This month, we are highlighting a few of the fabulous chefs at our participating restaurants. With such a prestigious group to choose from, it was difficult to select the five finalists we’re showcasing below. Read on to learn a bit about their background and the special skills they bring to the table.
San Diego, CA:Dariusz Szelag’s career has taken him all over Europe and the UK. In the UK he worked and trained in the 2 Michelin star restaurant The Vineyard at Stockross, and later as The Pastry chef at The five star and two AA Rosette acclaimed restaurant, The Milestone. In London Darius worked alongside Michelin star chefs from across Italy. Dariusz Szelga is presently the Executive Chef at Pardon my French Bar and Kitchen in San Diego. At Pardon My French Darius Szelag is showcasing his talent and creativity for food with a fresh approach to a French-Fusion cuisine.
Scottsdale, AZ:As Corporate Chef, Chris Mayo oversees the kitchens of all Osio Culinary Group concepts. He is also Executive Chef at Local Bistro When it comes to cooking, his guiding principle is simplicity, believing it is better to have three or four perfectly done elements on a plate than an ornate dish that muddles the ingredients’ flavor. Born in Boston and raised in Phoenix, Chris has worked in some of the world’s finest restaurants including Daniel, Savoy and Jean-Georges. Chris attended the French Culinary Institute in New York City.
San Francisco, CA:Michael Mina’s story is one of two decades of influence, passion and achievement. With accolades including James Beard Foundation “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage” inductee in 2013, Bon Appétit Chef of the Year 2005, San Francisco Magazine Chef of the Year 2005, as well as the International Food and Beverage Forum’s Restaurateur of the Year 2005, Michael continues to dazzle the culinary world with bold dining concepts that have made him an integral part of the dining scene across the country. Michael Mina’s RN74 has locations in Seattle and San Francisco.
Portland, OR: Chef Ryley Eckersley grew up in London loving art and food. His deep understanding of traditional cuisine comes from time spent with family in Southern France, to which he adds a modern twist. Stints in Belize, New York, Spain, and the Pacific Northwest have further shaped his unique culinary perspective. He also recently spent five years in the Southeast US, gaining a fondness for comfort food, renewing his interest in local agriculture and bourbon. Chef Eckersley is the Head Chef at DOC.
Redmond, WA: Next time you are at Blu Sardinia say hello to Executive Chef Abby McCune. A graduate of the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Chef Abby cooked her way thru LA, Santa Cruz, Portland, Spokane and Seattle. She is a veteran of the Grand Central Bakery, the Yarrow Bay Grill and Matts’ Rotisserie & Oyster Lounge. She loves pairing local produce and seafood with unique Sardinian Imports. Passionate about delicious food and great service, Chef Abby is excited to join her long time friend, GM Rodrigo Cardona, in making Blu Sardinia your favorite neighborhood Italian hang out.