Our Members

 
Abby Jane Love    Through her company L’Oven, Abby Love bakes whole grain breads and pastries from fresh milled flours, teaches baking classes, and is planning the opening of her Dripping Springs bakery in late 2019. Abby started her career in bakeries but quickly shifted to restaurant work. After a decade of moving around the country, she settled in Austin to become the pastry chef at Dai Due Butcher Shop and Supper Club from 2014-2017. At that time she shifted her focus back to her roots in artisan bread and L’Oven was born.

Abby Jane Love

Through her company L’Oven, Abby Love bakes whole grain breads and pastries from fresh milled flours, teaches baking classes, and is planning the opening of her Dripping Springs bakery in late 2019. Abby started her career in bakeries but quickly shifted to restaurant work. After a decade of moving around the country, she settled in Austin to become the pastry chef at Dai Due Butcher Shop and Supper Club from 2014-2017. At that time she shifted her focus back to her roots in artisan bread and L’Oven was born.

Alicynn Fink    Alicynn Fink found her love for food at an early age, spending weekends in the kitchen after checking out cookbooks from the library. Her passion for all things culinary led to a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel Restaurant Management from Northern Arizona University. Fink later received her master’s in Food, Culture and Communication from the University of Gastronomic Science in Bra, Italy. In 2014, Alicynn and her husband Kevin moved to Austin, Texas to open Emmer & Rye. Emmer & Rye brings a unique dining experience to Austin and continues to evolve the use of sustainable and indigenous foods. Emmer & Rye has received numerous accolades, including being named Austin American-Statesman’s Best Restaurant of 2018.In 2018,the group opened Henbit and in 2019 they opened TLV, both are quick casual concepts in the Fareground Food Hall. Alicynn manages all operations for the restaurant group. Kevin and Alicynn have one son,Hudson.

Alicynn Fink

Alicynn Fink found her love for food at an early age, spending weekends in the kitchen after checking out cookbooks from the library. Her passion for all things culinary led to a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel Restaurant Management from Northern Arizona University. Fink later received her master’s in Food, Culture and Communication from the University of Gastronomic Science in Bra, Italy. In 2014, Alicynn and her husband Kevin moved to Austin, Texas to open Emmer & Rye. Emmer & Rye brings a unique dining experience to Austin and continues to evolve the use of sustainable and indigenous foods. Emmer & Rye has received numerous accolades, including being named Austin American-Statesman’s Best Restaurant of 2018.In 2018,the group opened Henbit and in 2019 they opened TLV, both are quick casual concepts in the Fareground Food Hall. Alicynn manages all operations for the restaurant group. Kevin and Alicynn have one son,Hudson.

Alma Alcocer-Thomas    As executive chef of the restaurant that bears her name, Alma explores her passion for innovative, authentic Central Mexican cuisine. A native of Mexico City and an alumnus of Le Cordon Bleu Paris, her Austin culinary career began at Jeffrey’s, where she started as pantry chef and worked her way to executive chef. While there, she developed a lifelong appreciation for continental cuisine and fine ingredients. A stint at Fonda San Miguel reconnected her with her Mexico City roots and she began exploring the flavors of Central Mexican cuisine. In 2011she partnered with Carlos Rivero of El Chile Group to open El Alma, which has become a standout in the dynamic Austin culinary scene, thanks to Alcocer’s drive to offer fresh flavors and warm hospitality.

Alma Alcocer-Thomas

As executive chef of the restaurant that bears her name, Alma explores her passion for innovative, authentic Central Mexican cuisine. A native of Mexico City and an alumnus of Le Cordon Bleu Paris, her Austin culinary career began at Jeffrey’s, where she started as pantry chef and worked her way to executive chef. While there, she developed a lifelong appreciation for continental cuisine and fine ingredients. A stint at Fonda San Miguel reconnected her with her Mexico City roots and she began exploring the flavors of Central Mexican cuisine. In 2011she partnered with Carlos Rivero of El Chile Group to open El Alma, which has become a standout in the dynamic Austin culinary scene, thanks to Alcocer’s drive to offer fresh flavors and warm hospitality.

Amy Cartwright    Little did Amy Cartwright know that taking a job at the Bitter End Brewpub in 1996 to pay her way through the University of Texas Austin would lead to a lifelong pursuit for the perfect IPA, and an obsession with craft beer in general. While enjoying a killer American Pale Ale brewed by her husband, Rob, Amy decided to dedicate herself to a more worthy endeavor: craft beer! It was then that the idea for Independence Brewing Co. was born. Years of research, planning, and fundraising culminated in October 2004 when Independence opened its warehouse doors in South Austin. Amy’s passion for brewing hand-crafted ales for Texas comes through in every batch, every keg and can of beer that Independence brews.

Amy Cartwright

Little did Amy Cartwright know that taking a job at the Bitter End Brewpub in 1996 to pay her way through the University of Texas Austin would lead to a lifelong pursuit for the perfect IPA, and an obsession with craft beer in general. While enjoying a killer American Pale Ale brewed by her husband, Rob, Amy decided to dedicate herself to a more worthy endeavor: craft beer! It was then that the idea for Independence Brewing Co. was born. Years of research, planning, and fundraising culminated in October 2004 when Independence opened its warehouse doors in South Austin. Amy’s passion for brewing hand-crafted ales for Texas comes through in every batch, every keg and can of beer that Independence brews.

Amy March    Amy March is the founder and executive chef of The Steeping Room a specialty retail tea store and full service restaurant.

Amy March

Amy March is the founder and executive chef of The Steeping Room a specialty retail tea store and full service restaurant.

Anastacia Bernal Uriegas   San Antonio native Anastacia Uriegas started her adult life immersed in art as a photographer and eventually followed in her mother’s marketing footsteps. She interned at the seventh largest Hispanic advertising agency in the US and served as Creative Director for a boutique marketing firm for over a decade. After moving to Austin she found her place in the city’s vibrant food and drink community, initially as a publicist and later as a freelance writer, designer, and photographer. She currently serves as Creative Director for the Austin Food & Wine Alliance. Anastacia lives in East Austin with her hilarious husband, two kitties, and two dog-children who bear striking resemblances to Ewoks.

Anastacia Bernal Uriegas

San Antonio native Anastacia Uriegas started her adult life immersed in art as a photographer and eventually followed in her mother’s marketing footsteps. She interned at the seventh largest Hispanic advertising agency in the US and served as Creative Director for a boutique marketing firm for over a decade. After moving to Austin she found her place in the city’s vibrant food and drink community, initially as a publicist and later as a freelance writer, designer, and photographer. She currently serves as Creative Director for the Austin Food & Wine Alliance. Anastacia lives in East Austin with her hilarious husband, two kitties, and two dog-children who bear striking resemblances to Ewoks.

Angela Moench   Born in Australia, brought up in London & Wiltshire, moved to Texas 40 years ago. Attended Le Cordon Bleu in London and discovered the wonderful art of cooking! Moved to Texas because of marriage firstly Houston and then Spicewood. My husband was a physician. Planted the vineyard in 1999; opened the winery in January 2006 to the public. It’s been an enormously satisfying experience on many levels. It encompasses my love of the outdoors and plants, good food, wine making – and good wine, and the opportunity to meet and get to know so many amazing people that cross my path.

Angela Moench

Born in Australia, brought up in London & Wiltshire, moved to Texas 40 years ago. Attended Le Cordon Bleu in London and discovered the wonderful art of cooking! Moved to Texas because of marriage firstly Houston and then Spicewood. My husband was a physician. Planted the vineyard in 1999; opened the winery in January 2006 to the public. It’s been an enormously satisfying experience on many levels. It encompasses my love of the outdoors and plants, good food, wine making – and good wine, and the opportunity to meet and get to know so many amazing people that cross my path.

Anna Fry   Nine years ago I decided to leave my work in PR and marketing to pursue my passion for cooking. I work as a plant-based private chef, and also offer private cooking instruction and event catering. My style has many global influences, but much of it centers around locality and preserving the food ways of Texas cuisine. I have studied plant-based nutrition and holistic nutrition through programs offered by Cornell. When I'm not catering to the needs of private clients, I'm usually reading, writing, obsessing over my lacto-fermentation crocks, and being a mother to my lovely 17-year-old, Mia. You can follow me on IG @msannacooks.

Anna Fry

Nine years ago I decided to leave my work in PR and marketing to pursue my passion for cooking. I work as a plant-based private chef, and also offer private cooking instruction and event catering. My style has many global influences, but much of it centers around locality and preserving the food ways of Texas cuisine. I have studied plant-based nutrition and holistic nutrition through programs offered by Cornell. When I'm not catering to the needs of private clients, I'm usually reading, writing, obsessing over my lacto-fermentation crocks, and being a mother to my lovely 17-year-old, Mia. You can follow me on IG @msannacooks.

Anna Tauzin    At the Texas Restaurant Association, Anna leads the charge on shaking things up at the 82-year-old institution. She heads up all business development, marketing, and communication strategy and also creates member value through unique events, partnerships, and education. For more than a decade Anna has been a key connector in the restaurant technology space – mentoring companies and providing links between restaurant operators and solution providers.  Anna is a frequent speaker and moderator and serves on multiple boards, including SXSW Interactive and Restaurant Unstoppable.  Previous to coming to TRA, she headed up innovation for the National Restaurant Association in Washington, D.C. She holds a Master of Arts in Journalism from American University and a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from Texas State University.  Anna has worked at several restaurants during her career, including BOH and FOH. Her favorite job was as a Denny's waitress in Austin on the graveyard shift. She could tell you some stories.

Anna Tauzin

At the Texas Restaurant Association, Anna leads the charge on shaking things up at the 82-year-old institution. She heads up all business development, marketing, and communication strategy and also creates member value through unique events, partnerships, and education. For more than a decade Anna has been a key connector in the restaurant technology space – mentoring companies and providing links between restaurant operators and solution providers.

Anna is a frequent speaker and moderator and serves on multiple boards, including SXSW Interactive and Restaurant Unstoppable.

Previous to coming to TRA, she headed up innovation for the National Restaurant Association in Washington, D.C. She holds a Master of Arts in Journalism from American University and a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from Texas State University.

Anna has worked at several restaurants during her career, including BOH and FOH. Her favorite job was as a Denny's waitress in Austin on the graveyard shift. She could tell you some stories.

April Wright Collins    April Collins founded Vintage Wine Marketing & The Wine Agency in 2008 with the goal of revolutionizing the fine wine sales channel. She specializes in sales, marketing and brand management within the state of Texas and represents a healthy roster of the world’s premier wineries including atLarge Wines, which she coproduces with the Beckstoffer Family. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, April worked in various front-of-house positions in fine-dining establishments across the nation. She has amassed 15 years of experience in wine sales and management, most recently for the Francis Ford Coppola family. April loves life in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Craig, and their 2 young sons.

April Wright Collins

April Collins founded Vintage Wine Marketing & The Wine Agency in 2008 with the goal of revolutionizing the fine wine sales channel. She specializes in sales, marketing and brand management within the state of Texas and represents a healthy roster of the world’s premier wineries including atLarge Wines, which she coproduces with the Beckstoffer Family. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, April worked in various front-of-house positions in fine-dining establishments across the nation. She has amassed 15 years of experience in wine sales and management, most recently for the Francis Ford Coppola family. April loves life in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Craig, and their 2 young sons.

Beth Vlasich Pav    After beginning her career as a TV and video writer and producer, a two-month European journey became a culinary catalyst that changed the course of Pav’s life. Beth returned with gratitude and a passion for creating “the endless possibilities that begin with fresh, wholesome ingredients." Soon, she enrolled in cooking school. “So similar is a producer to a culinarian;” she says now, “both use visual tools to create a story.”  Beth graduated from the L’ Academie de Cuisine and took additional classes at the Culinary Institute of America. She trained under and assisted some of the nation’s top chefs. Later, she opened “Cooking by Design Culinary Studio,” located in the idyllic setting of the Texas Hill Country, as a home base for her range of offerings; a cooking class studio and personal chef service.  In addition to being a celebrated chef, Beth Pav is a renowned Culinary Instructor, Recipe and Menu Developer and Writer. Her popular Online Journal “Fresh from Beth” and print articles have been enjoyed by thousands of enthusiasts who rely on her gastronomic, lifestyle, and adventure-travel stories to inform them on creative ways to satisfy a variety of appetites. Beth is a member of LDEI’s social media committee. She is a founding member and past President of Les Dames d’ Escoffier of Austin. And is a 16-year member of IACP.

Beth Vlasich Pav

After beginning her career as a TV and video writer and producer, a two-month European journey became a culinary catalyst that changed the course of Pav’s life. Beth returned with gratitude and a passion for creating “the endless possibilities that begin with fresh, wholesome ingredients." Soon, she enrolled in cooking school. “So similar is a producer to a culinarian;” she says now, “both use visual tools to create a story.”

Beth graduated from the L’ Academie de Cuisine and took additional classes at the Culinary Institute of America. She trained under and assisted some of the nation’s top chefs. Later, she opened “Cooking by Design Culinary Studio,” located in the idyllic setting of the Texas Hill Country, as a home base for her range of offerings; a cooking class studio and personal chef service.

In addition to being a celebrated chef, Beth Pav is a renowned Culinary Instructor, Recipe and Menu Developer and Writer. Her popular Online Journal “Fresh from Beth” and print articles have been enjoyed by thousands of enthusiasts who rely on her gastronomic, lifestyle, and adventure-travel stories to inform them on creative ways to satisfy a variety of appetites. Beth is a member of LDEI’s social media committee. She is a founding member and past President of Les Dames d’ Escoffier of Austin. And is a 16-year member of IACP.

Brandy Gibbs    I started Fine Home Dining 15 years ago as a means to cook independently and creatively, providing nourishment and celebration through food. It is a very personal way to cook professionally and I value the relationships most. While food is a necessity, I love that it brings pleasure, comfort and memories.

Brandy Gibbs

I started Fine Home Dining 15 years ago as a means to cook independently and creatively, providing nourishment and celebration through food. It is a very personal way to cook professionally and I value the relationships most. While food is a necessity, I love that it brings pleasure, comfort and memories.

Brenda Lynn Johnson    Virtuoso Wine & Spirits is the only women-owned distribution company in Texas. Founded in 2003, by my sister, Robyn and myself with our focus to find artisanal, independent, family-owned producers from around the world to share with Texas. We are a certified Women Owned Business Enterprise, certified with the City of Austin and a certified Airport Concessionaire.

