Chef Todd Richards is an award-winning chef known for his contemporary cooking style rooted in Soul and Southern cuisine. A native of Chicago and selftaught chef, he is a two-time James Beard Foundation Best Chef: Southeast semifinalist.
Now based in Atlanta, Richards is the chef and owner of Richards’ Southern Fried and serves as the Culinary Director of Jackmont Hospitality, overseeing award-winning restaurants One Flew South and Chicken + Beer, located in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. He has previously helmed the kitchens of prestigious hotels and restaurants including The Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta, The Ritz-Carlton (Atlanta, Buckhead and West Palm Beach), Villa Christina and the Oakroom at the Seelbach Hotel, which garnered the prestigious AAA 5 Diamond Award for restaurant excellence under his tenure. Additionally, he served as chef/owner of The Shed at Glenwood, The Pig & The Pearl, Rolling Bones Barbecue, and White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails.
He is an active Board Member of Wholesome Wave Georgia, a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance, and is a founding council member of the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival.
Chef Richards’ debut cookbook, SOUL: A Chef’s Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes (Oxmoor House), was released to rave reviews on May 22, 2018. The book has been hailed as one of Garden & Gun's Best Books of 2018 (so far) as well as Amazon's Best Cookbook of 2018 (so far). He has been featured in The New York Times, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, People, Esquire, CBS This Morning and more.
Steak Shapiro is one of the most respected and dynamic personalities in Atlanta. Along with being the longest running radio and TV host in the city, he has also served as CEO and founder of two of Atlanta’s most popular media companies.
In 1997, Steak built one of the country’s most successful sports talk radio companies, Big League Broadcasting. Steak served as president, CMO, and morning drive talent at 790 The Zone in Atlanta and was instrumental in the purchase of additional sports radio stations around the country. Steak sold his company to Lincoln Financial Media in 2011.
In 2013, Steak founded Bread n Butter LLC, a highly innovative media company at the forefront of culinary content. Bread n Butter has built award winning local and regional television programs (Atlanta Eats and Dish Worth The Drive), creates state of the art video content for some of the biggest brands in the country (Anheuser Busch, Darden Restaurants, Las Vegas Sands) and is recognized as a leader in new media.
Steak continues to be a larger than life local and national personality with shows on the Food Network (Food Truck Face-Off and Best Ever) and frequent contributor to CNN, FOX NEWS, FOX BUSINESS, and MSNBC. In Atlanta, his hometown, he serves as host of TV’s Atlanta Eats, Dish Worth the Drive, and the #1 sports talk show in the city, “The Front Row” on 680 The Fan. There are few people that understand the business, marketing, and entrepreneurial world with the depth of Steak Shapiro.
Erica Key is the editor-in-chief and founder of Eating with Erica. She founded Eating with Erica in 2013 due to her love for the Atlanta food scene.
Erica is an award-winning Atlanta-based blogger with a passion for all things dining, entertaining, and food. When she isn’t blogging, she’s traveling, volunteering, watching Criminal Minds or Law and Order SVU while enjoying a glass or two of champagne. She never passes up an opportunity to share her insight with other bloggers and influencers!
Erica has used her pitching expertise to work with brands like Good Morning America, Draper James, Verizon, Samsung, Bath & Body Works, Sephora, Lamarca Prosecco, Double Cross Vodka and more.
Author of Everyday Korean and founder of KoreanFusion, Seung Hee Lee is a writer and teacher with a PhD in Human Nutrition. Born and raised in Korea, she has studied traditional Korean Royal Court cuisine. She teaches cooking classes in Atlanta, Georgia and serves pop-up dinners all around the world from Copenhagen to Seoul.
Jasmine Stewart is the proud winner of MasterChef Junior, Season 5. When she took home the title at age 12, she became the first African American winner of MasterChef Junior and the only contestant in the show’s history to win the show after having been eliminated. She is a perfect example of the result of hard work and sheer determination.
Jasmine was honored to work with both Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi, the judges of this FOX television show, as well as with Martha Stewart and Wolfgang Puck among others. Since the show, Jasmine has stayed busy with Camp MasterChef appearances, launched her own online cooking class via BluePrint called “Jasmine’s Delightful Desserts”, was selected to be a part of the Junior Chef Council for Great Wolf’s Lodge where they redesigned the national kid’s menu for the theme park, and frequently serves as a keynote speaker across the country.
She is currently a 9th grader and lives in Milton, GA with her parents and older brother, Justin. A self-proclaimed “foodie”, Jasmine enjoys trying and creating new recipes whenever she has an opportunity. She is also an entrepreneur who has started her own company focused on girl empowerment and motivational speaking. As a part of that effort, she created the hashtag, theme, and slogan of “Let Your Inner Girl Slay” which is designed to encourage young girls to stay true to themselves and not fear pursuing their inner dreams and hopes. This is a message Jasmine promotes daily.
At school, Jasmine is a part of the cheer squad and created her own after school program focused on entrepreneurship and leadership.
She is a member of the acting company at the Renaissance International School of Performing Arts (RISPA), where she trains and competes on a regional level. In her spare time, Jasmine is a typical teen who enjoys shopping, fashion, dancing, reading, sports, and hanging with her friends.
Chef Gary Caldwell is the Chef de Cuisine at Chicken+Beer and has been a vital part of the culinary program, driving new menu development, building up an excellent team, and ensuring that we deliver the elevated Southern cuisine that guests from all over the world have come to love at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Caldwell is a Louisiana native and graduate of the Culinary Institute of New Orleans. He developed his love for the culinary world at a very young age and has fond memories learning delicious Creole and Cajun staple dishes in his grandmother’s and aunt’s Louisiana kitchens. Caldwell had his official entry into a culinary career as a teenager and has gone on to master his craft working in some of the country’s finest hotels and casinos including Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas, Borgata in Atlantic City, Spartina in West Hollywood, the Great Maple in Pasadena, as well as Atlanta’s Triplz Lounge. He joined the Jackmont Hospitality family as Sous Chef on the Chicken+Beer culinary team before quickly advancing to Chef de Cuisine, working alongside Jackmont Hospitality Culinary Director, Chef Todd Richards. Chef Caldwell’s culinary skills and impeccable techniques reflect his love for the cuisine of the Deep South, and a passion to wow the palate with exceptional flavors. When he’s not in the Chicken+Beer kitchen, he enjoys time with his wife and five children, though you can still usually find him cooking, baking, or experimenting with cocktails.
Andy’s culinary career began early on in his life, inspired by his grandfather’s west Texas roots and his love and respect for quality and tradition. After attending Tennessee State University Chef Bryant sought opportunities to further his own creativity in the culinary field.
Chef Bryant’s culinary repertoire flourished during his term as sous chef at the St. Regis hotel under Chef Jonathan Jerusalmy, where he refined his culinary techniques. He processed to become the Executive Chef of the embassy suites galleria. It was there where he extended his skills to all outlets of the hotel. Landing him the opportunity of pleasing the palettes of the hotel’s most exclusive clientele. After spending two years with the embassy suites galleria, Chef Bryant went to take the role as Sous Chef at One Kept Kitchen (a chef driving concept) at One Kept Kitchen Chef Bryant was exposed to the creative expressions from Atlanta’s top chef’s use of Asian, American, and farm to table cooking techniques. In 2018, Chef Bryant took over the kitchen at Restaurant 1280 as head Chef of the High Museum, where he elevated the cuisine to its current state. Continuing to update the menu seasonally and to reflect the hard work of local farmers. Chef Bryant’s vast menu of international comfort food rages from foie gras to fried chicken, with dishes like tuna poke, beef tartar, and ones as simple as a slow cooked brisket sandwich.
Kandi Burruss is a Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter who resides in Atlanta with her children Riley and Ace, step-daughter Kaela and her husband Todd. A member of the multi-platinum-selling recording group Xscape, Kandi earned a Grammy for her work on TLC's mega-hit "No Scrubs" and also wrote the number-one hits "Bills, Bills, Bills" and "Bug A Boo" for Destiny's Child and “There You Go” for Pink. In 2000, Kandi became the first woman ever to win the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers' (ASCAP) "Songwriter of the Year" award and has over the span of her career contributed to 60+ Million records sold including songs for Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey and more. An entrepreneur at heart, Kandi has created and executive produced several television shows including: Kandi’s Wedding, Kandi’s Ski Trip, and The Kandi Factory, Kandi Koated Nights and Xscape Still Kickin It and her own non-profit for single parents, Kandi Cares. She's co-written and co-produced in the theatrical realm having conceived the successful musical, A Mother’s Love and stared as Matron Mama Morton in Chicago on Broadway at the top of 2018. In addition, she owns a clothing boutique, TAGS, recently launched a comestics line Kandi Koated Cosmetics, and an intimate luxury line Bedroom Kandi which as over 2500 consultants across the US. Continuing in the entrepreneurial spirit, Kandi and husband Todd opened their first restaurant in the Castleberry area of Atlanta in 2017 with a Concessions location in State Farm in 2018 and a second stand alone location in November of 2018, this year along with producing a few new television shows, and appearing on Celebrity Big Brother she continues to expand her portfolio daily!
Holly is an CNN Correspondent and Emmy nominated journalist who started her career in television with CNN, anchoring and reporting for CNN/US, HLN, and hosting shows such as Housecall, On The Menu and Talkback Live.
Holly began her career as a producer in the CNN Chicago Bureau. She spent nearly 3 years producing in the CNN Detroit bureau before moving to CNN’s Headquarters in Atlanta to become a correspondent and anchor. Throughout her career Holly has covered everything from breaking news, politics, medical news, entertainment news, travel and human interest stories. As a correspondent for CNN's Health Unit she won numerous honors from health and medical organizations for her work, including Time Inc.’s Freddie Award for Outstanding Medical Journalism and the Red Cross Humanitis Award. She was also part of the CNN team that won the coveted James Beard award as a correspondent on the CNN show "On The Menu". In 2004, Holly briefly left CNN to host a morning radio show where she received numerous accolades, including being voted "Sexiest Radio Voice”. She then added the role as co- host on NBC's daily talk show, "Atlanta & Company". Holly returned to CNN in 2009.
Holly is a native of Chicago, Illinois and a graduate of Northwestern University.
Jernard Wells is an Award Winning Celebrity Chef/TV Host/Bestselling Cookbook Author best known from numerous Food Network & Cooking Channel. Wells has worked with Tyler Perry, NBA star Brandon Ingram, Lady Antebellum and Ricky Bell & Michael Bivins of New Edition/BBD. He has been featured on "Today Show", PEOPLE, "Harry", "Steve Harvey Morning Show", ESSENCE, "Pickler & Ben", "Home & Family", Lifetime & HLN to name a few. The James Beard House Honored Chef is affectionately called "The Family Chef" because he loves using food to promote positive family images. He and his wife of 20 years have 9 children. All 6 of his books, sauces & spices are available on www.ChefJernard.com Follow him on all social media at @ChefJernard