Taste of Fame

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  • Taste of Fame Live Virtual Culinary Experience
  • Taste of Fame In-Person Culinary Dinner Experience
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Taste of Fame Live Virtual Culinary Experience May 21 on Zoom

    1. Dinner Ticket $175: *1 TICKET INCLUDES 4 SERVINGS PER BOX.
    2. The virtual culinary journey includes a 30-minute cocktail Q&A moderated by Chef Julia Collin Davison from America’s Test Kitchen, where Chef Lidia will create one of her favorite drinks, Fragoncello, and answer questions, a Sunbasket meal kit delivered to your home for up to four people, step-by-step live cooking lesson with Chef Lidia on Zoom, two-week access to the recorded cooking lesson, private Zoom rooms to eat with friends in other households, and one-month Digital All Access to America’s Test Kitchen website.

    1. Premium Ticket $225: *1 TICKET INCLUDES 4 SERVINGS PER BOX.
    2. Enjoy all the benefits of a Dinner Ticket, plus an autographed copy of Chef Lidia’s “Felidia: Recipes from My Flagship Restaurant” cookbook.



Taste of Fame In-Person Culinary Dinner Experience Oct. 15 at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown

    1. Dinner Ticket $150: 10% off Now-April 1, WCNY Members 15% off Now-April 1 with CODE
    2. The Dinner Ticket includes a three-course culinary dinner journey with recipes crafted by Lidia and stories to accompany each course. The best in Finger Lakes wine is included. Guests will also enjoy a cocktail hour, silent auction, and one-month Digital All Access to America’s Test Kitchen website.

    1. VIP Ticket $250: 10% off Now-April 1, WCNY Members 15% off Now-April 1 with CODE
    2. Enjoy all the benefits of a Dinner Ticket, plus a meet and greet, and photo op with Lidia, in-studio cooking demo event, and an autographed copy of Chef Lidia’s “Lidia’s Celebrate like an Italian.” Chef Julia Collin Davison from America’s Test Kitchen will emcee the cooking demo event and the three-course dinner.

    1. Dinner Ticket Table of 10 $1,500: 10% off Now-April 1, WCNY Members 15% off Now-April 1 with CODE
    2. The Table of 10 Dinner Ticket includes 10 Dinner Tickets with a reserved table, a three-course culinary dinner journey with recipes crafted by Lidia and stories to accompany each course. The best in Finger Lakes wine is included. Guests will also enjoy a cocktail hour, silent auction, and one-month FREE Digital All Access to America’s Test Kitchen website.

    1. VIP Ticket Table of 10 $2,500: 10% off Now-April 1, WCNY Members 15% off Now-April 1 with CODE
    2. The Table of 10 VIP ticket includes 10 VIP Tickets with a reserved table, all the benefits of a Dinner Ticket, plus a meet and greet, and photo op with Lidia, in-studio cooking demo event, and an autographed copy of Chef Lidia’s “Lidia’s Celebrate like an Italian.” Chef Julia Collin Davison from America’s Test Kitchen will emcee the cooking demo event and the three-course dinner.



Taste of Fame: The Ultimate Lidia Experience, Virtual Event + In-Person Event


Lidia’s Kitchen is a 26-part Public Television series distributed by APT and WGBH. It is made possible by Cento Fine Foods, Consorzio di Grana Padano, FabbriUSA, Auricchio Provolone, Locatelli Pecorino Romano, Rovagnati Gran Biscotto, and Olitalia Olive Oil.


Join your local PBS station for a virtual culinary journey at the Taste of Fame Live Virtual Event May 21 on Zoom!

