2019 FTF Chef Bios

Chef Biographies 

July 10, 2019 FTF Dinner featuring Chef Jeffrey Miller
Jeffrey Miller is the chef-owner of Jeffrey A. Miller (JAM) Catering, one of Philadelphia's largest and most successful high-end catering companies. Jeff started the business as a sophomore at the University of Philadelphia's Wharton School of Business. His first venture was a brunch-in-bed offering for fellow students on Sunday mornings. While expanding the company on campus during the academic year, he took summers off to intern at a number of world renowned restaurants. These included the now closed La Cote Basque in New York City, as well as Bouley and Le Cirque. He also interned at the Michelin three starred Moulin de Mougins in the French Riviera and the venerable Simpsons-on-the-Strand in London. JAM Catering currently manages catering services as the exclusive caterer at eleven area venues. These properties are primarily home of mission driven not-for-profit organizations and JAM is proud to have generated more than ten million dollars in revenue from events for these groups. 

July 31, 2019 FTF Dinner featuring Chef Dan Tagle
It should have been obvious as a child that Dan Tagle would eventually be a chef - he read cookbooks instead of school books. After high school, Dan attended culinary school and fine-tuned his skills at a variety of restaurants earning a reputation for creating mouth-watering dishes. While at Krazy Kats, he found a passion for French cuisine and made it fun and playful. Diners took notice. At 21, he was promoted to Sous Chef and shortly after he found himself running his own kitchen at The Arsenal Crazy Kats and The Gables.
Dan shifted gears and ran Nordstrom Grill for seven years, traveling the country as a trainer and food innovator. In 2016, Dan won Delaware Burger Battle and came in 1st place at the Wilmington Flower Market Kids Cook-off.
These days, you’ll find Dan teaching the next generation of cooks at Appoquinimink High School. He enjoys spending his free time cooking at home with his fiancée, three daughters and two dogs. 

Aug. 7, 2019 FTF Dinner featuring Chefs Gerald Allen & Khoran Horn
Eat Blvck is a culinary collective headed by Chefs Gerald Allen and Khoran Horn. Former cohorts hailing from Johnson & Wales University, both have had acclaim in their culinary careers. Chef Allen’s path through the kitchen has seen stints on both coasts. Roles as Executive Chef and Food & Beverage Director have granted him the opportunity to further his knowledge in all things food in his current role as Culinary Educator. Horn took a slightly different path, graduating with a culinary degree and also a business degree. After school, Horn went into a front-of-the-house role and hung up the chef jacket. He now is the Owner/Operator of Stripp’d in Old City Philadelphia and has been called back to his passion of crafting cuisine for all sorts of palates.

Aug. 14, 2019 FTF Dinner featuring Chef Michael Kline to support the 
Brandywine Conservancy
Chef Michael Kline took the reins as Executive Chef of the Millstone Cafe after spending two years as the sous chef and catering chef at Blanch & Shock. Growing up near a mushroom farm in Kennett Square, Chef Kline started his career, and worked up the ranks, at the DK Diner and Teca Restaurant in West Chester. This brought him to Kennett Square's Sovana Bistro joining Blanch & Shock Catering. Chef Kline is excited for the opportunity to lead the Millstone Cafe into this next chapter and is looking forward to exploring and embracing the relationships he has with local farms on lands protected by the Brandywine Conservancy. 

