2018 Chefs, Judges, and Emcee

Local chefs making an impact on Nashville’s culinary scene are going head-to-head at Music City Chef Throwdown to benefit Martha O’Bryan Center. NextUP - Martha O’Bryan Center Ambassadors is challenging Nashville chefs to showcase how an amazing meal can be made with the simplest of ingredients.

2018 Music City Chef Throwdown Chefs

June 14, 2018

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Sinema | Kyle Patterson

A native of Chicago, Kyle relocated to Nashville to join the Sinema team as Sous Chef prior to the restaurant’s opening in 2014.  Kyle worked alongside Sinema’s former executive chef Dale Levitski starting in 2012, when Levitski’s Frog n Snail opened in Chicago.  Kyle was later promoted to Executive Chef of Sinema after Levitski’s departure in 2016, and the daily menu at reflects his creativity. Kyle's team strives to take a fresh look at what classic American cuisine should be, and the result is a diverse and timeless menu. During last year’s Throwdown, Kyle made a ritz crusted chicken thigh 'cordon bleu' stuffed with spam, spinach and cream cheese served on a bed of black rice and spinach. Come see what Kyle is cooking up this year!
 

 

Crystal De Luna-Bogan | The Grilled Cheeserie

Created by husband and wife team Joseph Bogan and Crystal De Luna-Bogan, a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef, The Grilled Cheeserie is Nashville's favorite food truck, and now a melt shop, serving up gourmet grilled cheese melts and nostalgic treats featuring seasonally inspired, responsibly sourced products. Crystal’s extensive culinary background, including such fine-dining restaurants in Southern California as Napa Rose, The Four Seasons Hotel Beverly Hills and Clementine, has helped mold her into an elite chef with a developed understanding of flavor profiles. Joseph and Crystal's love for their planet motivates them to use eco-conscious business practices with their sights set on getting to a "zero waste" status. They also view their business as a platform to help educate people on the importance of knowing where your food comes from. Joseph and Crystal's hard work was rewarded when The Grilled Cheeserie was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. They were also featured on The Cooking Channel’s Eat St., voted Best Food Truck in The Nashville Scene and The Tennessean 6 years running, and were listed #3 on Mobile-Cuisine's 2015 Top 10 Most Influential Food Trucks  #7 on thedailymeal.com’s 101 Best Food Trucks in America in 2015, and were just honored with the 2016 Chairman's Award for Small Businesses by the Nashville Business Incubation Center.
 

 

Manny Santana | Saint Añejo  

Manny comes from a rich heritage of Latin American cuisine, with his parents, grandparents, and uncles all immersed in the culinary world. Growing up, Manny spent summers in Jalisco, Mexico on his grandparent's ranch, learning the ins and outs of freshly grown ingredients and traditional family recipes. After high school, Manny received his degree in Food Science and Nutrition from MTSU, and began his culinary career. Before joining the M Street family In 2017, Chef Manny led several culinary teams in Nashville. Manny displays his innovative palate and passion for cooking as the Chef de Cuisine at Saint Anejo. His respect and knowledge for Latin American cuisine combined with his creative mind have helped elevate the Saint Anejo dining experience.

 

 

 

Bryan Lee Weaver | Executive Chef - Butcher & Bee

 
Bryan's first foray into the restaurant world was as a dishwasher in Colorado at fourteen years old. Soon after, he was cutting his high school classes to work the line. He soon entered the world of fine dining under the mentorship of chef Sarah Schafer at Irving Street Kitchen in Portland Oregon. He then moved to Los Angeles to work as at Venice Beach hot-spot Superba Snack Bar. He took over as Executive Chef, working to build a diverse, fresh menu highlighting the produce of Southern California. Two years Bryan was offered the opportunity to lead the kitchen at Butcher & Bee Nashville where he currently creates unique produce-driven cuisine praised by The Tennessean as "fresh, original and utterly delicious."

 

 

Chef BJ 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

My love for cooking started out of necessity, but ultimately grew into a passion. Prior to coming to Nashville, I was a commercial fisherman in Alaska and did the majority of cooking for our boat crew. I decided to make the move to Nashville about thirteen years ago, where I started cooking professionally at Radius 10 and Tayst. For the past seven years, I worked at Merchants downtown, and most recently, I joined the culinary team at Von Elrod’s Beer Garden & Sausage House in Germantown. Cooking is my passion. I enjoy creating tasty and memorable dishes with fresh, simple ingredients.

Hattie B's Chef Team

 

Chef 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. He has extensive experience working in kitchens overseas, including stints at Blagden’s Fish Monger and Allen’s Butcher Shop, both in London. As executive chef of The 404 Kitchen in Nashville, TN, Bolus relishes his role. From the pressures of the kitchen to budgeting, forecasting and pricing, every aspect of the job leaves him fulfilled and excited. Bolus takes a hands on approach to his cuisine, insisting upon seeing, smelling and tasting every ingredient that comes through the door. This enthusiasm has led to great success in his culinary career, from FIG in Charleston, to the kitchens of Flyte and Watermark in Nashville, and now to The 404 Kitchen. 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.

2018 Emcee

Jason Fitz

Co-host of Braden & Fitz, the morning drive time show on ESPN 102.5 The Game that can be heard weekdays from 6-10 AM in Nashville. Starting February 12th, you can check him out on nationally syndicated ESPN Radio as well, co-hosting with Jordan Rogers every Sunday night from 10 to midnight eastern time. You can see Jason on ESPNU during college football season, where he hosts College Football Daily and you can also hear him on radio sitting in regularly on SiriusXM Mad Dog Sports Radio and across the ESPN Radio platform sitting in on several shows. 

 

 

2018 Judges

Chris Chamberlain, head judge

Chris Chamberlain is a food, drink and travel writer based out of Nashville, where he has lived his entire life except four years in California where he studied liberal arts at Stanford University and learned how to manipulate chopsticks. He is a regular contributor to the Nashville Scene, Nashville Lifestyles, Local Palate, Edible, FoodRepublic.com, and Conde Nast Traveler. 

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2018 Chef Information Packet