Chefs 2017

Brian & Shanna O’Hea: Academe at The Kennebunk Inn – Kennebunk, ME

 

Brian and Shanna O’Hea are the chef-owners of The Kennebunk Inn and its restaurant, Academe Main Brasserie & Tavern. Since 2003, the husband and wife team have taken their own contemporary culinary creativity and transformed the dining room of the 18th century Inn into a brasserie. The O’Heas are graduates of the Culinary Institue of America and have worked as both private and corporate chefs. The duo participate regularly in national and international food festivals like The Walt Disney World Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, The Sugar Land Wine and Food Affair, The Boca Bacchanal and The Kennebunkport Festival.

Brian and Shanna have been guest chefs on Holland America Cruise Lines presented by Food & Wine Magazine. Chef Shanna O’Hea competed on the Food Network’s “Chopped”, “Beat Bobby Flay” & “Rewrapped.”

Jacob Cureton: Annunciation – New Orleans, LA

Annunciation restaurant Executive Chef Jacob Cureton is a New Orleans native with over a decade of culinary experience in the hospitality industry. He got his start as a line cook at La Cote Brasserie in New Orleans and his passion for cooking evolved during stints at various restaurants in the south. After spending a few years in Alabama, Cureton moved back to New Orleans where he worked at Stella! and Emeril’s Delmonico. During this time, he cooked with Chef Chuck Subra at the James Beard House in New York City.

In 2011, Cureton was tapped to open Johnny V’s Bistro in New Orleans where he had a hand in nearly every aspect of opening from purchasing equipment, to managing staff and working with purveyors. Wanting to expand his culinary acumen, Cureton moved to California, where he served as Executive Chef at The Range Kitchen and Cocktails/Club 1202; overseeing menu development, training and special events.

In 2013, Cureton decided to take his purchasing experience to Whole Foods Market where he was a seafood specialist. There, he was in charge of all inventories and ordering as well as driving sales. His time working for a retailer gave him a deeper understanding and sharper eye for sourcing and purchasing seafood. Eager to get back in the kitchen, Cureton joined the national underground dining club, Dinner Lab as a tour chef. Cureton traveled to ten cities to showcase his culinary style and skills and also competed for the first “brick and mortar” Dinner Lab Restaurant.

 

Chef Cureton, who is a New Orleanian to the core, brings his love for the Crescent City and extensive seafood knowledge to Annunciation; creating an innovative, modern Creole and Southern menu with sophisticated flavors and detailed execution.

Ryan Haigler: Grand Isle – New Orleans, LA

Grand Isle Restaurant Executive Chef Ryan Haigler grew up fishing and crabbing in the creeks, beaches and the surrounding waters of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Realizing he had a passion for cooking during his teen years, he worked in a variety of kitchens in Charleston before accepting a position in New York City. Stints at Tom Colicchio’s Craft, Kittichai and Jean-Georges Spice Market helped the young chef hone his skills and refine his technique. In 2006, Haigler moved to New Orleans and soon after, accepted a sous chef position at Le Petite Grocery, working under Chef Justin Devillier. In 2008, Haigler left to open Boucherie, Nathaniel Zimet’s contemporary Southern eatery. During his tenure with Zimet, Haigler focused on elevating traditional Southern cuisine, and the young chef started putting his unique creative twists on classic Louisiana fare.

In 2010, Haigler was approached by celebrity Chef/Restaurateur Emeril Lagasse to helm charcuterie program at Emeril’s Delmonico, Lagasse’s Garden District restaurant. While gaining recognition for his culinary prowess, Haigler was tapped by award-winning chefs John Folse and Rick Tramanto to join the opening team at Restaurant R’evolution, the French Quarter eatery which opened in 2012 and has earned raves and accolades both locally and nationally. Chef Haigler also starred on the inaugural national tour of Dinner Lab, the members only roving dinner series that originated in New Orleans.

Chef Haigler, who loves all things seafood, brings his signature-style – which is both refined and rustic – to Grand Isle; modernizing and elevating the already seafood-centric menu with flavors all of his own.

 

John O’Leary: Naples Yacht Club – Naples, FL

John has held leadership position’s inside the United States within The Ritz Carlton Hotels, St. Regis Hotels, The Peninsula Hotels, Chef Partner with Roy Yamaguchi and abroad in the Channel Islands at the La Moinerie on the Isle of Sark.