Sunday, August 18, 2019 FTF Dinner featuring Chefs Jonathan Nodler, Michael Fry and Samantha Kincaid 
Cadence, a regional American BYOB, opened in Winter of 2018 in the South Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. After five years building and managing restaurant concepts together with Philadelphia’s esteemed Fork Restaurant & High Street Hospitality Group, chefs and co-owners Jonathan Nodler, Samantha Kincaid & Michael Fry were ready to step out on their own, diffusing their experiences into one intimate space. At 38-seats, Cadenceoffers a thoughtful and nuanced menu that focuses on some of the best ingredients the region has to offer, often utilizing a wood-and-charcoal oven to build flavors and serving on handmade plateware produced by favorite ceramicists. Since its opening the restaurant has earned accolades from local and national publications, from 3 Bells by Craig LaBan of the Philadelphia Inquirer, to Bon Appetit’s Top 50 Best New Restaurants.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019 FTF Dinner featuring Chef Susan Teiser
Susan established the Centreville Café in 2003, supporting the local community of Centreville with breakfast and lunch daily. During the Café’s first year, clients appreciated the personal, warm and friendly atmosphere, and asked Susan to consider expanding her menu and hours. In 2004, she opened Montrachet Fine Foods, as a commissary kitchen for the Café, preparing all soups, stocks, meats and prepared foods for clients in the Café and what used to be Troll of Scandinavia. Catering off-site expanded the business, with clients returning time after time, and is the basis for Montrachet Fine Foods. Montrachet is known for Susan and her staff’s excellent food, superb presentation and highly
professional service. Her businesses are open 364 days a year, and Susan is known to be there on almost all of them.
Professionally, Susan has extended her catering and baking base with the staffing support of two professional chefs: Kathleen Donovan, former chef/owner of Feasts of Fairville and Troll of Scandinavia; and Erica Ferguson, certified pastry chef, former head pastry chef of Harry’s Savoy Grill and Taste of Britain English Tea Room.
Susan has also greatly expanded the range of foods prepared by Montrachet from her extensive travels around the world and across the United States, focusing especially on high end appetizers and food presentation. She is a Founding Officer and local Bailli (President) of The First State Bailliage of The Chaine Des Rôtisseurs, and invitation-only organization based in France, and is the recipient of their highest volunteer award in the organization for her work in 2012. She is a patron and chef at many local events, supporting not for profit groups in our community that include: Meals On Wheels Delaware; Faithful friends Animal Sanctuary; the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation; the Delaware Center for Horticulture; The Delaware Theatre Company; the March of Dimes – Farmer and the Chef; the Delaware Museum of Natural History – Wine & Dinosaurs; Mid-Atlantic Food & Wine Feast – Private Dinners, Gospel Brunch, and Wine Guild; Helen F. Graham Cancer Center of Christiana Hospital; Leadership Delaware and the Delaware Youth Leadership Network, to name a few. She has been featured in the New York Times – Travel Section on September 1, 2013, in “36 Hours – What To Do in the Brandywine Valley” and is the only Delaware café identified, one of two restaurants in Delaware noted. She also personally supports many organizations, including Meals On Wheels Delaware, Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County, The Delaware Theatre Company, and Faithful Friends. Montrachet prepares foods for many of the finest homes in our region, and in public spaces such as parks, museums and fields and barns.
Prior to the Centreville Café and Montrachet, Susan has served as Managing Director for Meals From The Masters, and managed several not-for-profit events centered around food. In her extensive corporate career, she led management teams in strategic planning, supply chain management and marketing; all provided a strong base for concise planning and organization. Always a serious ‘foodie’, her corporate work allowed her to travel the world, meet and talk with fine chefs everywhere, and develop excellent skills in her kitchen and those of friends for groups large and small. She takes pride in the diversity of her workforce at the Café, and routinely employs high students form at least four different schools in the area. Susan teaches classes each semester for Wilmington University, on food preparation and presentation, and wine and cheese.
Susan holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree. Personally, she is married to Patrick who also loves food and travel, enjoys (tolerates) her two dogs, and loves to work in her gardens when she is home.

September 4, 2019 FTF Dinner featuring Chef Elijah Milligan
Growing up in Philadelphia, PA, Milligan discovered his passion at a very early age, beginning his career in the kitchen at the age of 14, and eventually entering the fine dining world at the age of 17. At age 20 he begin working at the now closed Le Bec Fin, notoriously known as Philly's top restaurant for a few decades, under world renowned chef Georges Perrier. Milligan credits his time spent there for helping develop his intense attention to detail as well as an understanding of the importance of proper technique in cooking. After its closing, Chef Elijah has spent the last several years cooking and consulting behind many restaurant projects on both the east and west coast, including restaurants such as Petit Crenn (S.F), Stateside (Philadelphia), Angele (Napa), Bottega (Yountville), and Laurel & Vernick (both Philadelphia). Elijah’s most recent projects include starting Cooking For The Culture, which a culinary program that features and highlights African American culinary professionals. Elijah is also currently the Executive Chef at Stove and Tap in Lansdale, PA. 

September 11, 2019 FTF Dinner featuring Chef David Banks
Chef David Leo Banks, CEC, AAC, is Chef/Owner of Banks’ Seafood Kitchen and Raw Bar on the Wilmington Riverfront, a premier seafood restaurant and an iconic mainstay of the Wilmington restaurant scene. Opened in 2003 as Harry’s Seafood Grill, it was re-named Harry’s Fish Market + Grill in 2009 and showcases the freshest seafood and raw bar through creative dishes and seasonal and regional harvests. For nearly thirty years, Chef Banks acted as Corporate Executive Chef of Harry’s Hospitality Group, and was co-owner of Harry’s Seafood Grill, Harry’s Fish Market + Grill and Kid Shelleen’s Charcoal House & Saloon in Wilmington, DE. The restaurants have been a core of the Wilmington area and surrounding cities since 1988, which began with the opening and renovation of Harry’s Savoy Grill and expanded in 1998 to include the opulent Harry’s Savoy Ballroom. In the spring of 2018, with great public excitement, Chef Banks re-branded the restaurant to the eponymous Banks Seafood Kitchen and Raw Bar, along with a savvy re-brand of the Fish Market to Banks Seafood Kitchen, Burgers & BBQ. Well-known for creating and presenting innovative menus, Banks uses his diverse food background for the development of the menus and specialty events for which he is known. He was selected as the American Culinary Federation First State Chefs Association Chef of the Year in 1996 and 2001, and was inducted into the prestigious American Academy of Chefs in 2003 and serves as Northeast Regional Representative for the Academy. Chef Banks was most recently awarded the coveted Academy Chair’s Medal at the ACF National Convention in 2016 and two ACF National President’s Medals. He served as chair of the Share Our Strength “Taste of the Nation” Benefit in Wilmington from 1994 through 2014, helping to raise over $1,000,000 in the fight against childhood hunger. He appears regularly on The Comcast Network’s “The Chef’s Kitchen,” and participates in culinary events, competitions and charity events around the country. Chef Banks is highly respected for his dedication to developing and mentoring countless culinarians, tireless community service and a willingness to lend his expertise to many worthy causes.

