Chef Elizabeth Falkner is a world recognized, award winning chef and continues to be a leader and pioneer in the culinary arts.
Falkner worked her way up in restaurants and then owned restaurants in San Francisco, California for over twenty years before moving to New York in 2012. She and has been a James Beard Foundation Award nominee (2005) and relentlessly continues to cook for many charity events and Food and Wine Festivals all over the world.
Cooking competitions have been a favorite “sport” for Chef Falkner and she has competed in multiple culinary competitions including Food Network’s “Next Iron Chef, Redemption,” “Iron Chef America” and “Next Iron Chef, Super Chefs,” in which she was a finalist and runner up. She has been a three time competitor on “Food Network Challenge,” as well as a contestant on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.” In addition to competing, Falkner also has acted as judge on several episodes on the Top Chef series on Bravo network and on Cooking Channel and Food Network, Canada.
She is an advocate for people and chefs to think more like athletes and “stay fit to cook”. She played soccer for 28 years, does Jungshin-a sword fighting fitness program, yoga, pilates ran her first marathon, the NY Marathon in 2016 and continues to do half marathons.
Falkner does both savory and sweet, traditional and modern, and is a consultant for numerous products and brands including: Emmi Cheese, Molino Bianco/Barilla, Center For Culinary Development, Kellogg’s Canada, Prosciutto di Parma, Meat and Livestock Australia, Pillsbury, Starbucks, iSi, and many more. She is the first female chef on the culinary council for Holland-America Line.
Her first cookbook, Demolition Desserts (2007) was a finalist for IACP’s Julia Child Best First Cookbook award in 2008. Cooking Off the Clock, her second book, was released August 2012, both Ten Speed Press.
She is a long time member and on the board of directors who served as the president of Women Chefs & Restaurateurs from April 2014 to April 2015 as well programming and producing the most highly attended annual conference and Women Who Inspire awards and gala in NYC in April 2015.
Falkner graduated with a BFA from The San Francisco Art Institute and fell in love with the food movement in California in the early 90’s. She is writing a memoir and coming full circle to her roots in fine art and working on a series of Food/Art Installations-looking at food outside of a restaurant context.
As Executive Chef of Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa and its signature restaurant, elements, Beau MacMillan inspires his staff with his passion for fresh ingredients. His ingenuity in the kitchen is stimulated by his belief that food should not be overworked, but rather appreciated for its simplicity and natural perfection. This philosophy is evident in Chef MacMillan’s innovative seasonal menus that focus on fresh, local ingredients procured from a network of artisans and organic farmers.
Chef MacMillan was recruited to Arizona in 1998 to develop the cuisine at The Ranch on Camelback, which later became Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain. He and former Executive Chef Charles Wiley opened elements restaurant in March of 2001, and Chef MacMillan took the helm in 2004. Since then, Chef MacMillan has brought elements national recognition and acclaim. His 2006 appearance on Food Network’s hit series Iron Chef America (during which he claimed victory over Iron Chef Bobby Flay in “Battle American Kobe Beef”), led to a 2010 starring role in Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America. In 2011, Chef MacMillan competed on Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef, and appeared in several episodes of the network’s The Best Thing I Ever Made and The Best Thing I Ever Ate. In 2013, he became a judge on fellow Food Network chef Guy Fieri’s Guy’s Grocery Games, now in its fourth season. In addition, Chef MacMillan has appeared on Game Show Network’s Beat the Chefs and enjoyed multiple appearances on NBC-TV’s Today Show to showcase a variety of recipes, be it festive holiday dishes, upscale comfort foods or Super Bowl specials. He most recently appeared as a guest on CBS This Morning’s The Dish segment.
