Participating Chefs

Aaron Franklin

  • Franklin Barbecue
    Austin, TX

Kudos: James Beard Award Best Chef: Southwest, Texas Monthly #1 Barbecue Restaurant in Texas




Adam Perry Lang

  • APL Restaurant
    Los Angeles, CA

Served time at: Restaurant Daniel, Daisy May's BBQ, Carnevino Las Vegas, Barbecoa London

Kudos: Being a Dad, First place at American Royal Invitational Pork Shoulder 2005 , BBQ Hall of Fame 2013

Adam Sappington

  • The Country Cat
    Portland, OR

Served time at: Wildwood Restaurant

Kudos: James Beard Award Best Chef: Northwest Semi-finalist 2012-2014, Food Network Chopped Season 23 Winner

Alexandra Manley

  • Austin, TX

Served time at: Maiya's, Elizabeth Street Cafe, Jeffrey's and Josephine House

Kudos: Bon Appétit Top 10 Best New Restaurants 2013, praise from Diana Kennedy about her dinner while working as the Executive Chef at Bufalina

Andrew Wiseheart

  • Contigo
    Austin, TX

Served time at: Angele, La Toque

Kudos: Dad of the year (from my wife), Most Handsome (from my mom), Funniest human alive (self proclaimed)

Andy Ricker

  • Pok Pok
    Portland, OR

Served time at: Chez Moustache, Vendetta's, Del-Cor Pizza, Calamity Jane's

Kudos: Thailand Culinary Ambassador, James Beard Award Best Chef: Northwest 2011, LaMoille Union High School 4th Place Cross Country Race

Ben Runkle

  • Salt and Time
    Austin, TX

Served time at: The Fatted Calf

Kudos: Southern Living Magazine 50 People Shaping the South 2015

Bryce Gilmore

  • Odd Duck
    Austin, TX

Served time at: Barley Swine, Odd Duck

Kudos: James Beard Best Chef: Southwest Finalist 2011-2017, Food & Wine Best New Chef 2011

Callie Speer

  • Holy Roller
    Austin, TX

Served time at: Parkside, Swift's Attic, Hotel Van Zandt

Kudos: Food & Wine People's Best Pastry Chef nominee 2013, Culturemap Austin Pastry Chef of the Year, 2015

Chad Dolezal

  • The Hightower
    Austin, TX

Served time at: The Hightower, El Arbol

Kudos: Texas Monthly Best New Restaurants


Chris Shepherd

  • Underbelly
    Houston, TX

Served time at: Brennan's of Houston, Catalan Food and Wine

Kudos: James Beard Award Best Chef: Southwest, Food & Wine Best New Chef

Daniel Vaughn

  • Full Custom Gospel BBQ
    Dallas, TX

Served time at: The Mill Restaurant at Buehler's Fresh Foods, O'Henry's, Casa de Vaughn

Kudos: 2 National Magazine Award nominations, Won the Barbecue Editor of Texas Monthly Sweepstakes

David Bull

  • Second Bar + Kitchen
    Austin, TX

Served time at: Congress, Driskill Grill at The Driskill

Kudos: Food & Wine “Best New Chefs” 2003, James Beard Best New Chef: Southwest Nominee 2011, 2013

David Norman

  • Easy Tiger
    Austin, TX

Served time at: Bouley Bakery, Grand Central Bakery, French Culinary Institute, TriBakery

Kudos: Dessert Professional Top Ten Bread Bakers in America, Sunset Magazine Best Sourdough in the West

Diego Galicia & Rico Torres

  • Mixtli
    San Antonio, TX

Served time at: Azul Condesa, Atelier Crenn, Moto, Rico Caters

Kudos: Food & Wine Best New Chef 2017, featured in Texas Monthly, USA Today, Travel Channel

Elias Cairo

  • Olympia Provisions
    Portland, OR

Served time at: Stumps Alpenrose Wildhause, Castagna, Olympia Provisions

Kudos: 12 Good Food Awards, 2 Sophie Awards

Fiore Tedesco

  • L'Oca d'Oro
    Austin, TX

Served time at: Gramercy Tavern, Roberta's, Franklin BBQ

Kudos: Eater Austin Chef of the Year 2016, "Most Fashionable" Troy High School Senior Class 1997, Eater Austin Best New Restaurant 2016

