Culinary Council

We are thrilled to have assembled a team of food and culinary experts across professions, such as chefs, food writers, farmers, food activists, and food entrepreneurs committed to nourishing New Yorkers living with severe and chronic illness.

chef, writer and activist

Zoe Adjonyoh

Zoe Adjonyoh is a chef, writer and activist from South-East London on a mission to bring African food to the masses. She has been named one of “London’s hottest chefs” by Time Out and was listed as one of the “44 Best Female Chefs in the World” by Hachette Cuisine France. She won the “Iconoclast award from The James Beard Foundation.

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entrepreneur, cookbook author, activist

Liz Alpern

Liz Alpern is the creator of Queer Soup Night, a global event series highlighting the talent of queer chefs and raising funds for locally-based social justice organizations. She is co-author ofThe Gefilte Manifesto: New Recipes for Old World Jewish Foodsand co-owner of The Gefilteria, a food venture that’s been reimagining Old World Jewish Foods since 2012. She was also co-executive producer of 2020's Great Big Jewish Food Fest. Her passion for food extends to the world of food systems, and she serves a consultant for national non-profit organization, Fair Food Network. Liz has been featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List and was selected for The Cherry Bombe 100 in 2018.

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chef, cookbook author

Mike Anthony

Michael Anthony Michael Anthony is Executive Chef of Gramercy Tavern. Mike joined Gramercy Tavern as the Executive Chef in 2006. Under his leadership, the restaurant has earned a three-star New York Times review (2007) and James Beard Awards for “Outstanding Restaurant" (2008) and “Best Chef: New York City" (2012). In 2015, Mike won the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Chef," a national recognition. His book, V is for Vegetables, won the 2015 James Beard Award for Best Vegetable-Focused Cookbook.

Marika Bender

Marika Bender is the General Manager for William Gottlieb Management Co., LLC since 1999, which manages and develops more than 100 family-owned properties in New York City and the Hudson River Valley. Among the family’s properties are several farms in the Hudson River Valley, including Heermance Farm in Tivoli, New York. Under Marika’s guidance, the farms are devoted to adopting renewable energy solutions and expanding access to top-quality, farm-fresh produce for New York City’s residents. Marika also created Heermance Art/Gastronomy magazine as a platform to introduce the farms’ products to chefs and restaurants throughout the world.


Linda Goode Bryant

Linda Goode Bryant is the Founder and President of Project EATS, a neighborhood-based project that uses art, urban agriculture, partnerships, and social enterprise to sustainably produce and equitably distribute essential resources within and between our communities; especially those where people live on working-class and low-incomes. Originally from Columbus, OH, Linda is a Guggenheim Fellow and a Peabody Award recipient. She was Founder and Director of Just Above Midtown, Inc. (JAM), a New York City non-profit artist space. Linda has a Masters of Business Administration from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in painting from Spelman College.

chef, caterer, actor, cookbook author

David Burtka

David Burtka is a chef, caterer, and award-winning actor who released his first cookbook, Life is a Party, in April 2019. He earned a BFA from the University of Michigan and studied at the William Esper Studios in New York. The talented Le Cordon Bleu chef gained valuable experience training under incredible chefs including Gina De Palma, Cat Cora, and Thomas Keller. He has been seen in cooking segments on “Barefoot Contessa,” “E! News,” “Home Made Simple,” “Rachael Ray,” “The Kitchen,” “Celebrity Dish,” “The Fablife,” and “The Chew.”

recipe developer, cookbook author, and nice Jewish boy

Jake Cohen

Jake Cohen is a recipe developer and nice Jewish boy from New York. A former food staffer at Saveur, then food editor of Tasting Table and Time Out New York, and most recently the editorial and test kitchen director of the Feedfeed. When he isn’t writing about food, he’s posting challah-braiding videos and recipes on his Instagram and TikTok (@jakecohen). His first book, Jew-ish comes out March 9, 2021.

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cookbook author and founder of DADAEATS

Samah Dada

Samah Dada is a cookbook author and founder of her blog, DADAEATS. She has worked full-time in broadcast television at the TODAY Show where she was both the lead production associate, and an on-air food contributor. She is currently the host of her own digital cooking show, a TODAY Show original series called #COOKING with @DADAEATS. She started @DADAEATS with the goal of sharing her culinary endeavors, food adventures, and passion for creating indulgent yet healthy eats with her audience.  Her highly anticipated first cookbook, DADA Eats, comes out in June.

chef, food television personality, author

Amanda Freitag

Amanda Frietag, through her work in professional restaurant kitchens, as a food television personality and now author, Chef Freitag has become more than a chef, she is The Chef Next Door. While the moniker is derived from the title of Amanda’s first cookbook, The Chef Next Door: A Pro Chef's Recipes for Fun, Fearless Home Cooking (Houghton Mifflin; 2015), it also aptly conveys both her professionalism and warm, accessible personality. These traits have served her well as a judge on Food Network’s hit series, Chopped, and as the co-host of Food Network’s American Diner Revival with Ty Pennington.

