The Taste Of Innovation
Fabio Viviani: In 2005, Fabio Viviani opened his first USA based restaurant Café Firenze in Moorpark, CA. In 2013 Fabio Viviani Hospitality Group decided to expand the hospitality business to the Midwest and team up with Chicago restaurant consulting group, Dine|Amic, where he opened Siena Tavern, Bar Siena, Prime & Provisions and BamboBar in Chicago, as well as several Mercato concepts across the country. In 2016, Fabio expanded his brand to LAX with the opening of Osteria by Fabio Viviani, which won USA Today’s Reader’s Choice Award for “Best Airport Sit Down Dining” in 2018. Best known for his participation in Bravo’s Top Chef seasons 5 and 8 – earning the “Fan Favorite” title – his on-screen appearances have propelled him to become one of the top culinary names in the country. In addition to owning lines of cookware and culinary gadgets, he is also a spokesman for international brands such as Bialetti Cookware, Lavazza Coffee and several others. He has authored four successful cookbooks: Café Firenze Cookbook, New York Times Best-Seller Fabio’s Italian Kitchen, Fabio’s American Home Kitchen, and most recently Fabio’s 30-Minute Italian released in May 2017.
Tim McEnery: Founder & CEO, Tim McEnery, opened the first Cooper’s Hawk at the age of 29 and has grown the brand into a successful enterprise generating nearly $280 million in annual revenue across 35 restaurants and an award-winning winery. Cooper’s Hawk has garnered more than 550 wine awards from local, national, & international wine competitions. The brand has also been recognized for culinary excellence, voted ‘Hot Concept’ & ‘Breakout Brand’ by Nation’s Restaurant News, ‘Menu Trendsetter’ by Menu Masters, & ranked #5 Fastest Growing Restaurant in US by Nation’s Restaurant News (2018). Most recently, Tim was honored as 1 of 5 global finalists for the Wine Enthusiast 2018 for the Wine Innovator of the Year Wine Star Award, received a 2017 LEAD award for his outstanding achievements in leadership development & named Ernst & Young’s 2014 Midwest Entrepreneur of the Year. Tim has also been named to the 40 Under 40 by Crain’s Chicago Business.
Alpana Singh: By age 23, Alpana Singh had landed the sommelier position at the world-renowned Everest Restaurant in Chicago. Just 3 years later at the age of 26, Singh went on to become the youngest woman ever to pass the final level of the Master Sommelier exam which has a pass rate of 3%. For 10 seasons, she served as the host of the Emmy Award-winning restaurant review television show, Check, Please!, on Chicago’s PBS station, and returned in 2018 after a 5-year absence. Between 2012-2016, Singh opened 3 restaurants: The Boarding House, Seven Lions, and Terra & Vine. Singh was proud to be included as a Crain’s 40 Under 40 honoree in Chicago in 2001 at the age of 24. She is also a member of the Choose Chicago Board of Directors and on the Advisory Council for the Illinois Restaurant Association.
Kate Sullivan: Four-time Emmy Award Winning Journalist Kate Sullivan is currently the host of To Dine For with Kate Sullivan on PBS where fantastic food and great conversation meet at the guest’s favorite restaurant. The show tells the story of innovation, ingenuity and creativity through many different disciplines. Whether it’s the hottest tech entrepreneur, chef, artist, or author…each guest tells their story through the lens of food and in the landscape of memorable and life changing meals. Before that, she has spent the past five years as the primary evening news anchor for CBS Chicago and prior to that the morning news anchor for CBS New York.