Raw Ingredients podcast

Join Chef Pete Blohme as he travels around the world, meeting up with food personalities, and chatting all things food!
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Nov 30, 2021
This week on The Raw Ingredients, Chef Pete shoots straight with a lady who truly is the Service in Food Service - the glorious Gloria Chabot - as they get to chew and chat about her 40-plus year expedition throughout the hills and valleys ... and Taverns on the Green ... of the food industry.
Gloria knew she loved food service at a young age, but almost didn't enter the culinary kingdom because she wanted to be a teacher (We think she would have made a great teacher, but education's loss is culinary arts' gain). Thankfully, before she made the choice to teach the children well, high school aged Gloria got some good guidance from the great Chef Joe Baum, the CEO and Chef of landmark New York high-class icons Tavern on the Green and Windows on the World (Tavern on the Green was even featured in the cinematic classic Ghostbusters - you know you've made it in the gourmet game when your restaurant is in a film where Bill Murray battles ghosts and cracks wise ... even if your restaurant is the site where Rick Moranis' character gets turned into some kind of demon dog thing).
From Chef Baum's good advice, she went on to the prestigious Johnson and Wales University, one of the crown jewels of culinary education, and has worked her way up the food industry ladder rung after rung ever since. From her roles at some major and popular restaurants to her providing perfect provisions and peace for all of her partners with food service mainstay Sodexo, Gloria's story is an epic journey that you will be educated, enlightened and entertained by, even if you aren't in the eatery employ. Her recipes for success in food service include teamwork, consistency, and, above all, abundant kindness that has helped her in a career where doors have opened that never seemed possible for her.
And Pete's ol' pal Food Network legend and denizen of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives Guy Fieri just might come up in the conversation - so we guess you'll have to listen to find out, won't you?
Don't you dare pass this podcast plate - take a heaping helping of this week's episode and enjoy our scrumptious sermonizing.
Connect with Gloria: Instagram , Facebook, Twitter
Nov 23, 2021
Executive Chef, "Private Chef to The Stars" & Author of "Beyond My Chef Coat" Kevin Des Chenes has over 24 years of experience in the Hospitality industry.
He was named "Top Chef" by Las Vegas Food & Wine and is the winner of "Top Celebrity Chef Showdown" He has been a Chef Expert for Gordon Ramsey and appeared as a Featured Chef on Food Network's Chef Wanted, Great Food Truck Race & Beat Bobby Flay, as well as The Today Show, Nationally Syndicated Better Show, CT Style, Pickler & Ben, Fox Morning Show & The Rhode Show among others.
He is also an advocate for such charities as Boston Children's Hospital & The Light Foundation.Chef Kevin's creativity in the kitchen & on the screen has not gone unnoticed. Having served as Executive Chef at such New England landmarks as 156 Bistro, Centro Martini & Washington Square Tavern, He has since Launched a successful Private Chef Company and is one of the most sought after Chef's in the industry, working with some great people including; John Legend, Giuliana Rancic, Kathie Lee & Hoda, Isiah Thomas, Jim Courier, Little Big Town, Various New England Patriots & Red Sox players and coaches, among others. You never know what he'll do next so keep your eyes peeled for this seasoned Chef, and if you find him in a city near you take your taste buds on an Epic Journey with Chef Kev D.
Kevin's journey begins with cooking with his grandmother preparing family meals which set the tone for the rest of his life. What Kevin is passionate about still today is bringing people together around a good meal.
Kevin and Pete talk about so many things on this episode that are valuable for everyone. Topics on today's episode are networking, conflict resolution, adjusting on the fly, building a brand and so much more that will help you gain the raw ingredients to be successful.
Connect With Kevin: Website, Instagram
Nov 16, 2021
Jamie is an entrepreneur, businessman, author and, of course, one of the sons of Southern cooking and lifestyle icon Paula Deen. With his mother and brother Bobby, they helped put Savannah cuisine into the national spotlight with the world-famous restaurant The Lady & Sons that had its humble beginnings as a bag lunch business in its early days. Not satisfied with just helping run one of the South's most successful restaurants, Jamie also owns Paula Deen's Creek House in Savannah, he and his famed family have been on several Food Network shows throughout the years, and he has written four books with his brother and 2013's Good Food solo, which is definitely a read you won't want to put down until you finish it.
You'll love Pete's talk with Jamie this week as they dine on a variety of delicious details: whether its Jamie's humble beginnings in the food industry at 15 years old at a car auction house grilling up burgers, helping his mother go door-to-door across Savannah asking folks if they wanted to buy any of their home-cooked food for their start-up catering service "The Bag Lady" (Pro tip: if Paula Deen or any Deen family member shows up at your door asking if you want to buy their home-cooked food, you always, always say YES!) to building a Southern food syndicate that keeps satisfying and going strong.
Jamie's tales of grit, drive and determination are a must-listen for any restaurant owner who needs that bit of inspiration to keep pushing forward - or anyone who needs a little life coaching on what it means to work hard and never give up. And, as we learn from the first-born Deen son, there is no such thing as instant success overnight - it takes time, talent, effort and hard work to build the foundation on which a culinary and cultural empire can be born.
And don't miss Jamie's great guidance on attracting and keeping good employees - as he's had some of the folks working with him be a part of their Deen family for over two decades. These wise words aren't just for the restaurant ringleaders - there's a clear recipe for success here that any engaging enterprise definitely needs to know.
We hope this is enough to whet your auditory appetite because this week's The Raw Ingredients isn't just an amuse bouche - it's the whole darn meal, Southern fried and Deen approved, so you know it'll be finger-lickin' good.
Connect with Jamie: Paula Deen Ventures 
Nov 9, 2021
Having trouble building a brand or staying on track with your existing brand? Grab your spoon and dig into this week’s episode of The Raw Ingredients, as Chef Pete Blohme sits down for a session with Brand Man of the Beach Brian Harsany, co-owner of four beloved Orange Beach mainstays – Cosmo’s Restaurant and Bar, Maggie’s Bottle and ‘Tail, Luna’s Eat & Drink and BuzzCatz Coffee and Sweets.

