Ed Villarreal, Host Chef
Ocho at Hotel Havana
Chef Ed, the Executive Chef at Ocho at Hotel Havana overlooking the Riverwalk is a San Antonio native with nearly 20 years of experience in the culinary industry. He earned his stripes rising through the ranks from dishwasher to executive chef, something he’s proud of because it helped him understand the role of everyone in the kitchen. Although he was largely classically trained, he has a passion for smashing big, bold and sometimes unlikely flavors, ingredients and cuisines together. He started out at the Oak Hills Country Club, where he first experienced the joy of silencing a room with his food. Among others, his resume includes Alberico's Fine Wine, The Argyle, Grey Moss Inn, Biga on the Banks, Boiler House and The Draft Sports Bar & Grill – the only scratch kitchen sports bar of its kind at the time.
Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Tucker's Kozy Korner
Born and raised in San Antonio, Jeff began his career in food service working in kitchens at the ripe age of 15. Later, even after earning his Mechanical Engineering degree, Jeff couldn’t shake his first love and decided to follow his passion – a career in the culinary industry. Jeff has received several awards and recognitions including receipt of the People’s Choice Award for the Taste of Elegance, recognition in “Who’s Who in Restaurant Business,” prime media placement on the cover of San Antonio Magazine, a bronze medal from the American Culinary Federation and an invitation to cook dinner as the featured chef at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City. At Boiler House, Chef White’s inspiring use of seasonal ingredients from local farms and markets creates brunch, lunch and dinner menus that form a unique niche in the culinary scene of San Antonio.
Episodes 2, 6
Chef Sypesteyn was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. He spent much of his life in the kitchens of his parents' restaurants. Upon graduation from high school he decided to pursue a culinary arts degree. He graduated from the Art Institute of Orange County, CA in 2004. After graduating from culinary school, he was hired by the Los Angeles Country Club in Beverly Hills, where he worked under the classically-trained Swiss chef Christian Reber. He later moved to San Antonio in 2007, and worked under well known chefs Thierry Burkle and Andrew Weissman. After five years in San Antonio, Sypesteyn took advantage of the very successful food truck trend in 2012, and bought his own food truck to bring his native New Orleans street food to San Antonio. He has seen tremendous success with Where Y'at Food Truck and was voted "Best Food Truck" in San Antonio Magazine in 2012, the first year opened. Pieter and the truck have also been featured in the San Antonio Express News (Taste section-the first food truck to be written about in Taste), as well as national magazines, including Southern Living, The Weekly, and Garden and Gun. After more than ten years in the culinary industry, Sypesteyn followed his dream and opened his first brick and mortar restaurant, The Cookhouse - a New Orleans Restaurant, which will allowed him to expand his Cajun/ Creole food concept to include a larger, more diverse menu, including an oyster bar and live music. After his first quarter in business, he received numerous local and national accolades including "Best New Restaurant" and "Best Chef" from San Antonio Magazine, and was awarded three and a half stars by the San Antonio Express News. When not working in the restaurant, he spends his time with wife and business partner, Susan and his four young children.
Episodes 3, 6
Chef Colon, Bexar Pub
Born and raised in Puerto Rico. Chef Colón has been cooking for 15 years now. He's established himself within the culinary community at many restaurants in San Antonio including Luke, Biga on the Banks, Bella On the River. He's also staged in restaurants like Town House in Chilhowie, Virginia with Chef John and Kerie Shields, Alinea in Chicago with Chef Grant Achantz, and Publican in Chicago with Chef Paul Kahan.
His latest project, Bexar Pub, seeks to provide San Antonio's East side community with a place to enjoy burgers and fried chicken while they enjoy sports and local events.
Episodes 4, 6
Petit Loups Ethiopian Cuisine
This seasoned home chef hails from Seoul, Korea and landed in Northern California as a child. Living in the Bay Area in the 1990's was a food education for Ruth Wimberly. Maintaining positions at a telecommunications corporation for over 20 years, she practiced cooking fine cuisine in her spare time. Moving to San Antonio in 2012, her love and desire to share her experience with food led her to retire from AT&T and create Ethiopian pop-up restaurants at such diverse locations as an art gallery and a kombucha bar! Ruth is currently honing her kitchen skills at Crossroads Southern Kitchen on the St. Mary's strip and dreaming of her next pop-up concept.
Episodes 5, 6