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Interviews

Chef Merlin Verrier

He may only have been four when his family moved to Santa Cruz but it would affect him for a lifetime, says Merlin Verrier. “People on the East Coast may not know but Santa Cruz is a huge agricultural area. I remember going to farmer’s markets all the time.”

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Chef Guy Reuge

Born in Normandy, France and raised in the Loire Valley, Chef Guy Reuge is perhaps Long Island’s most celebrated cuisinier. He garnered La Toque’d; Argent (the Silver Toque), one of the culinary world’s prized accolades, along with being named; Chef of the Year; in 2006 by the Maitres Cuisiniers de France.

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David Sasuga

David Sasuga, founder of Fresh Origins Farm produces MicroGreens, PetiteGreens, TinyVeggies™, Herb Crystals™ and Edible Flowers near San Diego, California. The ideal growing climate allows them to produce a micro green that is robust, healthy and highly flavored.

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Executive Chef John Villa

At a young age, Executive Chef John Villa has already had a remarkable career. There is no doubt that Tao Restaurant’s current success can be attributed to the lofty expectations that Chef Villa helps make a reality.

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Interview with Spencer Rubin

At just 25 years old, Spencer Rubin first brought elevated grilled cheese to the Midtown masses with the opening of Melt Shop and quickly gained a large and loyal following with artisanal sandwiches such as “The Dirty” (pepperjack, muenster, pickled jalapenos, and potato chips as a crunchy filling), “The Award Winner” (cheddar, blue cheese, maple bacon and cranberry jam) and “Buttermilk Fried Chicken” (pepperjack cheese, crispy chicken tenders, and creamy red cabbage slaw), in addition to a handful of creative sides like tater tots with addictive Melt Sauce, refreshing arugula salad, and, of course, warming tomato soup. Additionally, Melt Shop won first place at “The Big Cheesy”–a citywide grilled cheese competition–two years in a row (2012, 2013).

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Jin Caldwell, Chocolatier & Owner of JinJu Chocolates

Who doesn’t love chocolate? But the business of making award-winning confections isn’t always easy, and Jin Caldwell, chocolatier and owner of JinJu Chocolates, knows that. Jin, a former chocolatier for Mars Incorporated, and pastry chef for Wynn-Las Vegas and the Bellagio Hotel and a graduate of Le Cordon Blue Culinary School, is known worldwide for her flavors as distinct as sea salt and honeycomb. She’s also recently branched out into edible jewelry for special occasions.

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Biagio Settepani

Biagio Settepani began his career at the age of 13 in a small pastry shop in Brooklyn, New York, spending his next few years learning as much as he could. At the age of 21 he took over the reins of Bruno Bakery, a well known bakery and cafe in New York City.

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Executive Chef Massimo Fedozzi

While growing up in Northern Italy, Fedozzi was intimately involved with food from a young age. He learned about pastas and antipasti at his parents’ salumi shops in Genova and delighted in the meals and aromas while his family gathered around the kitchen table.

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Chef Vikas Khanna & Guy Goldstein

Derived from the Hindi word meaning passion, Michelin Star rated Junoon Restaurant delivers on the promise of its moniker with an authentic, yet elegantly modern take on Indian cuisine. With a talented team, including Executive Chef and cookbook author Vikas Khanna to Junoon’s Wine Director and General Manager, Guy Goldstein, both have helped create a dining experience to satisfy all aspects of fine cuisine: wine selection, service, ambience and atmosphere.

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Q&A with Chef Ronaldo Linares

Today, he is CEO of Ronaldo’s Cocina and executive chef of Martino’s Cuban Restaurant; Ronaldo blends his Latin-roots with his passion for food to create unique and tantalizing recipes that express his personal culinary style. His outgoing personality enables him to engage people on a personal level while sharing his love for cooking with them.

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