SF Food Wars.com
with Amanda Hesser
Fifth Floor
Humphry Slocombe
Tartine Bakery
Bar Tartine
Hapa Ramen
Battery Bakery

AMANDA HESSER has been a food columnist and editor at The New York Times for more than a decade. She is the author of Cooking for Mr. Latte and The Cook and the Gardener. Hesser is also the co-founder of food52.com. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Tad Friend, and their two children.

MOURAD LAHLOU is the self-taught executive chef and owner at Aziza. Lahlou's modern, revolutionary take on Moroccan cuisine grew from an initial passion developed while obtaining a master's degree in economics at San Franicsco State University, to opening his first restaurant, Kasbah in 1997, to launching Aziza in 2001.

LOUIS MALDONADO's culinary career began at One Market and quickly accelerated to key positions at Cortez, The French Laundry, and Cafe Majestic where he was awarded the San Francisco Chronicle’s Rising Star Chef award. Since 2008, he has worked alongside Mourad Lahlou at the acclaimed Aziza.

JACQUES BEZUIDENHOUT is the master mixologist and chief beverage consultant at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and is based at Fifth Floor restaurant in SF. Bezuidenhout's expertise has been put to work at many bars and restaurants across the Bay Area including Tres Agaves and Harry Denton’s Starlight Room.

MORGAN YOUNG brings a spirited enthusiasm to crafting cocktails with a background shaped by industry heavy hitters like Junior Merino and Jacques Bezuidenhout. Young served as the opening bartender for NIOS restaurant and wine bar in New York City before moving to SF where she currently crafts creative cocktails at Fifth Floor.

MELISSA CHOU studied art history at Vassar College and chose to turn her creativity toward pasty arts after graduating. Chou began her career at Quince, then moving to The Presidio Social Club before becoming the pastry chef at Aziza, where her artful desserts have been highly praised since she joined the team 3 years ago.

JAKE GODBY spent 10 years working in some of SF’s best fine dining restaurants such as Boulevard, Fifth Floor, and Coi before opening Humphry Slocombe in 2009. Combining his pastry knowledge with his interest in art, Godby’s ice cream is designed to both challenge and delight the palate of his patrons.

SEAN VAHEY played key roles in food and beverage operations for five years with Hyatt and four years with Four Seasons before opening Humphry Slocombe in San Franicsco in 2009. Vahey keeps sales and operations in tip top shape while also lifting spirits as the witty voice of the subservisely delicious creamery.

ELIZABETH PRUEITT and husband Chad Robertson are co-owners of Tartine Bakery and Bar Tartine in San Francisco. After training and traveling, they opened Bay Village Bakery in Point Reyes, baking bread and pastries using techniques they learned abroad. Six years later they opened Tartine bakery, a highly regarded and rewarded San Francisco institution.

CHRIS KRONNER was drawn to San Francisco’s culinary scene mid-way through his studies at Michigan State, fatefully changing course towards a gastronomic path and pursuing a degree from the California Culinary Academy. Kronner put his skills and style to work at Town Hall, Slow Club, and Serpentine before taking the reigns as executive chef at Bar Tartine.

JENNIFER PUCCIO is the executive chef of Marlowe restaurant in San Francisco. Her culinary credits include working with acclaimed chef, author, and James Beard Award winner Anna Sortun of Oleana in Cambridge, MA. Prior to Marlowe, Puccio was executive chef at Cortez and cooked in the kitchens of Ubuntu and Rivoli.

CHRISTA MANALO was initially drawn to her profession as a way earn extra income while studying journalism and photography, but quickly fell in love with the creativity and artistic parameters that mixology provided. Manalo served at The Redwood Room, Town Hall, and Serpentine before joining the noted cocktail destination Beretta in 2008.

BRIDGET BATSON’s early externship at Tom Colicchio’s Mondrian restaurant in New York introduced her to upscale dining and her career evolved at the Blue Room and Hamersly’s Bistro in Boston. After a decade at San Francisco’s Hawthorne Lane/TWO, Batson joined Pizzeria Delfina, and recently signed on as executive chef at Gitane in 2010.

ADAM TIMNEY knew from an early age that he should pursue cooking. After graduating from the California Culinary Academy, Timney honed his skills at Eos and Chez Papa. As chef de cuisine at Bacar and later working at Boccalone Salumeria, Timney developed the knowledge he now uses to create house-cured meats for Starbelly where he is executive chef.

RICHIE NAKANO has worked at some of the Bay Area's top restaurants. The former Nopa sous chef writes the linecook415 blog, and is chef and owner of Hapa Ramen which he launched in April 2010. He lives in San Francisco and generally enjoys starting trouble.

JENNIFER MUSTY’s culinary education began at the age of two, standing on a chair next to her mother, unable to reach the counter. Two decades later, with a business degree under her belt, Musty's lifelong love of baking evolved into what is now Batter Bakery where she handcrafts all-American treats that have a dedicated following throughout San Francisco.