Daniel Boulud


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Daniel Boulud is Chef-Owner of several award-winning restaurants and the Feast & Fêtes catering company. While he hails from outside Lyon, France, it is in New York that he has truly mastered the dining scene and is today considered one of America’s leading culinary authorities. Raised on his family’s farm in the village of Saint-Pierre- de-Chandieu, the chef remains inspired by the rhythm of the seasons and menus driven by fine ingredients. Since arriving in the US in 1982, Boulud has become renowned for the contemporary appeal he adds to soulful cooking rooted in French tradition.

Daniel Boulud’s New York City restaurants include his flagship DANIEL (1993), Relais & Châteaux member; the elegant one-Michelin star Café Boulud (1998) with its adjacent cocktail bar, Bar Pleiades; his contemporary Parisian bistro, db bistro moderne (2001); two Upper West Side restaurants including the charcuterie-centric Bar Boulud (2008) and the Mediterranean-themed Boulud Sud (2011). Épicerie Boulud (2011), with locations across from Lincoln Center, within The Plaza Food Hall and in the Oculus World Trade Center, is an eat-in and take-out market and café, with exquisite homemade and gourmet items from around the world.

Beyond Manhattan the chef has created Café Boulud in Palm Beach (2003), DBGB Kitchen and Bar at Washington’s CityCenterDC (2014), Bar Boulud in Boston’s Mandarin Oriental (2014) and most recently, a second outpost of Boulud Sud in downtown Miami (2018). Boulud has extended his culinary reach internationally with db bistro moderne at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands (2010), Bar Boulud London (2010) at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, Café Boulud at the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto (2012), and Maison Boulud at the Ritz-Carlton Montréal (2012).

Boulud’s culinary accolades include James Beard Foundation awards for “Outstanding Restaurant,” “Outstanding Restaurateur,” “Best Chef, New York City” and “Outstanding Chef of the Year.” He has been named “Chef of the Year” by the Culinary Institute of America and Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the French government. Restaurant DANIEL has been cited as “one of the ten best restaurants in the world” by the International Herald Tribune, has earned multiple Michelin stars and Wine Spectator’s “Grand Award”. In 2015 the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awarded Boulud the Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award for his success as a restaurateur, businessman, and ‘chef who is revered as one of the world’s finest.’ Boulud’s culinary style and reverence to mentorship is reflected in ten books, including the definitive DANIEL: My French Cuisine (Grand Central Publishing, 2013), My Best: Daniel Boulud (Ducasse Books, 2014) and a recently updated version of Letters to a Young Chef (Basic Books, 2017).

Traci Des Jardins


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A California native of a small central valley agricultural community, Traci Des Jardins has been a part of the San Francisco food community for 25 years and has opened many great San Francisco restaurants.  She currently runs a diverse group of eateries, from her iconic Jardinière, Ferry Building located Mijita, to Public House in AT&T Park which serves classic American fare.  Traci’s newest ventures, The Commissary, Arguello, and Transit are located in the Presidio in San Francisco in a newly formed partnership with the Presidio Trust and Bon Appetit Management Company.  They also offer catering, under Presidio Foods Catering, in a number of amazing venues in the Presidio.

Before opening Jardinière in San Francisco in 1997, Des Jardins worked in some of the highly acclaimed kitchens in Los Angeles, France, and New York City. Classically trained in French cuisine by some of the best chefs and restaurateurs in the world, Des Jardins style is also influenced by her Mexican and French-Acadian grandparents who taught her how to cook and gave her a passion for food. Throughout her more than two decades in San Francisco, Des Jardins has continued to focus and evolve her style of cooking as well as her restaurants. Over the course of her successful career she has trained and groomed many chefs and front-of-the-house leaders, many of whom now help operate her growing group of restaurants and others who have gone on to their own successful ventures.

Traci is the culinary advisor to Impossible Foods which launched the Impossible Burger in the summer of 2016. The Impossible Burger is a revolutionary plant based meat. The Impossible Burger is currently only offered in four restaurants in the United States with Jardinière being one of them.

A dedicated philanthropist, Traci sits on the board of the local non-profit La Cocina, and has been a longtime supporter of the farm to table movement and sustainability. Known as one of the top female chefs in the country, Des Jardins is a two-time James Beard award-winner and has earned a number of industry accolades throughout her career.

