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Chef Paul Arenstam, Executive Chef, Americano Restaurant, San Francisco
Both Travel & Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler agree that Hotel Vitale is setting a new standard for “luxury, naturally” on San Francisco’s revitalized Embarcadero waterfront. As Executive Chef of its signature restaurant, Americano, Paul Arenstam is showcasing the sustainable abundance of the neighboring Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market, shaping a cuisine with traditional influences of California and Italy.
The rustic undertones of Paul’s food compliment the clean and refreshing interiors of Americano and Hotel Vitale. Open only since 2005, Americano has become the preferred after-work destination with the city’s premier “outdoor living room”.
Before his recent forays, Paul’s formal training began at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park New York. In 1989 he obtained an internship with two-star Michelin Chef, Michel Rostang at Fennel in Santa Monica California. After graduation, Arenstam worked at L.A.’s top spot, Patina, under Chef Joachim Splichal and was subsequently promoted to Sous Chef at Splichal’s Pinot Bistro in Studio City. In 1994, Paul relocated to San Francisco to eventually become Chef de Cuisine at Rubicon, where he met famed New York Restaurateur Drew Nieporent and Master Sommelier Larry Stone whom he credits as mentors. Critical praise followed Paul with the opening of his beloved oyster bar/brasserie Belon in 2000 and continued with his tenure as Executive Chef at Grand Cafe in 2002.
An ardent proponent of organic and sustainable ingredients, Arenstam has been featured in Gourmet, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Besides his passion for all things epicurious, Paul shares his devotion to the Boston Red Sox with his wife, Charlene Reis and their son Theo.
 
 


Chef John Ash, John Ash & Co., Vintner’s Inn, Santa Rosa, California
John first came to national prominence when he was selected by Food & Wine magazine as one of America’s “Hot New Chefs.” He founded his restaurant, John Ash & Company , in Northern California’s wine country, in 1980 and it continues to be critically acclaimed more than 27 years later.
Nationally renowned as a wine and food educator, John served for many years as the Culinary Director for Fetzer and Bonterra Vineyards. He is on the faculty of the Professional Wine Studies Program at the CIA Greystone. He is also the chair of a new program there for home cooks called The Sophisticated Palate. He travels widely teaching to both home and professional cooks. John has a new winery venture called Sauvignon Republic Cellars specializing in sauvignon blanc only, produced around the world. Currently there are three including Russian River Valley appellation in Sonoma County, Marlborough from New Zealand and the Stellenbosch in South Africa. Sancerre in France, Friuli in Italy and Styria in Austria are targeted for future releases.
John has written three books. His latest, John Ash Cooking One-on-One: Private Lessons in Simple Contemporary Food from a Master Teacher, was published spring 2004 by Clarkson Potter. It won a 2005 James Beard award. He has authored two other books: From the Earth to the Table: John Ash’s Wine Country Cuisine and American Game Cooking. The former was awarded the IACP awards for Best American Cookbook and the Julia Child Cookbook of the Year and also was nominated for the James Beard Foundation Best American Cookbook. Chronicle Books has just released a completely revised and updated version of From the Earth to the Table.
John writes periodically for the Los Angeles Times/Tribune Syndicate and is an occasional contributor to publications such as Bon Appetit and Fine Cooking magazines. He was featured for two years on the Food Network and has co-hosted a live food and wine radio talk show on KSRO in Northern California for the past 20 years. John is also a passionate voice on sustainable food issues. He has served on the Board of Overseers for the Chef’s Collaborative, a national organization of chefs who support ethical agriculture. He also is on the Board of Advisors of Seafood Watch, an educational initiative for sustainable seafood of the Monterey Bay Aquarium and a board member of the California Olive Oil Council.
 
