2017 Fish to Fork Participating Chefs
Waylon Rivers | Black Sheep| Jacksonville
Waylon Rivers is the Executive Chef of Black Sheep Restaurant, a modern American restaurant that has earned numerous accolades from local and regional publications since opening in 2012. Rivers is a graduate of Florida State College at Jacksonville’s Culinary Institute of the South, where he studied Culinary Management. Prior to his arrival at Black Sheep, Rivers was the Sous Chef of Georges Brasserie in Charlotte, North Carolina; his background also includes time spent in the kitchens of Restaurant Orsay and The Capital Grille in Jacksonville.
James Petrakis │Ravenous Pig │Orlando
James Petrakis grew up in Winter Park, Florida and graduated from the acclaimed Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. While in school, he crossed paths with his future wife and business partner, Julie. After graduating in 2001, Petrakis joined the opening team of Atelier at The Ritz-Carlton NYC, where he learned the mechanics of cooking in a bustling city kitchen. Years later, the husband-and-wife restaurant duo made a decision to return to their roots, and returned to Orlando. Upon arrival, Petrakis became a prominent member of the opening team for The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Lakes Orlando. Shortly after, he proceeded to open Seasons 52 for Chef Clifford Pleau and then went on to be a part of the opening team at Luma on Park (2005) under the tutelage of James Beard-nominated chef, Brandon McGlamery. Petrakis attests that it was during his time as sous chef, that he was able to shape his passion for cooking with great ingredients and classic techniques. Today, James Petrakis owns and operates three thriving restaurants, The Ravenous Pig (2007), Cask & Larder (2012) and Swine & Sons Provisions (2015) located in the heart of Winter Park, Florida in partnership with his wife, Julie Petrakis. At their restaurants, they focus on using local seasonal ingredients, specialize in artisanal charcuterie and brew award-winning craft beer. The restaurant duo has received numerous accolades including five James Beard nominations.
Brad Kilgore │Alter │Miami
Chef Bradley Kilgore was born and raised in Kansas City. After moving around to work and train in Denver, Italy and Chicago, he has now has planted his feet in Miami. In Chicago Chef Kilgore worked at world renowned restaurant Alinea before leaving to open L2o under Chef Laurent Gras. Later, both restaurants garnered the honor of 3 Michelin Stars. As Executive Sous Chef, Bradley then opened EPIC restaurant also in Chicago which was named one of John Mariani’s Best New Restaurants of 2010. After living in Chicago, Bradley made his move to Miami. Upon arriving in Miami, he set his sights on the famed restaurant Azul in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Azul was awarded 5 Stars from Forbes Travel guide in 2013. Chef Kilgore moved on to the St. Regis Bal Harbour as Executive Chef under Jean George Vongerichten at J&G Grill, where Chef Kilgore and his team were given 4 Stars from the Miami Herald, the only restaurant that year to achieve such status. In the summer of 2015, Chef Kilgore opened Alter in the art focused Wynwood district of Miami. There he offers Progressive American cuisine, highlighting indigenous Floridian ingredients as well as a 5 and a 7 Chef’s table tasting menu experience. Alter received 4 stars from the Miami Herald in November of that year, making it the only restaurant to obtain this rating that year. Alter was also names restaurant of the year by Eater, and Chef Kilgore chef of the year by the same publication. This year Alter was named semifinalist for the prestigious James Beard awards in the category Best New Restaurant, and Chef Kilgore in the category Rising Star chef of the year twice 2016 and 2017. Most recently Bradley was named Best New Chef in America by Food & Wine Magazine and Alter was named a Diners Discovery from San Pellegrino "The World's 50 Best". He is now also the Culinary Director for the Adrienne Arsht Center and has a signature restaurant Brava by Brad Kilgore.
