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2018 Featured Personalities

Peter Beauregard
Pete’s passion for beer started when he bought a homebrew kit in his senior year at UNH, and after a career in technology and some homebrew competition awards for IPA, made the jump to professional brewery when he co-founded Stoneface Brewing Co. As a New Hampshire native, Pete wanted to make sure that his brewery paid tribute to his home state. The name Stoneface is derived from a short story titiled “The Great Stone Face” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, which is a story about the iconic Old Man of the Mountain, the symbol of NH. A careful look at the Stoneface logo will reveal the Old Man’s profile along one side of the hop flower.

Andrew Brady

Marilyn Brass
Marilynn and Sheila Brass are the authors of Baking With The Brass Sisters, the latest cookbook from America’s favorite home bakers. Their cookbook, Heirloom Baking With The Brass Sisters, was a finalist for the James Beard Award in the Dessert and Baking category. Both Heirloom Baking and their second cookbook, Heirloom Cooking With The Brass Sisters, were selected as one of the best 25 cookbooks of the year by Food & Wine Magazine, which referred to them as “Dessert Geniuses.” They have hosted their own specials on PBS, The Brass Sisters Queens Of Comfort Food, and the Cooking Channel, The Brass Sisters Celebrate The Holidays. They won a Throwdown with Bobby Flay by baking their recipe for Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. They are enthusiastic collectors of culinary antiques and handwritten manuscript cookbooks and have recently launched a new show on PBS, The Food Flirts.

Sheila Brass
Marilynn and Sheila Brass are the authors of Baking With The Brass Sisters, the latest cookbook from America’s favorite home bakers. Their cookbook, Heirloom Baking With The Brass Sisters, was a finalist for the James Beard Award in the Dessert and Baking category. Both Heirloom Baking and their second cookbook, Heirloom Cooking With The Brass Sisters, were selected as one of the best 25 cookbooks of the year by Food & Wine Magazine, which referred to them as “Dessert Geniuses.” They have hosted their own specials on PBS, The Brass Sisters Queens Of Comfort Food, and the Cooking Channel, The Brass Sisters Celebrate The Holidays. They won a Throwdown with Bobby Flay by baking their recipe for Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. They are enthusiastic collectors of culinary antiques and handwritten manuscript cookbooks and have recently launched a new show on PBS, The Food Flirts.

Jim Braude
Jim Braude is the host Greater Boston and co-host of Boston Public Radio. He has worked with co-host Margery Eagan for 18 years, first doing a TV show together at NECN then a radio show at WTKK. The duo came to WGBH in 2013. He started his professional career as a legal services lawyer in the South Bronx handling housing and prisoners’ rights cases. He was the founder and first president of the National Organization of Legal Services Workers, a union representing staff in civil legal offices for the poor in 35 states. Jim graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and New York University’s Law School.

Manita Bunnagikam
Manita Bunnagitkarn is the chef owner of Cha Yen Thai cookery. She came to the United States at age 15 and has started working in a few Thai restaurants ever since. A diligent chef, she was working with the Marriott group before studying Culinary Arts in Johnson & Wales University. She also had the opportunity to learn under Chef Todd English for many of years. Besides the passion for Thai food, Manita has always enjoyed experimenting ice cream making. She's been trying out different recipes at home for years. As she brought Cha Yen to Watertown, she also decided that the restaurant would sell the unique ice cream flavors that she had come up with throughout the years.

Robert Bruce
As Executive Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Boston, Chef Robert Bruce oversees the hotel’s food and beverage programming, including menu creation and execution for some of Boston’s most high-profile events, galas and weddings. He also creates and implements seasonal menus favoring local farmers and growers for Artisan Bistro and Avery Bar. Bruce is a proponent of, in his own words, “simple food done right—perfectly executed dishes with uniquely memorable flavors that highlight a short list of ingredients. You don’t need a million components in a dish. But what you put on the plate should be perfect and it should have a reason for being there.”