Off-camera, Chef MacMillan has cooked at The James Beard House and regularly conducts cooking classes for the guests of Sanctuary. Every year he leads the resort’s famed “Lunch & Learn” program, inviting masters of the culinary world – from star chefs to wine makers and TV personalities – to join him and guests for a weekend of cooking, conversation, and camaraderie. In 2017 Chef MacMillan spearheaded the launch of Nirvana, a culinary festival that takes place each year in Scottsdale, bringing together world-acclaimed chefs, winemakers and mixologists for a series of tastings, special meals, and a celebrity golf tournament. In 2012, he joined forces with Dr. Marwan Sabbagh to create The Alzheimer’s Prevention Cookbook which showcases recipes designed to promote brain health.
Throughout his career, Chef MacMillan was a personal chef for Wayne Gretzky and his family and has cooked for such personalities as former President George W. Bush, Jay-Z, Beyoncé Knowles, Britney Spears, Halle Barry, members of U2 and Arcade Fire, Steve Nash, Bud Selig, Michele Richard, Jacques Pepin and Michele Roux, Sr.
Prior to joining Sanctuary, Chef MacMillan worked in some of America’s most distinguished kitchens. He hails from Plymouth, Massachusetts and is a graduate of Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. His culinary career began at the age of 16 when he secured a position at Crane Brook Tea Room in Carver, Massachusetts. Chef MacMillan spent a year under the tutelage of Chef Francios Demueloge. Inspired by this experience, he joined the brigade at La Vieille Maison in Boca Raton, Florida, rising through the ranks to the position of Sous Chef. Drawn to the culinary scene on the West Coast, Chef MacMillan moved to Los Angeles where he held Sous Chef positions at the prestigious Hotel Bel Air, and later Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, before his move to Arizona.
Jennifer Carroll is the owner and executive chef of Carroll Couture Cuisine, her catering and consulting company that has been traveling worldwide creating fun and delicious experiences for almost a decade. In September of 2015, Jennifer and her fiancé, Chef Billy Riddle, moved to Washington D.C., to partner with Mike Isabella Concepts to create, build & run the French-Mediterranean restaurants Requin in VA and D.C.
Previously, Carroll worked with Chef Marcus Samuelsson at the Red Rooster in Harlem and his Bermuda semi-permanent pop-up, Samuelsson at Hamilton Princess. She spent 9 years under 3 Michelin Star Chef, Eric Ripert, at Le Bernardin and 10 Arts by Ripert. Before joining Ripert’s team, Carroll worked in San Francisco as sous chef at both Julia and Café Kati, under chefs Julia McClaskey and Kirk Webber. In her hometown of Philadelphia, Carroll worked at Chef Derek Davis' Sonoma and Arroyo Grill, as well as Neil Stein's Avenue B, under Chef Patrick Feury. She attended Philadelphia's Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College.
Chef Carroll has had the honor to cook at the James Beard House many times over the years. She contributes to many charitable causes, including, The American Brain Foundation, Alex's Lemonade Stand, Women Against Abuse, No Kid Hungry, March of Dimes, Make-A-Wish, D.C. Central Kitchen, Sips & Suppers plus many more.
Her television appearances include, Top Chef Las Vegas, Top Chef All Stars, Life After Top Chef, Top Chef Duals, Top Chef Colorado - Last Chance Kitchen, Watch What Happens with Andy Cohen, Man Vs Child, Rocco’s Restaurant Divided, Good Catch, Movable Feast, Great Chefs of the World, Chefs Feed, Munchies, POP Sugar, and many local TV news programs across the U.S.
Chef Jason Cichonski is one of Philadelphia’s brightest rising star chefs. His creative, boundary-pushing presentations at his venerated Queen Village restaurant, Ela, have earned him accolades from press and public alike.
Jason Cichonski honed his cooking craft serving as executive chef of Lacroix at the Rittenhouse Hotel when he was just 24 years old. During his tenure, Lacroix was one of the city’s few to be honored with “Four Bells: Superior” status by the Philadelphia Inquirer’s revered restaurant critic, Craig LaBan. Before his success at Lacroix, Cichonski worked in other highly praised kitchens, including the Pluckemin Inn, a contemporary American restaurant in Bedminster, NJ and Moonlight, a progressive American restaurant in New Hope, PA. Most recently, Cichonski had the opportunity to further showcase and refine his cooking skills as a contestant on the popular Bravo TV cooking competition, Top Chef.
