We are deeply honored to work with these talented chefs:
Matthew Accarrino of SPQR, Patrick Albert of Café de la Presse, Kim Alter of Haven, Peter Armellino of Plumed Horse, Sean Baker of Gather, David Bazirgan of Fifth Floor, Ron Boyd from Plum, John Cahill of Café des Amis, Phillip Chevalier of Chevalier, Preston Dishman of Viognier, Mark Dommen of One Market, Dmitry Elperin of The Village Pub, Bruce Hill and Erik Lowe of Bix, Picco, and Zero Zero, Gerald Hirigoyen of Piperade, Joseph Humprey of Dixie, John Madriaga of Spruce, Rocky Maselli of A16, Saundra Middleton of Mayfield Bakery & Café, Robert Petzold of Bocadillos, Mark Richardson of The Four Seasons, Philippe Striffeler of Restaurant ANZU, and Banks White of FIVE.
Chef Laurent Manrique, Consultant Chef
Manrique discovered his culinary passion during childhood while cooking with his grandmother Aurélie in the Gascon village of Roques. Following an apprenticeship with master chef Roger Duffour, Manrique trained with master chefs Yan Jacquot and Claude Deligne at Michelin-starred Taillevent and Toit de Passy in Paris. Upon a suggestion to move to United States, Manrique pursued his culinary career in Los Angeles at restaurants Fennel and Rex. In 1992, Manrique moved to New York City to take over as chef at the Waldorf Astoria’s Peacock Alley. Manrique left the Waldorf to become a partner of Gertrudes in 1997, the following year he earned the Bon Appetit’s Rising Star Chef Award. Shortly thereafter Manrique returned to join San Francisco's Campton Palace restaurant as Executive Chef, where he received rave reviews. In 2003, Manrique was named Corporate Executive Chef for Aqua. Manrique's cuisine and leadership played a significant role in the restaurants extraordinary success in San Francisco. He next ventured to Cafe de la Presse, Rouge and Blance Wine Bar, which he personally owns. In 2007, Manrique united with Christopher Condy, to form C&L partners, a restaurant development, operating, and investment company. Laurent helped guide C&L through the reopening of the Fifth Floor restaurant in 2008, followed by the grand opening of the Urban Tavern at the San Francisco Hilton. In July, 2009 Manrique resigned from the company, and the Aqua restaurant.
Chef Matthew Accarrino, SPQR (Table 1: Three Jewels)
Matthew Accarrino is a native of New Jersey. His career in the kitchen began with washing dishes, prepping ingredients and pitching around kitchens at various home-town restaurants. With a strong work ethic in tow, he graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park in 1998. He also earned a Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Management from Fairleigh Dickinson University. After graduation, Chef Accarrino traveled to Labico, Italy—a rural town near Rome—where he cooked at the Michelin-rated Antonello Colonna restaurant. In Italy he grew an appreciation for seasonal, locally farmed food, but during his time as a sous chef for Thomas Keller’s Per Se, he learned the philosophy of finesse and the art of execution. His food is made from local ingredients and has an Italian sensibility.
Chef Robert Petzold, Bocadillos (Table 1: Three Jewels)
With a father in the hotel industry, Robert Petzold grew up traveling the world, exposing him at an early age to a wide variety of cuisine. This experience of living abroad generated a true appreciation for different flavors and customs. Shortly after graduating with a degree in geology, Petzold took up a job as a prep cook, where he immediately felt at home. After spending eight years working in restaurants around the Bay Area, he became Piperade’s Chef de Cuisine. For the past six years he has worked with Chef Hirigoyen at both Piperade and Bocadillos.
A self-trained chef, Bruce Hill started cooking in kitchens in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco when he was 18 years old. He has since worked at many of the finest restaurants in San Francisco including Stars, Aqua, Oritalia, The Waterfront, and BIX, where he currently serves as executive chef. Bruce’s goal for the cuisine at BIX is simple: cook with the best seasonal ingredients, employ and teach great technique, and design food that is right for BIX’s classy and unique atmosphere. Bruce also opened his own restaurants, Picco and Pizzeria Picco, with his Real Restaurants partners Bill Upson and Bill Higgins in 2005. All three of his restaurants appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle’s “Top 100 Restaurants for 2007.”
