2018 Talent

Hugh AchesonHugh Acheson

HUGH ACHESON is a chef and food writer who lives in Athens, GA. He is the co-owner / partner of the Athens, Georgia, restaurants 5&10 and The National, the Atlanta restaurants Empire State South, and Achie's, as well as coffee shop Spiller Park Coffee. His cookbook, A NEW TURN in the SOUTH won the award for Best Cookbook in the field of "American Cooking" by the James Beard Foundation in 2012. His second cookbook is PICK a PICKLE, and his third, THE BROAD FORK, was released in the spring of 2015. His fourth cookbook, THE CHEF & THE SLOW COOKER, was released in the fall of 2017. Food & Wine Magazine named him Best New Chef way back in 2002 and the James Beard Foundation awarded him Best Chef Southeast in 2012. Hugh competed in Bravo's Top Chef Masters, Season 3 and starred as a judge on Top Chef, Seasons 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13. His thoughts about Canada, college football, crappy television, current events, politics, and old Far Side comics can be found on Twitter & Instagram @hughacheson.

Shayn BjornholmShayn Bjornholm

Shayn Bjornholm has served as wine director for the world-class Canlis restaurant in Seattle, education director for the Washington State Wine Commission and is now the examination director for the Court of Master Sommeliers-Americas. Along the way he has moonlighted as a frequent speaker at illustrious gastronomic events such as this, a wine columnist for Seattle magazine and a featured sommelier in numerous publications, including FOOD & WINE and The Wall Street Journal. He was named a Most Trustworthy Sommelier in the United States by GQ magazine and was a brief-but-memorable-to-his-loved-ones performer in the well-received documentary SOMM. More than anything, Shayn enjoys chaperoning wine-lovers to their next great discovery; he is thrilled to return to the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen to do exactly that.

Richard BlaisRichard Blais

Richard Blais is a successful chef, restaurateur, James Beard nominated cookbook author and television personality. Perhaps most recognizable as a recurring judge on Bravo's Top Chef and the winner of Top Chef All-Stars, Blais grew up on Long Island working as a "poissonier" at McDonald's. It was here where he first dabbled in deconstruction in cuisine, serving filet-o-fish sandwiches sans top bun. Blais went on to graduate from the Culinary Institute of America and train at The French Laundry, Daniel, Chez Panisse, and el Bulli.

Blais currently owns and operates Trail Blais, a forward-thinking culinary company that has consulted on, designed, and operated popular eateries including multiple outposts of Flip Burger Boutique. In San Diego, where he currently resides, Blais is a partner at the popular Juniper & Ivy and Crack Shack restaurants, which will be expanding to 4 locations in the coming months.

Blais is a James Beard Award-nominated author of Try This at Home: Recipes from My Head to Your Plate, and his second cookbook, So Good, was released in May 2017 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). In addition, Blais recently launched a podcast entitled "Starving for Attention" which provides an entertaining, behind-the-scenes look into the food industry, and has featured guests including Wylie Dufrense, Michael Voltaggio, Andrew Zimmern, Gail Simmons, Lou Diamond Phillips, and more.

He resides in San Diego with his wife Jazmin and their two daughters Riley and Embry. When not behind the stove, Blais may be found training for his next marathon, recording an upcoming podcast, or cheering on his favorite English Premiere League soccer team.

Anne BurrellAnne Burrell

With her trademark spiky blond hair and pumped-up personality, Anne Burrell has been sharing her passion for food and cooking with America and isn't slowing down.

Not only has Anne worked at some of the top restaurants in New York and studied the culinary traditions of Italy, she is the host of Food Network's Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition, where she mentors a team of celebrities who are in serious need of some cooking pointers. Anne currently hosts Food Network's hit show, Worst Cooks in America, the ninth season premieres on Food Network in January 2017. Burrell has battled alongside Mario Batali as his sous chef on Iron Chef America and is a New York Times best-selling author with her cookbook “Cook Like a Rock Star.” Her second cookbook, “Own Your Kitchen: Recipes to Inspire & Empower” was released in October 2013. In January 2017, Anne will be opening her first owned and operated restaurant, Phil & Anne's Good Time Lounge, in Brooklyn, New York.