Brenda Lynn Johnson

Virtuoso Wine & Spirits is the only women-owned distribution company in Texas. Founded in 2003, by my sister, Robyn and myself with our focus to find artisanal, independent, family-owned producers from around the world to share with Texas. We are a certified Women Owned Business Enterprise, certified with the City of Austin and a certified Airport Concessionaire.

Carla Crownover    Co-owner and partner of Springdale Handmade, LLC, creating natural bath and beauty products from locally grown, seasonal produce. Carla founded Austin Urban Gardens, in 2008. While the organic gardening business has closed, her  blog , winner of Top Ten Food Blog award, Austin Chronicle, remains active. Carla is a local food and farm activist and spends her spare time advocating for local food businesses and raising awareness of local, sustainable food systems.

Carla Crownover

Co-owner and partner of Springdale Handmade, LLC, creating natural bath and beauty products from locally grown, seasonal produce. Carla founded Austin Urban Gardens, in 2008. While the organic gardening business has closed, her blog, winner of Top Ten Food Blog award, Austin Chronicle, remains active. Carla is a local food and farm activist and spends her spare time advocating for local food businesses and raising awareness of local, sustainable food systems.

Carol Huntsberger    Carol Huntsberger is the proprietor of Quality Seafood Inc., a Texas Corporation spawned in Austin, Texas. Since 1938, Quality Seafood has provided fresh seafood for over 150 wholesale accounts, local retail customers, feed thousands of people fresh prepared seafood from the restaurant and catered fundraisers, crawfish boils and many parties. Prior to owning Quality Seafood, Carol was a Senior Sales Director with Mary Kay Cosmetics, with 75 women on her team. She earned the use of free cars for 10 years and traveled around the world. Carol has been involved in many organizations including St. Theresa’s School Board, Co-Chair for the Auction committee for Family Fair at St. Andrews Episcopal School, and many other school, church and civic committees. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the McCoy College of Business Administration and the Development Foundation at Texas State University, The State of Texas Department of Agriculture Shrimp Marketing Board, and the Airport Blvd. District Redevelopment Advisory Group for the City of Austin, Vice President on Candlelight Ranch Board and Alternate on the Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition and serves on the Advisory Board for the Culinary Program at Texas State Technical College in Hutto. Ms. Huntsberger Graduated from Texas State University in 1983 with a B.B.A. in Accounting.

Carol Huntsberger

Carol Huntsberger is the proprietor of Quality Seafood Inc., a Texas Corporation spawned in Austin, Texas. Since 1938, Quality Seafood has provided fresh seafood for over 150 wholesale accounts, local retail customers, feed thousands of people fresh prepared seafood from the restaurant and catered fundraisers, crawfish boils and many parties. Prior to owning Quality Seafood, Carol was a Senior Sales Director with Mary Kay Cosmetics, with 75 women on her team. She earned the use of free cars for 10 years and traveled around the world. Carol has been involved in many organizations including St. Theresa’s School Board, Co-Chair for the Auction committee for Family Fair at St. Andrews Episcopal School, and many other school, church and civic committees. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the McCoy College of Business Administration and the Development Foundation at Texas State University, The State of Texas Department of Agriculture Shrimp Marketing Board, and the Airport Blvd. District Redevelopment Advisory Group for the City of Austin, Vice President on Candlelight Ranch Board and Alternate on the Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition and serves on the Advisory Board for the Culinary Program at Texas State Technical College in Hutto. Ms. Huntsberger Graduated from Texas State University in 1983 with a B.B.A. in Accounting.

Caroline Forbes   Dai Due Butcher Shop & Supper Club

Caroline Forbes

Dai Due Butcher Shop & Supper Club

Cathy Cochran-Lewis    With 14 years in global retail marketing, public relations and community relations with Whole Foods Market, Cathy Cochran-Lewis now serves as Communications and Operations Director for Whole Kids Foundation, a Whole Foods Market foundation.  She is co-founder of the Austin Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, and also co-founded the Austin Food & Wine Alliance in 2012, where she continues to serve on the board.Other accomplishments include: Director of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), the world’s largest membership-based culinary organization, for seven years and board president in 2009 – 2010; serving as a multi-year judge for both the James Beard Foundation’s restaurant and chef awards, as well as the International Association of Culinary Professionals cookbook awards.

Cathy Cochran-Lewis

With 14 years in global retail marketing, public relations and community relations with Whole Foods Market, Cathy Cochran-Lewis now serves as Communications and Operations Director for Whole Kids Foundation, a Whole Foods Market foundation.

She is co-founder of the Austin Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, and also co-founded the Austin Food & Wine Alliance in 2012, where she continues to serve on the board.Other accomplishments include: Director of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), the world’s largest membership-based culinary organization, for seven years and board president in 2009 – 2010; serving as a multi-year judge for both the James Beard Foundation’s restaurant and chef awards, as well as the International Association of Culinary Professionals cookbook awards.

Cathy Strange    Cathy Strange is the Global Cheese Buyer at Whole Foods Market. She began her career with Whole Foods Market as a part time Team Member in the wine department at the Wellspring Grocery in North Carolina sixteen years ago Since that time; Cathy has worked in three different regions for Whole Foods Market, holding Store Buyer, Team Leader and Coordinator positions.

Cathy Strange

Cathy Strange is the Global Cheese Buyer at Whole Foods Market. She began her career with Whole Foods Market as a part time Team Member in the wine department at the Wellspring Grocery in North Carolina sixteen years ago Since that time; Cathy has worked in three different regions for Whole Foods Market, holding Store Buyer, Team Leader and Coordinator positions.

Cecilia Nasti    Cecilia Nasti was born into a large Italian-American family where mealtime took center stage. She loved working with her mother in the kitchen, and experimenting on her own. As a young girl, had she known she could follow a culinary path, she would have. But instead she went into broadcast journalism. Eventually she combined her passion for food and her skills as a storyteller. She produced weekly food segments featuring local chefs, which aired on the KGSR morning show in Austin. She also produced a long-running weekly radio show called Growing Concerns for KUT-FM, which focused on organic gardening and eating from the garden. In time, she developed the radio show and website, Field & Feast, where she put the spotlight on local gardeners, farmers, ranchers, home cooks, chefs, makers and more. Telling their stories, ensuring that these heroes of the world she loved received the attention they deserved. Cecilia's taking a hiatus from the show, which aired on KUT-FM and KUTX-FM for seven years, while she figures out her next steps.

Cecilia Nasti

Cecilia Nasti was born into a large Italian-American family where mealtime took center stage. She loved working with her mother in the kitchen, and experimenting on her own. As a young girl, had she known she could follow a culinary path, she would have. But instead she went into broadcast journalism. Eventually she combined her passion for food and her skills as a storyteller. She produced weekly food segments featuring local chefs, which aired on the KGSR morning show in Austin. She also produced a long-running weekly radio show called Growing Concerns for KUT-FM, which focused on organic gardening and eating from the garden. In time, she developed the radio show and website, Field & Feast, where she put the spotlight on local gardeners, farmers, ranchers, home cooks, chefs, makers and more. Telling their stories, ensuring that these heroes of the world she loved received the attention they deserved. Cecilia's taking a hiatus from the show, which aired on KUT-FM and KUTX-FM for seven years, while she figures out her next steps.

Courtney Knittel   Courtney Knittel joined the Giant Noise team in February 2011. While at Giant Noise, Knittel has orchestrated launches for several new restaurants, including Olamaie, winner of Food & Wine’s “2015 Best New Chefs”Emmer & Rye, winner of Food & Wine’s “2016 Best New Chefs”, and Launderette, featured in Food & Wine’s "2016 Restaurant of the Year" list. She has also spearheaded the PR strategies for Circuit of The Americas, the home of Formula 1 racing in the United States and the launch of Domain Northside, Austin's premier shopping and entertainment development, which includes Rock Rose. Knittel also serves on the board of the Austin Food & Wine Alliance and handles their public relations. Prior to her move to Austin, she was a senior publicist at a top boutique PR firm in Beverly Hills. With more than eight years of experience in media relations, entertainment media, celebrity relations, special events and agency relations.

Courtney Knittel

Courtney Knittel joined the Giant Noise team in February 2011. While at Giant Noise, Knittel has orchestrated launches for several new restaurants, including Olamaie, winner of Food & Wine’s “2015 Best New Chefs”Emmer & Rye, winner of Food & Wine’s “2016 Best New Chefs”, and Launderette, featured in Food & Wine’s "2016 Restaurant of the Year" list. She has also spearheaded the PR strategies for Circuit of The Americas, the home of Formula 1 racing in the United States and the launch of Domain Northside, Austin's premier shopping and entertainment development, which includes Rock Rose. Knittel also serves on the board of the Austin Food & Wine Alliance and handles their public relations. Prior to her move to Austin, she was a senior publicist at a top boutique PR firm in Beverly Hills. With more than eight years of experience in media relations, entertainment media, celebrity relations, special events and agency relations.

Dawn Orsak    Dawn Orsak is currently the Director of the Philosophical Society of Texas, but passionately writes about and cooks Texas Czech food. First trained as a painter, she has spent over 25 years with organizations and on personal projects in which community, history, and food converge. She has planned gala dinners to food festivals to cooking demonstrations for the Texas State Historical Association, the Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival, Texas Folklife, the Austin Food and Wine Alliance, and Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington D.C. Her interest in the foodways of the Texas Czech community has led to a  blog  co-producing a statewide, traveling exhibition about Texas Czech culture, planning family reunions, launching a kolache-baking side business, presentations at the annual conferences of Les Dames d’Escoffier, IACP, and the Texas Folklore Society, and a cookbook in the works. Dawn is frequently quoted in articles nationwide about Texas’ version of kolaches.

Dawn Orsak

Dawn Orsak is currently the Director of the Philosophical Society of Texas, but passionately writes about and cooks Texas Czech food. First trained as a painter, she has spent over 25 years with organizations and on personal projects in which community, history, and food converge. She has planned gala dinners to food festivals to cooking demonstrations for the Texas State Historical Association, the Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival, Texas Folklife, the Austin Food and Wine Alliance, and Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington D.C. Her interest in the foodways of the Texas Czech community has led to a blog co-producing a statewide, traveling exhibition about Texas Czech culture, planning family reunions, launching a kolache-baking side business, presentations at the annual conferences of Les Dames d’Escoffier, IACP, and the Texas Folklore Society, and a cookbook in the works. Dawn is frequently quoted in articles nationwide about Texas’ version of kolaches.

Denise Clarke    Denise is a PR consultant, providing communications strategies and programs for food, wine, travel and other clients. She is also a Certified Wine Educator and Certified Sommelier and holds an advanced certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. She loves hosting private wine tastings and sharing knowledge about wines from around the world. An avid cyclist, Denise can be found smiling on her bike around town!

Denise Clarke

Denise is a PR consultant, providing communications strategies and programs for food, wine, travel and other clients. She is also a Certified Wine Educator and Certified Sommelier and holds an advanced certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. She loves hosting private wine tastings and sharing knowledge about wines from around the world. An avid cyclist, Denise can be found smiling on her bike around town!

Elaine Garza    Elaine Garza is a partner at Giant Noise public relations agency based in New York City and Austin, Texas. Her diverse client list includes Internet startups such as non-profit media organization The Texas Tribune; travel and hospitality clients Hotel Saint Cecilia, Hotel San Jose and the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau; media properties Pitchfork and Texas Monthly; and events including Fun Fun Fun Fest among many others.

Elaine Garza

Elaine Garza is a partner at Giant Noise public relations agency based in New York City and Austin, Texas. Her diverse client list includes Internet startups such as non-profit media organization The Texas Tribune; travel and hospitality clients Hotel Saint Cecilia, Hotel San Jose and the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau; media properties Pitchfork and Texas Monthly; and events including Fun Fun Fun Fest among many others.

Gina Burchenal   Gina Burchenal is the owner/operator of Ginas Kitchen, her main vehicle for her catering, consulting, and culinary education activities. Gina is also very active in the community, donating her time and energy to organizations such as The Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival, Project Transitions and Les Dames d’Escoffier.

Gina Burchenal

Gina Burchenal is the owner/operator of Ginas Kitchen, her main vehicle for her catering, consulting, and culinary education activities. Gina is also very active in the community, donating her time and energy to organizations such as The Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival, Project Transitions and Les Dames d’Escoffier.

Jackie Gulledge   Since 1999 have worked as regional sales manager for FoodMatch, Inc., a Manhattan based manufacturer and importer of Mediterranean products. Job involves lots of travel working with specialty markets around the country, with emphasis on product mix and marketing programs. Job also provides opportunity to attend several national and international food shows per year. From 1993 to 1996 was self employed operating a gourmet food brokerage company representing about 20 manufacturers.

Jackie Gulledge

Since 1999 have worked as regional sales manager for FoodMatch, Inc., a Manhattan based manufacturer and importer of Mediterranean products. Job involves lots of travel working with specialty markets around the country, with emphasis on product mix and marketing programs. Job also provides opportunity to attend several national and international food shows per year. From 1993 to 1996 was self employed operating a gourmet food brokerage company representing about 20 manufacturers.

Jackie Letelier    Raised in South Texas and Santiago, Chile, Jackie grew up in a large family with a deep history in farming. She pursued a degree in Viticulture from Universidad Catolica de Chile after obtaining a degree in Culinary Arts in Austin, Texas. As a professional, Jackie has pursued projects that allow her to blend community engagement with local food and culture. After working in the food and wine industry in Chile and South Texas, Jackie moved back to Austin in 2010 and launched a small food business, Paté Letelier, that focused on making connections with local farmers and ranchers to craft small batch patés, charcuterie, and preserves.  In 2019, Jackie launched Casero, a project that brought her back into the kitchen, once again making her small batch charcuterie.Through Casero, Jackie creates beautiful trays of carefully selected artisanal cheeses, handmade charcuterie, jams, and other local goods delivered to your door and ready to serve to guests.

Jackie Letelier

Raised in South Texas and Santiago, Chile, Jackie grew up in a large family with a deep history in farming. She pursued a degree in Viticulture from Universidad Catolica de Chile after obtaining a degree in Culinary Arts in Austin, Texas. As a professional, Jackie has pursued projects that allow her to blend community engagement with local food and culture. After working in the food and wine industry in Chile and South Texas, Jackie moved back to Austin in 2010 and launched a small food business, Paté Letelier, that focused on making connections with local farmers and ranchers to craft small batch patés, charcuterie, and preserves.

In 2019, Jackie launched Casero, a project that brought her back into the kitchen, once again making her small batch charcuterie.Through Casero, Jackie creates beautiful trays of carefully selected artisanal cheeses, handmade charcuterie, jams, and other local goods delivered to your door and ready to serve to guests.

