We provide opportunities for you to learn from award winning chefs and other experts in our unique casual environment. This fun and informative program on all things culinary is offered the second full week of every month. Take a look at some our guest chef recipes.
Corinne Trang is a New York-based award-winning author of nine cookbooks including the acclaimed “Authentic Vietnamese Cooking” (1999), “Essentials of Asian Cuisine” (2003), “Asian Flavors Diabetes Cookbook (2013) and the newly published “Switch It Up Meals: A Fresh Take on Quick and Easy Diabetes-Friendly Recipes for A Balanced Life” (2017), which she is proud to launch at Lake Austin Spa Resort during Valentine’s Week.
She has written and or been featured in many publications including Saveur, Food & Wine, Cooking Light, Fine Cooking, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, The New York Times and The Washington Post. She has guest on Martha Stewart Living, NBC’s Today Show, CBS Early Morning News, Bloomberg Radio, and Food Network among many other television and radio shows. She has lectured and been visiting faculty at various universities including University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Harvard University, and New York University.
Corinne is a chef consultant, holistic health and nutrition counselor integrating yoga, meditation and mindful food practices.
Eric Asimov is the chief wine critic of The New York Times and the author of “How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto,’’ published by William Morrow, and “Wine With Food: Pairing Notes and Recipes From The New York Times,’’ written with recipes by Florence Fabricant and published by Rizzoli. His weekly column appears in the Food section of The Times. Naturally, he is on Twitter and Instagram, too, @EricAsimov. A collection of his columns is included in “The New York Times Book of Wine,’’ published by Sterling Epicure. Before he started writing full-time about wine in 2004, Asimov wrote primarily about restaurants and food. He created the $25 and Under restaurant reviews in 1992 and wrote them through 2004. He is a co-author of five editions of The New York Times Guide to Restaurants, and published four editions of “$25 and Under: A Guide to the Best Inexpensive Restaurants in New York.’’ In 2013 he was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America. Asimov is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., and did graduate work in American Civilization at the University of Texas at Austin.
Valerie Gordon is a celebrated chocolatier who has been recognized in Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, and Saveur, served as a guest judge on BRAVO’s “Top Chef: Just Desserts” and FYI’s “Man vs. Child,” and appeared numerous times on The Food Network and The Cooking Channel. She co-founded Valerie Confections in 2004 with her life and business partner Stan Weightman, Jr. as a tiny, family-run business with just six flavors of chocolate-dipped toffee.
Now a top chocolatier in the country, her business has grown exponentially with a full line of chocolates, petits fours, handmade preserves, cakes, pies, and pastries—all incorporating the very best ingredients and offering a delicious spin on the unexpected. In addition to her flagship shop in Los Angeles’ Silver Lake neighborhood, she also celebrates her savory side with contemporary Californian, French-inspired breakfast and lunch fare at her two cafes and bakeries in Echo Park and downtown’s Grand Central Market. She wrote and styled her first cookbook, Sweet (Artisan Publishing, 2013), which was a James Beard finalist.
Indulge your sweet tooth in this fun cooking class.
Valerie Gordon is a celebrated chocolatier who has been recognized in Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, and Saveur, served as a guest judge on BRAVO’s “Top Chef: Just Desserts” and FYI’s “Man vs. Child,” and appeared numerous times on The Food Network and The Cooking Channel. She co-founded Valerie Confections in 2004 with her life and business partner Stan Weightman, Jr. as a tiny, family-run business with just six flavors of chocolate-dipped toffee. Now a top chocolatier in the country, her business has grown exponentially with a full line of chocolates, petits fours, handmade preserves, cakes, pies, and pastries—all incorporating the very best ingredients and offering a delicious spin on the unexpected. In addition to her flagship shop in Los Angeles’ Silver Lake neighborhood, she also celebrates her savory side with contemporary Californian, French-inspired breakfast and lunch fare at her two cafes and bakeries in Echo Park and downtown’s Grand Central Market. She wrote and styled her first cookbook, Sweet (Artisan Publishing, 2013), which was a James Beard finalist.
Kansas City’s uber-local chef of Harvest, Renee Kelly creates a living breathing fabric of sustainability through her knowledge and playful nature. A season 13 Bravo TV Top Cheftestant, Chef Renee’s creative process for cooking is sensory. Most menu creations start in the garden. “Seeing the colors and breathing in the aromas of fresh ingredients are all the inspiration I need,” she says. “From there, the flavors come together.”