Joey Ward │ Gun Show │Atlanta
The 2016 Fish to Fork runner-up, Joey Ward is returning to claim the win for the 4th Annual Fish to Fork. Originally from Powder Springs, Georgia, Joey Ward graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, in 2005 with an associate degree in culinary arts management. He began his career in the South as the sous chef at the St. Regis Atlanta but eventually left the hotel to work under Woodfire Grill’s former executive chef and Bravo “Top Chef” alum, Kevin Gillespie. After two years of guidance under Gillespie, he moved on to become the executive chef at H. Harper Station. When it came time for Gillespie to turn his vision for Gunshow into a reality, he immediately called on Ward to provide his keen eye for presentation and passion for creativity in the kitchen. Ward found Gillespie’s new approach to the preparation of dishes and how they are served to be a breath of fresh air for the Atlanta restaurant scene and never looked back. Beginning as a “kitchen dude” when Gunshow first opened in May 2013, Ward was soon promoted to chef de cuisine in January 2014 and moved into the executive chef role in December 2014. In 2015, Ward was named Jezebel’s Best Rising-Star Chef and an Eater Young Guns semifinalist. Zagat named him to its list of 30 Under 30 People Redefining the Hospitality Industry and he won the JCT. Kitchen & Bar Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival People’s Choice Best Tasting Dish award in 2014. He is also the three-year consecutive champion of the Kevin Gillespie Super Bowl Dip Off/Snack Attack competition.
Shuai Wang │Short Grain │Charleston
Shuai Wang honed his culinary skills in the kitchens of New York City, he currently lives in Charleston, South Carolina. Shuai is the chef and owner of Short Grain, which has won him Eater Young Gun 2016, Zagat 30 under 30, Bon Appetit Top 50 Best New Restaurant 2016, Eater Best New Chef Charleston 2016, and most recently, long list semifinalist Rising Star Chef by the James Beard Foundation.
Russell Jones │Tallulah│Columbia
Chef Russell Jones, a Columbia, SC native, has returned to his hometown to open his first restaurant, Tallulah. A concept that Jones has spent much of his career cultivating, Tallulah is an opportunity for Jones to bring all of his skill and experience to the burgeoning food scene of Columbia. A L’Academie de Cuisine alum, Jones previously held positions at some of Washington D.C.’s most acclaimed restaurants including Le Paradou, Vinoteca, Restaurant Eve and Jack Rose Dining Saloon, where he learned the ins and outs of both the kitchen, bar and the front of house. Now, after more than a decade away, Jones has returned to South Carolina to introduce a new level of restaurant to Columbia. Tallulah presents an upscale yet casual dining experience that highlights Jones’ mix of classic French background and dedication to local, Southern fare and ingredients.
Tenney Flynn │GW Fins│New Orleans
Growing up cooking in his father’s restaurant in Stone Mountain, Georgia, Tenney Flynn developed an innate understanding of Southern food and culinary traditions. From there he received his formal training at the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park. Chef Flynn officially began his fine dining career with Atlanta’s esteemed Buckhead Life Group, cooking at such famed restaurants as Pano’s and Paul’s, Fishmarket at Lenox and finally as Executive Chef of Chops. Ruth’s Chris Steak House then recruited his talents as the company’s Director of Culinary Operations, a position he held for seven years. Since launching GW Fins 15 years ago, Chef Flynn has developed a reputation as one of the most knowledgeable and discriminating seafood chefs in the country. Chef Flynn is a master of his craft, but one who is completely unassuming. That is, until you ask him about seafood. Then his wealth of knowledge and passion about seafood is unmistakable. A seafood icon, asked to judge national seafood competitions and provide cooking demonstrations for fellow chefs and consumers, Chef Flynn has become a national celebrity for his weekly cooking segments on the syndicated fishing show, “The Big Fish.” He is also a Member of the Louisiana Seafood Promotions & Marketing Board and Audubon Nature Institute’s Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) Chef’s Council Chairman. Flynn became a certified diver seven years ago. After becoming certified and accomplishing more than a dozen dives, Flynn then took this challenge to a new level when he began spearfishing while diving, enables him to serve the fish he catches, and with the Gulf in his own backyard, it opens up an entirely new world of personalization and freshness to GW Fins’ customers. This has become one of Chef Flynn’s true passions.
Michael Mastrantuono │ Roux | Slingerlands
Growing up in the restaurant industry, Michael Mastrantuono found a passion for food early on, starting his culinary career at the young age of nine. As the Chef of Roux in Singerlands, New York, Mastrantuono focuses on local, seasonal cuisine that is authentic to the region. By age 20, he was head chef of his family-owned restaurants, Indulge in Lantham, New York and Milestone in Glenmont, New York before moving on to be head chef at MezzaNote Restaurant.