PAIRED unites independent craft breweries and acclaimed chefs from across the country to celebrate the intricacies and possibilities of pairing beer and food.
Executive Chef, Brewers Association
At the forefront of beer and food pairing, Dulye is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America Hyde Park and has helmed several kitchens in craft beer-centric locations such as Boulder and Vail, Colorado and Portland, Oregon. Dulye is the co-author of the CraftBeer.com Beer & Food Course and The Beer Pantry: Cooking at the Intersection of Craft Beer and Great Food.
Nate Anda takes his meat seriously: a combination of classic culinary training, immersion in the art of charcuterie, and an unshakable commitment to the tradition of butchery has shaped every aspect of his work. Anda first started cooking as a teen, working under Chef Angelo Vangelopoulos at the Ivy Inn in Charlottesville, Virginia. There, and at subsequent internships that followed, he learned about the craft of charcuterie. Eager to make cooking his profession, Anda soon enrolled at the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont, where he took every course offered on butchery and charcuterie. Returning to his home region of the Mid Atlantic, Anda continued to hone his skills at Equinox Restaurant in Washington, D.C., and Salamander Market in Middleburg, Virginia. In 2004, he accepted his first executive chef role at Tallula in Arlington, Virginia, where he gained critical notices from USA Today and The Washington Post for his charcuterie, especially the house-made bacons. All the while, Anda continued to build upon his expertise with butcher-shop tours of Italy, fermentation and curing workshops at Iowa State University, and with an internship at The Fatted Calf in San Francisco. In 2008, Anda founded Red Apron Butchery, rooted in Italian charcuterie with a style that emanates from his endless experimentation and curiosity—using flavors from Asian chiles to Fernet Branca to enliven his program. Anda is pushing butcher-shop boundaries and making Red Apron home base for artisan charcuterie in the region.
A native of Colorado’s western slope, Sean Clark joined Steamworks Brewing Company in 1995 as part of the original crew and since that time has become a driving visionary behind the brewpub and its success. He later became the driving creative force behind El Moro Spirits & Tavern, a modern American restaurant with an emphasis on hand-crafted food and beverages located just blocks away from Steamworks in historic downtown Durango. He continues today as the executive chef and managing member of both Steamworks Brewing and El Moro Spirits & Tavern. When not in the kitchen he most enjoys spending his time exploring the wild expanses of the southwest with his wife and two young girls.
Born in Santiago de Chile, Chef Collarte’s passion for gastronomy directed him through an array of kitchens throughout the world. One of his career highlights was his private service on a yacht, sailing from the west coast of North America and Central America, from Alaska to Panama, creating culinary experiences for Solmar Hotels & Resorts founder, Don Luis Bulnes. Today, Collarte spearheads the Farm to Table experience with his innovative cuisine he defines as mestizo, due to the mix of his travels and culinary vision with his love for Baja’s unique produce.
A graduate of the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont, John Cox has appeared on “Beat Bobby Flay” on Food Network and participated in multiple epicurean events, including the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival, Taste of Yosemite, Santa Barbara Wine Auction, Slow Food Nation in Denver, Eggfest and the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival. He is also a regular contributor to culinary projects with the Big Green Egg and Edible magazines. In 2016, John and The Bear and Star team won coveted awards at the San Angelo Champion Cook-Off for their Texan/California spin on barbecued chicken and brisket. Cox’s work has been favorably reviewed in multiple publications that include San Francisco Chronicle and Food & Wine magazine.
A leading restaurateur of the Rocky Mountain region, Gavin Fine is the owner of Fine Dining Restaurant Group in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. After graduating from Cornell University's Hotel and Restaurant Management School, Gavin began his journey into a successful restaurant career with a move to the Tetons. He started his career working in the kitchen of the Snake River Grill with chef Roger Freedman, after which time he and Roger opened Rendezvous Bistro. Years later, the pair opened Bistro Catering, followed by several restaurants and related businesses. Fine Dining Restaurant Group now includes Rendezvous Bistro, Bistro Catering, Il Villaggio Osteria, The Kitchen, Bin22, Bodega, Cream + Sugar artisan ice cream and Bovine + Swine craft sausages.