Chef Erik Lowe, Bix (Table 2: Vajra)
Bix Restaurant's chef de cuisine Erik Lowe worked at the acclaimed Piperade and Tartare, and was the executive sous- chef at Ame, before joining chef Bruce Hill at Bix.
Chef Rocky Masselli, A16 (Table 2: Vajra)
A Bay Area native, Rocky grew up in the restaurant industry. He spent the last 15 years in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, establishing himself as one of the area’s top culinary talents. He was most recently the Chef/Owner of Osteria Sfizo, a modern Italian restaurant offering a seasonal menu of antipasti, housemade pastas, seafood and meats. In June, he traveled to Naples, Italy, to earn his pizzaiolo certification by the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana (VPN).
Chef Philippe Chevalier, Chevalier (Table 3: Double Vajra)
Chef Chevalier finds true joy in sharing his talents and passion for good food and wine with family and friends. Born in Vendee, France Philippe Chevalier grew up in a world where the appreciation of good food was a natural part of life. He began to train full time in the culinary arts at age 14. Graduating first in his school, Philippe headed to Paris where he was offered a position at the acclaimed Maison Prunier. After completing his military tour he continued his career, developing his skills at renowned Michelin rated establishments throughout Paris. He achieved the post of Executive Chef at the young age of 27. Since leaving Paris, Philippe has enjoyed an award winning career heading kitchens in St. Tropez, St. Barthelemy, French West Indies and San Francisco. He was honored to receive Diablo Magazine’s Best Chef of the Bay Area award. He has now found acclaim at his own, CHEVALIER restaurant, winning 2 Michelin Bib Gourmand awards.
Chef Banks White, FIVE (Table 3: Double Vajra)
Chef Banks White hails from Austin, Texas, bringing his Southern roots and highlighting his family traditions through his food at FIVE restaurant & bar at The Hotel Shattuck Plaza. Banks began his culinary journey in Montpelier, Vermont at the New England Culinary Institute where he learned classical French techniques and applications as well as a keen appreciation for the sustainability movement. He expertly incorporates his own unique take and interesting flavor profiles to FIVE’s reinvented new American classics. The restaurant's farm-to-table approach supports local, sustainable and organic farmers and ensures that diners experience rich, clean and flavorful cuisine. For the 2nd year in a row, the restaurant was awarded the 2011 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand Award.
Chef David Bazirgan, Fifth Floor (Table 4: Victory Banner)
David Bazirgan has been involved in restaurants since he was 15 years old, starting as a dishwasher in Newburyport, MA. He later decided to pursue a formal education in culinary arts at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. His first job out of school was at Galleria, where he forged a lifelong friendship with mentor Chef Lynch. In 1998, Bazirgan reunited with Chef Barbara Lynch at her much anticipated Restaurant, No. 9 Park, in historic Beacon Hill, an experience that proved to be the most influential experience in the development of his culinary and professional style. Bazirgan is currently Executive Chef at Fifth Floor.
Chef Philippe Striffeler, Restaurant Anzu (Table 4: Victory Banner)
A native of Switzerland, Philippe Striffeler began his culinary career by working with acclaimed chefs in both France and Switzerland. Before becoming the Executive Chef of Restaurant Anzu, he worked with Marriott’s top properties in Asia, Europe, and Saudi Arabia. During the World Culinary Championship in Taiwan, Striffeler received the bronze medal as part of the American team in 2007 and the silver medal as the captain of the American team in 2009. The Asian influence in his food comes from the vibrant and refreshing flavors of Thailand. When he’s not in the kitchen, he enjoys playing golf, hiking, and fishing.