Station Name Website Logo
WCTE Central TN PBS www.wcte.org wcte
Mississippi Public Broadcasting http://www.mpbonline.org/ WMPN
Vegas PBS www.vegaspbs.org KLVX
WGCU Public Media www.wgcu.org WGCU
Iowa PBS Foundation http://www.iowapbs.org/ KDIN
PBS Reno www.pbsreno.org KNPB
PBS Wisconsin pbswisconsin.org WPNE
WYES-TV www.wyes.org WYES
KERA www.kera.org KERA
WyomingPBS http://www.wyomingpbs.org KCWC
WBGU-TV http://www.wbgu.org WBGU
New Hampshire PBS www.nhpbs.org WENH
Vermont PBS www.vermontpbs.org WETK
WMHT Public Media http://www.wmht.org WMHT
Maryland Public Television www.mpt.org WMPT
WEDU http://www.wedu.org WEDU
Milwaukee Public Television www.milwaukeepbs.org WMVS
WQLN Public Media http://www.wqln.org WQLN
WKNO/Channel 10 www.wkno.org/ WKNO
WQED Multimedia http://www.wqed.org/ WQED
Southern Oregon PBS www.sopbs.org KSYS
WPBS http://www.wpbstv.org WPBS
WXXI Public Broadcasting https://www.wxxi.org/ WXXI
WOSU Public Media https://wosu.org/ WOSU
Thirteen/WNET New York https://www.thirteen.org/ WNET
KEET-TV   www.keet.org KEET
WQPT-TV   wqpt.org WQPT
PBS Kansas www.kpts.org KPTS
WVIA Public Media https://www.wvia.org/ WVIA
KRVS www.krvs.org KRVS

Taste of Fame Live Virtual Event May 21 on Zoom

Taste of Fame: Live Virtual Culinary Event with Chef Lidia Bastianich

DATE: Friday, May 21, 2021

6:30-7 p.m. Cocktails, 7 p.m. Dinner | ET

3:30-4 p.m. Cocktails, 4 p.m. Dinner | PT

WCNY’s virtual culinary fundraiser, Taste of Fame, returns to home kitchens across the country. Join Award-Winning Celebrity Chef, Author, and Host of Lidia’s Kitchen (APT, WGBH), Lidia Bastianich for a LIVE cooking lesson on Zoom. We’ll take care of the menu, ingredients, and technology to make this a special and unforgettable evening–all from the comfort and safety of your home.

The virtual culinary journey kicks off with a 30-minute cocktail Q&A where Chef Lidia shows you how to shake up one of her favorite cocktails, Fragoncello, and Q&A moderated by Chef Julia Collin Davison from America’s Test Kitchen. Then, Chef Lidia will lead guests through a live cooking lesson on how to make her delicious Springtime Asparagus Risotto recipe.

Our culinary partner, Sunbasket, will deliver an ingredient meal kit to your home for up to four people. The Dinner Ticket also includes two-week access to the recorded cooking lesson and a private Zoom Room to eat with friends in other households.

When you upgrade to the Premium Ticket, you will receive all of the benefits of the Dinner Ticket, as well as an autographed copy of Chef Lidia’s “Felidia: Recipes from My Flagship Restaurant” cookbook.

WCNY also hopes to bring Lidia to Syracuse October 15 for its traditional Taste of Fame culinary experience at the Marriott Downtown Syracuse! This event is dependent on the status of the Covid-19 pandemic guidelines and restrictions.

We hope you’ll join us for one or both of these events! Special discounting will be available for the purchase of a virtual ticket on May 21, and Taste of Fame Oct. 15 at the Marriott Downtown Syracuse.

Taste of Fame May 21

See what the event was like last year with Chef Marcus!


WCNY's 7th Annual Taste of Fame Culinary Dinner Experience Oct. 15 in Syracuse

Taste of Fame: Culinary Dinner Experience with Chef Lidia Bastianich

DATE: Friday, Oct. 15, 2021

TIME: 6-7 p.m. Cocktail Hour & Silent Auction, 7 p.m. Dinner | ET

LOCATION: Marriott Syracuse Downtown

WCNY’s 7th annual Taste of Fame signature fundraising culinary dinner experience returns to CNY! Join Award-Winning Celebrity Chef, Author, and Host of Lidia’s Kitchen (APT, WGBH), Chef Lidia Bastianich at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown! Enjoy a three-course culinary dinner journey with recipes inspired by Lidia’s new cookbook, “Lidia’s: A Pot, A Pan, and a Bowl”, and stories to accompany each course. The three-course dinner will begin with a Roasted Squash and Carrot Salad, guest entrée choice of: Beer-Braised Beef Shorts Ribs, Chicken Pizzaiola, or Spinach and Ricotta Frittata, and an Apple Cranberry Crumble for dessert. The best in Finger Lakes wine, cocktail hour, silent auction, and one-month Digital All Access to America’s Test Kitchen website is included.

