The EcoFish Culinary Advisory Board lends its vast culinary knowledge and expertise assisting EcoFish in selecting the finest seafood to offer fine chefs around the country. The Board also serves as a liaison between EcoFish and the culinary world.
Culinary Advisory Board
Rick Bayless was born in 1953, into an Oklahoma City family of restaurateurs specializing in the local barbecue. Having begun his culinary training as a youngster, Rick broadened his horizons to include regional Mexican cooking as an undergraduate student of Spanish and Latin American culture. After hosting the 26-part PBS television series “Cooking Mexican” in 1978-1979, Rick and his wife Deann, dedicated over 6 years to culinary research in Mexico, culminating in 1987 with the publication of his now-classic Authentic Mexican: regional cooking from the heart of Mexico (Morrow) which Craig Claiborne described as “the greatest contribution to the Mexican table imaginable.” Released in 1996, Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen: capturing the vibrant flavors of a world-class cuisine, has been similarly embraced, including having been chosen Best Cookbook of the Year by IACP Julia Child Cookbook Awards and the Chicago Tribune. In 1999, the Baylesses along with JeanMarie Brownson released Salsas That Cook.
In 1987, the Baylesses opened the colorful, vivacious Frontera Grill in Chicago, specializing in contemporary regional Mexican cooking. In 1989 came the earthy, elegant Topolobampo, one of America’s only fine-dining Mexican restaurants. Both restaurants have received awards and distinctions from, among others, Conde Nast Traveler, Holiday Travel, International Herald Tribune, Wine Spectator, Restaurants & Institutions (Ivy), Chicago, Playboy, Zagat, local newspapers and trade journals. In 1995, he and partners started the Frontera Foods line of authentic mexican prepared food products.
Rick Bayless was chosen “Best New Chef of 1988” by Food and Wine magazine; in 1991, the James Beard Foundation voted him “Best American Chef: Midwest”; and in 1995 he won both the Beard Foundation’s National Chef of the Year award and the International Association of Culinary Professional’s Chef of the Year award. Rick has been inducted into the prestigious Who’s Who of American Food and Drink, and in 1998 was chosen as the Beard Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year. Among many accolades, Frontera Grill was chosen by Patricia Wells at the International Herald Tribune as the third best casual restaurant in the world.
Rick has appeared widely on television and radio, including “Good Morning America,” “Today,” CBS “This Morning,” “Martha Stewart Living", Sara Moulton “Cooking Live”, and “Cooking Live Prime Time”, “In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs,” Home Cooking with Amy Coleman” and “Great Chefs of America.”
He has written for many publications, including Eating Well, Food & Wine, Martha Stewart Living Magazine, Vegetarian Times and Fine Cooking, Kitchen Garden, Travel & Leisure and Saveur (where he is a contributing editor). He is the chairman of Chefs Collaborative 2000, in support of environmentally sound agricultural practices, and is active in Share Our Strength, the nation’s largest hunger advocacy organization.
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Chef Ann Cooper is a celebrated author, chef, educator, and enduring advocate for better food for all children. In a nation where children are born with shorter estimated life expectancies than their parents because of diet-related illness, Ann is a relentless voice of reform by focusing on the links between food, family, farming and children's health and wellness.
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY, Ann has been a chef for more than 30 years including positions with Holland America Cruises, Radisson Hotels, Telluride Ski Resort as well as serving as Executive Chef at the renowned Putney Inn in Vermont. She has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Chicago Tribune, Newsweek, and Time Magazine and has appeared on NPR's 'Living on Earth,' ABC's Nightline, CNN, PBS' To The Contrary and the CBS Morning Show and many other media outlets. Ann has shared her knowledge and experience by speaking at the Smithsonian Institute, the National Restaurant Association, the Heifer Foundation, Chefs Collaborative, the International Association of Culinary Professionals and numerous conferences. She has been honored by SLOW Food USA, selected as a Kellogg Food and Society Policy Fellow, and awarded an honorary doctorate from SUNY Cobleskill for her work on sustainable agriculture.
