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Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner
Exceptional food is a rare thing. It takes years of training, finesse and imagination from a single individual. But what happens when you take those individuals and put them together to collaborate creatively for one evening?  The outcome is the Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner, a rare, once-in-a-lifetime dining experience featuring renowned James Beard Award-winning chefs. This event has drawn eight of the USA’s most prestigious and influential James Beard award-winning chefs who will demonstrate their extraordinary talent in a multi-course, collaborative dinner, complete with carefully selected wine pairings.
 

In partnership with the Scottsdale Culinary Festival, The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa will host this prestigious event, beginning at sunset with hors d’oeuvres and aperitifs on the hotel’s manicured lawn overlooking ice sculptures and a serene lake. That spectacular introduction, plus the multi-course dinner that follows, promises a truly romantic, memorable evening of exquisite cuisine from the hands of true culinary artisans.
 

Exceptional food is a rare thing. It takes years of training, finesse and imagination from a single individual. But what happens when you take those individuals and put them together to collaborate creatively for one evening?  The outcome is the Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner, a rare, once-in-a-lifetime dining experience featuring renowned James Beard Award-winning chefs. This event has drawn eight of the USA’s most prestigious and influential James Beard award-winning chefs who will demonstrate their extraordinary talent in a multi-course, collaborative dinner, complete with carefully selected wine pairings.
 

In partnership with the Scottsdale Culinary Festival, The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa will host this prestigious event, beginning at sunset with hors d’oeuvres and aperitifs on the hotel’s manicured lawn overlooking ice sculptures and a serene lake. That spectacular introduction, plus the multi-course dinner that follows, promises a truly romantic, memorable evening of exquisite cuisine from the hands of true culinary artisans.
 

Event Details
Date & Time: Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 6:00pm (Reception) & 7:30pm (Dinner) 
Location: deseo at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
6902 E Greenway Parkway, Scottsdale, AZ
Maps:
Parking: Complimentary self-parking available at the front of the resort or valet parking available
Attire: Cocktail
Tickets: $200 per person
  All events, prices, personalities, performances, venues, dates and times subject to change without notice. No refunds or exchanges. No one under 21 will be admitted.

 

Date & Time: Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 6:00pm (Reception) & 7:30pm (Dinner) 
Location: deseo at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
6902 E Greenway Parkway, Scottsdale, AZ
Maps:
Parking: Complimentary self-parking available at the front of the resort or valet parking available
Attire: Cocktail
Tickets: $200 per person
  All events, prices, personalities, performances, venues, dates and times subject to change without notice. No refunds or exchanges. No one under 21 will be admitted.

 


Participating Chefs


Todd Berry
Executive Chef
Todd Berry

Executive Chef
The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa (Scottsdale, AZ)

Festival Event(s):
  • James Beard Benefit Dinner

  • Leading the imaginative culinary experience at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa is, Executive Chef and Arizona Native, Todd Berry. Known for his inventive regional cuisine, Berry leads a team of nearly 100 members charged with servicing Nellie Cashman's Monday Club Café, J. Swilling's Pool Bar & Grill, The Rim, Waltz & Weizer Saloon, Coffee Flats and Snowbowls, Brittlebush Bar & Grill, and Deseo, a specialty restaurant inspired by Nuevo Latino inventor Douglas Rodriguez.  Berry also oversees all banquet events for the Resort, which offers more than 175,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting space.

    Berry is known for his creative execution, forward-thinking approach to cooking and strong desire to teach and mentor his staff. Berry joined the Westin Kierland team in April of 2006 as head of the resort’s banquet department. He was quickly noticed for his ability to keep cool under pressure and for possessing a natural talent and pure passion for cooking. He also gained a reputation for having a genuine interest in the happiness and success of all his team members.

    Prior to joining The Westin Kierland Resort, Berry served as Executive Chef at both the Sheraton Grand Sacramento and Hidden Meadow Ranch in Greer, Ariz. Other previous experience includes the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch, where he worked for 11 years, the Hotel Westcourt in Scottsdale and the French Corner, also in Scottsdale.