Brian takes Chef Pete through his journey in the restaurant business – from his start as a fill-in table busser at a small restaurant in his teenage years to being the Game Changer of Gulf Coast Dining – and the ups and downs of owning and managing a highly seen and enjoyed culinary kingdom.

His advice on launching and maintaining a brand is a must-listen and you need to write down everything you can during his and Chef Pete’s insights on creating a culture of cooperation to finally put an end to the Front of House/Back of House War that has been an unfortunate mainstay of the restaurant business for centuries – peace in our time.

So, don’t get full on other podcasts this week and skip this episode – you’ve earned the sweet treats and insights you’ll find inside.

Nov 2, 2021

Gorilla Rich is a fellow Mess Lord, Fellow Triple D family with Pete. Gorilla Rich has an amazing bbq stand located in a train-car in Pacifica, California.Featured on Food Networks Diners, Drive-In, and Dives (DDD), Gorilla BBQ offers a unique experience using fresh ingredients and slow cooked meats that melt in your mouth! 


The nick-name “Gorilla” was given to Rich Bacchi by his dad. "I've always been a little bigger than normal!" Says Rich. His name, his personality, and his food are all large and in charge! 


Rich Bacchi, a native Pacifica resident, comes from a long line of restaurateurs. His family owned and operated a restaurant just down the street from where Gorilla BBQ stands today. You could say he was raised to have his own spot and cook/BBQ some amazing food! Gorilla Barbeque LLC was officially established by Rich in 2006. 


As mentioned above Rich’s parents owned a restaurant (which was a Mexican restaurant). All the way back since Rich can remember he was working at his family owned restaurant. The workforce consisted of his siblings, cousins, and the leaders were his mom and aunt. Because of his restaurant background his friends would always choose Rich as the one to cook. Most of the time his food of choice to cook would be BBQ. 

The restaurant business was not Rich’s career of choice. Rich started out working for Track Magic traveling the country prepping and building racing go-carts. Rich started out as screwing in bolts to leading the team. While doing this Rich would BBQ for the team during events and such. However, once the company’s owner passed Track Magic met its demise. Shortly after Rich’s parents became ill and Rich needed to be closer to home. The train-car that now is the home of Gorilla BBQ became available and not knowing what he was going to use it for Rich bought the train-car. Then during a conversation with one of his friends the idea was born for Rich to open up a BBQ joint in the train-car. 


