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The Art of Plating

The Art of Plating’s inaugural Rising Talent presented by Valrhona and Revol celebrates the accomplishments of 16 culinary and hospitality professionals (plus one On The Rise) that typically go unrecognized in conventional awards. Choosing standout individuals representing a range of professions – from purveyors and producers to chefs and entrepreneurs – is an acknowledgement that food and hospitality go hand in hand, and depend on a complex ecosystem to survive and thrive.

These Rising Talents are not only leaders in their field of work; they are innovators, risk-takers, and change agents pushing the industry forward and working toward a better, brighter, and more sustainable future. Here’s the list.

 

Purveyors & Farmers

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Ian Purkaystha
Founder of Regalis Foods
New York, NY

Sourcing high-quality, unique ingredients and sharing the stories behind them have always been a passion for Ian Purkayastha, the founder of Regalis; a New York City-based luxury foods importer that specializes in truffles, caviar, wild foraged mushrooms and greens, and live exotic seafood. He got his start in the industry at age 15, foraging for wild mushrooms with his uncle in Arkansas, where his parents relocated after the recession in search of a simpler, more frugal life. His mother and grandfather (who grew rare and heirloom produce in an impressive backyard garden with a wood-burning brick oven and whole hog barbecue smoker) were also major sources of culinary inspiration. Purkayastha had his first taste of truffles at a swanky restaurant in Houston – black truffle ravioli with foie gras sauce – and the rest is history. 

Regalis imports and procures ingredients from more than 45 different countries abroad and produces a line of shelf-stable organic truffle products, selling their wares to Michelin-starred restaurants and Williams Sonoma outposts across the U.S. As he looks to the future of Regalis, which he launched in 2012, Purkayastha seeks to open additional regional warehouses in the United States and beyond to expand his client base while maintaining the same level of personal service to build lasting relationships.

Tyler Trainum of Autumn Olive Farms, Shenandoah Valley, VA

Tyler Trainum
Farmer at Autumn Olive Farms
Shenandoah Valley, VA

Tyler Trainum has many titles – farmer, butcher, delivery driver, sales rep, and more – at Autumn Olive Farms, his family’s farm in Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, where love and respect for the animals and land come before everything. Trainum, who grew up in North Carolina, has always had ties to agriculture and the outdoors, but his life was forever changed when his parents, who were suffering from health issues, moved to Virginia for the fresh, clean air. They started a farm, which began with free-range invasive plant-eating goats and eventually turned into a full-time heritage meat farm. 

The dedication to quality, integrity, and innovation at Autumn Olive Farms has brought awards and renowned restaurants throughout the mid-Atlantic (including Michelin-starred establishments) as weekly customers. Trainum’s proudest accomplishment to date has been starting a business with his family that makes a difference, gives back to the earth, and creates products that bring people joy. For the future, Trainum looks to maintain Autumn Olive Farms’ status as an industry leader in raising, developing, and providing the highest quality meats to their customers. He’s already got some ideas brewing – a processing facility for custom butchery and a charcuterie program, and transforming the old farm house into a space for chefs and artisans to come together and have events.

 

Entrepreneurs

Camila Basmagi of Recipes for Change, Miami, FL

Camila Basmagi
Founder of Recipes for Change
Miami, FL

A lifelong environmentalist who spends her weekends cleaning the ocean, Camila Basmagi is the CEO of Recipes for Change, a nonprofit organization created in 2016 to bring about social change through gastronomy. Their goal is to unite Miami’s local community in order to educate the next generation and nourish at-risk populations by running educational workshops, fundraising events, and volunteer programs like Camillus House, a monthly activation in which local chefs and volunteers come together to prepare a meal for those in need – upwards of 350 people. Basmagi considers the greatest reward and recognition for Recipes for Change to be the smiles of the more than 15,000 homeless people they have worked with, the thanks from more than 50 Syrian refugees, and the more than 100 hugs from children of single homeless mothers.

Basmagi worked in sustainable marketing for the hospitality industry for 10 years prior to moving to the United States from Latin America. She’s been a certified diver for 15 years and does ocean detox activities every Sunday in addition to inviting community members to clean beaches and live a life without plastic. She believes protecting the planet with our actions is the most important inheritance that we can leave to our children and future generations.

