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Our Food Council is made up of more than 75 food industry professionals from around New York City
Our Food Council brings together top chefs, restaurateurs, and others in the food industry to help City Harvest fight hunger. The Food Council donates some of the city's best food, raises funds to support City Harvest, and heightens our visibility.
City Harvest's Food Council includes some of the biggest names in the restaurant businesses. Get an insider's look from a featured chef or restaurateur when you sit down At the Chef's Table.
Michael Anthony was selected to be executive chef of Gramercy Tavern in September 2006, and under his leadership, the restaurant earned its second three-star review in The New York Times as well as the James Beard Foundation’s “Outstanding Restaurant” award. He was formerly the executive chef of Blue Hill at Stone Barns and earlier, the co-executive chef of Blue Hill in Manhattan, where his delicious, simple and straightforward cuisine using local ingredients garnered acclaim, including Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs” designation in 2002. Before Blue Hill, he served as the chef de cuisine at March. In 1991, Mike attended culinary school in France, and then worked in some of the world’s most celebrated kitchens, including Jacques Cagna, Michel Guerard, l'Arpege, l'Astrance, and Daniel. His culinary career began in Japan, where he started cooking under the guidance of Shizuyo Shima at Bistro Shima in Tokyo. Mike grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and graduated from Indiana University with degrees in Business, French, and Japanese.
Renowned for her signature style and approach to entertaining, Donatella Arpaia has created a string of successful restaurants within only a few years. First launched into the limelight with the innovative Davidburke & Donatella, Donatella next partnered with celebrated chef and friend Michael Psilakis to open Dona, where the pair offered food blending modern American experiences with the cuisines of their parent’s homelands of Italy and Greece. With the closing of Dona, Arpaia and Psilakis teamed up for rustic-Greek restaurant Kefi and the Michelin-starred Anthos, both of which feature Psilakis’ signature Greek cuisine, and the chic and casual Mia Dona, meant to evoke Sunday supper in Donatella’s home. In 2006, Donatella launched a high-end food collection, available at northeast Whole Foods stores, ShopRite stores nationwide, and directly from Donatella’s website (www.donatellastyle.com).
Dan Barber began farming and cooking for family and friends at Blue Hill Farm in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. In May of 2000, Dan opened Blue Hill restaurant with family members David and Laureen Barber, and in 2002, Food & Wine magazine named him one of the country's "Best New Chefs." Since then, he has addressed local food issues in numerous publications; his writing has been incorporated into the annual Best Food Writing anthology for the past five years. Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture opened their doors in Pocantico Hills, New York in 2004. As the restaurant's executive chef and co-owner and a board member of the Stone Barns Center, Dan works to blur the line between the dining experience and the educational, bringing the principles of good farming directly to the table. His efforts to create a consciousness about the effects of everyday food choices have led him to numerous projects with Harvard Medical School's Center for Health and the Global Environment, the Kellogg Foundation, and New York City's Greenmarkets. Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns both received “Best New Restaurant” nominations from the James Beard Foundation, and in 2006, Dan received the James Beard award for “Best Chef: New York City.”
Florian Bellanger is the executive chef and co-owner of Mad-Mac LLC, “The Authentic French Macarons and Madeleines.” Previously, Chef Bellanger was Fauchon’s executive pastry chef in the United States, where he headed a team of 24 pastry chefs to create the finest pastries, special occasion cakes, cookies, unique ice creams, and sorbets for the legendary French epicurean emporium’s tea salon and flagship store in New York City. A veteran of pastry kitchens from around the world, Florian was the pastry chef of Le Bernardin from 1996 to 2001, where his desserts have been described as “light and dreamy” by Ruth Reichl of of The New York Times. Bellanger also served at Fauchon in Paris under the command of famous executive pastry chef Pierre Herme from 1991 to 1994 and as executive pastry chef for Fauchon’s flagship in Qatar from 1994 to 1996.