After graduating at the top of his class at the Culinary Institute of America, Michael Friedman began working for Jose Andres at Zaytinya, in Washington, D.C. Drawing upon his culinary experiences traveling through Italy, Greece, Turkey and northern Africa, Friedman opened up the Red Hen in 2014, offering seasonal, Italian-influenced dishes interpreted with Midatlantic ingredients. In 2016 he opened All-Purpose Shaw, serving antipasti, classic Italian American dishes and deck oven-fired pizzas in the heart of downtown D.C. As a New Jersey native, All Purpose became a love letter to Friedman’s youth. Shortly after its opening, All-Purpose was named D.C.'s top restaurant by the Washington Post. In 2017, Friedman was recognized as a James Beard Award semifinalist.
Originally from the rural town of Bowling Green, Missouri, Michael Galen began cooking at an early age. His passion lead him to attend Le Cordon Bleu in Minnesota where he achieved his culinary degree in 2005. Post-graduation, he cooked professionally at The Little Nell Hotel in Aspen, Colorado. There, having a hands-on experience working in the hotel’s own plot, he gained appreciation for using farm fresh ingredients. In 2010, Galen moved to Chicago where he worked on the line at Rootstock Wine Bar, as well as a sous chef at Three Aces before becoming the chef de cuisine for The Bedford. He eventually worked his way up to become the executive chef there, as well as at their sister restaurant, Carriage House, which was awarded Michelin’s Bib Gourmand. Galen joined Dusek’s Board & Beer in 2017 as executive chef with plans to continue cooking with an emphasis on quality ingredients and elements of surprise, pulling flavors from the Midwest, the Mediterranean and France. Dusek's was awarded a Michelin Star in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Chicago native Tony Galzin worked as pastry assistant at Michelin-starred Naha, and as sous chef at Michelin-Bib Gourmand winning Perennial. Galzin later served as pastry chef for four-time James Beard Award-nominated chef Michael Kornick at mk, where he met his wife and business partner, Caroline. Following their move to Nashville in 2013, Tony and Caroline opened Fifty First Kitchen & Bar, earning best new restaurant from the Nashville Scene, and Eater Nashville chef of the year. In 2016, the two opened Nicky’s Coal Fired, a neighborhood restaurant focusing on seasonal Italian antipasti, pasta and pizzas. They garnered best new restaurant from the Nashville Scene, as well as notable mentions in Food & Wine, Bon Appetit and Conde Nast Traveler, to name a few.
As a kid, Dan Jacobs wanted to be a cop; his brother, a robber. Thankfully neither took that route. Jacobs, a Chicago native who has lived in Milwaukee since 2011, is a chef who stays true to his Midwestern roots while incorporating the global culinary influence he has sought out all his life. After taking a few courses at the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago (now Le Cordon Bleu), Jacobs began working at the legendary restaurant, Carlos’, where he spent two years learning technique from the masterful Carlos Nieto. Over the next decade and a half, Jacobs worked in several of Chicago’s best kitchens – TRU and North Pond as saucier, Aubriot as a roundsman and NAHA working pastry under the talented Carrie Nahabedian. In 2011, Jacobs decided to move north to Milwaukee where he accepted a position as sous chef at Roots and was quickly elevated to executive chef. Late the following year, Jacobs left to collaborate with chef Dan Van Rite to open DanDan, a modern Chinese-American restaurant. Jacobs and Van Rite opened DanDan in July 2016, bringing chef-driven Chinese food with a midwestern sensibility to Milwaukee’s dining scene. Shortly after opening DanDan, the duo opened a highly-acclaimed fine dining restaurant and chef’s table concept, EsterEv, inside DanDan. The restaurant, named for Van Rite’s grandmother Evelyn and Jacobs’ great-grandmother Ester, offers a globally influenced 10 course pre-fixe menu that changes weekly. In the same year as opening DanDan and EsterEv, Jacobs received life-changing news. He was diagnosed with Kennedy’s disease, a genetic neuromuscular ailment that’s often mistaken for ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. While running a standout restaurant, Jacobs’ strives to raise awareness about the disease. Jacobs and Van Rite have created Dim Sum + Give Some, an annual event that brings the top restaurants in Milwaukee together to raise money for the Kennedy’s Disease Association. Jacobs is married to ceramics artist Kate Riley, who specializes in rustic, handmade pottery for chefs and created all the serveware for DanDan and EsterEv. Jacobs and Riley also host “Plate Collective” a quarterly collaborative dinner series with Milwaukee-based chefs featuring a coursed dinner and custom serveware. When they’re not behind the kitchen or kiln, Jacobs and Riley can be found at their home in the Bayview neighborhood of Milwaukee. Although Jacobs may not be walking the beat of an area cop, expect to see arresting and innovative food from this creative and grounded chef.