Jam Sanitchat    I moved to Austin in 2001 to attend the University of Texas at Austin graduate school. I received a Master’s Degree in Communication in 2003. While waiting to pursue my PhD., I started teaching Thai cooking classes at people’s home. At the same time, I started a farmer’s market stand at Sunset Valley Farmers’ Market to promote my class. Inspired by farmers and ranchers at the farmers’ market and the community, I decided to stay on in Austin and pursue my culinary career and gave up my PhD. acceptance. I opened Thai Fresh in 2008 focusing on making traditional Thai food using locally grown and raised ingredients.

Jam Sanitchat

I moved to Austin in 2001 to attend the University of Texas at Austin graduate school. I received a Master’s Degree in Communication in 2003. While waiting to pursue my PhD., I started teaching Thai cooking classes at people’s home. At the same time, I started a farmer’s market stand at Sunset Valley Farmers’ Market to promote my class. Inspired by farmers and ranchers at the farmers’ market and the community, I decided to stay on in Austin and pursue my culinary career and gave up my PhD. acceptance. I opened Thai Fresh in 2008 focusing on making traditional Thai food using locally grown and raised ingredients.

Jamie Bowers    CEO and co-creator of Austin’s niche frozen pizza producer, Bola Pizza. Originally launched as a wood fired caterer, Bola Pizza is now a thriving company known for its handmade frozen pizzas sourced from natural, high quality ingredients. Jamie’s focus is changing how frozen food is made by supporting suppliers that share her beliefs in sustainable, healthy, environmentally friendly products along with giving consumers an option for a delicious, fast dinner. Bola Pizza, named after Jamie’s beloved rescue dog, Bola, is available at grocery and specialty stores throughout the state of Texas. Bola, the company's first official pizza crust tester, is very proud.

Jamie Bowers

CEO and co-creator of Austin’s niche frozen pizza producer, Bola Pizza. Originally launched as a wood fired caterer, Bola Pizza is now a thriving company known for its handmade frozen pizzas sourced from natural, high quality ingredients. Jamie’s focus is changing how frozen food is made by supporting suppliers that share her beliefs in sustainable, healthy, environmentally friendly products along with giving consumers an option for a delicious, fast dinner. Bola Pizza, named after Jamie’s beloved rescue dog, Bola, is available at grocery and specialty stores throughout the state of Texas. Bola, the company's first official pizza crust tester, is very proud.

Janet Chaykin   Janet Chaykin is the founder of Chaykin Consulting LLC, a food consulting firm. Janet created Chaykin Consulting LLC to share her passion for partnering with manufacturers and retailers to bring exciting products to the consumer. Chaykin Consulting LLC offers consulting services for the natural food channel, specializing in overall product development and navigational strategies for Whole Foods Market and Natural retail channels. Janet is a classically trained Chef with over 30 years experience in the food industry, including 16 years in Leadership with Whole Foods Market.

Janet Chaykin

Janet Chaykin is the founder of Chaykin Consulting LLC, a food consulting firm. Janet created Chaykin Consulting LLC to share her passion for partnering with manufacturers and retailers to bring exciting products to the consumer. Chaykin Consulting LLC offers consulting services for the natural food channel, specializing in overall product development and navigational strategies for Whole Foods Market and Natural retail channels. Janet is a classically trained Chef with over 30 years experience in the food industry, including 16 years in Leadership with Whole Foods Market.

Janie Lynn Ramirez   Janie Ramirez grew up in the city of Sulphur in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, where she loved baking for her family. Janie worked in various restaurants while attaining her Bachelor’s degree in Art History at Louisiana State University. After graduating, inspired by Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food, she moved to Austin, Texas to attend Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. She gained experience at several Austin establishments before accepting a prep position at Dai Due Butcher Shop & Supper Club. Only two months later she was promoted to Sous Chef, and eventually to Executive Chef. Her culinary passions include mayonnaise, spicy food, and shellfish.

Janie Lynn Ramirez

Janie Ramirez grew up in the city of Sulphur in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, where she loved baking for her family. Janie worked in various restaurants while attaining her Bachelor’s degree in Art History at Louisiana State University. After graduating, inspired by Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food, she moved to Austin, Texas to attend Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. She gained experience at several Austin establishments before accepting a prep position at Dai Due Butcher Shop & Supper Club. Only two months later she was promoted to Sous Chef, and eventually to Executive Chef. Her culinary passions include mayonnaise, spicy food, and shellfish.

Jennifer Bartos    Jennifer is the owner and head instructor of Make It Sweet, an Austin based specialty retail supply store and hands-on classroom studio with a focus on the tools, supplies, ingredients and educational and recreational classes to make beautiful and delicious cakes, cookies and candies.

Jennifer Bartos

Jennifer is the owner and head instructor of Make It Sweet, an Austin based specialty retail supply store and hands-on classroom studio with a focus on the tools, supplies, ingredients and educational and recreational classes to make beautiful and delicious cakes, cookies and candies.

Jenna Northcutt    Jenna Northcutt was born and raised in southern Louisiana, where she first discovered her love of food. She landed in Austin in 2002 to attend the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with a degree in advertising. Jenna started off her career doing graphic design and marketing for local businesses and was on the founding team of Edible Austin as the associate publisher. In 2018, Jenna became the owner and publisher of Edible Austin and now continues to connect Central Texans to their local food community. Jenna is an award winning photographer, a creative problem solver and passionate creator.

Jenna Northcutt

Jenna Northcutt was born and raised in southern Louisiana, where she first discovered her love of food. She landed in Austin in 2002 to attend the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with a degree in advertising. Jenna started off her career doing graphic design and marketing for local businesses and was on the founding team of Edible Austin as the associate publisher. In 2018, Jenna became the owner and publisher of Edible Austin and now continues to connect Central Texans to their local food community. Jenna is an award winning photographer, a creative problem solver and passionate creator.

Jennifer Cheng    A Writer/Editor at Whole Foods Market, a home cook for fun and an overall adventure-chaser and food explorer. Trained sensory panelist and slinger of taglines, headlines and bylines. You can catch me seeking out icy-cold swimming holes, volunteering, dancing at a concert or experimenting in the kitchen in my free time.

Jennifer Cheng

A Writer/Editor at Whole Foods Market, a home cook for fun and an overall adventure-chaser and food explorer. Trained sensory panelist and slinger of taglines, headlines and bylines. You can catch me seeking out icy-cold swimming holes, volunteering, dancing at a concert or experimenting in the kitchen in my free time.

Jennifer Costello    Born in Seattle and raised in Canada in a family of eight, Chef Jennifer Costello gravitated toward the kitchen, cooking with her Irish grandmother and baking bread with her mother to sell at Pike Place Market in Seattle. Not originally planning on entering the culinary world, she earned a double degree in Metaphysics and Business Administration at the University of Ottawa before making a name for herself in Toronto’s advertising industry. After spending more than a decade in the ad world, she opted out of the business to follow her passion for food and enrolled at the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vt.  After graduating and moving to Boston to further her culinary career, Costello had the opportunity to work with award-winning chefs. She worked at the Algonquin Club, the oldest social club in Boston, under David Fritchey; the Blue Room under Steve Johnson, where she met her future husband Chris Hurley; Oleana Restaurant under James Beard Award Winner Ana Sortun; and Caffe Umbra as Sous Chef for Laura Brennan. While working with Chef Brennan she was fortunate to compete at the James Beard House alongside Chef Barbara Lynch and Gabriel Frasca. Chef Brennan and Sous Chef Costello won the competition. While working in catering she had the honor of cooking for Former Presidents George Bush Sr. and Jr., Caroline Kennedy, Ted Kennedy as well as former President Bill Clinton and President Yushchenko of the Ukraine.  Since establishing the Bonneville Restaurant they have worked closely with the community on a number of initiatives. Initially co-ordinating local fundraisers with PAWS of Austin and the Austin Humane Society but more recently with the City of Austin and Central Texas Food Bank on the “Feed the 5000” initiative working with reclaimed food to solve some of the local hunger issues.

Jennifer Costello

Born in Seattle and raised in Canada in a family of eight, Chef Jennifer Costello gravitated toward the kitchen, cooking with her Irish grandmother and baking bread with her mother to sell at Pike Place Market in Seattle. Not originally planning on entering the culinary world, she earned a double degree in Metaphysics and Business Administration at the University of Ottawa before making a name for herself in Toronto’s advertising industry. After spending more than a decade in the ad world, she opted out of the business to follow her passion for food and enrolled at the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vt.

After graduating and moving to Boston to further her culinary career, Costello had the opportunity to work with award-winning chefs. She worked at the Algonquin Club, the oldest social club in Boston, under David Fritchey; the Blue Room under Steve Johnson, where she met her future husband Chris Hurley; Oleana Restaurant under James Beard Award Winner Ana Sortun; and Caffe Umbra as Sous Chef for Laura Brennan. While working with Chef Brennan she was fortunate to compete at the James Beard House alongside Chef Barbara Lynch and Gabriel Frasca. Chef Brennan and Sous Chef Costello won the competition. While working in catering she had the honor of cooking for Former Presidents George Bush Sr. and Jr., Caroline Kennedy, Ted Kennedy as well as former President Bill Clinton and President Yushchenko of the Ukraine.

Since establishing the Bonneville Restaurant they have worked closely with the community on a number of initiatives. Initially co-ordinating local fundraisers with PAWS of Austin and the Austin Humane Society but more recently with the City of Austin and Central Texas Food Bank on the “Feed the 5000” initiative working with reclaimed food to solve some of the local hunger issues.

Jessica Dupuy    Jessica Dupuy is a native Austinite and freelance writer. Her credits include articles for Texas Monthly, Fodor’s, Texas Highways, Austin Monthly, Edible Austin, and Saveur online. She will also release Uchi: The Cookbook with famed Austin sushi Chef Tyson Cole in January 2011. Dupuy’s most enjoys food, traveling, and the outdoors.

Jessica Dupuy

Jessica Dupuy is a native Austinite and freelance writer. Her credits include articles for Texas Monthly, Fodor’s, Texas Highways, Austin Monthly, Edible Austin, and Saveur online. She will also release Uchi: The Cookbook with famed Austin sushi Chef Tyson Cole in January 2011. Dupuy’s most enjoys food, traveling, and the outdoors.

Jessica Maher    Jessica is the chef and co-owner of Lenoir and Vixens Wedding. She has been cooking since she was a teenager and later decided to become a professional after graduating from UT in 2000. She considers herself an advocate for sustainability, preservation, nutrition and good food & wine. She is very proud to be a part of the restaurant community in Austin.

Jessica Maher

Jessica is the chef and co-owner of Lenoir and Vixens Wedding. She has been cooking since she was a teenager and later decided to become a professional after graduating from UT in 2000. She considers herself an advocate for sustainability, preservation, nutrition and good food & wine. She is very proud to be a part of the restaurant community in Austin.

Jessica Sanders    Jessica is a bar owner, professional bartender and hospitality consultant based in Austin. She is the owner/operator of drink.well., an award-winning cocktail gastropub in Austin’s vibrant North Loop district. Her professional endeavors also include cocktail catering, spirits education and bar consulting. Since opening in 2012, drink.well. has consistently been recognized as one of Austin’s best bar programs. Nationally, Jessica’s work has been featured in numerous publications including Food & Wine, Southern Living, Bon Appétit and Condé Nast Traveler.  She was previously the President of the Austin chapter of the United States Bartenders’ Guild and has lectured at notable industry events including The Bar Institute, Portland Cocktail Week and the San Antonio Cocktail Conference. In 2016, Jessica was profiled in Imbibe Magazine’s anticipated annual list of the 75 most influential tastemakers in beverage & hospitality. Jessica was featured in Wine Enthusiast’s ’40 Under 40’ list in 2016 and was a national finalist in 2014 for a Wine Enthusiast ‘Wine Star Award’ in the category of Best American Mixologist.  When she is not behind the bar, Jessica is an avid SoulCycler, voracious reader, aspiring gourmand, karaoke enthusiast and curious traveler.

Jessica Sanders

Jessica is a bar owner, professional bartender and hospitality consultant based in Austin. She is the owner/operator of drink.well., an award-winning cocktail gastropub in Austin’s vibrant North Loop district. Her professional endeavors also include cocktail catering, spirits education and bar consulting. Since opening in 2012, drink.well. has consistently been recognized as one of Austin’s best bar programs. Nationally, Jessica’s work has been featured in numerous publications including Food & Wine, Southern Living, Bon Appétit and Condé Nast Traveler.

She was previously the President of the Austin chapter of the United States Bartenders’ Guild and has lectured at notable industry events including The Bar Institute, Portland Cocktail Week and the San Antonio Cocktail Conference. In 2016, Jessica was profiled in Imbibe Magazine’s anticipated annual list of the 75 most influential tastemakers in beverage & hospitality. Jessica was featured in Wine Enthusiast’s ’40 Under 40’ list in 2016 and was a national finalist in 2014 for a Wine Enthusiast ‘Wine Star Award’ in the category of Best American Mixologist.

When she is not behind the bar, Jessica is an avid SoulCycler, voracious reader, aspiring gourmand, karaoke enthusiast and curious traveler.

Johanna Gordy Brown   Johanna is a founding member of the Austin Dames Chapter and an independent recipe developer for products and home appliances.

Johanna Gordy Brown

Johanna is a founding member of the Austin Dames Chapter and an independent recipe developer for products and home appliances.

Joi Chevalier    For 17 years, Joi Chevalier worked as an e-commerce product manager and marketing director for Internet venture startups and Fortune 50 companies, with a specific focus on creating personalized experiences for online customers based on their history, behavior, and industry trends. She specialized in developing innovative Internet products, applications and customer experiences; establishing new markets; launching new products into global markets, marketing through real-time use of data analytics and user-behavioral activity, with the goal of providing the best customer experiences online.  An honors graduate of the Culinary Arts Program at the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, Joi combines the best of her technology background with her love of culinary arts in a space for cooks at the beginning stages of their business – The Cook’s Nook.  Joi has catered events around Austin, including the kitchens of large events like ACL and the Austin Food and Wine Festival. When she’s not at The Cook’s Nook, she’s tending roses, looking through her telescope, doing high performance driver’s education events, or traveling with her husband and her niece.

Joi Chevalier

For 17 years, Joi Chevalier worked as an e-commerce product manager and marketing director for Internet venture startups and Fortune 50 companies, with a specific focus on creating personalized experiences for online customers based on their history, behavior, and industry trends. She specialized in developing innovative Internet products, applications and customer experiences; establishing new markets; launching new products into global markets, marketing through real-time use of data analytics and user-behavioral activity, with the goal of providing the best customer experiences online.