Ron Ben-Israel’s elegant cakes have long been a favorite among celebrities and the style-conscious. Called “the Manolo Blahnik of wedding cakes” by The New York Times, Ben-Israel was also named the “King of Cakes” by Modern Bride magazine and is the recipient of numerous gold medals and awards in culinary competitions. Ron and his team have created The Plaza’s 100th birthday cake, which was an exact confectionery replica of the famed New York landmark. Measuring over 12 feet tall and serving 1,500 guests, the cake was hailed as a culinary and artistic masterpiece. A popular guest on TV, Ron often appears on The Martha Stewart Show, Late Show with David Letterman, and the Food Network. His cakes have appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, InStyle, and Vogue, among others. Since 1999, Ron has been sharing his passion, techniques and secrets with the students of The French Culinary Institute in New York.
The Artisanal Group
Terrance Brennan is chef and proprietor of Picholine Restaurant and Artisanal Bistro and Wine Bar, two highly acclaimed restaurants in New York City, and the founder of Artisanal Premium Cheese, a wholesale and online gourmet cheese company and education center. Redesinged in September 2006, Picholine has earned three stars from The New York Times and two Michelin stars. Brennan has served as a saucier and sous chef at the renowned Le Cirque restaurant in New York and worked in many of Europe's great kitchens, including Taillevent and La Gavroche. Named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine in 1995, Brennan is a four-time nominee for “Best Chef: New York City” by the James Beard Foundation. His first cookbook, Artisanal Cooking: A Chef Shares His Passion for Handcrafting Great Meals at Home, was published in 2005.
With the opening of eighty one in 2008, acclaimed chef Ed Brown fulfilled a lifelong dream of owning his own restaurant. Having earned high acclaim throughout his career, especially during his time at The Sea Grill where he proved himself a master at seafood, Brown’s dishes reflect his relationships with the finest farmers, fishermen, and culinary craftsmen from both close to home and around the globe. Brown has earned an impressive collection of stars from The New York Times: 14 in all for such properties as Marie Michelle, Tropica, JUdson Grill, and The Sea Grill, where he was executive chef for 14 years. Brown has also authored The Modern Seafood Cook (Clarkson Potter, 1995), a comprehensive look at how to buy, handle, and prepare seafood, updated the fish and shellfish section of the new Joy of Cooking (Scribner, 1997), and wrote the forward for celebrated chef Pierre Franey’s last edition of 60 Minute Gourmet (Clarkson Potter, 2000).
At the Little Owl, Joey Campanaro cooks the food he loves, focusing on the freshest seasonal ingredients combined with the bold, rich flavors of the Mediterranean and a few tricks he learned from his grandmother. This intimate, 28-seat stage is a far cry from the larger restaurant kitchens Joey has helmed in the past, and he enjoys the one-on-one interaction with his guests as he cooks for them. Since its opening, the Little Owl has received overwhelming acclaim from critics and the public alike. Joey and the Little Owl have been featured in such outlets as Food Network’s Iron Chef America, The Martha Stewart Show, NBC’s Today Show, the CBS Early Show, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Esquire, The New York Times, New York Magazine, Time Out NY, InStyle, DailyCandy and The New York Post.
David Chang is the owner and head chef of the Momofuku restaurants in New York City. He was born and raised in Arlington, VA and attended Trinity College in Hartford, CT. Following graduation, Chang attended the French Culinary Institute in New York City, during which he began his culinary career at Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Mercer Kitchen. He then landed a spot on Chef Tom Colicchio's opening staff at Craft. In 2003, Dave moved to Japan, where he studied at various kaseki, izakaya, and ramen restaurants. After returning to New York, Dave opened his first restaurant, Momofuku Noodle Bar in the East Village in 2004. He followed with Momofuku Ssäm Bar in 2006, and Momofuku Ko in 2008, a 12-seat space with a collaborative kitchen of the Momofuku team chefs.