Sunday, September 15, 2019 Taste In Music 2 with Chefs Mickey McCann of Dizengoff and Chef Yehuda Sichel of Abe Fisher, featuring the music of Aron Magner of the Disco Biscuits
Yehuda Sichel is the Executive Chef and Partner of Abe Fisher in Philadelphia. A restaurant from James Beard Award-winning restaurateurs, Chef Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook of CookNSolo Restaurants, Abe Fisher is inspired by the journey of the Jewish people from their ancestral homeland to the Diaspora. Sichel came to work for Chef Solomonov at CookNSolo's groundbreaking Israeli restaurant Zahav in 2010, fastly rising to the rank of Sous Chef. Four years later, he began making his own culinary mark at the helm of Abe Fisher, cooking a menu that speaks to the Jews' movement across Europe throughout the Middle Ages – paying homage to centuries of tradition while embracing the idea that cultural exchange places cuisine in a continuous state of evolution. Abe Fisher has earned a 3-Bell "Excellent" review from Philadelphia Inquirer food critic, Craig LaBan, who sited Chef Sichel’s signature dish of Montreal Smoked Short Ribs as the “Feast of The Year” in 2014. That same year, Food Republic called the dish “smoked meat nirvana," and Zagat named Sichel as one of 30 "Rock Stars Redefining the Industry" in Philadelphia. Abe Fisher was named “Best New Restaurant” in the January 2015 issue of Travel + Leisure, and the restaurant earned a semi-finalist nomination in the 2015 James Beard Award’s “Best New Restaurant” category.

September 25, 2019 FTF Dinner with Chefs Ari Miller & Chris Wright,
featuring Jonathan Reisman
Ari’s culinary roots began during a decade spent living in Tel Aviv. Following a year spent as the food writer for The Jerusalem Post. He transitioned into the professional kitchen by way of a tiny, little deli connected to The Basta and then moved to the kitchen at The Minzar, Tel Aviv’s legendary 24-hour bar. While there, he learned food preparation from Eastern European classics (sausages, pickling, fermenting), to North African cuisine (whole animal use), and Middle Eastern standards (hummus, spices, salads). Ari then went on to work for Chef Rima Olvera, serving as opening line cook and then as her first sous chef at Chef Olvera’s Oasis.
Back in Philadelphia, Ari worked for chefs Michael Solomonov and Eli Kulp, before starting his own private dining service, Food Underground. He consulted to open the kitchen at Philadelphia Distilling and served as the resident chef for a season at Lost Bread Co.
On February 1, 2019 Ari opened Musi, a 30-seat BYOB in Pennsport, which is listed among Philadelphia Magazine's 50 Best Restaurants and on Eater Philly's Heatmap.

Chris Wright is self-taught cook, only beginning his culinary journey a few short years ago. After a seven year stint as a custom bicycle manufacturer, Chris liquidated his business assets and reinvested in equipment for his new passion, cooking. Chris claims that there are many parallels between bicycle making and cooking; he will happily elaborate if you ask him. Chris is focused on understanding the hows and whys of cooking; you would be more apt to find him with a treatise on sourdough microbiology than a recipe book. Chris has spent over a decade working in the catering and events industry. This position has shown him the value in creating a memorable experience for guests, and that every detail along the way should be considered. Most recently, Chris has fully immersed himself in working with freshly milled grains. This fresh grain is finding its way into many of Chris’ dishes from sourdough bread to pasta.
Jonathan Reisman is an internist and pediatrician who works in emergency rooms in the Philadelphia area. He has practiced medicine in the Alaskan Arctic, an Indian reservation in South Dakota, the Nepali Himalayas, and as ship doctor in the Arctic and Antarctica. He has written on medicine, the natural world and food for The New York TimesWashington PostSlate and Discover Magazine. He is a founding member of "Anatomy Eats," a dinner series that combines cuisine with learning about the anatomy and physiology of our bodies. 

October 2, 2019 Chef Tyler Akin of Res Ipsa Cafe and Stock in Philadelphia, PA 
Tyler Akin co-owns Res Ipsa Café in Rittenhouse and multi-location Stock Restaurants. He staged and then worked at Michelin-rated restaurants Minibar and Komi in DC. He also helped the Komi team open Northeastern Thai restaurant Little Serow in 2011, then moved to Philly and became sous chef at Zahav Restaurant.
Stock Restaurants have been on Eater’s 38 Essential Restaurants of Philadelphia since 2016 and are listed on Philadelphia Magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants. Res Ipsa Café was named to Bon Appetit’s 50 Best New Restaurant in America in 2017, earned a spot on Craig Laban’s 25 Best Restaurants in Philadelphia for the Inquirer in 2018, and is currently #7 on Philadelphia Magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants.

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