John attended the culinary apprenticeship at The Greenbrier under Certified Master Chef Peter Timmins that later led to the opportunity to train under a number of other Certified Master Chefs (Richard Rosendale, Lawrence McFadden, John Johnstone), Charlie Trotter, Rick Tramonto, Graham Elliott, Michael Voltaggio.

John is a member of American Culinary Federation Caxambas Chapter. He currently lives in Naples, Florida with his wife Lisa O’Neill and two children John Jr. and Sophie who he says keep him running every moment of his life.

Patrick Duffy: The Addison – Boca Raton, FL

Executive Chef Patrick Duffy leads the Five Star Diamond award winning kitchen at the Addison. He is renowned for his elegant, highly-personalized, and on-trend farm-to-table menus, pursuing locally sourced and highest quality ingredients.

Growing up in Kansas City, Kansas, it’s no wonder that Patrick’s culinary roots began in barbeque. In 1997 he relocated to South Florida where he worked for restaurants such as Brassiere Max, Perricone’s, and Seasons 52. Since his formative years, Patrick has mastered countless international cuisines, including Indian and Glatt Kosher, as well as new culinary trends. According to him, “there is no menu too tough.”

Even for the largest weddings and corporate events, Patrick’s food is always fresh to-order and customized to his client’s taste. His high-standards, colorful imagination, attention to detail, and passion for the dining experience have earned him a reputation as one of the best catering chef’s in the country.

In 2016, Patrick was awarded the Six Star Diamond Award, and was recognized by The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences as one of the finest chefs worldwide.

Regina Charboneau: Twin Oaks – Natchez, MS

Regina is a Mississippi maven. Born and raised in Natchez, Mississippi, the River runs through her veins. Chef Charboneau has worked as a camp cook in the bush of Alaska, created and owned restaurants in San Francisco, been chef de cuisine on a set of luxurious vintage railway cars, served as the culinary director of the American Queen Riverboat, and written cookbooks. It did not matter if Regina was living in Alaska, Paris, or San Francisco because she brought the South and Southern Cooking with her.

A key figure in the American food scene in California that happened in the 80’s, she opened the eponymous Regina's at the Regis in 1985. Located in the heart of the San Francisco's theater district, Regina's was a favorite late nightspot for theatergoers as well as directors, musicians, and actors. In 1995, Regina created Biscuits & Blues nightclub in San Francisco. Featuring classic southern cuisine and live music nightly, Biscuits & Blues has won multiple WC Handy awards for Best Blues Club in America. Biscuits & Blues is still going strong today, having celebrated its 20th year in February of 2015.

Regina returned to her native Natchez in 2001 and purchased the historic home Twin Oaks, circa 1832, where she has six guest rooms on the property. She offers cooking classes at Twin Oaks and some of the best hospitality in the South. As Julia Reed wrote about Regina “The first time I met Regina Charboneau, she was making her butter biscuits for our dinner. I’ve returned to Twin Oaks many times for infusions of what those of us lucky enough to be in Regina’s orbit all refer to as “Biscuit Love”- which is also a metaphor for her great company, innate graciousness and bottomless generosity. I would happily follow Regina up and down the Mississippi for an extended dose of her hospitality and her inventive and always superb cooking”.

Her latest venture in Natchez was the restoration of King’s Tavern, circa 1789. King’s Tavern showcases a menu of wood-fired flatbreads, sustainable fish and meats, and handcrafted cocktails. Her husband, Doug, and son, Jean-Luc, operate Charboneau Rum Distillery on the property as well.

Regina has appeared on The Today Show, been a regular guest chef on the television show P. Allen Smith Gardens, and also contributed as a Southern Food writer for The Atlantic Magazine’s website.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium presented Regina with a “Cooking for Solutions” award for being an advocate of sustainable seafood.

Regina’s latest book is “Mississippi Current Cookbook: A Culinary Journey down America’s Greatest River.” This marvelous 323-page book contains 200 recipes, 30 menus, 150 gorgeous photographs by Ben Fink, and a slew of fun stories and informational tidbits. The Atlantic named it one of the best food books of 2014.

Annemarie Stenfors: Alma Nove – Hingham, MA

Annemarie Stenfors is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America where she earned her Associate Degree in Culinary Arts and Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Studies. She grew up in Boston surrounded by a large, extended Italian family where food and hospitality had a tremendous influence on her childhood. Annemarie’s passion for food was evident at an early age. Her first job was in the food service industry and that was followed by a position in a well-known seafood restaurant on the south shore of Massachusetts.

During Annemarie’s college years, she had the privilege of working with chef, Ken Oringer at Tosca in Hingham, Massachusetts. This position presented many exciting opportunities and she was part of his culinary team when he was invited to cook at The James Beard House. Annemarie also worked along Chef Oringer during wine dinners that showcased the talents of chefs Jean Louis Palladin, Hiro Sone, Craig Shelton and Michael Schlow.

After working with Chef Oringer, Annemarie decided to pursue her culinary degree. Her CIA externship brought her to Al Forno in Providence, Rhode Island working with celebrated chefs Johanne Killeen and George Germon. Their creative and energetic style greatly influenced her.

After graduation, Annemarie continued to work at restaurants on the south shore of Boston, getting married along the way. There was an opportunity that arose that she and her husband, Erik (also a CIA graduate), could not pass up - buying their own restaurant.

Annemarie and Erik ran their restaurant, Saporito’s, as a team. They created seasonal menus and nightly specials. Saporito’s, an award winning restaurant, was named Best Italian South, Best of Boston, Zagat Boston rated #1 for Northern Italian Dining (ranked 9th overall in Boston). Yankee Magazine voted it Editor’s Best Restaurant and Phantom Gourmet rated the restaurant Great 8 Italian Hideaway. Saporito’s was a hidden gem south of Boston.

After 8 amazing years, Annemarie and Erik closed the restaurant and Annemarie stayed at home and focused on their two children. However, the lure of the kitchen was too compelling.

In 2013, Annemarie reconnected with longtime friend and chef, Paul Wahlberg. She is the Chef de Cuisine at his fine dining, Italian restaurant - Alma Nove. Alma Nove has received many awards and accolades from The Boston Globe and national publications such as Food & Wine. Chef Annemarie oversees all the day to day operation and also finds time participates in many charity events such as Feed the Hungry Gala, Men of Boston Cook for Women’s Health and Quincy Community Action Programs.

Erik Stenfors

Erik is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America. His was the first class to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree of Professional Studies. Erik, along with 49 other students, helped create and mold the curriculum that students follow at the Institute today. It was here Chef Stenfors learned the fundamentals of cooking. After graduating Erik took a job at one of the oldest inns on Nantucket Island: The Jared Coffin House. Chef Stenfors left Nantucket to join The Back Bay Restaurant Group, who operate 35 restaurants. He worked his way to Executive Chef at the age of 20, the youngest Executive Chef in the company at the time.

Erik has had the privilege of refining his skills while working with Chef Ken Oringer (James Beard - Best Chef of Northeast) at his acclaimed restaurant Clio. Gourmet magazine rated Clio in the top fifty restaurants in America. Under Ken’s tutelage he worked with many top chefs (Michael Schlow, Jean-Louis Palladin, Hiro Sone) and cooked at the James Beard House.

Erik then enjoyed the incomparable opportunity to become a private Chef. This experience allowed him to develop his own culinary style. While working as a private chef Erik had the chance to design and operate a new restaurant, Atlantica. Atlantica is a 350 seat waterfront restaurant on the Cohasset, MA harbor. Erik was Culinary Director of Cohasset Harbor Resort. He opened The Olde Salt House and was in charge of the restaurant at The Scituate Yacht Club. In March of 2004 Erik and his wife, Annemarie (also a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America) opened Saporito's Florence Club. In their first year Erik and Annemarie won Best of Boston for Best Italian Restaurant by Boston Magazine. For three years Zagat rated Saporito's Florence Club Cafe in the top 10 for food and top 40 for service in all of Boston and its surrounding suburbs. Zagat also rated Saporito’s extraordinary in their survey of America’s Top Restaurants. Yankee Magazine awarded the restaurant Editor’s Choice Best Restaurant South. Erik and Annemarie developed their menus (which change seasonally) with the best, freshest, local ingredients, relying heavily on a variety of seafood.

Always up for a challenge, Erik signed up to help open a restaurant, Crow’s Landing, in neighboring Hingham. Erik’s philosophy is to keep dishes simple but use top-notch ingredients. He lets the food speak for itself.

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