Tom Colicchio is chef and owner of Craft restaurants and ‘wichcraft. Colicchio partnered with Danny Meyer to open Gramercy Tavern in 1994, where his cooking earned consistent recognition. In addition to numerous honors, Colicchio won the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef: New York City”award in 2000 after being nominated three times. Soon after, Tom opened Craft one block south of Gramercy Tavern, which William Grimes of The New York Times deemed “a vision of food heaven” in a three-star review. With the success of Craft and Craftbar in New York City, Tom opened Craftsteak in 2002 at the MGM Grand Las Vegas. In 2003, ‘wichcraft – a sandwich shop rooted in the same food and hospitality philosophies as Craft – opened in New York. Today ‘wichcraft has 11 New York City locations, as well as locations in Las Vegas and San Francisco. In 2006, Tom applied his years of experience to cable television as the head judge on Bravo’s hit reality cooking series Top Chef. The Emmy-nominated show premiered its fifth season in fall 2008. He has authored the books Think Like a Chef and Craft of Cooking, and a third cookbook, a sandwich book inspired by ‘wichcraft, will release in March 2009.
Scott Conant brings his deft touch and unwavering passion to creating food to Scarpetta, newly opened in New York City and at Miami’s Fontainebleau resort. An Italian expression that means “little shoe” – the shape bread takes when used to soak up a dish – Scarpetta represents the pure pleasure of savoring a meal down to the very last taste. Scarpetta received a glowing three-star review from The New York Times and New York Magazine and was named one of the “Best New Restaurants in America” by Esquire magazine. Conant’s career in the restaurant industry began with an internship at San Domenico, where he later returned as sous chef. After serving as chef de cuisine at the restaurant Il Toscaaccio, Conant revamed the restaurants Barolo and Chianti, then opened City Eatery as its executive chef, where he earned a loyal following. He opened L’Impero in the quiet, largely undiscovered Manhattan neighborhood of Tudor City in 2002 to rave reviews, including a three-star review from The New York Times and declaration by Gourmet that Conant “raises the roof on the Manhattan school of Italian cooking.” Following the success of L’Impero, Conant went on to open Alto, a sophisticated Italian restaurant in midtown Manhattan, before settling in the Meatpacking District with Scarpetta.
Ariane Daguin was born into a world of great food. Her father, André Daguin, chef-owner of the Hotel de France in Auch, Gascony, is famous throughout France for his artistry with foie gras and other Gascon specialties. In 1985, Ariane launched D’Artagnan, virtually the only purveyor of game and foie gras in the U.S. at the time. At the vanguard of the farm-to-table movement, today D’Artagnan is the leading purveyor of organic poultry, game, foie gras, pâtés, sausages, smoked delicacies, and wild mushrooms to the nation. Daguin is founding president of Les Nouvelles Mères Cuisinières and is active in The American Institute of Wine & Food and Women Chefs and Restaurateurs. Recognized in 1994 by the James Beard Foundation “Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America,” Ariane is now a member of the awards committee. In 2005, Ariane received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from Bon Appetit magazine, and in September 2006, she was awarded the “French Legion d'Honneur.”
Adour Alain Ducasse at The St. Regis, Benoit Restaurant & Bar
Alain Ducasse, considered to be one of the most renowned French chefs of his generation, is at the helm of more than 20 restaurants around the world. Ducasse, who hails from the Landes region in the Southwest of France, is known for his innovation, attention to detail, and dedication to both quality and technique. A desire to pass on this knowledge lies at the heart of his many projects. Ducasse is particularly meticulous about the recruitment and training of the people that surround him, and a solid belief in his teams allows him to feel confident that each one of his restaurants will offer the same level of excellence, quality, and service even when he is not able to be in the kitchen. Over the past 30 years, as a chef, restaurateur, hotelier, and teacher, Alain Ducasse has developed a unique expertise in the art of good living and good eating which can be clearly seen throughout the various global initiatives of the Groupe Alain Ducasse. As a passionate leader, Mr. Ducasse is constantly searching to share his vast cultural awareness and curiosity with the rest of the world.
Gillian Duffy is the culinary editor for New York Magazine, writing and producing the magazine’s entertaining issues since 1988. She grew up in rural Sussex, England, and spent many summers as a teenager in France, where she discovered her love for food. After finishing her education in England, she lived around the world, including Germany and the Spanish island of Ibiza. Duffy’s work has also appeared in Marie Claire, Allure, House Beautiful, and Departures. She is the author of Hors d’Oeuvres, Simple, Stylish, Seasonal (William Morrow, 1988) and New York Cooks, The 100 Best Recipes from New York Magazine (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2003).
