Featured Speaker: Geoff Allen!

geoff allen

Please welcome Geoff Allen, featured speaker on the Marketing Your Brand panel at IFBC New Orleans!

Geoff Allen is Founder and CEO of ZipList, a free, easy-to-use online and mobile grocery list and recipe search platform, with media partners ranging from AOL’s KitchenDaily to Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, as well as food blog partners, such as Leite's Culinaria, Skinny Taste, Hoosier Homemade and Southern Plate. Geoff is a serial entrepreneur with more than 20 years of technology experience spanning product development, sales, marketing and business operations. He is also a highly sought-after speaker on the topic of SEO for food blogs, having spoken at BlogHer Food as well as at multiple TECHmunch events, providing easy-to-implement advice to help food bloggers drive more traffic and better engage their readers. Geoff is a member of the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO) and formerly served as Vice President of Technology for the Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization International Board of Directors.

Follow Geoff on Twitter @ZipList
Find him on Facebook!

Featured Speaker: Barnaby Dorfman

barnaby dorfman

It's a sincere pleasure to welcome Barnaby Dorfman to the Marketing Your Brand panel at IFBC NOLA!

Barnaby Dorfman is the CEO of Foodista and a passionate contributor to the website. Originally from New York City, he grew up with a love of variety in food and culture. That interest has only been enhanced over the years while living in and traveling throughout Mexico, Spain, Italy, and the United States. His first professional cooking experiences were in high school during summers at the Alpine Inn in the Catskill Mountains. Later he worked for Taste Catering in San Francisco during college at California State University. After a short stint in his "official" area of study, international business, Barnaby joined his first startup, Marsee Baking, Portland's first all-scratch European style bakery. He left Marsee to go to the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, followed by over a decade in technology management at startups and major companies, including Microsoft and Amazon.com. During 7 years at Amazon, Barnaby developed the first Gourmet Food category, created IMDbPro.com, and most recently served as Vice President of their A9 search division. Foodista.com, Barnaby's fifth startup, offers him the opportunity to combine a lifelong love of cooking and technology.

Featured Speaker: Robin Goldstein

robin goldstein

We're thrilled to welcome Robin Goldstein to IFBC New Orleans as featured speaker on the Blogging Your Values panel!

Robin Goldstein is an author, food and wine critic, founder of the Center for Sensory Perception and Behavioral Economics at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, and visiting scholar in the Department of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley, where his work focuses on perceptual bias, price signals, and placebo effects in the cognitive processing of sensory experience. Robin is a regular contributor to the New York Times’ Freakonomics blog and is the author of nine books, with a total of more than 175,000 copies in print, including The Wine Trials, the world’s bestselling book about inexpensive wine, and The Beer Trials. He has also written for more than 30 Fodor’s travel guides, from Italy to Hong Kong. Robin has an A.B. in neuroscience and philosophy from Harvard University, a J.D. from Yale Law School, a certificate in cooking from the French Culinary Institute, and a WSET advanced wine and spirits certificate.

Check out Robin's blog, Blind Taste
Follow him on Twitter @RobinSGoldstein

Featured Chef and Restaurant: Justin Devillier of La Petite Grocery!

justin devillier

Justin Devillier was raised in Dana Point California, a small beach town in south Orange County. Growing up, Justin enjoyed the laid back lifestyle of living on the beach. Summers were spent fishing for Yellowtail and Albacore tuna, and in the fall and winter he would free-dive for Lobsters just steps from the front door. This bounty of local seafood inspired Justin’s will to cook professionally and after cooking for a few years right out of high school, he decided it was time to focus on becoming a chef.

In 2003 he moved to New Orleans and worked in the kitchens of Bacco, Stella, and Peristyle. While working at Peristyle, Justin worked with Chef Anne Kearny-Sands and learned the ins and outs of French cuisine and was responsible for preparing daily charcuterie specials.

In June 2004, Devillier joined the restaurant staff at La Petite Grocery. He became sous chef in October 2005. After Hurricane Katrina, Justin helped re-establish La Petite Grocery, managing daily specials and training new line cooks. In February 2007, he became the Executive Chef. Justin was named a 2008 Chef to Watch by Louisiana Cookin’ magazine in August 2008, as well as a Chef to Watch by The Times-Picayune in 2008. In 2009, he was named one of New Orleans CityBusiness’ Culinary Connoisseurs for Best Executive Chef and Best Neighborhood Restaurant. Devillier “cooks in a manner so appropriate to New Orleans spirit: French bistro with a Southern twist.”[Also, according to Zagat, Chef Justin Devillier makes “clever use of local ingredients in his expertly crafted Contemporary Louisiana-French dinners.”

