Toronto restaurateur Jen Agg, the woman behind the popular The Black Hoof, Cocktail Bar, Rhum Corner, Agrikol and Grey Gardens restaurants, is known for her frank and often hilarious observations and ideas on the restaurant industry and the world around her. Her book, I Hear She's a Real Bitch, is a national bestseller and was shortlisted as a Best Book of 2017 by The Globe & Mail and The National Post.
Bonnie S. Benwick
Bonnie S. Benwick is deputy editor of The Washington Post Food section and responsible for all of the newspaper’s tested recipes. She writes the weekly “Dinner in Minutes” column and a monthly recipe column for The Washington Post Magazine. In 2013, she edited The Washington Post Cookbook: Readers’ Favorite Recipes. Since The Post moved into its new digs in 2015, she has managed its Food Lab.
Sarah Michelle Gellar
The Chief Brand Office of Foodstirs, Sarah Michelle Gellar is a Golden Globe nominated and Emmy winning actress best known for her roles in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", ABC’s "All My Children", CBS’s "The Crazy Ones" and "Cruel Intentions", among others. Off screen, Gellar lends her time and support to child and hunger organizations as an advocate and activist. She works closely with No Kid Hungry and Good+ Foundation, as well as the nonprofit organization CARE.
Tim Gunn is the Emmy winning co-host and mentor for 16 seasons of Lifetime’s cornerstone series “Project Runway,” where he also acts as one of the show’s producers. Gunn is also an executive producer, mentor, and co-host of “Project Runway Junior.” A member of the administration and faculty at Parsons School of Design for 29 years, he was appointed Chair of the Department of Fashion in 2000. Currently, he voices the character Baileywick on Disney Channel’s hit animated series “Sofia the First.” Gunn devotes a good deal of his time to charitable organizations, especially those with a focus on domestic violence, AIDS awareness, and GLBT issues. He resides in New York City.
Evan Kleiman is a chef, author, radio host, and restaurateur. On the KCRW radio show and podcast “Good Food,” Kleiman explores how food intersects with human life. She is also the founder of LA’s Slow Food Chapter and a member of the LA Food Policy Council. She was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who's Who of Food and Beverage in 2017.
Kevin Kwan is the author of the international bestsellers Crazy Rich Asians, soon to be a major motion picture, China Rich Girlfriend, and Rich People Problems. Born in Singapore, he has called New York’s West Village home since 1995.
Lisa Lucas is the executive director of the National Book Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as the publisher of Guernica, a non-profit online magazine focusing on writing that explores the intersection of art and politics with an international and diverse focus and as director of education at theTribeca Film Institute. Lucas also serves on the literary council of the Brooklyn Book Festival.
Carmen Maria Machado
Carmen Maria Machado's debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Kirkus Prize, and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, and the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize and the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Prize. She is a fiction writer, critic, and essayist whose work has appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, Guernica, Gulf Coast, NPR, and Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy. She is the writer in residence at the University of Pennsylvania, and lives in Philadelphia with her wife.
Brett Martin is a Correspondent for GQ and the author of Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution. He is a two-time James Beard Award winner and six-time contributor to Best Food Writing. He lives in New Orleans.
Wendi McLendon-Covey stars as family matriarch Beverly Goldberg on the ABC series “The Goldbergs,” a role which has earned her two Critics Choice award nominations. McLendon-Covey is best known on the big screen for her starring role in the hit comedy Bridesmaids. Comedy fans will recognize her from her five year arc on “Reno 911,” as well “Lovespring International,” and “Rules of Engagement.” She got her start at the world famous “Groundlings Theater” in Los Angeles, where she excelled at both improv and sketch comedy. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband.
Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery, the author of The Brewmaster's Table, and the editor-in-chief of The Oxford Companion to Beer. He was a founding board member of Slow Food USA and later served on its International Council. A veteran host of more than 1,000 tasting events in 18 countries, Garrett was the 2014 recipient of the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional.
Rachael Ray is a syndicated television star and host of the Emmy award-winning daytime show, Rachael Ray, an iconic Food Network television personality, a bestselling cookbook author, the founder and editorial director of her own lifestyle magazine, Rachael Ray Every Day, and the founder of the non-profit Yum-o! Organization, which empowers kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking. She also has developed a line of pet food and treats, Rachael Ray Nutrish. Through The Rachael Ray Foundation, she has donated more than $23 million from the sale of Nutrish to animals in need. In 2016, Rachael introduced the Rachael Ray Home Collection.
Stephen Satterfield is a food writer, publisher, and multimedia producer. He is the founder of Whetstone Magazine, a quarterly print publication on food origins and culture. Before his career in media, he spent a decade as a sommelier and restaurant manager at fine restaurants nationwide. He is a pizza and french fry evangelist.
Kate Schelter is the author of Classic Style. She is an artist, creative director, stylist, and owner of the luxury brand consultancy that bears her name. Kate paints commercial work for brands including Dior, Toms, One Kings Lane, Bonpoint, Bulgari, and Sleepy Jones. Her work has been published in Vogue, Architectural Digest, Harper’s Bazaar, House Beautiful, and Vanity Fair, among other places. She holds a BA from Rhode Island School of Design and their European Honors Program in Rome. She lives and works in New York City and Cape Cod, MA.
Kenzi Wilbur is a writer, editor, and James Beard Award-nominated podcast host and producer who lives in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in GQ, Architectural Digest, and TASTE, among other places. It's also appeared on Food52, where she worked and edited this very tournament for 5 years running—making this the ultimate full circle (and fulfillment of a higher calling).