Our Experts

Our food experts, with years of experience in the kitchen and the business world, are here to inspire and guide you with their culinary wisdom.

Jing Gao

Jing Gao

Founder & CEO, Fly By Jing

Jing Gao, founder & CEO of Fly By Jing, is a chef, entrepreneur, cookbook author and a renowned expert on Chinese cuisine. Born in Chengdu, Sichuan and raised around the world, Gao returned to China as an adult where she founded Baoism, an award-winning modern-Chinese fast-casual restaurant before founding her premium Chinese food company, Fly By Jing. Her culinary innovations and contributions to the food and beverage industry have been featured in leading media including The New York Times, Forbes, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal and more. Her personal story as a cultural ambassador and entrepreneur has been seen on the BBC, CNN, TODAY, CBS and more. Gao's cookbook "The Book of Sichuan Chili Crisp" includes 85 hot recipes for everything from dumplings to cocktails to desserts.

Justin M. Lavenue

Justin M. Lavenue

Owner, The Roosevelt Room

Justin M. Lavenue began his bartending career in 2009 while attending the University of Colorado at Boulder. After graduating, he worked at the Bitter Bar, one of Colorado's first craft cocktail bars. In 2013, he moved back to Austin, completed the BAR 5-Day Course in New York City, and joined the opening staff at Half Step on Rainey Street. Two years later, he opened The Roosevelt Room, which has since become one of Austin's most popular bars. He continues to manage his ventures, study for his BAR Masters certification, consult on bar and restaurant projects, and write cocktail recipes.

Markee Manaloto

Markee Manaloto

Executive Chef, Mishik

Markee Manaloto is the Executive Chef at Mishik, a Japanese restaurant in New York City known for its Edomae sushi. He has more than a decade of experience working with the dish, as well as Filipino cuisine. A native of the Philippines, Manoloto began working in Japanese restaurants while attending college in Michigan. He previously worked at a variety of other notable New York City locations, including East Village favorite Kissaki, Japanese-Filipino izakaya Gugu, and the Michelin-starred Sushi Yasuda.

John Politte

John Politte

Chef

Chef John Politte has dabbled in the culinary world for the last 40-odd years, working as a chef, bartender, bouncer, dishwasher, waiter, multi-level manager, teacher, media personality, food journalist, food photographer, online seasonings and spice shop curator, podcaster, and cookbook author. He enjoys using his humor, wisdom, and experience to entertain and teach the curious among us.

Matthew Rose

Matthew Rose

Certified Cheese Sensory Evaluator

Matthew Rose is a Certified Cheese Professional and currently spends his days educating and serving customers as a Partner at the Fairfield and Greenwich Cheese Company. Matthew has over ten years of experience and has earned the title of Certified Cheese Sensory Evaluator as a passionate purveyor of artisanal, handmade cheese and specialty goods including chocolate, preserves, and tinned fishes.

Doreen Winkler

Doreen Winkler

Founder, Orange Glou

Doreen Winkler is a natural wine sommelier, orange wine expert, and founder of Orange Glou, the world's first orange wine subscription service and only brick-and-mortar store dedicated solely to skin contact wines, as well as Orange Glou Wine Fair, North America's first fair devoted to skin contact wines. Named one of "America's Top Sommeliers" by Forbes, Doreen is one of the first sommeliers who created wine lists focused on natural, organic and biodynamic wines. She's developed wine programs for Michelin-starred restaurants, bars and wine retailers, including at Aska and Aldea in NYC, where her program received the World of Fine Wine Best Wine List Award.