The son of Portuguese immigrants, Telmo Faria spent the early part of his childhood on the island of Faial in the Azores, Portugal, where his father owned and operated two restaurants. He then moved to San Jose, CA, where he grew up in a Latino neighborhood, eating well and being inspired the culture that surrounded him. After high school, Telmo spent five years as an aspiring musician, traveling around the west coast playing legendary venues such as the Whiskey a Go-Go and the Roxy. Deciding to embark on a new path, he decided to pursue a life long passion for cooking and enrolled at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Since graduating, Telmo has been the chef de cuisine at La Salette in Sonoma, executive chef of Tropisueño in San Francisco and currently is executive chef of Tacolicious restaurants and Mosto tequila and botanas bar.
Laurence Jossel got into the restaurant business as a teenager, dishwashing, bussing tables, and waiting on them. By the time he was 18 he knew that food was his passion and enrolled at the Culinary Academy in San Francisco to get behind the line. After school Laurence spent time at La Folie and The Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco under Gary Danko. From there Laurence opened Kokkari, Chez Nous, and finally Chow, where he met the partners for his current project: NOPA. Together with fiancée Allyson Woodman and Jeff Hanak, Laurence has built a neighborhood restaurant that’s making simple, hearty, accessible food with local ingredients and a focus on sustainability. You won’t see it advertised on the menu because part of his philosophy is to carry out his philosophy without making a fuss. Dishes like his simple but perfectly executed White Beans with Feta and Oregano do the talking. But behind-the-scenes at NOPA, menus are recycled, food waste is composted, and absolutely all the ingredients are organic. Laurence sets the standard very high when it comes to sustainability, committed to leaving the smallest imprint possible as a restaurant.
Mary Ladd is a freelance writer, event professional, caterer and Bay Area native.
Her writing has been featured in KQED.org , SF Weekly , 7x7, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Her Mission District home includes troves of chocolate, “found street finds” (including a wooden wine rack that was painted with a clown face) and towers of books shared with her husband, Oscar Villalon and young son, Cipriano. Oscar and Mary tend to help Anthony Bourdain with his TV projects, brain eating included. Mary has volunteered for the Litquake and Share Our Strength organizations.
She tweets and Instagrams under @mladdfood. She is revamping her professional site and may or may not call it Kiss My Grits.
Ali Liebegott is the author of the award-winning books The IHOP Papers and The Beautifully Worthless. Her novel Cha-Ching! was published by City Lights/Sister Spit Books in Spring 2013. In 2010, she traveled across the U.S. by train to visit women poets for a project called The Heart has many Doors— those interviews are published monthly at The Believer Logger. In addition, she works with RADAR Productions to help run the only free queer writer’s retreat in existence, THE RADAR LAB; and, is the founder of Writers Among Artists, whose events and publications include Faggot Dinosaur and The Adrienne Rich Memorial Reading and Tattoo Extravaganza.
David Lynch is owner of St. Vincent. Prior to that he was wine director for Quince/Cotogna here in SF and prior to that was wine director for some of Mario Batali's restaurants in NYC. He is also the author of Vino italiano.
Richie Nakano is the chef/owner of Hapa Ramen, a roaming noodle stand and pop up restaurant. He has worked at various Bay area restaurants, and writes the Line Cook blog. He is also a father, advocate for organics, and all around mischief maker.
Jill Vice has bartended at 27 bars in San Francisco (some for several years and some for only a day). She is also an actress and is currently touring her one-woman show, "The Tipped & The Tipsy" at various festivals. Don't miss her this September at the San Francisco Fringe Festival.