Emmer & Rye
A native of Guyana, Bristol-Joseph spent every Saturday afternoon baking cookies, cakes, and pies with his aunt. After spending over 7 years as a chef in several New York fine dining restaurants, Bristol-Joseph moved to Tuscon, Arizona where he developed an excellent working and personal relationship with Emmer & Rye owner and executive chef, Kevin Fink. Bristol-Joseph decided to follow him to Austin to help open Emmer & Rye in November 2015 as executive pastry chef and partner, where he puts a twist on traditional desserts that each pack a punch of spice.
Sharon Mays founded Baby Greens in 2004, after a brief stint as a vegetarian made her realize that there were no fast food options for people looking for a quick, healthy meal. Sharon grew up in Austin, so she knew that her hometown was the perfect place to launch a fast food revolution. Though she eventually returned the life of an Omnivore, Sharon committed to making sure that people who enjoy a plant-based diet had a fast food restaurant to call their own. Which is why there is a meat version and a vegetarian version of every salad, wrap, and soup on the Baby Greens menu. Under Sharon’s leadership, Baby Greens has won many awards and honors for its delicious food, including been voted “Best Salad & Dressing” in Austin.
Iba, who hails from Dakar, Senegal, co-owns Austin's emerging al fresco eatery, Cazamance Cafe. He aims to create dishes that pack a nutritional punch with an African influence. It was only after leaving Senegal that he realized how much cooking and eating healthily meant to him. Iba makes his burgers from scratch, and he uses local meat, a fact he’s extremely proud of. “The scent coming out when we cook these is another story! In Senegal, we don’t just combine flavors, we enhance them.”
Alexander is one of Austin's most celebrated Black food professionals. The Austin native has spent over 40 years in the restaurant industry and uses his successful business history to encourage African American entrepreneurship in Austin. "Dreaming big is something I've always done and still do," he says. "It took me a long time in my life journey to connect with what's in my heart. I call it the Divine Stirring of the Pudding. How can I make a difference in this East Austin community that I am a product of?"
Demmerick Johnson is an Austin chef, and member of a select number of individuals that have committed more than 20 plus years of their professional lives to supporting Austin’s culinary scene. His resume is a historical reference point of some of the brightest restaurants in Austin’s burgeoning food scene, including a who’s who of the best of the city: Les Amis Café, Mezzaluna Cucina Italiana, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Chuy’s Tex-Mex, Vespaio Enoteca, Hoover’s, Fleming’s Steak House, Uchi, La Condesa, Perla’s, Fonda San Miguel, Justine’s Brasserie, 2nd Bar & Kitchen, and newly opened Old Thousand. Demmerick’s versatility is evident in the multiple talents he brings to the field as chef, consultant, writer, growth hack, and entrepreneur.
The Cook's Nook
An honors graduate of the Culinary Arts Program at the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, Joi combines the best of her technology background with her love of culinary arts in a space for cooks at the beginning stages of their business – The Cook’s Nook. Joi has catered events around Austin, including the kitchens of large events like ACL and the Austin Food and Wine Festival. When she’s not at The Cook’s Nook, she’s tending roses, looking through her telescope, doing high performance driver’s education events, or traveling with her husband and her niece.
Knotty Nice Bakery
Adrian Lipscombe is a Sustainable Cities Doctoral Initiative Fellow and is concentrating her studies on all aspects of sustainable transportation. Her interest is in equity and accessibility to bicycle transportation and the perception of transportation in minority communities. She obtained a BA in Architecture and a Masters in Architecture with a certificate in Urban and Regional Planning, and she was awarded the Alpha Rho Chi Bronze Medal from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
For over twenty years Jennifer Rousseau Cumberbatch has ministered in the Central Texas region and beyond. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, and a an associate pastor at Agape Christian Ministries, as well as the owner of Cumberbatch Confections, home of Cumberbatch Sweet Tater Torte and JR Cumberbatch Productions.