Renee started pre-med at Texas A&M before realizing that cooking was her true passion. She switched gears to attend the Art Institute of Houston and worked at country clubs and resorts before finally moving back to Kansas to start up her own catering company. After 11 years of catering, she opened her own restaurant, Renee Kelly’s Harvest, featuring an approachable upscale farm-to-table menu situated in a historic neighborhood castle.
Chef Bradley Kilgore was born and raised in Kansas City. After moving around to work and train in Denver, Italy and Chicago, he has now has planted his feet in Miami. In Chicago Chef Kilgore worked at world renowned restaurant Alinea before leaving to open L2o under Chef Laurent Gras. Later, both restaurants garnered the honor of 3 Michelin Stars. As Executive Sous Chef, Bradley then opened EPIC restaurant also in Chicago which was named one of John Mariani’s Best New Restaurants of 2010.
After living in Chicago, Bradley made his move to Miami. Upon arriving in Miami, he set his sights on the famed restaurant Azul in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Azul was awarded 5 Stars from Forbes Travel guide in 2013. Chef Kilgore moved on to the St. Regis Bal Harbour as Executive Chef under Jean George Vongerichten at J&G Grill, where Chef Kilgore and his team were given 4 Stars from the Miami Herald, the only restaurant that year to achieve such status.
In the Summer of 2015 Chef Kilgore opened Alter in the art focused Wynwood district of Miami. There he offers Progressive American cuisine, highlighting indigenous Floridian ingredients as well as a 5 and a 7 Chef’s table tasting menu experience. Alter received 4 stars from the Miami Herald in November of that year, making it the only restaurant to obtain this rating that year. Alter was also named restaurant of the year by Eater and Chef Kilgore chef of the year by the same publication. This year Alter was named semifinalist for the prestigious James Beard awards in the category Best New Restaurant, and Chef Kilgore in the category Rising Star chef of the year. In 2016 Bradley was named Best New Chef in America by Food & Wine Magazine. He is now the Culinary Director for the Adrienne Arsht Center and Brava by Brad Kilgore where he matches the art focused performance center with beautiful cuisine.
Executive Chef Danny Grant unleashes his distinct style of hospitality on Chicago’s Gold Coast at Maple & Ash, an expansive, design-forward destination for luscious steakhouse fare rooted in French technique and uninhibited creativity. Throwing caution to the wind, Grant melds tradition and adventure to curate an innovative selection of steakhouse mainstays, fresh seafood, and market-sourced vegetables roasted on the open hearth.
While maintaining lofty culinary standards, Grant encourages a fun, lively atmosphere in both the kitchen and the dining room. Often found mingling throughout dinner service, he sees presence and interaction as important as intriguing cuisine in creating a memorable dining experience.
“The night begins as soon as the guest enters, when we ‘hug’ them with warm hospitality,” he says. “We’re excited to have you – kick back and relax, because you’re in for a show.”
In 2003, Grant relocated to Chicago to join North Pond Restaurant as chef de tournant, learning from Executive Chef Bruce Sherman how to treat and cook quality products using refined culinary techniques. Though he left in 2006 to cook abroad in Paris and attend The French Pastry School, he came back to Chicago to serve as sous chef for NoMI Restaurant, and returned to North Pond in 2007 as chef de cuisine.
Grant’s career dropped into high gear in 2009, when he became executive chef for RIA and Balsan Restaurants at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago (previously the Elysian Hotel), at which his respective French and European bistro menus earned him Food & Wine’s “2012 Best New Chef” award. Additional recognition came in the form of two Michelin stars for RIA in 2011 and 2012, as well as perfect four-star reviews from both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Magazine.
Chefs and wife-and-husband team Brooke Williamson and Nick Roberts dominate the South Bay area of Los Angeles with their beloved, neighborhood dining destinations. The couple first met when Brooke, the youngest female chef to cook at the James Beard House and a Bravo “Top Chef” runner-up, was the executive chef at Brentwood eatery Zax where Nick was also cooking.
In the early 2000s, they opened their first two restaurants – Amuse Café and Beechwood in Venice, CA. Although both are now closed, they opened the gastropub Hudson House in Redondo Beach in 2009, followed by a similar concept, The Tripel, in neighboring city Playa del Rey.
