Our cosmopolitan, multicultural, globetrotting, gender-balanced panel of restaurant experts includes 37 different nationalities. We've brought together star chefs and restaurateurs; influential figures in old and new media; book publishers, filmmakers, food system scientists, activists and campaigners.
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Chef United States
Originally from Chiangmai, Thailand, Chef Hong Thaimee is one of the most visible faces of Thai food in the US. As chef/owner of three NYC restaurants, she brings her True Thai flavours to a broad New York audience. She is a chef and entrepreneur, humanitarian activist, inspirational speaker and ambassador for Thai food. With her own restaurant as a base, Chef Hong grew substantial catering and education businesses, all driven by her desire to serve people and spread the word about real Thai flavours.
Andreas Caminada is a leading Swiss chef and has been awarded three Michelin stars and 19 GaultMillau points by the age of 33. Since 2003, Andreas has been the leaseholder of the Schauenstein Castle Restaurant Hotel in Fürstenau, Switzerland, retaining three Michelin stars since 2010. In 2015, Andreas launched the foundation “Fundaziun Uccelin”, with the goal to provide chefs and front of house teams with the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills by offering training in their crafts.
Massimo Bottura is an innovator and restaurateur, with a reputation as one of the world’s most creative culinary figures. His internationally renowned three Michelin star restaurant, Osteria Francescana, was named number 1 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2018. His dishes explore the deep roots of the Italian kitchen while making references to history, art and philosophy. In 2015, Massimo founded the non-profit organization Food for Soul together with his wife Lara Gilmore, followed by five other projects not for profits.
Media United States
Helen Hollyman is a food writer, editor, and cookbook author. She is the Founding Editor-in-Chief of MUNCHIES, the world's first global millennial food website and digital media video channel from VICE Media. Hollyman launched eight international versions of the culture site. Helen is a former cook, truffle dealer and radio host. She got her start at Food & Wine Magazine and has worked under award-winning pastry chef Christina Tosi at Momofuku Milk Bar and for food writers Mark Bittman and Amanda Hesser. She has written for a variety of publications, including VICE, GQ, Saveur, Lucky Peach and Time Out Magazine.
Bo Bech is one of Denmark's most well known chefs, having made his name after climbing the ranks working with the likes of Alain Passard, Marco Pierre White and Alain Senderens. In 2004, Bo launched Paustian in Copenhagen, which received wide acclaim and achieved a Michelin star in 2008. These days, Bo presents the Danish take on Kitchen Nightmares amongst other TV series, including Køkkenkrisenm, and is at the helm of his restaurant Geist.
Juan is a Colombian chef living in Paris. Juan's dream was to cook and he realized it: today he has 6 restaurants where he cooks every day. And after all these years, hosting TV shows, travelling and lots of other things, he knows that his only love is to cook.
Céline is a young, creative chef that is redefining fusion food with a fresh, contemporary take on Franco-Vietnamese cuisine. Her signature style brings together flavours from her Vietnamese roots and techniques learned during her formal French training. Céline describes Vietnamese cuisine as a quest for balance: subtle, delicate and green. She transcends this heritage, inspired by her grandmother.
Restaurant Industry United Kingdom
Jale Erentok is the founder and CEO of 2PAx and previously CEO of Busaba Eathai restaurant group. She has spearheaded some of London’s most innovative and successful hospitality concepts. Working alongside the restaurateur Alan Yau, Jale has been instrumental in leading various concepts from fast casual to fine dining including brands such as Wagamama, Hakkasan, Yauatcha, Busaba Eathai, The Duck & Rice and Park Chinois. She also CEO of Hospitality consultancy firm, Smalleats, that supports a growing community of pioneering restaurateurs, chefs, producers and supply chain managers working towards a productive and sustainable future in the industry.
Chef United Kingdom
Peter Gordon was born in the New Zealand town of Whanganui. His culinary curiosity led him to travel through Asia for a year, which was a life-changing experience and a major influence on his culinary style. In 1986, he became the Head Chef at the original Sugar Club restaurant in New Zealand, a role that would make his name as a chef. In 1989 Peter moved to London where he gradually introduced his eclectic cooking style, now called fusion, and won wide acclaim. These days, Peter has restaurants in London (The Providores and Tapa Room) and Auckland (Bellota and The Sugar Club).
As a fourth-generation descendant of a family of chefs, French-born Hélène Darroze is an internationally recognized Chef de Cuisine. She currently works at “Hélène Darroze at The Connaught” in London and at “Hélène Darroze Paris” and “Jòia par Hélène Darroze” in Paris. Hélène completed a degree from l’Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Bordeaux (France) before joining Alain Ducasse’s team in 1992 at the prestigious Louis XV restaurant (Monaco). Hélène won the 2015 Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef Prize. Since 2014 she has been part of the jury of the French TV cooking show “Top Chef”.
After working in advertising agencies for more than twenty years, João Wengorovius, former CEO of BBDO in Lisbon, spent four years exploring the themes of creativity, authorship and the search for singularity through haute cuisine. Following his training at the Alain Ducasse Centre de Formation in Paris, he travelled around the world to discover what we can learn from twenty-one of today's most inventive and influential chefs, beyond cooking. The result of this work is the book “We, Chefs”. He has used what he learned to inspire institutions and individuals to think differently.
Dr. Afton Halloran is an External Consultant to the Nordic Food Policy Lab of the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Editor-in-chief of the Solutions Menu: A Nordic Guide to Sustainable Food Policy. She is also a freelance consultant in sustainable food systems transitions. For the past 11 years, Afton has worked for academic institutions, NGOs, CBOs, intergovernmental organizations, companies and the United Nations covering the topics of small-scale farmers organizations, urban agriculture, future foods and food policy. Afton also sits on the Board of Directors for Funkis Fabriken, a cross-disciplinary sustainability research centre in Sweden.
Media United Kingdom
Three years ago Chris Hayes took a newly-created role at market-leading food media brand BBC Good Food working across print, digital and live events. This heritage brand comprises Britain’s biggest-selling food magazine (170k) and largest food website (22 million monthly visitors). Before this Chris launched and edited the food lifestyle magazine brand Olive. Its aspirational content, photography and design attracted brilliant chefs, writers and photographers. The Pro vs Punter restaurant review proved to be the magazine’s most popular format (next to recipes) and reviewers included John Torode, Huey Morgan, Janet Street Porter and Tom Parker Bowles. Olive’s clear 3-pillar format (recipes, restaurants, travel) generated licensed editions worldwide.