Ann is the author of four books: Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children (2006), In Mother's Kitchen: Celebrated Women Chefs Share Beloved Family Recipes (2005), Bitter Harvest: A Chef's Perspective on the Hidden Dangers in the Foods We Eat and What You Can do About It (2000) and A Woman's Place is in the Kitchen: The Evolution of Women Chefs (1998). She is past president of The American Culinary Federation of Central Vermont, and past president and board member of Women's Chefs and Restaurateurs. She also served on the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Organic Standards Board, a Congressional appointment, and was an Executive Committee member of Chefs Collaborative - all in an effort to raise awareness about the value of healthful, seasonal, organic, and regional foods
Ann's research for and writing of A Bitter Harvest provided a true epiphany for this always curious and proactive chef. No longer could the environmental and health facts be ignored when it came to producing food in this country. Ms Cooper's career shifted from primarily cooking to a path of cooking, writing, and public speaking – all advocacy work for a healthier food system. There is no doubt that Ann is an accomplished chef, however her focus is now on using her skills and background to create a sustainable model for schools nationwide to transition any processed food based K-12 school meal program to a whole foods environment where food is procured regionally and prepared from scratch. In 2009, Ann founded Food Family Farming Foundation (F3) as a nonprofit focusing on solutions to the school food crisis. F3's pivotal project is The Lunch Box - a web portal that provides free and accessible tools, recipes and community connections to support school food reform.
Chef Ann is happily working overtime as a Chef, Nutrition Services Director, Consultant, Author, Public Speaker, and Advocate because she sees a need for change and has the gifts to help. She envisions a time soon when being a chef working to feed children fresh, delicious, and nourishing food will no longer be considered "renegade."
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From an early age, Higgins appreciated the quality of seasonal produce while working the vegetable fields and fruit orchards of Eden, New York. As a boy, he occasionally played hooky from school to fish or gather crayfish from local streams. He experimented at home in the kitchen with recipes from Fannie Farmer, and as a teenager, he learned the craft of artisan cheese-making during a three-year apprenticeship with a local cheesemaker. These childhood experiences laid the foundation for a life devoted to quality ingredients and respect for those who grow and harvest them.
Higgins attended Hartwick College to study fine arts and worked nights at a traditional Italian restaurant, where he was introduced to classic northern Italian cooking. After completing his degree, Higgins headed for Europe to pursue his interest in cooking, landing influential training stints in Alsace and Burgundy. Higgins returned to the United States to cook in restaurants in Sun Valley, Seattle and, finally, Portland, where he received rave reviews for almost a decade as Executive Chef at The Heathman Hotel.
In 1994, Higgings opened his own restaurant, "Higgins," with his partner Paul Mallory. Located in the heart of downtown Portland, the restaurant features flavorful, bistro-style dishes served in an elegant, comfortable surrounding. Large windows in the open kitchen allow diners to watch their meals being prepared and passersby to take in the busy scene. Polished hardwood floors, tapestries, pottery and contemporary art complete the warm, pleasant atmosphere.
Higgins' cooking focuses on Pacific Northwest ingredients and traditional French techniques, incorporating an eclectic range of influences from around the world. Presentations, textures and flavors are intense and sophisticated, yet uncontrived. His attention to classical technique is equaled by his passion for finding the freshest, highest-quality ingredients form local organic producers.
An avid organic gardener, Higgins grows his own herbs, vegetables and fruits with an eye for finding the finest heirloom varieties which he passes on to his growers. Higgins is an active proponent of sustainable food practices and is a board member of Chef's Collaborative 2000 - an organization whose principals mirror Higgins' commitment to sustainable cuisine through education, supporting local farmers and inspiring the public to choose good, clean food.