An honors graduate of the Culinary Arts Program at the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, Joi combines the best of her technology background with her love of culinary arts in a space for cooks at the beginning stages of their business – The Cook’s Nook.

Joi has catered events around Austin, including the kitchens of large events like ACL and the Austin Food and Wine Festival. When she’s not at The Cook’s Nook, she’s tending roses, looking through her telescope, doing high performance driver’s education events, or traveling with her husband and her niece.

Julie Busch   Pastry Chef Instructor, The Art Institute of Austin  I am currently the lead pastry instructor at the Art Institute of Austin, since 2014. My experience as a working pastry chef has led me around the southeast coast to hotels, fine dining restaurants and country clubs. I have been living and working in Austin for the past 7.5 years, with my husband (exec. chef/partner of Revival Public House) and my 7 year old daughter.

Julie Busch

Pastry Chef Instructor, The Art Institute of Austin

I am currently the lead pastry instructor at the Art Institute of Austin, since 2014. My experience as a working pastry chef has led me around the southeast coast to hotels, fine dining restaurants and country clubs. I have been living and working in Austin for the past 7.5 years, with my husband (exec. chef/partner of Revival Public House) and my 7 year old daughter.

Julie Kuhlken    Julie Kuhlken, co-founder and Chief Marketing and Hospitality Officer, oversees the marketing and hospitality operations and is artistically responsible for the Pedernales Cellars brand. A graduate of Stanford University, Julie received a doctorate in Philosophy and has taught at universities in Europe and North America. She holds the WSET III certification, which she received with distinction. She is a regularly published author, passionate about wine, art, and philanthropy – those loves have come together in Pedernales Cellars’ partnership with the Hill Country Film Festival.

Julie Kuhlken

Julie Kuhlken, co-founder and Chief Marketing and Hospitality Officer, oversees the marketing and hospitality operations and is artistically responsible for the Pedernales Cellars brand. A graduate of Stanford University, Julie received a doctorate in Philosophy and has taught at universities in Europe and North America. She holds the WSET III certification, which she received with distinction. She is a regularly published author, passionate about wine, art, and philanthropy – those loves have come together in Pedernales Cellars’ partnership with the Hill Country Film Festival.

Karen Spezia   Karen Odom Spezia is a freelance culinary writer in Austin, Texas. She has been a monthly contributor to Tribeza Magazine since 2006 and has also been published in the Austin American-Statesman, Austin Magazine, and Austin Woman Magazine. She has taught wine appreciation classes at Central Market. She has studied viticulture and oenology at UC/Davis, culinary arts at the Culinary Institute of America, and holds a Level 1 certificate from the International Sommelier Guild. She is the former Marketing Director of the Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival and has a journalism degree from Southern Methodist University.

Karen Spezia

Karen Odom Spezia is a freelance culinary writer in Austin, Texas. She has been a monthly contributor to Tribeza Magazine since 2006 and has also been published in the Austin American-Statesman, Austin Magazine, and Austin Woman Magazine. She has taught wine appreciation classes at Central Market. She has studied viticulture and oenology at UC/Davis, culinary arts at the Culinary Institute of America, and holds a Level 1 certificate from the International Sommelier Guild. She is the former Marketing Director of the Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival and has a journalism degree from Southern Methodist University.

Kate Payne    Kate Payne developed a lifestyle brand and two related books, Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking and Hip Girl’s Guide to the Kitchen (Harper Collins 2011, 2014), which led to teaching classes and developing relationships with area and nationwide businesses and organizations. She presently serves as Content Strategist for the Design Institute for Health in Austin, Texas.

Kate Payne

Kate Payne developed a lifestyle brand and two related books, Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking and Hip Girl’s Guide to the Kitchen (Harper Collins 2011, 2014), which led to teaching classes and developing relationships with area and nationwide businesses and organizations. She presently serves as Content Strategist for the Design Institute for Health in Austin, Texas.

Katherine Crider   Newspaper staff writer/editor  Food editor/writer of a daily paper in Austin, Texas for 28 years.

Katherine Crider

Newspaper staff writer/editor

Food editor/writer of a daily paper in Austin, Texas for 28 years.

Kati Luedecke    Kati moved to Austin 10 years ago and has done everything from catering to culinary director. She started Killa Wasi to promote an inclusive and supportive work environment for women — and to bring a cuisine that is highly undervalued in Austin. Killa Wasi started out as a pop-up in 2014 and has since grown into a food bus and catering operation based in Govalle. Living and working in East Austin has encouraged her to continue growing the business to cater to an underserved area and food desert.

Kati Luedecke

Kati moved to Austin 10 years ago and has done everything from catering to culinary director. She started Killa Wasi to promote an inclusive and supportive work environment for women — and to bring a cuisine that is highly undervalued in Austin. Killa Wasi started out as a pop-up in 2014 and has since grown into a food bus and catering operation based in Govalle. Living and working in East Austin has encouraged her to continue growing the business to cater to an underserved area and food desert.

Kellie Camille Nutt-Robinson   With a firm belief that food brings people together, Kellie set out to find her way in a broad culinary industry over two decades ago. From restaurants and hotels, catering and event-planning, Kellie found her home in the grocery retail environment 16 years ago. Currently serving as the Selling Manager for specialty grocery retailer Central Market, Kellie focuses her work on growing sales through creating an incredible customer experience, loves finding and helping emerging products and brands enter the marketplace, teaching, and has the pleasure of leading a team of professional foodies and artists. “I am inspired by the history and possibilities that bring people into their kitchens and to their tables. And I am humbled to be let into my customers lives while they make their own delicious memories.” When she’s not in aisles, you can find her in the kitchen with her son, tending to her backyard chickens, exploring the southern US for great BBQ, enjoying vineyards and distilleries, hiking, at the beach, or off on a grand food adventure!

Kellie Camille Nutt-Robinson

With a firm belief that food brings people together, Kellie set out to find her way in a broad culinary industry over two decades ago. From restaurants and hotels, catering and event-planning, Kellie found her home in the grocery retail environment 16 years ago. Currently serving as the Selling Manager for specialty grocery retailer Central Market, Kellie focuses her work on growing sales through creating an incredible customer experience, loves finding and helping emerging products and brands enter the marketplace, teaching, and has the pleasure of leading a team of professional foodies and artists. “I am inspired by the history and possibilities that bring people into their kitchens and to their tables. And I am humbled to be let into my customers lives while they make their own delicious memories.” When she’s not in aisles, you can find her in the kitchen with her son, tending to her backyard chickens, exploring the southern US for great BBQ, enjoying vineyards and distilleries, hiking, at the beach, or off on a grand food adventure!

Kendall Antonelli    Kendall is co-owner/founder and President of Antonelli’s Cheese Shop, an award-winning cut-to-order cheese and pairings shop that represents hundreds of artisanal producers and has earned distinctions of Best Cheese Shops in America and Local Heroes among others. The mission-driven shop to #DoGoodEatGood includes robust wholesale and events programs as well. Kendall has been named a Profile in Power by the Austin Business Journal and a Blazing Star by the Women’s Chamber of Texas. She serves on multiple boards, is a published author, and enjoys speaking on topics of entrepreneurship, as seen in her recent TedX talk. Her life is made sweeter alongside partner John, spirited kids Everett and Elia, and adopted dogs Lucky Day and Luna Loca.

Kendall Antonelli

Kendall is co-owner/founder and President of Antonelli’s Cheese Shop, an award-winning cut-to-order cheese and pairings shop that represents hundreds of artisanal producers and has earned distinctions of Best Cheese Shops in America and Local Heroes among others. The mission-driven shop to #DoGoodEatGood includes robust wholesale and events programs as well. Kendall has been named a Profile in Power by the Austin Business Journal and a Blazing Star by the Women’s Chamber of Texas. She serves on multiple boards, is a published author, and enjoys speaking on topics of entrepreneurship, as seen in her recent TedX talk. Her life is made sweeter alongside partner John, spirited kids Everett and Elia, and adopted dogs Lucky Day and Luna Loca.

Kim Hanks    CEO and Co-founder, Whim Hospitality  As an entrepreneur and CEO of Whim Hospitality, Kim Hanks has grown her business from a small rental company in 2012 to one of the largest and fastest growing woman-led businesses in the country. Whim, an event services company offering rentals, tents, catering, florals and venue management, employs more than 250 people and have been named to the Austin Business Journal’s Fast 50 and the Inc. 5000 list for four-consecutive years. Whim Hospitality also manages Camp Lucy, a 289-acre luxury resort that specializes in weddings, with 3 distinct venues, lodging options and an onsite fine dining restaurant. Kim received the Austin Business Journal’s Best CEO Award (Small Business) in 2018 and was honored by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce with its Executive Leadership Award in 2019.

Kim Hanks

CEO and Co-founder, Whim Hospitality

As an entrepreneur and CEO of Whim Hospitality, Kim Hanks has grown her business from a small rental company in 2012 to one of the largest and fastest growing woman-led businesses in the country. Whim, an event services company offering rentals, tents, catering, florals and venue management, employs more than 250 people and have been named to the Austin Business Journal’s Fast 50 and the Inc. 5000 list for four-consecutive years. Whim Hospitality also manages Camp Lucy, a 289-acre luxury resort that specializes in weddings, with 3 distinct venues, lodging options and an onsite fine dining restaurant. Kim received the Austin Business Journal’s Best CEO Award (Small Business) in 2018 and was honored by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce with its Executive Leadership Award in 2019.

Kristi Willis   Kristi is a freelance writer who shares her passion for food on her blog, Kristi’s Farm to Table, and as a regular contributor for Edible Austin, Austin Woman Magazine and CultureMap Austin. Kristi is certified as an Evernote Business Certified Consultant, serves as the Evernote Freelance Ambassador and teaches technology classes tailored for food writers and publishers. She is currently working with the Global Communications and Marketing team at Whole Foods to integrate new technology and processes to better serve their customers.  Kristi passed the Introductory Sommelier Course administered by the Court of Sommeliers in 2014 and is a Certified Specialist of Wine.

Kristi Willis

Kristi is a freelance writer who shares her passion for food on her blog, Kristi’s Farm to Table, and as a regular contributor for Edible Austin, Austin Woman Magazine and CultureMap Austin. Kristi is certified as an Evernote Business Certified Consultant, serves as the Evernote Freelance Ambassador and teaches technology classes tailored for food writers and publishers. She is currently working with the Global Communications and Marketing team at Whole Foods to integrate new technology and processes to better serve their customers.

Kristi passed the Introductory Sommelier Course administered by the Court of Sommeliers in 2014 and is a Certified Specialist of Wine.

Krystal Craig    Krystal Craig is the Co-Owning Manager & Chocolatier/Pastry Chef for Intero restaurant. She is a self taught chocolatier who has owned her own chocolate companies and produced chocolates for multiple establishments ranging between well-known restaurants to hotels such as the Four Seasons and Jeffrey’s. Additionally, she has participated in the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar for over 10 years and continues to do so with her now side chocolate product line Crave Artisan Chocolate. Krystal is a born and raised Austinite who was inspired in her entrepreneurial path with chocolate and pastry production by her naturally creative nature and the experiences she had growing up. She attributes her work to her time baking with her dad, eating various chocolates with her mother, observing the behind the scenes operations of her family friend’s neighborhood restaurant, and spending time in Italy as her greatest influences. Her focus in working with specialty couverture chocolates and organic ingredients to create elevated classic flavors and unique offerings have earned her multiple accolades and write-ups over the years as a rising star for chocolate in Austin. Krystal also believes in health and well-being and upholds a long time practice teaching Pilates at her studio in the Westlake area. She is married to Chef Ian Thurwachter and enjoys time at home in South Austin with their 4 four-legged fur children.

Krystal Craig

Krystal Craig is the Co-Owning Manager & Chocolatier/Pastry Chef for Intero restaurant. She is a self taught chocolatier who has owned her own chocolate companies and produced chocolates for multiple establishments ranging between well-known restaurants to hotels such as the Four Seasons and Jeffrey’s. Additionally, she has participated in the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar for over 10 years and continues to do so with her now side chocolate product line Crave Artisan Chocolate. Krystal is a born and raised Austinite who was inspired in her entrepreneurial path with chocolate and pastry production by her naturally creative nature and the experiences she had growing up. She attributes her work to her time baking with her dad, eating various chocolates with her mother, observing the behind the scenes operations of her family friend’s neighborhood restaurant, and spending time in Italy as her greatest influences. Her focus in working with specialty couverture chocolates and organic ingredients to create elevated classic flavors and unique offerings have earned her multiple accolades and write-ups over the years as a rising star for chocolate in Austin. Krystal also believes in health and well-being and upholds a long time practice teaching Pilates at her studio in the Westlake area. She is married to Chef Ian Thurwachter and enjoys time at home in South Austin with their 4 four-legged fur children.

Laura Sawicki    Whimsical, complex and beautiful, Laura’s work embodies her spirit and passion for creating desserts that tickle our memories and enchant our palettes. Her love of hospitality and dedication to her craft, has gained Laura a devoted following and high praise from both local and national press. She was named “Best New Pastry Chef 2012” by Food & Wine magazine and has been nominated five times by the James Beard Foundation for “Outstanding Pastry Chef.”  A 2005 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Laura spent many years honing her skills and developing her unique culinary voice, staging and working at some of New York City’s best restaurants. In early 2009, Laura moved to Austin, Texas to help open modern interior Mexican restaurant, La Condesa. As Executive Pastry Chef, she oversaw the subsequent expansion of La Condesa Napa and also opened La Condesa’s sister restaurant Sway.  In 2014, Sawicki and longtime culinary partner, Rene Ortiz, branched out to form a new restaurant group. In addition to Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon, which now has two Austin locations, the group opened Launderette in February 2015. Since its opening, Launderette has enjoyed much success, including being named a finalist for the 2016 James Beard Award for “Best New Restaurant” as well as one of Food & Wine magazine’s “2016 Restaurants of the Year.”

Laura Sawicki

Whimsical, complex and beautiful, Laura’s work embodies her spirit and passion for creating desserts that tickle our memories and enchant our palettes. Her love of hospitality and dedication to her craft, has gained Laura a devoted following and high praise from both local and national press. She was named “Best New Pastry Chef 2012” by Food & Wine magazine and has been nominated five times by the James Beard Foundation for “Outstanding Pastry Chef.”

A 2005 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Laura spent many years honing her skills and developing her unique culinary voice, staging and working at some of New York City’s best restaurants. In early 2009, Laura moved to Austin, Texas to help open modern interior Mexican restaurant, La Condesa. As Executive Pastry Chef, she oversaw the subsequent expansion of La Condesa Napa and also opened La Condesa’s sister restaurant Sway.