 


Chef Mark Dommen, Chef/Partner, One Market Restaurant, San Francisco
Since joining the Lark Creek Restaurant Group in 2004, Mark Dommen has upheld One Market’s traditions of excellence and innovation in American cuisine. Among his professional accolades, he is a 2007 StarChefs “Rising Star.”
After years of classical training with some of the world’s culinary masters, Dommen’s move to One Market marked his exciting debut on the San Francisco dining scene. He says, “At One Market, Bradley Ogden set the bar in creating sophisticated American fare and menus shaped by fresh-from-the-farm ingredients. I’m proud to continue their stellar reputation and to create my own interpretation of American dishes.”
Dommen’s seasonally changing menu includes inventive farm-fresh dishes such as Wild Nettle Risotto with Rabbit Meatballs and Black Trumpet Mushrooms; Beet Carpaccio with Marinated Rock Shrimp, Radish Sprouts and Crispy Ginger; and Braised Beef Cheeks with Celery Root Risotto. “I truly enjoy experimenting with the freshest of ingredients to create entirely new and unexpected dishes,” says Chef Dommen. “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.”
Dommen’s contemporary American fare developed through his work in some of the world’s most distinguished restaurants. Dommen began his career in the kitchen with Hubert Keller of San Francisco’s Fleur de Lys, where Keller became Dommen’s mentor in the art of contemporary French cuisine. Dommen later spent four years in New York, honing his craft with one of his largest influences, Gray Kunz at Lespinasse and also with David Burke at Park Avenue Cafe. By the time he opened Palladin as Sous Chef for the legendary Chef Jean-Louis Palladin, his immersion in the art of French cuisine was complete. He then was invited to join Julia’s Kitchen in Napa Valley as the opening Executive Chef. He describes his approach to cooking as “blending the freshest, seasonal ingredients from California, while using the classic French techniques I have honed from my previous experiences.”
Some of Dommen’s favorite dishes to make when not in the kitchen at One Market Restaurant include pizza and barbequed beer-can chicken cooked over apple wood chips. He enjoys skiing, golf, fishing, grape growing and making wine in his spare time.
 
 


Chef Damien Dulas, Executive Chef, Guy Savoy Las Vegas
Damien Dulas spent his childhood in Les Landes, a famous region of France known for its cuisine and high quality of its produce. He grew up with a mother and grandmother who loved to cook, and who from an early age involved him in preparing family meals. Damien’s objective for Las Vegas is “to rule over a kitchen and a team of the best quality, and to give an image of Guy Savoy in Las Vegas that’s just the same as the one he has in France”



Chef Raphael Francois, Restaurant Helene DARROZE, Paris
Sous Chef
28 years old
Nationality : Belgian
Feb 06 till present: Second then Sous Chef - Restaurant Helene DARROZE
2 Michelin Stars ; Relais Gourmand Paris
2005–2006 : 1st Sous Chef - Le Chateau de Curzay
1 Michelin Star, Relais & Chateaux Poitou-Charentes
2004-2005: 1st Sous Chef - Le Chalet d’Adrien Relais & Chateaux Switzerland
2004: Sous Chef - Le Cafe Lenotre Paris
2001-2004: Sous Chef junior - Hotel de Crillon
2 Michelin Stars ; Relais & Chateaux Paris
2003-2004: Chef de partie - Four Seasons George V
3 Michelin Stars Paris
1999-2001: Chef de partie - La Maison du Bœuf- Hilton Hotel
1 Michelin Star
Le Sea Grill de l’Hotel SAS Radisson
2 Michelin Stars
Le Comme chez Soi
3 Michelin Stars Brussels