Higgins teaches his cooking philosophy and techniques at Portland's Farmer Market, the Herb Farm in Fall City, Washington and at his own restaurant. He has promoted Oregon foodstuffs around the world for the Oregon Department of Agriculture - from Shanghai, China and Fukuoka, Japan to Paris and New York. Higgins contributed to Wild about Game by Janie Hibler, authored the Oregon section of Northwest Beautiful Cookbook by Kathy Casey and furnished recipes and information for dozens of regional and national cookbooks. Higgins has appeared on many televisions programs including Bur Wolf's "What's Cooking" and "Healthy Eating," as well as PBS's "New American Cuisine."
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Nora Pouillon, true believer in a sustainable lifestyle, is a longtime advocate for increasing the quality and nutritional value of the food supply. She is the chef and owner of two of Washington, DC’s most popular restaurants. Featuring organic multi-ethnic cuisine, the internationally-known Nora opened in 1979 and has been praised for its high quality and healthy approach to eating in publications as varied as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times Magazine, USA Today, Gourmet, Self and Vogue. Her second restaurant, Asia Nora, serves uniquely interpreted dishes from across Asia. In April 1999, Nora became the first certified organic restaurant in the country, with 95% of all ingredients coming from certified organic producers and has been named one of the “Top 10 Healthiest Restaurants” by Health Magazine and received a 4-star rating from Mobil Travel Guide 2000. Nora has been recognized as Chef of the Year by The American Tasting Institute and Chef of the Year - Award of Excellence by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
Nora's commitment to a healthy lifestyle extends beyond the kitchen. Nora has consulted for Fresh Fields Wholefoods Market and Walnut Acres, where she has developed a number of product lines. She is a founding board member of Chefs Collaborative 2000 and leading spokesperson for the NRDC/SeaWeb "Give North Atlantic Swordfish a Break" campaign. She has been involved with both the Agricultural Department and Adopt A School programs, educating children on nutritional choices. Nora is a member of the Organic Trade Association, serves on the advisory boards of The Greener Business Guide, a new website Foodfit.com , and participates in the Harvard School of Nutrition Roundtable discussions. Nora was named Chef of the Year Award of Excellence by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
Working to promote women in the culinary profession, Nora is an active member of the Washington chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier and serves on the board of Women Chefs & Restaurateurs . She is the author of Cooking With Nora , a beautifully photographed seasonal cookbook featuring organic menus for the home cook.
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Susan Spicer began her cooking career in New Orleans as an apprentice to Chef Daniel Bonnot at the Louis XVI Restaurant in 1979. After a 4-month "stage" with Chef Roland Durand (Meilleur Oeuvrier de France) at the Hotel Sofitel in Paris in 1982, she returned to New Orleans to open the 60-seat bistro "Savoir Faire" in the St. Charles Hotel as chef de cuisine. In 1985, she traveled extensively in California and Europe for 6 months, returning to work in the kitchen at the New Orleans Meridien Hotel's "Henri" (consultant chef, Marc Haeberlin of I'Auberge de I'III). In 1986, she left to open the tiny "Bistro at Maison deVille" in the Hotel Maison deVille. After nearly four years as chef, she formed a partnership with Regina Keever and in spring of 1990 opened "Bayona" in a beautiful, 200-year old Creole cottage in the French Quarter. With solid support from local diners and critics, Bayona soon earned national attention and has been featured in numerous publications from "Food & Wine", "Gourmet", "Food Arts", and "Bon Appetit" to "Travel & Leisure", "Restaurant Business", Gault et Millau's Best of New Orleans and many more.
Susan has been guest chef at the James Beard House, on Cunard's "Sea Goddess", the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, on local and national television and for countless charity events in New Orleans and around the country. In May 1993 she was the recipient of the James Beard Award for Best Chef, Southeast Region and in 1995 was chosen for the Mondavi Culinary Excellence Award. Bayona was featured as one of "Restaurant & Institutions" magazine's 1996 Ivy Award winners and received "5 Beans", the highest rating, from the New Orleans "Times Picayune". .