Bradley Layfield became the Chef of Brave Horse Tavern after 5 years of working his way up the ranks as a cook at Tom Douglas Restaurants. Bradley moved to Seattle from Savannah, GA in 2012. He was drawn here by the mountains and by a plate of ‘Tom’s Big Breakfast’ that he happened to order at another Tom Douglas restaurant, Lola. That plate was all Bradley needed to know who he wanted to work for. Bradley started at Brave Horse Tavern as a line cook under Chef Brian Walcyzk just two weeks after moving here. When Tom opened Cantina Lena in 2015, Brian was tapped to be the opening chef, and invited Bradley to be part of his kitchen team. After a couple years at Cantina, Bradley has now returned to his original stomping grounds as Chef of the great team at the Brave Horse Tavern. Bradley served in the Army Reserves as a Mental Health Specialist just out of high school. After his military training, he received his culinary arts degree from South Georgia Technical College. He began his journey in restaurants in 2004 with time spent at The Windsor Hotel, Frogtown Cellars, and Alligator Soul. When Bradley is not in the kitchen, you can find him hanging out with his lovely wife, Janelle, his two dogs and his seven chickens. He loves to travel, backpack, kayak, carve wooden spoons, and garden.
Sheila Lucero joined the opening crew of Jax Fish House in Denver and rose through the ranks to become chef de cuisine in 2002. In 2009, she became the executive chef of Jax Fish House, and has since helped open additional locations in Fort Collins, Glendale, and Kansas City. Under her guidance, Jax has partnered with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch and the James Beard Foundation’s Smart Catch to share important news in the ever changing world within our oceans. Sheila also serves on their Blue Ribbon Task Force, working with other chefs from around the country to protect our global fish stocks. In June 2017, she was invited to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress and lobby for several key environmental policies that are up for renewal.
Pedro Martín is originally from La Palma, Canary Islands having worked in several renowned places in the Canary Islands, such as the Little Prince, Hotel Gran Anthelia Park or Hotel Santa Brígida, this young chef moved to Madrid to work with Salvador Gallego in Salvador's Cenador, a Michelin Star restaurant. After three years of success, he traveled to Murcia, Spain to work at El Casón de La Vega, restaurant managed by Salvador Gallego and where he worked as Head Chef under the orders of Chef José Luis Esteban, who later gave him the opportunity to work also as Head Chef and Restaurant Manager at the Puerta América, a restaurant located in the center of Madrid. Subsequently, driven by his aspiration to continue growing and developing both personally and professionally, he began an new adventure in the Basque Country to work the kitchen of Martín Berasategui, one of the heavyweights of the cuisine of this country. This same year, he worked in London at the Chalk Lane Hotel Restaurant (Rosset **), where he held the position of Head Chef in the different sections of the establishment. Recommended by Juan Mari Arzak in 2007, Pedro Martín arrived in Mexico to become the Executive Chef of the Tezka Zona Rosa, making this restaurant as one of the best in all of Mexico.