VIP ticket holders are invited to attend a meet and greet/cooking demo event at WCNY TV Studios at 4 p.m., prior to the three-course dinner at the Marriott. The VIP event features a meet and greet, and photo op with Lidia, in-studio cooking demo, and an autographed copy of Chef Lidia’s “Lidia’s Celebrate like an Italian.” Chef Julia Collin Davison from America’s Test Kitchen will emcee the cooking demo event and the three-course dinner.

Recipe Card

sunbasketWCNY is happy to work with Sunbasket who will deliver meal kits to homes, so guests can cook along with Lidia, who will participate from her home kitchen in Boston. The Sunbasket meal kit includes:


  1. Spinach-Artichoke Dip with Traditional Pita


  1. Ingredients to create Lidia’s Springtime Asparagus Risotto (choice of shrimp, chicken, or tofu)

After-Dinner Snack:

  1. Simple Dark Chocolate Bars

Taste of Fame In-Person Event Oct 15



Roasted Squash and Carrot Salad

Escarole Hearts, Roasted Acorn Squash, Chickpeas, and Carrots,
Topped with Ricotta Salata and Toasted Almonds,
Drizzled with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Entrée Choice of:

Beer-Braised Beef Short Ribs

Bone-In Beef Short Ribs, Braised in a Dark Ale with Carrots, Onion,
Red Potatoes, Pestata, and Fresh Herbs

Chicken Pizzaiola

Lightly Breaded and Baked Chicken Breast, Freshly Grated Grana Padano, Dried Oregano, Fresh Basil and Parsley, and Mozzarella,
Served over a Tomato Emulsion.

Spinach & Ricotta Frittata

Baked Frittata with Fresh Spinach, Ricotta Cheese and Bread


Apple Cranberry Crumble

Golden Delicious Apples, Fresh Cranberries, Granulated Sugar,
and Chopped Almonds, Served with Vanilla Ice Cream

LidiaLidia Bastianich

Lidia is an Emmy award winning public television host, a best‐selling cookbook author with a dozen books published to date, a successful restaurateur, and owner of a flourishing food and entertainment business Most importantly, Lidia has accomplished all of this by marrying her two passions in life her family and food, to create multiple culinary endeavors alongside her two children, Joseph and Tanya.

Lidia’s cookbooks, co-authored with her daughter Tanya, include Lidia’s Celebrate Like an Italian, Lidia’s Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine, Lidia’s Commonsense Italian Cooking, Lidia’s Favorite Recipes, Lidia’s Italy in America, Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy, and Lidia’s Italy all companion books to the Emmy winning and four-time nominated television series Lidia’s Kitchen, Lidia’s Italy in America and Lidia’s Italy Lidia’s most recent books are her memoir, My American Dream A Life of Love, Family, and Food, and her newly released cookbook, Felidia Recipes from My Flagship Restaurant.

Lidia is the owner/co-owner of three acclaimed New York City restaurants Felidia Becco and Del Posto Along with her daughter Tanya, she owns Lidia’s Kansas City, as well as Felidia She is also a partner in Eataly NYC, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Sao Paolo, Brazil and Toronto, Canada Together with Tanya and son in law Corrado, Lidia also has developed a line of artisanal
pastas and all-natural sauces, LIDIA’S, which are sold at fine food stores nationwide.

Lidia is a member of Les Dames D’Escoffier and founding member of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, two non-profit organizations of women leaders in the food and hospitality industries She is also a champion for the United Nations Association of the United States of America’s Adopt A Future program, in support of refugee education.

Among the numerous awards and accolades Lidia has earned are seven James Beard Awards (Outstanding Chef, Television Food Show, Best Chefs in America, Who’s Who of Food Beverage in America, Specials 2016 Special 2017 and 2018 and two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Culinary Host 2013 and 2018.