Chef Sean Baker, Gather (Table 5: Precious Parasol)
Sean Baker is a passionate chef who brings his rustic and innovative cooking style to Gather Restaurant. Sean’s menu is driven by the hard work of the farmers, ranchers, and cheese makers. By collaborating with farmers such as Linda Butler of Lindencroft Farms, he sources unique, sustainable ingredients like heirloom vegetable varietals from Italy, Spain, and other regions. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu, Sean began a long stint at Millennium Restaurant’s vegan cookery. He worked at Zibibbo and Google’s Kitchens, and then took the role of Executive Chef at Gabriella Café where he received local and national recognition. Just before starting at Gather, Sean was the consulting Executive Chef for Bonny Doon Vineyards Cellar Door.
Chef Mark Dommen, One Market (Table 5: Precious Parasol)
Since joining the Lark Creek Restaurant Group in 2004, Mark Dommen has upheld One Market’s traditions of excellence and innovation in American cuisine. Dommen developed his inventive style through work in some of the world’s most distinguished restaurants. Dommen has earned many professional accolades including a Michelin star for the third year in a row in the 2010 Guide, a 3½ star review from Michael Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle, his 2007 designation as a StarChefs “Rising Star” and the 2002 “Restaurant of the Year” award given to his restaurant Julia’s Kitchen by Esquire. Dommen says, “I truly enjoy experimenting with the freshest of ingredients to create entirely new and unexpected dishes. I make a point each day to ensure that the menu is a reflection of the finest produce prepared in a unique, delicious, and artistic way.”
Chef Preston Dishman, Viognier (Table 6: Golden Fish)
Like many successful chefs, Preston Dishman says that a life in the kitchen seemed to choose him, not the other way around. His interest in cooking began at an early age and he began to pursue it as a profession after graduating from college. He attended the French Culinary Institute in New York and went on to work at such noted restaurants as the Mobil four-star Eseeola Lodge in North Carolina, the Judson Grill in New York, and Restaurant Gary Danko in San Francisco. In 2003, he and his wife Nichole opened the Dragonfly Bistro in Fort Myers, Florida, which they sold in 2005 to run The General’s Daughter in California. Dishman now serves as executive chef at Viognier.
Chef Joseph Humphrey, Dixie (Table 6: Golden Fish)
Joseph Humphrey started his culinary career in New Orleans, where he truly fell in love with the restaurant business – the constant challenges, the energy, and above all, the dedication to the craft of cooking. There he learned contemporary Creole cuisine under one of the nation’s top restaurateurs, Dickie Brennan, at the acclaimed Palace Café. As the Executive Chef of The Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa, Joseph perfected his culinary philosophy of using the finest local, organic and sustainable ingredients available, and preparing them with the subtle influences of France, Spain, and the Mediterranean – a style now known as Bay Area cuisine. Chef Humphrey's artistry earned him a Michelin star in just a few short months after debuting the menu for Murray Circle and earned the prestigious award again in 2010. Before heading to Napa, he was corporate chef for Michael Mina, serving as chef de cuisine at Redwood Park in downtown San Francisco, working with Morrone to open Fifth Floor, and working under Morrone and another star chef, Bradley Ogden, at One Market.
Chef Dmitry Elperin, The Village Pub (Table 7: White Conch Shell)
Originally from Minsk, Dmitry Elperin attributes his passion for cooking to his early years, when he helped his mother prepare the family’s meals using fresh vegetables from their garden. After working in restaurant kitchens in his teens and graduating from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Elperin began his career working at Red Sage in Washington, D.C. He moved to California four years later and has since worked in celebrated San Francisco restaurants with such talented chefs as Adrian Hoffman at One Market Restaurant, Daniel Humm at Campton Place, and Laurent Manrique at Aqua. His current position as executive chef at the Village Pub allows him to combine his innovative approach with his commitment to fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Chef John Madriaga, Spruce (Table 7: White Conch Shell)
Helping his mother prepare family meals, John Madriaga quickly discovered food’s power to both unite and inspire. After graduating from San Francisco's California Culinary Academy, Madriaga took a position as a line cook at Woodside’s Michelin-starred The Village Pub, where he remained for two years, honing his skills under the direction of executive chef Mark Sullivan. In 2008, Madriaga left The Village Pub to work with chef David Kinch at Los Gatos’ Manresa. There, he garnered a great appreciation for vegetable-driven cooking and developed a steadfast adherence to seasonal and local ingredients. After leaving Manresa in 2009, Madriaga began an apprenticeship at Copenhagen's Noma, where he continued to expand his skill set, working strictly with ingredients indigenous to the region. Upon his return to San Francisco, Madriaga rejoined Bacchus Management Group’s family of restaurants as a line cook at Spruce, and in April 2012, he was promoted to chef de cuisine. “I always knew I would come back and one day run a kitchen for founding partner Tim Stannard and chef Sullivan. It was the feeling of leaving your family for a period of time and returning to show them what you have learned and how you have grown as an individual.” Madriaga possesses a deep appreciation for seasonality and welcomes to the opportunity to utilize all of the Bay Area’s wonderful farms and artisans.
