CHEFS & CULINARY EXPERTS
New York-based baker and Flour-ist, Amirah Kassem, is an artist at heart and cake is her medium.
But she didn’t learn her skills in culinary school. Instead, Amirah grew up baking and sculpting with her mother in Mexico, where she discovered an appreciation for fine ingredients—and mastered the art of multi-sensory experiences. Today, her food-based installations have been exhibited everywhere from private settings at the Whitney Museum to 64-foot edible hallways at the Brooklyn Museum; while her fondant-free creations have also caught the attention of Vogue, Harper's BAZAAR, and every fashion party in NYC.
You can find Amirah's signature rainbow-exploding cakes (named Instagram’s “2017 Trend of the Year”)— along with her other whimsical creations—at her rainbow glittery bakery in SoHo.
Camille Becerra is a chef, food stylist and recipe developer. With close to 20 years of restaurant experience, Becerra’s menus showcase her commitment to healthful, seasonal and local ingredients and her affection for approachable yet refined New American cuisine. The result is food that is clean, creative and aesthetically pleasing. Her inspiration comes from the diversity of New York City and rich food cultures around the world such as the Mediterranean, France and Japan. Becerra played an integral role in developing the identity at De Maria, helmed the kitchen at Navy, and held a guest chef residency at Café Henrie. Becerra continues to do a number of pop-ups both near and far, most recently in Tulum, the Rockaways and in Paris.
Caterina Ceraudo is the head chef at Dattilo and her family's farm in northeastern Calabria, Italy – near the Ionian Sea where her father was a pioneer in biodynamic farming. At the impressive age of 30, Ceraudo was awarded the 2017 Michelin Female Chef Award, and named Best Female Chef by Italian Restaurant Guide Identità Golose. Before taking the helm at Dattilo, Ceraudo studied Enology and Viticulture in Tuscany at the University of Pisa and attended Scuola di Alta Formazione, run by three Michelin-starred Chef Niko Romito in Castel di Sangro, Abruzzo.
Fabio Trabocchi is a 2002 FOOD & WINE Best New Chef and James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur. Born in the Marche region of Italy’s Adriatic coast, Chef Fabio Trabocchi is widely celebrated among Washington D.C.’s and the nation’s leading restaurateurs. Trabocchi is the founder of Fabio Trabocchi Restaurants, along with his wife and business partner Maria Font Trabocchi, and includes the Michelin starred fine dining flagship, Fiola and neighborhood pasta house, Sfoglina.
Chef Federico Belluco is one of Italy’s youngest and most talented chefs, having been awarded his first Michelin star at only 27 years old. His passion for culinary arts pushed him to leave Torino, his hometown, to work in Australia, France and Spain before heading back to Italy in 2014, where he started working for Giancarlo Perbellini at Casa Perbellini in Verona. In 2015, Federico joined Chef Perbellini to debut Dopolavoro, JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa’s fine dining restaurant. Dopolavo has received prestigious awards including a Michelin Star and two forks – Due Forchette – from Gambero Rosso in 2016, and two hats – Due Cappelli – from the L’Espresso Guide in 2017.
Chef Giancarlo Perbellini grew up with a passion for Italian traditions, hailing from Bovolone, a quiet town located in the Verona valley. Perbellini began his career in culinary at Dodici Apostoli and Marconi restaurants in Verona and San Domenico in Bologna, moving to Paris a few years later where he worked in the kitchens of world-class restaurants including L’Ambroisie, Le Chateau d’Esclimont and Taillevent. After a short stay in London, he returned to Verona in 1989 to open his first restaurant Isola Rizza on the grounds of his grandfather’s factory and held two Michelin stars by 2002. In 2014 Perbellini launched Casa Perbellini, which earned international acclaim including three hats - Tre Cappelli – from the L’Espresso Guide in 2015 and two Michelin Stars in 2016. Soon after, in 2015, Perbellini debuted Dopolavoro at JW Marriott Venice, the resort’s elegant fine dining restaurant, which was awarded one Michelin Star in 2016.
Hunter E. Lewis
Hunter E. Lewis is Editor in Chief of Time Inc.’s FOOD & WINE and COOKING LIGHT. In June 2017, Lewis assumed editorial leadership of FOOD & WINE in addition to COOKING LIGHT, where he has been Editor in Chief since August 2014. Lewis oversees all aspects of the brands’ editorial content, as well as brand extensions, including social media; tablet editions; books; licensed products; live events; and mobile apps. Under his leadership, COOKING LIGHT has won four James Beard Foundation Media Awards, been nominated for an ASME award, undergone a redesign, and celebrated its 30th anniversary.