In Istria, I remember, my grandmother would always infuse our homemade grappa with herbs and the fresh fruit of the season, such as cherries, blackberries, or strawberries. This cocktail was a favorite at Felidia several years ago; the sweetness of the strawberries and simple syrup creates a refreshing drink for the late spring and summer months. I prefer cocktails that are not too sweet. This recipe is easily multiplied for a group.

Makes 1 drink

1 cup sugar
1 ½ cups chopped very ripe strawberries, plus 1 strawberry, finely diced, for garnish
2 ounces vodka
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Sprigs of mint

Combine the sugar with 1 cup water in a small saucepan, and bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar. Add the strawberries, and simmer until they are very soft and the syrup is bright red, about 10 minutes. Let steep 15 minutes. The sugar syrup keeps well in the refrigerator for the next party.

Strain through a fine-mesh strainer without pressing on the solids. (You can keep the cooked strawberry solids to stir into plain yogurt or to top ice cream). Chill until cold, at least 1 hour.

Chill a martini glass. Fill a cocktail shake with ice. Add 1 ½ ounces of the strawberry syrup, as well as the vodka and the lime juice. Shake. Strain into the chilled glass, add the finely diced strawberry, and serve immediately. You can alternate some fresh strawberries and sprigs of mint on a stirrer or toothpick for added garnish.

Credit: Felidia: Recipes from My Flagship Restaurant (Alfred A. Knop, 2019)

Wine Pairing Outline

First Course
Spinach Artichoke Dip & Pita

Italian Prosecco – Venezia
Unoaked Chardonnay -French Chablis or Piedmont Italy – Angelo Gaja of Barbaresco
Sauvignon Blanc – Piedmont or Venezia, Italy – Loire Valley, France
Sauvignon Blanc – Marlboro, New Zealand, Pacific Northwest or NY Finger Lakes

Second Course
Asparagus Risotto with Chicken, Shrimp or Tofu

White Wine

Italian Pinot Grigio – Trentino, Alto Adige, Veneto, Friuli, Giulia and Venezia
Cortese – Gavi di Gavi from Allessandria, Piedmont Italy
Verdicchio – Fazi Battaglia from Marche in Central Italy
Gruner Veltliner – Lombardi, Italy – Austria – Dr. Frank of Finger Lakes, NY

Rose Wine

Sangiovese Rosato -Tuscany, Italy
Cerasuolo Rosato – Montepulciano grape – Abruzzo, Italy
Dolcetto Rosato – Piedmont, Italy
Beaujolais Rose – Beaujolais, France

Red Wine

Cru Beaujolais – Brouilly, Beaujolais, France

Third Course
Dark Chocolate

Italian Sparkling Rosa Regale – Brachetto grape – Acqui, Piedmont
Ruby Port – Douro Valley, Portugal

Learn More

thumbnail_Rioja_LuncheonTerry Robards first became interested in wine during the early 1960s when cocktail parties were all the rage. His aim was to find a pleasant drink with less alcohol content than distilled spirits. He started simple; tasting and comparing Beaujolais wines while studying the books of French pioneer wine writers Andre’ Simon and Alexis Lichine.

Eventually, Terry tasted his way through the important wines of the world with books in hand. At the time he was working as a journalist for the NY Herald Tribune, then when the Herald Tribune folded in 1966, he did a stint with Fortune Magazine as a monthly columnist. However, Robards realized he missed the action associated with daily reporting, so in 1967 he joined the staff of the NY Times as a financial reporter. He also wrote the occasional wine article for the Times Magazine, as well as the Wednesday Ladies Section of the paper.

In the early 1970s, Robards hit NYC air waves with a nightly five minute radio program on WQXR – it was called The Topic Is Wine. Then, around 1972, Terry came up with the idea of writing the NY Times Book of Wine – a sort of companion book to Craig Claiborne’s NY Times Cook Book. Quadrangle Book Publishers loved the idea and they offered him a publishing contract.

In 1973, Terry packed his family up and they moved to London where he worked as a Foreign Correspondent. While there he was able to spend time doing research throughout the vineyards and wineries of Europe. He gained first hand knowledge that proved to be the foundation of his book, and he made life-long friends in the wine industries of France, Italy and Germany.