In 2014, Sawicki and longtime culinary partner, Rene Ortiz, branched out to form a new restaurant group. In addition to Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon, which now has two Austin locations, the group opened Launderette in February 2015. Since its opening, Launderette has enjoyed much success, including being named a finalist for the 2016 James Beard Award for “Best New Restaurant” as well as one of Food & Wine magazine’s “2016 Restaurants of the Year.”

Leanne Valenti    Chef/Owner Leanne Valenti founded Bento Picnic in 2015 to bring delicious, healthy homestyle bento boxes to Austin. Leanne fell in love with bento cuisine while living in Japan in 2011, and she returned home to Texas with a mission to create balanced bento meals with local ingredients. The aspects of owning a restaurant & catering business that she loves the most are developing new recipes and connecting with customers. "It is really rewarding to see customers return again and again, who enjoy our food because it not only tastes great, but also fits in with their lifestyle, and makes them feel good!"

Leanne Valenti

Chef/Owner Leanne Valenti founded Bento Picnic in 2015 to bring delicious, healthy homestyle bento boxes to Austin. Leanne fell in love with bento cuisine while living in Japan in 2011, and she returned home to Texas with a mission to create balanced bento meals with local ingredients. The aspects of owning a restaurant & catering business that she loves the most are developing new recipes and connecting with customers. "It is really rewarding to see customers return again and again, who enjoy our food because it not only tastes great, but also fits in with their lifestyle, and makes them feel good!"

Lindsey Peebles    Lindsey Peebles is the owner of Texas Keeper Cider, mother of two girls and a lover of all foods, fermentation, gardening, and farming.Before starting Texas Keeper with her partner Nick and her old friend, Brandon, Lindsey was at various times a lawyer, vineyard worker, apple picker, bakery assistant, and administrative assistant.

Lindsey Peebles

Lindsey Peebles is the owner of Texas Keeper Cider, mother of two girls and a lover of all foods, fermentation, gardening, and farming.Before starting Texas Keeper with her partner Nick and her old friend, Brandon, Lindsey was at various times a lawyer, vineyard worker, apple picker, bakery assistant, and administrative assistant.

Lisa Edwards   I have been living in Austin, TX. For 19 years. I grew up in Houston, TX. I am the oldest of 8 kids. I graduated from Southwest Texas State, now Texas State, with a degree in Nutrition. My first job out of college, I was an assistant manager in food service for a retirement facility. I worked 80 hours a week for 18 months and then moved on. I also managed a cafeteria for Exxon for 10 years. I have been selling restaurant equipment and supplies for 19 years in Austin. I have been in sales at Mission Restaurant Supply for 11 years. This , by far, is the best job , I have ever had. I have 2 daughters, Jenny and Holly and a son-in law, Will. My husband, David, works for Cirrus Logic downtown. He is a Network Administrator. I am on the board of the Greater Austin Restaurant Association. I love this industry.

Lisa Edwards

I have been living in Austin, TX. For 19 years. I grew up in Houston, TX. I am the oldest of 8 kids. I graduated from Southwest Texas State, now Texas State, with a degree in Nutrition. My first job out of college, I was an assistant manager in food service for a retirement facility. I worked 80 hours a week for 18 months and then moved on. I also managed a cafeteria for Exxon for 10 years. I have been selling restaurant equipment and supplies for 19 years in Austin. I have been in sales at Mission Restaurant Supply for 11 years. This , by far, is the best job , I have ever had. I have 2 daughters, Jenny and Holly and a son-in law, Will. My husband, David, works for Cirrus Logic downtown. He is a Network Administrator. I am on the board of the Greater Austin Restaurant Association. I love this industry.

Liz Berry   For 11 years (from 2004-2015) Liz Berry has been responsible for the art direction and brand management for Stubb’s Bar-B-Q in Austin, Tx. Her other roles there included graphic design, social media content and photography for events, lifestyle, products and food.  In 2015, she launched Liz Berry Creative, a small design company offering branding and photography for food and beverage CPG products and restaurants. Liz also co-owns a Texas hill country boutique lodging property and currently serves on the board for The Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation.  Liz, her husband, two dogs and chickens live in the Texas hill country near Dripping Springs and are looking forward to opening up a small F&B establishment together in the near future off of Fitzhugh Rd. In her spare time, she is currently learning more about bee keeping and is trying to make her thumb greener.

Liz Berry

For 11 years (from 2004-2015) Liz Berry has been responsible for the art direction and brand management for Stubb’s Bar-B-Q in Austin, Tx. Her other roles there included graphic design, social media content and photography for events, lifestyle, products and food.

In 2015, she launched Liz Berry Creative, a small design company offering branding and photography for food and beverage CPG products and restaurants. Liz also co-owns a Texas hill country boutique lodging property and currently serves on the board for The Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation.

Liz, her husband, two dogs and chickens live in the Texas hill country near Dripping Springs and are looking forward to opening up a small F&B establishment together in the near future off of Fitzhugh Rd. In her spare time, she is currently learning more about bee keeping and is trying to make her thumb greener.

Lorena Amparo Legarreta    Lorena is the CEO and Executive Producer of Dish’n Dames, a digital media platform dedicated to raising awareness of the significant and impactful roles of women in the culinary world. Her career spans over twenty years in the retail food industry and she is a founding partner of Brand & Mortar restaurant consulting group. Lorena has also served as a member of the culinary management team for the Austin and Nashville Food & Wine Festivals and as a senior culinary instructor at The Art Institute of Austin. She has sat on the board of directors for The Junior League of Austin and currently serves on the board of trustees for the Texas Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

Lorena Amparo Legarreta

Lorena is the CEO and Executive Producer of Dish’n Dames, a digital media platform dedicated to raising awareness of the significant and impactful roles of women in the culinary world. Her career spans over twenty years in the retail food industry and she is a founding partner of Brand & Mortar restaurant consulting group. Lorena has also served as a member of the culinary management team for the Austin and Nashville Food & Wine Festivals and as a senior culinary instructor at The Art Institute of Austin. She has sat on the board of directors for The Junior League of Austin and currently serves on the board of trustees for the Texas Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

Lori Hinze    Lori Hinze, Educator; 2007 recipient of Wal-Mart’s Teacher of the Year; chef graduate of The International Culinary Center, NYC; and founder of CookLearnGrow, brings 15+ years of professional teaching using cooking as a platform for teaching food literacy, academic reinforcement, boosting self confidence, life skills and social skills in children.

Lori Hinze

Lori Hinze, Educator; 2007 recipient of Wal-Mart’s Teacher of the Year; chef graduate of The International Culinary Center, NYC; and founder of CookLearnGrow, brings 15+ years of professional teaching using cooking as a platform for teaching food literacy, academic reinforcement, boosting self confidence, life skills and social skills in children.

Maggie C. Perkins    When food writer and market chef Maggie isn't sharing the best local farmers offer, you might find her scouting barbecue in Mississippi, comparing gumbo in the Big Easy, or begging bagel secrets on the Lower East Side. Her true north is sharing what she learns with students of all ages.

Maggie C. Perkins

When food writer and market chef Maggie isn't sharing the best local farmers offer, you might find her scouting barbecue in Mississippi, comparing gumbo in the Big Easy, or begging bagel secrets on the Lower East Side. Her true north is sharing what she learns with students of all ages.

Mandi Nelson   Mandi’s journey into the world of wine and cuisine began when she was 16, working for various restaurants and country clubs in her native Dallas.  After graduating from the University of North Texas, Mandi moved to Austin and held various Wine Manager positions from Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse to General Manager of TRIO at the Four Seasons. After leaving Four Seasons she sought out a full-time role to be immersed in wine and joined the fine wine team at Republic National Distribution. After 8 years at Republic National she joined the New Waterloo group as the Beverage Director. At New Waterloo she curated the beverage programs, lead staff education at Le Politique, Il Brutto, La Matta, Sway, Otoko, Central Standard, La Condesa, Hotel Ella and South Congress Hotel. In 2018 she took the Southern Regional Sales Manager position with European Cellars to be closer connected to wineries. Some of her accomplishments over the years have included Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, Advanced with Wine & Spirit Education Trust and Champagne and Port location specialist from the Center from Wine Origins.  In her free time, Mandi enjoys running (through vineyards, if possible) and sipping champagne. Her spirit food is uni, or sea urchin.

Mandi Nelson

Mandi’s journey into the world of wine and cuisine began when she was 16, working for various restaurants and country clubs in her native Dallas.

After graduating from the University of North Texas, Mandi moved to Austin and held various Wine Manager positions from Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse to General Manager of TRIO at the Four Seasons. After leaving Four Seasons she sought out a full-time role to be immersed in wine and joined the fine wine team at Republic National Distribution. After 8 years at Republic National she joined the New Waterloo group as the Beverage Director. At New Waterloo she curated the beverage programs, lead staff education at Le Politique, Il Brutto, La Matta, Sway, Otoko, Central Standard, La Condesa, Hotel Ella and South Congress Hotel. In 2018 she took the Southern Regional Sales Manager position with European Cellars to be closer connected to wineries. Some of her accomplishments over the years have included Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, Advanced with Wine & Spirit Education Trust and Champagne and Port location specialist from the Center from Wine Origins.

In her free time, Mandi enjoys running (through vineyards, if possible) and sipping champagne. Her spirit food is uni, or sea urchin.

Maria Candil    Originally from Madrid, Spain, Fer learned to cook Spanish food at an early age. She developed her cooking talents attending culinary programs and learning with professional Chefs. She started teaching cooking classes 12 years ago. Even though she has a law degree, her passion has always been connecting with people.

Maria Candil

Originally from Madrid, Spain, Fer learned to cook Spanish food at an early age. She developed her cooking talents attending culinary programs and learning with professional Chefs. She started teaching cooking classes 12 years ago. Even though she has a law degree, her passion has always been connecting with people.

Mariam Parker    As Executive Director of the Austin Food & Wine Alliance (AFWA), Mariam Parker is deeply invested in the growth and success of Central Texas’ food businesses. As the non-profit’s first executive director, she has worked with and cultivated relationships with the state’s top chefs, wine- and spirit experts, farmers, artisan producers and other culinary professionals. By orchestrating some of Austin’s most popular and successful food and wine events, Mariam has helped to lead the AFWA to realize its mission in providing more than $100,000 in grants given back to Austin’s culinary community to support innovation and community giveback since 2011. Her background includes work as a social media strategist, product marketing, business development and event planner. When she isn’t at work, you can find her at one of the restaurants around Austin or planning her next culinary experience or journey.

Mariam Parker

As Executive Director of the Austin Food & Wine Alliance (AFWA), Mariam Parker is deeply invested in the growth and success of Central Texas’ food businesses. As the non-profit’s first executive director, she has worked with and cultivated relationships with the state’s top chefs, wine- and spirit experts, farmers, artisan producers and other culinary professionals. By orchestrating some of Austin’s most popular and successful food and wine events, Mariam has helped to lead the AFWA to realize its mission in providing more than $100,000 in grants given back to Austin’s culinary community to support innovation and community giveback since 2011. Her background includes work as a social media strategist, product marketing, business development and event planner. When she isn’t at work, you can find her at one of the restaurants around Austin or planning her next culinary experience or journey.

Maribel Rivero    Yuyo Executive Chef Maribel Rivero is passionate not only about food but also about fostering community through food. A third-generation food industry professional, the chef’s hunger for culinary creativity was fostered at a young age by her grandparents. Trained at the Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio, Rivero has immersed herself in Latin American cuisine, studying in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, but it was in Lima where she found her true calling, spending two years exploring the diverse culinary landscape of Peru. After returning to the United States, she opened Yuyo with her brother, restaurateur Carlos Rivero, and a new Austin hot spot was born. The 2019 James Beard nominated chef continues to explore and innovate using the essence of Peruvian flavors while creating community.

Maribel Rivero

Yuyo Executive Chef Maribel Rivero is passionate not only about food but also about fostering community through food. A third-generation food industry professional, the chef’s hunger for culinary creativity was fostered at a young age by her grandparents. Trained at the Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio, Rivero has immersed herself in Latin American cuisine, studying in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, but it was in Lima where she found her true calling, spending two years exploring the diverse culinary landscape of Peru. After returning to the United States, she opened Yuyo with her brother, restaurateur Carlos Rivero, and a new Austin hot spot was born. The 2019 James Beard nominated chef continues to explore and innovate using the essence of Peruvian flavors while creating community.

Marie Saba    Marie is a lawyer by trade, but left the practice of law to pursue her love for cooking. She is the author of an award-winning cookbook (Cooking With Marie: On Any Occasion!) and a nationally-televised award-winning cooking show (Cooking With Marie).

Marie Saba

Marie is a lawyer by trade, but left the practice of law to pursue her love for cooking. She is the author of an award-winning cookbook (Cooking With Marie: On Any Occasion!) and a nationally-televised award-winning cooking show (Cooking With Marie).

Martha Pincoffs   Martha Pincoffs loves building vehicles for creative and disruptive progress. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, she’s worked across industries to harness the power of authenticity for change.  In 2011, Martha founded local grain burger company, Hot Dang. She is a partner and VP of Sales and Marketing for Barrel Creek Provisions, formerly Hat Creek Provisions.  Beyond the food industry, Martha’s commitment to community blends the lines between work, play, and activism. Martha co-founded Waking Giants to build tools for inspiration, education and engagement on the issues of today. She’s the founder of the 30 at Home cooking challenge. She serves on the board for Jolt Initiative (Vice President), St Andrew’s Episcopal School, the Texas Center for Local Food (President).  When she’s not working, Martha loves spending time with her wife Jo and their kids River and Townes. She and Jo especially love torturing their children by taking away their screens and going for family nature walks with their dog Flossie. Martha is a Deep Eddy devotee who takes full advantage of Austin’s swimming opportunities, as well as an avid cook, and occasional triathlete.

Martha Pincoffs

Martha Pincoffs loves building vehicles for creative and disruptive progress. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, she’s worked across industries to harness the power of authenticity for change.

In 2011, Martha founded local grain burger company, Hot Dang. She is a partner and VP of Sales and Marketing for Barrel Creek Provisions, formerly Hat Creek Provisions.

Beyond the food industry, Martha’s commitment to community blends the lines between work, play, and activism. Martha co-founded Waking Giants to build tools for inspiration, education and engagement on the issues of today. She’s the founder of the 30 at Home cooking challenge. She serves on the board for Jolt Initiative (Vice President), St Andrew’s Episcopal School, the Texas Center for Local Food (President).