Specific topics that Pete and Gorilla talk about in this episode are: 

  • Be nice to the public. Teach your people to be nice to people. The small things matter. Overly communicate to your customers so they know what is going on and do not make assumptions. When customers make assumptions they are normally bad. You have to read your guest and tend to their needs. A hostess can walk people to a table, a bar tender can make great drinks, a server can get the order perfect, but can we make people feel welcomed? That is what makes restaurants great. 


  • Consistency is key. It all starts with setting standards to say “I can’t allow this because it will hurt the business. Set standards and train your leaders to make sure all the employees live up to that standard. Even when employees say they can make it better and they change something it will hurt even if it’s good people will come in and say this isn’t what I get it’s different. People do not like change. Mastery is doing the same thing day in and day out. 
  • How to overcome the struggle of COVID-19. Things like price increase of products, less staff, taking care of your facility (all good operators had clean facilities before COVID)

That is just a glimpse of todays episode of “The Raw Ingredients” you will definitely want to listen to this conversation between Rich and Pete. 


Connect with Rich: Instagram Facebook GorillaBBQ 

Connect with Pete: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, The MessLords, PRFOUNDATION

Pete’s Restaurants: PaniniPetes, SunsetPointe, Ed’sSeafoodShed, Squidink,

Oct 26, 2021
Roy Clark is GM/ Craft Cocktail Bartender at the Haberdasher in Mobile, Alabama. The Haberdasher is downtown Mobile's go-to bar for craft cocktails and an ever-rotating selection of craft beer, and the city's best spirits list. Bartenders mix classic concoctions as well as fresh and inventive original and contemporary drinks. The food bar is open nightly serving a variety of fresh, handmade bar foods and more.
Roy' started off his journey of Bartending at the Alabama Music Box (a large rock and roll and venue on the weekend and a normal bar during the week days. Next Roy friend hired him on at Taste which was a classic/craft cocktail and wine bar which was Roy's real introduction into the craft cocktail world. Then in 2012 Roy opened the Haberdasher in 2012.
In 2012 craft cocktails were a new thing and the market was exploding around the country for craft cocktail bars and it had not yet hit Alabama. Roy and his team were trailblazers in the industry for the area. Today's episode we get to learn from a real trailblazer in the industry. If you are looking to do something that is different for you community and be a trailblazer this episode is really for you. However, we should all be looking to expand our businesses and the best people to learn how to expand is from those who had no momentum for their specific part of the industry. Roy brings fresh ideas that those who aren't necessarily trailblazers can use to expand what they are doing into new horizons.
Pete and Roy also discuss what it looks like to add a cocktail program into your organization or to improve your current cocktail program. Roy shares that BarSmarts is a great way to provide the consistency between all your bartenders and helps you provide the fundamentals that all bartenders need. Roy's next recommendation is bringing in someone with credibility to teach your bartenders who can inspire and equip your team. The key to all of this is communicating to your team to be life-long learners, you never stop learning.
Connect with Roy: Instagram
The Haberdasher: Facebook Instagram UNTAPPD
Oct 19, 2021

Today’s episode Pete sits down with Trina Gregory-Prost. 

Trina is the chef/owner of SE7EN BITES in Orlando, Florida with her wife VA. SE7EN BITES servers southern nostalgic food with a modern twist. 

Trina’s Grammie was the first person to introduce her to cooking/baking when she was very young. However, cooking was never anything other than a hobby for Trina. Trina’s love was for the Spa industry and Trina was in the Spa industry for 21 years. Trina love the Spa Industry the entire time she was in the Spa Industry. The last 5 years Trina was in the Spa Industry she traveled the world opening multi-million dollar spas. 


Towards the end of Trina’s time in the Spa Industry she had her first child and being gone two to three weeks at at time with a new born was not feasible. While Trina would be doing beings nails and such she would hear about people struggling to find a good restaurant to cater their event or family gatherings. Around 2010 Trina went back to school to be a cook to learn the nitty gritty fundamentals on top of already knowing how to cook well. Her dream at this point was to be a private chef once she completed culinary school.