Francis Miranda of Nightshade, Los Angeles, CA

Francis Miranda
Co-owner of Nightshade
Los Angeles, CA

Having no food and beverage experience but a passion for hospitality and belief in a chef, Francis Miranda opened Nightshade, a Los Angeles restaurant that’s considered to be one of the best restaurants in America. He fearlessly jumped into the project with Top Chef alum Mei Lin without even trying her food beforehand. Lin was a regular at Pearl’s Finest Teas (another concept owned by Miranda) at the time, ordering her go-to drink – Chamango with extra mango – and tagging the shop on Instagram. Miranda saw her post, shot her a DM, they met once, and decided to open a restaurant together right then and there. Miranda considers his partnership with Lin and Nightshade to be one of his proudest accomplishments to date.

Following the success of Nightshade, Miranda seeks to provide others in the food and beverage space with the tools they need to build and develop a business so that they can focus their efforts on what they do best. His goal is to cultivate relationships with industry talents, put his mark on the industry, and become known as the person who gives people a chance to make their dreams a reality.

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Holly Liss
Social Media Consultant and Founder of Enlisst
Los Angeles, CA

Holly Liss, the CEO and founder of digital creative consulting company Enlisst, built her career by being one of the early adopters of social media with a vision for its potential. Her company’s core offerings include strategy, content creation, workshops, team building, and daily support for a variety of brands and businesses including restaurants, interior designers, and fashion brands. In 2009 Liss began her career at Helmut Lang and Theory, creating a social media manager role that had never existed at the company as social media was still in its early stages. After five years, she became Goop’s first social media director, launching their Instagram, pop-up series, and affiliate marketing program.

One of the biggest moments in her career was being part of The Infatuation’s first EEEEEATSCON; a food festival with a music festival vibe. The event garnered more than half a billion social impressions thanks to Liss’s leadership, strategy, and execution. As she looks to the future, Liss knows that social media is a space that continues to evolve and believes that being open to learning and pivoting is the key to success. She hopes to continue to give brands and businesses the tools and strategic framework to tell their story while engaging and growing their audience.

Matthew Jozwiak
Founder of Rethink Food NYC
New York, NY

For Matt Jozwiak, giving back to the community has always been a more important goal than making a name for himself in the culinary world, and so after years of cooking in fine dining restaurants he left a chef de partie job at Eleven Madison Park to launch Rethink Food NYC; an organization aimed at fighting food waste and food insecurity. Jozwiak was affected by food insecurity growing up and had witnessed the extent to which perfectly good food goes to waste in restaurants and the industry’s lack of understanding about what can and cannot be donated.

Jozwiak started Rethink Food NYC with the dual goal of serving nutrient-dense food to people in need and educating the industry and broader population about America’s food supply system. From humble beginnings with just a handful of volunteers picking up excess food from one or two restaurants, today Rethink Food works with more than a dozen establishments and coordinates pickups from special events like last year’s James Beard Awards gala. To date, Rethink Food has collected more than 100,000 pounds of food and served over 130,000 meals. Jozwiak seeks to create a more equitable food system and believes hunger is a purely logistical issue. He hopes for Rethink Food to be part of a greater social movement that changes the way Americans think about food.

 

Chefs

Joe Anthony of Gabriel Kreuther, New York, NY

Joe Anthony
Chef de Cuisine at Gabriel Kreuther
New York, NY

Joe Anthony, chef de cuisine at New York City’s Gabriel Kreuther (two Michelin stars), has taken his leading role in the kitchen to create inspiring dishes and implement changes with the environment in mind. Anthony began working in kitchens at the age of 17 as a means of escaping adversity in his personal life, finding solace in the intensity and hard work of the restaurant environment. After culinary school, he worked up the ranks at the same Delray Beach restaurant where his cooking career began and became sous chef before moving on to NYC with a position at Daniel. Eventually, he got connected with chef Gabriel Kreuther and helped him open his eponymous restaurant.