Upon returning to the United States in 1975, Terry resumed his work at the NY Times financial desk. While abroad, the Times had begun a wine column with writer Frank Prial as the columnist. But, after the NY Times Book of Wine was published in 1976, the paper realized their most well known wine writer was Terry Robards. Eventually, Frank Prial was transferred to the Paris bureau and Terry took over as wine critic, drawing on his personal experience in European wine country to educate his followers.

In 1983, Terry Robards left the NY Times and joined the NY Post, which gave him a carte blanch expense account to travel. He was also able to freelance for publications such as Bon Appetit, Wine Spectator and more. In 1984, Terry’s second major work was published; Terry Robards’ New Book of Wine: The Ultimate Guide to Wines of the World.

With journalistic success well established, Terry Robards decided to move from Bronxville, NY to Lake Placid, an Adirondack Mountain tourist town famous for hosting the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. It was there that he opened Terry Robards Wines and Spirits on Main Street, in the summer of 1988. After the new business was established, he resumed travel and freelance writing as well as publishing his own news letter – The Robards Report & Wine Traveler.

In 1994, Robards was offered the position of Senior Managing Editor and Columnist for Wine Enthusiast magazine. It was a challenge he couldn’t resist so he took the job and relocated to Bronxville, NY for four days a week and back to Lake Placid to work in his shop over the weekends.

In 2004, Terry met his wife Julie, a journalist and author with a speciality in antiques. The following year they exchanged vows in the 14th century wine cellar of Remossenet Pere et Fils in Beaune, Burgundy. While there they attended a chapitres with close friends at Clos de Vougeot – home of the famous Burgundian Wine Society – Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin. In 2007, Julie was inducted into the Chevalier du Tastevin Albany Chapter and Terry was given the title of Grand Officier Honorarie, as the longest standing member in the United States.

Over the years Terry Robards has served as a judge for the Concours de Mondial International Wine Competition. He is a founding member of L’ordine Della Vita Italian Wine Society and a member of numerous organizations including the Commanderie de Bordeaux, Compagnons de Beaujolais and the Food and Wine Society of New York to name a few.

In 2011, Terry’s step son Timothy Robinson ( a professional bartender) took over day to day operations at the store. His knowledge of distilled spirits, and his enthusiasm for educational seminars and tastings on the subject, have served to balance out the wine focus of the store.

Furthermore Tim’s social media skills and marketing expertise have helped to grow the business into what it is today. Terry Robards Wines and Spirits offers the very best selection of fine wine and rare spirits north of New York City.

In 2012, Terry Robard was inducted into the Wine Media Guild Wine Writer’s Hall of Fame. Shortly thereafter he officially retired from day to day operations at the wine store, but still continues to be involved in educational wine tasting events.

In 2014, Julie Robards began an educational wine program called The Basics of Wine. The ten week certificate course covers everything from the history of wine-making techniques to tasting and learning about the most popular wines of today.

Terry Robards Wines and Spirits, now in its 33rd year of operation, can be found at www.trwslpny.com and is also on facebook and instagram. The store is located at 2047 Saranac Avenue, Lake Placid, NY.

Enjoy the cocktail Q&A with the Lidia-inspired Antipasto Platter. Ingredients not included in the Sunbasket meal kit.

The Spinach-Artichoke Dip with Traditional Pita, and the Simple Dark Chocolate Bars are compliments of Sunbasket to enjoy that night, or another time.

Italians love to serve an Antipasto Buffet to start any gathering – big or small. For a slow cooking dish like risotto, an Italian Antipasto Platter is a perfect beginning, since you can set it up ahead of time.

At home, I use my island to make my Antipasto spread and always include lots of pickled vegetables, like mushrooms, artichokes, giardiniera, a spread of Italian salumi, and a selection of imported Italian cheeses. I also like to include a selection of breadsticks, rustic breads, a little honey, and wild cherries to drizzle on top of the cheeses.

Learn More

Prior to Taste of Fame

General Questions about Taste of Fame: tasteoffame@wcny.org or (315) 925-1443.



