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OUR CHEFS

OUR CHEFS.

Your Culinary Experts.

 

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MYRNA KALLERGIS

Executive Chef | Founder

 

Chef Myrna has worked along side some of the culinary industry’s top chefs and entertainers including Sara Moulton (Gourmet Magazine, Food Network), Ted Allen (Host of Food Network's Chopped), and 

For nearly 15 years, Myrna has been a professional cooking instructor. She headline cooked at a number of culinary programs across Texas including Central Market, Whole Foods, Lake Austin Spa, Sur La Table and Sub-Zero & Wolf. 

Chef Myrna was also featured on the Food Network as a holiday cookie contest winner in 2007 and was named "Iron Chef Houston" by CBS 11’s Great Day Houston.

Chef Myrna has been a proud participant in the Texas Wine and Food Foundation’s Tour de Vin, The Austin Wine & Music Festival, Dripping with Taste Festival, Houston Food and Wine Week, Wine Fair Cy-Fair, Katy Sip and Stroll, Haute Wheels and number of various food festivals across Texas.

Chef Myrna studied culinary arts at the Art Institute of Houston before receiving her B.A. in Corporate Communications from the University of Houston in 2004.

Chef Myrna recently placed 2nd in Houston Food & Wine Week's 2016 Taco Throw Down.

 

 

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JAKE GOBER 

Co-Owner & Sous Chef / TV Personality

 

Chef Jake Gober began working in kitchens at local restaurants in Graham, Texas where he was raised. Jake got in the kitchen as early as has worked every job in the kitchen. When he started working as line cook, it was then decided he wanted to make cooking his professional career.

He attended and graduated culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Austin, Texas. In culinary school, he discovered the Silver Whisk and found a passion for teaching. It was there he cultivated his passion for food, people and teaching.

In 2013, Chef Jake represented Silver Whisk at The Texas Food and Wine Foundation's, Tour de Vin.

Since then he's done live cooking segments on KXAN/NBC in Austin and on KRIV/FOX in Houston.

Chef Jake was also a competitor on season 3 of ABC's show The Taste in 2014. Jake was mentored by  (5 time) James Beard award winning chef, Marcus Samuelsson. He also had an opportunity to briefly work Marcus's acclaimed NY restaurant, Red Rooster in the summer of 2015.

Chef Jake also placed 2nd in the 2016 Katy Sip N' Stroll for best bite.  

 

 

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MONICA POPE

 

Monica began her career at the age of 18 for prestigious Cafe Annie in Houston. She later left Houston for Europe where she spent the next three years working in restaurants in Greece and London.

In 1990, she earned her Chef's title from Prue Leith's School of Food & Wine.She returned to the United States, working first in several innovative San Francisco restaurants (Bix, Edie) then coming back to Houston to work in Marion Tindall's Bistro Cuisine and Tony Vallone's La Griglia.

In 1992, Monica opened The Quilted Toque where she fully demonstrated the infusion of international foods.

In 1994 she moved to open Boulevard Bistrot.

In 1996, Monica was named one of Food & Wine Magazine's Top 10 Best New Chefs.

After 10 years at her Museum District restaurant Boulevard Bistrot, Monica's lease was about to expire; she took this opportunity to start over from scratch--to break out of the bistro box and create a new concept in an up-and-coming part of Houston, South Midtown. Inspired by the location--an industrial red-brick building on 10,000 square feet of land--she has again envisioned and made real a restaurant with simple, good food using as many local and regional ingredients as possible.

 

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TRISTEN EPPS

Sous Chef / TV Personality

 

Chef Tristen Epps attended and graduated culinary school at the acclaimed Johnson & Wales University. He participated in a culinary master chef program at the historic Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. 

This well versed chef has traveled to 15 countries in persuit of learning as much about global cuisine as possible. He's worked at the well-noted Per Se by Chef Thomas Keller.

His last postition was Sous Chef at The Four Seasons restaurant, Quattro in Houston, Texas. Now he's the Sous Chef for Red Rooster in Harlem, NY. 

You must know that this chef is so incredibly down to earth, he's not afraid to admit enjoying the occassional hot dog, chicken nugget, onion rings, salty foods, beer and Asian foods of all sorts. He is deathly opposed to okra and dill pickles and well, dill in general.

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SUSIE JIMENEZ

 

Susie began her relationship with food picking fruit with her parents, who came to California from Mexico. To pursue her food passion, Susie attended the California Culinary Academy and later worked as manager, line cook, sous chef and executive chef at several restaurants.

