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March 5th, 2015
BCA Chefs of Excellence
From humble beginnings growing up in Mare Rouge, Haiti, a young Ron Duprat watched in delightful anticipation as his grandmother cooked. He always knew he wanted to be a chef. Years later, he would arrive in the United States and begin work as a dishwasher. Ron Duprat then realized that he would dedicate his life to creating beautiful dishes. Chef Ron Duprat is best known as one of the top competitors on Bravo TV’s “Top Chef.” During that season’s competition in Las Vegas, Duprat amazed judges with his exotic flavors, combining his rich Haitian heritage with French Asian influences, quickly becoming a crowd favorite.
Since his days on Top Chef, Chef Ron has been traveling the world sharing his culinary prowess in cooking demonstrations, working as a celebrity chef at numerous restaurants, resorts and companies. He is currently a consultant for the international food company Rastelli Direct and works as a consulting executive chef at the Sugar Bay Resort and Spa in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Chef Ron has prepared amazing meals for President and First Lady Obama, Jay Z and Beyonce, Usher and many other notable figures.
Having been educated at the College Aime Cesaire, La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine and the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Ron has used his cooking skills to also become actively involved in the fight against child obesity and advocacy for healthy kids eating. He is affiliated with several major causes, including the First Lady Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ campaign, No Hungry Kids, the Black Culinarian Alliance, the College of Culinary Arts in Miami, Chef’s Table and Basil Magazine’s Chef Council.
Chef Ron is a Caribbean Black Elk Ambassador at Black Elk Wine and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton named him a “Culinary Ambassador.” Recently, the HuffingtonPost named him as one of the “10 Black Chefs That Are Changing the Food World as We Know It” and the Washington Post company’s TheRoot.com included him in a list of the “How 12 Black Chefs Cooked Their Way to the Top of the World” along with Marcus Samuelsson, G. Garvin, B. Smith and Tre Wilcox.
Tim Pitts has been working in the culinary field for over 13 years through New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. His dedication and perseverance to the culinary industry has allowed him to ascend to the title of Executive Chef and as a Private Chef/Personal Chef. Currently, he is the Executive Chef at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway, NY. Tim has proven himself to be a strong team leader and mentor to our young chefs of the future. His continued support of the BCA is a glowing example of his passion and determination for the continued expansion of the culinary arts. His interests are reading and collecting cookbooks, working out in the gym, fishing and landscaping his yard. During the football season, he is an New York Giants fan.
While Chef Danielle Saunders may not have been born with a silver spoon in her mouth, she was raised with a pan in her hand and an everlasting passion for the culinary arts. Following in the footsteps of her late grandfather, who was an amazing chef, Danielle’s lifetime love of cooking began at the tender age of five. Danielle’s early experience helping her family prepare Sunday dinner was the landmark for the start of her culinary journey.
Upon graduating high school, Danielle entered Norfolk State University in Virginia and majored in Chemistry. After a two-year stint at Norfolk, she decided to finally pursue her dreams of becoming a chef. In 1997, Danielle enrolled at the New York Restaurant School, where she studied Culinary Arts under Chef Neil Becker (Silver Medalist – 2000 IKA Quadrennial Culinary Competition/”Culinary Olympics”).
After graduation, Danielle had the opportunity to work under the tutelage of renowned chef greats including Anne Rosenzweig (Arcadia, Lobster Club) and Michael Lomonaco (Porter House, 21 Club, Windows on the World). She was fortunate enough to work at Windows on the World right up until two weeks before 9/11. Danielle soon after moved on to be the Executive Restaurant Chef at Panevino Ristorante at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City three and a half years.
In 2005, Danielle decided to transition into the private sector of the business and accepted the position of Personal Chef to Media Mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs. As Personal Chef, Danielle traveled across continents sampling various cuisines and cooking in kitchens all around the world. Following over two years with Mr. Combs, Danielle realized that she had opened the doors to a whole new world. As her reputation for being an A-list celebrity chef grew, so did her client roster. Danielle has cooked for the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Jann Wenner, Tom Hanks, and Gary Sheffield to name a few.
Much like her celebrity clientele, Danielle is no stranger to the media. She made her first television appearance on VH1′s “I Want to Work for Diddy 2″ in 2009 as a guest chef. Additionally, after seven seasons, Chef Danielle is the first female African-American winner of Food Network’s hit TV show “Chopped.” In doing so, she was invited by Food Network to compete in their special championship series, “Chopped Champions.” In the Fall of 2011, Chef Danielle won “Chopped Champions” and made history again by becoming the first female chef to ever win the competition.
With such a wide array of international experiences and traditional southern techniques, instilled in her since childhood, Danielle is helping reinvent the distinctive “Soul Fusion” style and interpretation of food. Chef Danielle is currently working on her first cookbook based around her late grandfather’s original recipes and his personal memoirs. Ever since Danielle was certified by world renowned nutritionist, Dr. Oz Garcia, she has been an advocate for sensible diets and healthy living. Her mantra, “superb food and eating healthy” is ubiquitous in every dish she creates. She is a force to be reckoned with, fusing eclectic souls with great food.
