The speakers you need to see at ChefConnect: Seattle


Are you ready for ChefConnect: Seattle? The ACF’s first conference of 2020 is coming up quickly! Join us and a few hundred of your fellow chefs at the Doubletree by Hilton at the Seattle Airport March 1st through 3rd for a great weekend of networking and educational sessions. You can register at the standard rate until February 3, 2020. To hold you over until the event, here’s a preview of some of the great speakers you’ll see in Seattle. You can view the full schedule here.


Jonathan Waxman

Jonathan Waxman is a native Californian whose family taught him an appreciation for food arts from an early age. While selling Ferraris in Berkeley, his employer introduced Jonathan to Tante Marie’s Cooking School in San Francisco. This led to his enrollment in the La Varenne School in Paris where he mastered classic French cooking technique and received the Grand Diplôme.

Jonathan returned to the United States to work at Domaine Chandon in Napa Valley and later with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse. In 1979 he became Executive Chef at Michael’s in Santa Monica. There he developed his version of California cuisine while nurturing future chefs Mark Peel, Gordon Naccarato, Nancy Silverton, Roy Yamaguchi, Kazuto Matsusaka, and many others.

In 1983 Jonathan moved to New York. A year later  he opened the celebrated Jams on East 79th Street with business partner Melvyn Master. Jams was followed by Bud’s, Jams London, Table 29 in Napa Valley, and Washington Park in New York.
Today, Jonathan is chef and owner of Barbuto in Manhattan’s West Village and Jams in 1 Hotel Central Park. In 2014, he opened his Nashville restaurant, Adele’s, and is a founding partner of Nashville’s Music City Food + Wine Festival.

Jonathan Waxman is the 2016 James Beard Award winner for “Best Chef, New York City”. He was a judge on Bravo’s Recipe for Deception and has appeared on two seasons of Top Chef Masters. He is the author of cookbooks, A Great American Cook and Italian, My Way. Jonathan currently lives in Manhattan with his wife and three children.


Ed Cotton

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Chef Ed Cotton got his start in restaurants at the age of 15, working for celebrity Chef Todd English at restaurants Figs, and Olives in Boston. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 1998, Chef Cotton moved to Las Vegas to rejoin chef Todd English to help open the newest location of Olives in the Bellagio Hotel. After his year long stint in Las Vegas Chef Cotton returned back to his hometown of Boston to work as Executive Sous Chef under acclaimed Chef Barbara Lynch at her award-winning restaurant, No. 9 Park, in Beacon Hill.

In 2003, Chef Cotton relocated to New York City to work under the Michelin starred chef, Daniel Boulud at db Bistro Moderne and at Restaurant 

Daniel. He spent more than 5 years with the Dinex group, working as Executive Sous Chef and assisting in the concept creation for the award-winning Bar Boulud in Manhattan. 

Chef Cotton later joined Chef Laurent Tourondel with his newest BLT restaurant as Chef de Cuisine at BLT Market located at The Ritz Carlton Central Park. During his time while working at BLT Market, Cotton joined forces with Iron Chef Cat Cora, as her sous chef on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef America.” Chef Cotton also went on to compete on season 7 of Bravo’s Top Chef in Washington DC, cooking his way to the finals in Singapore, where he earned runner-up. 

Cotton continued his career by joining Chef David Burke at Fishtail by David Burke & at his flagship restaurant David Burke Townhouse, where he worked for a number of years serving as his Executive Chef for his popular eateries. In November 2013 Chef Ed joined wood burning centric restaurant Sotto13 located in Manhattan’s historic West Village as Executive Chef, bringing innovative interpretations to classic Italian dishes specializing in hand-crafted pastas, charcuterie and use of a wood burning oven. While at Sotto13 he also competed and when toe to toe with mega chef Bobby Flay on Beat Bobby Flay ultimately beating Bobby Flay.

In the summer 2017, Cotton started his own consulting company Ed Cotton Consulting. With his consulting company he has worked on recipe development for many businesses, restaurants, dinning concepts, magazines and recipes for online content. He was tapped once again by old boss Laurent Tourondel to take over the lead position as his Corporate Executive Chef for LTH his hospitality group where Cotton currently oversees the culinary program for over 12 restaurants globally. 


PhotoKirsten Shockey

Kirsten K. Shockey is the co-author of Fermented Vegetables, Fiery Ferments, and forthcoming Miso, Tempeh, Natto and other Tasty Ferments books that came from her desires to both help people eat in new ways, both for the health of themselves and the planet and push these culinary arts to new flavors. She got her start in fermenting foods twenty years ago on a 40-acre hillside smallholding which grew into their organic food company. When she and her husband realized their passion was for the process, they chose to focus on teaching fermentation arts to others instead. She travels worldwide helping people to make, enjoy and connect with their food. You can find stories of a life fueled by fermented foods on Instagram or on the web at



Joel Gamoran

Best known as the host for A&E’s hit series “Scraps,” Joel Gamoran has become one of the nation’s most well-known sustainability-focused chefs. In addition to his television show, Joel is the National Chef for Sur La Table and makes monthly appearances on NBC’s Today Show. As the author of Cooking Scrappy. (Harper Collins, 2018) with a passion for cooking with ingredients that are typically tossed, Joel has shown students, viewers and readers around the world how to turn food scraps into delicious meals. Joel is a graduate of both the Culinary Institute of America, and the Culinary Institute of Florence. Joel and his wife Angiolina live in stunning Seattle, WA with their baby Jonah.



Dina Altieri

Chef Dina Altieri graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1991 with an associate degree in occupational studies.  After working various line and kitchen leadership positions in restaurants and catering operations, she began her career as a chef educator. Her work in higher education spans coast to coast as department chair at Le Cordon Bleu programs in Pasadena and Chicago, associate dean at New England Culinary Institute in Vermont and dean of the School of Culinary Arts at Kendall College in Chicago.


Chef Altieri is certified with the American Culinary Federation as an Executive Chef and Culinary Educator and with the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute as a Hospitality Educator. She has been a master class presenter at the Center for the Advancement of Culinary Education (CAFÉ) and the University of New Mexico’s Mentoring conference and featured in the books A Woman’s Place is in the Kitchen and In Mother’s Kitchen, by Ann Cooper.

Chef Altieri coached Kendall College’s Culinary Knowledge Bowl team winning multiple regional and national championships with her students. She was named national Chef Educator of the Year in 2011 and earned the Cutting Edge Award in 2015 from the American Culinary Federation.  She also holds a bachelor degree in liberal arts from Johnson State College and a master’s degree from Walden University in Higher Education with a concentration in College Teaching and Learning. She joined the staff at Center on Halsted in 2017 as the Director of Culinary Arts. In this role, she manages a culinary arts and job readiness program called Silver Fork, which provides Chicago residents the culinary skills and knowledge to obtain and retain long-term, living wage employment in the hospitality industry.

ACFlogo_tag_CMYK_lowresChefConnect: Seattle is coming March 1-3! If you’re a chef exploring new ideas and flavors, a student looking to gain experience or a foodservice professional keeping abreast of the latest and greatest, we’ve got educational and networking opportunities for you. Register before Feb. 3 to save up to 40%!