Isaac Toups

  • Toups’ Meatery, Toups South
    New Orleans, LA

Served time at: Delmonico, Toups' Meatery, Toups South

Kudos: James Beard Best Chef South nominee 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017, Eater Best Chef Nola 2014

Ivan Orkin

  • Ivan Ramen
    New York, NY

Served time at: Coming soon

Kudos: Coming soon




Janina O'Leary

  • Play Dough Pop Up
    Austin, TX

Served time at: Del Posto, Per Se, la V, Daniel, W Austin

Kudos: James Beard Rising Star Chef Semi-Finalist 2013, Eater Pastry Chef of the Year 2015, Culturemap 10 Best Pastry Chefs 2016

Jason Dady

  • Jason Dady Restaurants
    San Antonio, TX

Served time at: Stars Bar and Dining, Beringer Estate Winery, Joe's Crab Shack

Kudos: Express News Best Chef San Antonio, James Beard Outstanding Restaurateur Semi-Finalist 2012

Jason Stude

  • Boiler Nine Bar + Grill
    Austin, TX

Served time at: Second Bar + Kitchen, The Crossings, Lake Austin Spa Resort

Kudos: NACE Culinary Excellence Award 2009, Food Network Chopped Champion 2013

Jennifer Tucker

  • Jeffrey's
    Austin, TX

Served time at: Lambert's, Perla's, Elizabeth Street Cafe, Josephine House

Kudos: Executive Pastry Chef for McGuire Moorman Hospitalities, loving mother of 2 dogs, 14 hens, and 1 evil rooster

Jesse Griffiths

  • Dai Due
    Austin, TX

Served time at: Vespaio, Tocai

Kudos: Bon Appétit Best New Restaurants in America 2016, James Beard Book Awards Finalist 2013

John Tesar

  • Knife at The Highland Dallas
    Dallas, TX

Served time at: Mansion on Turtle Creek, RM Seafood, Spoon, Knife

Kudos: Four-time James Beard nominated, Esquire Best New Restaurants in America for Spoon and Knife

Joshua McFadden

  • Ava Gene's
    Portland, OR

Served time at: Franny's, Lupa, Momofuku, Blue Hill

Kudos: James Beard Best Chef: Northwest Nominee, Bon Appétit Best New Restaurants

Joshua Pinsky

  • Momofuku
    New York, NY

Served time at: Momofuku Nishi, Ko, Maverick, Lafitte

Kudos: Coming Soon

Justin Brunson

  • Old Major
    Denver, CO

Served time at: Denver Bacon Company, Masterpiece Delicatessen

Kudos: Bon Appétit Top 50 New Restaurants 2013, Eater Denver Restaurant of the Year 2013, Westword Readers Choice Best Chef 2014

Kevin Fink

  • Emmer & Rye
    Austin, TX

Served time at: 13 Gobbi, Noma, French Laundry

Kudos: Food & Wine Best New Chef 2016, Bon Appétit Top 50 Best New Restaurant 2016

Kristine Kittrell

  • Weather Up
    Austin, TX

Served time at: Jeffrey's, Comerc 24

Kudos: I beat Bobby Flay




Laura Loomis

  • Two Bros BBQ Market
    San Antonio, TX

Served time at: Two Bros BBQ Market, B&D Icehouse, Tre Trattoria

Kudos: Working my way up at Two Bros when very few thought I could

Laura Sawicki

  • Launderette
    Austin, TX

Served time at: Craftbar, La Condesa, Sway

Kudos: Food & Wine Best New Pastry Chef 2012, James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef Semifinalist 2013, 2016 and 2017

Matt Shook

  • JuiceLand
    Austin, TX

Served time at: Coming soon

Kudos: "Best Smoothie"- Austin Fit Magazine 2012-2016, "Best Healthy Lunch"- Austin 360 and City Search, "Best Feel Good Meal"- Do512 Best in Austin 2016 Survey