Jessica Caldwell

Adam Centamore
Adam Centamore is a professional wine and cheese educator and author who conducts private, public and corporate tasting experiences. He is a member of the Wine Scholars Guild, Society of Wine Educators and American Cheese Society. He is also the Maître Fromager for the Boston chapter of the Chevalier du Tastevin, a prestigious French wine society. His first book, Tasting Wine and Cheese - An Insider's Guide to Mastering the Principles of Pairing was a finalist for cookbook of the year through the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Adam enjoys eating, drinking, and learning!

Marc Cina
Mark developed his skills at venerable Boston area restaurants including Central Kitchen, Craigie Street Bistrot, and Chez Henri before joining the opening team at Stoddard’s Fine Food & Ale as Executive Chef. A few summers saw Mark in Nantucket as chef de Cuisine at Great Harbor Yacht Club’s ocean front fine dining restaurant. Currently Executive Chef at Yvonne’s, Mark has been continuing the tradition of creating modern supper club classics in a grand setting since August 2017.

Chris Coombs
The young, talented Christopher Coombs fell in love with the hospitality industry on the first day of work in a local seafood restaurant on the north shore of Boston. Known for his unique and sophisticated style of food, Christopher is firing up the kitchen at Deuxave using local American ingredients with contemporary French cuisine techniques. His deep passion for food and strong desire to learn has led him to gain an abundance of knowledge in the culinary world and a very impressive resume. He also is the owner of Boston Chops, where he continues to awe his guests with the uniquely-prepared fresh ingredients on his various menus.

Brian Dandro
Chef Brian Dandro boasts an extensive resume within the culinary industry. Over the years, Chef Dandro has played a vital role in the emergence of Royal Sonesta Boston into the forefront of leading culinary entities in both Boston and Cambridge. A Massachusetts native, Chef Dandro embraces using fresh, locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, designing and tailoring menus to best reflect the local seasonal bounty. He has made changes to menus throughout the hotel to utilize the products of several local farms and purveyors to add a taste of New England to the meals.

Dante deMagistris
Dante de Magistris is the executive chef and co-owner of the award-winning Dante in Cambridge, along with il Casale Cucina Italiana + Bar in Belmont, and il Casale Cucina Campana + Bar in Lexington, MA. He is the consummate Italian American chef and has perfected century-old family recipes that are equal parts traditional Italian comfort food and exclusive family classics. Dante’s innovative technique has earned the attention and praise of national and local culinary critics, and he has received numerous awards.

Connor Dennehy

Jim Dodge
For seven generations, Jim's family has managed a number of hotels and resorts in rural New Hampshire, where Jim received early training in hospitality and grew up cooking with local ingredients from nearby farms and food produced on his family's land. Once in the kitchen, Jim knew he wanted to specialize in pastry. He trained with Swiss pastry chef Fritz Albicker, melding Swiss influence with his New England heritage to create a unique method of preparation and styling that set him apart as a chef. Jim is currently the director of specialty culinary programs for Bon Appétit Management Company.

David Dolginow
Prior to co-founding Shacksbury Cider, David worked at Sunrise Orchards in Cornwall VT. He launched and managed a line of regionally sourced and processed frozen produce that sold to 25 food co-ops and 13 institutions throughout New England. David’s passion for business, and sales and marketing in particular, comes from growing up in a family-owned retail jewelry business, based in Kansas City and called Dolgin’s. David serves as president of the Vermont Cider Makers Association.

Carl Dooley
Carl Dooley got his first taste of the chef lifestyle — kitchen camaraderie and shift drinks — during a summer spent washing dishes at a lobster shack in Maine. The Cambridge native was hooked, and spent most of his senior year of high school working at Formaggio Kitchen and reading cookbooks. After graduating from the New England Culinary Institute, Carl spent the next seven years working under James Beard award-winning chefs Tony Maws, Frank Ruta, and Eric Ripert. In 2016, Carl was named “Chef of the Year” by both The Boston Globe and Eater Boston and The Table was named one of “Boston’s Best New Restaurants” by Boston Magazine and The Boston Globe, as well as 2017’s “Best Prix Fixe Menu” by both Boston Magazine and The Improper Bostonian.

