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Check out what’s cooking at our live BITE Main Stage!

BITE isn’t just about feeding your belly. It’s also about feeding your brainwith delicious content designed to inspire and educate, and get those creative juices flowing. At our all-day Main Stage, you’ll hear top chefs and food industry insiders share the stories behind their success and the trends they see ahead. Meet our 2024 speakers below!

Enlightened Creativity: A Conversation with Restaurateur Danny Meyer

Arguably the country’s best-known restaurateur, Danny Meyer’s name is synonymous with hospitality and quality. As the founder of Union Square Hospitality Group, he helped create award-winning restaurants like Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Café, The Modern, and Ci Siamo, as well as Shake Shack, where he continues to act as chair. He’s a New York Times bestselling author, and his book, Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business, is widely regarded as one of the most influential books on service. Today, Meyer is co-founder and Managing Partner of Enlightened Hospitality Investments, an investment firm that focuses on people-driven companies. In this intimate conversation with Baldor’s VP of Marketing & Communications Margaret Magnarelli, we’ll explore how Meyer gets creative inspiration, what he sees as trends that get him excited, and his advice for chefs, restauranteurs, and food industry pros.



Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Danny Meyer grew up in a family that relished great food and hospitality. Thanks to his father`s travel business, Danny spent much of his childhood eating, in near and far-off places, and sowing the seeds for his future passion. In 1985, at the age of 27, Danny opened his first restaurant, Union Square Cafe. Forty years later, Danny`s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) comprises some of New York`s most beloved restaurants, including Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, Maialino, and more, as well as event services and foodservice solutions for large-scale institutions. Danny and USHG also founded Shake Shack, which went public in 2015. Under Danny`s leadership, USHG is renowned not only for its acclaimed restaurants but also for its culture of Enlightened Hospitality and for setting the standards in areas like hiring practices and corporate responsibility. He is the author of the best-selling book, Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business.


Danny is currently Chairman of the Board of Shake Shack as well as Union Square Hospitality Group. He is also Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Enlightened Hospitality Investments, a growth fund that invests in hospitality businesses. He serves on the board of Olo, and previously served on the boards for OpenTable, Sotheby`s and The Container Store.  He was Chairman of the New York Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), a Trustee for Trinity College in Hartford, CT, and a board member for Share Our Strength, among others.


Danny has been recognized for his leadership, business achievements, and humanitarianism, including the 2017 Julia Child Award, the 2015 TIME "100 Most Influential People" list, and the 2012 Aspen Institute Preston Robert Tisch Award in Civic Leadership. Together, Danny and USHG`s restaurants and individuals have won 28 James Beard Awards, including Outstanding Restaurateur (2005) and Who`s Who of Food and Beverage in America (1996).

Playing in the Dirt: Seeds as the Future of Farming

Decades since the farm-to-table movement hit fever pitch, most chefs have embraced concepts like local, organic, and source transparent. But Dan Barber, Chef and Co-owner of Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Family Meal at Blue Hill, and author of the critically acclaimed book The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food, says we haven’t yet gotten to the root of it all: the seed. The future of the food industry, he says, lies in selecting and breeding for palate-popping flavor as well as nutrition and climate resilience. He’ll lead a spirited conversation with seed industry innovators to illuminate how chefs can play an active role in shaping the future of agriculture and cuisine by engaging with choices being made at seed level.



Dan Barber is chef and co-owner of Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York, and the author of The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food. A fierce advocate for sustainable, ethical farming and cooking, Barber’s opinions on food and agricultural policy have appeared in The New York Times and other publications. He also co-founded Row 7 Seed Company, which brings together chefs and plant breeders to develop new varieties of vegetables and grains. Barber has received multiple James Beard awards including Best Chef: New York City (2006) and Outstanding Chef (2009). President Barack Obama appointed him to serve on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. Barber continues his work to blur the line between the dining experience and the educational, bringing the principles of good farming directly to the table.



Joseph is a farmer and seed keeper and developer based in Utah. A sixth-generation farmer, he worked as a research chemist and computer programmer before returning to farm life, where he adopted the principles of adaptation agriculture in response to the harsh growing conditions in a high-altitude, short-season, desert garden. Instead of relying on chemicals, labor, and materials to coddle the plants, he encourages genetic diversity, cross-pollination, and survival of the fittest, allowing the plants to adapt themselves to the ecosystem. He says that better adapted varieties taste better. He is the author of Landrace Gardening: Food Security Through Biodiversity and Promiscuous Pollination and taught at conferences hosted by the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance, National Heirloom Expo, Organic Seed Alliance, Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA-NY), and more.