Through the early part of Trina’s culinary story Pete and Trina discuss the age old argument of should you go to culinary school or not and the things that Trina did that other people questioned because her age. Things like internships and externships in different kitchens learning all the could. Trina and Pete talk about the importance of growing your skill set and letting go of your ego to just do whatever it takes to be the most qualified you can be. 

Trina graduated culinary school with a culinary degree, a baking and pastry degree and a restaurant management degree. After graduating Trina already was doing catering for three commercial accounts to sell desserts for, therefore was renting space in a commercial kitchen (which was very expensive). Trina’s girlfriend (now wife) talked Trina into renting out her own little space because it would be the same cost to get her own space set up and this would allow them to take on a couple more clients. After Trina and her wife VA rented out their own space and began to build the place out VA says to Trina, not only could you do catering orders but let’s just add a counter and we can serve people who walk in. That is how SE7EN BITES began. 

Trina’s wife VA has had fourteen years of experience in the restaurant industry working for the Carrabba’s Outback Group training all the proprietors of how the kitchen was ran. Through the conversations Triana and VA had while creating SE7EN BITES was that you can be successful in the restaurant industry if you will just hang onto the fundamentals of business. You can have great food and go broke because you do not know how to balance a budget. 


This is just two highlights of many highlights of this episode that you do not want to miss out on. Share this episode with an up and coming chef or even a seasoned chef. Everyone will benefit from today’s episode of "The Raw Ingredients" 

Connect with Trina: Instagram, Facebook,


SE7EN BITES: Website, Instagram, Facebook , Twitter, Goldbelly 


Connect with Pete: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, The MessLords, PRFOUNDATION


Pete’s Restaurants: PaniniPetes, SunsetPointe, Ed’sSeafoodShed, Squidink,

Oct 12, 2021

Jim Smith is Chairman of the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission and Executive Chef of The Hummingbird Way. Chef Smith was the Executive Chef of the State of Alabama for eight years serving multiple Alabama Governor’s. As the state chef, he has placed an emphasis on using the best local ingredients and has made strides to encourage support of local farmers and Alabama fishers. He used his position as ambassador of food, to promote farmer’s markets and events that support Alabama food products.

In 2011 he was crowned the King of American Seafood by winning The Great American Seafood-Cook-Off and became the national spokesperson for Alabama Seafood, American Sustainable Seafood, Gulf Seafood and the NOAA. As the winner he traveled the country educating the Americans about the benefits of sustainable seafood. As Chairman of the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission, Chef Smith is proud to be a part of the great work being done to promote Alabama Seafood and Chef Advocate for Wild American Shrimp. He also works closely with The James Beard Foundation as a Boot Camp for Policy and Change Alum, supporter of James Beard Foundation’s Smart Catch Sustainable Seafood program, and Scholarship Programs.

Chef Smith is best known for his appearances on Seasons 14 and 16 of the acclaimed Bravo television cooking competition show, Top Chef. With a top ten finish and fan favorite support he proud of his competitive efforts and has high hopes for the future. 


Pete and Jim on this episode talk through Jim’s unique experiences in the food industry and how that gives him the edge in the industry. Pete and Jim open up talking about how Jim’s time as the Governor’s Chef taught him how to be organized and efficient as a cook since Jim would at times be cooking for hundreds of people and have to cook prep the food by himself. Jim gives insight on how executive chefs can stay organized and also, teach their staffs to be organized and lead the way rather than the executive chef handling everything organization wise because one person handling all of that is not going to be scalable as you grow as a business. When you have more people on the team the more chaotic it gets, therefore you must be meticulous in the kitchen if your restaurant is going to succeed long term. 


Pete and Jim also discuss opening a restaurant and how Jim was his own investor by cashing out on many assets he had and how that freed him up to run his restaurant the way he desired and knew best. With that though there was great risk and Jim and Pete gives insight to those who are looking to open a restaurant how that process should look as you create a game plan for your restaurant.  