Margery Eagan
Margery Eagan is the co-host of 89.7 WGBH’s midday program Boston Public Radio. She has worked with co­-host Jim Braude for 18 years, first doing a TV show together at NECN then a radio show at WTKK. The duo came to WGBH in 2013.Eagan was the Catholic spirituality columnist for the Boston Globe’s website, Cruxnow, and is now a weekly columnist for the newspaper. In 2015 Margery Eagan won first place for excellence in religion commentary at the Religion Newswriters Association’s annual conference in Philadelphia. She attended Smith College and graduated from Stanford University. She has three kids and lives in Brookline.

Tiffani Faison
Tiffani Faison is an American chef, restaurateur, culinary consultant, and television personality. Her restaurant "Sweet Cheeks" is a Southern-style barbecue restaurant located in Boston. Her newest concept — Tiger Mama — is rooted in Southeast Asian flavors, capturing elements from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and beyond. Tiffani was the runner-up on Top Chef season one and competed on Top Chef All-Stars and Top Chef Duals. She is a tireless advocate for LGBT human rights and lives in Boston with her wife and furry kids.

Nina Festekjian
Nina was born in Beirut Lebanon of Armenian family. She met her husband, Raffi Festekjian while he was visiting his family in Beirut. There was an instant attraction and were engaged to be married within two weeks and have been married now for 25 years. Nina’s passion always been in interior design and fashion while her culinary training is from her mother and primarily self-thought and through cooking for the family, reading books and magazines. she embarked on the crazy idea of starting a new restaurant where she would be able to replicate the quality, the quantity and the experience of dining at home with friends and family. After a year, she has embarked on the ambitious effort to expand anosush’ella through opening two additional branches in the next two months.

Jared Forman
Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., the official launch of Jared’s culinary career came when he landed an internship at the critically-acclaimed Per Se in New York. Next, he took a position at momofuku noodle bar before moving over to momofuku Ssäm Bar shortly after its opening for a total of three years with David Chang. Now, Jared is the chef & co-owner of Deadhorse Hill, a refined American restaurant & café in downtown Worcester. Leading the charge in the city’s dining revival, 33-year-old Jared looks forward to bringing his passion and talent to his first owned & operated space.

Eric Frier
Florida native Eric Frier first landed in Boston in 2011, working with critically-acclaimed chef Jamie Bissonnette at Toro in the South End. Since then, he’s been in some of the city’s best kitchens including Coppa, Ribelle, and Uni. In May 2017, Eric partnered with owner Mary Kurth on the reopening of Somerville’s Spoke Wine Bar where he serves as executive chef.

Rick Gallego
Rick Gallego was born in Taunton, Mass. A career-changer in his 20’s, he has been cooking now for a little over 10 years. He graduated magna cum laude for Le Cordon Bleu. His passion for using local food and supporting local farmers is what brought him to The Farmers Daughter. Rick has previously worked at Tastings Wine Bar and Bistro and well as floor 2 of Legal Harborside in Boston’s seaport district. While in Boston, Rick had the opportunity to work with Sandy Block on wine dinners for Jordan, Ponzi and Opus One to name a few. Rick is passionate and driven to push the envelope of brunch in Southeast Massachusetts.

Will Gilson
A two-time James Beard Award nominee, Chef Will Gilson of Puritan & Co. in Cambridge brings his worldly culinary flair and rustic farmers’ market sensibility to the Gala this year. Gilson’s Puritan, among Bon Appetit’s “50 Best New Restaurants” in 2013, serves up seasonal fare, incorporating local produce from his family’s farm with a decidedly New England influence. Beginning his career at the age of 15 when he apprenticed with Chef Charles Draghi at Marcuccio’s in the North End, Gilson is a rising star in the northeast culinary scene.