Born and raised in Pennsylvania’s Bucks County, Chef Cichonski is a graduate of University City’s The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College. Today, he resides in Philadelphia and can nearly always be found in the kitchen of Ela.
Brad Spence discovered his passion for food at an early age and continues honing his passion as Executive Chef for Amis Trattoria. Chef Spence began his career in New York City before relocating to Philadelphia to take the helm at acclaimed restaurant, Vetri Ristorante. In 2010, he became the Executive Chef of Amis Trattoria, allowing him the opportunity to create a trattoria-style kitchen and pursue his culinary passion for rustic Italian cuisine. Today, he continues to lead the Amis brand, which now has two locations in Philadelphia; flagship amis trattoria in Washington Square West and Bar Amis located at the entrance of Philadelphia’s Navy Yard. In 2017 the brand expanded into Connecticut with an amis trattoria in downtown Westport with another set to open in Devon, PA in Fall 2018.
As two of Philadelphia’s most prominent and ambitious businesswomen, Chef Marcie Turney has worked for more than a decade alongside her partner Valerie Safran to transform the once-desolate 13th Street neighborhood into what has become known as the trendy “Midtown Village.” Today, Chef Turney and Safran’s wildly popular restaurants in the neighborhood, Lolita (106 South 13th Street, 215-546-7100), a modern Mexican bar and restaurant, Barbuzzo (110 South 13th Street, 215-546-9300), a Mediterranean kitchen and bar, Jamonera (105 South 13th Street, 215-922-6061), an Andalusian tapas bar, and Little Nonna’s (1238 Locust Street, 215-546-2100), an Italian-American eatery, as well as their gourmet prepared food market, Grocery (101 South 13th Street, 215-922-5252), and two lifestyle boutiques, Open House (107 South 13th Street, 215-922-1415) and Verde (108 South 13th Street, 215-546-8700), are thriving. In 2015, the pair opened their fifth restaurant, Bud & Marilyn’s (1234 Locust Street, 215-546-2220), a classic American restaurant named after Chef Turney’s grandparents, Bud and Marilyn Briese, who in 1950 opened a restaurant called The Spot in Ripon, Wisconsin.
“Ever since we opened our first restaurant in this neighborhood in 2002, we’ve dreamed of building 13th Street into a lively corridor of restaurants, shops and cafes,” says Chef Turney. “I couldn’t be prouder to have had a hand in creating the vibrant culture that exists here today.”
Chef Turney’s globe-trotting culinary style modernizes and elevates traditional ethnic fare from Mexican at Lolita to Spanish at Jamonera to Mediterranean at Barbuzzo and red gravy Italian at Little Nonna’s. She focuses on full-flavored dishes that allow the often-unusual ingredients of foreign culinary styles to shine. Her menus bring regional specialties to the forefront, incorporating artisanal local ingredients into both classic and innovative preparations, with results that have critics across Philadelphia and the country taking note.
Recognition and praise for Chef Turney’s cooking – and the duo’s entrepreneurship – has been universal, including being named a 2014 semi-finalist for ‘Outstanding Restaurateur’ by the James Beard Foundation. In 2013, The New York Times put the pair front and center in their piece profiling the neighborhood: “These days, however, check-cashing joints and adult bookshops have been replaced by ‘reservations a must’ restaurants and high-end gelato shops, thanks largely to the efforts of Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney.” Philadelphia magazine named her and Safran among the “10 Best Philadelphians” of 2012, calling them “the empresses of the Gayborhood” and praising their ambitious make-over of the once-desolate neighborhood now known as trendy Midtown Village: “In a city where what has been usually dictates what will be, in a neighborhood that nobody else wanted or cared about, two women came in and breathed change all over everything…they had ideas.”