Franklin Becker – Executive Chef: The Little Beet, New York City; Competing for Autism Speaks – Sous Chef: Vinson Petrillo.
Becker – Brooklyn boy. Writter of Good Fat, Great Flavor. Won the Burger Bash at the Food & Wine Festival in 2011. He’s appeared on Masters before as a guest judge – as well as Iron Chef America, Today, and Dr. Oz. He is also the organizer and chairman of Autism Speaks to Wall Street, a Celebrity Chefs Gala that will see its seventh annual event on October 21st, 2013. Why? His son is on the autistic spectrum. Good luck, Becker.
Petrillo – At the age of 15, Vinson started working for the Parsippany Hilton. The first and last time the Parsippany Hilton will ever be a part of my vernacular. He went on a tour of working at great restaurants after college – before he wound up with Becker. He is now the Chef de Cuisine at Prospect in Brooklyn, NY, a modern new American restaurant with a focus on sustainability
David Burke – Executive Chef & Owner, David Burke Townhouse, Burke in the Box, David Burke Fishtail, David Burke Fromagerie, David Burke Prime, David Burke’s Primehouse and David Burke’s Kitchen, New York City; Competing for Table to Table – Sous Chef: Chris Shea
Burke – He’s been on Top Chef before. He graduated early from high school and once was personal chef for Prince Charles and his ears. In the US, he once worked for Charlie Palmer and eventually opened several restaurants named after himself. Just like Palmer. Japan gave him the Nippon Award for Excellence. The second best award for excellence, behind only the Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence.
Shea – He’s been with Burke for about a decade, and claims to have a whimsical style to create the playful dishes at David Burke Kitchen in SoHo. Making deliveries to Washington Heights’ Frank’s Market while only a middle schooler raised his interest in food. He met Burke early on in his career and has become the Robin to his Batman.
Lynn Crawford – Chef-Owner: Ruby Watchco and Ruby Eats, Toronto, Canada: Competing for Sunnybrook Foundation – Sous Chef: Lora Kirk
Crawford – She’s a Food Network Canada star, eh. And also featured in the US on The Cooking Channel – for those who think Food Network doesn’t show enough cooking. Crawford competed in and won Chef’s Challenge presented by MasterCard in 2010 and 2012. She reminds me of Phyllis from The Office.
Kirk – Another Canadian. She worked with Gordon Ramsey and lived to tell the tale. She was invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York and in Kitchen Stadium on Iron Chef America. After success in the US, she returned to Toronto and linked up with Crawford.
Odette Fada – Executive Chef, San Domenico, New York, NY; Competing for Doctors Without Borders – Sous Chef: Benedetto Bartolotta
Fada – She’s got a rather short bio on the Bravo page – but she’s got some serious Italian chops. After earning a degree in culinary arts in Italy and working with Gianfranco Vissani in Orvieto and Rome, Chef Odette Fada went to Los Angeles to become chef for the renowned Rex Il Ristorante by Mauro Vincenti. Fada has cooked for Italian enthusiasts as well as Oscar parties and the Grammy Awards. She may have made things that went into Jennifer Lawrence’s mouth – so…give her some respect, dammit.
Bartolotta – No, he’s not a race car driver, even if he has the right name for it. He created Indulge by Bene which is a successful catering and event planning company in NYC. He also works with Fada at San Domenico.
Neal Fraser – Owner, BLD, Fritzi Dog, The Strand House, Neal Fraser & Co. at Vibiana, Redbird at Vibiana, Los Angeles, CA; Competing for Alex’s Lemonade Stand – Sous Chef: Jason Bowlin
Fraser – He may win the facial hair award this season. The one-time line cook for Wolfgang Puck has moved up in the world, especially in California cuisine. He once put out an all hemp menu. I wonder if Woody Harrelson has ever left his side. At least the stache and tiny beard makes sense now.
Bowlin – He looks like a Euro-villain from an 80s movie, but he’s really from Tulsa. He also went through the Puck team with his buddy Fraser. He’s gone through stints in California and Minnesota before landing with the Fraser’s at Grace Restaurant back in Cali.
Jennifer Jasinski – Executive Chef and Owner, Rioja, Bistro Vendôme, Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen, Denver, CO; Competing for Work Options for Women – Sous Chef: Jorel Pierce
Jasinski – The James Beard Foundation award-winner for Best Chef Southwest in 2013, Jasinski opened her first restaurant, Rioja, in Denver’s Historic Larimer Square to critical acclaim in 2004. Since then, she has dominated Colorado like no one else outside the Elway family. She’s also been to the Puck School of Cooking.
Pierce – Jor El. Yep, he’s Superman’s dad. Looks more like a Village People singer than Russell Crowe or Marlon Brando. He’s Denver bred, and oh, wait, I remember him now. He’s the other impressive moustache from the Seattle tryouts – Josh made it, but Jor El failed. Now I can use all of those Superman jokes I had to shelve. Jorel lists Marco Pierre White, Thomas Keller and Rioja Chef/Owner Jennifer Jasinski as culinary inspirations for widely disparate reasons. Apparently, he loves to cook to jazz music all day but defaults to bluegrass when the world gets crazy. So, bluegrass is on all the time, I assume.