Vegas Chef Prizefight: Meet the Competitors

Get to know the eight chefs competing for the position of a lifetime!

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Photo By: Joe Buglewicz

Photo By: Joe Buglewicz

Photo By: Joe Buglewicz

Photo By: Joe Buglewicz

Photo By: Joe Buglewicz

Photo By: Joe Buglewicz

Photo By: Joe Buglewicz

Photo By: Joe Buglewicz

Photo By: Joe Buglewicz

Interview of a Lifetime

Meet the eight elite chefs facing the toughest job interview of their lives - the opportunity to be named Head Chef at the brand-new $10 million dollar restaurant at the Flamingo Las Vegas, right on the Las Vegas strip.

Brittney Brown — Detroit

Brittney is a pint-sized firecracker who likens herself to Serena Williams in the kitchen because she dominates service every night. Her first job was as a dishwasher when she was seventeen years old and her stint didn’t last long, as she was quickly promoted to line cook. From there she went on to work in various kitchens, but when both her siblings pursued degrees in business and social work, she felt she had to get an office job as well. After going to school for computer science, she realized her true passion is food and moved from her small Michigan hometown to Detroit to hone her skills. She went on to work for Bacco and Lady of the House and is now Owner/Chef of OMNI, a pop-up catering business.

Jeffrey Compton — Auburn, AL

Jeffrey has been around restaurants his whole life, including his grandparent’s restaurant on the beach in Biloxi. Now 26, he got his first food job at only fourteen years old and worked his way up the ranks until he made a career detour and moved to Auburn to study accounting. While there, he met acclaimed chef David Bancroft who took him under his wing to learn his revolutionary culinary perspective. He was so inspired he dropped out of accounting school to pursue a food career and is now Chef de Cuisine at Acre Restaurant.

Julia Helton — Chicago

After moving around constantly throughout her childhood, Julia has found that there is no better way to make connections than by sharing food. When not working as an executive chef and restaurant consultant, her passion is to travel the world and taste authentic regional food all along the way. With each new adventure, she brings back what she has learned and incorporates it into her cooking. A self-proclaimed lifer in the restaurant industry, she is a breast cancer survivor who is determined to achieve her dreams.

Jeff Kraus — Tempe, AZ

Jeff’s passion for hospitality and cooking started at an early age when he would help his mom in the kitchen. When he was fourteen his mom died of cancer, and he missed the togetherness of cooking and eventually enrolled in CHIC Institute in Chicago, the Classic Cooking Academy in Scottsdale, and later went to LeNôtre to study the art of the Macaron in Paris, France. He took a brief detour to explore other careers, but returned to cooking and became a successful restaurateur with his food truck business Truckin’ Good Food and Crepe Bar, his brick and mortar. In 2018, Jeff’s efforts in building his community led to the Mayor of Tempe declaring a Chef Jeff Kraus day.

Janey Lyu — New York City

Growing up in Beijing China with working parents, Janey often came home from school and cooked her own meals and also enjoyed preparing dinner for her family, so her passion for food began early. She eventually moved to New York and graduated from the Culinary Institute of Culinary Education and at only 22, has already worked at world-renowned restaurants including Daniel NYC. She is the ultimate go-getter who will not stop until she achieves her culinary goals.

Lamar Moore — Chicago

Lamar grew up cooking alongside his grandmother and went on to receive a degree in Culinary Arts from Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago. His eighteen-year culinary career spans restaurants, hotels and sports stadiums. He has traveled extensively to Europe, Greece and throughout the U.S. extending his knowledge and expertise of international cuisines from Latin American to Peruvian to French fine dining. Lamar has leveraged his platform to mentor aspiring chefs and share his culinary experience in public schools.

Roshara Sanders — Bridgeport, CT

Raised by a single mom who worked in restaurants to make ends meet, Roshara always dreamed of pursuing a career in the food world and joined the military to pay for culinary school. After serving six years in Army Combat deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan, she found a lot of success and recognition in her career, including being a featured chef at the James Beard Foundation House. Now 29-years-old, she works at Oceana NYC and runs her own private-chef company Alkhemy, where she cooks for corporations, charitable organizations and events. Roshara has been through a lot in her life, and she believes she is meant to succeed and tell her story through food.

Juan Zepeda — Denver

Juan Zepeda started working in kitchens as a night cleaner, where he was inspired by the dedication of the chefs around him. He forwarded his career through talent, drive and the desire to provide a better life for his children. In his fifteen years as an executive chef, he has spent countless early mornings, late nights, weekends and holidays in restaurants rather than at home. Now working in a major hotel, Juan is all about legacy and hopes to inspire his family and the next generation of chefs.