Chandra Gouldrup
For Chandra Gouldrup, the daughter of a Maine potato farmer, cooking has been a lifelong passion. Nurtured over years in the kitchen with her grandma cooking with hand-picked ingredients out of the backyard garden, Chandra always knew she wanted to re-create that feeling of family, comfort, and fresh, local fare in her own restaurant. In 2013, Chandra opened The Farmer's Daughter in downtown Easton. Committed to partnering with local growers to supply as many of her ingredients as possible, Chandra has created a farm-to-table experience for patrons in a quintessential New England setting and was the 2017 recipient of the WGBH Culinary Stewardship Award.

Robert Harris

Nicola Hobson
Hailing from a family of great female cooks (inspired by their French heritage), Nicki Hobson has a distinguished palette and been comfortable in the kitchen from a very young age. As she grew older, Nicki worked in several restaurants in her small hometown in Illinois, always in kitchen-focused positions. After working abroad, Nicki met Chef Jeremy Sewall as he was in the process of opening Island Creek Oyster Bar with colleagues Garrett Harker and Skip Bennett. Jeremy hired Nicki as lead line cook at the new seafood restaurant. Fish and seafood had been her specialty at 51 Lincoln, and her innate skill helped her quickly master the Sous Chef and then Chef de Cuisine positions at ICOB, eventually being promoted to Executive Chef.

Andy Husbands
Andy Husbands, the award-winning chef/owner of the Smoke Shop, has been enticing patrons with his adventurous American cuisine for nearly 20 years. Chef Husbands has been praised both locally and nationally for his bold flavors, commitment to using the best, fresh ingredients and seasonality, receiving nods from countless publications, from the Boston Globe and Boston Magazine to Wine Spectator and Star Chefs. Chef Husbands also competed in the 6th season of Fox Television Network's Hell's Kitchen, hosted by Gordon Ramsay and the most recent season of CHOPPED.

Victoria Kichuk

Diane Kochilas
Diane Kochilas, celebrity chef, TV cooking show host, cookbook author, and cooking school owner, has been at the forefront of bringing healthy, delicious Greek cuisine to a wide international audience for many years. As consulting chef, Diane has helped open many of the top Greek restaurants in North America, including Pylos in New York and Volos in Toronto. She has worked with Molyvos in NYC and is currently consulting chef at Committee, a meze-concept in Boston and one of the city’s few Greek-inspired restaurants.

Tim Laursen

Josh Lewin
For Chef Josh Lewin, a career in the kitchen was inevitable. Following HS graduation, Josh landed his first real apprenticeship at a family-run steakhouse in Connecticut. He also staged with a number of highly regarded chefs and restaurants, including Charlie Trotter's, No. 9 Park, Momofuku Noodle Bar, Craig on Main, Clio, and Uni Sashimi Bar. Josh joined Beacon Hill Bistro as sous chef in 2010 and became executive chef just 2 years later. Now, the 32-year-old chef presents Juliet, the first freestanding entity under Bread & Salt Hospitality, to Somerville.

Graham Lockwood
Graham Lockwood’s roots in food started on his grandparent’s farm where he was inspired by the fresh fruits and vegetables. His love for cooking took off, and upon finishing his culinary Internship through George Brown College in Toronto, Ontario, he took his skills to Fairmont Banff Springs in 2006. Graham then followed his passion for food all the way to Boston. At OAK Long Bar + Kitchen where he brings his appreciation for locally-grown food and a commitment to New England culture to the expansive menu.

Ilma Chava Lopez
A native of Venezuela, Ilma Lopez grew up in the kitchen alongside her grandmother. After getting her start at Malabar in Caracas, she was accepted to the pastry program at Stratford University in Virginia. Today, Lopez is the Pastry Chef and co-owner of Piccolo and Chaval here in Portland, Maine. She is a veteran of some of the most demanding and rewarding kitchens in the industry, such as DB Bistro, Corton, Tailor, El Bulli, Café Boulud, and Le Bernardin. With a mastery of colors, flavors, textures, and spices—and a seasoned ability to work under pressure—Lopez makes classic dishes her own, with attention to micro-detail and thoughtful twists. In 2018, she was chosen as a James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef semi-finalist for the second year in a row.