Working as a successful chef, restaurateur and author, Jonathan Waxman has graced such prestigious kitchens as Chez Panisse in Berkeley and Michael's in Los Angeles. Waxman went on to open Jams, his own critically-acclaimed restaurant in New York City, as well as the famed Washington Park. Today, Jonathan is chef and owner of Barbuto in Manhattan's West Village and Jams in 1 Hotel Central Park, as well as owning other renowned restaurants across the country. Waxman is the 2016 James Beard Award winner for “Best Chef, New York City”, and has appeared on Bravo’s Recipe for Deception and Top Chef Masters. He is the author of cookbooks, A Great American Cook and Italian, My Way.
Melissa Kelly is the Executive Chef and proprietor of Primo, located at both JW Marriott Orlando and JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass, with a third location in mid-coast Maine. Melissa is the 2013 James Beard Award winner for “Best Chef, Northeast.” First in her graduating class from The Culinary Institute of America, Melissa earned both the Richard T. Keating Award and the American Hotel Foundation Scholarship. She also received two CIA scholarships for scholastic achievement.
Celebrated chef Missy Robbins is recognized for her exemplary Italian cuisine. Executed with a subtle flair and innate elegance, she focuses on simplicity, highlighting flavorful ingredients that reference traditions from regions throughout Italy. In January 2016, Chef Robbins opened her first restaurant, Lilia, in North Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The restaurant has received critical and public acclaim, earning Three Stars from The New York Times, and praise from numerous outlets around the country. As a result, Chef Robbins was a finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s 2017 Best Chef New York City.
Scott Conant is a James Beard Award-winning celebrity chef, author, restaurateur and 2004 FOOD & WINE Best New Chef. Conant officially put his name on the map when he opened the beloved L’Impero in 2002, earning the title of "Best New Restaurant" from the James Beard Foundation. In 2017, Conant opened Fusco, his first solo New York City restaurant in nearly a decade; Mora Italian, a modern, convivial osteria in Phoenix, Arizona; and The Ponte, a contemporary Italian restaurant in Los Angeles, California. In 2018, Conant plans to open Masso Osteria at Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Italian steakhouse Cellaio at Resorts World Catskills in Monticello, New York. Conant has appeared on a variety of national television shows, and is a regular judge on Food Network’s Chopped. He has also published three cookbooks: New Italian Cooking, Bold Italian and The Scarpetta Cookbook.
As Digital Content Director of Food & Wine, Cooking Light, Extra Crispy, MyRecipes, and Well Done, Stacey C. Rivera reads over 1,000 headlines a day. She also holds a Professional Pastry and Baking Arts degree from the Institute of Culinary Education. In January 2017, Stacey began managing the daily flow of food editorial across a dozen brands at the former Time Inc. and in March 2017 launched Well Done, which has garnered over 670 million Facebook views since launch.
WINE & BEVERAGE EXPERTS
An authority on all things wine and spirits, Anthony Giglio is currently a wine reporter for CBS News Radio as well as the longtime “Online Sommelier” for the FOOD & WINE Connoisseur Club. Giglio has written for numerous publications, including New York, Esquire, Details, The New York Observer, Robb Report, Worth, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Travel + Leisure, Departures and Parade. He has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, Food Network, CNBC, and FOX Business News and has been featured in The New York Times.
JP Fetherston is a partner at Drink Company, which owns the award-winning bars Columbia Room, Mockingbird Hill, Eat the Rich, and Southern Efficiency. Fetherston is currently the Head Bartender at Columbia Room and oversees all of Drink Company’s training and educational programs as its Global Trainer. He was recently included in FOOD & WINE Magazine's "Best New Mixologists 2016" and named "D.C.'s Brainiest Bartender" in 2016 by the Washington D.C. City Paper.
Ray is the executive wine editor of Time Inc.’s FOOD & WINE, the sophisticated trend-spotting and talentseeking epicurean brand. In addition to this role, Ray writes the monthly column “Tasting Room” and directs all spirits coverage. Ray’s articles about wine, food and spirits have appeared in a wide range of publications, including Wine & Spirits, The Washington Post, Martha Stewart Living and Gastronomica. He has been nominated for a James Beard Award. Ray regularly conducts wine-tasting seminars at epicurean events throughout the world and appears as a wine and spirits expert on national television, including NBC’s “Today”, “CBS This Morning” and CNBC.