Joyce Goldstein, chef and 12-year owner of Square One, San Francisco, California
Food Writer/Restaurant and Food Industry Consultant
1996: Is the Chef for a Gorbachev Foundation dinner for 900 honoring Mikail Gorbachev. Joyce Goldstein is a consultant to the restaurant and food industries. Her areas of expertise are menu design, recipe development, staff training and kitchen planning. For twelve years she was Chef/Owner of the ground-breaking Mediterranean Restaurant, Square One, in San Francisco. Her menu presented the foods of Italy, Spain, France, Greece, Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa. Square One won numerous prestigious industry awards for food, wine and service. Prior to Square One, Joyce was chef of the Cafe at Chez Panisse for 3 years. She taught cooking for 18 years and was founder and director of the California Street Cooking School, San Francisco’s first international cooking school. She also taught kitchen design at the University of California in the Department of Architecture. In addition to her consulting work, Joyce was Visiting Executive Chef of the Wine Spectator Restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in the Napa Valley, where she continues to teach.
Joyce is the author of many cookbooks. William Morrow published The Mediterranean Kitchen in 1989 and Back to Square One: Old World Food in a New World Kitchen, winner of both the Julia Child and James Beard Awards for Best General Cookbook of 1992. She also has written four books for the Williams Sonoma Kitchen Library: Beef. Fish. Mediterranean Cooking and Soup for Supper. Festive Occasions, written in collaboration with Chuck Williams, received the 1993 James Beard Award for Best Entertaining cookbook. Other cookbooks include, Mediterranean The Beautiful (Harper Collins), Casual Occasions, Taverna (Sunset Books), Flavors of the Italian Jewish Kitchen (Chronicle Books) and Kitchen Conversations (William Morrow). Savoring Spain and Portugal will be published in 2000, also for Williams Sonoma. Two more books on Mediterranean Jewish Cooking are in the works for Chronicle as well as Enoteca, a book on the food served in Italian Wine bars.
Joyce writes articles for Gourmet, Restaurant Hospitality, Wine & Spirits, and Food & Wine magazines and the San Francisco Chronicle. She also developed many recipes for Dr. Dean Ornish for his book Eat More. Weigh Less. Joyce has experience with television journalism and cooking demonstrations, and has hosted and been a guest on numerous radio talk shows. She was voted San Francisco FOCUS magazine’s Chef of the Year in 1992. She received the James Beard Perrier Jouet Award for Best Chef in California for 1993. Joyce is a Founding Member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs. She is also on the Board of Meals on Wheels and donates much time and energy to community affairs and numerous charitable causes.
 


Chef David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, California
David Kinch grew up in New Orleans and started working in local restaurants as a teen. Captivated by the kitchen, he began his culinary pursuits by training at Johnson & Wales in Rhode Island, and went on to cook at various New York restaurants. Drawn by the traditions of European cooking, he undertook a year’s stage at the Hotel de la Poste in Beaune, France.
A formative influence was a four-year stint at the esteemed Quilted Giraffe in New York. There he polished his skills alongside a number of other rising American culinary stars, working his way up from a position in pastry to a managerial chef position. Kinch was executive chef of Silks at the five-star Mandarin Oriental in San Francisco before traveling to Europe for a series of stages at Schweizer Stuben, Wertheim, Germany; L’Esperance, St-Pere-sous-Vezelay, France; and Akelarre in San Sebastian, Spain. Upon returning to the States, he became the first—and only—American-born executive chef of the legendary Ernie’s in San Francisco.
In 1995, Kinch opened Sent Sovi in Saratoga to national acclaim. Gourmet magazine raved, and his following has been loyal ever since. Never content to rest on his laurels, he set his sights on the town of Los Gatos, and launched a bigger, more contemporary expression of his culinary vision. Manresa was opened in July 2002.
Kinch lives in Santa Cruz and finds time to take his surfboard out and catch a few waves.

 


Chef Raymond Lammers, The Lodge, Park City, Utah
As executive pastry chef for Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City, Utah, Raymond Lammers works closely with executive chef Zane Holmquist to craft savory, world-class desserts that complement the Lodge’s already exceptional dining menus.
A native of Holland, Chef Lammers has more than 18 years of international pastry expertise. He is a graduate of the prestigious College of Food and Beverage in Amsterdam. Before joining Stein Eriksen Lodge, he served as pastry chef for the cruise line Seabourn Goddess I and II and as the chef de partie for the Michelin 2-star Amstel Inter-Continental Hotel in Amsterdam. Chef Lammers was a member of the silver-medal winning team at the National Pastry Team Championships in 2005 and is currently a Callebaut Chocolate Ambassador.
Since joining the Lodge in 2001, Chef Lammers and his team have been instrumental in developing the Lodge’s signature housemade chocolate program, which features exquisite, handmade chocolate crafted by Chef Lammers in the Lodge’s Chocolate Atelier. Chef Lammers is known for his use of contrasting flavors and textures in several of his dishes, including sweet and sour or soft and crispy. This careful attention to detail gives the Lodge’s desserts an unparalleled taste that satisfies the most discerning palates.
“My approach to my work is simple – respect the medium and let the ingredients speak for themselves. In all my work, everything that goes into my creations has a purpose. I try to use ordinary ingredients that complement each other in a way that creates something extraordinary, but still highlights the individuality and unique flavor of each of the ingredients.”
 


Paula LeDuc, Fine Catering, Northern California
Paula LeDuc Fine Catering, established in 1980, has become the industry leader in Northern California providing catering and event planning services to high-end corporate, social and private clients.




Chef Laurent Manrique, Aqua, San Francisco, California
As Chef Laurent Manrique has learned, combining simplicity with challenge walks a tight“When I go deep into the process of creating a dish, I always look for an inspiration to carry me even further into it. I want to bring something to the product, but I also look for what each of its elements gives back to me. It’s a simple idea, but it can be challenging to achieve.”
As Chef Laurent Manrique has learned, combining simplicity with challenge walks a tightrope between passion for one’s craft and a desire to constantly seek new opportunities. One of his career’s most significant accomplishments in achieving that balance was introducing his renowned Gascon cooking to contemporary seafood-centric Aqua. “It was a whole new adventure,” he says, “but one I was ready for. I needed to take a challenge like this.”
The challenge has been exceeded. Year after year, Laurent’s elegant, classic culinary style and renowned service bring Aqua tremendous praise. Soon after earning the restaurant two highly coveted Michelin stars, Laurent was selected as one of the participating chefs in the prestigious Masters of Food and Wine event in Carmel. Aqua’s 3-star rating from the San Francisco Chronicle and third place ranking on the Wine Spectator’s “San Francisco’s Best Restaurants” list follow notable Robb Report’s “Best of the Best of 2004,” San Francisco Magazine’s “2004 Best in Chow” and 7 x 7 Magazine’s “Best Business Lunch.” Additional Aqua-affiliated ventures Cafe de la Presse and wine bar Rouge et Blanc enjoy recognition among the city’s most popular dining destinations. Laurent’s concept development and opening of San Francisco’s C & L Steak, as well as the revamping of Burlingame’s Pisces, have made additional impacts on the dining scene.
Laurent learned of his love for cooking while growing up in the Gascon village of Roques. Preparing meals with his grandmother Aurelie awakened his awareness of his passion for the craft, while giving him inspiration for the signature pot-au-feu that appears on nearly all of his menus. Embarking on a culinary career at age 14 led him to an apprenticeship with Master Chef Roger Duffour, followed by training in Paris, where he worked with Master Chefs Yan Jacquot and Claude Deligne at Michelin-starred Taillevent and Toit de Passy. Under the encouragement of Master Chef Michel Rostang, Laurent came to Los Angeles in 1991 to work at restaurants Fennel and Rex.
Just one year later Laurent moved to New York City to take over as Le Grand Comptoir’s Executive Chef. His time at the renowned bistro was followed by an executive chef position at the Waldorf Astoria’s Peacock Alley. In 1998, the same year he was chosen as Bon Appetit’s Rising Star Chef, Laurent left the Waldorf to become partner and Executive Chef of Gertrude’s.
Shortly thereafter, the West Coast beckoned. He left New York in 1999 to join San Francisco’s Campton Place as Executive Chef where he earned the luxurious restaurant high rankings in both Gourmet’s “Top 10 Best Restaurants in the Bay Area,” and Food and Wine’s “50 Best Hotel Restaurants.” In the spring of 2003, he joined Aqua as Corporate Executive Chef.
California has given Laurent’s cuisine a new world of ingredients, as well as he himself the opportunity to indulge in an equally passionate pursuit, winemaking. Since 2004, Laurent has been involved in vineyard ventures here and abroad, where he has been instrumental in the creation of several wines. Together with Emmanuel Kemiji of Miura Vinyards and Sommelier Sean Crowley, he helped handcraft the 2003 Aqua Pinot Noir, Cuvee Manrique and Crowley from the Hudson Vineyard in Carneros and the 2003 C & L Cabernet Sauvignon, Caldwell Vineyard, Cuvee Manrique and Crowley, Napa Valley, California. Award-winning 2003 Acvs Chardonnay from the Talley Vineyard in the Arroyo Grande Valley showcases the first of many efforts by Acvs’s wine project, a partnership formed by Manrique, Crowley, Kemiji, and Charles Condy that will focus on white wines.
In addition to winemaking, Laurent focuses on a variety of philanthropic causes. Of particular note is his own creation, “Taste and Tribute.” This popular annual event came about in 2001, when a longtime interest in Buddhism inspired him to direct his efforts toward the Tibetan Aid Project. “Taste and Tribute,” an evening of camaraderie and fine food, convenes 20 celebrated chefs from around the Bay Area to support the Berkeley-based organization.
Laurent continues to see challenges as opportunities, and seeks them out whenever possible. “The moment there is no more risk, ego takes its place, and the challenge is gone,” he says. “Risk should be present to the end of my life. Without it, there is no quest for the best.”
Accolades
•Aqua: Two Stars, Michelin Guide, 2007
•Aqua: “San Francisco’s Best Restaurants,” Wine Spectator, 2006
•Aqua: “Best Business Lunch,” 7 x 7 Magazine, 2007
•Aqua: Three and a Half Stars, San Francisco Chronicle, 2004
•Aqua: “Best of the Best of 2004,” Robb Report
•Aqua: “Best in Chow,” San Francisco Magazine, 2004
•Campton Place: “Top 10 Best Restaurants in the Bay Area,” Gourmet, 2000
•Campton Place: “50 Best Hotel Restaurants,” Food and Wine, 2000
•“Rising Star Chef,” Bon Appetit, 1998


Chef Marsha McBride, Cafe Rouge, Berkeley, California
Executive chef and owner Marsha McBride is a Cal graduate and graduated from the San Francisco Culinary Academy. She has worked in the field for 25 years. Prior to opening Cafe Rouge in 1996, Marsha worked for 9 years at Zuni Cafe in San Francisco. Marsha was named one of the top 10 New Chefs by Food and Wine Magazine. Her recipes have appeared in Gourmet, Bon Appetit and Food and Wine.


Chef Roland Mesnier, Former Pastry Chef of the White House
Originally from a tiny village in Burgundy, Roland Mesnier began his first patisserie job in 1956 at the age of twelve. After entering an apprenticeship program in pastry-making two years later, Mesnier continued his training in Germany and was soon working in some of the most high-end hotels in Europe, including the George V in Paris and the Savoy in London. Later, as the Corporate Pastry Chef for Princess Hotels, he organized the grand openings of the chain’s restaurants and prepared desserts served at Queen Elizabeth II’s state dinners and at the Governor’s Palace in Bermuda.
It was in Bermuda that Mesnier met his future wife, Martha, an American for whom the French pastry chef decided to move west. Once settled in the United States, Mesnier became the Pastry Chef at the Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia, in 1976, and soon after began teaching the art of pastry-making at l’Academie de Cuisine in Washington.
Given such experience, it was not surprising when, during a nationwide search for a new White House Pastry Chef in 1979, First Lady Rosalynn Carter hired Roland Mesnier on the spot. Mesnier’s desserts became the highlight of every State Dinner and First Family celebration. Indeed, Chef Mesnier created a new dessert, equally stunning in appearance as in taste, for every State Dinner. Furthermore, Mesnier always made an extensive effort to tailor his confections not only to the occasion but to those present.
Chef Mesnier has received numerous honors and awards, including 20 gold medals in pastry competitions around the world. He has been Honorary President of the World Cup of Pastry from 1989 to the present, received the Legion of Honor award in 2005, and is a member of the Chocolate and Pastry Hall of Fame in New York.
Mesnier’s cookbook, Dessert University, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2004. At that time he appeared as a guest on The Today Show, CNN’s Crossfire, The Robert Novak Show and on the Fox News Channel.
ALL THE PRESIDENTS’ PASTRIES: Twenty-Five Years in the White House:
A Memoir will be published by leading French publisher, Flammarion, and distributed here in the United States by Random House on February 19, 2007.


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