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The Culinary Council is a group of industry leaders who have joined forces to raise Flavors of… to new heights by promoting the event among their colleagues, friends in the media, and business associates in the professional and consumer product industry.

We are proud to be working with such dedicated and respected members of the culinary community in our fight to promote awareness and raise money for liver disease research. The Culinary Council members are:

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Christopher Gross

2013 Culinary Council Gross PhotoChristopher is an icon of the Phoenix culinary scene and the founder of the Flavors of Phoenix and other Flavors events around the country for the American Liver Foundation. In 1990, he opened Christopher’s and Christopher’s Bistro and has been a fixture in the restaurant world of the Valley ever since. He was named Best Chef in the Southwest by the James Beard Foundation in 1995.

Christopher’s Restaurant and Crush Lounge is the innovative creation from Duo Chef Christopher Gross and Sommelier Paola Embry located at the Biltmore Fashion Park.  Restaurant diners enjoy the best of casual and elegant dining options selected from the signature French-infused American menu uniquely created by Chef Christopher.  Within the restaurant there is an elegant 10-seat exclusive dining area called Restaurant C144, offering a nightly 8-course tasting menu.  Crush Lounge offers a sexy and ultra chic experience enabling the perfect setting for intimate encounters.


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Jason Sobocinski

2013 Culinary Council Sobocinski PhotoJason Sobocinski, owner of Caseus Formagerie & Bistro, was born and raised in New Haven, CT.  Jason attended Providence College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. Upon moving back to New Haven, he began catering and taking an interest in local, organic foods and sustainable farming. Jason decided to continue his education of food by attending Boston University where he pursued a Master’s degree in Gastronomy. Through Caseus, Jason supports sustainable farming by purveying both sustainable produce and meats.  Jason hopes to increase awareness of sustainability through the art of food. In 2011 Jason stared in the Cooking Channel show The Big Cheese and continues to work with the Cooking Channel on cheese specials. His cookbook The Caseus Fromagerie Bisto Cook Book came out in 2010 and has sold all over the country. Jason opened the Caseus Cheese Truck with his brother Tom in 2010 and serves the hungry all over the streets of New Haven with crispy melty gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. His newest ventures include a start up cheese manufacturing company called the Mystic Cheese Co. out of Lebanon CT and a new cheese centered bar called Ordinary located in a historical downtown building which houses original woodwork dating back to 1858. Visit Caseus's website.


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Harry Schwartz

2013 Culinary Council Harry PhotoChef Harry began his life as an obese youth. Having graduated from Grinnell College and upon finishing accounting studies at Harvard Business School, Harry W. Schwartz acquired a scrap metal recycling business with his brother in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After developing and then selling the Scrap business, a popular restaurant, a cookie and cheesecake bakery and raising over $25,000,000 with the Tulsa Philanthropic community, at age 34, he and his wife Laurie retired to Jupiter Island, Florida with their daughter. He then wrote his first cookbook, Easygoing Entertaining. With the help of one of Laurie's friends, Harry was presented with the opportunity to promote the book on NBC's Today Show, he immediately became a regular contributor, which began his career as Chef Harry, a media chef, author, columnist, corporate culinary creator, consultant, educator and spokesperson.

Chef Harry and his family moved to Malibu, California in 1996 where he created and hosted the popular PBS celebrity at home cooking show, Chef Harry and Friends. He then became known for his high-energy, record-setting shows on Shop at Home Network where he created the kitchen and culinary category for the network and proceeded to gross over $70,000,000 in house wares in 48 months. In addition to The Today Show, he has appeared as a regular contributor on KTLA-CBS in Los Angeles and currently on FOX61 in Connecticut and ABC in Rhode Island with occasional national appearances when his schedule allows.

He has written a syndicated feature for Copley news service, authored 5 books and serves as a creative and media spokesperson and consultant for several corporations. He contributes to various news and talk shows and is Managing Director of The Colt Culinary Project at the Historic Colt Factory now the Colt GATEWAY complex in Hartford. In addition to creating and operating one of the newest destinations in eastern Connecticut, He and his wife Laurie provide a mentorship program for young people and adults.

Chef Harry and his wife created a wellness program based on his fifth book, Fit Foundation and visited and gave live wellness programs at over 40 schools in 20 states. After meeting with President Clinton and gaining his support, they are now working in conjunction with Michelle Obama's Wellness program Eat Well. DeCA has teamed with the National Watermelon Promotions Board and Chef Harry to be part of their Eat Healthy and Be Active Your Way campaign. Chef Harry launched this initiative at Ft Lee VA Base (DeCA's headquarters) on August 3rd, 2010 in the Commissary and Children's Development Center. His recipes are being incorporated in Military Base Menus all over the world as part of the program. His performances will be aired on Air Force Television Worldwide.


