Food Fortunes

Food Fortunes

About the Judges

Daniel Green

Daniel Green

Daniel Green is an internationally known chef, television personality and award winning author also known as The Model Cook™. Daniel is a judge on Food Network's Kitchen Inferno, makes appearances on talk shows around the world, is planning meals for two major international airlines and developing in-room dining for a 5-star hotel chain in Asia has cultivated an international fan base.

Daniel has authored ten books sold worldwide – Modern Dining for Life (2010), Healthy Dining for Life (2010), World Dining for Life (2009), Healthy Eating for Lower Cholesterol (2005, selling 1.4 million copies), Green’s Greens (2003) and Green’s Cuisine (2002). Two of his latest healthy cookbooks won the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Award 2010 and 2011 for “The Best TV Celebrity Chef Cookbook” and one book has been printed in seven languages to date.

His simple, healthy eating recipes have been featured in numerous magazine features in the UK, US and across Asia. In the UK, Daniel co-hosted a successful TV series for Discovery Health called Weight Matters with Vanessa Feltz. He filmed a series of travel documentary reports from Dubai, Thailand and around the world for Good Food Live on BBC’s UK Food. He makes regular appearances on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, has hosted over 100 episodes of Kitchen Takeover Chef and hosted Weekend Kitchen in the US.

Dan Glickberg

Dan Glickberg Dan Glickberg was the fourth generation founding family member at Fairway Market.  A graduate of Trinity College, Dan started working at Fairway Market full time in 2005 joining his father Howie, currently the Vice Chairman of Development of Fairway, who followed his grandfather Leo and his great-grandfather and founder, Nathan, before him. Dan was no stranger to Fairway having worked part-time after school and during the summer since he was in his early teens. He had previously served in a variety of capacities –unloading trucks, waiting tables in the 74th Street Café, assisting customers and stocking shelves before joining the company full-time as a Vice President
At Fairway he quickly earned the nickname “the face of Fairway Market.”  Very comfortable in front of the camera, Dan took an active role in promoting the company through his cooking demonstrations that he performed with Mitchel London, Fairway’s Chef de Cuisine, both in the stores and on television. He also worked with Mitchel every week for "At The Table" segments on WOR Radio’s Joan Hamburg Show and for "To The Market" segments on WOR Radio’s The Joe Bartlett Show.  He was also called upon regularly to host Fairway sponsored events and handle electronic and print media interviews.
In April of 2013 with the company ready to go public Dan decided to move on and start his own business, Dan Glickberg Food.  With this company he is actively pursuing venture capital opportunities in the food business, food consulting and media.  Food has and will continue to be at the center of Dan's life as he pursues his new ventures.

Michele Hoskins

Michele Hoskins In 1984 Michele began to manufacture her specialty breakfast syrups and Michele Foods was born.  That same year, Michele secured the top two largest retail chains in the Chicagoland area, which took her out of the basement and into 400 retail chains.  She went on to become the 1st minority supplier for Denny’s, the 1st minority supplier for Wal-Mart and over the years she has partnered with some of the most respected food companies in the world - General Mills and Sara Lee. It was Michele’s determination to leave a legacy for her daughters instead of just a recipe that was the inspiration for Michele Foods.

Michele laughs when she recalls her early struggles and countless mistakes. She overcame incredible odds to turn this family secret into a formula for success.  “There were no mentors for an African American female entrepreneur in the food industry in those days.  I had to learn from my mistakes.  Had I not been naïve, I may not have started this journey.  All I had going for me was my goal and a commitment to making it work.”

Today the products can be found in the top retail chains, more than 8,000 stores nationwide.  The recipe that started it all is known as Michele’s Honey Crème Syrup, a rich, creamy confection made with honey, cream and butter.  Now, in addition to the original Honey Crème, there’s Michele’s Butter Pecan and Maple Crème Syrups.  These days the syrups are more than just for waffles and pancakes, they are used by cooks as condiments and in sweet and savory dishes. This family tradition for over 4 generations is simply “good over everything”!

Pat LaFrieda

Pat LaFrieda Pat LaFrieda's first foray into the meat world began in the summer of 1981, when he was just 10 years old, when he started learning the tricks of the meat trade from sunrise to sundown under the watchful eye of his forefathers. That particular summer changed the course of his life. Twenty-eight years later, he owns and operates New York City's most prestigious and most valued meatpacking facility.

Selling to the finest restaurants around the country — including ones in Manhattan, Las Vegas, Miami and Chicago — Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors is synonymous with quality. Famous for their “chopped,” not ground, meat, Pat has created more than 50 custom hamburger blends and is the mastermind behind such burgers as the famous Black Label Burger at Minetta Tavern (the reigning haute burger in NYC), as well as signature custom blends at hot spots such as Shake Shack, Spotted Pig, Union Square Café, Blue Smoke and Market Table.

Ironically, Patrick LaFrieda Sr. never wanted his son to become a permanent fixture in the business. With the sole intention of teaching his son about a strong work ethic, Patrick Sr. introduced Patrick Jr. to working in a constant 360-degree environment, standing for hours on end, working under the dangers of band saws and knives — all with the hopes that his son would turn around and get an office job. Fortunately for the restaurants of New York, his plan backfired.

Today, LaFrieda Meats boasts an impressive 600 customers and is rapidly growing. The business operates seven days a week around the clock. 

