The Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest is pleased to announce our Demonstrating Chefs for the 2014 Fest.
Over 19 years of experience in the industry is what Chef Kevin Des Chenes has to offer. With appearances on The Celebrity Stage at The Atlantic City and Philadelphia Food & Wine Festivals, The Nationally syndicated Better Show, The Rhode Show and TV Maitre D, and most recently Food Network’s Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell & Spike TV’s Frankenfood, Chef Kevin’s creativity in the kitchen has not gone unnoticed. Having owned his own restaurant in Burlington, Vermont and having served as Executive Chef to some of New Englands’s most notable restaurants and catering companies, Chef Kevin is always in search of new challenges and he is excited to be a part of the Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival!!
You can hear the latest happenings at www.chefkevd.com!
Chef Amanda Giblin
As a contestant on Season 11 of Hell’s Kitchen on FOX-TV, Amanda Giblin was given the opportunity to test her skills and knowledge eager to earn the respect of acclaimed Chef Gordon Ramsay.
A New Jersey native, Amanda grew up in an Italian-Irish household and that meant surrounded by plenty of good food. Her Italian Grandfather taught her that food and cooking is the heart and soul of many great memories. As a young girl, Amanda could often be found in the kitchen at home with her mother helping with dinner or whipping up something of her own.
At 16, Amanda was hired as an ice cream scooper at Friendly’s restaurant near her hometown of Bayville, NJ. While still in high school, Amanda excelled in her Home Ec. classes where her teacher encouraged her to consider pursuing a career in culinary arts.
Amanda attended Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI. in 2001. It was here that she was classically trained, but in 2003 was given an opportunity to work at Martell’s Waters Edge in Bayville, NJ and was mentored by her Chef. He really took the time to help develop her skill and cooking style. He allowed Amanda to experiment and explore her palate using seasonal, fresh, local ingredients, transforming them into simple flavorful yet artistic dishes.
After three years, Amanda set out to conquer such a male dominated field. Working in various restaurants, she gained the trust and respect from her Chefs, allowing her to push her way up through the ranks.
In 2007, at the young age of 24, Amanda moved to the Hudson Valley and began working in restaurants where the fresh local ingredients were in abundance. At 25, Amanda was given the chance to prove herself when she became the Executive Chef of a restaurant in Suffern, NY. It was here that Amanda really learned to push herself outside of her comfort zone and perfect the skill of being a leader.
Currently, aside from working as a Culinary Instructor, Amanda is diligently working to start her own business.
Amanda has also worked as a Personal Chef in Connecticut, Sous Chef in Manhattan, NY; Executive Chef in Poughkeepsie, NY (where she received her first 4 star review in the Poughkeepsie Journal in June of 2012).
Aside from her love of food, Amanda is also involved with using her “celebrity” for non-profit charities such as ‘Kick’n Bullying (werekickinit.org) and Reality Rally (realityrally.com) for Michelle’s Place (michellesplace.org), a breast cancer resource center for young adults.
Chef Cyndi Stanimirov
Chef Cyndi Stanimirov, will be appearing with Chef Amanda Giblin. Chef Cyndi is of Colombian-Italian decent, is a Queens, NY native, currently residing in Moorestown, NJ., where she is currently Sous Chef at Firebirds Wood Fired Grill
At an early age, Chef Cyndi was taught that Sunday family dinners were not only a tradition in her family, but in families all over the world. This inspired her to follow her passion and pursue a career in Culinary Arts. She graduated in 2005 from Burlington County Institute of Technology in NJ with the highest Culinary Arts honors, as well as a member of the National Honor Society. In 2007, she graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, NC with a Cum Laude Associates in Applied Sciences, Culinary Arts and was accepted into the ACF.
Upon returning home for the summer, Cyndi was offered a full time position at Café Madison in Riverside, NJ under the direction of Executive Chef Jack Connor(former Executive Chef of Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, NJ) It wasn’t long until Cyndi transferred to Drexel University to continue her education and obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. Chef Cyndi worked her way through college as a full time student and a full time chef retaining a Dean’s Scholarship while attending Drexel. She excelled quickly in the kitchen and in just 2 short years, Chef Cyndi was offered a Head Chef position, over seeing the elaborate Courtyard at The Madison
In early 2012, after losing her Grandmother, Cyndi made a promise that she would fulfill her grandmother’s dream of seeing her compete on FOX’s Hell’s Kitchen season 11. Chef Cyndi finished 4th in the competition, earning the elusive black jacket. Chef Gordon Ramsay confirmed she was indeed a talented chef and had an “amazing palate”.
Upon returning from Hell’s Kitchen, Chef Cyndi transitioned back into doing what she loves most, cooking! After months training from Delaware to Virginia, she will now reside in NJ and continue to further her culinary career all while helping to bring an amazing new restaurant concept to Moorestown, NJ.
Aside from being a busy Chef, Cyndi loves to spend time with her family and friends and lending her “Celebrity” to local charities such as ‘Kick’n Bullying werekickinit.org
You can catch up with Chef Cyndi on twitter @CyndiHK11 or Facebook
Chef Vincent Tropepe
Chef Tropepe will be unable to appear this year due to some last minute obligations as part of his regular job. He sends his regrets and hopes to see everyone next year!
There are more special guests to be announced, so check back often!