Justin works hard to support local farmers and fisherman and really enjoys grass fed beef, Berkshire hogs and really hoppy Ales. He credits his hard working staff for any accolades the restaurant might receive. When Justin gets free time, you can still find him fishing and hanging out on the beach.

See all the delicious dishes that La Petite Grocery has to offer on their website: http://www.lapetitegrocery.com/

Like La Petite Grocery on Facebook!

Featured Chef and Restaurant: Tariq Hanna of Sucre!

tariq hanna

To say chocolate is in his blood is not far from the truth. Growing up in Nigeria, Tariq Hanna’s family lived a mere stone’s throw away from the national cocoa processing plant where aromas of roasting cocoa beans always filled the air.

Upon graduation from boarding school in England, Tariq moved to the United States to attend Lawrence Technical University in Detroit in hopes of becoming the next great architect. In an unforeseen move, Tariq soon found himself enrolled in culinary school at Oakland Community College. It was here that he realized his true potential. While focusing on finding a job in hot food, Tariq dabbled in pastries on the side, soon discovering his talent and love for the art.

In 1993, Tariq opened his own family-operated pastry and catering shop, The Northville Gourmet, at the age of 24. The Northville Gourmet was a labor of love, exploring all facets of cooking and baking he learned from not only his extensive work background, but also from his mother. In the second year of business, Tariq was awarded “Best Bakery” and “Best Dessert” in Detroit by Metro Times readers.

After six years of successful self-employment, Tariq was offered the opportunity of a lifetime as the first casino pastry chef in Detroit. In December 1999, MotorCity Casino opened in Detroit to rave reviews for its foodservice. This gave Tariq the chance to truly develop his distinct style and approach to what by now was his obsession. It was here that Tariq immersed himself in all things pastry, from taking and teaching classes to performing in competitions on a local and national level, by now getting national attention.

During his tenure at MotorCity, Tariq participated in several cooking competitions on the Food Network including the National Bread and Pastry Championship, Chocolate Fantasy Competition, and Gingerbread Mansions Competition. In 2004, he was the first ever Central Region Pastry Chef of the Year and Runner-up National Pastry Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation.

After seven years at MotorCity Casino, Tariq joined forces with New Orleans native restaurateur and entrepreneur Joel Dondis. Sucré was a vision of Joel’s for three years and as it came to life both Tariq and Joel began work to make the dream a reality. Sucré is a pastry experience unlike any the city has ever seen. As this great city goes through a modern day renaissance, Sucré hopes to pave the way for a new style of great Louisiana desserts.

See all of the delicious offerings Sucré has to offer on the website: http://www.shopsucre.com/

Follow Sucré on Twitter @sucreneworleans
Find them on Facebook!

Featured Chef: Drew Dzejak of The Grill Room!

chef drew dzejak

Executive Chef Drew Dzejak of The Grill Room will prepare gluten-free bites at the Friday evening reception at IFBC New Orleans!

A specialist in Progressive Continental cuisine, Drew joined The Grill Room as executive chef in the fall of 2008 and has been recognized as a New Orleans CityBusiness Culinary Connoisseur. Under his guidance, The Grill Room has received a rating of “Four Beans” from The Times-Picayune, with the headline, “The Grill Room Reclaims Its Glory.”

A native of Kissimmee, Florida, Drew learned his passion for cooking from his grandmother, mother and uncle. At the age of 15, Drew landed his first job at a bakery, making wedding cakes and pastries.

He moved to Charleston, SC to attend Johnson and Wales University where he earned degrees in Culinary Arts and Food Service Management.

Drew has worked at Wild Dunes Resort on the Isle of Palms and the Woodlands Resort & Inn in Summerville, SC. While at the Woodlands, he was part of the team that won the Mobil (now Forbes) Five Star Award. He also served as the Chef de Cuisine at the Charleston Place Hotel.

Drew’s philosophy on food is to cook what you love to eat – this ensures true passion for your finished product. He enjoys scouring local and world markets to find the freshest ingredients available to continually evolve his menu. Inspired by culinary influences ranging from the southeastern United States to Europe and Asia, Drew prepares dishes in a meticulous yet loving manner. The ultimate goal – to surpass guest expectations with every bite.