Sweet Talk: Top Dessert & Pastry Pros on Crafting Delight

Traditionally, dessert held a special space at the end of a meal where anything from a slice of chocolate cake to a scoop of sorbet would help prolong a great meal. In 2024, however, sweets have branched out to be an any-time indulgence, from a kouign-amann at breakfast to a midday ice cream pick-me-up to stealing the spotlight in a several-course tasting at a restaurant solely dedicated to dessert. Meanwhile, the line between savory and sweet continues to blur (think: a goat tres leches with jerk ice cream or pear and blue cheese ice cream). Despite all the innovation, one thing is consistently true: Dessert is all about delight. In this panel, some of today’s biggest names in dessert and pastry discuss how they think about creating pleasure, and how chefs can sweeten up the savory courses.



Zac is known for his playful takes on American desserts, including the all-in-one Thanksgiving sensation, The PieCaken, which ships nationwide through Goldbelly. After graduating from The Institute of Culinary Education, Zac started at Bouchon Bakery, then worked as Pastry Chef at Butter under Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, then at Flex Mussels Restaurants. Zac went on to serve as Corporate Pastry Chef for Chef David Burke, working his way to partnership in the parent company, Craveable Hospitality Group. His most recent venture, Zac Young’s Sprinkletown, is a multifaceted sweets company focused on retail products with partners like Costco and Sprinkletown Donuts & Ice Cream, recently opened at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Zac has been featured on several Food Network shows, including Halloween Baking Championship, Chopped, and Beat Bobby Flay; The Cooking Channel's Unique Sweets, and Netflix’s Nailed It. He was a finalist in Bravo's Top Chef: Just Desserts.



Elisa is the Owner, Founder, and Creative Director of Maman, a café with 29 locations across New York City, New Jersey, Toronto, and Montreal (and more to come this year!). Elisa began her career in fashion PR, but spent weekends planning weddings and evenings baking wedding cakes. In 2014, Elisa and her French-native partner-in-life Ben Sormonte opened the first Maman (French for mother) in SoHo. Bringing to life childhood favorites, savory and sweet, from the south of France and North America, dishes focus on the highest quality, locally sourced ingredients. Maman has collaborated with brands like Paper Source, Anthropologie, Samsung, West Elm, and more. Maman’s famous nutty chocolate chip cookie was named one of Oprah’s “Favorite Things.” Elisa is also the author of Maman: The Cookbook, All Day Recipes to Warm Your Heart.



Camari is Executive Pastry Chef at Musket Room and Executive Pastry Chef/Partner at Raf’s. Praised for her polished yet whimsical approach to her desserts, she was named a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree for 2024, and made Eater's 2023 list of "New York’s New Guard of Pastry Chefs." She is a 3x James Beard Award semi-finalist nomination for Outstanding Pastry Chef and is recognized as one of Dine Diaspora's renowned Black Women in Food.



Tyler is Head Ice Cream Maker and Co-Founder of Portland-based Salt & Straw Ice Cream, which he started in 2011 with his cousin, Kim Malek, from a humble ice cream cart. They have since grown the company to over 30 locations across Oregon, California, Florida, and Washington, including flagship shops in Disneyland and Disneyworld. Called “the Willy Wonka of ice cream,” Tyler has created over 1,500 unique flavors, always using the best local, organic and sustainable ingredients. He has been named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 for “Changing the Way America Eats,” Zagat’s 30 Under 30, a Portland Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, and one of Eater Young Guns Semi-Finalists. In April 2019, Tyler published The Salt & Straw Ice Cream Cookbook.



Kelly was most recently the Executive Pastry Chef and Partner at the one-Michelin-starred Joomak Banjum, where she received the Michelin Guide's prestigious Best Pastry Chef in NYC of 2022 award. Previously, she was the Executive Pastry Chef at Electric Lemon in Hudson Yards, NYC as well as the one-MIchelin-starred Frenchie in Paris. In 2019, EaterNYC and Thrillist awarded her namesake dessert at Electric Lemon as one of the best dishes in NYC. Following Joomak Banjum’s closure, she is headed for a new venture.

Spice is Nice: How Global Flavors are Heating Up the Industry

Nearly every food trends report in the last year buzzed about the rise in demand for “global flavors,” which seemed to broadly refer to any countries outside of Europe and North America, or depending on the study, some combination of Africa, Southeast and Northeast Asia, South America, and India. Consumers are opening their minds and palates to discovery, which (thankfully) has put a spotlight on some incredibly talented chefs and their exciting dishes. In this panel, moderated by Fieldtrip’s Chef JJ Johnson, you’ll hear from several chefs who are bringing fresh flavors to consumers, and you’ll walk away with fresh inspo for infusing new ingredients into your menus.

Moderated by J.J JOHNSON


JJ is the founder of the fast casual restaurant chain Fieldtrip, which has four locations around New York and continues to expand; he is most recognized for showcasing the diversity and richness of the African
diaspora while challenging traditional ideas about what these cuisines can be. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), JJ honed his skills in some of the top kitchens in New York City. He’s been twice named to Nation’s Restaurant News Power List and earned nine nominations for James Beard Foundation Awards, including a win for his cookbook for Between Harlem and Heaven. JJ has been featured on Food Network’s Chopped, Netflix’s Street Food and Selena + Chef on HBO Max, and he has his own show called Just Eats with Chef JJ. His newest cookbook The Simple Art of Rice: Recipes from Around the World for the Heart of Your Table was released September 2023.