She’s now the owner of Susie’s Custom Catering and Farmer's Daughter and participates in events where she teaches students how to cook with a variety of techniques and flavors.

 


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RICHARD LEE

 

Richard Lee is the Executive Sushi Chef of Kenichi in Downtown Austin. His creative mind, knowledge of culinary arts, and passion for cooking shows through his outstanding and elegant dishes.

He is a genius when it comes to sushi and creates flavors, textures and beautiful plate presentations that never fail to impress.

Chef Lee is a proud UT grad and has a passion for fresh ingredients and bold Asian flavors.


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DOROTHY HUANG

 

Dorothy Huang was born in Canton (now Guangzhou), China and was raised in Taiwan. She earned her master's degree in Education with a minor in Foods & Nutrition at the University of Houston.

Her work as a dietician and knowledge of Chinese cuisine led to the decision to make teaching Chinese cooking her career. Dorothy has been Houston's premier teacher of Chinese cooking for more than 25 years.

Dorothy returns to Asia frequently and has studied with many outstanding chefs. Her newly published cookbook Chinese Cuisine Made Simple is an excellent successor to her first cookbook Dorothy Huang's Chinese Cooking.

 


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JOSH WATKINS

 

A native Austinite, Josh Watkins quit his Central Texas hometown for schooling at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco.

While stationed in the Golden State, Watkins worked on several restaurant openings with former high-profile San Franciscan Chef Reed Hearon—one of which, Rose Pistola, earned the James Beard Foundation’s “Best New Restaurant” award.

Inspired by the wealth of seafood and high-quality, local produce San Francisco had to offer, Watkins decided to bring the same elevated, seasonal dining experience back home.

By 23, Watkins had worked his way up to chef de cuisine (even making an appearance on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” alongside Bull).

And by 2007, with Watkins at the helm as executive chef, The Driskill Grill earned consecutive five-star ratings. Watkins’ passion for farm fresh, ingredient-driven food led him to open Carillon at the AT&T Hotel and Conference Center in June of 2008.

 

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BENJAMIN BURKE

Chef | TV Personality

 

Born in Connecticut, Benjamin Burke has always loved food. Real food. Fresh food. Healthy food. Food that came straight from his own mother’s garden.
When Benjamin began cooking with his mother as a young boy, he was always able to use fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs; he simply fell in love. Endlessly craving to know more, he turned to his mother for culinary guidance. She taught him to never fear creativity in the kitchen. So he didn’t.

After years of practicing alongside his beloved teacher and experimenting with recipes from his own collection of cookbooks, Benjamin began his inevitable, first professional cooking job. In little time, his culinary opportunities began flowing in mercilessly. Benjamin accepted as many offers as he could handle, training on any and all positions, until his journey lead him to his dream -- a Michelin-starred restaurant in southern France.

Benjamin currently resides in Denver, Colorado, where he spends his time reminiscing over good food with friends. He fulfills his passion of creating edible masterpieces by scheduling various “Guest Chef” appearances all over the country.

 

 

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ERIC LEBLANC 

Executive Chef / TV Personality

 

Eric LeBlanc was born in Isle La Motte, Vermont, where at age 13 he began working in a country club. Fueled by his experience in the hospitality industry Eric attended and graduated from the New England Culinary Institute in 2005. With his degree under his belt Eric sought out experience in the kitchens of Chez Henri, Central Kitchen and Grotto as a line cook. He moved on to Marliave where he was instrumental in the reopening of the restaurant.

LeBlanc wanted to travel the world and subsequently made the move across the country to La Jolla, CA where he worked at Whisk n’ Ladle. While in California Eric developed a passion for sourcing local ingredients and in an effort to feed that passion took a Chef position at Milarepa Hotel and Restaurant in Costa Rica. During his time at Milarepa Eric grew produce on the property and hand selected all ingredients, while changing the menu daily.

LeBlanc made the move back to Boston where he opened Kitchen and served in the role as the chef de cuisine for a year. When he was offered the chef de cuisine position at Stir Eric knew it was the best chef position in Boston. He immediately said yes and joined the Stir team in May of 2013 till September of 2014. When Eric is away from the kitchen he enjoys cooking as a champions pavilion chef for the US Open. Also competed on the Food Networks Cutthroat Kitchen and Rewrapped, winning both. He also placed in the top 4 of Abc's hit show, The Taste. 

  

 

 

   


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