An anointed teacher, preacher, counselor, vocalist, lyricist, author, playwright and actor, Cumberbatch uses her gifts and assorted modalities to express the depth and breadth of God’s unconditional love in various venues. She exudes a passion to serve, especially the vulnerable, and is motivated by her faith to creatively transform culture whether she is preaching to hundreds in Uganda, Africa, counseling a troubled mother in Austin, performing an original song in Los Angeles, speaking into the lives of women at conferences in Round Top and San Angelo, Texas, or encouraging elder citizens with the yet to be fulfilled promises of God, Cumberbatch’s ministry demonstrates God’s love, intellect, thoroughness, perspective, excellence and creativity.
Lavell’s Catering was founded in 1995, in Austin Texas by Harvey Lavell Merida. Mr. Merida is a native of Austin, Texas. He is also a 13-year veteran of the US Army. While serving in the Armed Forces as a Quartermaster (Food Service Sergeant), Harvey discovered his passion for cooking, and was asked to be a part of the Fort Sill Culinary Team.
As part of the team, they successfully competed in several competitions at Fort Lee in Petersburg, VA. After serving duty in Iraq (Operation Desert Shield) and Italy, Harvey decided to opt for an early retirement and move him and his family back to Austin. Once in Austin, Harvey cooked at various places, as well as volunteered at his local church.
After several requests, he decided to open Lavell’s Catering. Lavell’s Catering is truly a reflection of love and passion for what and who Harvey is. True to their slogan: ” Where we love to cook and cook with LOVE!”
Ilbersalle Fallon is no stranger to the food service industry; Graduating from the Orlando Culinary Academy, Fallon has been working with food over the last 16 years. His passion lies in merging his creativity and talent with food in a way that nourishes and draws people together. Fallon has worked in fine dining restaurants as well as casual cafes, providing creative cupcakes, delicious wraps, and much more to the food community here in Austin, Texas. He began Niella Catering in 2014, which specializes in traditional catering as well as creative food activities ranging from Film Shoot Craft Service, Romantic Picnics and Personal Chef Services.
La Gris Gris
Moeller uses her passion for food to explore contributions of her heritage through Creole, Southern, Caribbean cuisine, and Gastronomy. Her cuisine utilizes seasonal and locally sourced ingredients applying innovative and classical preparation techniques obtained over her 18 plus years experience working in the fine dining restaurant industry, while paying homage to Creole and southern black heritage cookery. In March of 2015 Moeller opened La Gris Gris Food Trailer an ode to Voodoo Loas and Hoodoo mysticism.
New Leaf Catering
Enrika adores food. Always has, since she was a small child growing up in Mississippi. She grew up intrigued by PBS cooking shows, her grandfather's gardening and her grandmother's uncanny and unfailing knack for entertaining in the truest traditions of "southern lady" charm.
Currently Enrika is working as a personal chef to a prominent Houston family, as well as expanding her New Leaf culinary brand. In her spare time, she enjoys eating good food she doesn't have to cook, shopping for clothes she doesn't need and spending time with awesome people.
In 2012, Chef JRodi’s passion for entertaining and love of cooking evolved into of 3 small plates LLC, a contemporary tapas catering company specializing in quaint, intimate parties of 40 people or less. Drawing on European travels, residences in Spain and Germany, family experiences along with a culturally diverse group of friends and the love of food, Chef JRodi uses these talents to cultivate one-of-a-kind flavors, and dishes for clients to experience the artistry of Europe without leaving the comfort of their resident or venue. 3 small plates catering services include cooking demos, personal chef, tasting parties, private celebrations, non-profit organization, agencies, and churches in Austin, and its surrounding areas.
Salimah Muhammad has had a passion for the Culinary Arts from an early age. She completed Culinary School at Houston Community College in 2001 and has worked in the industry as a Chef and entrepreneur in the years following. What she loves the most about the food service industry is all of the opportunities that present themselves if you are willing to be exceptional and put in the work. Salimah has been on the Word of Mouth Culinary team for almost 5 years.
Sheena is an avid pickle and jam maker. Based in Austin, Texas, Sheena's Pickles uses fresh, seasonal and local produce to make pickled yummies and delicious fruit butters. Aside from making tasty food, Sheena teaches workshops around town on the arts of pickling and making jams. Currently, Sheena is in the McCombs School of business getting a Masters of Science in Technology and Commercialization (MSTC).