Anthony has never been one to plan his future with too much detail, but never lacked direction. He believes that putting in the time and working hard will lead to success and is fortunate to work in an environment in which he can run the kitchen the way he deems best. He hopes for chefs to become more environmentally aware and has already taken action in his kitchen by banning plastic spoons and paper plate wipes (used to wipe plate rims during service for a clean presentation) and creating composting programs. Anthony seeks to continue pushing his craft in creative ways that inspire peers and those he looks up to.

 

Kacie Carter
Chef-owner of Honey-Hi
Los Angeles, CA

Kacie Carter is the self-taught chef and owner of Honey Hi, a health-focused counter-serve restaurant in Los Angeles that piloted a program which gives small businesses like theirs access to fresh, organic produce. She came to food after dealing with chronic illness, as a health collapse at 23 required a drastic diet change. As she healed, Carter discovered her own food philosophy, realized it was her calling, and decided to quit her job as a fashion stylist and go back to school to study nutrition. When she opened Honey Hi, she had no restaurant experience but knew that using organic and sustainably grown produce, meats, and pantry items was non-negotiable.

Carter quickly ran into issues sourcing organic produce for her small business as vendors had large minimum order requirements for organic, so she piloted a program with Charlie’s Produce, who agreed to sell organic produce at smaller quantities. Dozens of restaurants have joined the program since. Honey Hi sources about 80 percent of their produce from local farmer’s markets and has partnered with Imperfect Produce to use organic food that would be otherwise discarded as food waste. The restaurant’s commitment to sustainability on an environmental and bodily level is infused into everything they do. Carter seeks to show people that food can be celebratory and craveable without feeling restrictive.

 

Kane Adkisson of Kano, Omaha, NE

Kane Adkisson
Chef-owner of Kano
Omaha, NE

After working at some of the top restaurants around the world, Kane Adkisson, chef and owner of kanō, has returned to his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, to further elevate the local dining scene with the sole tasting menu-only establishment in the city. His global culinary journey began at 19, when he moved to Oslo, Norway, to work under chef Esben Holmboe Bang at Maaemo. He later worked in the kitchens of Saison and Coi in San Francisco, and Nihonryori Ryugin in Tokyo. Through his travels and work experience Adkisson found his voice and style of cooking, leading him to create kanō, a pop-up dinner series. 

Adkisson started kanō as a way to express his creativity and love for his home state. He held pop-up dinners in San Francisco for a year before returning to Nebraska to continue the concept and pursue his dream of opening kanō as a brick and mortar restaurant. It’s been more than three years into running the concept, and dinners are consistently sold out. By opening a brick and mortar location, Adkisson seeks to continue to support the farmers and artisans he’s been working with and encourage diners to let go of any misconceptions they may have toward tasting menus and trust the chefs to curate the full experience. 

 

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Sean MacDonald
Chef-owner of ēst Restaurant
Toronto, Canada

At 23, Sean MacDonald secured his first executive chef job, and at 28 he’s just opened his first restaurant, ēst; an intimate tasting menu concept in Toronto. The Calgary native has garnered fans around the world and had success in culinary competitions like S.Pellegrino Young Chef because of his ability to present delicious dishes that are also visually stunning. After staging at a few Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe, MacDonald moved to Toronto where he continued to promote his cooking through social media and develop his concept for ēst.

MacDonald has Michelin star and World’s 50 best aspirations for ēst. The ambitious chef plans to build an empire of restaurants and finds pleasure in every aspect of the business, from designing the space to setting the menu to executing service. He was heavily involved in the design for ēst and wants to continue to design restaurants, create dishes, and think of innovative ways to elevate the dining experience for guests. MacDonald plans to open both casual and upscale restaurants in the future, in addition to starting a culinary show – he’s already in talks with producers and videographers. When he’s not in the kitchen he’s hitting the gym and eating healthily in order to live the most balanced life he can.

 

Pastry Chefs & Bakers

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Allison Osorio
Pastry Chef at Otium
Los Angeles, CA

At 28 Allison Osorio, the chef behind the decadent desserts at Otium in Los Angeles, left a career in the corporate world to go to pastry school and hasn’t looked back. She went full force into her passion for pastries, studying in Paris and landing an internship with Pierre Hermé. When she returned to Los Angeles, she worked at Bouchon, Thomas Keller’s (now closed) iconic Beverly Hills restaurant, where she met chef Timothy Hollingsworth.