Josh Emett is chef de cuisine of The London, overseeing The London Bar, the casual-fare restaurant maze, and Gordon Ramsay at The London fine dining restaurant, where he has been delivering three distinct but equally exceptional dining experiences since 2006. Brought up on a farm in a remote region of New Zealand, Emett discovered his passion for cooking as a child. Prior to his position in New York, Josh trained at Waikato Polytechnic in Hamilton, then worked at several restaurants including Waipa Delta, Cin Cin on Quay in Auckland, and Est Est Est in Melbourne, Australia. In 2000, Josh joined the three Michelin starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea in the U.K. as senior chef de partie before joining the team at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's under its head chef, Mark Sargeant. Emett’s passion for combining only the best ingredients and accomplished technique led him to join chef patron Marcus Wareing as head chef at the reopened The Savoy Grill, which won its first Michelin star in 2004. This was followed by the launch of Banquette, a unique take on the American diner upstairs from The Savoy Grill.
As Director of Communications for The Glazier Group, Penny Glazier oversees all marketing, public relations, retail, design, special events and overall branding of all Glazier properties: Michael Jordan’s The Steak House N.Y.C., Strip House (NY, NJ, TX, FL, and NV), Old Homestead Steak House at Boca Raton Resort & Club, event spaces Twenty Four Fifth and Bridgewaters in Manhattan, as well as catering for The Westminster Hotel in New Jersey and The Reach Resort in Key West. Along with her husband and business partner Peter Glazier, the couple was named one of the “Top 50 Tastemakers” in Nation’s Restaurant News, “New York’s Top Business People of the Year” in The Resident, and were among an exclusive list of “Movers and Shakers” in Hamptons Magazine. In May 2007, Penny was named one of “New York’s 50 Most Powerful Women” by The New York Post.
After moving to New York in 1980, Rita and André Jammet owned and operated La Caravelle, a French restaurant described by The New York Times as a “French Legend and a Paris in Manhattan experience to food enthusiasts and the A-list of American society.” As business partner, Rita was responsible for all aspects of business management, legal, financial, marketing, and public relations for La Caravelle. With the closing of the restaurant in 2004, Rita is now focused on marketing La Caravelle wines and expanding its product line. She consulted for the opening of Brasserie Cognac in 2008 and has a growing client list, including Inocente and Mauboussin (home of the Salon des Gourmandises).
As chef and managing partner of Porter House New York at the Time Warner Center, Michael Lomonaco has accomplished a sophisticated re-imagining of the classic steakhouse. After beginning his extensive career as a chef at Le Cirque, Lomonaco held the executive chef position at 21 for seven years. He then served as executive chef of Windows on the World, where he created an inspired menu reflecting on the best of American cuisine, and Wild Blue, an intimate sister restaurant. As the host for the Travel Channel’s Epicurious and Michael’s Place on the Food Network, Lomonaco has brought millions of Americans into his home, and his cookbook, The ‘21’ Cookbook, is now considered a classic by many.
Phil Meldrum founded FoodMatch in 1996 with a vision to bring all-natural, artisanal Mediterranean specialty foods to the American market. Through strong collaboration with partners throughout the world, FoodMatch has become a vertically integrated supplier and producer, respected for delivering products that authentically reflect their regions. From retail supermarkets to foodservice, FoodMatch has become a trusted source for authentic Mediterranean foods among knowledgeable industry professionals.
Danny Meyer is the CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, which includes Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park, Tabla, Blue Smoke, Jazz Standard, Shake Shack, The Modern, Cafe 2, and Terrace 5 at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, as well as Hudson Yards. Meyer, his restaurants, and chefs have earned an unprecedented 19 James Beard awards. All five of Meyer's fine dining restaurants have earned three stars from The New York Times, and for the past decade, Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Tavern have vied for #1 and #2 among Zagat Survey’s “Most Popular Restaurants in New York.” In addition, Eleven Madison Park was recently designated “Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux,” joining the ranks of one of the world’s most exclusive associations of hotels and gourmet restaurants. Meyer co-authored the Union Square Cafe Cookbook (HarperCollins, 1994) and Second Helpings from Union Square Cafe (HarperCollins, 2001) with his partner, Chef Michael Romano. His latest book, Setting the Table (HarperCollins, October 2006), examines the power of hospitality in restaurants, business and life and has been named a bestseller by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and BusinessWeek. In addition to being an active national leader in the fight against hunger, Meyer serves on the executive committees of NYC & Co., Union Square Partnership, and the Madison Square Park Conservancy.
