B. J. Lofback – Funk Seoul Brother
B.J. Lofback is the chef and owner of Funk Seoul Brother, a Korean and Japanese street food truck and a poke and ramen shop in the Factory at Franklin. His business has received national attention, having consistently been named among the country’s 101 best food trucks by The Daily Meal, 2012-2016. Funk Seoul Brother has been named best food truck by editorial staff and Lofback has won a number of local competitions. In addition to running Funk Seoul Brother, Lofback is responsible for the development of the street food scene in Nashville, leading the formation of the Nashville Food Truck Association and serving as their first president.
Duane Loftus – Von Elrod’s
Prior to coming to Nashville, Duane Loftus was a commercial fisherman in Alaska and did the majority of the cooking for his boat crew. What started as cooking for necessity quickly grew into a passion. After moving to Nashville in 2005, Duane started cooking professionally at Radius 10 and Tayst, two pioneer restaurants to Nashville’s rapidly growing food scene. For the past 7 years, Duane has worked at Merchants downtown, and most recently joined the culinary team at Von Elrod’s Beer Garden & Sausage House, which recently opened in Germantown. Duane notes, “Cooking is my passion. I enjoy creating tasty and memorable dishes with fresh, simple ingredients”. Come see what he is cooking up in this year’s challenge!
Matt Bolus – The 404 Kitchen
After graduating from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor of science in business administration, Chef Matt Bolus chose instead to pursue his love of cooking. Bolus attended Le Cordon Bleu in London where he received the Grand Diplôme in 2003. Before moving to Nashville, Chef Bolus worked as a butcher and fishmonger at the James Beard award-winning FIG in Charleston, SC, and at sous chef stations at The Ocean Room at The Sanctuary Hotel in Kiawah Island, SC, and Little Star in Knoxville, TN. As executive chef of The 404 Kitchen in Nashville, TN, Bolus relishes his role, claiming that every aspect of his role leaves him feeling fulfilled and excited. In addition to the 2014 James Beard nomination for Best New Restaurant, The 404 Kitchen has been named Best Restaurant in Nashville by Eater Nashville, the writer’s choice Best Restaurant in Nashville Scene, one of the 25 Best Restaurants in Thrillist and The Tennessean, and one of the Best Whiskey Bars in America by Travel + Leisure.