    Michael Ginor
    Co-Founder, Co-Owner, President & Chef
    Michael Ginor

    Co-Founder, Co-Owner, President & Chef
    Hudson Valley Foie Gras (Ferndale, NY)

    Festival Event(s):
  • James Beard Benefit Dinner

  • Michael Aeyal Ginor is co-founder and Chef of Hudson Valley Foie Gras, the most comprehensive Foie Gras producer in the world.  Michael, with his partner Izzy Yanay, modernized the ancient delicacy known to Pharos and kings by utilizing the hi-tech and scientifically advanced production techniques of the twentieth century.  Production is now a unified, controlled and consistent operation based on nature, nurture, and technology.  It is a closed, independent production system where the duck and the egg both come first!

    Michael was born in Seattle, Washington, in 1963.  He is a graduate of Brandeis University and studied for an MBA at New York University.  After four years on Wall Street as a Senior Vice-President with David Lerner Associates he decided to take a revolutionary step: having been born to Israeli expatriates living in America, in 1988 Michael joined the Israeli Defense Forces.  He served as a patrol-commanding Captain in the Gaza Strip and as the Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson.  It was in Israel that Michael first discovered the potential of modern-age Foie Gras processing. Michael pursued his dream by establishing what is today the major Foie Gras producer in the United States. The company distributes its moulard duck products through a network of distributors extending throughout the United States, and beyond.
     
    HVFG has received the 1993 Gold Merit Award from Chefs in America and the 1996 Award for Excellence from The James Beard Foundation. In 1996, HVFG received the Five Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences and the 1998 Award of Excellence from the American Tasting Institute. Michael has served as Honorary Event Chairman for the Spinazzola Foundation and the Cystic Fibrosis Fund.  In May 1996, Michael received the first Olive Branch Award from the Jewish National Fund for humanitarian and professional achievements. He was honored with the 1997 Angel Award from The James Beard Foundation for dedication, contribution and foresight and in 1998, Michael received the American Master Taster Award from the American Tasting Institute. Both Michael and Izzy Yanay were inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who's Who of Food and Beverage. 
     
    While HVFG is the bedrock of Michael’s pursuits, since 1990, Michael has dedicated his time to the many facets of the culinary world, including product development, creating and organizing gourmet and charitable events, workshops and demonstrations. Thus, Hudson Valley Foie Gras is committed to and is associated with: The James Beard Foundation, where Michael serves as a member of the National advisory Board, The Culinary Institute of America, New England Culinary Institute, Meals on Wheels, Share Our Strength, The Robert Mondavi Master Chefs Program, The Television Food Network, The Masters of Food and Wine, The St. Mortiz Food & Wine Festival, Singapore World Gourmet Summit, and the Bangkok World Gourmet Festival among numerous others.  
     
    Michael is also founder of Culinary Brainwaves which consults to the gourmet food industry. He has worked with Rio Suite Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas; Hyatt International; The Regent Group; The Four Seasons Group; Shangri-La Sheraton International; Inter-Continental and the Disney Corporation. He inaugurated the Food and Wine Festivals for Club-Med International. 
     
    Michael organizes culinary events and festivals worldwide. By bringing together celebrated American chefs and local chefs, Michael helps to create an intercultural culinary exchange program, which introduces American ingredients and techniques to world markets. Such events have been organized in Argentina, Canada, Chile, Great Britain, Finland, Hong Kong, Israel, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, and Thailand.
     
    Michael is a food and travel contributor to such stellar publications as Food Arts Magazine; The James Beard Magazine; Art Culinaire; Coffee & Cuisine; Singapore’s Cuisine Scene and Great Britain’s Great Hospitality. His cookbook, the internationally acclaimed Foie Gras…A Passion, is a comprehensive reference book accompanied by 84 recipes, received the prestigious 1999 Prix la Mazille for best international cookbook of the year from the International Cookbook Revue in Versailles.
     
    Michael, along with Chef Ken Oringer launched Boston’s La Verdad, a casual Mexican Taqueria and restaurant, which has already been awarded  “The Best Casual Mexican Restaurant in the US” by Bon Appetit Magazine and “One of the best 100 Restaurant in the US” by Food and Wine Magazine.  
     
    In July 2007 Michael opened TLV in Great Neck, NY, a Mediterranean restaurant which is garnishing critical acclaim and has received three stars from Newsday – “An oasis of serious food…. by culinary luminary Michael Ginor” as well as “best new restaurant (Long Island) 2008’. It received a Zagat “most notabl” distinguish in 2009.  In September 2009 Michael opened “Lola”, a new personal cuisine restaurant, also in Great Neck, NY.  Lola is already being hailed as one of Long Island’s best restaurants. 


