Meet the Speakers

Experience in-depth presentations and insights from some of the top chefs and culinary professionals in the industry. Get to know these pros now and get ready to learn (and taste) their secrets to creating delicious and inspiring culinary creations at the conference!

Kevin Gillespie
Chef/Owner, Gunshow, Atlanta, GA

Born and raised in Atlanta, Gillespie began his culinary education at the Art Institute of Atlanta, using several scholarships he had previously earned from cooking competitions and other academic achievements.

Adam Gooch
Executive Chef, Common Plea Catering, Pittsburgh, PA

Chef Adam L. Gooch graduated from the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts in Pittsburgh, PA and quickly became a rising star in the industry.

Ashley Epting
CEO, Epting Events, Athens, GA

Raised around the catering and events industry, planning parties is in Ashley’s blood. Moving to New York City to attend the Gallatin School at NYU, Ashley worked for several different catering companies and restaurants in the city.

Ashley Santo Domingo
Executive Chef, 24 Carrots Catering & Events, Irvine, CA

Chef Ashley Santo Domingo joined the innovative team at 24 carrots to bring her unparalleled, award-winning food creations to the discerning clients – from brides to corporations – who trust 24 carrots to deliver the absolute finest in cat

Consultant, Catersource Consulting Unit, Spring Lake, NC

William R. Pannhoff is a native of Minnesota. There he was co-owner of Crystal Catering in the early 80’s.

Bonnie Kravitz
Head Pastry Chef, Daniel et Daniel, Toronto, Ontario, CAN

Bonnie Kravitz is a self-taught pastry chef, originally form Montreal where she learned to cook from her parents, who are both great cooks and food lovers.

Cathy Vu
Marketing Manager, CAMBRO, Huntington Beach, CA

Cathy is currently the Product Marketing Manager at Cambro, handling they key categories of Insulated Transport and Warewashing.

Daniel Epting
COO, Epting Events, Athens, GA

Daniel Epting was raised in an event planning family, so naturally a love of entertaining was passed down to him as well. He began as a busser and shortly after began running kitchens for high-end served meals and large scale buffets.

Gayle Greenley
Owner, Loaves & Fishes Catering Company, Taylorsville, GA

Gayle's adventures in food began when working at a restaurant as a busgirl as a teen. It was the first time she ever had broccoli and hollandaise sauce.. and she was in love.

Greg Shapiro
Chef/Owner, Tastebuds Custom Catering, Naples, FL

Greg Shapiro is the Chef and Owner of Tastebuds Custom Catering, based in Naples, Florida. At a young age Greg was very passionate for food and how it was prepared.

Hillary Brown
Sous Chef/Assistant to Executive Sous Chef, Daniel et Daniel, Toronto, Ontario, CAN

Hillary Brown attended and graduated from George Brown College in Toronto, Canada with an Honors Diploma in Culinary Management. She has worked at Daniel et Daniel Event Creation and Catering since September 2006.

Janice Witcher
Director of Banquet and Dining Services, Epting Events, Athens, GA

Janice Witcher began working with Lee Epting at Athen’s Ramada Inn as a part time waitress. She quickly moved up the rankings to Director of Banquet and Dining Services.

Jamie Keating
CEO, Jamie Keating Culinary, Inc., Columbus, GA

Jamie Keating, CEC is the management behind The RiverMill Event Centre. He is a graduate of Paul Smith’s College, located in the Adirondacks of New York, and the Culinary Institute at Greystone in California.

Joanne Purnell
Chef De Cuisine, Good Gracious! Events, Los Angeles, CA

After graduating from the California Culinary Institute in San Francisco, Executive Chef Joanne Purnell spent several years working, honing her craft in the kitchens of England and France.

Karen O'Connor
Executive Sous Chef, Daniel et Daniel Event Creation and Catering, Toronto, Ontario, CAN

Karen O’Connor’s culinary passion began at the Red River Community College in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Executive Director, Broadway Gourmet, Boston, MA

Chef Ken Barrett began his culinary career with Compass Group North America, providing services for a flagship account.

Larrian Gillespie
Culinary Science Investigations, Los Angeles, CA

Larrian Gillespie has followed her passion for artisanal culinary experiences by holding certifications from the French Pastry School, La Varenne, Le Centre de Formations D’Alain Ducasse, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in artisanal cheese making

Lee Epting
Founder, Epting Events, Athens, GA

Lee Epting, founder of Epting Events, got his start in private catered events in the late 1960s. Word spread about his delicious food and knack for putting together a fun party and in 1977, Lee Epting Catering was born.

Lon Lane
Owner, Lon Lane's Inspired Occasions, Kansas City, MO

Lon Lane is a native of Florida and holds a degree from the University of Florida in Advertising/Marketing.

Matt Weingarten
Chef/Author/Culinary Director/National Board Director, Setting by Sodexo & Chef's Collaborative, New York, NY

A longtime advocate of sustainability, Matt Weingarten brings a strong sense of what he champions to his position as executive chef at Inside Park at St. Bart’s.

Paul Larson
Corporate Chef, Blue Plate Catering, Chicago, IL

Paul Larson is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

Rachanee Keovorabouth
Executive Chef, Thomas Caterers of Distinction, Indianapolis, IN

Rachanee Keovorabouth grew up in an adventurous food environment encompassing her Thai heritage. There was never any question that food would be her life’s passion.

Stewart Lane
Catering R&D Chef, Lon Lane's Inspired Occasions, Kansas City, MO

A graduate of Kansas State University in Hotel and Restaurant Management, Stewart is a seasoned pro in the world of off-premise catering.

Tim Lundy
Executive Chef/Owner, Rosewood Market, Highlands, NC

Chef Tim Lundy brings to the event table 35 years of combined training and experience for culinary planning and event design.

Todd Annis
Executive Chef, Bold American Events and Catering, Atlanta, GA

Todd is one of the city’s most talented chefs and has been active in Atlanta’s culinary scene for more than 15 years.

Tyler Stone
Chef/Owner, Chef Tyler Stone, Sacramento, CA

Chef Tyler Stone is one of America's stars in the next generation of chefs. From the time he was 4 years old, Tyler has had a full-blown passion for the culinary arts and has already accomplished much in his career.

Vagn Nielsen
Corporate Executive Chef, Proof of the Pudding, Atlanta, GA

As Corporate Executive Chef for Proof of the Pudding by MGR, Inc. Vagn Nielsen emphasizes creativity and flexibility when preparing cuisine for the thousands of clients they serve. From elegant dinners for former President and Mrs.

Victoria Griffith
Founder/President, Griffith Safety Group, Washington D.C.

Victoria Griffith s a food service safety expert with a proven track record of effective quality assurance systems and reducing risk.

Subscribe to Speakers