Outside of the restaurant, Drew enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter and three dogs, and restoring Volkswagen Bugs.

the grill room

Follow The Grill Room on Twitter @WCTheGrillRoom
Like The Grill Room on Facebook!

Featured Speaker: Amy McCoy of Poor Girl Gourmet!

amy mccoy

It's a pleasure to introduce Amy McCoy as featured speaker during the Eating on a Budget session at IFBC in New Orleans!

Amy McCoy is the author of Poor Girl Gourmet: Eat in Style on a Bare-Bones Budget (Andrews McMeel, 2010). The Poor Girl Gourmet cookbook arose from the Poor Girl Gourmet blog, which Amy began in October 2008 when work in her first career as a broadcast producer of graphics and promos for cable networks dried up, and she found herself with an increasingly diminished bank account. Not wanting to sacrifice her food standards, she set forth to make high-quality food on a tiny budget and documented each meal. The blog led to the book, which features recipes serving at least four for $15 or less, a chapter of "splurges" - company-worthy entrees that serve four for $15-$30, a chapter on value wines, and a menu planner to help craft complete meals from the recipes in the book while staying on budget.

Amy is the chairperson of Slow Food Rhode Island. She and her husband, JR, live on a tiny gentleman's farm in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, where they have kept bees for honey since 2000, have raised hens for eggs since 2004, maintain a large vegetable and herb garden, and have recently started raising heritage chickens and turkeys for meat. They are committed to supporting local farmers and farm stands, and have found that shopping local and shopping on a budget are not mutually exclusive.

Follow Amy on Twitter @PoorGirlGourmet
Find her on Facebook!

Featured Speaker: Joe Girard of Rouxbe!

joe girard

Joe Girard, co-founder and VP of product development at Rouxbe, will speak on the Video panel at IFBC in New Orleans!

Joe Girard started cooking when he was 13 and has cooked at several four- and five-star hotels in all areas of the kitchen.

Joe is a serial entrepreneur, having come from a family of successful entrepreneurs. He has founded three successful business ventures over the past 15 years. Joe has a unique ability to assemble top talent, carve out new business models and execute well thought out business plans.

Prior to Rouxbe, he and Rouxbe Co-Founder Dawn Thomas, owned a specialized mobile film catering operation, which they built from the ground up and served over 250,000 cast and crew members.

Follow Rouxbe on Twitter @Rouxbe
Find Rouxbe on Facebook!

Featured Speaker: Seattle Food Geek Scott Heimendinger!

scott heimendinger


Scott will be leading the Food Science session at IFBC New Orleans. We can't think of anyone better for the job!

Scott Heimendinger is the blogger behind SeattleFoodGeek.com. His mission is to boldly explore modernist cooking techniques and make them accessible to home chefs everywhere. Scott may be best known for his $75 DIY sous vide machine, which has been featured in MAKE Magazine and the New York Times, as well as the kitchens of hundreds of enthusiastic food geeks around the world.

Scott moved to Seattle to work as a Program Manager at Microsoft in 2005. Although he’s only been a Seattle resident for just over five years, he has come to love the city so much that he decided to put it in his domain name. Scott is also a regular contributor for Seattle Weekly and appeared on the cover of their Specialty Food Guide last year.

Seattle Food Geek is focused on the pursuit of new and innovative ways to prepare food, including sous vide cooking, the use of hydrocolloids and other modernist ingredients, the culinary applications of centrifuges, liquid nitrogen, lasers, high-voltage electricity, as well as anything else potentially dangerous and awesome.

Scott’s work appeared in the Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook, he was named the number one food blog in Western Washington, and for two years in a row he’s been nominated for Seattle’s Sexiest Geek, and been robbed of the title.

Follow Scott on Twitter @SeattleFoodGeek
Find him on Facebook!

Featured Speaker: Shauna James Ahern

shauna james ahern


Shauna James Ahern will lead the session "Removing One Food and Finding Many Others" at IFBC New Orleans. We could not be happier to have her!

Shauna is the award-winning author of the blog Gluten-Free Girl and author of the books Gluten-Free Girl: How I Found the Food That Loves Me Back…And How You Can Too and Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef.

Follow Shauna on Twitter @GlutenFreeGirl
Find her on Facebook!


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