chef montana houston

Chef Montana Houston

Restaurant Aleksander, Philly (he / him / his) A South Jersey native, Montana Houston, was raised predominantly by a single mother and his sister. As a result, he spent a great deal of time with his grandmother, who was a phenomenal cook and would work wonders with simple ingredients. Houston’s father refined palate cultivated his …

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Chef Jahlea Henry

Chef Jahlea Henry

Ten Restaurant, Toronto (she / her / hers) Jahlea Henry is an Indo-Jamaican Canadian chef whose approach to her work is informed by her affinity for artistry, beauty, science, and her cultural background. While in culinary school, she traveled to Asia to study global cuisines. Subsequently, Henry gained invaluable experience and grew professionally in culinary …

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Chef Masako Morishita

Chef Masako Morishita

Perry’s Restaurant, D.C. (she / her / hers) Masako Morishita grew up in her family’s nearly 100-year-old restaurant and bar in Kobe, Japan. Her first memories of learning how to make dumplings with her mother to the familiar smells of dashi, mirin, and soy in her grandma’s kitchen, Masako’s style of cooking emphasizes memories of …

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Chef Carlos Portela

Chef Carlos Portela

Orujo, San Juan (he / him / his) From his hometown of Caguas, Puerto Rico, Chef Carlos Portela founded his life project, Orujo Taller, where he studied Puerto Rican cuisine for over ten years. His avant-garde style ranges from primitive to modern, using ingredients endemic to Puerto Rico and pre-colonial influences. He bases his cooking …

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Chef Lawrence Weeks

Chef Lawrence Weeks

North of Bourbon + Ensō, Louisville (he / him / his) Lawrence Weeks was raised in Louisville. He began cooking when he was a child and was heavily influenced by his parents’ international travels and extended family’s Cajun and Creole roots. Weeks began his professional career working in Atlanta under the tutelage of James Beard-recognized …

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Faye "Poon" Poonsiripukdeekul

Chef Faye Poonsiripukdeekul

Bacchanalia / W.H. Stiles Fish Camp (Atlanta) (she / her / hers) Faye “Poon” Poonsiripukdeekul’s career has been defined by her commitment to investing in her education. Before migrating to the United States from Thailand, Poon worked as a legal associate in Bangkok but quickly realized law was not her passion and enrolled in Bangkok’s …

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Justin Pioche

Chef Justin Pioche

Pioche Food Group (Upper Fruitland, NM) (he/him/his) Justin Pioche is an Ashihii Dine’ who is born for the Bit’ahnii people (Navajo Nation) and the owner of the Pioche Food Group. His most formative food memory comes from his grandmother Lorene. He had one piece of her hot frybread and pea soup made from fresh produce …

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James Linabury

Chef James Linabary

Audrey / June (Nashville) (he / him / his) James is the pastry sous chef at multiple-award-winning and acclaimed Chef Sean Brock’s Flagship restaurant Audrey as well as the pastry sous at Sean Brock’s newest experimental restaurant June. James has over ten years of experience working in the culinary industry, from casual eateries to some of …

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luis guevara

Chef Luis Guevara

Carmel (Atlanta) (he / him / his) Born in Acapulco, Mexico and transplanted to Atlanta at three years old, Luis grew up in the restaurant industry as his parents worked in family-owned restaurants. After culinary school, his goal as a young chef was to gain as much experience and knowledge as possible and took the …

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bernard bennett

Chef Bernard Bennett

Okàn (Bluffton) (he / him / his) Bernard’s love of food began when his mother taught him to cook with vegetables grown in his grandmother’s garden. He has over 17 years in the kitchen, most of which came in the beautiful city of Chicago. His career highlights while in Chicago include participating in the South …

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