Fariyal is the Executive Chef at Hav & Mar in NYC. She hails from Ethiopia and earned a bachelor’s degree in Clinical Child Psychology before switching career paths and attending the Culinary Institute of America. Since becoming a chef, Abdullahi has worked at the three-Michelin-star eatery, Noma, in Copenhagen, and was previously the culinary manager at five Hillstone Restaurant Group locations. Her dishes tend to include nods to her Ethiopian roots and have been featured in the Met Gala and Vogue. and you can also see her on Food Network as a judge on Chopped, Alex vs America, and more. Abdullahi also heads a non-profit that builds schools and gives access to water to families in rural parts of Ethiopia.



David is Executive Chef and Executive Director of Culinary Operations at Michelin-starred COTE Korean Steakhouse, and a Partner at Simon Kim’s Gracious Hospitality Management. A Seoul native, he was on a track to become a professional soccer player before discovering his passion for the culinary arts. David began as a line cook at Gramercy Tavern before stints at Veritas, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon at the Four Seasons Hotel, and Kristalbelli. After working as chef de cuisine for M. Wells Steakhouse, David was approached by Simon Kim to open his dream Korean steakhouse. David has been listed as a top “Under the Radar Chef” by Zagat, and named “Hottest Male Chef of the Season” by Gotham Magazine.



Chintan is the James Beard award-winning chef-partner of NYC Indian restaurants Dhamaka, Michelin-starred Semma, and Adda Indian Canteen. He was born in Mumbai and studied at the Oberoi Centre of Learning & Development where he trained under the finest chefs from Oberoi Hotels. Chintan’s travels throughout the sub-continent experiencing how locals ate and became well-versed in the spices and foods of India. His culinary career eventually led him to New York, where he met restaurateur Roni Mazumdar in 2017. The two bonded over their passion for presenting Indian food in its purest form hence the name “Unapologetic Foods.”



Ayo, who grew up in Nigeria’s Kwara State, has two decades of experience in the restaurant industry, from a Michelin-starred Indian restaurant to an Italian deli where he made mozzarella. He now serves American food at his popular Brooklyn café, The Bureau, and offered similar fare at his now-closed Trade Union Diner. In 2015, Ayo tested a Nigerian concept with a series of pop-up dinners—and it was immensely popular. So in 2022, Ayo gave the pop-ups a permanent home: Dept of Culture, where he prepares elegant four-course meals based on the cooking he grew up with. Dept of Culture has been named one of the “Top 50 restaurants in America” by Bon Appetit, “Top 10 Restaurants of the Year” by Eater, and “Top 10 Restaurants of 2022” by The Infatuation, and is a finalist for a 2024 James Beard award for Best New Restaurant.

Every Dish Has a Story: Chef Kwame Onwuachi of NYC’s Tatiana on Crafting a Meaningful Menu

When Tatiana by Kwame Onwuachi opened at Lincoln Center in 2022, it was an immediate hit. Then-New York Times critic Pete Wells gave it a coveted three star rating and named it the Best Restaurant of 2023. It remains among the most difficult-to-land Resy reservations in the city, and has launched Chef Kwame, a former Top Chef contestant, into a new stratosphere of celebrity (complete with an iconic Orly nail polish collab). What makes this restaurant so special, aside from its incredible location, is the incredible food—and the fact that it’s a digestible biography of Chef Kwame’s life, from the use of ingredients like Egusi and and preparations like pernil to represent his Caribbean Nigerian heritage to a truffle chopped cheese to represent the bodegas of the Bronx where he grew up. As he has said, “When a dish has a story, it has a soul.” In this conversation with food writer Jeff Gordinier, we’ll hear from Chef Kwame on how to use storytelling to infuse your menu with meaning.



Kwame Onwuachi is the James Beard Award-winning chef of Restaurant Tatiana in New York City and author of the critically acclaimed cookbook My America and memoir Notes from a Young Black Chef, which is being turned into a feature film by A24. Kwame has been named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs, Esquire Magazine’s 2019 Chef of the Year, and is a 30 Under 30 honoree by both Zagat and Forbes. He’s also been featured on Time’s 100 Next List and has been named the most important Chef in America by the San Francisco Chronicle. In spring 2024, he will open his newest restaurant concept Dōgon at the Salamander DC.



Jeff Gordinier has covered the world of food (as a reporter for The New York Times from 2011 to 2016, and as an editor at Esquire) for more than a decade. He is the author, most recently, of the 2019 book Hungry: Eating, Road-Tripping, and Risking It All with the Greatest Chef in the World, a portrait of the chef René Redzepi of Noma in Copenhagen. Gordinier has appeared in the Jeong Kwan episode of the Netflix series Chef’s Table — an episode that won a James Beard Foundation award in 2018 — and in Phil Rosenthal's Netflix series Somebody Feed Phil.