Panelists and Presenters


Executive Chef, Yellowtail Restaurant and Lounge at Bellagio Resort and Casino

A Korea native and former professional snowboarder raised in Aspen, Colorado, he began his culinary career at The International Culinary Schools at the Art Institutes in Colorado. He worked at Kenichi in Aspen, later helping to expand the restaurant to Austin, Texas and Kona, Hawaii. After his tenure at Kenichi, he became executive chef of Nobu Matsuhisa’s namesake restaurant in Aspen, Colorado until assuming the position of executive chef at Yellowtail Restaurant & Bar at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, which opened in July 2008.


Asian Food Expert, Author, Restaurateur

Considered one of the nation’s leading authorities on Asian food, Bruce Cost has devoted himself to this pursuit for over 35 years. Bruce has written three books: Bruce Cost’s Asian Ingredients (Morrow, re-published in 2001 by HarperCollins), Ginger East to West (Addison-Wesley) and Big Bowl Noodles and Rice (HarperCollins). With Asian Languages professor Donald Harper, Cost has completed most of How to Steam a Bear, a translation of the world’s oldest collection of recipes from a 5th century Chinese manuscript. He was also part of the team that contributed to the updated The Joy of Cooking. Bruce has helped to develop and open several restaurants including Monsoon, Ginger Island, Ginger Club, Big Bowl Restaurants and Wow Bao. Currently, Cost lives mostly in Manhattan, where he has introduced his unfiltered “fresh ginger, ginger ale,” which he is expanding nationally and internationally with his Brooklyn partner, the TMI Trading Company.


Contributing Editor, Edible Queens

As a Queens-based food writer, Joe has been exploring the borough’s diverse Asian food offerings for more than a decade and has been called “The Guy Who Ate Queens” by New York Magazine. DiStefano writes for the print publication of Edible Queens and is the editor of Edible Queens’ food blog, World’s Fare, which chronicles whatever happens to be on the end of his fork, or chopstick, as the case may be. His work has also appeared on Ed Levine’s food blog Serious Eats New York and The Village Voice’s food blog, Fork in The Road.


Author of The Art of Eating In: How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove

Cathy is the author of The Art of Eating In: How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove, based on her two years of not eating restaurant food and her blog, Not Eating Out in New York. She has written for the Huffington Post, Saveur, and Edible Brooklyn, and hosts the weekly podcast Let’s Eat In on Heritage Radio Network. She currently tends to four heritage hens and a rooftop garden, which is chronicled in her new blog, Lunch at Sixpoint.


Food Writer and Culinary Educator

Ramin Ganeshram is a 17-year veteran journalist, Institute of Culinary Education alum, and professor of food writing at New York University. With a masters in journalism from Columbia University, she has contributed to established publications such as the New York Times, Newsday, Saveur, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, and Epicurious.com. She has also written food and travel articles for Islands and National Geographic Traveler, amongst many others. Ramin has written several cookbooks, most recently Sweet Hands: Island Cooking From Trinidad & Tobago (Hippocrene, 2006; 2nd expanded edition 2010) and Lights, Camera, Curry! (Scholastic, 2011). She is the founder of the food relief charity Food4Haiti, which raised nearly $10,000 for food relief for Haitian earthquake victims this past January.


Chef and Owner, Baohaus

No chef whites, no “yes, chef”, no pretension, Eddie Huang and his crew simply cook good food that’s environmentally conscious. As the owner of Baohaus, Eddie, 28, understands that food is cultural and he is creating a brand new youth cultural dining experience. Only open for less than 6 months, Baohaus has received critical acclaim and coverage in both local and national publications. The closest Eddie came to “formal” cooking training was from his mother. Influenced by her home-style food, he developed his own unique recipes and techniques by eating out, taking notes and recreating dishes at home. He strives for originality and evolving the classics but remains true to the flavor profiles of Taiwan and China. In his spare time, Eddie enjoys playing fantasy sports, listening to hip hop, fishing, buying sneakers and hollering at birds. BRRRRrrrr (bird call)!


Sakemaster, Owner of Bao Noodles

Chris Johnson is a sommelier, sakemaster, and beverage consultant, in addition to owning and running Bao Noodles. From wine to beer, Johnson has deep knowledge of how best to pair them with food in an Asian restaurant, where few operators have found success. His natural talent and hands-on approach to learning have earned him a respectable title as a sake sommelier, even winning third place in Tokyo’s 2000 International Sake Competition.