Chef Peter Armellino, Plumed Horse (Table 8: Lotus Flower)
A native of Long Island, Peter Armellino began cooking professionally in New York when he was 17 years old. He opened the Park Avenue Cafe in 1992 and later worked at New York City's Gotham Bar & Grill and Gramercy Tavern. Armellino came to San Francisco in 1999 and soon began work as sous-chef at Jardinière with renowned chefs Douglas Keene and Traci Des Jardins, who he also worked with on the popular TV show “Iron Chef” in 2005. Armellino went on to work as chef de cuisine at the Village Pub, Campton Place, and Aqua. In early 2007, Armellino became the executive chef at Plumed Horse, which presents elegant, modern California cuisine and emphasizes fresh, seasonal and sustainably-produced ingredients.
Chef Mark Richardson, Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco (Table 8: Lotus Flower)
Once an aspiring doctor, Mark Richardson has combined his academic interest in chemistry with his lifelong passion for cooking through his pursuit of molecular gastronomy. Richardson graduated from the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts, followed by an externship at Disneyland Paris. He then returned to his native Kentucky to work as executive chef at the renowned restaurant Emmett’s for four years before joining Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. He has spent nearly a decade with Four Seasons and has held culinary positions at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, Four Seasons Hotel Scottsdale, Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley, and Four Seasons Hotel Boston before his appointment as executive chef at the Seasons Restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco in 2008.
Chef Gerald Hirigoyen, Piperade (Table 9: Endless Knot)
A native of the Basque region of France, Chef Hirigoyen had already begun working with local pastry chefs by the age of 13. He moved to Paris three years later for a traditional apprenticeship with Master Patissiers Jean Millet and Dennis Ruffel. Hirigoyen immigrated to the United States in 1980 and opened Fringale in 1991. He was named one of Food & Wine’s “Best New Chefs in America” in 1994 and San Francisco Magazine’s “Chef of the Year” in 1995. In 1996, Hirigoyen opened his second restaurant, Pastis (now Piperade), which won plaudits from Esquire as one of the year’s best new restaurants. His book, The Basque Kitchen, won the Versailles Award for Best Regional Cookbook.
Chef Patrick Albert, Café de la Presse (Table 9: Endless Knot)
Café de la Presse Executive Chef Patrick Albert's commitment to creating traditional but innovative French fare infuses this Parisian-inspired café with authenticity. "It is always busy," he says proudly. "You can meet a lot of different people enjoying an espresso or a beef bourguignon, sipping a Ricard or having cassoulet." As the man behind the menu, Chef Albert's comments well support his culinary savoir faire. Following stints in brasseries throughout Paris, Chef Albert's position as Chef de Cuisine at the consul of Savoie in Paris stimulated him to bring a touch of France to the United States. His subsequent move to San Francisco brought him together with Chef Bruno Chemel at the Milano Hotel and then with Chef Sylvain Portay at the Ritz-Carlton Dining Room. At Café de la Presse, Chef Albert continues to bring his guests a classic, creative dining experience.