Jesse Jones is a rising star on the culinary scene and he is just getting started. His Southern Cooking with a Country French twist has earned him celebrity clients, a loyal following who love his style as much as his dishes, and victories at cooking competitions, including Ultimate Chef of Bergen County, NJ in 2010. In Northern NJ he’s gaining a reputation as a celebrity chef, between catering for Tyler Perry at 98.7 Kiss FM, posting recipes on The Alternative Press, hosting Chef Jesse Live cooking demos and opening a pop-up restaurant serving prix-fixe Sunday dinners in South Orange, NJ in 2012. He goes by “Chef Jesse” and to know him is to believe in him. His charisma and natural storytelling personality attract people near and far to his unique style.
“Chef Jesse” attended Hudson Community Culinary Arts Program in Jersey City, NJ where he learned his technique. But he inherited his passion for cooking from his mother, Mrs. Mildred Jones, and his grandmother, Mrs. Hannah Jones.
He was raised in the south, providing inspiration for his southern style, and later in Newark, NJ, offering him access to top training opportunities at culinary schools in the kitchens with the area’s top Master Chefs.]
Chef Jesse started out washing dishes at ARAMARK and quickly moved up the ranks in the back of the house. He blazed through salad bars, as third cook, as sous-chef and then was soon managing a staff of 60 at AT&T in Bedminster. Chef Jesse spent fifteen years at ARAMARK before leaving to receive a business certificate from Katherine Gibbs School for Business Management.
Over the next seven years, Chef Jesse perfected his culinary skills and French technique under some of the top NJ chefs. In addition to Master Chef Foy, Chef Jesse furthered his chef training in the kitchen with Master Chef David Drake at Stage House Tavern in Scotch Plains, NJ and Master Chef Craig Shelton at The Ryland Inn in Whitehouse Station, NJ. After several years of working in top kitchens, Chef Jesse opened his own. He ran Heart & Soul Restaurant in South Orange for three years, 2003 – 2006.
In June 2006 he decided to focus on his own catering business, Chef Jesse Concepts, which has grown over the past five years to include high profile clients such as Brenda Blackmon, John Legend, Vince Curatola, “Sunny” Hostin, Jim Jones, Tyler Perry, Michelle Williams and Harriette Cole. He was so inspired by Carolina cooking, what he refers to as the original farm to table setting. It wasn’t just collard greens and ribs – he would pick his greens in the field and select his hog from the farmer down the road that he’s known for years. This combination of fresh local ingredients with bold flavors has really set Chef Jesse apart from other chefs and provided a distinct new Caroline Cuisine that is approachable and familiar, yet bold and innovative all at once.
Chef Jesse entertains while he cooks, which explains his success in the front of the house in addition to the back burners. His innovative style, fine technique and personal storytelling make him a natural when cooking live. In 2010 he claimed the coveted title Ultimate Chef of Bergen County, NJ where he was challenged to use rice in all 4 dishes.
Chef Jesse lives in Irvington, NJ with his wife, 2 boys and Zeus, his Italian Mastif. When he’s taking a break from cooking, you can find him enjoying a Chili Dog from Texas Weiner or John’s in Newark. He also loves Veal Oxtails and Osso Buco. He insists that fish obviously need tarragon, and whips up a bright nutritious Creole spinach dish to pair with any of his southern specialties.
Anthony Miller was born in Dallas, Texas. At the age of nineteen he enrolled into the Elcentro Community College Culinary Arts degree program. Anthony began his apprenticeship and dream of becoming a chef at the Historic Adolphus Hotel in the heart of down town Dallas in 1989.
Anthony continued his studies with Celebrity Chef Avner Samuel for two years at The Fairmont Hotel, completing his training and establishing himself rapidly as a talented up and coming Chef.
Since his arrival to Jamaica in 2002, Anthony has excelled tremendously working for Super Clubs Resorts as Executive Chef for Grand Lido Braco.
Anthony also was recently Executive Chef for several years for the five-star Couples Swept Away all-inclusive award winning Resort and Spa, where he hosted weekly Chef Wine dinners and managed six restaurants with over 100 staff members.
Anthony has a passion for food and international cuisine. Mr. Miller also likes to compete and is a prolific food show competitor whose successes include 2002 JCDC “Best Hot Food Team” and Charcuterie, 2007 Westmoreland Curry Festival “Chef of the show,” 2009 Best Seafood dish for the Negril Seafood inaugural competition, and in 2009 “Salt Fish Champion Chef” in Kingston, Jamaica, sponsored by The Norwegian Seafood Export Counsel accompanied with a media trip to Norway.
Anthony also traveled with the 2011 Jamaican Culinary Team and achieved an individual gold medal in the Certified Angus Beef Mystery basket competition in the Taste of the Caribbean annual culinary event in Miami, Florida.
In September of 2010 and August of 2012, Anthony was invited as Guest Chef to Johannesburg, South Africa where he delivered a spectacular Wine Dinner among other activities sponsored by The South Africa Ministry of Arts and Culture in collaboration with The Jamaican High Commission Consulate in Pretoria, South Africa.
One of Mr. Miller’s greatest accomplishments was to receive “The Jefferson Evans lifetime achievement award” in March 2011 by BCA.
Anthony Miller has a consulting company, Actual Foods, which has provided catering and teaching to international and local customers over the past ten years.
Anthony has recently taken on a new challenge as Executive Chef for the newly renovated Hedonism II Resort and Spa in Negril, Jamaica operated By PB & J Resorts.
Anthony’s hobbies include scuba diving, traveling, reading, and fishing.
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