 Hollingsworth hired Osorio to be the pastry chef for Otium, his first solo project following a longtime position at The French Laundry. Osorio is proud to have walked away from a successful career in order to pursue a dream and accomplishing it, touching people with the gift of cooking and making her parents proud, with the added bonus of working with people she respects immensely. She’s writing a cookbook about ice cream and plans to open an ice cream shop in the near future – a dessert counter with plated ice cream dishes and scoops to go. Additionally, Osorio seeks to continue to mentor young women and young cooks and stand up for a work environment that is safe, respectful, and inclusive for all.

 

Andy Kadin of Bub and Grandma's

Andy Kadin
Baker and Owner of Bub and Grandma’s
Los Angeles, CA

Andy Kadin is a former copywriter in advertising and television turned owner of a successful bread bakery in Los Angeles called Bub and Grandma’s that supplies loaves to a passionate fanbase, including OG bread guru Nancy Silverton. At first, the passionate baker took on free work in restaurants to gain experience and committed to baking bread at home every day for a year. Halfway through the year Kadin got a call from a restaurant asking him to make ciabatta for them, and his business was born. Over the last four years Bub and Grandma’s has grown from Kadin making 28 small ciabatta loaves out of his home oven to 45 employees making thousands of loaves each day. 

Kadin’s proudest accomplishments to date are supplying the bread for Nancy Silverton’s restaurants (replacing La Brea Bakery, the iconic artisan bread purveyor co-founded by Silverton) and a successful stand at Hollywood Farmers Market which generates lines upward of 100 people and sells out twice every Sunday. To keep up with demand, drivers drop off another full round of bread halfway through the day. Kadin’s goals are to have a life where he can feel good about what he does and know that the people he works with enjoy their jobs, feel ownership over what they create before dawn every day, and feel supported by the people they work for.

 

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Dyan Ng
Pastry Chef at Auburn
Los Angeles, CA

Dyan Ng, the pastry chef behind the inventive, original, and visually evocative desserts at Auburn in Los Angeles, has worked in a number of notable kitchens in her career and mentored fellow chefs along the way. After culinary school she moved to Las Vegas from California and worked at Mix by Alain Ducasse, where she began as a pastry line cook and moved up the ranks to pastry sous chef. Ng moved on to open Payard Patisserie & Bistro in Caesars Palace, then to Restaurant Guy Savoy to run the pastry program. She then became the pastry chef de cuisine of restaurants at Caesars Palace, where she got to experience the large volume production side of pastry. After eight years in Las Vegas, Ng spent some time in the East Coast before returning home to California to work for Eric Bost at Auburn.

Ng’s proudest accomplishments have been making lifelong friends with kitchen colleagues and positively impacting the lives of the people she mentors. Her ultimate dream is to become a restaurateur and create a company that is known for taking good care of their employees. Her vision is to start with one project, creating a destination in California that has a restaurant plus a bed and breakfast.

 

Media

Emily Elyse Miller
Founder of Breakfast Club
New York, NY

Breakfast maven Emily Elyse Miller is the author of Breakfast: The Cookbook (part of Phaidon’s global cookbook series) and founder and creative director of BreakfastClub, a global event series that brings people together through morning pop-ups and walking tours. Though she went to school for fashion design and worked in trend forecasting, Miller quickly found her way back to food through breakfast and the humanizing nature of learning about people’s morning rituals.

Her accomplishments to date are centered on connecting people over breakfast. Her recently published cookbook features 380 traditional breakfast recipes from 80 countries. It took three years to research, test, and write, and Miller has been rewarded with positive feedback from people all over the world who are elated to see their morning meals represented. Miller sees her career as a living, breathing thing and she’s along for the ride. She’s currently working on a yet-to-be-announced project that employs skills from past projects with a dive into entrepreneurship. In her personal life, Miller aims to seek creativity in all forms, value her free time as much as her working hours, be kinder to herself, and use her ever-changing array of morning rituals to find balance.