    Koren Grieveson
    Chef de Cuisine
    Koren Grieveson

    Chef de Cuisine
    avec (Chicago, IL)

    Festival Event(s):
  • James Beard Benefit Dinner

  • Chef de Cuisine Koren Grieveson is one of Food & Wine's 2008 Best New Chefs and a finalist for the 2009 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Great Lakes.

    Grieveson developed her singular style and meticulous palate during a five-year partnership with Executive Chef Paul Kahan at Blackbird restaurant, where she served as Sous Chef from 1998 until 2003. Working with the collaborative chef, Grieveson was part of the team that launched Blackbird onto the world stage, earning the restaurant accolades for its extraordinary cuisine.
     
    Grieveson's family moved from South Africa to Angola, Iran, England and Brazil before settling in the United States. She graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1996.
     
    In addition to Blackbird, her professional culinary experience includes work at San Francisco's Aqua under Chef Michael Mina, and in Chicago at Spruce under Chef Keith Luce, and Crofton on Wells under Chef Suzy Crofton. Prior to earning her degree, Grieveson worked in private catering to the entertainment industry and served in the United States Army for nine years.


    Roberto Madrid
    Chef de Cuisine
    Roberto Madrid

    Chef de Cuisine
    deseo at The Westin Kierland Resort, Spa & Villas (Scottsdale, AZ)

    Festival Event(s):
  • James Beard Benefit Dinner

  • Born in Northern Mexico, Chef Roberto Madrid specializes in Southwest cooking with an emphasis on using locally-grown produce and indigenous recipes. Madrid was part of Chef Anton Brunbauer’s opening culinary team and is Chef de Cuisine of the resort’s signature restaurant, deseo. Madrid began his culinary career in Scottsdale in 1982, studying under Chef Tony Fogo at The White Truffle, a French fine-dining restaurant in Scottsdale. He then moved to Jean Carlo to master fine Italian cuisine and spent six years with well-known Chef Michael Salvagio at Steven’s, helping to build the foundation of modern Southwestern cuisine. After opening The Terrace restaurant at The Phoenician Resort & Spa, Madrid joined the newly opened Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort at Gainey Ranch in 1986, where he helped developed The Golden Swan into one of the Southwest’s powerhouses of Mediterranean cuisine.


    Daniel Orr
    Executive Chef & Owner
    Daniel Orr

    Executive Chef & Owner
    FARMbloomington (Bloomington, IN)

    Festival Event(s):
  • James Beard Benefit Dinner

  • Daniel Orr is the chef/owner of FARMbloomington. This establishment is the result of his work around the world, from New York, to France, to the Caribbean. As a chef, Orr draws from a lifelong curiosity about individual ingredients combined with extensive training in the art of finding food’s true essence and flavor. The result is simple, yet sophisticated; the best of American food tempered by classic European training. He calls his cuisine “real food for real people.”

    Daniel spent his childhood in Columbus, Indiana, where his parents were serious food lovers. His first summer job in the town’s only fine dining restaurant further fueled his interest and eventually led him to Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in restaurant management, he headed abroad where he worked at some of the top restaurants in France.

    Upon returning home in 1992, Orr settled in at New York’s famed French restaurant, La Grenouille. In 1997, as the executive chef at age 34, he earned a three-star review from the New York Times. That same year, Orr published his first cookbook, Daniel Orr: Real Food(Rizzoli); a collection of recipes for everyday meals, as well as menus for sophisticated entertaining. He also created Kitchen D’Orr, a line of ten spice blends perfected in his own kitchen.

    In 1999, Sir Terence Conran asked Orr to become the executive chef of his first U.S. restaurant: Guastavino’s in New York City. Here Orr was able to experiment and blend all of his training to create menus that defined his signature style. In 2004 he was invited to become the executive chef of the CuisinArt Resort & Spa in Anguilla BWI, where he created a healthy cuisine that was a perfect match for the beauty of Anguilla beaches. Chef Daniel’s third cookbook, Paradise Kitchen, which will be released in the spring of 2011, takes its culinary cues from his time in the Carribbean.

    FARMbloomington is the first Orr-owned establishment. It is also the inspiration for his second cookbook, FARMfood – green living with chef daniel orr and his radio show and podcast, Earth Eats. FARMbloomington is a multi-faceted culinary complex that consists of a restaurant, market, bar, and music venue. The menu focus is on local fresh ingredients and the fusion of island cuisine and Midwest American cooking. It is the culmination of chef Orr’s entire culinary career, from his parents’ kitchen in Columbus, to the CuisinArt Resort & Spa in Anguilla.