Andy ChabotAndy Chabot

Andy has always had an interest in how things taste. After working his way through local restaurants, Andy headed straight for the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) to round out his education in the culinary arts and restaurant management. After a stint at Little Nell, Andy found his true interest in the front of house. He graduated from the CIA in 2002, moved to Walland, Tenn., and began his career with Blackberry Farm in 2002. He soon became involved in the young wine program. In less than 6 years, Blackberry's wine cellar grew from 17,000 bottles to 166,000. With Andy Chabot's talent on the floor, the wine program has become synonymous with the success of Blackberry Farm. In 2007 Andy took on the role of Director of Dining and Beverages running all aspect of the service and beverage departments at Blackberry Farm. In 2014 The Barn at Blackberry Farm, under the direction of Andy, received the James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine Program. Andy's media features include Imbibe Magazine, Wine Spectator Magazine, Food and Wine Magazine, The TODAY Show and more.

Andy has proceeded past the advanced level of the Court of Master Sommeliers Exam and was the recipient of the Michael Bonaccorsi Scholarship. Today, Andy is responsible for all aspects of managing Blackberry Farm's Grand Award winning wine program as well as all aspects of the Food and Beverage programs.

Justin ChappleJustin Chapple

Justin Chapple is the Deputy Editor of FOOD & WINE'S Test Kitchen and host of their video series Mad Genius Tips, for which he was nominated for a prestigious James Beard Award. Justin is the author of F&W's cookbook, Mad Genius Tips (Oxmoore House, November 2016). He is currently working on his second book, Just Cook It! (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Spring 2018). Justin joined FOOD & WINE in 2010, helping produce the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen. He's a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York City. Justin appears regularly on NBC's Today Show.

Anthony GiglioAnthony Giglio

Anthony Giglio is one of the most entertaining wine and spirits authorities on the planet. He is a writer, educator and raconteur who motivates countless imbibers to trust their own tastes. His witty, unpretentious style can be discerned in the weekly "Wine Wise Guy" column he writes for FOOD & WINE, for whom he is a longtime Wine & Spirits Contributor. Anthony is also the Wine Director for The CenturionSM Lounge, a groundbreaking network of premium airport lounges by American Express. Giglio has written 11 books, writes regularly for Departures, and has written for numerous publications, including New York, Esquire, Details, The New York Observer, Robb Report, Worth, Every Day with Rachael Ray 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 twice. Giglio is currently a wine reporter for CBS News Radio.

Ray IsleRay Isle

Ray Isle is the Executive Wine Editor of Food & Wine, where he oversees wine coverage for the magazine, and writes the monthly “Wine Flight” and “Bottle Service” columns, along with regular magazine and online features on wine, spirits, and wine-and-food-pairing subjects. His articles about wine, beer, food and spirits have appeared in a wide range of national publications, he has been nominated twice for a James Beard Award, and has twice won the IACP Award for Narrative Beverage Writing. He speaks regularly on wine at live events and is a frequent guest on national media, appearing on programs such as Today, CNBC's On the Money & Squawk Box, NPR's “All Things Considered,” and American Public Media's “Splendid Table,” among others. Follow his wine exploits on Twitter @islewine and on Instagram @rayisle.

Stephanie IzardStephanie Izard

Stephanie Izard, James Beard "Best Chef: Great Lakes" recipient 2013, and 2011 Food & Wine "Best New Chef," is the Executive Chef/Partner of three of Chicago's most-celebrated restaurants: Girl & the Goat, Little Goat Dinner, and Duck Duck Goat. Most recently, Stephanie took home the title of Iron Chef after competing on Food Network's competition show "Iron Chef Gauntlet."

More information on Stephanie can be found at www.stephanieizard.com or follow her @StephAndTheGoat.

Hunter LewisHunter Lewis

Coming Soon!

Tim LoveTim Love

Texas chef Tim Love is known as much for his vibrant personality as his signature urban western cuisine at critically and popularly acclaimed venues including Lonesome Dove Western Bistro in Austin, Fort Worth and Knoxville, Queenie's Steakhouse, Woodshed Smokhouse, Love Shack, and the storied White Elephant Saloon. Love is a founding partner of the Austin FOOD & WINE Festival and Music City FOOD & WINE Festival in Nashville, as well as the official chef of Austin City Limits. He recently debuted Back Dough, a late-night pop-up serving sweet and savory doughnuts out of his restaurants' back kitchen doors on the weekends, with outposts at Queenie's Steakhouse and Lonesome Dove Knoxville and Austin. Love will also be expanding his portfolio to Houston this Spring, with three concepts in the works to open at Levy Park, including a second location of his acclaimed Woodshed Smokehouse. He lives between Austin and Fort Worth with his wife and three children.