Rosamond Lu
Rosamond Lu is a Co-Founder of Tom’s BaoBao, a new fast casual restaurant chain that specializes in authentic hand-made Chinese steamed buns.  She led the whole process of branding, design, marketing, and building from concept to two retail locations in MA & RI, a catering business and a commissary.  Currently she oversees the entire operation of the business, including plans for expansion and development of a franchise model.  Prior to founding Tom’s BaoBao, Rosamond consulted for multiple companies in introducing U.S. new technologies to the Chinese market in a variety of industries including engineering, finance, and life science.  She is a graduate of the MIT Sloan school and currently serves on its alumni board.  Before studying at business school, Rosamond was a registered cilvil engineer serving in multiple departments in the County of Los Angeles Public Work.

Rod MacDonald

Tina Martin
Tina Martin is an Emmy-nominated and award-winning television and radio anchor, host and reporter. Her work is heard locally on WGBH 89.7 FM and seen on the WGBH 2 news program Greater Boston. Tina is the host of WORLD Channel’s Local USA series and has hosted Basic Black, the longest running program on public television focusing on the interests of people of color. A contributor to National Public Radio and PBS NewsHour, she was on a team of three reporters who won a regional Edward R. Murrow award for WGBH’s continuing coverage of a 2016 10-alarm fire in East Cambridge. She received her degree in broadcast journalism from Emerson College in Boston.

Dan McCarthy

Brian Miller
The newest addition to the Fat Hen culinary team, chef Brian Miller has been appointed the Chef de Cuisine for the gorgeous 30 seat restaurant. Fat Hen is a modern Italian tasting menu inspired restaurant in East Somerville. Previous to Fat Hen Brian has worked at a number of prestigious restaurants and famed chefs; including Barbara Lynch, Bostons famed Chef and restauranteur, at Menton, Dean James Max a James Beard Best Chef Southeast nominee, Jeremy Ford Top Chef winner and James Beard rising star nominee and many more. Brian and the incredible team at Fat Hen plan to make their mark with such accolades as they progress as a restaurant.

Erin Miller
Erin Miller, chef and owner of Urban Hearth in Cambridge, has built her culinary career around a simple concept - that there is much to be learned and joy to be had when we gather around the table together. Urban Hearth began as a culinary event company in Brooklyn, NY over 15 years ago. Since then, Erin has continued to bring people together to share wholesome, creative, seasonal fare, sourced locally and respectfully. Urban Hearth opened its doors in North Cambridge in 2016 as a café and community space during the day and fine dining supper club at night. The restaurant has quickly become a favorite gathering spot for people in the neighborhood and beyond.

P.K. Newby

Amanda Oakleaf
Amanda Oakleaf is the owner and head baker/cake decorator at Oakleaf Cakes Bake Shop. Since first opening her bakery in 2008, Amanda and her delicious, whimsical creations have been featured numerous times on Food Network, TLC, CNN, The Boston Globe, The Daily Mail, and countless others. While Oakleaf Cakes is best known for their breath-taking cakes for special events, their bakery, located next to Boston’s Symphony Hall, is beloved by locals for ensuring that everything in their café, from the brewed-to-order coffee, to the hand rolled croissants, tastes even better than their incredible cakes look. As Amanda puts it, “We spend an enormous amount of time perfecting the design of our cakes, so investing in any less effort in every other aspect of our food would be simply unthinkable. Everything we make needs to be a showstopper.”

Brian Oakley

Naile Elif Ozkefeli
Elif OZKEFELI, born in Turkey, is a designer/interior architect and a cook/baker. She is an experienced cafe, restaurant and bakery designer where she ran a showroom of her own with a small bakery/cafe within.
Taking baking as a lifestyle, she dedicated herself to bake from scratch like the good old days; granma way. With the house recipies using all natural ingredients for Eastern Sides and Meditteranean dishes, salads/mezes, she reserved her top notch place in the community she is serving. Starting the wholesale deliveries of the products to reputable gourmet markets and shops, she is ready for the next level.

