April 29-May 1, 2013: Laguna Niguel, CA

Organic Bites and Flights

Adam Cooke

Executive Chef, Paws Up Resort, Greenough, Mont.
Chef Adam Cooke possesses a creative and refined culinary style based in classic techniques and traditional cooking methods. He is passionate about smoking and curing meats, crafting artisan-style breads, and building and maintaining relationships with
local Montana farmers and ranchers to ensure usage of the highest-quality product while supporting local economies.

William Dissen

Executive Chef/Owner, The Market Place, Asheville, N.C.
Chef William Dissen, from his upbringings in the mountains of West Virginia, has always been in touch with nature. Honored as one of 40 Chefs Under 40 by the Mother Nature Network and a Seafood Watch Ambassador by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Chef Dissen focuses on sustainable cuisine, utilizing ingredients “from within 100 miles away.”

James Distefano

Executive Pastry Chef, Rouge Tomate, New York, N.Y.
Chef James Distefano’s ability to create and execute desserts is aptly reflected in his menu at Rouge Tomate, a modern American restaurant located in midtown Manhattan. His desserts blend seasonal ingredients with skillful combinations of textures, flavors, and savory–sweet balances. After assisting pastry great Richard Leach and working with Chef David Burke, Chef Distefano joined Rouge Tomate in 2008; there he executes an ingredient- and technique-driven menu that adheres to S.P.E.®, a nutritional charter offering a balanced approach to sourcing, preparing, and enhancing food.

Brandi Edinger

Pastry Chef, Equinox Restaurant, Washington, DC
Chef Brandi Edinger, an award-winning pastry chef, brings an aggressive yet elegant approach to the dessert menu at Equinox. Most significantly she has merged her seasonal and local aspirations with Equinox’s chefs/co-owners. Wanting to hone her skill at sourcing mid-Atlantic-grown ingredients and creating a seasonally inspired menu, she finds the perfect forum in Equinox, located one block from the White House and known for its devotion to micro-local products and the eco-friendly consciousness.

Gayle Pirie and John Clark

Chefs/Co-owners, Foreign Cinema, San Francisco, Calif
Chefs Gayle Pirie and John Clark are partners in business and in life. Since 2001, they have earned the highly acclaimed Foreign Cinema restaurant 12 consecutive Top 100 rankings from the San Francisco Chronicle and nominations from the James Beard Foundation for the Best Chef: Pacific and Most Outstanding Restaurant awards. They are the authors of cookbooks, including Country Egg, City Egg and Bride and Groom.

Eric Skokan

Executive Chef/Owner/Farmer, Black Cat: Farm-Table-Bistro, Boulder, Colo
Chef Eric Skokan creates inspired dishes by employing the careful technique and preparation of local and seasonal ingredients. The restaurant’s three farms span 120-plus acres, produce more than 250 different fruits and vegetables, and serve as an incubator for the further development of “Front Range” cuisine. Chef Skokan moved to Colorado in 1998 and spent the next eight years as the executive chef and general manager of Alice’s Restaurant at the Gold Lake Mountain Resort and Spa.

Chris Weber

Chef, The Herbfarm Restaurant, Woodinville, Wash.
Chris Weber, age 26, is the youngest chef heading up any of North America’s 42 5-Diamond restaurants. Well-versed in modern and ancient cooking techniques, cheese making, charcuterie, herbs, and culinary uses of native plants, Chef Weber creates 22 different seasonal and thematic nine-course tasting menus each year using only foods and native plants of the Pacific Northwest. He also oversees The Herbfarm’s organic five-acre farm growing 100-plus plant crops and various livestock. He was nominated as a 2013 James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef.