Meet the Chefs

We’ve partnered with a collection of James Beard Award-winning and nominated chefs from 10 distinct regions to bring their culinary expertise into the workplace. Each chef will create four signature dishes to be offered through our catering division, Martin + Fitch, giving employees the ultimate “foodie” experience.

Photo by Carly Diaz

November

| Featured Chef

Bonnie Morales

Chef and Owner of Kachka

The first-generation American daughter of Belarusian immigrants, chef Bonnie Morales (née Frumkin) grew up in Chicago in a large family that brought with them the distinctive culture of food and drink of the former Soviet Union. As an adult, Morales first began her professional career in product design, but after briefly working for a design consultancy in NYC, she left to pursue a career in food. She trained at the Culinary Institute of America, then honed her skills in several of New York and Chicago’s Michelin starred restaurants including Tru, where she met her future husband and business partner, Israel Morales. In 2014, the Morales’ opened Kachka, their dream restaurant devoted to the food that Bonnie grew up with, inspired by Russia and former Soviet republics such as Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, and Uzbekistan.

Short Rib Borsch

Tender shredded short ribs update this traditional stew with hearty beets, caramelized onions and diced potatoes, topped with sour cream and fresh dill and served with spicy mustard and black bread.

Golubtsi

A mixture of ground beef, pork and lamb with rice, generously wrapped in cabbage and simmered in an aromatic tomato and lingonberry sauce. Garnished with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkled with fresh dill.

Perlovka

A salad of pearled barley, roasted King Oyster mushrooms, pears and roasted hazelnuts, tossed in a lively herb dressing.

Chicken “In A Clay Pot”

Slow-cooked chicken thighs, braised in smetana – a smooth crème fraîche and garlic cream – layered over golden potatoes with fresh porcini mushrooms, garlic and studded with dried sour cherries.


December

| Featured Chef

Gavin Kaysen

Chef and Owner of Spoon and Stable

There is nothing quite like the frenetic and fleeting seasonality of the upper Midwest to inspire a soulful cook. For Chef Gavin Kaysen, an old soul at heart, this idea beckoned him back home to Minneapolis to open Spoon and Stable, a 2015 James Beard Award Finalist for Best New Restaurant, in the North Loop neighborhood in fall 2014. Further planting his roots in Minnesota in early 2017, he opened French-inspired bistro, Bellecour, in Wayzata, MN. His second restaurant is a nod to his friends and mentors, Chefs Daniel Boulud and the late Paul Bocuse, and their time spent together in Lyon, France. “Cooking is very emotional for me; I have to cook how I feel,” Kaysen says. “There’s something to be said for how you feel emotionally as one season gives way to the next, when it snows, rains, or is sunny. I never thought about that growing up here, but coming back, I see that now.”

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Photo by Denny Culbert

January

| Featured Chef

Nina Compton

Chef and Owner of Compère Lapin

Winner of the 2018 James Beard Awards “Best Chef: South” and one of Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs 2017”, Nina Compton is Chef/Owner of award-winning restaurant Compère Lapin in New Orleans’ Warehouse District. Her second restaurant venture, Bywater American Bistro (BABs), is located in New Orleans’ “Sliver by the River” Bywater neighborhood.

Born and raised in St. Lucia, Nina grew up with the flavors and beauty of the Caribbean.  Upon completion of secondary school in England, she returned home where she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a chef. Her wary but supportive parents arranged an internship with a friend’s hotel in Jamaica where she fell in love with the creativity and camaraderie of the kitchen. Leaving the cozy, warm winters of the Caribbean, Nina chose to move to chilly Hyde Park, NY to study at The Culinary Institute of America.

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Photo by Jason Varney

February

| Featured Chef

Rich Landau

Chef and Owner of Vedge

Husband/Wife team Richard Landau and Kate Jacoby are the Chefs/ Owners of Philadelphia’s renowned vegetable restaurant, Vedge. The couple’s continuous recognition has allowed them to grow their small restaurant group to include their street food bar, V Street, and their fast-casual eatery, Wiz Kid. Most recently in 2018, Richard was a nominee for a James Beard Award as the Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

Chef Rich Landau, a pioneer of the modern plant-based dining experience, opened his first restaurant, Horizons, in 1994. His mission: to demonstrate the creativity and satisfaction of vegetable cuisine.

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Photo by Dan Watkins

March

| Featured Chef

Tiffani Faison

Chef and Owner of Sweet Cheeks & Tiger Mama

Chef Tiffani Faison of Sweet Cheeks and Tiger Mama, nominated as a 2018 Best Chef: Northeast by the James Beard Foundation, has made a name for herself nationwide for her dynamic personality, fierce work ethic and distinct ability to create restaurants that are warm, creative, and instantly loveable.

Tiffani began her career working under such renowned chefs as Daniel Boulud, Alain Ducasse, Todd English and Tony Maws. In 2006, early into her career, she was cast on the very first season of Bravo’s Top Chef, and placed as runner-up. From there, she worked in prestigious kitchens in Nantucket, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and San Francisco before returning to Boston in 2010 to become Executive Chef of Southern Italian restaurant, Rocca Kitchen & Bar.

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Past Featured Chefs

We’ve had the pleasure to work with these nationally acclaimed chefs of varying culinary backgrounds to bring diverse menu creations to our clients. You can still find these delicious recipes featured this year through our catering division, Martin + Fitch.

July

| Featured Chef

Amanda Cohen

Chef and Owner of Dirt Candy

Amanda Cohen is the chef and owner of Dirt Candy, her award-winning vegetable restaurant located on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Most recently, Amanda was a 2018 James Beard Award nominee for Best Chef in New York City. In 2017, Dirt Candy became the first vegetarian restaurant in seventeen years to receive two stars from the New York Times, it has been recognized by the Michelin Guide seven years in a row, and won awards from Gourmet Magazine, the Village Voice, and many others. Cohen was the first vegetarian chef to compete on Iron Chef America and her award-winning comic book cookbook Dirt Candy: A Cookbook, now in its sixth printing, is the first graphic novel cookbook to be published in North America.

Carrot Risotto Cakes

Carrot risotto cakes seasoned with diced onions and garlic and topped with grated pecorino and fresh thyme.

Smoked Cauliflower with Buttermilk Waffles and Horseradish Cream

Crisp and golden buttermilk waffles over a creamy horseradish sauce, topped with crispy smoked cauliflower. Finished with a drizzle of maple syrup.

Tomato and Smoked Feta Salad

Delicious wedges of fresh heirloom tomatoes mixed with cucumbers and red onions, spiced with fresh garlic and sprinkled with smoked feta cheese and basil.

Zucchini and Pasta Noodles with Garlicky Yogurt Sauce and Falafel Balls

Zucchini noodles and angel hair pasta tossed in a garlic and saffron yogurt sauce sprinkled with lemon zest and squash blossom ribbons. Completed with Mediterranean spiced falafel balls.


Photo by Hugo Juarez

August

| Featured Chef

Brad Kilgore

Chef and Owner of Alter

Chef Bradley Kilgore was born and raised in Kansas City. After moving around to work and train in Denver, Italy, and Chicago, he has now planted his feet in Miami. Early in his career, Chef Kilgore worked at world-renowned restaurants Alinea and L2o, earning both the honor of 3 Michelin Stars. After living in Chicago, Bradley made his move to Miami where he set his sights on the famed restaurant Azul in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. During his tenure Azul was awarded 5 Stars from Forbes Travel Guide in 2013. From there, Chef Kilgore moved on to the St. Regis Bal Harbour as Executive Chef at J&G Grill, where he was awarded 4 Stars from the Miami Herald.

In the summer of 2015, Chef Kilgore opened Alter in the art focused Wynwood district of Miami. There he offers Progressive American cuisine, highlighting indigenous Floridian ingredients. Alter received 4 stars from the Miami Herald in November of that year, making Chef Kilgore the only Chef to ever receive 4 stars twice. In its opening year, Alter was named semifinalist for the prestigious James Beard Awards in the category Best New Restaurant, and Chef Kilgore in the category of Rising Star Chef of the Year in 2016 and 2017. Most recently Bradley was a 2018 James Beard Award nominee for Best Chef in the South.

Chicken Confit Salad with Truffle, Celery + Green Apple

Truffled chicken salad mixed with toasted walnuts and dried cherries, topped with baby arugula and pickled red onions.

Sockeye Salmon with Lemon Carbonara, Olive Relish + d’Espelette

Fresh and flavorful Sockeye salmon in a creamy lemon carbonara sauce and topped with zesty olive relish.

Tri-Tip Au Poivre with Caramelized Cauliflower, Vadouvan + Horseradish

Tri-tip steak coated with loosely cracked peppercorns, drizzled with a horseradish cream sauce, and served with a side of caramelized cauliflower.

Garlic Cured Skirt Steak with Piquillo Pepper, Chimichurri + Sesame Oil

Roasted garlic and soy sauce marinated skirt steak in a piquillo pepper sauce, topped with chimichurri and a side of Peruvian purple potatoes.


September

| Featured Chef

Michael Fojtasek

Chef and Owner of Olamaie

Michael Fojtasek is the executive chef and owner of Olamaie, Austin American-Statesman’s 2015 and 2017 ‘Best Restaurant in Austin,’ and upcoming neighborhood restaurant Mignette. Fojtasek opened Olamaie in Austin, Texas, in August 2014 as an outlet for his passion for seasonal ingredients and love of Southern cooking and hospitality. Olamaie offers a modern interpretation of the flavors of the South that first inspired Fojtasek’s love for cooking. Since opening, Olamaie and Michael have received numerous accolades, including 2018 James Beard Finalist for “Best Chef Southwest,” 2015 James Beard Awards Semifinalist for “Best New Restaurant,” 2015 Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs,” and second Best New Restaurant in Texas Monthly’s “Where to Eat Now” in 2015. Beyond these culinary accolades, Olamaie has served as a touchstone for the community by supporting numerous charities and causes and working to promote a culture of fairness and equality.

Smoked Chicken Salad with Marinated Tomatoes + Romaine Lettuce

Smoked chicken salad spiced to perfection on a bed of chopped romaine hearts with a side of tomatoes marinated in champagne vinegar, olive oil, and a blend of delicious herbs and spices.

Roast Chicken with Chicken Jus, Braised Hominy, Sweet Potatoes + Popcorn Puree

Layers of braised hominy in a creamy popcorn puree, sweet potatoes and golden roasted chicken topped with scallions and popcorn.

Shrimp + Wild Rice with Onions + Roasted Cauliflower

Beurre monté poached shrimp atop wild rice and sofrito, combined with charred onion petals and roasted cauliflower.

Pork Loin with Luck and Money

Sliced pork loin brined and roasted over a peas and collard greens stew sprinkled with crispy garlic chips and frilly mustard.

Photo by Maria Ponce

October

| Featured Chef

Abraham Conlon & Adrienne Lo

Chefs and Owners of Fat Rice

Growing up in Lowell, Massachusetts, Abe Conlon’s culinary beginning was heavily impacted by his Portuguese heritage and a strong Southeast Asian presence in his community. Beginning a professional cooking career at the age of 15, Abe gained knowledge of classic sensibilities early on. His understanding of French technique bloomed under the tutelage of Frédy Giradet and Grey Kunz. He continued his training at the Culinary Institute of America while also studying fusion techniques under Norman Van Aken. The next stage in Abe’s career found him running Chez Asian Bistro in the Dominican Republic, melding traditional Southeast Asian styles with local ingredients, followed by Augustine’s at Fredericksburg Square in Virginia. Adrienne Lo, a Chicago native with Chinese heritage, attended Trinity College in Connecticut. During her junior year, Adrienne studied abroad in India, and after graduation she traveled to Italy to work on a farm. Upon returning to Chicago, she met Abe (who had also re-located to the city) and founded X-marx, an underground experience exploring modern techniques as well as world home-style cuisines.

Curried Beef and Tendon with Turnip (Estufada)

Braised beef chuck roast and tendons in a curry rub and puréed ginger sauce, garnished with fresh and crunchy radish coins and green onions.

Malay-Style Vegetable Curry

Crispy Chinese eggplant tossed with a variety of Malaysian vegetables in a warm and flavorful curry sauce topped with cilantro, red onion and finger chillies.

Portuguese Chicken (Po Kok Gai)

Rich layers of cabbage, potatoes and carrots with turmeric baked chicken covered in a warm Portuguese curry sauce. Finished with melted São Jorge cheese, spiced tea eggs, Spanish dried chorizo and black Portuguese olives.

Shrimp Curry with Okra and Tomato

Seared shrimp tossed with a hot curry sauce, crushed tomatoes and okra over a bed of sweet coconut rice.