Brendan Pelley
Brendan Pelley grew up in Chelmsford, MA, in a household where the voices of Julia Child, Jeff Smith, and Jacques Pepin were background noise in the kitchen. He began his career at the age of 18 after an episode of Iron Chef Japan left him in awe, and he never once looked back; working in a variety of settings — from sub shops to catering companies — before he earned the opportunity to hone his craft in some of the top kitchens in Greater Boston. At Doretta, Brendan draws upon his experience and passion for food to execute a fresh and truly seasonal menu, which changes daily. He makes just about everything possible in house, with all ingredients sourced locally.

Anthony Pino
Chef Pino is a Johnson & Wales University graduate. As a young chef he worked in a number of professional kitchens in East Boston. For the past decade he has lived and worked in New Hampshire but returned to "Eastie" to coach basketball, teach cooking classes, and support local charities. Even though he was gone for a while, East Boston has always been his home. Chef Pino has been with Cunard Tavern since it opened, has partnered with various local and national craft breweries on beer dinners, and also oversees food and beverage for the Top Deck @ Cunard roof top bar.

Pankaj Pradham
The proud owner and chef of the Red Lentil, a vegan and vegetarian restaurant just outside of Boston, in Watertown, Chef Pankaj Pradhan came to cooking in a rather roundabout way. During a brief career in IT, he realized something was missing from his life. Drawn towards cooking, he decided to attend culinary school in Kolkata, in his home country of India. Working for Hyatt Hotels and Carnival Cruise Lines, Chef Pradhan visited over 40 countries and completed his higher culinary training in France. Growing up vegetarian, Chef Pradhan found working on a cruise ship and handling a great deal of beef was a challenge. He transitioned to a new life as a chef at a New York City Indian restaurant. He eventually opened the Red Lentil Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurant in 2009, allowing him to express his creativity as a chef, and bringing people together over food.

Michele Ragussis
Most well known for her appearances as a finalist on the eighth season of the Food Network series Food Network Star, Ragussis brings a wealth of knowledge and culinary expertise to the table. Her role as Executive chef at Central House at the Crown in Provincetown, Massachusetts is just icing on the cake, as she has appeared on such shows as NBC Food Fighters, 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, Chopped, and Midnight Feast.

Justin Rexroad
After a short hiatus from the industry to pursue a professional running career, he re-invented himself in the amazing Seacoast area of Southern NH and Southern ME. doing several amazing in-home private and offsite events which then eventually led to his food truck “Belle's on Wheels” comfortably stationed in beautiful Kittery Maine, just outside of Tributary Brewery, one of the top breweries in the country. There he focused on more of the roots he grew up with.... wild game, local produce, local/fresh seafood and fish, etc. That also managed to get him well introduced to the brewery scene in the greater NH/ME area as well, which led to events with Henniker Brewery, Smuttynose, and several other major New England Breweries. So, if you are looking for something that is fresh in every sense of the world, check on Chef Justin Rexroad and befriend whoever is hosting his next catered event or get some of your own friends together and show them what great cooking can be!

Dean Rohan
AKA - Tree House Dean
I mean, the guy has his own T-shirt. Our beloved Experience Host, Mechanical Wizard, and Co-founder. . . If you've ever been to Tree House you know that Dean needs no introduction. Boisterous, energetic, and relentlessly optimistic, Dean is the only person in the world who can make joy from misery and keep us all smiling no matter the circumstances. He is the guy we turn to when things break and he never lets us down. We love him dearly and you will too! Most likely to be overheard saying "That's a grrrreat grrrreat grrreat grrreeeat grrreat BIG TIPPAH!".

James Salomone
James Salomone, Executive Chef at Parsnip, grew up in Chicago with a large Italian family where food was not only a means to fuel the body, but an art form to show one’s passion and love as well. Learning and drawing inspiration from his mother - who excelled at homemade creations featuring vegetables from her backyard garden - Chef Salomone serves approachable, ingredient-driven cuisine. With his classical French training, he refines American cuisine and incorporates a global pantry of seasonal ingredients from countries in Europe and along the Silk Road, reflecting a broader palette that echoes the dynamic culture of Cambridge.