Matthew Rudofker

  • Momofuku
    New York, NY

Served time at: Daniel, Vetri, Cru

Kudos: Being a die hard Philadelphia sports fan no matter how much they suck

Michael Fojtasek

  • Olamaie
    Austin, TX

Served time at: Abacus, Per Se, Lincoln, Son of a Gun

Kudos: Food & Wine Best New Chef 2015, Austin American Statesman #1 2015, James Beard Best New Restaurant Semi-Finalist 2014

Michael Paley

  • Central Standard
    Austin, TX

Served time at: Proof On Main, Lucca, Café No Sé/Central Standard

Kudos: Bon Appétit Top 50 Best New Restaurants 2012, Austin Monthly Best New Restaurant 2016, Texas Monthly The 50 Greatest Burgers in Texas 2016

Miguel Vidal

  • Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ
    Austin, TX

Served time at: Ranch 616, Fish 54

Kudos: Texas Monthly Top Tacos in Texas & The Top 25 New and Improved BBQ Joints in Texas, YETI Brand Ambassador


Nong Poonsukwattana

  • Nong's Khao Man Gai
    Portland, OR

Served time at: Pok Pok

Kudos: Food Network Chopped Season 21 Winner

Peter Cho

  • Han Oak
    Portland, OR

Served time at: Spotted Pig, The Breslin

Kudos: James Beard Best New Restaurant nomination 2017, Food & Wine Best New Chef 2017, Eater Best New Restaurant award

Philip Speer

  • Bonhomie
    Austin, TX

Served time at: Uchi, Bank Jean-Georges, Jean Luc's Bistro

Kudos: James Beard Best Pastry Chef Nominee 2012, 2014, StarChefs Rising Pastry Chef 2012


Rebecca Masson

  • Fluff Bake Bar
    Houston, TX

Served time at: Le Bristol Hotel, Daniel, The Red Cat

Kudos: Southern Living Best Bakeries in the South, Food & Wine Best Cupcakes in the US

Rene Ortiz

  • Launderette
    Austin, TX

Served time at: La Condesa, Sway, La Esquina

Kudos: James Beard Best Chef: Southwest Nominee, James Beard Best New Restaurant Finalist 2016

Roy Choi

  • Kogi BBQ Truck
    Los Angeles, CA

Served time at: Coming Soon

Kudos: Coming Soon





Sara Kramer

  • Kismet
    Los Angeles, CA

Served time at: Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Glasserie, Madcapra

Kudos: Food & Wine Best New Chef 2017




Sarah McIntosh

  • Épicerie
    Austin, TX

Served time at: Bouchon, Ad Hoc

Kudos: Austin Woman - December 2014, Zagat 30 Under 30



Stephen Bonin

  • Geraldine's
    Austin, TX

Served time at: Epicerie, The Driskill Grill, Odd Duck

Kudos: Coming soon




Steve McHugh

  • Cured
    San Antonio, Texas

Served time at: Restaurant August, La Provence, Lüke

Kudos: James Beard Best Chef: Southwest Nominee 2016, Esquire Best New Restaurant Runner-up 2014, Bon Appétit Best New Restaurants in America 2014

Tatsu Aikawa

  • Kemuri Tatsu-ya
    Austin, TX

Served time at: Urasawa, Musashino Sushi Dokoro

Kudos: Bon Appétit Best New Restaurants in America, Time Out Best Ramen in America

Todd Duplechan & Jess Maher

  • LENOIR
    Austin, TX

Served time at: Danube, Tabla

Kudos: Statesman #1 Restaurant in Austin, Bon Appétit 50 Best New Restaurants 2012

Tyson Cole

  • Hai Hospitality
    Austin, TX

Served time at: Musashino, Uchi

Kudos: Food & Wine Best New Chef 2005, James Beard Award Best Chef: Southwest 2011, James Beard Semi-Finalist Outstanding Chef 2016

Yoshi Okai

  • Otoko
    Austin, TX

Served time at: Uchi, Uchiko, Qui, East Side King

Kudos: Texas Monthly Where to Eat Now 2017, Austin Monthly Best New Restaurant 2016

Zach Hunter

  • The Brewer's Table
    Austin, TX

Served time at: Mugaritz, Atera, Uchi, Qui

Kudos: One of twelve Chef de Cuisine's featured at The Future of American Food conference at Grace, Executive Chef of The Brewer's Table, Imbibe 75 list for 2017