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Mark Ehrler

2013 Culinary Council Ehrler PhotoTo calculate the number of diamonds and stars earned by hotels and resorts at which Marc Ehrler has played a star role in the kitchen would take more than your fingers and more than your toes.

A native of Antibes, on the French Rivera between Cannes and Nice, Ehrler trained with world-renowned chefs, including Alain Ducasse, Jacques Maximin and Andre Daguin.  His cooking style, a tribute to his native Provence/Italy, and influenced by travels in the Caribbean, Latin America, Asia, New-York to California, Florida, embraces respect for tradition and simplicity.

A master of food arts, Chef Ehrler, he has been praised by media, critics and celebrities. Chef Ehrler has been featured in Wine Spectator, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, Gourmet, Tattler and The New York Times, as well as, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, the Discovery Channel’s “Great Chefs of the world”, Best 10 Restaurants in the World, CNN International and the Food TV Network. He has participated in the James Beard House “Best Hotel Chefs Series” finalist best chef of the Southwest, and recognized by the Culinary Academy of France. Chef Ehrler is the only Chef to have received two AAA 5 Diamonds awards for 2 different restaurants within the same Hotel and has received the coveted Master Chef of France title in 2002.

Leading up to Corporate Chef Americas, for Hilton Worldwide in 2011, Chef Ehrler was President of Culinary development and innovation for NDB brands and NDB International, Corporate Chef for Loews Hotels and resorts, executive chef at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, executive chef with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company,  La Samanna a Rosewood Hotel on the Island of St. Martin, the K-Club on Barbuda a Bel Air hotel; the Stonehouse Restaurant at San Ysidro Ranch, a Relais et Chateaux in Santa Barbara, California; Antoine at Le Meridien in Newport Beach; La Terrasse at Le Juana in Juan les Pins, France; Westbury Hotel in New York; Maxims de Paris in Paris and New York; Hotel de France in Auche, France.

Chef Ehrler was the host of the SoBe Wine & Food Festival for eight years & a ten years participant. Read more...


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Beau MacMillan

2013 Culinary Council MacMillan PhotoAs Executive Chef of Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain and its signature restaurant, elements, Beau MacMillan inspires his staff with his passion for fresh ingredients.  His ingenuity in the kitchen is stimulated by his belief that food should not be overworked, but rather appreciated for its simplicity and natural perfection.  This philosophy is evident in chef MacMillan’s innovative seasonal menus that focus on fresh, local ingredients procured from a network of artisan and organic farmers.

Chef MacMillan has cooked in some of America’s most distinguished kitchens.  He hails from Plymouth, Massachusetts and is a graduate of Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island.  His culinary career began at the age of 16 when he secured a position at Crane Brook Tea room in Carver, Massachusetts.  Chef MacMillan spent a year under the tutelage of Chef François Demueloge.  Inspired by this experience, he joined the brigade at La Vielle Maison in Boca Raton Florida, rising through the ranks to the position of Sous Chef.  Drawn to the culinary scene on the West S=Coast, chef MacMillan moved to Los Angeles where he held Sous Chef positions at the prestigious Hotel Bel Air, and later Shutter on the Beach in Santa Monica.  He was recruited to Arizona in 1998 to develop the cuisine at the ranch on Camelback, which later became Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain.  Chef MacMillan and former Executive Chef Charles Wiley opened elements restaurant in March of 2001.

Now as executive chef, MacMillan’s innovation has brought elements national recognition and acclaim.  In March 2006, Chef MacMillan was invited to the The Food Network’s kitchen stadium to compete in an episode of the hit series, Iron Chef America.  Chef MacMillan was pitted against Iron Chef Bobby Flay in “Battle American Kobe Beef.”  Ultimately, Chef MacMillan’s cuisine reigned supreme, letting him claim victory over Flay.

In addition to his appearance on Iron Chef America, Chef MacMillan has cooked at The James Beard House and at Bon Appetit Magazine in New York, and regularly conducts cooking classes for the guests of Sanctuary.  He is also the personal Chef for Wayne Gretzky and his family and has cooked for such personalities as President Bush, Britney Spears, U2, Michele Richard, Jacques Pepin and Michele Roux, Sr.  Read more...


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