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Ming’s story began in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio where he spent countless hours cooking alongside his mother and father at their family owned restaurant, Mandarin Kitchen. His love of cooking (and eating!) great food was forged in these early years, while he gained valuable experience in both the front and back of the house. With food still deeply ingrained, Ming headed east to attend school at Andover and then onto earn his degree in Mechanical Engineering at Yale University. During this time, Ming never strayed far from the kitchen; while at Yale, his sophomore summer was spent at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris. Upon graduation, Ming made the decision to make food his focus and set out to learn as much as he could, in kitchens around the globe. In Paris he trained under renowned Pastry Chef, Pierre Herme and in Osaka with Sushi Master Kobayashi. By the time Ming returned to the United States, he knew that he had made the right decision to pursue his true calling in the world of food. To get closer to his (and every chef’s dream), Ming enrolled in graduate school at Cornell University to earn his master’s degree in Hotel Administration and Hospitality Marketing. From there he moved on to hold positions in both front and back of the house at establishments in Chicago, Atlanta, California and Santa Fe, where he continued to learn varied styles of cuisine
Finally, in February of 1998, Ming’s dream became reality. He and his wife Polly opened the doors to Blue Ginger, a bistro-style restaurant dedicated to East-West cuisine. Designed by both the husband and wife team and in conjunction with a Feng Shui Master, Blue Ginger showcases an open kitchen with a 40-foot blue pearl granite counter, subtle recessed lighting, cream colored walls simply adorned with Vietnamese waterscapes, warm cherry woodwork, Italian granite floors and a soothing water sculpture. Located in the Boston suburb of Wellesley, Massachusetts, Blue Ginger brings urban dining and sophistication to the Boston suburbs.
Since opening its doors, Blue Ginger has impressed diners from Boston and beyond with its unique East-West cuisine. In its first year, Blue Ginger received 3 stars from the Boston Globe, was named ‘Best New Restaurant’ by Boston Magazine, was nominated by the James Beard Foundation as ‘Best New Restaurant 1998’ and Esquire Magazine honored Ming as ‘Chef of the Year 1998’. Five years later the popularity continues! The James Beard Foundation crowned Ming as the ‘2002 Best Chef Northeast’, while the 2002-2003 Zagat Restaurant Guide rated Blue Ginger as the ‘2nd Most Popular Boston Restaurant’!
In addition to cooking at Blue Ginger, you can also catch Ming on the TV Foodnetwork, where he is the 1998 Emmy-Award Winning Host of East Meets West, Cooking with Ming Tsai and Ming’s Quest. Both programs feature Ming preparing his signature East-West Cuisine, either in the kitchen or in the great outdoors. Don’t have the Foodnetwork in your town? Head to your local bookstore and check out Ming’s 1st cookbook, Blue Ginger: East Meets West Cooking with Ming Tsai, now in its 5th edition and selected by Food and Wine Magazine as one of 1999’s twenty-five best cookbooks. Sitting at your computer? Go to ming.com, Ming’s information based site, focused on East-West living. Log on for recipes, ingredients, culinary gadgets, signature products updates on Ming, his restaurant and more.
In the Winter of 2000, Ming was approached by Target, who proposed the idea of a partnership. With the backing of such a trendy, quality focused retailer, Ming would be able to give even more people the opportunity to create East-West food at home that is flavorful and healthy, while at the same time being fun and affordable. From Target and Ming’s partnership, the Blue Ginger line was launched. ‘Blue Ginger’ which is exclusively available at SuperTarget and Target stores nationwide, gives everyone all that they need to prepare Ming’s distinctive East-West cuisine in their own kitchens. The easy to use, high-quality cookware and delicious Asian-inspired ingredients allow the home-cooks to experiment and create their own versions of Ming’s East-West fare.
Keep your eye out for Ming’s 2nd cookbook, Simply Ming, slated to be published by Clarkson Potter in the Fall of 2003. This new book will present Ming’s signature East-West cuisine in recipes that are catered to the home-cook and those that don’t want to spend all of their time in the kitchen, but rather enjoying the dishes with family and friends.
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