Connect with Jim: Instagram, Website

The Hummingbird Way: Website, Instagram,

Connect with Pete: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, The MessLords, PRFOUNDATION

Pete’s Restaurants: PaniniPetes, SunsetPointe, Ed’sSeafoodShed, Squidink,

Oct 5, 2021


On today’s episode of The Raw Ingredients Pete talks to his good friend Brian Duffy. 

Brian is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and has been working in the food industry since he was 14 years old as a dishwasher and busboy at a small restaurant called Castles. 

Brian graduated Culinary School in 1994. Brain has opened over 100 restaurants across the country, been on multiple television shows (currently the host of Food Network, “Opening Night”), traveled the world, has cooked for the U.N. and that is just the beginning. 

Now Brian is a restaurant consultant who helps restaurants get better around the world. 

Brian and Pete talk about the lessons that Brian has learned from over 35 years of being in the restaurant business and the last 10 years being a consultant to restaurants around the world. 

“Across the country I see people who want the title (of executive chef) on the chest but do not want the responsibility that comes with that”

Specific topics that Brain and Pete talk about are: 

  • Educate ALL your employees. Walk everyone through the different processes, share as much information as you can with everyone.“Your restaurant/organization should not fall apart if you’re not there.”
  • Choosing not to do everything but the right things
  • Budgeting for your organization 
  • Hiring the right people 
  • Creating a healthy culture 

“Stay Hungry, Stay Invested, Continue to Grow. Use things like podcast, books and the most important thing—always share that information you learn.” 

In addition, we answer the following questions: 


  • How to adapt 
  • How to get over ego and pride 
  • How to build relationships within the industry 
  • How to create tight knit, effective teams  

“No matter how high in rank you are, no matter if it’s washing the dishes or sweeping the floor you have to stay plugged in.” 


Connect With Brian: Website, Instagram , Facebook , Podcast , Tik-Tok , Cameo

Brian’s Consulting Services: Duffified Expirence Group 

My World Chef: Website, Instagram 

Connect with Pete: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, The MessLords, PRFOUNDATION

Pete’s Restaurants: PaniniPetes, SunsetPointe, Ed’sSeafoodShed, Squidink,

Aug 26, 2020

Two time Best Chef of the South James Beard nominee. CIA Alumni and Chef owner of Town Hall & Prati Italia both in his hometown of Jacksonville. 

Tom grew up loving food and wanting to become a chef. Working in the industry and gaining experience and passion. He ventured to the CIA to further his education and opportunities.  Then work in some of the countries best kitchen with amazing chefs in NYC, LA and Nappa Valley. He eventually circled back to his roots in Fl to help elevate the Food Scene in Jacksonville.

Tom Gray - Chef/Owner Prati Italia and Town Hall Restaurants:

@cheftomgray (Instagram) /

Prati Italia @pratiitaliajax (instagram and facebook) /

Town Hall @townhalljax (instagram and facebook) /

Aug 5, 2020
Vice President of Operations, RAVEN Wine Management LLC
During his time at The Culinary Institute of America - Hyde Park, Eddie immersed himself in CIA's rich campus culture by leading several student clubs & organizations. He graduated with Honors, Dean’s List commendations & multiple leadership awards. His passion for food, wine & hospitality fueled him to be a leader at prestigious hotels, premiere cultural centers, & top-notch restaurant groups including The Ritz – Carlton Naples, The Dining Room at The Philadelphia Museum of Art & Cameron Mitchell Restaurant’s national concept ‘Ocean Prime’. Eddie keeps work fun and life balanced by enjoying wine, craft beer, all types of cuisine & cooking. He considers himself a 'bit of a runner' as he enjoys completing half marathons across Texas!
Jul 29, 2020

If you love BBQ, there is a very good chance you have heard of Big Jim Stancil, or at least his company, Bare Knuckles BBQ, which was featured during season 3 of BBQ Pitmasters on Destination America. Big Jim is a full time corporate caterer with 2 Grand Championships and a slew of category wins under his belt, which means he likely cooks some of the meanest BBQ you have ever tasted in your life.

Jul 8, 2020

Hotel Concierge with over 20 years of experience in 4 and 5 Star Properties. Opened 17 hotels as a Task Force Member, implementing programs, establishing expectations, and refining processes, having the highest levels of customer service as a result.