James Beard Foundation’s “Rising Star Chef of the Year”, 1995
Food & Wine Magazine’s “Best New Chef”, 1995
San Francisco Magazine’s “Chef of the Year”, 1995
Jardinière was one of Esquire Magazine’s “Best New Restaurants”, 1999
James Beard foundation nomination for “Best New Restaurant”, 1999
James Beard Foundation Award for “Best Chef: Pacific”, 2007
Beat “Iron Chef” Mario Batali on the Food Network show Iron Chef America, 2007
Finalist on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters Season 3, 2011
The Commissary was one of Esquire Magazines “Top 10 Restaurants in the Nation”, 2014

Michael Mina


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Michael Mina’s story is one of two decades of influence, passion and achievement.  With the October 2010 opening of MICHAEL MINA, his eponymous signature restaurant in San Francisco, Michael is at the helm at the same location (formerly AQUA) and city where he first established his culinary reputation 20 years ago. 

With accolades including James Beard Foundation “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage” inductee in 2013, Bon Appétit Chef of the Year 2005, San Francisco Magazine Chef of the Year 2005, as well as the International Food and Beverage Forum’s Restaurateur of the Year 2005, Michael continues to dazzle the culinary world with bold dining concepts that have contributed to San Francisco’s reputation as a world-class epicurean destination and made him an integral part of the dining scene across the country and now internationally with our location in Dubai.

Michael’s culinary and business vision led to the founding of Mina Group, with partner Andre Agassi in 2002. Always in the mindset of creating the next culinary dream, Michael has most recently teamed up with Ayesha Curry for the highly anticipated International Smoke. Under the auspices of Mina Group, he has opened over 30 operations including MICHAEL MINA, CLOCK BAR, RN74, BOURBON STEAK, ARCADIA, STRIPSTEAK, WIT & WISDOM, PUB 1842, THE HANDLE BAR, PABU, THE RAMEN BAR, INTERNATIONAL SMOKE, BOURBON PUB, CAL MARE, LOCALE MARKET, PIZZA BURGER, BARDOT BRASSERIE, THE MINA TEST KITCHEN, THE STREET: A MICHAEL MINA SOCIAL HOUSE, MARGEAUX BRASSERIE, AND PETIT MARGEAUX  

Joshua Skenes


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In just a few years, Joshua Skenes has propelled Saison from a pop-up in a Mission District alley in San Francisco to a name with international resonance. A leader in the industry, Skenes continues to push the boundaries of American cuisine while utilizing the abundant natural resources of Northern California.  Along with fire cooking, methods of preservation and an ethos that blends ancient and modern knowledge, he and his team are creating a unique cuisine and dining experience specific to the area.

Skenes has received a host of accolades including Food & Wine’s “Best New Chef”, San Francisco Magazine’s “Best Chef”, and named one of Elite Traveler Magazine’s “15 Most Influential Chefs of the Next Decade.” Saison has a three-star rating from the Michelin Guide and a four-star rating from the San Francisco Chronicle. Saison is a distinguished member of Relais & Chateaux and is the only restaurant in California to place at the World’s 50 Best Awards in 2016 and 2017.

Michael Tusk


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Michael Tusk is the Chef and Owner, along with his wife Lindsay, of two of San Francisco’s most critically acclaimed restaurants, Quince and Cotogna. His approach to Italian and French regional cuisine is refined and modern, taking inspiration from the seasonal bounty of Northern California and his close relationships with local purveyors.

A native of New Jersey, Tusk graduated from Tulane University with a degree in Art History and attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. After completing his studies, Tusk left for Europe to gain experience in Michelin-starred restaurants throughout France and Italy. His experience in Italy’s Barbaresco region resonated most profoundly and was the catalyst for his sustained interest in Northern Italian regional cuisine.

Tusk returned to the United States in 1988 and settled in the San Francisco Bay Area where he contributed to the success of some of the country’s most pioneering, influential restaurants including Stars and Chez Panisse. In December 2003, Tusk and his wife Lindsay opened Quince, and the restaurant quickly became one of San Francisco’s top fine-dining destinations. In November 2010 they opened Cotogna, a bustling, rustic Italian restaurant adjacent to Quince.

The James Beard Foundation has recognized Tusk’s contributions to the industry and named him “Best Chef: Pacific” in 2011. Under Tusk's helm, Quince has also been awarded four stars by the San Francisco Chronicle, three stars from the Michelin Guide and is a distinguished member of Relais & Châteaux.