When she’s not working, Martha loves spending time with her wife Jo and their kids River and Townes. She and Jo especially love torturing their children by taking away their screens and going for family nature walks with their dog Flossie. Martha is a Deep Eddy devotee who takes full advantage of Austin’s swimming opportunities, as well as an avid cook, and occasional triathlete.

Mary Mickel    Mary Mickel, partner at Resplendent Hospitality in Austin, Texas, has over ten years of PR experience with a strong focus on the hospitality industry. Before moving to Austin in 2009, she spent time in California, working in hotels in Napa Valley and one of San Francisco’s oldest hospitality PR firms, Andrew Freeman & Company. Upon heading south, Mickel and her husband founded Austin’s first hard cider house, Argus Cidery. She subsequently co-founded Resplendent Hospitality, with partner, Ali Slutsky, with the mission to assist in building hospitality brands across all platforms.

Mary Mickel

Mary Mickel, partner at Resplendent Hospitality in Austin, Texas, has over ten years of PR experience with a strong focus on the hospitality industry. Before moving to Austin in 2009, she spent time in California, working in hotels in Napa Valley and one of San Francisco’s oldest hospitality PR firms, Andrew Freeman & Company. Upon heading south, Mickel and her husband founded Austin’s first hard cider house, Argus Cidery. She subsequently co-founded Resplendent Hospitality, with partner, Ali Slutsky, with the mission to assist in building hospitality brands across all platforms.

Meg Schwartz    Meg Schwartz, owner of Spoon & Co a Boutique Catering Company in Austin, TX has dedicated her life to sharing delicious food and excellent service.  Her career in food began in 2000, when she landed her first job cooking for Deli’s & restaurants all over Cape Town, South Africa.  Meg has a degree in Studio Painting and Philosophy of Art, but soon realized that not everyone bought art, but everyone did buy food and food became her medium of choice.  She started her first catering company in 2002 and 2005 she moved to Austin with husband and dogs. After a brief stint working with a local caterer she started Spoon & Company in 2007.  Meg prides herself on creating mindful entertaining experiences, which allow people to create events that go on as shared memory...  She is inspired by nature and is passionate about biomimetic innovation. Developing recipes and creating innovative, colorful food that is approachable, delicious and interesting is in her second nature. Meg has also served as personal chef to billionaires and has a very impressive and long-standing client list with some of the most influential philanthropists and business leaders around Austin.  Kindness informs everything that she does.

Meg Schwartz

Meg Schwartz, owner of Spoon & Co a Boutique Catering Company in Austin, TX has dedicated her life to sharing delicious food and excellent service.

Her career in food began in 2000, when she landed her first job cooking for Deli’s & restaurants all over Cape Town, South Africa.

Meg has a degree in Studio Painting and Philosophy of Art, but soon realized that not everyone bought art, but everyone did buy food and food became her medium of choice.

She started her first catering company in 2002 and 2005 she moved to Austin with husband and dogs. After a brief stint working with a local caterer she started Spoon & Company in 2007.

Meg prides herself on creating mindful entertaining experiences, which allow people to create events that go on as shared memory...

She is inspired by nature and is passionate about biomimetic innovation. Developing recipes and creating innovative, colorful food that is approachable, delicious and interesting is in her second nature. Meg has also served as personal chef to billionaires and has a very impressive and long-standing client list with some of the most influential philanthropists and business leaders around Austin.

Kindness informs everything that she does.

Melanie McAfee   Melanie McAfee has been business owner of Barr Mansion since 1981. Barr became the first certified organic special event venue in the nation in 2007. Creating a beautiful, sustainable, historical and modern venue has been a driving passion. Her next endeavor is to create a farm to table community.

Melanie McAfee

Melanie McAfee has been business owner of Barr Mansion since 1981. Barr became the first certified organic special event venue in the nation in 2007. Creating a beautiful, sustainable, historical and modern venue has been a driving passion. Her next endeavor is to create a farm to table community.

Michele Haram   Michele Haram is a lifetime cheese enthusiast and American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional. She is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute and has been working with cheese for over 10 years as a retailer, educator, and representative. She is a sales director at Vermont Creamery, a B-Corp Certified producer of fine cow’s milk and goat’s milk cheeses. She pinches herself every day because her job is to travel the country extolling the virtues of artisan cheese, the value of knowing your producer, and of course, the cuteness of baby goats.

Michele Haram

Michele Haram is a lifetime cheese enthusiast and American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional. She is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute and has been working with cheese for over 10 years as a retailer, educator, and representative. She is a sales director at Vermont Creamery, a B-Corp Certified producer of fine cow’s milk and goat’s milk cheeses. She pinches herself every day because her job is to travel the country extolling the virtues of artisan cheese, the value of knowing your producer, and of course, the cuteness of baby goats.

Michelle Lee   I was born in Seoul, South Korea. My family and I came to the US when I was 2. After a few years in Maryland and Arizona, we settled in the Dallas area. Minus a year in Brooklyn when I started college, I’ve been in Texas for more than 30 years. I finally made my way to Austin in 2000.  My culinary pursuits landed me in the world of specialty foods at Central Market where I have been for over 16 years. Currently, I am the Foodie Lead and oversee the Food Journey Team. Outside of CM, I am a private chef, caterer and pastry chef with a specialization in custom cakes and cookies. I am now also offering wholesale baking services to several local restaurants.

Michelle Lee

I was born in Seoul, South Korea. My family and I came to the US when I was 2. After a few years in Maryland and Arizona, we settled in the Dallas area. Minus a year in Brooklyn when I started college, I’ve been in Texas for more than 30 years. I finally made my way to Austin in 2000.

My culinary pursuits landed me in the world of specialty foods at Central Market where I have been for over 16 years. Currently, I am the Foodie Lead and oversee the Food Journey Team. Outside of CM, I am a private chef, caterer and pastry chef with a specialization in custom cakes and cookies. I am now also offering wholesale baking services to several local restaurants.

MM Pack   Graduate of California Culinary Academy, contributes regularly to various local and national publications, published in culinary reference books, including Scribner's Encyclopedia of Food and Culture and Oxford Encyclopedia of Food & Drink in America. Focuses on topics of food history in Texas. Presents regularly to museums, food groups, and other organizations on food history topics. Works as a private chef, works part-time in San Francisco.

MM Pack

Graduate of California Culinary Academy, contributes regularly to various local and national publications, published in culinary reference books, including Scribner's Encyclopedia of Food and Culture and Oxford Encyclopedia of Food & Drink in America. Focuses on topics of food history in Texas. Presents regularly to museums, food groups, and other organizations on food history topics. Works as a private chef, works part-time in San Francisco.

Molly Lewis Siegler   Experienced Food Editor and Development Chef with a demonstrated history of working in the supermarket industry. Skilled in Catering, Food & Beverage, Cooking, Editing, and Public Speaking. Strong media and communication professional with degrees in Political Science from Grinnell College and Culinary Arts from The Culinary Institute of America.

Molly Lewis Siegler

Experienced Food Editor and Development Chef with a demonstrated history of working in the supermarket industry. Skilled in Catering, Food & Beverage, Cooking, Editing, and Public Speaking. Strong media and communication professional with degrees in Political Science from Grinnell College and Culinary Arts from The Culinary Institute of America.

Monique Santua    Monique Santua is a Personal Chef focused on creating seasonal, sustainable, and locally sourced meals for Austin families and individuals with her company, Gastromonique. Born in the Philippines and having grown up in Houston, Monique is inspired by international flavors and loves sharing the story of her culture through food. When she isn't crafting new flavors in the kitchen, she spends time working in the garden, traveling to new places, and enjoying Austin with friends family and her dog, Zephyr

Monique Santua

Monique Santua is a Personal Chef focused on creating seasonal, sustainable, and locally sourced meals for Austin families and individuals with her company, Gastromonique. Born in the Philippines and having grown up in Houston, Monique is inspired by international flavors and loves sharing the story of her culture through food. When she isn't crafting new flavors in the kitchen, she spends time working in the garden, traveling to new places, and enjoying Austin with friends family and her dog, Zephyr

Morgan Angelone   Cooked at NXNW in 2001. Cooked in the production kitchen at Central Market as well at that time. ASTI in Hyde Park in 2003, Prep to Chef de Cuisine until my resignation in early 2008 to become CDC of Olivia. I worked sporadically with Dai Due cooking farm dinners and other events until Olivia opened in August of '08. Full-time with Dai Due since 2010 working the shop and cooking markets and dinners, eventually starting up hunting and fishing schools.

Morgan Angelone

Cooked at NXNW in 2001. Cooked in the production kitchen at Central Market as well at that time. ASTI in Hyde Park in 2003, Prep to Chef de Cuisine until my resignation in early 2008 to become CDC of Olivia. I worked sporadically with Dai Due cooking farm dinners and other events until Olivia opened in August of '08. Full-time with Dai Due since 2010 working the shop and cooking markets and dinners, eventually starting up hunting and fishing schools.

Nancy Marr   Nancy earned her BA and MA from UT Austin and worked as a CPA before owning and operating a catering company and working as a Cooking School Instructor for Central Market Austin. She is a Level 1 Certified Sommelier and Specialist of Texas Wine. Outside of the culinary world she is Aunt Nancy, Step mom to 4 teenage girls and loving Cat Mom to George and Chloe.

Nancy Marr

Nancy earned her BA and MA from UT Austin and worked as a CPA before owning and operating a catering company and working as a Cooking School Instructor for Central Market Austin. She is a Level 1 Certified Sommelier and Specialist of Texas Wine. Outside of the culinary world she is Aunt Nancy, Step mom to 4 teenage girls and loving Cat Mom to George and Chloe.

Natalie Gazaui   Natalie Gazaui started her culinary career in 2006 after previous success as a photographer in South America. Raised in Uruguay cooking was important in a home with Basque and Middle Eastern influences. She studied culinary arts at Texas Culinary Academy in Austin and trained in Monforte d’Alba, Italy. Natalie has developed a style that reflects her creative abilities and marries childhood favorites with thought provoking desserts. She would love to someday incorporate her culinary and photography passions.

Natalie Gazaui

Natalie Gazaui started her culinary career in 2006 after previous success as a photographer in South America. Raised in Uruguay cooking was important in a home with Basque and Middle Eastern influences. She studied culinary arts at Texas Culinary Academy in Austin and trained in Monforte d’Alba, Italy. Natalie has developed a style that reflects her creative abilities and marries childhood favorites with thought provoking desserts. She would love to someday incorporate her culinary and photography passions.

Natanya Anderson   Natanya is the Director of Social Media and Digital Marketing at Whole Foods Market. She has been working with new media for over a decade, with a focus on both the strategy and execution for helping organizations change the way they communicate with customers. Natanya’s finger is always on the pulse, and she is ready to respond to the constantly changing web and marketing landscapes. And when Natanya is not in the office, she loves to blog for the Austin Food Lovers’ Companion.

Natanya Anderson

Natanya is the Director of Social Media and Digital Marketing at Whole Foods Market. She has been working with new media for over a decade, with a focus on both the strategy and execution for helping organizations change the way they communicate with customers. Natanya’s finger is always on the pulse, and she is ready to respond to the constantly changing web and marketing landscapes. And when Natanya is not in the office, she loves to blog for the Austin Food Lovers’ Companion.

Olivia O'Neal    Olivia Guerra O'Neal is the owner of Sugar Mama's Bakeshop in Austin, and creates a from-scratch menu of Americana style desserts from cupcakes to wedding cakes.  With a focus on local, fair trade ingredients, a commitment to being green, and a vested interest in our employees' growth, Sugar Mama's Bakeshop is known for its consistency in producing a rich and decadent desserts. Since opening in 2008, Sugar Mama's has garnered several awards and a tremendous amount of press, and hopes to continue serving the community of Austin for many years to come.

Olivia O'Neal

Olivia Guerra O'Neal is the owner of Sugar Mama's Bakeshop in Austin, and creates a from-scratch menu of Americana style desserts from cupcakes to wedding cakes.

With a focus on local, fair trade ingredients, a commitment to being green, and a vested interest in our employees' growth, Sugar Mama's Bakeshop is known for its consistency in producing a rich and decadent desserts. Since opening in 2008, Sugar Mama's has garnered several awards and a tremendous amount of press, and hopes to continue serving the community of Austin for many years to come.

Paula Disbrowe    Paula writes about the endless adventure of food and travel. Her stories have taken her to vanilla plantations in French Polynesia, single malt distilleries in Scotland, olive groves in Spain, and salmon boats in Alaska. She is a frequent contributor to Southern Living, Food & Wine, The Local Palate, and Texas Highways, among other national publications.  Disbrowe has written seven cookbooks, including her forthcoming book, “Thank You For Smoking” (Ten Speed Press, March 2019) and “Any Night Grilling” for Food52 (Ten Speed Press, March 2018). Her first book, “Cowgirl Cuisine,” chronicles the adventure of leaving New York City to cook on a ranch in The Texas Hill Country. She has co-written four other cookbooks, “Crescent City Cooking” with Susan Spicer, chef at Bayona restaurant in New Orleans and “Real Cajun” with Donald Link, the acclaimed chef of Herbsaint and Cochon restaurants in New Orleans, which won the prestigious James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook. “Down South,” her second collaboration with Link, was published 2014 and won the International Association of Culinary Professionals Award for Best American Cookbook.

Paula Disbrowe

Paula writes about the endless adventure of food and travel. Her stories have taken her to vanilla plantations in French Polynesia, single malt distilleries in Scotland, olive groves in Spain, and salmon boats in Alaska. She is a frequent contributor to Southern Living, Food & Wine, The Local Palate, and Texas Highways, among other national publications.

Disbrowe has written seven cookbooks, including her forthcoming book, “Thank You For Smoking” (Ten Speed Press, March 2019) and “Any Night Grilling” for Food52 (Ten Speed Press, March 2018). Her first book, “Cowgirl Cuisine,” chronicles the adventure of leaving New York City to cook on a ranch in The Texas Hill Country. She has co-written four other cookbooks, “Crescent City Cooking” with Susan Spicer, chef at Bayona restaurant in New Orleans and “Real Cajun” with Donald Link, the acclaimed chef of Herbsaint and Cochon restaurants in New Orleans, which won the prestigious James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook. “Down South,” her second collaboration with Link, was published 2014 and won the International Association of Culinary Professionals Award for Best American Cookbook.

Patricia Tamminga   Co-founder of Beeline, a local company specializing in healthy, mindfully sourced meals for kids. Previously owner/operator of Patricia’s Table, a children’s teaching kitchen. Both born of my passion for cooking and my love of children.

