Great talents deserve great stories. That’s why we’ve gathered these bios and interviews of our chefs for you to enjoy.
Behind The Feast
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Andrea Loeffler is a private chef with a passion for simple ingredients and local, sustainable food sources. A rural Vermont native, she is a graduate of Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts in Berkeley. Andrea is inspired by the Bay Area's bounty and her various travels, and she attributes her love of color and texture from her background as an artist and ceramicist.
Jocelyn Ramirez is a Southeast Los Angeles native and the chef/founder of Todo Verde, a roving Latin American plant-based kitchen providing Los Angeles with healthy and affordable vegan eats. We sat down with her to talk about the perceived challenges of vegan Mexican cuisine, how food can be a catalyst for social change, and how agua frescas started it all.
A dinner with Penn Sardin PDX is both a study in culture and a culinary experience. With seafood-forward menus and a unique roster of wines and ciders, Penn Sardin showcases the cuisine of Brittany in the Pacific Northwest. Liz White and Simon Lowry, the duo behind the popup, met at Portland's Olympia Oyster Bar, where she is a cook and he runs the wine program.
Chef Lee is the chef and teacher behind Made2Gather, an Oakland-based cooking school and pop-up entity. Her cuisine melds her Israeli-South African heritage, her travels, and anything else that inspires her!
“Fine dining” evokes images of the white tablecloth and the triple-digit tasting menu, but it goes far beyond an ornate and expensive meal. According to Mauz, what distinguishes fine dining is the deep commitment to deliver guests “a seamless experience of comfort and luxury” from the moment they enter.
His career began in San Francisco fourteen years ago at Jardinière and The Grand Cafe, two of the city's long-standing institutions. After honing his skills on the line, Chef Brandon relocated to Seattle to establish several area Italian restaurants.
In November of 2013, the Philippines was hit by Haiyan, a typhoon that devastated the country and killed over 6,000 people. Chef Francis Ang and his wife Dian were fortunate enough to survive, and they returned to the U.S. determined to raise money for their home and all who had been affected by the disaster. They hosted their first Filipino dinner as a fundraiser, and Pinoy Heritage was born.
Chef Aron Habiger has lived Mallman's mantra. Formerly of Ludo Lefebvre's Petit Trois in Los Angeles, he shed his traditional restaurant role of chef de cuisine for a life on the "edge of uncertainty."
Nichole Accettola is a classically trained chef with more than 20 years in the food industry. She spent a significant part of her career abroad in Copenhagen, which greatly influenced her approach to cooking and the way she views food.
Most newlyweds spend a week honeymooning on a Hawaiian beach or trekking around Europe. Chefs Laura Millan and Sayat Ozyilmaz started their married lives on a road trip across the US and Mexico, "staging" at restaurants in each city they visited.
Most football players aren't found in the kitchen. A former Division I running back at Dartmouth, Tommy Brown got his start sourcing and prepping meals for his roommates as an alternative to campus dining.
Jamie Lauren’s interest in the culinary arts started at a relatively young age, when she spent evenings in the kitchen cooking with her parents--although at the time she had no intention of becoming a chef.
Working in restaurant kitchens, even executive chefs have to follow the “rules” of the industry. But cooking is an art that shouldn't be restrained. That's why Ronny Miranda came to Feastly - to share his personal experiments with passionate eaters who appreciate the story behind each and every dish.
By day, Vijitha Shyam is a molecular biologist working on clinical trials to improve public wellness and health. Come evening, she transforms into a passionate home chef, spending hours cooking, writing and photographing recipes new and old for her blog Spices and Aroma.
"My name is Evan Garfield and I am cooking a dinner for a group of strangers. There's a lot of trust involved in that for sure, you know... me trusting strangers to come here and not kill me and them trusting me to not poison them, so you know, it's mutual."
What's the difference between a guest, a host, and a stranger? Not much, according the Proto-Indo-European root ghos-ti- which means concurrently: guest, host, and stranger. The Latin root hostis meant "enemy" and hospes meant "host." In Old French, host meant army. Evidently it was hard to tell whether your dinner guest will kill you, which sounded a lot like an episode of Game of Thrones. Entertaining but unpalatable. So why risk it?
As you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, may it be filled with the joy of kinship and the excitement of that first meeting: full of potential.
Even the Old Testament spoke about hospitality: thou shalt not oppresse a stranger: for yee know the heart of a stranger, seeing yee were strangers in the land of Egypt. But Bedouin hospitality doesn't mean simply not poisoning your new dinner guests - it means treating guests as one's own because it's a sentiment as old as time itself: no one likes being the stranger at the table. Luckily, we've dined at many tables as strangers and made friends out of hosts. We've also been hosts to strangers and turned them into long lasting friendships so old we have difficulties remembering that moment when they transitioned from strangers to kinsmen... but isn't it nice that they did? That's the best part about meeting and eating among strangers: one day, they may be more than just friends, because there's no such thing as a stranger among a shared meal.
Shot and Directed by Marcus Ricci
Edited by Soo Kim
Music by Conveyor
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