Kyle Mendenhall is a former classical musician turned chef, he now works to define cuisine built on heritage, relationships and preservation. Kyle has worked closely with the Brewers Association consulting on craft beer and food related events, the non-profit Conscious Alliance and several outdoor related publications and businesses. He loves hiking and foraging in Colorado with his wife and two growing boys.
Pastry Chef turned Chocolate Maker, Nathan Miller has thoughtfully crafted each piece of the Nathan Miller Chocolate line from bean to bar. Miller works with sustainable, responsible, + nearly 100% organic ingredients to craft unique flavor profiles. A Culinary Institute of America alumni, Nathan especially enjoys collaborating with brewers and makers to craft bespoke pairing menus.
Chef Lamar Moore was born and raised in Chicago. He began showing his love for culinary arts at the age of 8. Growing up in a large family and cooking at his grandmother’s side, Chef Lamar learned the importance of cooking with love, taking care of people, and giving back to those less fortunate. He continues to cook from the soul, and has maintained a progressive culinary career with more than 15 years of experience, from sports stadiums to restaurants and now hotels. He takes pride in the relationships he has developed over the years and always does business with local farmers who produce the freshest ingredients. As a member of the American Culinary Federation, Chef Lamar has connected with other professional Chefs as well as mentored aspiring Chefs. As the Keynote Speaker at the National Restaurant Association Show, Chef Lamar provided over 1000 future Chefs with insight, guidance and direction. Chef Lamar has also been featured in many media outlets including Zagat News Weekly, PlateOnline.com, Food Network and the Chicago Tribune, just to name a few.
Born in Chicago and raised in Santa Fe, Kevin Nashan spent as much of his childhood in a restaurant as he did in the classroom. For 27 years, his family owned La Tertulia, a beloved Northern New Mexican restaurant started by his Hispanic grandfather in 1972. Throughout his youth, Nashan helped out doing everything from washing dishes to working front of house. After graduating from St. Louis University, he enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. This led to an internship at Commander’s Palace under Chef Jamie Shannon, introducing him to the fast-paced world of restaurant kitchens, often doing 700 covers or more. After culinary school, Nashan immersed himself in French cuisine under the guidance of celebrated Chef Roland Liccioni at La Francais in Chicago. After working in Spain, tn 2002, Nashan returned to his adopted hometown of St. Louis with the intentions of opening a restaurant. He learned the owners of local standby Sidney Street Cafe were looking to pass the torch after 16 years in business. Nashan loved the beautiful building and decided, along with his wife, Mina, to buy the restaurant in 2003. In 2013, Sidney Street Cafe celebrated its 10th year anniversary, and was named Restaurant of the Year for 2013 by St. Louis magazine. Nashan won a James Beard Award for Best Chef: Midwest in 2017, after being a finalist in the category in 2014 and 2016 and a five-time semifinalist. He has cooked for President Barack Obama, and he won the 2013 Cochon 555 Barbecue competition in St. Louis. In 2014, he competed in Esquire Network’s show “Knife Fight.” When he’s not in the kitchen, he can be found training for triathlons and ironman competitions (he’s completed six!), playing sports, hunting, and being outdoors. He loves enjoying all St. Louis has to offer with his wife, Mina, and their two sons, Max and Miles.
Josh Niernberg began his restaurant career in 1994, cooking for some of Denver's most notable restauranteurs and chefs. Josh met his wife and business partner, Jodi, in 2005 and in 2007 the couple moved to her hometown of Grand Junction, Colorado, and opened Bin 707 Foodbar with the ethos of “local first, Colorado second and domestic last.” In 2017, the couple opened their second and third restaurants Tacoparty and Dinnerparty. Like their original Bin 707 Foodbar, these restaurants showcase a unique sense of place intended to promote Colorado's Grand Valley. Josh's focus in menu creation and sourcing are driven by the mission to both explore and continue to define regional and Colorado Cuisine.