Pat Jr. has been featured in such esteemed outlets as the New York Times, Men's Vogue, Saveur, and more. He has also appeared on Food Network, Martha Stewart’s show, ABC News’ Nightline, Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and Mike Colameco’s Real Food on PBS.

Robert Earl

Robert Earl Recognized as a leading figure in the hospitality and food & beverage industries, Robert Earl is the founder and CEO of Planet Hollywood International, Inc. and the chairman of the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. A lifetime entrepreneur, Earl founded President Entertainment in 1977, a British company specializing in theme restaurants that grew from a modest start-up to a company valued at more than $100 million when he agreed to sell the company to Pleasurama in 1998. Earl was invited by Pleasurama to join its executive team and orchestrated the acquisition of Hard Rock Café. During his five-year tenure as the CEO of Hard Rock Café, Earl oversaw the expansion of the brand from its initial seven units to 22 units, and dramatically increased the Company's profitability. 

In late 2008, to further solidify his place as a leader and pioneer of themed restaurants, Earl acquired casual dining company, Buca Inc. and its chain of close to one hundred Buca di Beppo restaurants. Since the acquisition, Earl has injected his formidable energy into the franchise, revamping the menu to include fresh, daily made sauces as well as new menu items to broaden the restaurants' appeal that embodies the Italian traditions of food, friendship and fun. The Buca di Beppo chain, known for its quirky décor and upbeat atmosphere, has locations from New York City to Honolulu and international expansion with locations in the United Kingdom and one in the Mexico City metropolitan area with more to follow.

Scott Gerber

Scott Gerber Scott Gerber is the Principal and Chief Executive Officer of hospitality industry leader, Gerber Group. Setting out to provide an innovative nightlife experience, Gerber Group opened their first property, The Whiskey at the Paramount Hotel, in 1991.Soon after, Scott took the lead in forging a partnership with Starwood Hotels & Resorts to develop the W Hotel brand, which now features Gerber Group venues throughout the U.S. and in select properties internationally. The partnership is widely credited for changing the landscape of the nightlife industry by creating unique, innovative venues that have re-defined the ‘hotel bar.’ Today, Scott manages the company and its full portfolio of properties and continues to re-define the hospitality industry with innovative dining concepts and bars featuring renowned beverage programs accompanied by exceptional culinary talents.

Today, Gerber Group encompasses 18 iconic venues under such brands as Whiskey Blue, Kingside, The Roof, Living Room, Stone Rose Lounge and THE LCL: Bar & Kitchen. Scott continues to oversee the company’s growth, having opened Kingside and The Roof at Viceroy New York on West 57th Street, as well as Studio, a lounge installation with contemporary artist Domingo Zapata at W New York – Union Square. 

Scott, who holds a B.S. in Finance and Real Estate from the University of Arizona, was previously a Principal at a commercial real-estate firm and represented notable clients such as Giorgio Armani, Hermes, and Dolce & Gabbana.

Sonia Kapadia

Sonia Kapadia Sonia Kapadia is founder and CEO of Taste Savant, a restaurant discovery site. Taste Savant helps people find new restaurants to eat out at by aggregating critics’ reviews and coupling them with your friends’ recommendations. Prior to launching Taste Savant, Sonia worked at numerous consumer facing companies and has deep experience in Brand Management, Marketing, and General Management. She spent five years at PepsiCo in the US and the UK. She had the entrepreneurial itch and left Pepsi to become CMO of a consumer products startup in the UK called Gu Chocolate Desserts ( Beyond consumer products, she also has spent time in fashion and retail. She was a strategy manager at Henri Bendel (owned by Limited Brands) and was a marketing director at Rent the Runway, managing business development and partnerships. She has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Willie Degel

Willie Degel William "Jack" Degel, owner of New York’s Uncle Jack's Steakhouse chain and Jack's Shack all-natural eatery developed his entrepreneurial spirit at an early age by working to help fund the parochial school education his parents demanded of their sons. As the youngest of four boys, Willie learned at a young age the importance of hard work and the value of taking risks.

In his early twenties, Willie began working as a bartender. His charismatic personality was perfect for such a role. So when the opportunity arose for him to open a bar, a shuttered Flushing, Queens, saloon, he took the chance and partnered with his brother and opened his own establishment, Cocktails. The bar was a big success and ultimately became the platform that catapulted his dream of opening an "Uncle Jack's" into a reality.

His dream came to fruition 18 years ago with his first Uncle Jack's. He personally designed the restaurant's interior and the menu reflecting his fervent, spirited style. He produced a beautiful 1890s prohibition-style Victorian saloon in Bayside, N.Y., with hand-carved mahogany bar and walls, copper pressed ceilings and Old World charm. He elevated the restaurant's service to a five-star standard and instilled the motto "Customer is king."

Customer demand prompted a retail and mail-order business of homemade family recipes that launched the Uncle Jack's Steakhouse sauce collection (Steak Sauce, Hickory Wood BBQ and Sesame Soy Teriyaki ) sold in his restaurants, gourmet shops and many supermarkets. As the Uncle Jack's name grew, so did Willie's popularity. He was nominated for the Ernst & Young award and featured in Crain's "Forty under Forty" as one of New York's rising stars.

His latest endeavor is the all-natural eatery he opened in his neighborhood called Jack's Shack. The concept was to provide a nutritious, delicious and fast way to grab a bite to eat by creating a menu that was unique and versatile. 

Willie Degel has also appear in the Food Network show Restaurant Stakeout.