Marc Murphy is executive chef and owner of landmarc [tribeca], ditch plains, and landmarc [at the time warner center], where he turns casual rustic French and Italian dishes, accompanied by great wines, into memorable occasions. Prior to opening his first restaurant, landmarc [tribeca], with his wife, Pamela Schein Murphy in 2004, Marc served as executive chef at two-star restaurants Cellar in the Sky and La Fourchette, and as sous-chef at Layla. His career as a chef began at Terrance Brennan’s Prix Fixe in New York, with experiences working at Le Miraville in Paris and staging at Louis XV in Monte Carlo under Alain Ducasse. Ducasse personally arranged for Murphy to work with Le Cirque’s Sylvain Portay, whom Murphy credits with teaching him to coax out an ingredient’s most vibrant flavors with minimal manipulation.
As son of Le Cirque’s Sirio Maccioni, Marco Maccioni grew up within the restaurant business in New York and in Europe. Before entering the restaurant business with Osteria Del Circo, Marco spent summers in France and Spain working in hotels, bussing tables and making beds. Marco earned a BA from New York University where he studied Art History, then earned a Master’s in Professional Studies from Cornell University.
Founded by Liz Neumark in 1979 as a waitress service for women in the arts, today Great Performances is the largest off-premises catering company in New York City, with exclusive contracts with Jazz at Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Sotheby’s, Caramoor, and Wave Hill. Neumark has recently joint ventured with Delaware North Companies to manage and operate one of New York City’s most sought after banquet and event spaces, The Plaza Hotel. Fresh ingredients for Great Performances events and cafes are sourced from Katchkie Farm, a 60-acre organic farm in Columbia County operated by the company. Katchkie Farm is also home to The Sylvia Center, a nonprofit organization working to bring the farm experience into the lives of at-risk children. In 2007, Neumark was appointed to the Governors Food Policy Council, charged with advising the Governor on food policy for New York State. She has found a new forum to discuss food politics and the ever changing event business with her own online blog featured on Huffington Post.
Drew Nieporent, one of America's most respected and celebrated restaurateurs, is the founder and inspiration behind the Myriad Restaurant Group, which operates Tribeca Grill, Nobu New York City, Nobu Fifty Seven, Nobu London, Next Door Nobu, Mai House, Corton, Centrico, and Crush Wine & Spirits. Over the last 20 years, Myriad has also opened restaurants in Seattle, Louisville, Providence, Boca Raton, and Moscow. Nieporent restaurants have received countless accolades. Opened in 1985, Montrachet earned three stars from The New York Times and kept that rating for 21 years. Nieporent partnered with Robert De Niro to open Tribeca Grill in 1990, which continues to be one of New York’s landmark restaurants. Personal honors include induction into “Who’s Who of Cooking in America” by the James Beard Foundation. He was named the Beard Foundation’s “Humanitarian of the Year” and has been nominated for its “Outstanding Restaurateur” award numerous times. Other recognition includes Bon Appetit’s “Restaurateur of the Year,” “Man Of The Year” from The Food & Beverage Association, and DiRoNA’s “Humanitarian Award” and “Hall of Fame.”
Director of Marketing / Partner
Restaurant Chair, NYC & Co.
As director of marketing and partner, Tracy Nieporent oversees public relations, communications, promotion, advertising, and charitable events for the ever-expanding Myriad Restaurant Group. Nieporent officially joined Myriad in 1991 when the group consisted of just two restaurants and was poised for growth. Since that time, through ownership and consulting, Myriad has opened over 25 restaurants. Tracy manages the implementation of programs that add clarity, focus, and direction to Myriad's marketing program and heightened attention and publicity in all media. Since 2004, he has been the Restaurant Committee Chairman of NYC & Co., which conceptualizes and operates NYC Restaurant Week. With his leadership, it has become the largest and most successful culinary program in the nation, expanding to two weeks in both summer and winter. Prior to joining Myriad, Tracy was an accomplished advertising and marketing executive for several prominent advertising agencies including BBDO and NW Ayer.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotels of New York
Jennifer Oberstein is the area director of public relations for The Ritz-Carlton Hotels of New York & Boston. Prior to her work with Ritz-Carlton she was a producer for NBC News in New York. Jennifer is also a member of Les Dames d’Escoffiers.