Jun 24, 2020

Chef David Rose was raised with a diverse and curious palate. Born in New Jersey to 2 chef parents, his culinary interest led him to enroll in Le Cordon Bleu Culinary College (Tucker, GA), where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. Living in Atlanta for more than a decade, Chef Rose finds inspiration in his surroundings and identifies as a southern chef, creatively reinterpreting classic southern fare by incorporating the refinement of his french culinary training, with his signature bold flavors, and the occasional flair from his family's Jamaican recipes.

Chef Rose is a Food Network/TV personality & serves as a national brand ambassador for Nissan USA and Big Green Egg. Rose is also the founder and creator of the TLC Experience (Tastings • Libations • Cigars), where he partners with spirits and cigar companies to create extraordinary dining experiences. Recently, he has been named as a brand ambassador for Davidoff/Camacho Cigars.

Jun 17, 2020

A background 30 years of restaurant experience - from subservient potato-flipping grill slave and floor-mopper at a local family deli in Phoenix to my present position as chief cook, tastemaker, and humble owner of Salsa Brava Mexican Grill in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Jun 10, 2020

Chef-Owners Judson and Peter Holt grew up watching their father nurture and grow the first Lupe Tortilla into a success. The first restaurant opened in a 1940’s frame house on the outskirts of Houston in 1983. Both sons are graduates of the Culinary Institute of America. They took over the family business in 1997, and have continued to build a dedicated following.

Since Lupe Tortilla first opened in Addicks, Texas in 1983, the concept has had an unwavering focus on providing excellent food and service to customers with their delicious and unique style of Mexican food made from scratch. With almost 20 locations, dishes are still made to order at each restaurant, and Lupe Tortilla strives to always provide the best food for the best price. The company focuses on offering rewarding employee programs and opportunities for growth, which enable it to be a sought-after workplace. Chefs and owners Judson and Peter Holt have extensive experience and background in hospitality, and both hold degrees from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. This allows them to maintain integrity and taste throughout their locations, food and atmosphere. 

Jun 3, 2020

Chef Brooke Brantley has been a chef for more than 20 years, having led kitchens in restaurants, resorts and private clubs around the country. Before following his passion for cooking, he was an award-winning videographer, editor and television director.

May 27, 2020

Blankenship earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of South Alabama. He worked for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) as a marine resources enforcement officer and rose to the position of director of marine resources in 2011.[2]

Blankenship was named deputy commissioner of the ADCNR in March 2017 and acting commissioner in May 2017 following the resignation of N. Gunter Guy Jr. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey appointed Blankenship to the role of ADCNR commissioner in August 2017.

May 13, 2020

Jim Binner’s cooking career landed him several prestigious awards and recognition at a young age. Then extensive experience in foodservice sales, marketing and business practices, along with a desire to further his education, make him a logical choice for membership on the Alumni Council. Jim holds multiple degrees, including a Masters in Strategic Leadership. As an active member of the American Culinary Federation, New York State Restaurant Association, School Nutrition Association, and holding a seat on the Board of Director of the International Food Service Executives Association, Jim has a broad view of the industry and an acute understanding of the value of learning and teamwork. Jim is an advocate for the CIA in many ways. His support and involvement at the annual Alumni Home Coming weekend, Gift-in-Kind donations, CIA Gala Awards, Flavor Summits, and multiple Alumni Receptions around the country truly show his passion for his alma mater. You may even see a few bricks with his name on them around the Hyde Park campus. Jim truly believes “Food is Fun” and says he “bleeds CIA Green and Gold”.

Apr 15, 2020

The South African beauty queen, award-winning baker and grill master, Linkie Marais, is more than your average chef!

With a love for exploring, cooking and the outdoors, Chef Linkie Marais' ‘will to grill’ stems all the way back to her unique blend of South African and Southern roots.

