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ABOUT LAST YEAR
Jenn Harris – Senior Writer, Food at the Los Angeles Times
Jenn Harris is Senior Writer of the Los Angeles Times Food section, former host of the “Forkin’ Amazing” food radio show on TradioV.com, and a happy hour enthusiast on the never-ending quest for her next big bite and stiff cocktail. She’s also written for the Image, Travel and Calendar sections. You can catch her slurping boat noodles in Thai town, at a strip mall restaurant trying to pronounce bagoong in her head, or downing an order of fried chicken the size of her crush on Anthony Bourdain. But before you write her off as the worst eater ever, you should see her massage some kale.
Nancy Silverton – Chef and Owner (Mozza, Chi Spacca)
Nancy Silverton is the co-owner of Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles, Newport Beach, and Singapore, as well as Mozza2Go and chi SPACCA in Los Angeles. Silverton also founded the world-renowned La Brea Bakery as well as Campanile Restaurant, an institution that Angelenos cherished for decades.
Silverton has worked with some of the nation’s most notable and influential chefs including Jonathan Waxman at Michael’s Restaurant and Wolfgang Puck at Spago. She has served as a mentor to numerous others who have gone on to become award-winning chefs and restaurant owners themselves. Early in her career, Nancy was named Food and Wine Magazine’s “Best New Chef.” In 2014, she received the highest honor given by the James Beard Foundation for “Outstanding Chef.” That year, she was listed as one of the Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink by both Fortune and Food and Wine Magazines. Silverton is the author of eight cookbooks including Desserts (1986), Breads from the La Brea Bakery (1996), Pastries from the La Brea Bakery (2000), Nancy Silverton’s Sandwich Book (2005), Twist of the Wrist (2007) and the Mozza Cookbook (2011).In 2017, Nancy was profiled on Netflix’s documentary series “Chef’s Table.”
Nancy is a supporter of the Garden School Foundation in Los Angeles, and is active in fundraising for numerous charities including Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation in Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
Daniele Uditi - Chef
Daniele Uditi is the LA-based master pizzaiolo and chef at Pizzana, a Neo-Neaopolitan pizzeria from Candace and Charles Nelson and partners Chris and Caroline O’Donnell with a location in Brentwood and forthcoming restaurant in West Hollywood.
Originally from Naples, Italy, Daniele Uditi was raised in a culinary family — his mother was a chef, his aunt a bread-maker and his grandfather a pastry chef. He began his career in the industry at the age of 12, cleaning the pizza ovens and baking loaves of bread with his aunt at the family bakery before school each morning. After developing a strong expertise working with bread and pizza dough, Daniele honed his culinary skills under the guidance of chef Rosanna Marziale at the Michelin-starred Le Colonne restaurant in Campania. At Le Colonne, he immersed himself in the artistry of crafting soulful Southern Italian cuisine while exploring new techniques to elevate the region’s more traditional dishes.
In 2010, Daniele traveled to the United States to work as a consulting chef for various Italian restaurants in the Los Angeles area. What was meant to be a six-month stint turned into a permanent move, as he fell in love with the bounty of produce that California has to offer, and the woman who would become his wife, Jaqueline. During this time, Daniele began making pizzas for private parties on the side, returning to the roots of his culinary upbringing in Italy where food was always the centerpiece of family gatherings and celebrations with friends. He cultivated his signature “slow dough,” meticulously prepared with a blend of imported Italian flours, and quickly garnered a dedicated following including actor Chris O’Donnell, who first introduced Daniele to the Nelsons.
At Pizzana, Daniele shares his distinct interpretation of a Naples classic with a menu that finds inspiration from the local Los Angeles markets, as well as the traditions of his native Italy. Since opening Pizzana in 2017, Daniele’s prized pies have garnered critical accolades including a place on the Los Angeles Times’ “101 Best Restaurants” list in 2018, as well as Eater’s “38 Essential LA Restaurants."
Chris Bianco - Chef and Owner (Pizzeria Bianco)
Ben Mims - Cooking Columnist, LA Times
Ben Mims is the cooking columnist for the Los Angeles Times. He has written three cookbooks and has worked as a food editor and recipe developer for several food media publications, such as Lucky Peach, Food & Wine, Saveur, and Buzzfeed/Tasty. Born and raised in Mississippi, he spends his weekends stocking his freezer with biscuits and making fruit jam.
Francesco Lucatorto was born in Genova, the world capital of focaccia, growing up in Chiavari with his family, was surrounded by the flavors and perfumes of the ligurian coast.
After having studied Culinary Arts in Italy. At age 19 moved to London, England at “L’Anima”, a
Peppe Miele is the President of VPN Americas, the American delegation of Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana.
Back in 1992, he opened the original Antica Pizzeria and for the first time provided the LA culinary public with delicious Authentic Neapolitan Pizza.
Antica Pizzeria was the first restaurant in the US certified by the AVPN.
After he closed his restaurant in 2011, he dedicated his time to the promotion of the Neapolitan pizza across America, first opening the Accademia della Pizza Napoletana in Marina del Rey (CA) and later, founding Napoletana Consulting, the most accredited consulting company for Neapolitan style pizzeria in USA.
Andrea Chang - Deputy Food Editor, Los Angeles Times
She joined the newspaper in 2007 and has covered food, technology and retail; she was also an assistant editor in the Business section. Chang graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and has written for the St. Petersburg Times, the Oregonian and the Mercury News. She grew up in Cupertino, Calif., and will happily eat anything – except fresh ginger.
Ellen Bennett - Founder and CEO of Hedley & Bennett
Ellen Bennett is the Founder and CEO of Hedley & Bennett, the L.A.-based culinary brand that produces the best aprons and kitchen workwear in the marketplace. Ellen Bennett started the company at the age of 25 while working as a line cook at a renowned Los Angeles restaurant. Her goal: to craft a pro-grade apron that looked better, performed better and made the person wearing it feel prouder, more confident and more creative than anything else out there. Today, Hedley & Bennett outfits 6,000+ restaurants/cafes/coffee shops and home cooks from coast to coast. A creative at heart, Bennett has always been eager to lock arms with fellow creators, and to collaborate in out-of-the box ways—her intuition and approach has led to collaborations with Vans, Rifle Paper Co., (RED) and more. In 2018, in collaboration with Samsung, Bennett built a state-of-the-art Test Kitchen Studio within the 16,000 square-foot apron factory in DTLA for hosting cookbook parties, chef demos or dinners, cooking classes, conferences, etc. In 2019, as a partner and creative-at-large, she helped to open the Firehouse Hotel, the first boutique hotel in L.A.’s Arts District. Hedley & Bennett’s story has been featured in the New York Times, Fast Company, Inc., Bon Appetit, Martha Stewart, and the Today Show. She lives in Echo Park with her husband Casey, their pet pig Oliver and six chickens.