2013 Chefs & Celebrity Guests
Paula DaSilva (Miami Beach), a native of Brazil, earned a Culinary Arts degree from the Art Institute in Florida. She has worked with Dean James Max at 3030 Ocean, has appeared on Hell’s Kitchen with Gordon Ramsay, was named “Best Celebrity Chef” by New Times 2009. John Mariani selected 1500° as one of The Best New Restaurants of 2011. Since opening 1500°, a chic farm-to-table eatery located in the Eden Roc hotel, DaSilva has won raves for her soulful, rustic cookery, including a 2012 nomination for James Beard’s Best Chef of the South.
Josef DeSimone (Palo Alto) A graduate of Johnson & Wales, Josef DeSimone joined Google in 2003 where he earned the award for best corporate food service. In 2008, DeSimone was recruited by Facebook, where he has opened Facebook corporate cafes around the world that have served over a four million meals. DeSimone has appeared on The Food Network, NBC, BBC, NBC, KRON4 and has been featured in Forbes, New York Times, LA Times, Wall Street Journal and more. He describes Facebook as a “a fantasy camp for chefs, where we can be creative and cook with an amazing variety of seasonal, local products, line-caught fish, organic, and sustainable meats and vegetables.”
Todd Gray (Washington), a tireless champion of sustainable farming and fishing practices, has earned five nominations for the prestigious Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic award from the James Beard Foundation. Gray and his wife and business partner, Ellen Kassoff Gray, are co-writing a book tentatively titled “Kitchen Conversations: Blending Jewish and American Flavors for Delicious, Easy Meals.” On a national scale, Gray was tapped by the White House to help advance Michelle Obama’s Healthy Kids Initiative. The program is part of the Healthier U.S. School Challenge, a project that encourages schools to serve healthier meals and reduce junk food.
Mike Lata (Charleston)Mike Lata worked in kitchens in Boston, New Orleans, Atlanta and France before landing in Charleston in 1998. Lata is known for his outspoken commitment to support local farmers, fishermen and purveyors, was nominated in 2007 and 2008 for “James Beard Best Chef: Southeast,” and took home the award in 2009. Lata has been featured in Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Esquire, Garden & Gun, Southern Living, Travel + Leisure, USA Today, The New York Times and many more. Mike competed on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” and was featured on “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” Food Network show.
Simon Stojanovic (Miami), a native of Australia and owner and Executive Chef of Tikl in Miami, has worked with renowned restaurants including Browns Restaurant Group in London, Miami Beach’s acclaimed Nemo restaurant, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink and Altamare where he brought about a complete menu change that reflected his style of cooking using local, farm-to-table ingredients. Stojanovic was named one of the “Best Chefs of 2010” by the Miami New Times, garnered the Slow Food Miami Snail of Approval Award and nominated for Food & Wine magazine’s People’s Best New Chef award in 2012.
2013 Guest Wine Personalities
(More to come…)
Germán Bistué is a Founding Partner and the Marketing Director at Wine Bridge Imports. Growing up in the heart of the Mendoza wine region in Argentina, the world’s fifth largest wine-producing country, Germán has always been involved in the wine industry. After graduating from college in Mendoza, he managed a small restaurant group and opened one of the first wine bars in the region. In 2001 Germán and his family moved to California and started a wine import company with focus on Argentine wines. Together with his father, César, and his brother, Sebástian, the Bistués own and operate Wine Bridge Imports, with a portfolio of 47 wines from Argentina, Spain and Portugal, and distribution in 22 U.S. states and the USVI.
Shauna Rosenblum grew up in Alameda, CA, where she developed a passion for wine making as a young girl helping her father, Kent. Rosenblum has received many Gold Medals, Double Gold Medals, Best of Shows, “Best Female Winemaker of a Sparkling Wine,” including the accolade of “Best Zinfandel in California.” Shauna was the featured winemaker and spokesperson for barrel maker Seguin Moreau’s “Winemaker’s For Good Wood” campaign. In 2008 Shauna was named Head Winemaker of Rock Wall Winery.
2012 Guest Wine Personalities
- Jim Bernau, Founder/President of Willamette Valley Vineyards (2011 winery of the year from Wine & Spirits Magazine)
- Anthony Giglio, Sommelier, Author, Educator
- Trent Moffett, principal – Moffett Vineyards
- Kent & Shauna Rosenblum, principals – Rock Wall Wine Company
- Cesare Bruni, owner – Villa Cervi