Chef Marcus cooks at Taste of Fame

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Jeff Scheer, Chairman of the WCNY Board of Trustees and Taste of Fame Co-Chair enjoying the event with his wife, Abby,

and daughters, Sophie, Rachel, and Rose.

tof_photos-01 tof_photos-02

From left: Bonnie Jones, Gail Meagher, Charleen Stehle, and Mary Pat Oliker.


From left: Bill Porter, Don Stehle, and Walter Meagher enjoy Taste of Fame.


The Schimpff family enjoying the event.


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Julia Collin Davison

Julia Collin Davison is an executive editorial director for America’s Test Kitchen. She is also host of America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country and is an original cast member of both shows, which are two of the highest-rated instructional cooking shows on television.

Julia began working as a test cook for Cook’s Illustrated in 1999 and led recipe development for America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks for more than a decade.

Julia is a regular guest on The Dr. Oz Show, Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family, and QVC and has appeared on Fox & Friends and Today.

She graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1996, received an Augie Award from the Culinary Institute of America, and was inducted into the prestigious Disciples d’Escoffier Culinary Society in 2018. She is a Rochester, NY native.


chef minutes_ali
Ali Khan

Ali Khan is a television host and food writer/blogger/influencer sharing his love for food across multiple digital platforms. His breakout series, Cheap Eats ran for 5 seasons on Cooking Channel. He is a regular on The Best Thing I Ever Ate, a judge on Food Network’s Chopped +Chopped Junior and served as host of the fourth season of Spring Baking Championship, also on Food Network.

His food writing has appeared in Black Book Magazine, Urban Daddy, James Beard winner LA TACO, You Gotta Eat This as well as authoring his own food blog, Bang for your Burger Buck. His vlog series, “blackbookali” was part of Tastemade’s initial content launch.

Being the child of South Asian immigrants, Ali learned early on that exotic food to some is comfort food to others. He credits his upbringing in the middle of America with parents from literally the other side of the world with his intimate understanding of food and food cultures.

In addition to food writing, Ali is a natural born performer trained in the Theatrical Arts at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Southern California where he earned his B.A. in Theater Studies. His passion for performance and all things epicurean eventually led him to Food Network, where his earliest appearances include Grill It with Bobby Flay and the Best Thing I Ever Made. Producer credits include Food Network’s $24 in 24, Thanksgiving Live and he helped develop projects for Jeff Mauro, Alton Brown and Simon Majumdar.

In 2015, Ali premiered his very own show, Cheap Eats, on Cooking Channel . Armed with a budget of only $35, Ali takes a culinary tour of the US on a budget almost anyone can afford. Cheap Eats aired for 5 seasons spanning 40 states and 59 cities in as many episodes.

In 2018, Ali joined Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship as the host for the 4th season. Ali has made numerous appearances on Food Network’s Chopped and Chopped Junior, Best Thing I Ever Ate.

In 2020, Ali launched Good Sauce, a YouTube Channel dedicated to his two loves: food and comedy. The first series, Ali vs The Dome releases new episodes every Thursday.

He currently resides in Austin TX.

Brad Miller

Brad’s love of cooking was instilled in him from a young age. Growing up in a suburb of Chicago, Brad spent much of his childhood cooking alongside his grandmother and lending a hand in his father’s butcher shop. Deciding to transform this passion into his career, Miller enrolled in Scottsdale Culinary Institute’s Cordon Bleu program. Upon graduating, he worked for Arizona’s 5-Star Latilla at the Boulders and 4-Star Wright’s at the Arizona Biltmore, before heading to Los Angeles’ Michelin-starred Patina. From there, he went on to become Executive Chef of LA’s most romantic restaurant, Inn of the Seventh Ray. There, he received praise from many outlets, including The Los Angeles Times’ top food critic S. Irene Virbila.

Brad is currently the Chef and Co-Owner at Inn of the Seventh Ray restaurant, corporate chef and tastemaker for Five Star Senior Living, one of the country’s most prestigious retirement companies. He is also the owner of Brown Butter Productions, a catering and content production company.

Brad is a much sought-after television personality, appearing on channels such as VH1, NBC, FOX, Food Network, Cooking Channel, PBS, AWE, VICE, Travel Channel, Tasted Channel and The Hallmark Channel. Catch Brad on his very own show “Food Truck Nation” which is currently airing its second season on The Cooking Channel. You can also find Brad on “Best Thing I Ever Ate,” currently airing on Food Network.