Actor and winemaker

Kyle MacLachlan

Acclaimed actor Kyle MacLachlan has brought indelible charm and a quirky sophistication to some of film and television’s most memorable roles. Since 2005, MacLachlan has channeled his strong interest in the world of wine into a second, equally satisfying professional pursuit, as winery owner and vintner of Pursued by Bear wines. A native of Yakima, Washington, located in the heart of the Columbia Valley wine appellation, MacLachlan has produced five highly rated wines: Pursued by Bear Cabernet Sauvignon, Baby Bear Syrah, Bear Cub Red, Twin Bear Cabernet Sauvignon and Blushing Bear Rosé. MacLachlan is perhaps best known for his performance as FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper in David Lynch’s ground-breaking series Twin Peaks, for which he received two Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe Award. MacLachlan reprised that role with the revival of Twin Peaks, where the story continues 25 years later and was again nominated for a Golden Globe in 2017 for playing three different characters. MacL…

Executive Chef, God's Love We Deliver

Daniel Metzger

Daniel Metzger, as the Executive Chef at God’s Love We Deliver, Chef Daniel runs one of the largest commercial kitchens in New York City. He oversees the 2.5 million meals God’s Love cooks and delivers each year with the help of hundreds of volunteers who join the kitchen team every week. Prior to becoming Executive Chef, Daniel served as an assistant, sous chef, and senior sous chef in the God’s Love kitchen. Daniel had extensive culinary experience before joining God’s Love, having worked in restaurants, catering companies, and yacht clubs. Daniel takes great pride in providing delicious, nutritious meals to the clients of God’s Love We Deliver, saying, “Food is medicine, but it doesn’t have to taste like medicine!”

pastry chef, writer, and activist

Natasha Pickowicz

Natasha Pickowicz is a James Beard award-nominated pastry chef, writer, and activist based in NYC. Most recently, she ran the pastry programs at NYC restaurants Altro Paradiso, Flora Bar, and Flora Coffee. Much of her pastry work explores the relationship with baking and social justice, including ongoing collaborations with seminal NYC institutions like Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, God's Love We Deliver, and Planned Parenthood of Greater New York. Since summer of 2020, Natasha has created her own pastry pop-up called Never Ending Taste, which celebrates the relationship between local farming, social justice, and community bake sales.

chef, educator, entrepreneur

Mavis-Jay Sanders

Mavis-Jay is a chef who believes in sustainably raised ingredients, thoughtfully prepared. She is a social equity advocate that has dedicated her career to fighting for food justice in Black and low-income communities. In 2019, she was honored as one of Star Chefs’ New York Rising Star Chef. She is a James Beard Chef’s Boot Camp alum, a mentor to the James Beard Foundation’s Fellowship Program, and a Chef’s Collaborative scholar. She can also be found on the board of the Queer Food Foundation and in the Black Farmer’s Fund pilot community. Mavis-Jay’s food focuses on celebrating Black American heritage, joy, and a journey to reclaim Black food sovereignty. Most recently, she joined the team at Drive Change as Director of Culinary Development and Education.

Lee Schrager Headshot

Lee Brian Schrager

Lee Brian Schrager is the Senior Vice President, Communications & Corporate Social Responsibility at Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, LLC. Widely recognized for his creation of the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach and New York City Wine & Food Festivals, which have raised more than $45 million to date for charity, Schrager is also a regular contributor for Ocean Drive magazine, serves on the Board of Trustees for the Pérez Art Museum Miami and Board of Directors for Food Bank For New York City, as well as a judge for Forbes’ annual 30 Under 30 list and Celebrated Living’s annual Platinum List Awards

chef, restaurateur, and serial entrepreneur

Sicily Sierra

Sicily Sierra became a successful actress on a primetime family comedy, One on One. After graduating from Le CordonBleu, she started an internship at the Los Angeles Times’ test kitchen after which she and her mother co-founded Pinky & Red’sa s part of La Cocina’s incubator program. Chef Sicily wants to create a food space that fosters a space for the black community to come together to enjoy one another’s company over dishes that are a nod to her ancestry, an edible piece of culture deeply tied to place and family. Chef Mavis-Jay Sanders and Chef Sicily Sierra together started Food Plus People.

cookbook author, writer, activist

Julia Turshen

Julia Turshen is a bestselling cookbook author. Her latest book, Simply Julia, will be out in March 2021. She has written for multiple publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vogue, and more. She is the founder of Equity At The Table (EATT), an inclusive digital directory of women/non-binary individuals in food, and the host of the podcast Keep Calm and Cook On. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her wife and their dogs.

producer, director

Irene Wong

Irene Wong is the magic ingredient that big names in food media rely on. Her food television career began in 1999 at the Food Network where she created and produced highly-rated shows. Six years later she launched IW Productions LLC and produced food, cooking and travels shows for PBS, Style Network, Hallmark Channel, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and of course, Food Network. Irene’s food is inspired by her Chinese-American family, her culinary travels around the world, and her collection of 500+ cookbooks. Her infectious enthusiasm combined with her calming, casual, cooking style instantly makes guests feel right at home.