Eric Ripert is chef and co-owner of Le Bernardin, a French seafood restaurant universally acclaimed for excellent food and service. Chef Ripert was first awarded four stars by The New York Times in 1995 when he was just 29 years old. Ten years later and for the fourth consecutive time, Le Bernardin again earned the New York Times’s highest rating of four stars, becoming the only restaurant to maintain this superior status for this length of time, without ever dropping a star. The restaurant has also been honored with three Michelin stars, several James Beard awards, and Zagat’s “Best Food in New York City.” Ripert’s career as a chef began in France, where he worked at legendary La Tour D’Argent and Michelin three-starred Jamin in Paris, before seizing the opportunity to work under Jean-Louis Palladin as sous-chef at Jean Louis at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. Ripert moved to New York in 1991, working briefly as David Bouley’s sous-chef before Maguy and Gilbert Le Coze recruited him as chef for Le Bernardin. He has since firmly established himself as one of New York’s – and the world’s – great chefs. Eric Ripert was recently awarded the insignia of Chevalier of the National Order of the Legion of Honor, France's highest honor. He is the author of three cookbooks, 4-Star Simplicity, A Return to Cooking and On the Line.
As head of Ruskin International Communications, Philip Ruskin has managed a diverse group of select clients, such as Hass Avocados from Mexico, Brasserie Les Halles (Anthony Bourdain), Chef Scott Campbell (SQC), Chef Julian Medina (zocalo), Maple Leaf Farms Duck, Ciao Bella Gelato, Martine’s Chocolates, The Israel Dairy Board, The Serrano Ham Board, Sanctuary T, and most recently, Dirt Candy Restaurant. His pro bono work has included Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Taste of Summer. He was a lead member of the original team that launched and promoted The Chocolate Show from 1998 to 2002. Ruskin transitioned to food and hospitality PR from entertainment marketing, where he began his career as a segment producer of nationally syndicated television programs for Dr. Ruth Westheimer and the late Alan King and managed national promotions for clients such as HBO, CBS Late Show with David Letterman, Diet Pepsi, and VH1.
Ben Schmerler is a founding partner of First Press Public Relations, which offers PR, marketing, and consulting services to companies in the food and beverage industry. A lifelong New Yorker, Ben was a senior editor at Zagat Survey for more than seven years. During his time at the company he worked on all its English-language guides and was the editor of ZagatWire, its monthly newsletter about restaurant openings and industry news. He has appeared on the Leonard Lopate Show and as a judge on Iron Chef America. Prior to joining Zagat, he worked in government as a press officer and mayoral analyst.
Bill Telepan, formerly of three-star JUdson Grill, opened Telepan on the Upper West Side in 2005. The restaurant has since been voted “Best Newcomer” by the Zagat Guide for 2007 and then number 27 in the list of New York’s “50 Most Popular Restaurants” for 2008. Telepan has been educated at some of the world’s top kitchen, training with the legendary Alain Chapel at his restaurant outside of Lyons, Daniel Boulud at Le Cirque, and Gilbert Le Coze at Le Bernardin. Prior to joining JUdson Grill, Telepan spent four years as executive chef at Gotham Bar & Grill and 1½ years as executive chef at Ansonia. In 2004, Telepan wrote a book, Inspired by Ingredients, to present his unique cooking style and popular recipes.
Maire Ullrich is a “home-grown” Orange County resident. She is in her 12th year as commercial vegetable crops resource educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension. Before that, for three years, she was the IPM (integrated pest management) coordinator in Orange. She obtained her Bachelor’s of Science in General Agriculture from Cornell University in 1992 and her M.B.A. from SUNY New Paltz in 2005. Since 1997, Maire has worked with City Harvest to help locate excess product for donation. Cooperative Extension in Orange County also runs a local gleaning program distributing smaller quantities of produce (100,000 pounds per year) and venison (1,000 pounds per year) to emergency food programs.
Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s singular culinary style is a unique combination of classical French technique and exotic Asian ingredients, which he discovered during his travels to Bangkok, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. In New York, Jean-Georges began his career at the Drake Swissotel where he shocked the culinary world by breaking with French tradition using these innovative Asian flavors. Today, Jean-Georges has an empire of 23 restaurants that span the globe, including his flagship, three Michelin-starred Jean Georges Restaurant. He has received several awards, including the “Best New Restaurant,” “Outstanding Chef,” and “Who’s Who of Food and Beverage” awards from the James Beard Foundation, and is the author of four cookbooks.
As executive chef and partner of Alto, Convivio and Marea (May 2009), Michael White strives to recreate the sensory feel of true Italian dining experiences with each dish. However, the chef’s journey began not in Italy but in the midwest, where he attended culinary school and worked under chef Paul Bartolotta in Spiaggia’s kitchen. To learn the hands-on, ingredient-driven cooking style of the Italians, he traveled to Imola, Italy, where he trained with venerated chef Valentino Marcattilii for seven years, cooking in San Domenico's Old World-style kitchen and touring the countryside. Returning to Spiaggia as chef de cuisine to contribute to the restaurant’s four-star review from The Chicago Tribune, White then took New York by storm as executive chef of Fiamma Osteria, which received a glowing three-star review from The New York Times, and brought his famous recipes to home cooks with Fiamma: The Essence of Contemporary Italian Cooking (John While & Sons, 2006). With accomplished restaurateur Chris Cannon, White took the helm of the James Beard awardwinner L’Impero and Alto. White’s Northern Italian menu and the partners’ shared love for Italian dining and hospitality quickly garnered Alto a three-star review from The New York Times as well as a Michelin star. In 2008, White and Cannon recreated L’Impero into Convivio – a restaurant that exudes the soul and spirit of Southern Italy – in Tudor City to much acclaim. Awarded three stars from The New York Times, Convivio allows guests to dine as they would in Italy: leisurely, sensuously, and with gusto.
The Lamb's Club
Geoffrey Zakarian’s taste, style, and passion for fine cuisine have defined his career, which has spanned more than 20 years. He is currently chef and owner of TOWN., about which New York Times critic William Grimes wrote, “Mr. Zakarian’s elegant, clean cooking…seems almost effortlessly assured. With no visible signs of strain, he manages to enliven his dishes with just the half twist that makes them distinctive.” Following in the successful footsteps of TOWN., Zakarian opened Country, giving distinguished hospitality to a restaurant that speaks of his passion for food and wine, as well as for a lifestyle of beauty, grace, and elegance. Prior to opening his own restaurants, Zakarian served as executive chef of Patroon. His rise to culinary prominence began at Le Cirque, after which he took his first turn as executive chef at the legendary 21 Club, then served as executive chef at 44 at the Royalton and Blue Door at the Delano Hotel in Miami. His debut book, aptly named Geoffrey Zakarian’s Town/Country, was published by Clarkson Potter in 2006. Zakarian’s most recent project, The Water Club, a new 800 room hotel that is part of the Borgota Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, opened in June 2008.
Zarikian joined forces with Jeffrey Chodorow of China Grill Management in 1997, serving as restaurant consultant and directing public relations for Chodorow’s South Florida restaurants (China Grill, Blue Door at Delano, Tuscan Steak, and Red Square). This position led to his appointment of director of product development for CGM properties worldwide in 2006. Additonally, Zarikian serves as culinary director of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival and has been culinary advisor in the USA for the Basque Country’s Province of Bizkaia and consulted for Olive Oil from Andalusia, Spain. Prior to working with China Grill Management, Zakarian served as director of product development for Continental Companies, owners and operators of the Grand Bay Hotel and Regine’s, where he was ultimately responsible for consulting on food and beverage outlets for 60 hotels and for the creation of new food concepts.