Journalist and Judge on Iron Chef America

Akiko is a Japanese native journalist based in New York City. She holds Masters degrees from New York University Stern School of Business, and London School of Economics. She also works as food advisor to the Japanese government, and she is a frequent judge on Iron Chef America.


Founder and Director, Indian Culinary Center

A graduate of the French Culinary Institute, Geetika launched the Indian Culinary Center in February 2009 to teach all aspects of Indian cooking and culture. Previously the chef at Raga restaurant in the East Village, she was the first person to introduce New York City to the flavors of what she likes to call “Indian-inspired cuisine.” Her innovative combination of French techniques with the robust spices of India was featured in the New York Times, Time Out New York, and Vogue, amongst others. She has made frequent appearances on the Food Network and PBS. Geetika went on to start and run a catering company called All Things Food, and teaching at the New School Culinary Arts program for 7 years. She is currently developing a cooking school in Long Island, which will also focus on cuisines other than Indian.


Private chef and Chinese food expert, redcook.net

Kian Lam Kho is a software engineer turned private chef and food writer who lives in New York City. He is the creator of the Chinese home cooking blog Red Cook. He is also one of the authors of Knack Chinese Cooking: A Step-by-step Guide to Authentic Favorites Made Easy. He caters privately and also hosts regular ten-course Chinese banquets. He also teaches Chinese cooking classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City.


Chef and Owner of Miya Sushi

Bun Lai is a wrestling coach, social and ecological activist and the chef and owner of Miya Sushi in New Haven, Connecticut. Bun is especially passionate about sustainable food practices and his restaurant Miya Sushi is the first and only sustainable sushi restaurant in the Northeast (one of four in America) with the largest vegetarian sushi menu in the world. Bun is the 2010 recipient of the Key to the City of New Haven, The Elm Ivy Award, for his contribution to the community.


Food Columnist, Salon

When he finally did it, Francis decided he would get three tattoos, one for each of the things most important in the world: food, art, and love. “But what about politics? What about justice?” he later fretted. His friend said, “My politics all come out of love.” And so he stuck to the three tattoo plan. Before he was telling you about his tattoos, Francis worked with nonprofit organizations, taught writing and literature to students in the woods. He was a Contributing Editor at Gourmet magazine (RIP), wrote a weekly column at gourmet.com., and is a frequent contributor to the Financial Times. His work has also appeared in Wine and Spirits, Manhattan, and in the 2006–2009 editions of Best Food Writing. He believes that, in football, that would count as a dynasty; in ancient China, not so much. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Culinary Institute of America, and makes the meanest ratatouille.


Chef and Culinary Educator, Institute of Culinary Education

Youngsun has always felt he learned the most about Korean cuisine and good food from home. Emigrating to the U.S. from Korea at the age of twelve, Youngsun attended The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), New York, and has studied under famous chefs including Anita Lo of ANNISA. While he has worked in the kitchens of EN, Craftbar, and Momofuku Noodle Bar, he believes that it is his mission to educate more people about Korean Cuisine and culture, including the next generation. He most recently was the chef and owner of Persimmon Restaurant and continues to teach Korean cuisine as his Alma Mater, ICE.


Korean Food Expert, Cooking Show Host

Maangchi (Emily Kim) was born and raised in Korea; with a passion for cooking starting at a young age, she learned to make traditional Korean food from her family and from local markets, restaurants and cafes, wherever she could spot an interesting technique or learn a new dish. After moving to Toronto, she started posting videos on YouTube in 2007, teaching people how to cook traditional Korean food with recipes she has honed over years of experience. Her website is now the #1 online destination for Korean food and cooking on the internet. Most recently, Maangchi has since been writing books, coming out with cooking DVDs, and running a cooking site. Her YouTube channel and podcast is top-rated and top-viewed and has gained international media attention.


Editor and Publisher, Edible Queens

Leah learned to cook by helping her mother make dinner and watching Julia Child on television. A graduate from New York University, Leah has more than 15 years of experience as an editor for national publications such as First for Women, Fitness, Natural Health and Prevention. A New Yorker for more than 20 years, she fell in love with Queens after moving to the borough in 2006. She lives in Long Island City with her fiancé Paul and dog Lucy.


Cookbook Author, Global Trends Consultant, Founder, nirmalaskitchen.com

World traveler and global kitchen expert, Nirmala Narine, is the owner and founder of Nirmala’s Kitchen, a gourmet importer and distributor. She sources ingredients from around the globe for her all natural line of products to replicate ethnic and traditional meals from around the world, all without leaving the comforts of home or dining out. Nirmala has been featured in the New York Times, O, and Food & Wine Magazine. She has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s Early Show, and Martha Stewart, among others. Home to Nirmala is Queens, NY, and on a 15-acre Organic farm in New York’s Hudson Valley.


