BITE 2022: Meet Our Keynote & Panels

BITE 2022: Meet Our Keynote & Panels

Team Beet Apr 8 , 2022

World renowned chefs, innovators, founders, restaurateurs, movers, shakers, and leaders: the best of the best in the food industry will be joining us for #BaldorBite on Tuesday, April 26, 2022 at Basketball City at Pier 36, in New York City. Want to learn more about our keynote speaker, Massimo Bottura, moderators Elly Truesdell and Dana Cowin, and our incredible panelists? Take a peek below!

KEYNOTE: FOOD IS FAMILY, FOOD IS LOVE; A Fireside Chat with Massimo Bottura

Keynote Speaker: Massimo Bottura

An innovator and restaurateur for more than twenty-five years, Bottura has consolidated his reputation as one of the world’s most innovative culinary figures. His internationally renowned three-Michelin-starred restaurant, Osteria Francescana, opened in 1995, was nominated number 1 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2016 and for the second time in 2018. Massimo Bottura is acknowledged, among other things, for his commitment against food waste and social isolation, calling for social responsibility among the culinary community, since his participation at Expo2015 in Milan. During Expo, the chef created an off-site project called Refettorio Ambrosiano,in order to tackle the problems of hunger and food waste as two sides of the same coin. Since the birth of the project, more than sixty chefs from around the world joined Bottura in his community kitchen to transform food surplus into healthy meals for those in need. As a consequence of the success of the project, in 2016 Chef Bottura Massimo founded the non-profit organization Food for Soul together with his wife Lara Gilmore. Since then, Food for Soul has established Refettorio projects around the world 

Moderator: Thomas McQuillan 

As Chief Sales Officer at Do Good Foods, Thomas McQuillan brings entrepreneurial knowledge, passion for sustainability, and a remarkable resume to his role in the Do Good leadership team. He is instrumental in developing and implementing strategic sales initiatives, spearheaded energy-efficient initiatives, and is focused on reducing the amount of food to landfill to zero.   


Moderator: Elly Truesdell 

Elly Truesdell has spent her career driving strategic growth in the Natural and Organic Food industry. After nearly a decade at Whole Foods Market as Global Director of Local Brands & Product Innovation, CEO at Canopy Foods, and as Partner at venture fund Almanac, Elly has deep experience across several verticals of the industry, offering expertise in retail strategy, brand development, supply chain, co-packing and product innovation. Elly is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of New Fare Partners, a specialist venture fund with a thesis centered on the modern eater and evolving American palate. New Fare offers unique value-add to its portfolio based on the team’s expertise and distinct position in the food ecosystem. Elly holds a B.A in Media Studies from the University of Virginia, and sits on the Board of Wellness in the Schools. 


Tom Colicchio 

Chef & Owner of Crafted Hospitality

Tom Colicchio is the chef and owner of Crafted Hospitality, which includes New York’s Craft and Temple Court; Craft Los Angeles; Las Vegas’ Heritage Steak and Craftsteak; and Small Batch in Garden City, NY. Tom is the head judge and executive producer of the Emmy-winning Bravo hit series, Top Chef and the host of the iHeart Radio podcast, Citizen Chef.

A vocal and outspoken social justice advocate, Tom executive produced the 2013 documentary “A Place at the Table” about the underlying causes of hunger in the U.S. This eye-opening experience led Tom on a journey to Washington DC where he has been a mainstay in our nation’s capital in the years since

Tom is a founding member of The Independent Restaurant Coalition, which was formed to save the local restaurants and bars affected by COVID-19. When not in the kitchen, Tom can be found tending his North Fork Long Island garden, fishing, or playing guitar.

Nilou Motamed 

Magazine Editor, TV Personality, and Judge on Food Network’s Chopped

Former Food and Wine Editor-in-Chief and more recently known for her judging roles on “Chopped” and “Top Chef”, Nilou has been shaping the nation’s conversation about America’s palate for over 20 years. 

Vanessa Pham 

CEO & Co-Founder of Osam

She turned the culinary world on its head with her proud and loud Asian flavors at Osam, and today Vanessa is an unabashed speaker on culinary entrepreneurship and leadership. 

Abhi Ramesh 

Founder and CEO of Misfit Markets 

A 2021 EY Entrepreneur of the Year, Abhi continues to document his exploration of the shifting world food economy and uncovering innovative ways we can all build a better food system. 


Moderator: Dana Cowin 

Dana Cowin is a tastemaker and innovator in media, food and branding. Her work spans advising creatives, founders and non-profits as well as creating editorial through podcasts, social, video, zines and books. Drawing on more than twenty years of tastings as the Editor in Chief of Food & Wine magazine, Cowin curates collections of extraordinary comestibles, bringing attention to the remarkable women behind the products. An award-winning influencer in the food world, she is a sought after speaker on topics from trendspotting to lifestyle and motivation, entrepreneurship. And of course good food! She has a longstanding commitment to supporting opportunities for economic growth through culinary training. She's on the board of Food Education Fund and Hot Bread Kitchen, as well as the Food Council of City Harvest. 


Ayesha Nurdjaja  

Executive Chef / Partner at Shuka and Shukette Restaurants 

A 2022 James Beard Award finalist, Ayesha knows that to make it in the restaurant business you have to be resilient and willing to tackle head-on any kitchen challenges that come your way. 

Victoria Blamey 

Executive Chef /Owner of Mena 

No stranger to toxic kitchen environments, Victoria has been championing for better kitchen cultures and educating diners about the hard work and passion that goes behind every dish they enjoy. 

Kiki Louya 

Chef and Executive Director, Restaurant Workers' Community Foundation 

As a Bravo Top Chef, entrepreneur, writer, and activist, Kiki has gained national attention for here outspoken advocacy of fair treatment, better pay, and building a more equitable food system. 

Melissa Rodriguez 

Chef & Owner of Mel’s  

After watching the industry struggler during the pandemic, Melissa’s goal with her new kitchens is to create a more empathetic workspace, one with more structure and creative collaboration.

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