Chef biography coming soon!
Executive Chef, Josh Rathbun, a native Wichitan, recently moved home after spending many years in Denver. Josh, along with his wife and daughter are happy to be back home in Wichita, be closer to family, and involved with the local community. Chef Josh served as the Executive Sous Chef of Mercantile Dining & Provision. Josh spent 6 years working under Alex Seidel, owner/Chef and James Beard nominee of highly acclaimed restaurants Mercantile and Fruition. Josh credits Chef Seidel as his mentor and says “he taught me how to cook.” In 2017, Chef Josh was named in Zagat’s 30 under 30 list of industry professionals in Denver. As the Executive Chef at Siena, Josh is passionate about local sourcing, fresh ingredients, and innovative dish preparation. While living in Wichita previously, Josh worked at a local butcher shop and developed local farming connections. Now Josh creates dishes with local heritage meats from nearby farms and other local ingredients. Josh is also passionate about a cause near and dear to his heart; The National Kidney Foundation. In 2013, while still in Denver, Josh went into kidney failure and is incredibly grateful to his cousin for donating a kidney and ultimately allowing him a full recovery. Josh is now active supporter of The National Kidney Foundation. Josh has served as Chef Chair of the National Kidney Foundation for the 2016 and 2017 Great Chefs of the West Gala and continues to serve as Chair for 2018.
Tim Rattray, a native San Antonian, has worked in renowned restaurants across the nation, including Le Cirque, Rick Bayless’ Xoco, Salt & Time, Kocurek Family Artisanal Charcuterie and Tyson Cole’s Uchiko. In 2012, Rattray opened the Granary ‘Cue & Brew in San Antonio. Since then, the Granary has made its mark by bridging the gap between traditional Central Texas pit-style barbecue and inventive, chef-driven cuisine. Rattray’s creativity, commitment to excellence, and use of humanely raised meats has added a fresh take to the Texas barbecue scene. The Granary has twice been named one of Texas Monthly’s top 50 barbecue joints in Texas, has been called “the future of barbecue” by Esquire and one of the “changing faces of Texas barbecue” by Food & Wine.
With experience in iconic kitchens across the country over the past fifteen years, Chef Steven Redzikowski has finally achieved his dream of owning and running his own restaurant. Like many chefs before him, that dream started with humble beginnings at the young age of fifteen, working at a local pizzeria in his hometown of New York. Redzikowski completed culinary school in Schenectady, New York, and soon after moved to New York City to take a position as Saucier at Le Cirque in 2000, followed by positions as Garde-Manger and Entremetier at Jean Georges. In 2002, Redzikowski moved to Aspen, Colorado where he took on the position of Sous Chef at the award-winning Little Nell. In 2004, he leapt at the chance to help open Frasca under the watchful eye of Executive Chef and co-owner, Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson. It was working at Frasca that led him to meet his future business partner, Bryan Dayton, who was Bar Manager of Frasca at that time. In 2006, Redzikowski was given the opportunity to work under Chef Douglas Keane at the two Michelin starred Cyrus Restaurant—thus picking up and moving to the Napa Valley. In the winter of 2008, he returned to Aspen to take the helm as Executive Sous Chef at the Little Nell Hotel. In early 2010, Redzikowski headed to Boulder, where he and Bryan Dayton began to work on their restaurant project. OAK at fourteenth opened in March 2010 to rave reviews, showcasing a seasonally inspired menu utilizing locally grown ingredients. After a fire closed the restaurant shortly after its opening, the team used the opportunity to re-imagine the design and streamline the offerings. With OAK’s re-opening, Redizowski looks forward serving a refined New American menu, maximizing the unique flavor profile of the oak oven and grill.
