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October 23, 2014

Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts Partners with the James Beard Foundation to Launch Taste of Waldorf Astoria

By Neharika Padala

Today Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts announced the launch of a global gastronomy-focused program in partnership with the world’s foremost culinary arts organization, the James Beard Foundation (JBF). Taste of Waldorf Astoria pairs young, emerging JBF Rising Star Semi-Finalist chefs with prominent Michelin-starred Waldorf Astoria chefs in Rome, Berlin, Edinburgh, Shanghai, and La Quinta, California. The program is designed to reinforce Waldorf Astoria’s commitment to culinary excellence and create a platform for rising star chefs to showcase and develop their talent.

Waldorf Astoria New York is the birthplace of iconic classics such as eggs benedict, red velvet cake, Thousand Island dressing, and the eponymous Waldorf salad. Drawing on the heritage of the brand as a culinary innovator, the chef duos have been tasked to create the next iconic Waldorf Astoria dish. The winning Taste will be decided by a panel of culinary influencers at an unforgettable event in February 2015 at Waldorf Astoria New York.

“Waldorf Astoria serves global luxury travelers unique culinary experiences at each of the brand’s more than 140 world-class bars, lounges, and specialty restaurants worldwide,” said John T.A. Vanderslice, global head, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. “The historic James Beard Foundation shares our mission to celebrate, nurture, and honor culinary heritage.”

Taste of Waldorf Astoria will host five chef experiences at the following properties:

Waldorf Astoria Berlin

Berlin Resto_Astoria_DinerOctober 18 – 23, 2014

Waldorf Astoria Master Chef: Pierre Gagnaire James Beard Foundation Chef: Christopher Kajioka of Vintage Cave (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Michelin Star Chef Pierre Gagnaire is at the helm of 11 lauded restaurants in Europe and abroad, including the Michelin-starred Modern French restaurant Les Solistes at Waldorf Astoria Berlin. Chris Kajioka, an alumnus of the Culinary Institute of America and Per Se in New York, just left the Executive Chef position at Vintage Cave in Honolulu to open his own project.  His new restaurant is slated to open in 2015 and will emphasize his style of contemporary French cuisine paired with Japanese flavors featuring local and seasonal ingredients from Hawaii.

Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts

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Waldorf Astoria Master Chef: Heinz Beck

James Beard Foundation Chef: David Posey of Blackbird (Chicago, Illinois) Since 1994, Heinz Beck has served as head chef at Rome Cavalieri’s La Pergola, Rome’s only restaurant with three Michelin Stars. Heinz Beck is the recipient of numerous awards for outstanding achievements throughout a long and prestigious career – La Pergola’s menu is his greatest achievement to date. David Posey is a star chef in Chicago, formerly the Chef de Cuisine at Blackbird and now embarking on a new chapter opening his own restaurant next year.

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian 

November 17 – 21, 2014

Waldorf Astoria Master Chefs: Chris and Jeff Galvin, Craig Sandle James Beard Foundation Chef: Cara Stadler of Tao Yuan (Brunswick, Maine) Michelin-starred chef brothers, Chris and Jeff Galvin reinvigorated the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh’s dining program, making The Pompadour by Galvin and Galvin Brasserie De Luxe two of the finest restaurants in Scotland and the UK. Executive Chef Craig Sandle leads day-to day operations. Cara Stadler, who has been recognized by Food & Wine as one of America’s best new chefs, is the owner and head chef at the celebrated Asian Fusion restaurant Tao Yuan in Brunswick, Maine.

La Quinta Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

November 18 – 23, 2014

Waldorf Astoria Master Chef: Jimmy Schmidt James Beard Foundation Chef: Eduardo Ruiz of Picnik and Corazón y Miel (Bell, CA) An innovative pioneer in America’s culinary movement towards sustainable cooking and farm-to-table dining, La Quinta Resort’s Chef Jimmy Schmidt is a three-time James Beard Award winner and one of the original members of the James Beard Foundation. Recently named one of Zagat’s 30 Under 30, Eduardo Ruiz is the Executive Chef and owner of the newly opened PICNIK Restaurant in Pasadena, California and the acclaimed CORAZON Y MIEL in Bell, California.

Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund

November 30 – December 7, 2014

Waldorf Astoria Master Chef: Jan van Dyk James Beard Foundation Chef: Marjorie Meek Bradley of Ripple and Roofer’s Union (Washington, D.C.) Jan van Dyk is the Executive Chef Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, offering modern French cuisine infused with gastronomy classics perfected over 20 years’ of gourmet experience in some of the world’s most exclusive restaurants and private clubs. Marjorie Meek-Bradley oversees the kitchens as Executive Chef at both Ripple and Roofers Union in Washington, DC. Marjorie has served a variety of cuisines in many top-rated restaurants and her impressive pedigree includes having worked for renowned chef, Thomas Keller, at Per Se in NYC and Bouchon in Yountville, CA, a One Michelin Star restaurant.

Each JBF Chef will visit their selected property for one week, spending time with the Waldorf Astoria Master Chef inside and outside the kitchen, visiting local markets and producers, restaurants or off-the-beaten-path locations for inspiration. At the end of the week, each chef pairing will have devised a unique and innovative recipe.

In February 2015, each participating chef will bring their knives to Waldorf Astoria New York to prepare their recipes for a panel of culinary luminaries, who will ultimately decide the reigning recipe. The final Taste will be included on the menus of Waldorf Astoria’s 28 hotels and resorts worldwide.

Foodies and Waldorf Astoria guests can track each chef’s on-property journey and dish creation by following the brand’s social channels on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Five influential bloggers and Instagram photographers from around the world will likewise be documenting their unforgettable experiences with Waldorf Astoria and JBF Rising Star Semi-Finalist chefs at participating properties, with a user-generated sweepstakes to follow.

For more information about Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, please visit

(Source: Waldorf Astoria)

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