Judges: Chefs and other culinary professionals have a say
As we move into Round 2 we have added another judge to the panel reviewing the recipes so each recipe gets reviewed by four judges. Chefs Suzy Singh and Spencer Wolff remain constant panelists with representatives from our sponsors as well as special guests joining in on the critiques.
Kevin R. Bozis: Kevin Bovis is a partner, co-owner and operator of The Geneva Spice House in Geneva. The son of a test kitchen chef and grandson of a respected Chicago butcher Bovis started apprenticing at his grandfather's shop when he was 12. He pursued a psychology degree, but switched careers at 27 and enrolled in Kendall College where he received his culinary arts degree. After working in several three- and four-star restaurants, decided to concentrate on the spices and signed on at The Spice House in Evanston to learn blending and grinding techniques. He continues to develop new blends and rubs and shares his knowledge through cooking classes around the area.
Don Mauer: Don Mauer has been the Daily Herald's Lean and Lovin' columnist for 20 years and has shared hundreds of low-fat recipes and healthful lifestyle strategies during that time. Over that two decades he also has written three books, including "The Complete Idiots Guide to Grilling." You can catch up with him through his twice monthly columns or on Facebook.com/DonMauer.
Dorothy Seaburg: Seaburg learned at a very young age what the definition of "high quality" food is. Growing up in the family business, Ashland Sausage Company, has taught her that exceptional ingredients, extraordinary care and passion, produce a delicious product. She graduated from Loras College with a degree in business management and works as operations manager, head of research and development and HACCP coordinator at the Carol Stream facility. She enjoys finding creative ways to use the more than 100 products in the company line. Seaburg lives in Huntley with her husband and three children.
Suzy Singh: Since her time ended in the Top 4 position on season 2 of Fox's "MasterChef," Buffalo Grove native Suzy Singh has not slowed down. The chef has consulted with more than 30 restaurants in Chicago and started the first Collaborative Indian food truck, Suzy Samosas, that docks in and around Chicago's Loop (maybe you spotted her tent at Lollapalooza). She is also the culinary director of Ashyana, Shikara and Viceroy Restaurants/Catering and frequents local media, including WGN, FOX and NBC, as a celebrity guest chef. If that wasn't enough, she's the national spokeswoman for Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School, Grill Dome and Fagor. She recently landed a supporting role in the movie "Promised Land." You can follow her on Twitter @chefsuzysingh.
William A. Vena: Chef William Vena began his culinary education at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and worked at the Ritz Carlton there under renowned chef Gary Danko. Upon returning to Chicago in 1996 he joined the Ritz Carlton working for chef Sarah Stegner and moved onto the Westmoreland Country Club in Wilmette, which was named one of the top country clubs in the United States during his tenure. Since January Vena has taught at the College of Lake County. As a full-time chef instructor he shares his knowledge, leadership and passion for the industry with students and has been involved in the launch of CLC's new student-managed restaurant, Prairie.
Spencer Wolff: As the new executive chef at the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg, Spencer Wolff oversees banquets big and small and plans the seasonally inspired menu at the hotel's restaurant, Fresh 1800. Wolff earned a degree in architecture from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and worked as an architect for almost a decade before turning his attention to culinary pursuits. He graduated from the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago and was an instructor with Le Cordon Bleu before moving into kitchens in Washington DC, St. Louis, Rhode Island and Florida.
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