Laura Theodore_photo-01
Laura Theodore

Laura Theodore is a nationally recognized television personality, podcast radio host, celebrity PBS vegan chef, renowned jazz singer and award-winning author of five plant-based cookbooks.

Laura is co-creator of the highly successful Jazzy Vegetarian cooking series on national public television and she is host of the Jazzy Vegetarian Podcast on Unity Online Radio.

Laura is author of five cookbooks, including Jazzy Vegetarian’s Deliciously Vegan, which won silver medals at the 2018 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards, Midwest Book Awards and the 2019 Living Now Book Awards. Her new cookbook, Vegan for Everyone; 160 Family Friendly Recipes with a Delicious Modern Twist was recently released by Scribe Publishing Company. Laura and Jazzy Vegetarian are recipients of the Taste Award for Best Health and Fitness Television Program (Food and Diet), and Jazzy Vegetarian was inducted into the Taste Hall of Fame.

Laura has been on the cover of three prestigious magazines; American Vegan, Jazzin’, and La Fashionista Compassionista. She has made guest appearances on The Talk on CBS, Insider/Entertainment Tonight and the WCBS News Radio Health & Wellbeing Report. Laura has been featured in the New York Times, New York Daily News, Mother Earth Living, VegNews, Family Circle, Readers Digest and PBS Food, among other highly respected news, food, music and lifestyle-related journals.

As a globally recognized award-winning jazz singer and songwriter, Laura has recorded six solo CDs, including her award-winning disc, “Tonight’s the Night,” which received a Musician Magazine Award. Her CD release with the late, great Joe Beck entitled “Golden Earrings,” (on the Whaling City Sound label) was on the GRAMMY® list in the category of “Best Jazz Vocal Album.” Laura has toured throughout the country, performing at numerous major events, such as Night of 100 Stars, Fire and Ice Ball, and The American Film Awards.

 On the acting side of things, Laura has appeared in over sixty plays and musicals including Off-Broadway for two years in the hit show “Beehive,” which earned her a coveted Backstage Bistro Award. She was honored with the Denver Critics Drama Circle Award as “Best Actress in a Musical,” for her starring role as Janis Joplin in the world premier production of “Love, Janis.”

With her love for good food, compassion for animals and enthusiasm for great music, multi-talented personality, Laura Theodore truly is the Jazzy Vegetarian. Learn more about Laura and Jazzy Vegetarian at: www.jazzyvegetarian.com

Joanne Weir

A 4th-generation professional cook, Joanne Weir spent five years cooking at Chez Panisse after receiving a Master Chef Diploma with Madeleine Kamman.  Joanne travels and teaches cooking classes extensively throughout the world, including Italy, Spain, France, Greece, Morocco, Australia, New Zealand.  She also teaches at events across the United States and in her San Francisco studio kitchen. Joanne is co-owner of Copita, an award-winning modern Mexican restaurant and tequileria in Sausalito, California.

Joanne is a James Beard award-winning cookbook author and has written 17 cookbooks, including her most recent food memoir, Kitchen Gypsy: Stories and Recipes from a Lifetime Romance with Food, published in September 2015.  Joanne writes for several national publications, including Sunset Magazine, Cooking Light, Better Homes and Gardens, Fine Cooking, and Food & Wine.

Joanne is also the host and Executive Producer for several award-winning television series.   Her latest show, “Joanne Weir’s Plates & Places,” earned nominations for several Taste Awards and was chosen as the “Best New Series” in 2018.  Filmed on location around the globe, each episode provides viewers with a virtual trip to several of Joanne’s culinary destinations.  The series is currently in its third season and airs nationwide on both Public Television and Create in over 94% of US households.

Methin “Max” Chuthinthranondlemon grass

Methin “Max” Chuthinthranond and his wife Pook are the founders, owners, and operators of the award-winning Lemon Grass & Bistro Elephant Steakhouse located in Armory Square, Syracuse for more than 20 years. They also operate the sister location, Citronelle, a New-American and Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, bar, and event space.


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