Larry Schaffer

Cory Seeker
A Pennsylvania native, Cory Seeker found his passion for food at an early age while working on farms. He enrolled at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Culinary Institute and embraced his new career with passion. Upon graduation, he worked in seasonal restaurants in Key Largo, FL and Cape Cod, MA, but the allure of cooking in a growing food city attracted him to Boston, MA. Most recently, Cory was the Chef de Cuisine at Jody Adam’s acclaimed restaurant Trade, where he worked for seven years. Cory Accepted the position of Executive Chef at Lolita Fort Point in summer 2018, where he explores modern takes on Mexican cuisine.

Avi Shemtov
Avi Shemtov is the Executive Chef and Owner of The Chubby Chickpea. He began the business as a way to introduce Boston-area diners to exceptional Middle Eastern food. Growing up in an Israeli-American family, Shemtov spent his childhoods in his father’s various restaurants, where he started spending time in the kitchens and getting a feel for how food was prepared. With no formal training but a lifetime of experience and a head full of ideas, Shemtov went on to open The Chubby Chickpea restaurant in 2010, adding a food truck two years later, and also a catering component. He lives in Canton with his wife and two children.

Matthew Steinberg
"Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing Company was Co-Founded by our Brewmaster Matthew Steinberg. Matthew has been brewing in Massachusetts for 21 years with various other breweries including Harpoon Brewery, Offshore Ale Company, Mayflower Brewing Company, and most recently High Horse. He brings his experience and passion to this project, focusing on high quality and locally sourced ingredients."

Jason Tom
Having been born in Cambridge, Jason Tom, Chef at Night Market, spent his early years living in the Chicago area only to return to New England, and his Cambridge roots, to establish his culinary career. While earning his B.A. in English and East Asian Studies at Colby College in Maine, Tom discovered a fondness for cooking as he tried to replicate his family’s home-style Chinese dishes. After graduation, Tom took a job in financial services and soon found his passion for cooking growing while his interest in the financial world dwindled.As an avid traveler and backpacker, Tom loves the multicultural aspects of food; how it can transport you to a different time and place when at home and how it can lead you to strange and new places when away. His travels in Europe, China, and Southeast Asia helped foster a true love for the bold, intense flavors of the streets, whether tart, sweet, salty, spicy or funky. Tom looks forward to bringing his experiences cooking, traveling and eating to sourcing for and executing Night Market’s menu every day.

Theo Tsilipanos
Chef de Cuisine Theo Tsilipanos brings over 18 years of experience and knowledge of authentic Greek cuisine to the kitchen at Committee. Modeled after a modern-day ouzeri, Committee’s menu of fresh, seasonal fare allows guests to enjoy the best of Greek cooking while connecting with one another in a vibrant setting. Tsilipanos fully embraces this concept as a native of Greece’s Lamia city. When Tsilipanos isn’t in the kitchen, you can find him traveling with his wife, exploring new restaurant concepts, or watching his favorite shows with a nice glass of wine. He draws inspiration for creativity in the kitchen by exploring the bustling streets of Boston and taking in all the vibrant city offers.

Peter Ungar
Chef Peter Ungar grew up in Fort Worth, Texas where he got his start early on, deciding in high school that he wanted to seek a career as a chef. At 17, he jumped into the industry with an apprenticeship at Le Chardonnay, followed by a position as garde manger at Saint-Emilion, both acclaimed French restaurants in his hometown. In 1994, Peter moved to Boston to pursue a degree at
Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration. In 2003, he founded The Dining Alternative, a private dining service that created a fine dining experience in the comfort of one’s home. For more than ten years, Peter created dozens of tasting menu dining events for his wide variety of clientele.

David Vargas
David Vargas, Chef/Owner, Vida Cantina brings his Mexican heritage and appreciation for local seasonal New England product to every plate at Vida Cantina in Portsmouth, NH. David grew up in southern California and worked at his parents’ restaurant. His mother is from Guadalajara, his father from Jalisco, and it was important to his family that David spend time in Mexico and appreciate his heritage. Appreciate it he does indeed at Vida Cantina, his first restaurant, where with each dish he is “elevating our understanding of what Mexican food is or should be, while elevating our understanding of what New England cuisine is or should be” according to the December 2015 review by The Portsmouth Herald.

