Adam Eskin and his team at Dig Inn are pioneering the farm-to-counter movement and aim to bring tasty, healthful and mindfully sourced food to the masses by working directly with farmers they know and trust. Launched in 2011, Dig Inn now has 11 restaurants throughout Manhattan and is planning its expansion outside of the NYC Metro area in 2016.
Prior to his foray into the restaurant business Adam spent four years at Wexford Capital where he advised on the buyouts and growth of various portfolio businesses held by the firm. Prior to joining Wexford, Adam was an analyst in the Global Industries Group, Investment Banking, at Merrill Lynch.
Adam graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Economics from Brown University.
An Assistant Curator focused on contemporary design, Andrea Lipps joined Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in 2008. She is co-curating, with Ellen Lupton, the forthcoming exhibition "Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial," and is researching a potential exhibition exploring design and food. Previously, Andrea worked in the Architecture and Design department at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.
She wrote her master’s thesis in design history on twentieth-century post-disaster design, integrating her interest in design with earlier work in international human rights. She publishes articles in leading design magazines, serves on international design juries and has taught at Parsons/Cooper Hewitt and the School of Visual Arts. She holds a Master’s degree in History of Decorative Arts and Design from Parsons/Cooper Hewitt and a Bachelor degree in French, Sociology and Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan.
AnneStine Bae founded Brutal in 2014. Originally from Norway AnneStine now resides and works as a freelance stylist in NYC. She was previously the fashion director at Smug Magazine and in 2011 was crowned the Barista champion of Denmark.
As the creative director at Brutal she focuses on showcasing talent from varying creative industries through the lens of food and fashion, pushing the boundaries of what's expected with stirring visuals and smart writing.
Ben McKean is the founder and CEO of Hungryroot, a brand of fresh, all natural convenience foods. Prior to Hungryroot, Ben was a Vice President and General Manager at Groupon, overseeing their food and beverage business. Ben came to Groupon through the acquisition of Savored, which he founded in 2009. Savored was the nation’s leading provider of yield management technology to the restaurant industry. Prior to Savored, Ben worked in Merrill Lynch’s technology investment banking group.
Ben is graduate of Georgetown University and currently lives in New York City.
Casey Elsass is the founder of MixedMade and maker of Bees Knees Spicy Honey, Trees Knees Spicy Syrup and Weak Knees Gochujang Sriracha.
Initially started as a 30 day challenge to create a business from scratch, MixedMade has grossed over half a million dollars in less than two years and his products are sold in over 350 retail locations nationwide.
Casey's culinary journey started at the age of six when he climbed up on the kitchen counter to pour a little of everything from the spice cabinet into a Scooby-Doo cup of warm water, and he’s been playing with his food ever since. After high school, he moved to New York City where he worked as an usher at the Metropolitan Opera, an assistant to a celebrity psychic, a copywriter for Shania Twain’s perfume line and a furniture mover for one full day, before following his heart back into the kitchen. His first cookbook, Maple Syrup, will be released in February 2016 by Short Stack Editions.
Claus Meyer is a world-renowned restaurateur and culinary entrepreneur. He is the mind behind the New Nordic Cuisine philosophy and co-founder of noma, a Copenhagen restaurant, which has been voted the world’s best four times.
This spring, he will establish a food hall and restaurant at Grand Central, bringing culinary concepts, flavors and ideas rooted in the history and the landscapes of the Nordic countries to New York City.
Claus is the founder of the Melting Pot Foundation, focused on driving social change through food.
This summer, Melting Pot will initiate a social project in Brownsville, East New York, establishing a culinary school, cafeteria, bakery and community center, serving the local community, with the goal of engaging at-risk youth.
Deborah Dugan is the Chief Executive Officer of (RED). (RED) was founded in 2006 by Bono and Bobby Shriver to engage businesses and consumers to help fight AIDS in Africa. To date (RED) has raised $325 million with 100% of that money going to AIDS programs that have helped impact 60 million lives. Deborah joined (RED) in 2011, and under her leadership (RED) has welcomed global partners such as The Coca-Cola Company, SAP, and Latin America’s major mobile carriers Claro and Telcel.
With Deborah at the helm, (RED) has continuously pushed the boundaries for how social media is used for social good. In 2011 (RED) was recognized as the first cause to have reached over 1 million on both Facebook and Twitter, and recently became the first ever nonprofit to launch a Global Filter on Snapchat in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, raising $3 million in one day. Prior to (RED), Deborah was President of Disney Publishing Worldwide. She also served as Senior Advisor to the Tribeca Enterprises Board. Deborah’s roots are in the music industry – she spent many years as Executive Vice President at EMI/Capitol Records. Deborah began her career as an attorney on Wall Street.
At seventeen, Flynn McGarry’s knowledge of cuisine and culinary talent are well beyond his years. Flynn began cooking at ten using cookbooks and the Internet as his guide. By twelve, Flynn had a monthly supper club EUREKA, serving twenty guests a fourteen course tasting menu out of his kitchen/bedroom.
A chance meeting at thirteen with Chef Kris Morningstar, led to apprenticing two days a week at Ray’s at LACMA. Flynn then went on to stage at Eleven Madison Park, Alinea, Next and the Modernist Cuisine Food Lab. At fourteen, Flynn moved his EUREKA dinners out of his home and began to pop up monthly at Bier Beisl in Beverly Hills for the year. Flynn became the youngest honoree on the Zagat LA 2014 30 under 30 list. At fifteen, Flynn was on staff at Alma for a year in Los Angeles and was the cover story of The New York Times Magazine Food and Wine issue. After returning from stages in Oslo and Copenhagen, Flynn now lives in New York City and operates the EUREKA pop up.
Flynn has been included in TIME's Most Influential Teens list, two years in a row and his culinary life will be the subject of an upcoming documentary.
Gabe Blanchet is the Co-Founder & CEO of Grove. Gabe believes that inspiring and educating people to have fun growing their own food is a powerful way to promote healthy food choices for people individually and for our planet as a whole.
Gabe holds an MIT engineering degree, is a member of Forbes 30 under 30 and the Kairos 50, and previously led business development and customer learning at Boston startup GrabCAD (acquired in 2014 for $100M). In addition to leading the team at Grove, Gabe is an avid hockey player, skier, bookworm, triathlete, and hiker.
Homa Dashtaki accidentally found herself starting a yogurt company with her father. Being born on the eve of the Iranian Revolution, via a police escorted ambulance after curfew, Homa has a deep appreciation for chaos.
What started as a quiet bonding activity with her family and the Zoroastrian immigrant community in Southern California, has turned into an advocacy effort in small food production and “wasted food”. After three months of business in California, The White Moustache was asked to shut down or be threatened with a $10,000 fine and jail time. Though wildly fond of jumpsuits, Homa fought the law for two years to acquire permission to make her traditional family recipe. The law won. Bouncing the whole world over, from Portland to Tanzania, The White Moustache Yogurt co. found a home in Brooklyn.
Today, The White Moustache sees its very existence as both a miracle and a platform for reform.
Isha Datar is the CEO of New Harvest, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization accelerating the post-animal bioeconomy. Isha believes it is crucial to advance cellular agriculture — the creation of agricultural products from cell cultures — to mitigate the damage and dangers of intensive livestock farming.
Kim Huskey has worked for Google in NYC since 2007. She has 20 years experience in food services, restaurant fine dining, and restaurant consulting.
At Google Kim is the Food Services Manager, Americas. In her 8 years at Google her responsibility has spanned Google offices in the East Coast of the States, Canada, South America and Australia. With various partners, Kim is responsible for strategy around program and macro planning, concept and design for the various restaurants, cafes and microkitchens in the Google system.
Kim earned her bachelors degree from Columbia University.
Kwame Onwuachi is the executive chef and co-owner of The Shaw Bijou. At 25 years old, he brings a fresh perspective to the Washington D.C. food arena with a multi-course tasting menu featuring refined, yet approachable fare. Every dish tells a story, narrating the life experiences that shaped Kwame as a chef, from growing up in the Bronx and finding a love for food helping with his mom’s catering business, to living in Nigeria with his grandfather, cooking for the Gulf Coast oil spill crews, selling candy on New York City subways to pay his way through the Culinary Institute of America and traveling the world. A Top Chef season 13 participant, Onwuachi has established himself as one to watch.
Lucas Denton is US Project Manager for Claus’ Meyers Melting Pot Foundation, which later this year is opening a combined restaurant, bakery, food school and culinary community center in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
Lucas Denton's eclectic career and life experience have helped him learn the practical value of trust. From forestry to structural ironwork, Bard College to the New York City Commission on Human Rights, with a ten-year history of committed volunteering in substance-abuse prevention and harm reduction, Lucas's intense work with people of all social strata have shown him one thing above all else- that with the appropriate resources, those who want to make a change can and will.
Lukas Volger is the editorial director and cofounder (with Alex Kristofcak and Steve Viksjo) of Jarry, a biannual print magazine that explores the intersection of food and gay culture; author of three cookbooks, including Bowl (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); and founder of Made by Lukas, a retail line of premium veggie burgers. His accessible, whole foods-based approach to vegetarian cuisine has been featured in national and local print, radio, TV and online, including The New York Times and The Splendid Table.
Laureen Moyal is the founder and Creative Director of Paperwhite Studio.
Born and raised in New York City, she studied design in Paris and at RISD, where she received her BFA. Only a few years into her career as a designer she was contemplating leaving it all for culinary school — instead she set up a design practice, determined to somehow work her way into the food community.
She is passionate about food and applies her branding, marketing and culinary knowledge to restaurants and food related brands, such as Jack's Wife Fred, By Chloe and Nourish Kitchen and Table.
Laureen has been a visiting critic at Parsons, the New School for Design and taught branding, design and typography at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Michael Whiteman leads Baum+Whiteman International Restaurant Consultants. He has forged a "world view" of the food industry that embraces architecture, design, social dynamics and consumer taste trends.
His company's best known projects include master planning and operation of the magical Rainbow Room atop Rockefeller Center, and all the restaurants in the New York World Trade Center — including the famed Windows on the World, now destroyed. He also created three of the world's first food halls.
Baum+Whiteman works around the globe, researching and planning food and beverage services for hotel companies, major museums, high-profile restaurants, upscale supermarkets and destination attractions.
Michael is especially keen on integrating food with other forms of retail, entertainment and public spaces. Baum+Whiteman is headquartered in Brooklyn.
Mitchell Davis is the Executive Vice President of the James Beard Foundation, a cookbook author, a journalist and a scholar with a Ph.D. in Food Studies from NYU.
With the Beard Foundation for more than 20 years, Mitchell has created and overseen many of the organization’s initiatives, including the JBF Annual Food Conference and the JBF Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change. In 2013, Davis led the team that was selected by the U.S. Department of State to create the USA Pavilion at the World Expo Milano 2015, for which he served as Chief Creative Officer, receiving commendations from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Mitchell frequently writes about and reviews restaurants. He holds a chair on the academy of the London-based World’s 50 Best Restaurants. He has written several cookbooks, including the ground-breaking e-book My Provence (Alta Editions) with Michelin three-star chef Laurent Gras, which won the IACP’s “Judges Choice” award in 2013. He is a regular contributor to the Art of Eating, has made numerous TV appearances and hosts Taste Matters on The Heritage Radio Network. In 2013 The Forward selected Davis as one of the 50 most influential Jews under 50 in America.
Nicholas is the Chief Oleologist at Eataly NY and teaches guests and staff about their collection of more than one hundred single-estate extra virgin olive oils. He has also taught oil courses in America for Zagat's Master Class, Bon Appetit, The International Culinary Center, The Institute of Culinary Education, Cornell, NYU and Columbia University, Platinum Country Clubs and to Mario Batali's critically acclaimed chefs and sommeliers nationwide.
Nicholas graduated top of the class from The National Organization of Olive Oil Tasters (ONAOO) and has been a judge at The New York International Olive Oil Competition and the Sol D’Oro Southern Hemisphere Competition in Santiago, Chile. Over the past decade he’s developed and maintained relationships with producers from all over the world. He has been interviewed in GQ, Esquire, The Los Angeles Times, La Cucina Italiana, Lucky Peach and Real Simple Magazine among others. He is an honorary member of the International Order of Disciples of Escoffier.
4th Generation Owner, Niki Russ Federman was pretty much born in a herring barrel, with a sharp knife in her hand and a penchant for caviar.
Educated at Amherst College, Niki worked in a variety of professions — from the art world to international development — before realizing that her appetite was fulfilled by continuing her family’s 100-year-old culinary legacy at Russ & Daughters.
Today, along with her cousin Josh Russ Tupper, she owns and runs Russ & Daughters’ landmark retail shop, its online business, Russ & Daughters Cafe, Russ & Daughters Bagels and Bakery, and Russ & Daughters at The Jewish Museum (early 2016). Niki has been featured on a variety of media outlets, including The New York Times, NPR, The Food Network, The New Yorker, The Martha Stewart Show, PBS, The Travel Channel, Departures and Vogue. She is also the subject of The Sturgeon Queens, a feature documentary about Russ & Daughters that has aired at film festivals worldwide and on PBS. Niki is an active board member of the Lower East Side Business Improvement District (LESBID) and Chair of the Friends of the Educational Alliance. She is fluent in several languages, but alas, Yiddish is not one of them.
Roy Waterman is the Director of Program for Drive Change. Roy is one of the founding members of this vibrant organization which believes in changing the way people view and treat formerly incarcerated youth. Drive Change empowers, employs and teaches transferable skills to 16 to 25-year-olds released from adult jails and prisons in the New York City area.
It is Roy’s life mission to assist in the development of these formerly incarcerated young people. He has a personal vested interest with them because he was incarcerated at 19 years old and then released at 32. While incarcerated, he received a degree in Paralegal studies and is a certified law clerk in New York. Since his release, he has become a Chef is the founder of Caribbean Soul Caterers which he still operates today. He is also an avid and involved activist, pushing against all the injustices that currently plague our criminal justice system.