Paul C. Reilly
Paul C. Reilly is the co-owner/executive chef of Denver’s beast + bottle, which serves local, farm-focused food, and Coperta, a rustic Southern Italian-inspired restaurant. Both beast + bottle and Coperta were named to 5280 Magazine’s Top 25 Restaurants list in 2017. Drawing from his upbringing in New York’s Hudson Valley, Reilly is committed to sourcing only the highest quality ingredients. In 2012, he won the prestigious Jean-Louis Palladin Professional Work/Study Grant to study responsible seafood practices up and down the coast of Maine. Reilly is an alumnus of the James Beard Foundation’s Chefs Boot Camp and currently serves as a board member for Boulder County Farmers Markets.
If you met Dana Rodriguez on the street, you’d never know that she grew up on a farm without any running water or electricity, or that she helped her mother grind corn down to masa to make tortillas almost every day at mealtime in her native city, Chihuahua. Indeed, Dana has made quite a journey. After vacationing and visiting family in Colorado twenty years ago, Dana decided to stay in the state and applied for a job at Panzano, an upscale Italian restaurant in the Hotel Monaco. It was there she met Jennifer Jasinski, the chef who took Dana under her wing, focused on her strong work ethic and intelligence, and helped to develop Dana into the talented chef she is today. From dishwasher to prep cook, through pasta making and the bakeshop, and finally as a sous chef at Panzano, Dana worked her way through the ranks learning from Jasinski and others the skills necessary to excel at each job and how to manage staff. Dana continued working with Jasinski and her partner, Beth Gruitch, for many years, going on to become a sous chef at Rioja and Chef de Cuisine at Bistro Vendome. It was in these roles that Dana learned what it was to truly run a kitchen. In late 2012, Dana’s path crossed with Tony again (Tony and Dana had been friends for nearly fifteen years, since the days of Panzano), who offered her the Executive Chef role and a piece of equity in what was to become Work & Class. In both 2015 and 2016, Dana received nominations in the Best Chef Southwest category by the James Beard Foundation for her work at Work & Class.
Wisconsin native Alex Seidel began his culinary career as sous chef at Racine’s Main Street Bistro. He moved to Denver in 2002 and became executive chef at restaurateur Frank Bonanno’s fine-dining flagship, Mizuna. Seidel left Mizuna to launch his own restaurant, Fruition, which opened its doors in 2007. Zagat rated Fruition the number one restaurant in Colorado, an honor it has held every year since opening. Food & Wine magazine named Seidel a Best New Chef in 2010. In 2018, he was named James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef Southwest.” When not cooking at Fruition, Seidel tends to his 10-acre farm in Larkspur, CO. The ricotta from Fruition Farms Creamery won a first place award from the American Cheese Society in 2011.
Jeremy Sewall may have been born in upstate New York, but he’s had the heart of a true New Englander since childhood summers spent in Maine with his family, feasting on lobsters, clams and other New England specialties. The water, too, plays a large role in his lineage; fishing has been a Sewall family livelihood for generations. Today, Jeremy sources his fresh lobsters from cousin Mark Sewall, who captains his 38-foot boat out of York Harbor, Maine. He began his professional career in Maine at the Relais & Chateau White Barn Inn. In 2000, as Executive Chef of Lark Creek Inn, Jeremy was one of five chefs in the country nominated as a Rising Star Chef by the James Beard Foundation. In the fall of 2014, Jeremy released his first cookbook, James Beard Award nominated The New England Kitchen: Fresh Takes on Seasonal Recipes, with co-author Erin Byers Murray. In 2016, Jeremy co-authored a second book, Oysters: A Celebration in the Raw,, with Marion Swaybill; the book presents a wide-ranging visual exploration of the iconic shellfish, including stunning portraits of more than fifty oyster varietals. Through his restaurants, Jeremy is dedicated to celebrating the diversity of New England seafood and the passion of the people who bring it to us.
Benjamin Smart’s culinary career started at The American Restaurant under James Beard Award-winning chef Celina Tio. After returning home to Iowa with his young family in 2013, Smart helped to open Big Grove Brewery in Solon. On the heels of this success, he partnered with the owners to open up Pullman Bar & Diner in Iowa City, which quickly won best new restaurant in the area. Pullman also received national media attention, including a feature on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He later opened Big Grove Brewery & Taproom and St. Burch Tavern, both located in Iowa City. In 2017, Plate Magazine named Smart as one of 30 chefs to watch in the country. He currently lives in Iowa City with his wife and two young children.