In 2014, they debuted Playa Provisions—a unique four-in-one concept with a grab-and-go marketplace, an artisanal ice cream shop, a seafood dining spot, and an intimate whiskey bar. Shortly thereafter, they opened Tripli-Kit, a culinary-focused retail store, selling kitchen gadgets, cookbooks, and other cooking utensils, located right behind TheTripel. This summer, they’ll be unveiling Da Kikokiko, a fast-casual concept in Playa Vista focused on three aspects of Hawaiian street food (musubi, poke, and shaved ice). All of the restaurants are under their Company for Dinner hospitality group.
GRACE YOUNG has been called the Stir-Fry Guru and Stir-Fry Master by the New York Times. Her cookbook Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge won the James Beard Foundation’s Best International Cookbook Award. It was also named one of the top cookbooks by NPR, The Washington Post, Good Morning America, and Huffington Post. Throughout her career healthy cooking has been a primary focus. Grace is featured onWeightWatchers.com Stir-Fry Guru video series and writes the monthly “Market Watch” column for the magazine. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bon Appétit, Food and Wine, Cooking Light, Eating Well, Fitness, Shape, Fine Cooking, and Saveur. Grace is the co-founder of Wok Wednesdays, an online “stir-fry and wok support group” and teaches the popular The Art of Stir-Fryingclass for Craftsy.com. In 2016, The American Museum of Natural History named Grace as one of the “40 for 40” women honorees to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Margaret Mead Film Festival.
Charles Dale has worked with many of the best chefs in the United States and beyond, including Daniel Boulud, Barry Wine, Jean-Paul Lacombe and Georges Mazraff. In 1988, he left a position as Sous-Chef under Boulud at Le Cirque in New York to open his own restaurant, Renaissance, in Aspen, Colorado.
Renaissance was widely acknowledged to be Aspen’s most luxurious and refined restaurant, garnering every major culinary and wine award in America, includingFood and Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef in America for Charles in 1995; the James Beard Foundation nomination for Best Chef, Southwest, in 1998 and 1999; Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence; The DiRoNa Award, a Zagat rating of 28, the Mobil Four Star Award, and a host of national and international press.
In 2000, Charles opened Rustique Bistro, featuring Grandmother Cuisine, winningEsquire Magazine’s prestigious Best New Restaurant in America Award. He later opened Range, which celebrated New Western cooking, characterized by fresh organic produce, seafood and game, all procured from West of the Rockies.
Charles is also the author of The Chefs’ Guide to America’s Best Restaurants, has launched a line of all-natural marinades for consumers under the St. Dalfour label and has contributed recipes to more than a dozen cookbooks nationwide.
In 2008, Charles joined Auberge Resorts to develop and open the brand new Encantado Resort in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Featuring his trademark “Modern Rustic” cuisine, the signature restaurant, Terra, was named to the “20 Best New Restaurants of 2008” by esteemed food writer John Mariani. The hotel was awarded the prestigious AAA 5-Diamond Award from 2010 through 2012, the first and only hotel/resort in New Mexico to be so recognized.
In June 2012, as Auberge Resorts ceded management of the property to Four Seasons Hotels, Charles moved on to pursue his own project, culminating in the opening of Bouche Bistro in late February 2013. Bouche has already garnered substantial acclaim and press and has become one of the “not to be missed” restaurants in Santa Fe.
At La Quinta Resort & Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, Executive Chef Andrew Cooper leads a culinary team of over 100 culinary professionals, overseeing the resort’s seven dining destinations as well as the resort’s in-room and catering programs. His global palette and worldly culinary flair is balanced by a passion for local and sustainable ingredients sourced from the abundant fertile lands of Coachella Valley and Southern California and reflected in the menus found across the resort’s 45-acre footprint.
Cooper’s impressive career spans more than fifteen years and includes distinguished culinary posts which have led him from his native East Coast to Hawaii, New Mexico and California. Prior to joining La Quinta Resort & Club, Chef Cooper spent nearly four years overseeing the food and beverage program at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe. His fourth Four Seasons property, Cooper had previously served as the Executive Sous Chef at Four Seasons Hotel Hualalai and Senior Sous Chef at Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village. Cooper began his culinary career at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York, where he worked for six years.
In addition to his culinary degree from the Culinary Institute of America, Andrew also holds a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management and a master’s degree in food service management, both from Florida International University.