Chef Kim Alter, Haven (Table 10: Vase of Great Treasure)
Executive Chef Kim Alter discovered her passion for cooking at a young age. After graduating high school, she moved to San Francisco where she took a position as a line cook at Acquerello under Suzette Gresham-Tognetti, and enrolled at the California Culinary Academy. Alter went on to work in some of the country’s most notable restaurants, including Manresa, Ubuntu, Masa’s, La Folie, Gary Danko, and Aqua. Her mentors – Suzette Gresham-Tognetti, David Kinch of Manresa and Ron Boyd of the Daniel Patterson Group - taught her to respect both ingredients and technique, which strongly influenced her personal style of California cuisine. In 2008, Alter became executive sous chef under Laurent Manrique. She then went on to open Plate Shop in 2010, in Sausalito. After opening Plate Shop in Sausalito, Alter signed on with Daniel Patterson Group in the summer of 2011, taking her inventive, hyper-seasonal approach to cooking to another level at Haven. As executive chef, she creates a menu of delicious, approachable comfort food, highlighting not only her ability to extract the fullest flavor from her ingredients, but to show them in interesting ways. Almost all of the ingredients at Haven are sourced directly from the farmer’s market—Alter visits the market herself six mornings a week to ensure that only the freshest seasonal products make their way into the kitchen. She prides herself on the close relationships she’s cultivated with the farmers.
Chef Ron Boyd, Plum (Table 10: Vase of Great Treasure)
As director of operations for the Daniel Patterson Group (DPG), Ron Boyd is responsible for the recruitment and development of the staff, and business. Named the San Francisco Chronicle’s “Rising Star Chef” in 2005, Boyd brings more than 25 years of Bay Area culinary experience to his role at DPG. He refined his skills at renowned restaurants such as Domaine Chandon and most recently Aqua, where under his leadership, the restaurant garnered two Michelin stars. Boyd has deep knowledge of culinary techniques and a philosophy on cooking that emphasizes simplicity and balanced flavors. At DPG, Boyd works to ensure the highest standards in cuisine and hospitality, and implements innovative practices to set the company apart from the rest.
Chef Saundra Middleton, Mayfield Bakery & Cafe (Table 11: Wheel of Knowledge)
Saundra Middleton discovered her passion for cooking at the age of 19 in the kitchen of a local bay area sports bar. It was then that she enrolled in the City College of San Francisco, from which she received her AAS degree in culinary arts, interning at a handful of prominent San Francisco restaurants, including Chef Traci des Jardin's Jardinière and Doug Biederbeck's Bix restaurant. After receiving her diploma from L'École Superieure de Cuisine Française, Middleton completing her apprenticeship at the Michelin two-star Château La Chevre d'Or in Eze, France, before returning to the United States. Once back in the country, she worked her way up to meat entremetier at The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead, just outside of Atlanta-where she remained for two years. Middleton returned to San Francisco in 2003 to work as a line cook at the Michelin one-star La Folie. After a detour to Las Vegas in 2005 to work as a line cook at Alain Ducasse's Mix, she returned to the Bay Area in 2006 to help open Roland Passot's acclaimed Tanglewood in San Jose. In 2007, she joined Chef Mark Sullivan as a sous chef at Spruce's inaugural location in San Francisco. After a few years at Spruce, she was ready for a new challenge, and that is when she was offered the position as chef de cuisine at Spruce's sister restaurant Mayfield Bakery & Cafe. In December 2011, Middleton began overseeing the day-to-day operations, where she works alongside Chef Mark Sullivan (Spruce, The Village Pub, Café des Amis, Pizza Antica) on the sourcing of quality, locally grown ingredients, and menu creation.
Chef John Cahill, Cafe des Amis (Table 11: Wheel of Knowledge)
Every year, between 22 and 25 chefs participate in Taste & Tribute.
More previously participated CHEFS
Chef Bruno Chemel, Baumé
Chef Khai Duong, Ana Mandara
Chef David Kinch, Manresa
Chef Xavier Salomon, The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
Chef James Syhabout, Commis