Gaby Velasquez
Luis Gabriel Velez Ortiz grew up in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico and is now a resident of Elliot, ME. He has vast culinary experience with over 20 years in the field. In 1999 Luis left Puerto Rico, following his culinary aspirations and attended the highly regarded New England Culinary Institute in Vermont. It was there he fell in love with New England. Luis continued to develop his skills, working at Disney World in Florida from 2000 to 2001 before returning to New England. From 2015 to 2017 he was Sous Chef at Mossimos working side by side with a lifelong friend while working on his vision. In 2018 he founded La Casita on the Circle, which opened in Kittery, ME in February featuring Puerto Rican style rice and bean bowls and the sandwiches he grew up on, including his signature Cubano sandwich. Many of the recipes are based on his mothers and grandmothers cooking, and Gaby could not be more pleased and proud of the welcome and praise La Casita has received from the surrounding community and beyond.

Rich Vellante
Rich Vellante joined Legal Sea Foods as a chef and became Executive Chef in 1998. He now oversees all culinary operations, developing new recipes and menus as well as managing and training the culinary staff in all Legal's kitchens. A graduate of Hamilton College, he studied at the French Culinary Institute in New York City before spending two years in Italy, cooking his way through several provinces using traditional, farm-fresh ingredients and seafood. He is also the former chef-owner of a three-star restaurant in Massachusetts. Rich was awarded “Executive Chef of the Year” by the Massachusetts Restaurant Association in 2018, earned a Chef 2000 award, was voted “Menu Strategist of the Year” by Restaurant Business and was included among the nation’s Top 50 R&D Chefs by Nation’s Restaurant News.

Mike Wenc
Mike Wenc grew up in bucolic Western Massachusetts and graduated with a degree in history before landing a job at a law firm in New York City. But it wasn’t for him. A move back home brought him to Strip T’s in Watertown, where Tim Maslow was revitalizing his father’s neighborhood restaurant. Mike started his first kitchen job in 2012 and learned quickly while on the job. Since then, Mike has cooked at some of the area’s most well-regarded restaurants. He joined Maslow at 4-star Ribelle and was sous chef on the opening teams for Susan Regis’ Shepard and the French-Canadian Cafe du Pays. At 29, Mike joined Chef/Owner Jared Forman as chef de cuisine of the American-Korean concept, simjang, in Worcester.

Douglas Williams
Born and raised in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Douglass Williams first joined the myriad of culinary school grads in the area’s casinos’ kitchens. His first big job – one he called a life-altering experience – brought him to Boston to Michael Schlow’s Radius, were he honed his skills for 2.5 years. Then, he joined the opening team at Coppa in 2010 as a pasta cook, crediting Jamie Bissonnette as a huge inspiration to this day.Douglass continued on to join the team at Akrame in Paris. It was here that Douglass found the inspiration to one day open his own restaurant. Now, three years later, Douglass opens MIDA, an Italian influenced neighborhood restaurant, in Boston’s South End.

Tim Willis
Timothy Willis was born in Boston, MA, but grew up in New Jersey, right outside of Philadelphia. He spent most of his summers with his grandparents attending to their gardens, where he found his love for fresh local produce. After high school, Tim headed to Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI to pursue his career as a chef. While in school, he worked at many of Providence’s fine Italian restaurants including Bella Vista & Capriccio. Tim’s second internship was with Jasper White’s Summer Shack during their opening at Mohegan Sun resort and Casino in Connecticut. Tim loved the concept of the Summer Shack, where “Food Is Love” and all the food was prepared simply, from scratch, using the best quality of fresh seafood and local produce. He flourished in this environment and after starting as a cook, he worked his way all the way to be the Culinary Director of all the Summer Shacks where he oversaw all the food operations for all there restaurants.