Michael Chiarello Bio

Michael Chiarello is an award-winning chef and owner of critically acclaimed Bottega restaurant in the Napa Valley. He made his mark by combining his Southern Italian roots with the distinctive hallmarks of Napa Valley living. From his earliest childhood experiences – created around his mother’s California kitchen with his extended Italian family of butchers, cheese makers and ranchers – Michael dreamed of becoming a chef one day. Decades later, he has realized his dream – and much more.

Upon graduating from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Michael began to shape his career into what he would become: an acclaimed chef, a highly rated vintner, culinary and lifestyle trends pioneer, noted author, and an Emmy®-winning television host on Food Network and Cooking Channel. Throughout his achievements, he incorporates his passion for seasonal, sustainable living – and the artisan purveyors who make it possible – into his endeavors. His unique perspective on good food and healthy living, spiced with a dose of Old World charm, inspires friends and family to create meaningful memories around the table. His passion for a food-centric life is shared with his fans, restaurant guests, television viewers and Napa Valley visitors alike.

Michael was named Chef of the Year by Food & Wine magazine in 1985, just three years after graduating from the CIA. He received the CIA’s Chef of the Year Award in 1995 and was named CIA’s 2011 Alumni of the Year. Michael’s books have received awards and nominations from both IACP and James Beard Foundation. In the mid-90s, his specialty food innovations earned his olive oil business, Consorzio Flavored Oils, the Best Product Line Award at the International Fancy Food Show. After turning his enthusiasm for sustainability to his own vineyards in 1999, he created Chiarello Family Vineyards, and his small-production wines are consistently high-scoring. And since 2000, Michael has been the tastemaker behind the NapaStyle retail line of artisanal foods, kitchenware and home decor.

Michael has been a national television host of his own shows for more than a decade on PBS, Food Network and Cooking Channel, and he has appeared on the highest-rated food competition shows on television, as well. His Emmy Award®-winning show, Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello, began in 2003 and still airs daily. In 2009 he took second place as a finalist on Bravo’s inaugural Top Chef Masters, and he has appeared as a judge on Top Chef and Top Chef Masters. In the fall of 2011, he will join another highly rated cooking show, The Next Iron Chef, also on Food Network. A popular celebrity guest chef, Michael is a regular contributor to NBC’s The Today Show, CBS’ The Early Show, Martha Stewart Living Radio, Regis & Kelly and the San Francisco Chronicle’s “Inside Scoop Voices” column. Michael lives among his Napa Valley vineyards with his wife and children.

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Anne Burrell Bio

With her trademark spiky blond hair and pumped-up personality, Anne Burrell has worked at some of the top restaurants in New York and studied the culinary landscape and traditions of Italy. Anne makes restaurant dishes accessible and reveals concise, easy-to-master techniques for the at-home cook on her Food Network series Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. On her show Chef Wanted, Anne helps top restaurateurs find candidates with the right experience and creativity to become executive chefs. On Worst Cooks in America, Anne joins Tyler Florence in mentoring teams of hopeless home cooks from around the country, putting them through culinary boot camp. In 2011, Anne published her first cookbook, Cook Like a Rock Star, which gives home cooks the confidence and support to be rock stars in their own kitchens. Her cookbook earned a place on the New York Times Best Seller list. In 2013, Anne released her second cookbook, Own Your Kitchen. Growing up in upstate New York, Anne developed a passion for food and cooking at an early age. After obtaining an English and communications degree from Canisius College in Buffalo, she pursued her interest in the restaurant business by enrolling in the Culinary Institute of America. Following graduation, she spent a year in Italy attending the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners while working at La Taverna del Lupo in Umbria and La Bottega del' 30, a Michelin one-star restaurant in Tuscany. During this year, Anne grew to truly appreciate and understand the philosophy of Italian cuisine and culture, which left a lasting impact on her culinary point of view. Upon her arrival in New York City, Anne was hired as a sous chef at Felidia, working with Lidia Bastianich. She then served as a chef at Savoy, where she cooked over an open wood fire and created flavorful menus inspired by Mediterranean countries. Here Anne developed her personal culinary style: rustic food made with pure and simple ingredients with intense flavors. Anne then took the opportunity to spread her culinary knowledge and passion as a teacher at the Institute of Culinary Education. After three years, Anne went back to the restaurant business, serving as the executive chef at Lumi. As the executive chef at New York hot spot Centro Vinoteca from its opening in July 2007 through September 2008, Anne served up her "creative-authentic" Italian menu of small plates (piccolini), antipasti, pastas and main courses accented by her trademark bold, pure flavors.

Aida Mollenkamp Bio

With a diverse culinary background and a passion for sharing her knowledge with food enthusiasts, cooking expert Aida Mollenkamp prepares delicious dishes while providing answers to questions submitted by Food Network viewers in her interactive cooking show, Ask Aida. From recipe and ingredient issues to advice on kitchen machinery and tools, Aida even offers guidance for impromptu parties, feeding a crowd, make-ahead dishes, and time-saving tips. Growing up with an Italian-American mother and a French stepmother, Aida was always surrounded by good food. Eventually, she made her way into the kitchen and discovered her true passion for cooking. In the years since, Aida has worked everywhere from a gourmet deli and California Pizza Kitchen to the Hotel Bel Air and, most recently, at CHOW.com. Having studied Hospitality Management at Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration, Aida worked at Ernst & Young in Hotel and Restaurant Consulting before traveling to Europe to attend culinary school at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu Paris. She lived between Florence, Italy and Paris, France for two years, and graduated with a Grand Diplôme in 2004. In January 2005, Aida joined the editorial staff at San Francisco-based CHOW.com, a Web site created for food and drink enthusiasts. As the Food Editor, Aida fulfills many roles. She regularly appears in instructional videos for the site, serves as an expert spokesperson, runs the test kitchen, works as a lead food stylist, develops recipes, and writes informative articles. When not working, Aida continues to live the life of a food fiend, whether hunting out the hottest restaurants, searching for the newest artisanal products, or hosting her friends and family at laidback dinner parties and lively cocktail hours. She currently resides in San Francisco.

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