2015 Speakers


Chipotle

Chipotle

Steve Ells

Steve is the founder and CEO of Chipotle. He opened his first Chipotle in Denver, with the intention of going on to open a fine-dining restaurant. But as Chipotle grew, Steve realized it was a concept people loved. He has revolutionized the food industry by sourcing “food with integrity”—responsibly grown livestock and produce. Steve graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and was a sous chef at the legendary Stars in San Francisco.

21c Museum Hotels

21c Museum Hotels

Sarah Robbins

Sarah is one of the founding partners of 21c Museum Hotel, a unique hotel concept rooted in genuine Southern hospitality, thoughtful design, and culinary creativity, all anchored by world-class contemporary art. As Senior Vice President of Operations, Sarah ensures a seamless relationship between each of the 21c hotels and their respective restaurants. She manages the restaurant development process from design and construction to branding, chef selection, and menu development. Prior to joining 21c, Sarah worked at Myriad Restaurant Group and managed Tribeca Grill. 

Broad Street Ministry

Broad Street Ministry

Bill Golderer

Bill is the founding pastor and convener of the Broad Street Ministry in Philadelphia, a ministry that emphasizes hospitable outreach, civic involvement, and creative expression. The Broad Street Ministry’s Hospitality Collaborative creates unique, trauma-informed indoor dining experiences with a commitment to improving the physical and psychological wellbeing of every homeless and hungry person they come across. In collaborating with local chefs, restaurants, and an army of volunteers, the Hospitality Collaborative is able to serve more than 1,000 guests daily. 

Musician,Educator, & Bandleader

Musician,Educator, & Bandleader

Jon Batiste

Musician, entertainer, educator, and bandleader, Jon is an internationally acclaimed figure in the world of music. He is the Associate Artistic Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and was on ARTINFO’s list of the 30 under 30 most influential people in the art world. A Julliard graduate, Jon comes from a long line of Louisiana musicians. Jon’s band, Stay Human, is known for “social music,” actively engaging audiences to create greater accessibility and appreciation for live music. The band plays in non-traditional venues and starts impromptu street concerts.

Master Sommelier & Author

Master Sommelier & Author

Richard Betts

A native of Syracuse, NY, Richard fell in love with wine while traveling in Italy. During his time as the wine director of the Little Nell in Aspen, he passed the Court of Master Sommeliers’ Masters Exam. He is co-founder of the Betts & Scholl wine label, Scarpetta Wines, and “cc:” Wines and is currently working on a mezcal project called Sombra. Richard is the author of The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert, described as “a kids’ book for adults."

Attica

Attica

Banjo Harris Plane

Banjo became the manager at Attica restaurant in Australia after having worked as a sommelier at The Bently, Quay, and est. In 2012 he was awarded “Australian Sommelier of the Year” by Gourmet Traveller. Banjo is also the founder of Real Wines, a company that imports Austrian and Italian wines for restaurants and small bars in Australia. 

Claridge's Hotel

Claridge's Hotel

Thomas Kochs

Thomas is the general manager of the world-renowned Claridge’s Hotel in London. A native of Germany, Thomas began working in hotels as a teenager and chose a career in hotels over a career in medicine at the age of 21. Prior to his current role at Claridge’s, Thomas worked at various hotels in London, including The Connaught as general manager and The Berkeley as food and beverage director. 

Made Nice

Made Nice

Daniel Humm

The chef and co-owner of Eleven Madison Park and the NoMad, Daniel is a Swiss-born, three Michelin-star chef. He is the recipient of several James Beard Awards, including Outstanding Chef and Best Chef: NYC. His flagship restaurant, Eleven Madison Park, was ranked #4 on the San Pellegrino list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Daniel is the co-author of Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook and I Love NY: Ingredients and Recipes.

Tim's Place

Tim's Place

Tim Harris

As a teenager, Tim dreamed of owning his own restaurant. He began his career working in local restaurants, including Red Robin. After attending Eastern New Mexico University, Tim worked as a host at Applebee’s and then went on to open Tim’s Place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the first and only restaurant owned by a man with Down syndrome. Tim is an inspirational speaker who has travelled across the country telling his story. In 2014, Tim started Tim’s Big Heart foundation, an organization that aims to inspire people to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives via entrepreneurship and inclusion in their communities. Tim’s goal is to help other individuals with intellectual disabilities start their own business.

17th Street Barbecue

17th Street Barbecue

Amy Mills

Amy is renowned in the world of barbecue not only as the daughter of barbecue legend, Mike Mills, but also as an author and consultant. Her book, Peace, Love and Barbecue was nominated for a James Beard Award. Her company, OnCue Consulting, specializes in barbecue education and barbecue restaurant operations. She divides her time between Boston and Southern Illinois. 

GQ

GQ

Alan Richman

Alan is known as the most decorated food writer in history. He has won 16 James Beard Journalism Awards, a National Magazine Award, and a Bronze Star for service in Vietnam. He has reviewed restaurants in nearly every Communist country, proof that he will go anywhere for a meal. In 1998, Richman was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America. He is the Dean of Food Journalism at The French Culinary Institute in New York, where he teaches a class in food writing. 

Union Square Hospitality Group

Union Square Hospitality Group

Danny Meyer

Born and raised in St. Louis, Danny has had a lifelong passion for food and hospitality. He opened Union Square Café in 1985 at the age of 27 and since then has become one of the world’s most lauded restaurateurs with celebrated restaurants including Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, and Shake Shack, all under the umbrella of Union Square Hospitality Group. Danny’s book, Setting the Table, is a New York Times bestseller and an inspirational resource and handbook for the hospitality industry.