Roy MilnerRoy Milner

With more than 20 years in and around the craft brewing industry, our Managing Partner began exploring his passion for great beer in Knoxville as a home brewer while attending the University of Tennessee. A native of Chattanooga, Roy has traveled extensively to gather the knowledge and expertise to make the best beer possible.

Prior to Blackberry Farm, Roy worked as a brewer with multiple breweries in the Southeast, and has held several Sales and Marketing positions with beer and beverage companies throughout the United States before coming back to Tennessee. Passionate about all things Southern, he is a lover of music, cooking, beverages, and travel, and is proud to call the mountains of East Tennessee home.

Mark OldmanMark Oldman

Recently named "one of the wine world's great showmen" by the New York Times, Mark Oldman is known for his singular ability to unravel wine's complexities with a potent blend of entertainment, style, and humor. He is author several acclaimed wine books, including his latest, the IACP-award winning How to Drink Like a Billionaire. Mark's sold-out appearances at the country's top venues have been called "hilariously entertaining" and "must-see events in the world of wine and food". Visit him at MarkOldman.com.

Claudine PepinClaudine R Pépin

Many of you have watched Claudine co-hosting with her father, world-renowned chef, Jacques Pépin, preparing delicious meals and sharing cooking techniques, on "Jacques Pépin's Kitchen: Cooking With Claudine" and "Jacques Pépin's Kitchen: Encore With Claudine." All three of their public television shows have received the notable James Beard Award.

Her first book, Kid's Cook French, an IACP Cookbook Award Finalist, was published in the Spring of 2015, and is a collection of thirty favorite, simple, classic French recipes in both English and French, illustrated by her father Jacques and daughter Shorey. She is the Co-Founder and CEO of The Jacques Pépin Foundation and the Godmother of Oceania Cruises' "Sirena".

Claudine, her husband Rollie, a Faculty Member at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, along with their daughter Shorey, and two mischievous cats, live happily Rhode Island.

"Food doesn't have to be complicated. It needs to be wholesome, nutritious and preferably well seasoned. And, it's always best when shared with those you love."

Jacques PepinJacques Pépin

Jacques Pépin is an internationally renowned chef, author of 30 cookbooks, and host of 13 PBS-TV series. He is the recipient of countless awards, including the American Public Television's Lifetime Achievement Award and La Légion d'Honneur, France's highest civilian honor. An American Masters film chronicling his life, Jacques Pépin: The Art of Craft, debuted on PBS in May, 2017. His most recent book, A Grandfather's Lessons: In the Kitchen with Shorey, features him cooking with his granddaughter.

Carmen QuagliataCarmen Quagliata

Coming Soon!

John RaganJohn Ragan

Coming Soon!

Leslie SbroccoLeslie Sbrocco

Known for her humorous and entertaining take on wine, Leslie speaks to thousands around the country in person and through national television appearances. She has penned two books with her first -- Wine for Women -- winning the Georges Duboeuf Best Wine Book of the year award. As host of PBS's show, Check Please! (now in its 13th season) she’s also taken home three Emmy awards for her work and the coveted James Beard award. Leslie's expertise in eating, drinking and traveling is only matched by her thirst for doing what you love.

Gail SimmonsGail Simmons

Gail Simmons is a trained culinary expert and permanent judge on BRAVO's Emmy and James Beard Award-winning series Top Chef, now in its 14th hit season. She was also previously head critic on Top Chef Duels and a co-host of The Feed with Marcus Samuelsson on FYI Network. Gail serves as special projects director at FOOD & WINE. Her memoir, Talking with My Mouth Full, was published by Hyperion in February 2012 and her first cookbook will be released by Grand Central Publishing in October 2017.

Gail frequently appears on television shows such as TODAY on NBC and ABC's Good Morning America. She has been featured in such publications as New York magazine, Travel + Leisure, GQ, People, TV Guide, US Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, Los Angeles Times, and was named the #1 Reality TV Judge in America by The New York Post.