Executive chef and partner John Tesar takes a classically trained chef’s approach to steakhouse cuisine at Knife Dallas, a destination for inhouse dry-aged steaks. Prior to opening Knife, Tesar enjoyed a lengthy career in fine dining. With classical French training from Paris’s La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine, Tesar worked at Westhampton’s Club Pierre for six years until ultimately purchasing it. He furthered his craft throughout the 1990s at iconic New York restaurants including 13 Barrow Street, 44 & Hell’s Kitchen, Vine and Supper Club—where he worked alongside Anthony Bourdain. Tesar is a four-time James Beard “Best Southwest Chef” semifinalist, two-time contestant on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and winner of Food Network’s “Extreme Chef.”
Dan Van Rite
Dan Van Rite, the Green Bay, WI., native wanted to be an accountant; once a bit older, his passion turned to architecture. While pursuing an architectural degree, Van Rite began working at a local restaurant, first as a server and then as a cook. After getting a taste of the kitchen, he knew he had found his true calling and outlet for his creative musings. Van Rite committed to cooking professionally, leaving architecture school just shy of graduation and enrolling in the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon. In 1996, after graduating with high honors, over the next eight years, Van Rite continued to hone his culinary skills, and his efforts led to him being selected by the James Beard Foundation three times as a semifinalist in the Best Chef: Midwest category (2010 - 2012). Having met Dan Jacobs through industry events, the two became friends and soon launched plans for their modern Chinese-American restaurant, DanDan. Van Rite and Jacobs opened DanDan in July 2016, bringing chef-driven Chinese food with a midwestern sensibility to Milwaukee’s dining scene. Shortly after opening DanDan, the duo opened a highly-acclaimed fine dining restaurant and chef’s table concept, EsterEv, inside DanDan. The restaurant, named for Van Rite’s grandmother Evelyn and Jacobs’ great-grandmother Ester, offers a globally influenced 10 course pre-fixe menu that changes weekly. In the wake of the news that his partner, Dan Jacobs, was diagnosed with Kennedy’s Disease, Van Rite and Jacobs co-founded Dim Sum + Give Some, an annual event that brings the top restaurants in Milwaukee together to raise money for the Kennedy’s Disease Association. Van Rite lives in the Bayview neighborhood of Milwaukee. When he’s not in the kitchen, the avid traveler and outdoorsman can be found in his garden or casting a line fly-fishing.
Matt Wilkinson hails from the rolling pastures and industrial jungle of Barnsley, South Yorkshire in the North of England – a stealthily disguised ‘centre gastronomique.’ Charming and ever-so-modest, Matt’s foodie muscles were carved under Michelin-starred chef Martin Wishart before arriving in Australia where he worked at Vue de monde and Circa. Matt is chef and owner of Melbourne eatery Pope Joan formerly in East Brunswick, now residing at 45 Collins street, Melbourne city under the Sofitel Hotel: a casually distinctive all day eatery, replete with wine bar and kitchen garden- a firm favourite since opening its doors in 2010. Matt’s very poorly-concealed obsession is with growing, sourcing and presenting the best tasting produce he can – he’s kinda coocoo about it actually. Matt appreciates the importance of farmers and food producers to making his gastronomic plans a reality so it is fitting that he is a former ambassador for the Victorian Farmers’ Markets Association. Matt and Sharlee live in Northcote, Melbourne their two hooligans, Finn and Jay, and Quincy, the dog.
Ian Wortham joined Frasca Food and Wine as a line chef in the spring of 2012 and worked his way up to chef de cuisine in 2015. After many trips to Italy, he brings a deep understanding of Italian culture and cuisine to the menu of Tavernetta in his current role as executive chef.