Patricia Tamminga

Co-founder of Beeline, a local company specializing in healthy, mindfully sourced meals for kids. Previously owner/operator of Patricia’s Table, a children’s teaching kitchen. Both born of my passion for cooking and my love of children.

Paula Foore    Co-owner and partner of Springdale Handmade, LLC, creating natural bath and beauty products from locally grown, seasonal produce.

Paula Foore

Co-owner and partner of Springdale Handmade, LLC, creating natural bath and beauty products from locally grown, seasonal produce.

Rae Marie Wilson    Rae Wilson, Founder and Winemaker for Wine For the People, has worked in food and wine for over 20 years. From beer brewing and a variety of restaurant roles, she turned her sights to wine in 2007, acquiring an Advanced Certification from the WSET, and later with the Court of Master Sommeliers as a Certified Sommelier.  She learned winemaking in Napa Valley and Portugal, and upon returning to Austin in 2010, established Wine For the People. In 2014 she released the first vintage of Dandy Rosé, established a vineyard in the Texas Hill Country, then co-founded The Grower Project production in 2016.

Rae Marie Wilson

Rae Wilson, Founder and Winemaker for Wine For the People, has worked in food and wine for over 20 years. From beer brewing and a variety of restaurant roles, she turned her sights to wine in 2007, acquiring an Advanced Certification from the WSET, and later with the Court of Master Sommeliers as a Certified Sommelier.

She learned winemaking in Napa Valley and Portugal, and upon returning to Austin in 2010, established Wine For the People. In 2014 she released the first vintage of Dandy Rosé, established a vineyard in the Texas Hill Country, then co-founded The Grower Project production in 2016.

Robin Simoneaux-Williamson    Robin Simoneaux-Williamson is the co founder and chocolate maker of SRSLY Chocolate. Graduating from Florida State University in studio art she was able to combine a love of creative processes and her background as a pastry chef and baker into the culinary field of chocolate making. She hopes to continue to use the medium of chocolate to showcase collaborations and partnerships with other small food producers around central Texas and beyond

Robin Simoneaux-Williamson

Robin Simoneaux-Williamson is the co founder and chocolate maker of SRSLY Chocolate. Graduating from Florida State University in studio art she was able to combine a love of creative processes and her background as a pastry chef and baker into the culinary field of chocolate making. She hopes to continue to use the medium of chocolate to showcase collaborations and partnerships with other small food producers around central Texas and beyond

Sam Davidson   Sam began her career in public relations and event direction in 1989. After holding marketing positions at PBS affiliate KERA in Dallas, Rovillo Design Associates and May & Co., and Event Coordinator for the March of Dimes in Dallas and Austin, she found her way to New York in 1998 to work with one of design PR’s most notable publicists, Susan Becher, of the eponymous Susan Becher Public Relations. Sam worked with high profile clients Waterworks, Brunshwig & Fils, Jim Thompson Thai Silks and Source Perrier among others. She then moved on to award winning mid-size agency Peppercom and the highly regarded boutique lifestyle firm, Clifford Public Relations, working primarily in the hospitality, design and lifestyle space. In 2001, Sam returned to Austin and accepted a position as Event Director for the non-profit started by director Richard Linklater, Austin Film Society. Sam started working for Central Austin Management Group in 2004, working on marketing campaigns and media outreach for in-house clients Uchi, The Belmont, and Lavaca Street Bar, among others. In 2008, Sam started her agency, Cultivate PR, continuing her long standing relationship with Uchi, now known as Hai Hospitality and FBR Management. Based in her favorite city, Austin, the agency’s capabilities span public relations, marketing, events, and social media with a strong core of hospitality, design, real estate, non-profit, fitness and retail clients.

Sam Davidson

Sam began her career in public relations and event direction in 1989. After holding marketing positions at PBS affiliate KERA in Dallas, Rovillo Design Associates and May & Co., and Event Coordinator for the March of Dimes in Dallas and Austin, she found her way to New York in 1998 to work with one of design PR’s most notable publicists, Susan Becher, of the eponymous Susan Becher Public Relations. Sam worked with high profile clients Waterworks, Brunshwig & Fils, Jim Thompson Thai Silks and Source Perrier among others. She then moved on to award winning mid-size agency Peppercom and the highly regarded boutique lifestyle firm, Clifford Public Relations, working primarily in the hospitality, design and lifestyle space. In 2001, Sam returned to Austin and accepted a position as Event Director for the non-profit started by director Richard Linklater, Austin Film Society. Sam started working for Central Austin Management Group in 2004, working on marketing campaigns and media outreach for in-house clients Uchi, The Belmont, and Lavaca Street Bar, among others. In 2008, Sam started her agency, Cultivate PR, continuing her long standing relationship with Uchi, now known as Hai Hospitality and FBR Management. Based in her favorite city, Austin, the agency’s capabilities span public relations, marketing, events, and social media with a strong core of hospitality, design, real estate, non-profit, fitness and retail clients.

Sarah Heard    Sarah has a strong passion for food, starting with the dirt where the food was cultivated. She began cooking in Austin 13 years ago & has held positions at The Mansion at Judges Hill, Parkside Projects, & La Condesa. She believes that integrity & respect for all parts of the process that bring food to your plate are essential to a good meal & to the guest experience. In 2017 Sarah & partner, Nathan Lemley, purchased Foreign & Domestic, Austin from founder Ned Elliott. The two are now focused on bold, cohesive flavors, adventurous wine, & pure hospitality.

Sarah Heard

Sarah has a strong passion for food, starting with the dirt where the food was cultivated. She began cooking in Austin 13 years ago & has held positions at The Mansion at Judges Hill, Parkside Projects, & La Condesa. She believes that integrity & respect for all parts of the process that bring food to your plate are essential to a good meal & to the guest experience. In 2017 Sarah & partner, Nathan Lemley, purchased Foreign & Domestic, Austin from founder Ned Elliott. The two are now focused on bold, cohesive flavors, adventurous wine, & pure hospitality.

Sharon Watkins    Sharon received her college training in theater arts and soon after was invited to establish and direct the Creative Theatre Unlimited at Princeton University. Upon returning to Texas, she designed and ran programs for the Texas Commission on the Arts. After a subsequent career in advertising, Watkins decided to buy the bankrupt Chez Fred restaurant and transform it into her next stage — a “third act.” Austin’s response has been nothing short of a standing ovation.  Running a busy restaurant for 28 years and counting has not slowed Sharon down. Besides her busy ‘job’ at Chez Zee, she actively supports several arts and nonprofits in Austin in a leadership capacity. She was the founding president of the Austin Public Library Foundation. She was in the Leadership Austin class of 1993. She serves on the board of The Long Center and Austin Area Research Association. She was on the Austin Arts Commission from 1999 to 2001 and served on the Seton Cove KLRU Boards among several others. She is a lifetime member of the Fine Arts Council at UT.

Sharon Watkins

Sharon received her college training in theater arts and soon after was invited to establish and direct the Creative Theatre Unlimited at Princeton University. Upon returning to Texas, she designed and ran programs for the Texas Commission on the Arts. After a subsequent career in advertising, Watkins decided to buy the bankrupt Chez Fred restaurant and transform it into her next stage — a “third act.” Austin’s response has been nothing short of a standing ovation.

Running a busy restaurant for 28 years and counting has not slowed Sharon down. Besides her busy ‘job’ at Chez Zee, she actively supports several arts and nonprofits in Austin in a leadership capacity. She was the founding president of the Austin Public Library Foundation. She was in the Leadership Austin class of 1993. She serves on the board of The Long Center and Austin Area Research Association. She was on the Austin Arts Commission from 1999 to 2001 and served on the Seton Cove KLRU Boards among several others. She is a lifetime member of the Fine Arts Council at UT.

Sondra Crawford-Vallejo   Driven by a passion to educate clients on cheese, charcuterie, and niche specialty foods; Sondra specializes in Brand Management at McKenna Marketing for the Specialty Food Industry, in the South and Southwest markets. Cooking and gardening at home with her family & friends allow her to share and pass along her family culinary traditions, rooted in Texas tradition.

Sondra Crawford-Vallejo

Driven by a passion to educate clients on cheese, charcuterie, and niche specialty foods; Sondra specializes in Brand Management at McKenna Marketing for the Specialty Food Industry, in the South and Southwest markets. Cooking and gardening at home with her family & friends allow her to share and pass along her family culinary traditions, rooted in Texas tradition.

Sonya Cote    Sonya Coté, owner and executive chef of Eden East, perceives cooking as much more than just putting food on a plate. She views her professional career as creating “edible pieces of art.” Coté recognizes the importance of using locally-grown ingredients for both nutritional and environmental purposes. Coté has received numerous accolades, including recognition as one of Marie Claire’s “Women on Top.” In 2013, she competed on Food Network’s “Chopped” before opening the farm-to-table restaurant, Eden East, one of Austin Monthly’s “Best New Restaurants.” Soon after, Coté was named one of Tribeza’s “People of the Year.”

Sonya Cote

Sonya Coté, owner and executive chef of Eden East, perceives cooking as much more than just putting food on a plate. She views her professional career as creating “edible pieces of art.” Coté recognizes the importance of using locally-grown ingredients for both nutritional and environmental purposes. Coté has received numerous accolades, including recognition as one of Marie Claire’s “Women on Top.” In 2013, she competed on Food Network’s “Chopped” before opening the farm-to-table restaurant, Eden East, one of Austin Monthly’s “Best New Restaurants.” Soon after, Coté was named one of Tribeza’s “People of the Year.”

Stacy Franklin    Texas-born and entrepreneur at heart, Stacy Franklin began her career by working in her family's snow cone stand at the age of thirteen. Fast forward and after several years working in restaurants, she is now co-owner and chief operating officer of iconic Franklin Barbecue. She has deftly crafted the operations of several successful businesses from conception to fulfillment including James Beard Award-winning Franklin Barbecue, Franklin Barbecue Sauce and Franklin Barbecue Pits. In her own words, she humbly says, “I’m a problem solver and make stuff happen!” Her skills at conceptualizing events and branding trends have opened doors for industry leaders to choose Austin for large-scale events like the Hot Luck Festival. Her business acumen and drive to help others succeed have made her one of Austin’s most respected restaurateurs.

Stacy Franklin

Texas-born and entrepreneur at heart, Stacy Franklin began her career by working in her family's snow cone stand at the age of thirteen. Fast forward and after several years working in restaurants, she is now co-owner and chief operating officer of iconic Franklin Barbecue. She has deftly crafted the operations of several successful businesses from conception to fulfillment including James Beard Award-winning Franklin Barbecue, Franklin Barbecue Sauce and Franklin Barbecue Pits. In her own words, she humbly says, “I’m a problem solver and make stuff happen!” Her skills at conceptualizing events and branding trends have opened doors for industry leaders to choose Austin for large-scale events like the Hot Luck Festival. Her business acumen and drive to help others succeed have made her one of Austin’s most respected restaurateurs.

Stephanie Diana Piland   Stephanie is a long-time operations leader with deep roots in the food space. Since April 2017, Stephanie is the Senior Manager of Partnership Operations at Zerocater. Her team creates scalable solutions to the toughest data, logistics, technology, and account management challenges to connect the company’s 500+ culinary partners with corporate catering opportunities nationwide.  Stephanie finds inspiration in the toughest problems businesses face, and is an active member of the Project Management Institute, with a certificate in Organizational Analysis and deep background in risk and change management. Past roles include Director of Operations for the JBF-celebrated Foreman Wolf Group and Consultant via Harvest and Vine, opening restaurants and managing change for multi-unit growth for existing and aspiring food businesses in Austin, Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Portland from 2011-2017. She has a degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  When not at work, Stephanie is a stalwart advocate for conservation and environmental stewardship. She also does her part to Keep Austin Weird as a drummer and featured afro-Brazilian dancer with the Austin Samba School, and as co-founder of resistDANCE, created in 2016 with fellow social activists Clark Richards and Sharon Zeugin.  In 2017, Stephanie joined the Austin Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier and currently sits on the board as Scholarship Chair.

Stephanie Diana Piland

Stephanie is a long-time operations leader with deep roots in the food space. Since April 2017, Stephanie is the Senior Manager of Partnership Operations at Zerocater. Her team creates scalable solutions to the toughest data, logistics, technology, and account management challenges to connect the company’s 500+ culinary partners with corporate catering opportunities nationwide.

Stephanie finds inspiration in the toughest problems businesses face, and is an active member of the Project Management Institute, with a certificate in Organizational Analysis and deep background in risk and change management. Past roles include Director of Operations for the JBF-celebrated Foreman Wolf Group and Consultant via Harvest and Vine, opening restaurants and managing change for multi-unit growth for existing and aspiring food businesses in Austin, Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Portland from 2011-2017. She has a degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

When not at work, Stephanie is a stalwart advocate for conservation and environmental stewardship. She also does her part to Keep Austin Weird as a drummer and featured afro-Brazilian dancer with the Austin Samba School, and as co-founder of resistDANCE, created in 2016 with fellow social activists Clark Richards and Sharon Zeugin.

In 2017, Stephanie joined the Austin Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier and currently sits on the board as Scholarship Chair.

Stephanie McClenny    Confituras was born in the summer of 2010 when, after several years of preserving the local bounty that Austin’s farmers’ markets had to offer, owner Stephanie McClenny was ready to reach out and share her love of preserving in the form of a small jam company. It did not take long for the emerging local food loving community in Austin to recognize and appreciate her commitment to quality, seasonality, and really good jam. Along the way Confituras was awarded the 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018 Local Hero Awards by the readers of Edible Austin and was also recognized nationally, winning Good Food Awards in 2011 and 2012, 2014, and 2015 and a Southern Living Food Award in 2016. The Austin Food & Wine Alliance awarded Confituras a culinary grant in 2013 for their ‘Preserving Austin’ project, which is an emerging program that refers to both preserving the local, seasonal bounty and preserving our own local canning history and heritage. Confituras has recently opened their own brick & mortar community kitchen and jam & biscuit shop in beautiful South Austin called Confituras Little Kitchen, which churns out seasonal jams and biscuits made with locally milled, heritage grains and offers an incubator mentorship program for women starting out in the food business.