Gail is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Babson College and sits on the board of several organizations, including City Harvest, Hot Bread Kitchen and the NBCU Women's Advisory Council. She lives in New York with her husband Jeremy and daughter Dahlia.

Bobby StuckeyBobby Stuckey

With tenures at renowned restaurants such as The Little Nell in Aspen and The French Laundry in Yountville, CA, Bobby Stuckey has cultivated wine programs and hospitality, garnering numerous accolades, including the James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Wine Service Award in 2000.

With the vision of opening a neighborhood restaurant reminiscent of the Italian frascas they had visited in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Stuckey and business partner, Chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, opened their first restaurant, Frasca Food and Wine, in August 2004 in Boulder, CO.

In 2004, Stuckey earned the MS Diploma from the Court of Master Sommeliers. In 2013, Frasca won Outstanding Wine Service at the James Beard Awards.

Laura WerlinLaura Werlin

Laura Werlin, cheese “edu-tainer,” is one of the country's foremost authorities on cheese. She is a James Beard award-winning author and is a sought-after speaker and teacher. She is also a frequent television and radio guest and has been the host of instructive yet fun cheese-related videos on Oprah.com and chow.com. She writes for national magazines including Food & Wine and is a regular instructor at The Cheese School of San Francisco.

When she isn't eating or teaching about cheese, she can be found jogging on the streets of San Francisco, where she lives, or hiking in the mountains, which she loves.

Josh WessonJosh Wesson

Once a respected and award-winning sommelier who reveled in the extravagance of princely pours, Josh now sips from the cups of carpenters in his never-ending quest for deliciousness and drinkability.

Co-founder of Best Cellars (and Jet Blue’s first wine captain), Josh also works with companies such as Red Farm, Starr Events and Alain Ducasse Formation & Conseil in their pursuit of great wine and food experiences.

In late 2012, he debuted the retail concept, Best Bottles, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. In February of 2016, Josh opened Suprema Provisions, a market, salumeria, wine bar and restaurant in the West Village devoted to all things delectable.

Josh is a featured speaker at many wine & food events across the country, and has authored a number of highly praised books, including “Red Wine with Fish” and “Wine & Food: A New Look at Flavor” — both published by Simon & Schuster. He is also a regular commentator on NPR/Public Radio International’s The Splendid Table with Lynne Rossetto Kasper.

He likes thin-crust pizza, negronis made with amaro, and long walks on any beach not on Staten Island. Most mornings, you can find Josh hanging out at Tarallucci e Vino on 83rd and Columbus, reading The New York Post while sipping a cortado. Best to give him a wide berth until he finishes Page Six.

David WondrichDave Wondrich

David Wondrich is widely hailed as one of the world’s foremost authorities on the history of the cocktail and one of the founders of the modern craft cocktail movement. The Senior Drinks Columnist for the Daily Beast, Dr. Wondrich (he has a PhD in Comparative Literature) is the author of countless newspaper and magazine articles (including almost 17 years’ worth written as Esquire’s Drinks Correspondent) and five books, including the hugely influential Imbibe!, the first cocktail book to win a James Beard award (2007; an expanded and thoroughly revised edition was published in April, 2015), and Punch, which came out in late 2010 to broad acclaim and did much to spark the current boom in punch-making. At present, he is immersed in the Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails, a multi-year project. As a consultant, he has been involved in the creation of a number of spirits that are found on the backbars of practically every craft cocktail bar on the planet, from Ransom Old Tom gin to the award-winning Plantation Stiggins’ Fancy Pineapple Rum. He is a founding partner in Beverage Alcohol Resource, America’s leading advanced training program for bartenders and other mixologists, and a frequent guest lecturer at venues such as the Smithsonian Institute, the American Museum of Natural History and top bars on five continents and ships at sea. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Andrew ZimmernAndrew Zimmern

A three-time James Beard Award-winning TV personality, chef, writer and teacher, Andrew Zimmern is regarded as one of the most versatile and knowledgeable personalities in the food world. As the creator, executive producer and host of the Bizarre Foods franchise on Travel Channel (including Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre World, Bizarre Foods America and Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations) and Andrew Zimmern's Driven by Food, he has explored cultures in more than 150 countries, promoting impactful ways to think about, create and live with food.s