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September 16-17, 2020

Chef Olivier Gaupin

Director of Culinary Operations | Benchmark Global Hospitality Co.

Chef Olivier Gaupin

A native of Orléans, France, with more than 30 years of kitchen experience, Chef Olivier Gaupin is director of culinary operations for BENCHMARK, a global hospitality company. He is a graduate of the CFA Charles Peguy School and La Fortune Du Pot, both in Orléans.

Gaupin’s career includes positions as chef de partie of the Michelin-rated Hotel Negresco in Nice, France, head chef for the French Minister of Defense in Paris, and chef de partie of the Hotel Stuva Colani in St. Moritz, Switzerland.In the U.S., Gaupin has led kitchens in restaurants and hotels including Provence Restaurant in Washington, D.C., Pfister Hotel Milwaukee, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Atlanta, and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, St. Louis. Before joining BENCHMARK in 2019, Gaupin served as corporate chef for Loews Hotels. In 2013, Gaupin was inducted into the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France (Master Chefs of France) and is one of only 84 chefs in the U.S. honored with the designation.

November 11-12, 2020

Chef Roland Schaeffer

Retired Senior Experimental Chef | H.J. Heinz Co.

Chef Roland Schaeffer

Chef Roland Schaeffer was born in Germany where he began his culinary career in his father’s restaurant followed by work in prestigious German, Swiss and Belgian restaurants before moving to the United States in 1959.

He was executive chef at the Lakeview Inn and Country Club Resort in Morgantown, West Virginia, and served as a chef at the Bel Air Country Club in Los Angeles, the Chaparral Club in Dallas and the Sheraton Blackstone Hotel in Chicago. In 1978 he became a senior experimental chef for Heinz U.S.A, a division of the H.J. Heinz Company.

Schaeffer has competed with and served as team captain and an advisor for several American Culinary Federation (ACF) U.S. Culinary Olympic Teams and has won four gold medals. In 2000 Schaeffer was inducted into the American Academy of Chefs Hall of Fame for lifelong dedication to the advancement of the culinary profession. He has been an ACF member since 1967.

February 10-11, 2021

Chef Darren McGrady

The Royal Chef | Owner/Author Eating Royally

Chef Darren McGrady

Darren McGrady was chef to Queen Elizabeth II and Diana, Princess of Wales, and her sons William and Harry, and has cooked for U.S. presidents. He is the owner of Eating Royally Catering in Dallas where he is an author, culinary consultant, event planner and a public speaker.

McGrady trained at The Savoy Hotel in London before moving to Buckingham Palace where, for 11 years, he cooked for the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and their guests, including foreign heads of state such as U.S. presidents Ford, Reagan, Bush and Clinton. In 1993 he became private chef for Princess Diana.In 1998, McGrady moved to the U.S. and became the first private chef invited to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York. He is the author of two cookbooks, “Eating Royally: Recipes & Remembrances from a Palace Kitchen” and “The Royal Chef at Home: Easy Seasonal Entertaining.”

April 21-22, 2021

Chef Irad Santacruz Arciniega

Chef/Gastronomic Researcher | UPAEP University, Mexico

Chef Irad Santacruz

A member of the international Slow Food movement, Chef Irad Santacruz Arciniega is dedicated to promoting and documenting Tlaxcalteca cuisine from central Mexico. Known for working closely with local farmers in his native state of Tlaxcala, Santacruz collects and preserves examples of traditional food ingredients, including documenting more than 120 varieties of colored maize. In 2016, he was named Ambassador of the Tlaxcalteca Kitchen by the Congress of Tlaxcala and is well known on Mexican radio for programs highlighting the nation’s agricultural products and traditional foods.

Santacruz and Chef Ricardo Muñoz Zurita have spent a decade researching and writing the “Great Gastronomic Encyclopedia of the State of Tlaxcala” and Santacruz regularly participates in scholarly programs at the National School of Anthropology and History. He often visits Europe demonstrating Tlaxcalteca cuisine to promote tourism and trade with Mexico and was a featured chef on the Netflix series, “The Chronicles of the Taco.”

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