    Nicole Plue
    Pastry Chef
    Nicole Plue

    Pastry Chef
    Cyrus (Healdsburg, CA)

    Festival Event(s):
  • James Beard Benefit Dinner

  • Los Angeles native Nicole Plue has long been on the path to becoming one of the nation’s premier pastry chefs. In her most recent role running the pastry program at Michelin-starred Redd in Yountville, Calif., she received three consecutive James Beard Award nominations for Outstanding Pastry Chef and was awarded the title in 2010.

    After pursuing a degree in English from California State University, Plue’s instincts guided her toward culinary school, and she discovered her interest in pastry while studying at the California Culinary Academy.

    Plue began her work in the field with an externship at San Francisco-based Masa’s Restaurant. She then took a position at Hawthorne Lane, where she managed the restaurant’s ambitious bread program. Plue was soon promoted to pastry chef, a position she held for three years. She describes her tenure at Hawthorne Lane as a career-defining experience.

    Plue’s next stop was New York City, where she was recruited as opening pastry chef at Danny Meyers’ Eleven Madison Park. She later opened Terrance Conran’s Guastavino’s before signing on to develop recipes for pastry and baking segments on Martha Stewart Living Television.

    Plue went on to manage the pastry programs at both AZ and Pazo. When Pazo closed, she headed back to California to take the role of pastry chef at Julia’s Kitchen at COPIA in Napa. Her work there drew critical acclaim, and after three years, Plue accepted the position at Redd.

    In January 2011, Plue joined the two-Michelin-star team at Cyrus, where she enjoys the challenge of carrying chef-owner Douglas Keane’s vision through to the dessert courses on the eight-course tasting menu.

    Plue has received universal praise throughout her career. She was named Pastry Chef of the Year by San Francisco Magazine and a “Rising Star” by the San Francisco Chronicle. A dessert she created at Pazo was named “Best Dessert of 2004” by William Grimes for Bon Appétit.

    Plue’s desserts have been featured in Gourmet, Fine Cooking, Food Arts and Food & Wine


    Douglas Rodriguez
    Executive Chef
    Douglas Rodriguez

    Executive Chef
    Alma de Cuba (Philadelphia, PA)
    D. Rodriguez Cuba (Miami, FL)
    Ola, Sanctuary (Miami, FL)
    deseo, The Westin Kierland Resort, Spa & Villas (Scottsdale, AZ)


    Festival Event(s):
  • James Beard Benefit Dinner

  • Regarded as the inventor of Nuevo Latino cuisine, Chef Rodriguez’s westward dining venture landed him in Scottsdale at The Westin Kierland. deseo, which means “desire” in Spanish,” offers authentic Latin-influenced dishes in an upbeat atmosphere featuring a full exhibition ceviche bar as well as floor-to-ceiling windows with vast views of the mountains.

    Douglas Rodriguez is one of America’s most honored chefs. He has owned some of the hottest restaurants in the country including: Chicama, Pipa and OLA (Of Latin America) in New York City, OLA Miami, and Alma de Cuba in Philadelphia. Educated at Johnson & Wales University, Rodriguez’ professional career began in Miami. In 1994 he opened New York’s Patria, garnering three stars from the New York Times in 1996. Awards and honors include the Chefs of America Award (1991), Culinary Master of North American and New York Award (1994), the James Beard Foundation’s “Rising Star Chef Awards” (1996), and a nomination for Beard's 1999 Best Chef: New York.
     
    Rodriguez is also the author of four cookbooks published by Ten Speed Press: Nuevo Latino, Latin Ladles, Latin Flavors on the Grill, and his most recent release, The Great Ceviche Book.


