2019 Featured Chefs
Chef, author, cyclist and philanthropist, Chris Cosentino is co-owner of Jackrabbit restaurant in Portland, OR, San Francisco’s celebrated Cockscomb restaurant, and Acacia House at Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Napa Valley.
A graduate of the culinary program at Johnson & Wales University, Cosentino has cooked at some of the country’s most beloved restaurants. At Incanto, Cosentino drew critical acclaim for his innovative Italian and whole animal cooking.
Cosentino is the author of two cookbooks, Beginnings: My Way to Start a Meal, and Offal Good: Cooking from the Heart with Guts, celebrating whole-animal cooking. He has also collaborated with Marvel to write “Wolverine: In The Flesh.” Cosentino won season four of BRAVO's "Top Chef Masters,” earning over $140,000 for The Michael J. Fox Foundation and is also a member of Chefs Cycle, a 300-mile annual bicycle ride that raises funds and awareness in support of No Kid Hungry.
Edouardo Jordan was born and raised in St. Petersburg and attended college at the University of Florida. After graduating with dual degrees in business administration and sports management, Jordan decided to enroll in culinary school at the Le Cordon Bleu in Orlando. Following graduation from culinary school, Jordan’s ambition brought him to renowned restaurants such as The French Laundry, Per Se, and Lincoln Ristorante in New York. With thought of raising a family and opening a restaurant in mind, Jordan moved to Seattle where he began working at Sitka and Spruce as Sous Chef. In 2013, Jordan was asked to open Bar Sajor as Chef de Cuisine and used this as an opportunity to learn as much as he could about opening a restaurant. Taking this knowledge and experience he had gained from Bar Sajor, Jordan officially opened the doors to his restaurant, Salare, in June of 2015. Salare takes influences from France, Italy, the American south, and the Caribbean and has become one of Seattle’s hottest restaurants. In April 2017, Chef Jordan opened his second restaurant, JuneBaby and has already received much attention both nationally and locally. Chef Jordan was nominated for a James Beard Award in 2016, has been named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chef of 2016 and JuneBaby Restaurant Best New Restaurant for 2018, and Salare was listed as a Best New Restaurant in America in 2016 by Eater National. Chef Jordan was a 2017 James Beard Award finalist and received the prestigious James Beard Award for the Best Chef: Northwest 2018 and Best New Restaurant 2018 for JuneBaby Restaurant.
Chef Gregory Gourdet is the culinary mastermind behind Departure where he pairs local ingredients with the flavors and traditions of Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Korea to create modern Asian fare. Gourdet’s extensive travels to research and understand other cultures allow him to see Oregon’s bounty through an Asian lens, producing a constantly evolving seasonal menu inspired by cooking methods and ingredients from abroad. A two-time James Beard Award semifinalist and native New Yorker from Queens, Gourdet honed his culinary skills within celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant dynasty.
Gourdet took the reins at Departure in Portland, OR in 2010. He was Eater Portland’s Chef of the Year in 2014, and in 2015, his fame skyrocketed as he earned runner-up in Bravo’s Top Chef Season
12. After much acclaim, he went on to open Departure’s second location in Denver, CO in 2016.
Chef Shota began his culinary journey at the age of sixteen, working for a well-acclaimed sushi restaurant in his hometown of Seattle, WA. At the age of eighteen, Nakajima moved to Osaka, Japan to learn about the art of Japanese cuisine. In Japan, Nakajima had the opportunity to work for Michelin Star rated Chef Yasuhiko Sakamoto. As one would expect, this experience changed Chef Shota’s perspective on cooking. Since returning to Seattle, it has been Nakajima’s dream to convey Chef Sakamoto’s approach to hospitality and Japanese cuisine in the United States. In 2017 competed on Iron Chef Gauntlet and in 2018 semifinalist for the James Beard Award.
Born in Deep Run, N.C. to tobacco and hog farming parents, Vivian Howard’s upbringing was steeped in the Southern food traditions of her neighbors. After college, Vivian moved to New York to work in advertising, but soon transitioned to the city’s food and restaurant scene. Vivian honed her culinary skills and love of food working in the kitchens of some of New York’s most esteemed restaurants and training under some of the most cutting-edge chefs. In 2005, Vivian returned to Kinston, N.C. to open her first award-winning restaurant, Chef & the Farmer, followed by the Boiler Room, also in Kinston, and Benny’s Big Time Pizzeria in Wilmington. In the fall of 2018, Vivian will open her fourth restaurant, Handy & Hot in Kinston. Vivian and her restaurants have won numerous accolades, including her selection as a five-time James Beard Foundation Award semifinalist for Best Chef: Southeast. In 2012, Vivian and director Cynthia Hill premiered A Chef’s Life, the award-winning documentary television series celebrating eastern North Carolina food traditions. After five seasons, it segued into a new series to premiere in 2019. Vivian then released her first cookbook, Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South, published by Little, Brown & Co., in October 2016. Today, the book has won numerous awards and Vivian is currently working on a second.