The talented and knowledgeable folks listed here will be in the festival spotlight either conducting classes or participating in demonstrations and discussions throughout the week.
A member of the James Beard “Who’s Who in Food and Beverage,” Carolyn O’Neil, MS, RD reported on food and travel on CNN for nearly 20 years, earning two James Beard Awards. She serves on the National Committee overseeing judging of the James BeardFoundation Awards. She is the coauthor of The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous!, the “Best Health and Nutrition Book” winner at the World Food Media awards. Carolyn writes a weekly column for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, contributes to WebMD as a nutrition expert, and appears as “The Lady in the Refrigerator” on Alton Brown’s Good Eats. She is currently finishing up Slim Down South, Southern Living’s first healthy Southern cookbook (December 2013).
In 2003, Gena Knox and her husband founded Fire & Flavor, a company specializing in all natural cooking and flavor enhancement products such as grilling planks, brines, and rubs. They now sell to more than 15,000 stores nationwide.Gena’s first cookbook, Gourmet Made Simple, was published in May 2008. SouthernMy Way: Simple Recipes, Fresh Flavors followed two years later and received the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Award and the Eric Hoffer Book Award. That success led to Gena’s upcoming follow-up, Southern My Way: Food & Family, with four-color food and lifestyle photography shot by Brian Woodcock (October 2013).
Returning to the festival again this year is accomplished television culinary producer, stylist, lifestyle trendsetting blogger and author, Libbie Summers. Her first solo book, TheWhole Hog Cookbook was a National Foreword Book Award finalist that received accolades from the New York Times to Fox News. Libbie’s fabulous blog “Salted and Styled” won the 2013 IACP Best Blog award. Her second solo book, Sweet and Vicious– baking with an attitude (September 2014), promises to be filled with recipes for delicious and decadent dishes and content as inventive and irreverent as Libbie herself.
Carrie Morey’s company, Callie’s Charleston Biscuits, features biscuits (and now pimento cheese) made by hand using the recipes of Carrie’s mother, celebratedCharleston caterer, Callie White. Carrie’s products caught the attention of Oprah and Martha Stewart, earning her recognition on national television and media. Her biscuits have been praised by Saveur, Food & Wine, and the New York Times, among others. Callie is eager to keep Southern cooking and tradition alive with her new cookbook, Callie’s Biscuits and Southern Traditions.
Marilyn Markel began her career as a cooking school instructor at Plano, Texas’ Central Market. In 2003 Markel moved to Chapel Hill, N.C., to develop cooking school, Culinary Lessons at Southern Season (CLASS), a program that has grown into a nationally recognized culinary center that hosts more than 300 classes a year, and has helped turn Southern Season into a foodie destination. Markel has worked side-by-side with renowned chefs such as Martin Yan, Caprial and John Pence, Masaharu Morimoto, Daisy Martinez and Shirley Corriher. As cooking school manager, Markel has earned recognition for offering each chef and guest an exceptional, personalized experience.This year, Markel was a judge for the James Beard Cookbook Awards.
In April 2012, at the age of 24, Georgian Room Sommelier Jacob Gragg obtained his current title of Advanced Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers, making him one of the youngest to have achieved this certification. Gragg is a Certified Specialist of Wine, Certified Specialist of Spirits, and was named one of the Best New Sommeliers of 2012 by Wine and Spirits. Jacob is also very active in sommelier competitions and was the South Central representative for the Chaine des Rotisseurs National Best Young Sommelier competition in both 2011 and 2012.
Timmy Stubbs, founder of Native Seafood, is a third-generation shrimper who believes ingetting Wild Georgia shrimp straight from the boat to chefs and customers without using any “dip” preservatives. To provide an all-natural product, he will only flash freeze if required in situations shrimp must be held for more than 48 hours. The Native Seafood client list is impressive, with deliveries to Atlanta at least twicea week, stopping at Restaurant Eugene, Holeman & Finch, Muss and Turner’s, Local Three, Woodfire Grill, The Optimist, JCT Kitchen, Gunshow, and more.
Born and raised in Southern California, Chef Kurtis graduated from California Culinary Academy in San Francisco in 1985 and followed his passion for pastry. In his twenty eight year career, he has experienced everything from developing and operating a self-owned pastry company, teaching professional pastry around the world, working in high-end 5 diamond resorts, to running a large scale artisan bread company. His travels have taken him to New York, Salt Lake City, Orlando, and now have landed him here at Sea Island Resort.