Stephanie McClenny

Confituras was born in the summer of 2010 when, after several years of preserving the local bounty that Austin’s farmers’ markets had to offer, owner Stephanie McClenny was ready to reach out and share her love of preserving in the form of a small jam company. It did not take long for the emerging local food loving community in Austin to recognize and appreciate her commitment to quality, seasonality, and really good jam. Along the way Confituras was awarded the 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018 Local Hero Awards by the readers of Edible Austin and was also recognized nationally, winning Good Food Awards in 2011 and 2012, 2014, and 2015 and a Southern Living Food Award in 2016. The Austin Food & Wine Alliance awarded Confituras a culinary grant in 2013 for their ‘Preserving Austin’ project, which is an emerging program that refers to both preserving the local, seasonal bounty and preserving our own local canning history and heritage. Confituras has recently opened their own brick & mortar community kitchen and jam & biscuit shop in beautiful South Austin called Confituras Little Kitchen, which churns out seasonal jams and biscuits made with locally milled, heritage grains and offers an incubator mentorship program for women starting out in the food business.

Stephanie Michelle Scates   I’ve been in the food service industry for 20+ years in some aspect or another. I started with Outback Steakhouse in 1997 while studying at the University of Texas at Austin where I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Communications. While attending I moved my way through the ranks to management and helped to create the training program for the state of Texas. After 10 years with the company I made a change to Performance Food Service where I am currently a District sales manager. I started as a sales rep in the North Austin/Georgetown area and was able to grow by area 300% within a few years by working one on one with customers and their business needs. My focuses are training, recipe/menu design, food costing, marketing, and any day to day operational concerns.

Stephanie Michelle Scates

I’ve been in the food service industry for 20+ years in some aspect or another. I started with Outback Steakhouse in 1997 while studying at the University of Texas at Austin where I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Communications. While attending I moved my way through the ranks to management and helped to create the training program for the state of Texas. After 10 years with the company I made a change to Performance Food Service where I am currently a District sales manager. I started as a sales rep in the North Austin/Georgetown area and was able to grow by area 300% within a few years by working one on one with customers and their business needs. My focuses are training, recipe/menu design, food costing, marketing, and any day to day operational concerns.

Stephanie Scherzer   Stephanie Scherzer is a passionate advocate for local food systems and a committed steward of community and land resources. An urban farmer for over two decades, she founded Farmhouse Delivery in 2009 to connect consumers with sustainably-raised local produce and grow the market for goods from local producers. Over the decade since its founding, Farmhouse Delivery has created deep ties with over 180 unique farmers/ranchers/artisan food purveyors, employed over 75 community members at fair-wage salaries, and purchased over 500 tons of locally-raised produce, meat, and artisanal food produc annually. As she forged new distribution systems for local food, she also helped implement experimental agricultural projects to benefit local communities, including a pomegranate farm in West Texas and a humane pig farm. In 2018, she joined the staff of Lettuce Grow, a direct-to-consumer hydroponic growing system with a mission to allow everyone to grow their own healthy food at home. In addition to her career experience in horticulture and small-scale urban farming, she is a co-founder of the East Austin Urban Farm Tour, which has raised over 100k for the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, and has served on the board of Urban Roots and is a member of the Growers’ Alliance of Central Texas.

Stephanie Scherzer

Stephanie Scherzer is a passionate advocate for local food systems and a committed steward of community and land resources. An urban farmer for over two decades, she founded Farmhouse Delivery in 2009 to connect consumers with sustainably-raised local produce and grow the market for goods from local producers. Over the decade since its founding, Farmhouse Delivery has created deep ties with over 180 unique farmers/ranchers/artisan food purveyors, employed over 75 community members at fair-wage salaries, and purchased over 500 tons of locally-raised produce, meat, and artisanal food produc annually. As she forged new distribution systems for local food, she also helped implement experimental agricultural projects to benefit local communities, including a pomegranate farm in West Texas and a humane pig farm. In 2018, she joined the staff of Lettuce Grow, a direct-to-consumer hydroponic growing system with a mission to allow everyone to grow their own healthy food at home. In addition to her career experience in horticulture and small-scale urban farming, she is a co-founder of the East Austin Urban Farm Tour, which has raised over 100k for the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, and has served on the board of Urban Roots and is a member of the Growers’ Alliance of Central Texas.

Susan Auler    Co-owner/Director of Marketing for Fall Creek Vineyards. Dallas Morning News Who's Who in Food & Wine; Alumni of the Year, UT. Texas Exes 2001, Dept of Human Ecology; Founder of TX-Hill Country Wine & Food Festival. Member of UT Fine Arts Advisory Board, Founder of Texas Hill Fall Fest & Wine Auction.

Susan Auler

Co-owner/Director of Marketing for Fall Creek Vineyards. Dallas Morning News Who's Who in Food & Wine; Alumni of the Year, UT. Texas Exes 2001, Dept of Human Ecology; Founder of TX-Hill Country Wine & Food Festival. Member of UT Fine Arts Advisory Board, Founder of Texas Hill Fall Fest & Wine Auction.

Susannah Frishman-Phillips   Susannah grew up cooking and working with food, from helping her oma make spanakopita, to line cook during college. A job in publishing led a crooked path to Whole Foods Market, where she started as a store sign-maker, and advanced to global marketing editor, and then to communications for the global quality standards team.

Susannah Frishman-Phillips

Susannah grew up cooking and working with food, from helping her oma make spanakopita, to line cook during college. A job in publishing led a crooked path to Whole Foods Market, where she started as a store sign-maker, and advanced to global marketing editor, and then to communications for the global quality standards team.

Tabatha Conarko    In 2009 Tabatha Conarko melded her passion for quality extra virgin olive oil and her desire to source international gourmet goods, to open Con' Olio Oils & Vinegars, Austin’s first olive oil tasting bar. Now the owner of two stores, Tabatha focuses on offering fresh products, working with authentic producers and educating and giving back to the local community.  As a founder and CEO, Conarko earned her certification in olive oil sensory by the Organizzazione Nazionale Assaggiatori Olio di Oliva. She also received her Olive Sensory certification from the UC Davis Olive Center. With over a decade of food retail experience and a love for learning, Conarko continues to travel to Europe to maintain and cultivate relationships with her producers.  Prior to founding Con' Olio, Tabatha spent over 20 years in IT roles and ended her career managing the Call Center Operations Team at Dell Financial Services.  Conarko is a devoted mother of two, an avid runner and lover of fine wine and travel.

Tabatha Conarko

In 2009 Tabatha Conarko melded her passion for quality extra virgin olive oil and her desire to source international gourmet goods, to open Con' Olio Oils & Vinegars, Austin’s first olive oil tasting bar. Now the owner of two stores, Tabatha focuses on offering fresh products, working with authentic producers and educating and giving back to the local community.

As a founder and CEO, Conarko earned her certification in olive oil sensory by the Organizzazione Nazionale Assaggiatori Olio di Oliva. She also received her Olive Sensory certification from the UC Davis Olive Center. With over a decade of food retail experience and a love for learning, Conarko continues to travel to Europe to maintain and cultivate relationships with her producers.

Prior to founding Con' Olio, Tabatha spent over 20 years in IT roles and ended her career managing the Call Center Operations Team at Dell Financial Services.

Conarko is a devoted mother of two, an avid runner and lover of fine wine and travel.

Tabatha Stephens   Tabatha grew up in Rockwall, Texas surrounded by the wonderful cooks in her family. She moved to Austin to go to UT and never left! Tabatha decided to pursue a culinary career, attending culinary school and working in the local food community. She has excelled at cooking and managing cooks at many wonderful places around town including Asti, Dai Due, and Trio.  Tabatha runs her own personal chef business, Nourish.

Tabatha Stephens

Tabatha grew up in Rockwall, Texas surrounded by the wonderful cooks in her family. She moved to Austin to go to UT and never left! Tabatha decided to pursue a culinary career, attending culinary school and working in the local food community. She has excelled at cooking and managing cooks at many wonderful places around town including Asti, Dai Due, and Trio.

Tabatha runs her own personal chef business, Nourish.

Tamara Mayfield    Tamara Mayfield is the co-owner of Dai Due Butcher Shop & Supper Club, Dai Due Taqueria and the New School of Traditional Cookery. Dai Due began in 2006, initially as a supper club and farmers market stand with a mission to focus on ingredients that represent Central Texas. As the supper clubs became more popular, Mayfieldand co-owner Jesse Griffiths expanded Dai Due to include the New School of Traditional Cookery, a series of ethical hunting, fishing, cooking and butchery classes. In the fall of 2014, Mayfieldand Griffiths opened Dai Due’s brick-and-mortar butcher shop and restaurant. Described as “an ode to Texas,” the restaurant was named one of the top 15 Most Outstanding Restaurants of 2015 by Alan Richman of GQ Magazine,one of Austin’s best restaurants by the Austin-American Statesman, and one of Bon Appetit’s Top 10 Best New Restaurants in America of 2015. In early 2018 Mayfield and Griffiths opened Dai Due Taqueria in Austin’s first food hall, Fareground, in downtown Austin. The Taqueria’s focus on house-nixtamalized corn tortillas and wild game and continued commitment to locally sourced ingredients has led to numerous accolades. Mayfield is passionate about supporting women in the food industry and believes women’s voices and perspectives need to be represented among the leaders who make critical decisions about one of humanity’s basic needs.

Tamara Mayfield

Tamara Mayfield is the co-owner of Dai Due Butcher Shop & Supper Club, Dai Due Taqueria and the New School of Traditional Cookery. Dai Due began in 2006, initially as a supper club and farmers market stand with a mission to focus on ingredients that represent Central Texas. As the supper clubs became more popular, Mayfieldand co-owner Jesse Griffiths expanded Dai Due to include the New School of Traditional Cookery, a series of ethical hunting, fishing, cooking and butchery classes. In the fall of 2014, Mayfieldand Griffiths opened Dai Due’s brick-and-mortar butcher shop and restaurant. Described as “an ode to Texas,” the restaurant was named one of the top 15 Most Outstanding Restaurants of 2015 by Alan Richman of GQ Magazine,one of Austin’s best restaurants by the Austin-American Statesman, and one of Bon Appetit’s Top 10 Best New Restaurants in America of 2015. In early 2018 Mayfield and Griffiths opened Dai Due Taqueria in Austin’s first food hall, Fareground, in downtown Austin. The Taqueria’s focus on house-nixtamalized corn tortillas and wild game and continued commitment to locally sourced ingredients has led to numerous accolades. Mayfield is passionate about supporting women in the food industry and believes women’s voices and perspectives need to be represented among the leaders who make critical decisions about one of humanity’s basic needs.

Terry Wilson    Teresa Wilson is chef/owner of Sala And Betty, which she owns with her husband, Terry. Sala And Betty opened in 2015 and has been a unique addition to the Austin Restaurant scene for 4 years. Teresa loved the idea of having a restaurant and drive thru in one establishment. As a mother of 4, she understands the difficulty and guilt of not serving a home cooked meal to your family when you’re in a hurry, thus the drive thru! The dinning room satisfies the other creative side of cooking which encourages friends and family to gather around the table and enjoy good food together. Sala and Betty offers gracious hospitality with good quality food cooked with TLC and served PDQ.

Terry Wilson

Teresa Wilson is chef/owner of Sala And Betty, which she owns with her husband, Terry. Sala And Betty opened in 2015 and has been a unique addition to the Austin Restaurant scene for 4 years. Teresa loved the idea of having a restaurant and drive thru in one establishment. As a mother of 4, she understands the difficulty and guilt of not serving a home cooked meal to your family when you’re in a hurry, thus the drive thru! The dinning room satisfies the other creative side of cooking which encourages friends and family to gather around the table and enjoy good food together. Sala and Betty offers gracious hospitality with good quality food cooked with TLC and served PDQ.

Trish Ann Wesevich    Trish Wesevich started in the food industry 20 years ago as a caterer, personal chef & food writer. She’s the Founder of Capital Kitchens & works with food and beverage startups. She helped launch the Austin Food Trailer Chamber, is a Mentor for SKU Accellerator & Food+City, & does industry consulting.

Trish Ann Wesevich

Trish Wesevich started in the food industry 20 years ago as a caterer, personal chef & food writer. She’s the Founder of Capital Kitchens & works with food and beverage startups. She helped launch the Austin Food Trailer Chamber, is a Mentor for SKU Accellerator & Food+City, & does industry consulting.

Valerie Broussard   A Louisiana native, Valerie Broussard spent 11 years in New York City as a chef, food stylist and writer. She then completed an MA in Food Culture and Communications from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy. After moving to Austin, she worked at Barr Mansion as Organic Food Coordinator; became Starwood’s first Forager at W Austin Hotel; then formed V. Broussard Consulting in 2014 to support restaurants, caterers, artisans, farmers and retail concepts. She returned to a role in Purchasing at Green Pastures and currently serves as Director of Sourcing & Purchasing at ARRIVE Hotels.

Valerie Broussard

A Louisiana native, Valerie Broussard spent 11 years in New York City as a chef, food stylist and writer. She then completed an MA in Food Culture and Communications from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy. After moving to Austin, she worked at Barr Mansion as Organic Food Coordinator; became Starwood’s first Forager at W Austin Hotel; then formed V. Broussard Consulting in 2014 to support restaurants, caterers, artisans, farmers and retail concepts. She returned to a role in Purchasing at Green Pastures and currently serves as Director of Sourcing & Purchasing at ARRIVE Hotels.

Yvonne Loya Saenz   As Director of Education of the TRAEF for over 17 years, I have worked with food service sectors ranging from educators to chefs and have worked to improve the image of the food service industry. I oversee educational/curriculum development, promoting EF's programs/initiatives, and coordinate major events annually such as conferences for high school culinary educators, culinary and management student competitions, and culinary demonstrations at TRA's annual trade show. I also oversee the nationally recognized ProStart program in the Texas region. I attended St. Edward's University where I graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Communication.

Yvonne Loya Saenz

As Director of Education of the TRAEF for over 17 years, I have worked with food service sectors ranging from educators to chefs and have worked to improve the image of the food service industry. I oversee educational/curriculum development, promoting EF's programs/initiatives, and coordinate major events annually such as conferences for high school culinary educators, culinary and management student competitions, and culinary demonstrations at TRA's annual trade show. I also oversee the nationally recognized ProStart program in the Texas region. I attended St. Edward's University where I graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Communication.

HONORED COMMUNITY MEMBERS:   These are non-Dame women who have contributed to our industry and we have recognized for their efforts.   Carol Ann Sayle  – owner/farmer at Boggy Creek Farm   Virginia Wood  – restaurant critic and food editor of The Austin Chronicle from 1992-2016

HONORED COMMUNITY MEMBERS:

These are non-Dame women who have contributed to our industry and we have recognized for their efforts.

Carol Ann Sayle – owner/farmer at Boggy Creek Farm

Virginia Wood – restaurant critic and food editor of The Austin Chronicle from 1992-2016