Samuel Wells
Filmmaker and Photographer
San Diego, CA

Sam Wells is a filmmaker and photographer who uses his medium to bring awareness to environmental issues and the ways people can take action for a greener future. He produces inspirational culinary content and runs a YouTube channel and brand called Chef Epic aimed at teaching the next generation of chefs sustainable culinary practices by highlighting zero waste recipes and promoting the use of more vegetables to lessen our carbon footprint. Creating content that promotes smaller sustainable producers, farmers, restaurants, and chefs is his life’s work, and Wells plans to continue to tell the stories of people who regenerate the environment and leave the Earth better than they found it.

Wells developed and directed a series for Chef’s Roll and Wüsthof that explored how producers and chefs can regenerate the environment by the decisions they make, showing how chefs minimize waste, how a fishmonger promotes bycatch, and how we can explore lost culinary heritage by only using local ingredients. He’s also working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography to educate people about opah, a sustainable alternative to other species that are being overfished. He’s also worked with NOAA on a series of films to encourage fisherman in the Gulf of Mexico to change their fishing methods to save the vaquita, a critically endangered porpoise.

 

Beverage

Marie Vayron Ponsonnet
Sommelier of Le Bernardin and Winemaker of Colète
New York, NY

Wine has always been a part of life for Marie Ponsonnet, sommelier at the acclaimed Le Bernardin in New York City and founder of a wine consulting company. She grew up in France, near Bordeaux, in a family of winemakers and learned about and took part in every step of the winemaking process. She moved to Paris at 18 and got a degree in communications and marketing and completed an MBA in wine and spirits. From there, she worked as an events manager specializing in food and wine and as a production assistant for a food and wine TV and radio show on the side. Ready for a change, Ponsonnet moved to New York to take her wine knowledge to the next level and became a sommelier.

In addition to working at Le Bernardin, Ponsonnet recently launched a cuvée from Napa Valley named Colète with celebrated winemaker Rajat Parr. It’s made of Merlot, a nod to her roots in Bordeaux’s right bank. It’s a grape that has been overproduced however Ponsonnet seeks to bring Merlot back to its original elegance. She also recently founded a wine consulting company called CéMa way which helps restaurants build wine programs and train their teams, educating them about wine and how to serve them.

 

On The Rise

The Art of Plating’s On The Rise celebrates an individual that is likely to enter the The Art of Plating Rising Talent presented by Valrhona and Revol list in the future. The finalist is chosen by our judging committee.

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Jenny Dorsey
Chef and Founder of Studio Atao
Los Angeles, CA

Jenny Dorsey has taken food, drink, and the dining experience and transformed it into an art form that challenges diners to look inside themselves and ask challenging, sometimes uncomfortable, questions through Studio ATAO. The nonprofit culinary production studio specializes in impact-driven content and live experiences that fuse food, art, and social impact. Studio ATAO’s first flagship series, Asian in America, is a symbolic exhibition and dining experience that explores Asian American identity through food and drink, virtual reality, spoken word, and poetry. The exhibition has not only brought together the Asian American community in cities across the U.S. through numerous pop-up events, but has also caught the attention of organizations like James Beard (who invited Studio ATAO to host an evening at their house) and S. Pellegrino. Hidden, the second flagship series, is a multisensory experience that utilizes food and drink, VR, and immersive dance to explore cognitive dissonance, introspection, and self-acceptance.

Dorsey works full-time as a consultant and writer to pay the bills and fund the Studio. She recently wrote her first book, Kodawari by Omakase Room, and has signed three book deals on cooking topics with indie publishers. Dorsey is also an amateur potter building her brand, Wednesday Ceramics, and working to improve the consistency of her pieces in order to make sets of items, with the eventual goal of having Studio meals plated entirely on her own ceramics.

This year, The Art of Plating Rising Talents were selected through a rigorous multi-phase process. Candidates were nominated by our invitation-only community of actively engaged industry insiders – a comprised cross-section of more than 150 professionals and tastemakers in U.S. & Canada. These candidates have show exceptional talent in their discipline and are under 35 years of age or have worked in their field for less than five years. Finalists were then hand chosen by our Committee, a group of iconic industry leaders that includes chef Daniel Humm, chef Dominique Crenn, hotelier Brian De Lowe, photographer Evan Sung, and editor-in-chief Maria Nguyen.

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