Editor and Publisher, PECOPECO!

A Japan native, Kazuko is an editor and publisher of PECOPECO!, an online food magazine for Japanese foodies in New York City. Aside from covering New York’s exciting culinary scene, including restaurant openings, reviews of landmark eateries, and local New York food products and events, she also hosts food events introducing Japanese dishes to American food lovers. She has lived in Astoria, Queens for over 10 years and loves to eat, drink, and dance salsa!


Chef and Culinary Educator, Institute of Culinary Education

Mamie is a Chef Instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education, the Natural Gourmet Institute, and Sur la Table. Mamie is also is a chef at the Japanese Cooking Studio, which gives in-home culinary lessons, catering to each clients special needs or occasions. After graduating from business school and a career in banking, she abandoned corporate life for her culinary passion. Finishing with a Culinary Art Degree from the Institute of Culinary Education, she continued her training at the test kitchen of Country Living Magazine and Le Bernardin. Her new company, Gotta Eat Sweets, makes Tuffipops/Truffibites, a sublime fusion of a truffle and a brownie. They have been written about in Ladies’ Home Journal, Gluten Free Living Magazine, and Living Without. Mamie is also a professional food stylist, her work can be found in magazines, advertisements and cookbooks. She is a certified sake sommelier, approved by the Sake Service Institute (SSI) in Japan.


Asian Culinary Authority and Restaurateur

An NYC-based Asian culinary authority, Ed Schoenfeld has a consulting business that specializes in imagining and creating new restaurants and food businesses. Best known for his “professorial knowledge” of Chinese food and his ability to develop trend-setting food businesses, in recent years two of his most noteworthy projects are Chinatown Brasserie in NYC and Carnivale in Chicago. In 2009, he co-authored a small book entitled Ishikawa: The Real Japan. It depicts Ishikawa Prefecture as a gastro-touristic destination and was commissioned by the federal and prefectural governments. Currently he is consulting and partnering with Jeffrey Chodorow, the principal of China Grill Management. Projects include imagining and creating Foodparc, an innovative Manhattan venue that will have 18 different kiosks and food stalls each featuring a small menu of best-of-their-kind street foods and snacks, and RedFarm, a new Asian American food brand that initially will feature a series of NYC-based neighborhood Asian delivery kitchens and restaurants. The first two RedFarm units will be opening in the fall of 2010, while the first section of Foodparc should debut in September of 2010.


Sake Master, Founder of UrbanSake.com

Timothy Sullivan is the founder of UrbanSake.com, a site devoted to sharing the appreciation, knowledge, and joy of Japanese Sake. Inspired after he first sampled premium sake in 2005 at a Japanese Restaurant in New York City, Timothy decided to devote himself to sake, growing the website to become one of the largest online resources for sake information and education in the United States. In October 2007, he was invited to Kyoto by the Japan Sake Brewer’s Association Jr. Council to be named a “Sake Samurai” for his efforts in promoting sake outside Japan.


Food writer, author of A Tiger in the Kitchen

Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan is a New York-based food and fashion writer who is researching and writing a food memoir about discovering her Singaporean family by learning to cook with them. A Tiger In The Kitchen is scheduled to be published by Hyperion’s Voice imprint in January 2011. She has covered fashion, retail and home design (and written the occasional food story) for the Wall Street Journal. Before that she was the senior fashion writer for In Style magazine and senior arts, entertainment and fashion writer for the Baltimore Sun. Her stories have also appeared in Marie Claire, Every Day With Rachael Ray, Family Circle, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, The (Portland) Oregonian, The (Topeka) Capital-Journal, The (Singapore) Straits Times, and Elle.com. She is also a regular contributor to The Atlantic Food Channel.


Host of eatTV.com, founder of see|food media LLC, partner at dell’anima & L’Artusi

Jamie is the chair of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Food Photographers and Stylists section. His photographs have appeared in several books, magazines, and exhibitions, most recently Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners. See|food media is opening a new Kitchen Studio in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, with four kitchen sets specifically configured to shoot food for television and on-site postproduction capabilities. He holds a Master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University, a Grand Diplôme in Classic Culinary Arts from the French Culinary Institute, and a Restaurant Management Diploma from The Institute for Culinary Education.


