Anna BoiardiAnna Maria Boiardi, granddaughter of the founders of Chef Boyardee, was born and raised in Piacenza, Italy, a region known for such Italian delicacies as tortelli, parmegiano-regiano cheese, and pasta e fagioli. Growing up in an Italian family of chefs, food was not just a business; it was a way of life. Anna’s education and skills came from learning the old fashioned way – cooking at home with her mother and grandparents who passed down family recipes from generations before.
When Anna realized that most girls her age did not know how to cook, she launched Cucina Academy and began to teach some of her friends simple dishes. Anna preaches the importance of learning the basics, and cites the success of the Boiardis as proof of her method. From hotel kitchens to the homes across America, Chef Boyardee is an Italian American tradition.
Anna’s cooking class, “Cucina Academy” has been profiled by CNBC, The Today Show, NY Post, Vogue, and Style.com. She also has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, the Cooking Channel, and the Style Network.
Anna recently penned her first book, Delicious Memories Recipes and Stories from the Chef Boyardee Family, a cookbook/memoir in which Anna shares long kept family stories, photographs & secrets, and gives readers her own twist on classic dishes with time-saving tips for today’s on-the-go lifestyle.
Candice KumaiCandice Kumai received her culinary training at Le Cordon Bleu California School of Culinary Arts & has cooked in several California based restaurants. Candice is currently a judge on Iron Chef America, 2x cookbook author and a food writer for Men’s & Women’s Health.Former model-turned-chef, Candice Kumai’s recipes are loaded with “Foods with Benefits”—like protein, fiber, and omegas—and are free of the processed junk. Candice is the author of Pretty Delicious, contributor to the New York Times #1 bestseller “Cook Yourself Thin”and author of her new cookbook, “Cook Yourself Sexy.”
In 2012, Candice began hosting workshops in New York City at the James Beard Foundation on “Kickstarting your First Cookbook.” She lives to inspire her local community and peers at to pursue their dreams in food-writing and cooking through many of her workshops. She has been an ambassador to the White House AAPI as well as a speaker at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
Candice Kumai was the youngest contestant at the age of 23 on Bravo's "Top Chef." Since the age of 25, Candice has been featured as a regular guest on shows such as; Dr. Oz, The Doctors, Today, Access Hollywood and the Nate Berkus Show. Candice’s mission is to help all of us ‘get real with our foods again.’ Through farm to table initiatives and going back to the soil, an understanding of where our food comes helps us all take better care of ourselves.
Candice’s Cookbooks: “Cook Yourself Sexy” and “Pretty Delicious” are a call to action, teaching you how to nurture yourself and your family with recipes that get back to basics of cooking, just as Grandma did.
A true believer in balance, Candice invites us to reclaim our health, bodies and minds by choosing the right foods and changing our minds about dieting. She believes we can do this by Thinking Outside The Box – literally – putting that packaged food down! - and rediscover what real, sexy and delicious food is again. Enjoy your food, because life is full of good taste.
Julie ElkindExecutive Pastry Chef Julie Elkind brings an innovative and passionate approach to crafting delectable pastries reflecting both classic and contemporary dessert trends.
As a result of growing up with a family full of incredible home cooks and bakers, Julie developed a romance for the beauty of food and a talent for cooking at an early age. She sharpened her palate while traveling and dining through 14 different countries before the age of 20.
After graduating from culinary school in 2007, Julie moved to Manhattan and began her culinary career in some of the top kitchens in New York, including Le Cirque, La Fonda Del Sol, Convivio, and Alto. When she was just 25 she took on her breakout career role as Corporate Executive Pastry Chef for Esquared Hospitality and BLT restaurants. During her time there Julie received the 2012 Zagat 30 under 30 award along with attention from national press outlets such as The Today Show, Good Day New York, The Better Show, Martha Stewart radio, and House Beautiful Magazine. She was also a featured chef at the infamous James Beard House in New York City where top chefs showcase their food to industry peers and well-known foodies.
Derek and Daniel KochBorn in Martins Ferry, Ohio, identical twins Derek and Daniel Koch came to New York after being discovered by Oscar Reyes at Trump Management. While indulging in print modeling, runway work, acting, and directing, they developed refined tastes and a love for indulgent nightlife. Realizing early on that there was more to life than the pages of a magazine, the twins set out to leave their mark on the hospitality industry.
With this new ambition in sight the twins worked around the clock as servers at Le Bilboquet and Le Charlot, gaining restaurant industry experience while simultaneously promoting nightlife clubs like Pink Elephant. After four years cutting their teeth in the business the twins were recruited by Frederick Lesort to reposition his midtown venue Frederick’s. The twins brought on investor Michael Wainstein, and as a result Frederick’s was transformed into an über-classy French-American bistro and lounge: Jour Et Nuit (“Day and Night” in French).
As the twins began to garner acclaim for the success of Jour Et Nuit, they formalized a partnership with Michael Wainstein in 2008 by creating Dual Groupe, a luxury boutique hospitality company.
Dual Groupe’s first endeavor was to launch the brand Day & Night—an original brunch concept that quickly became the most exciting lifestyle brand in the industry. By producing the event at restaurant Merkato 55, the dynamic duo discovered a hedonistic crowd even larger than they imagined—discerning New Yorkers eager for something different, fun, and exclusive. Over-the-top parties with sparkler-attired magnums of Dom Pérignon alongside cutting-edge DJs, table dancing, and delectable cuisine turned Saturday brunch into THE place to hang for supermodels, publishing magnates, and celebrities.
The 2009/2010 Zagat NYC Nightlife Guide compared Day & Night to “brunching at Studio 54;” Haute Living called the brothers “New York’s Wonder twins;” Black Book labeled the brunches “one of New York’s hottest Day parties” and Bizbash described it as “wild dangerous fun.” As brunch became synonymous with jet set day clubbing, partner Michael Wainstein started cutting deals around the globe, and their now iconic idea of brunch took up its current residency on 16th street in New York’s meat packing district at Gurney’s Inn on the beach in Montauk and the Ritz Carlton in South Beach.
In 2010 Dual Groupe set out to create a restaurant experience in the meat packing, and thus MPD was born in September. A fresh take on dinner and entertainment by some of the best mixologists and DJs, MPD was constantly packed. By spring of 2011 it was awarded a Michelin Guide Recommendation.
Since the beginning the Koch brothers have brought the very best of European lifestyle dining and entertainment to New York, and so in 2012 they challenged themselves by creating Toy, an Asian food experience located at the Gansevoort Hotel. The incredibly successful venue operates as a full lifestyle restaurant melding burlesque with aerial shows.
2013 does not show any sign of slowing down with no less than two new venues on the books to open by summer. Creativity is in no short supply with the Kochs.