    John Sarich
    James Beard Event Emcee
    John Sarich

    James Beard Event Emcee
    Culinary Director - Chateau Ste. Michelle

    Festival Event(s):
  • James Beard Benefit Dinner

  • Few chefs enjoy access to a greater bounty of world-class wines and fresh foods than Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Culinary Director, John Sarich. “The Pacific Northwest is a chef’s paradise,” says John. “Not only do we have an outstanding variety of ingredients from the land and sea, we also have exceptional wines from Washington’s Columbia Valley, where long summer days and crisp autumn nights produce ideal conditions for well balanced wines.”John’s innovative approach to pairing food and wine has delighted discriminating palates across the country. At Chateau Ste. Michelle, John conducts cooking classes, wine and food tastings, wine dinners, and special events, all designed to further the enjoyment and understanding of wine and food. He also presents training seminars and classes for wine and food professionals and aficionados around the world. Culinary tours have led John from Disney World in Orlando, to the Culinary Institute of America in New York, to hotels in Singapore, China, Bangkok, and Hawaii, to name a few.John joined Chateau Ste. Michelle as a winery guide in 1976, the summer the winery first opened its doors. His incredible knowledge and enthusiasm for wine and food quickly became apparent, and before long he was teaching cooking classes in the Chateau’s historic Manor House. Soon after, he moved into Sales as a wine and food consultant for chefs along the Pacific Coast. In 1980, John took a hiatus from the winery and founded Seattle’s highly acclaimed Adriatica Restaurant. He later opened Dalmacija Ristoran in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. While at Adriatica, John was selected by Esquire magazine as one of the country’s “Hot new Chefs,” and listed by The Seattle Times as one of the city’s “Top Five Chefs.”After returning to Chateau Ste. Michelle as Culinary Director in 1990, John hosted the Emmy-nominated cooking show Taste of the Northwest for four years. He then hosted the nationally and internationally syndicated TV show Best of Taste: Travels With John Sarich, with episodes shot on location in Europe, Asia and across the United States.


    Jason Wilson
    Executive Chef & Owner
    Jason Wilson

    Executive Chef & Owner
    Crush (Seatle, WA)

    Festival Event(s):
  • James Beard Benefit Dinner

  • Chef Jason Wilson, James Beard Award Winner (Best Chef Northwest 2010) and alumni of Food & Wine magazines Best New Chef’s, class of 2006, is the owner and executive chef of the critically acclaimed Crush Restaurant in Seattle. Arguably one of Seattle’s hottest restaurants and most innovative dining experiences, Crush offers Modern American Cuisine in a contemporary setting with professional service and personal attention. Jason’s seasonally changing menus highlight the highest quality ingredients, and showcase the best that the Northwest and American farmers, producers, and fisherman have to offer. The Crush dining experience continues to arouse diners’ senses at every turn.

    A 1995 graduate of the esteemed California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, Wilson’s passion for culinary knowledge and experience brought him to some of the most influential kitchens and patisseries in California, Singapore and France before eventually settling in Seattle. In 1996 Jason joined Jeremiah Tower to open STARS Restaurant in Singapore, learning and working with a South East Asian Staff and an international clientele. Jason moved to Seattle in 1998 to open STARS Bar and Dining, finding the Northwest to be the ultimate culinary hotspot. Jason’s successful experience operating large restaurants and multiple events simultaneously became an asset as Jason and Nicole set out to discover and create a business of their own. After working for notable Seattle families as a personal chef and launching a catering business, Jason opened Crush in 2005 with business and real life partner, Nicole Wilson, as part of a lifelong dream.

    Married on a private estate in Carnation, WA, during the 2001 crush, the name of their first restaurant was pre-determined. Decorated in colors reminiscent of their first venture together at an espresso bar, the exterior walls are a rich cappuccino with milky white trim. Crush is the perfect the expression of their love for each other and the perfect showcase for Wilson’s food.

    His modern approach to cooking,passion for sustainable seafood, and exclusively using seasonally fresh, local, organic, ingredients, has created a modern dining experience in Seattle unparalleled by other restaurants. A personal style of “Crush” cuisine has emerged that can be described as “a dining experience that arouses your senses.”

    An award winning  wine list that focuses on quality wines from around the world with emphasis on California, the Northwest, France, and Italy balances food offerings with great pairings, a breadth of vintages and hard-to-find gems from small producers and notables alike.

    In addition to the numerous accolades and awards that have been bestowed upon the restaurant, Wilson takes great pride in his industry beyond the doors of Crush. He is active in the culinary community and serves as the spokesperson for Piñata Apple; he sits on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute Chefs Congress, Teaches Sous Vide cooking at the Seattle Culinary Academy and has developed new flavors for the popular DRY Soda Company. No stranger to the media, Wilson has appeared on Rachel Ray’s Tasty Travels, has been a guest on Martha Stewart’s show, and has been featured on the Fine Living Network’s “I Want Your Job.”


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