President of American Culinary Federation

Michael Ty is a certified executive chef (CEC) and a member of the American Academy of Chefs (AAC), and served as the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) national president from 1993 to 1994. In Las Vegas, he owns and operates MT Cuisine, LLC, which offers event management, chef consulting, sales and marketing of foodservice products for Chefs Hat, Inc.; Hospitality Culinaire, Inc. and Red Lantern Treats, LLC. Ty received his Associate of Science degree in culinary arts from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Cobleskill in 1973. He continued his education with coursework at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) in Harrah Hotel College’s Hotel Management and Food and Beverage Management departments. In 1975, he moved to Las Vegas and took a job at Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino. He moved up through the ranks until he was promoted to executive chef in 1982 and food director in 1986. In 1989, he assumed the position of executive chef at the world- renowned Desert Inn, Las Vegas. From 1997 to 2000, Ty served as executive chef at Lawry’s The Prime Rib, Las Vegas. He is currently the president of the American Culinary Federation.


Chef and Culinary Educator at Natural Gourmet Institute

Jay Weinstein is a professional chef and writer, author of The Ethical Gourmet, The Everything Vegetarian Cookbook, and The Cup of Comfort Cookbook. His food articles and recipes have been featured in The New York Times, Travel & Leisure, Fine Cooking, Newsday, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, and numerous other publications. His commentaries for NPR’s All Things Considered have discussed essential American ingredients and cooking methods. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, he has worked in the kitchens of Restaurant Jasper, Boston’s Four Seasons Hotel, and New York’s Le Bernardin. He then led kitchens of a number of fine New York restaurants, before going to journalism school at New York University. He has been featured in restaurant industry publications such as Asian Restaurant News during his years in the restaurant kitchen, and currently teaches culinary arts at The Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City.


Chef and Owner of Chopstix

Chef and owner of Chopstix restaurants in Bay Ridge and Sheepshead Bay, Chef George Wong immigrated to the United States in the 1980s, receiving a culinary degree from the Art Institute of New York City in 2001, followed by a degree at the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park. George is a certified Chef de Cuisine and remains an active member of the American Culinary Federation, participating in numerous ACF approved culinary competitions. He has won five gold medals, two silver medals and two bronze medals in the cold food and hot food categories and a gold medal and two silver medals from the Salon of Culinary Art at the Javits Center. In 2008, Chopstix Restaurant was recognized as one of the Top 100 Chinese Restaurants in America awarded by the Chinese Restaurant News magazine.


Consultant and Television Chef, Top Chef

Lee Anne Wong exchanged one creative calling for another, abandoning a career in fashion in favor of the culinary industry. Lee Anne is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute, where she later served as the Executive Chef of Event Operations. She has worked in the kitchens of Marcus Samuelsson’s Aquavit, Jean Georges Vongrichten’s restaurant 66, Thomas Keller’s French Laundry, Charlie Trotter’s of Chicago, Nobu, The Four Seasons, among others. A Top Chef Season 1 alum, she continued on to serve as Supervising Culinary Producer. In addition to continuing to cooking and participating in events and competitions, she is currently working on a food art book titled Sexy Food with noted photographer John Mark Sorum, and is developing her own travel TV show about her culinary travels around the world. She can be seen on The Cook Channel’s new hit series Unique Eats, featured as a contributor who has traveled all over the sample some of the country’s most unique food and dining experiences.


Executive Chef and Ceo of Rhong-Tiam restaurant group

Born and raised in Thailand, Andy Yang comes from a legacy of dedicated Thai chefs and restaurateurs. He was influenced by his grandmother, a chef to the King of Thailand, and mastered various rare and ancient recipes cooking side-by-side with his mother. Andy moved to NYC in 1997, bringing a passion for spicy and strong flavors, and has since won a Michelin Star award for Rhong-Tiam’s flagship location in the East Village. Andy is now focusing on expanding his franchise and open more locations to expose more eaters to authentic Thai flavors..


Cookbook author, Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge

Grace Young has been called, variously, the Poet Laureate of the Wok, the Stir-Fry Master, the Wok Doctor, and the Stir-Fry Queen. She has devoted her career to demystifying the art of stir-frying and celebrating the traditions of wok cookery. When she lectures, she travels with her own personal carbon-steel wok packed in her hand carry-luggage, braving airport security in order that students can see the beauty of a well-seasoned wok and the superior taste of a wok cooked stir fry. Grace Young is a three-time IACP award-winning writer, recipient of the World Food Media Award, the eGullet Culinary Jouranalist Scholarship, and is the author of Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge, The Breath of a Wok, and The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen.