden age of Spanish theater at Rutgers University. Soon after graduating, Mario enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu in London, his first formal culinary training. But after a few short months, he withdrew to apprentice with London’s legendary chef Marco Pierre White. During three years of intense culinary training in the Northern Italian village of Borgo Capanne (population 200), Mario learned the essential skills to return to his native US eager to plant his orange-clad foot firmly on the checkered-tablecloth Italian restaurant establishment.
Executive Chef and co-owner of Michelin-starred The Spotted Pig, The Breslin and the John Dory restaurants; winner of Best Chef in New York from James Beard Foundation and author of A Girl and Her Pig: Recipes and Stories.
April Bloomfield has spent most of her life in the kitchen and had the pleasure of working with some of the most revolutionary chefs before taking on a kitchen of her own. A native of Birmingham, England, April began her culinary studies at Birmingham College. From there, she went on to hone her craft through cook positions in various kitchens throughout London and Northern Ireland, including Kensington Place and Bibendum. It was under the guidance of Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray at The River Café where she learned to appreciate the beauty and simplicity of food.
Owner of Jose Enrique, which CondeNast Traveler included on its list of 105 Best New Restaurants; semi-finalist for the 2013 James Beard Foundation award for “Best Chef South”.
Chef Jose Enrique, born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, graduated in 1998 from the Culinary Institute of America in New York.
Jose Enrique worked in New York, Florida and Louisiana before he returned to his homeland. In 2007, he opens his first restaurant Jose Enrique, which was established at La Placita de Santurce and It’s personalized menu is prepared daily, incorporating natural and organic products focusing on fresh Puerto Rican produce, which allows the climate and ingredients to direct Chef menu choices.
An award-winning New York chef, restaurateur and cookbook author known for his inventive yet approachable Spanish cuisine, and a leading authority on health and wellness.
Seamus opened his first solo restaurant Tertulia in Manhattan in 2011, which was awarded two stars from The New York Times and a finalist for the James Beard Foundation Award for Best New Restaurant. In 2013, he opened El Colmado, a Spanish tapas and wine bar at Gotham West Market, a food hall in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. In September 2014, Seamus launched Sea Containers at Mondrian London, his first hotel collaboration and first restaurant outside of the United States. Most recently, he opened a second outpost of El Colmado in the Meatpacking District, called El Colmado Butchery. He has been named a semi-finalist for Best Chef NYC by the James Beard Foundation 3 years in a row.
Chef Johnny Iuzzini, award winning pastry chef, hails from the Catskills region in upstate New York. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America with over twenty years of kitchen experience, Chef Iuzzini honed his craft at highly lauded dining locations such as The River Café in Brooklyn, NY along with, Daniel, Payard, Café Boulud and Jean Georges in New York City In 2006, the James Beard Foundation awarded Chef Iuzzini "Pastry Chef of the Year." In addition he has been recognized as one of the "10 Most Influential Pastry Chefs in America" by Forbes, "Best New Pastry Chef" by New York Magazine, and named one of the “Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America” two years in a row by Pastry Arts and Design.
He was the head judge of Bravo’s culinary competition series “Top Chef: Just Desserts”. Since leaving Restaurant Jean Georges, Chef Iuzzini has started his own pastry and culinary arts consulting company, aptly named Sugar Fueled Inc. He is the author of DESSERT FOURPLAY: Sweet Quartets From A Four-Star Pastry Chef (Clarkson Potter) and is currently working on his second book, due out in 2014.
Action Bronson is a purveyor of delicious unexpectedness. Before he’s a heralded rap artist, who shares the same Goliath management as Eminem, Atlantic Records label as Boosie Badazz and facial hair with Rick Ross, he’s Arian Asllani, a Queens New York-bred, Albanian and Jewish culinary chef with his own cooking show. Fans of the stage and stove, can easily find the impresario shopping stateside for heirloom tomatoes or overseas for samples.
His fresh herb affinity ranges from cilantro to sour diesel. His commanding presence leans more towards a concerto tenor than master of ceremony, but his 14 karat rhyme bars exorcise wordsmiths like Kool G. Rap. Verses are delivered with the recklessness of a black market AR15, yet come bejeweled with sharp wit and highbrow hilarity. This isn’t your father’s favorite rapper. In a new world where rap fans are colorless and the Internet dictates TV, Action Bronson is a super hero whose physique ironically resembles a Viking warrior.
Definitely not your typical accountant, Colin Hylton's journey into the culinary world is not your typical one, and defined his need for bold and exotic flavours. Then again, Colin is not your typical chef. Discovered by Jamaica's original culinary doyenne, the late Norma Shirley, when he bought delectable desserts to a dinner party, Colin has become a staple name in the food world, not only in Jamaica, but in Caribbean culinary circles throughout the region.
He represented Jamaica at the South beach Wine & Food Festival alongside Rohan Marley and Gariel Ferguson, and is the mastermind behind the iconic Guilt Trip and Guilt Restaurants. "I don't like timid food," he says. "I've not lived my life timidly. I've always jumped in".
SUZANNE and MICHELLE ROUSSEAU
Jamaican sisters and business partners, Suzanne Rousseau and Michelle Rousseau are former restaurateurs and award-winning caterers with over 20 years experience. They have thrown parties for the Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Prince of Wales, and celebrities such as Ewan MacGregor.
Suzanne and Michelle are the culinary hostesses for the web series “Island Potluck”, created in conjunction with the Jamaica Tourist Board, and have just completed the second season of their self-produced cooking show, “Two Sisters and a Meal.” Their first cookbook, Caribbean Potluck (Kyle Books UK), published in 2014 is now available worldwide, and was voted one of NPRs best books for 2014.
The man to go to when it comes to pork, Gariel Ferguson is a known for his succulent and gourmet approaches to meats, and showcased these at his restaurants over the years. These include The Rib Kage, G’s BBQ, and the award-winning Norma’s at the Marina (in partnership with the culinary doyen of the Caribbean, the late Norma Shirley).
He has been featured at various food festivals, including the Cayman Cookout, and as a guest chef at the SOBE Wine and Food Festival in 2013 at the official closing party alongside Guy Fierei and Ziggy Marley.
Gariel now operates a food consultancy business and it has taken him throughout the region delivering his unique flavors of the Caribbean.
Executive culinary artist, Oji Jaja, honed his culinary and restaurant management skills at one of the world’s foremost luxury hotel chains, The Ritz Carlton, both in Jamaica and the United States. He is now the executive chef and owner of Ashebre, focusing on modern Caribbean cuisine.
His slogan, “where love, passion and skill work together to create a masterpiece”, describes the path he has set for himself to revolutionize the culinary landscape, and has led him to cook for such celebrities as Tom Cruise.
Oji has been nominated for several awards by the Jamaica Observer for Caterer Of The Year, Chef Of The Year and recently received the award for Culinary Innovator in honour of "Jamaica 50" (Jamaica's 50th year of independence).
Celeste Gordon is a Jamaican chef who has had 15 years of experience in the food industry. She is a graduate of the renowned Culinary Institute of America and started her career as a personal chef then branched out into catering. She provides services for all types of functions from intimate dinner parties to large weddings and parties.
She has now become part of the planning team for “The Frenchmen” parties, which has revolutionized how food is served at a party. She has also been involved with the 1876 wine club, which hosts quarterly tastings, pairing food with a variety of wines. She continues to follow her passion for food and is always thrilled to embark on new experiences to deepen her food knowledge.