Learn tips and tricks from Boston’s top chefs! Watch the pros in action, ask questions and sample some of their delicious treats! Who knows, maybe you’ll find your new favorite restaurant!
11:45 - 12:15 | Richard Garcia, Culinary Operations Crescent Hotels & Resorts
12:30 - 1:00 | Jay Hajj, Chef & Owner of Mike’s City Diner
1:15 - 1:45 | Dan Billo, Executive Chef of Atlantic Fish Company
2:00 - 2:30 | Charles Foster, Executive Chef of Woods Hill Table
2:45 - 3:15 | Domenick Nigro, Corporate Chef of Clarke Showrooms
3:30 - 4:00 | Ben Steigers, Executive Chef of PABU Izakaya
Chef Richard Garcia
Known to most of his peers in the industry as the "seafood chef", Richard Garcia is currently overseeing the culinary operations of over 100 Hotels, resorts and private clubs across North America for Crescent Hotels & Resorts. He is a recent recipient of the top 40 under 40 food service professionals in America award & He became known for his commitment to seafood sustainability with the success of his restaurant Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro in Foxboro where he was James Beard recognized and also won the Boston Rising Star Chef Award from both for his commitment to a sustainable future for our food systems. He then had tremendous success as the Executive Chef at 606 Congress in the Seaport District. While at 606 Congress he traveled to locations all over the country and Canada to speak to chefs about the sustainability of our oceans and those who depend on it to make a living. He also served as Chefs Collaborative Boston Local Leader where he was responsible for connecting local chefs and artisan producers in the Greater Boston area. Chef Rich is also a Veteran of the Armed Forces having served in the US Marine Corps & the US Coast Guard. Today he participates and supports a few key veteran organizations that help New England veterans integrate back into their communities through alternative therapies.
Chef Charles Foster
Charlie’s love affair with food began in Spain, working as a personal chef for the Guinness family. Learning to make authentic Spanish ‘tortilla’ from a woman 60 years his senior, and building a relationship with a local farmer who delivered vegetables so fresh they were still warm from the sun, Charlie learned early to focus on where the food he serves is coming from, who is preparing it, and knowing the story of each ingredient he uses. Upon his return from Spain to Boston he was immediately hired by Chef Ken Oringer to help open the chef’s new tapas restaurant, Toro. Within a year Charlie was promoted to chef de partie in Oringer’s flagship Boston restaurant, Clio, where he worked alongside a gifted chef who has had a major influence on his culinary style. Seeking to further refine his technique, he traveled to Europe for several months to work at Frantzen/Lindeberg in Stockholm, Sweden and In de Wulf in Dranouter, Belgium. Charlie then found himself at Daniel Boulud’s DBGB, quickly rising to the position of Executive Chef. While there, Charlie focused on the importance of merging French technique with impeccable sourcing, perfectly preparing him for the challenges of opening Woods Hill Table in Concord, Massachusetts. Now, having access to the bounties of the Farm at Woods Hill and innumerable local farmers in the area, Charlie is committed to sharing with diners the joy that comes from eating the best ingredients, served at the peak of their season, prepared with expertise.
Chef Jay Hajj
Jay Hajj is the chef-owner of beloved Boston landmark Mike’s City Diner, where his classic American comfort fare is savored by neighbors, tourists, celebrities, and political power brokers such as President Bill Clinton. Jay is a frequent guest on the Food Network, where he whips up favorite dishes with Guy Fieri on “Guy’s Big Bite,” “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” and “Guy’s Grocery Games.” The Food Network named Mike’s Famous Pilgrim sandwich one of the Five Best Thanksgiving meals in America and the eatery has won numerous local awards and fan-favorite honors. Jay supports many Boston-area charities with his chef pals. Jay is also the author of “Beirut to Boston: Comfort Food Inspired By A Rags-to-Restaurants Story,” which chronicles his dramatic culinary journey that began as a boy caught amid the violence and death of the Lebanese Civil War. “Beirut to Boston” was released in 2017 and is available online and at great bookstores across the country.
Chef Domenick Nigro
The Clarke Culinary Team is a distinguishing feature of any visit to New England’s Official Sub-Zero/Wolf/Cove Showroom and Test Kitchen. Each year, Chef Domenick plans and prepares thousands of event meals, cooking demonstrations and Clarke’s signature “Small Plates” for guests to taste at the award-winning showrooms. His culinary talents help to exemplify the vast capabilities of Wolf cooking appliances for hundreds of architects, designers and homeowners. While his job title is chef, Domenick also teaches visitors various culinary tips and techniques to help them expand their own culinary capabilities. He is a graduate of Johnson & Wales’ Food Service Management program and earned his culinary stripes in the kitchens of luxury resorts and fine dining establishments on the East Coast. In addition to mastering every mode of cooking imaginable in Clarke’s designer kitchens, Chef Domenick has also perfected a wide variety of recipes to lead exquisite events at the showrooms.
Chef Dan Billo
A California native who cut his culinary chops working his way from the California Culinary Academy through some of San Francisco’s hottest spots in the restaurant scene, Chef Billo uses his larger-than-life presence and talent for cooking up both classic and creative American cuisine to heat up the kitchen of Atlantic Fish – a landmark for fresh seafood in Boston for almost 40 years.
Chef Ben Steigers
A classically trained sushi chef with global influence, Benjamin Steigers is the Executive Chef of PABU Boston at Millennium Tower Boston. As Executive Chef, Benjamin brings eight years of culinary experience in renowned restaurants, spanning three continents. In his new role as the Executive Chef of PABU Boston, Benjamin will be responsible for overseeing all culinary activities at the lively izakaya and sushi bar concept.