Born in Evander, a town in northeastern South Africa, Linkie was raised in the kitchen, helping her mother prepare meals on a daily basis. With a lack of abundant fresh ingredients, she inher- ited her mother’s creativity, utilizing whatever they had available to create fresh and original meals. Described by Linkie as a “melting pot,” South African cuisine incorporates influences from across the globe.
“We love our meats – especially lamb – but South African cuisine is really a mix of northern African and European influences,” says Linkie. “We grew up eating everything from rustic cur- ries to fine breads and cakes.”
Immigrating to the U.S. in 1999, Linkie and her family settled in Tupelo, Mississippi where she began her culinary career piping cakes for a local catering company. Upon obtaining a degree in Culinary Arts and a minor in Food Arts from Mississippi University for Women, Linkie's career took off as she held various pastry and executive chef positions in Oxford, Mississippi before making the move to Massachusetts’ acclaimed Montilio’s Bakery.

Years later, Linkie decided to venture out on her own and accepted the opportunity of a life- time to compete on Food Network’s hit series, “Next Food Network Star” in 2012.
“My experience on the show can only be described as ‘crazy.’ It’s like driving a fast car—fun but unpredictable. It forced me to push my limits and take my creativity to a new level.”
After discovering her love for grilling during a Big Green Egg® competition, Linkie’s passion for grilling began to take her career in a new and exciting direction. It’s clear that her meat-filled and resourceful South African culinary upbringing has had a tremendous impact on her cooking flair, as Linkie is considered the best among the few females who have mastered the art of grill- ing.
“I love how action-packed grilling can be. My absolute favorite thing to grill is lamb! The aroma that is released when the lamb hits the fire is incomparable. But what people don't realize is that much more —from sides to desserts—can be prepared on a grill, too.”

It is only natural that this outdoorsy, fun and energetic chef spends her weekend's hunting, camping and debating with her South African husband, Jannie, over who gets to do the grilling.
“But ultimately, I’m always in the kitchen. That is where I spend not only my work time, but my free time. Cooking is my therapy.”
Apr 1, 2020

Michele Ragussis is an American chef. She is best known as a finalist on the eighth season of the Food Network series Food Network Star.

Mar 11, 2020
Greg Buschmohle 
Founder L&N Seafood 
Bayside Grill Quality Restaurants inc.
Chef at the new Safari Club located in the Gulf Shores Zoo
Mar 4, 2020

After working in restaurants throughout her teens and earning a degree in hotel and restaurant management from Drexel University, Tio started cooking at Philadelphia’s Ritz-Carlton hotel. Tio moved to Orlando. There she helped open three specialty restaurants for Walt Disney World: Spoodles, Citricos, and Palo. Tio truly made her mark during the following seven years heading the kitchen at Kansas City’s renowned American Restaurant. There she garnered both local and national accolades, including 2005 Chef Of The Year by Chef magazine and the James Beard Foundation’s 2007 Best Chef: Midwest. Chef Tio has gone to open Julian, and recently the Belfry and Collection Restaurant.

Feb 26, 2020

Absorbing culture and passing it on through food is part of Executive Chef Nick Liberato's heritage. Raised believing that every day is a holiday which should be celebrated with food, wine, great conversation, and loved ones, Nick has been cooking professionally for 18 years, and now calls the Southern California coast his home. Nick is a personal chef to the stars, a revered cocktail mixologist, world traveler, husband, father & surfer.

Feb 19, 2020

As a former collegiate and professional athlete staying in shape and keeping up with my body was a part of the job description. I had to make weight and be able to perform to my fullest capabilities on the field. My diet and the food I put in my body directly affected both of those. I also grew up with a passion for food and love being in the kitchen and around food.

With my athletic background and my passion for food I was able to combine that over my years of playing to create meals to help me achieve my goals. Through trial and error in cooking I learned how to subtract calories out of some of my favorite meals but keep the flavor. Playing days are over however I am still into fitness and taking care of my body.

I spent the last year traveling and learning new recipes and flavor profiles to bring back to the kitchen.

PhreshPlate was soon born after that. I have brought some of my favorite recipes from my playing days and some of my favorite recipes from my travels. PhreshPlate the food truck will provide great tasting meals that are quick, healthy and convenient for the consumer.  PhreshPlate is here to help all those who are interested in reaching their fitness goals or those who are wanting something different from the normal food truck scene.

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