The Chefpanzee Tasting Panel
“ No plate, no dish, no calorie goes untasted or tested!”
Stuart has been covering the Utah food and beverage scene for nearly fifteen years. Through that time he’s worn quite a few hats, from restaurant critic at the Salt Lake Tribune through to chief taster at Gastronomic SLC – Utah’s longest running online food magazine. Born and raised in the U.K. he’s traveled extensively and have been lucky enough to enjoy everything from three star Michelin dining to stuffing a whole pack of hot dogs in my face during one sitting. No plate, no dish, no calorie goes untasted or tested! I’m always excited and proud to help discover and share what’s happening in the Utah dining scene.
“Food is a very sensual experience for me, touch, taste, smell, even sound. I love that about food, that I get to use all my senses”
Mike is a third culture kid, which means he’s Filipino, born in Saudi Arabia, lived there for 17 years, only visited the Philippines, and currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He’s a global nomad! Neurology Researcher by day and foodie by night, his best memories of love, community, and comfort can all be traced from family barbecues to tasty travels. Since sharing a meal is his universal language of friendship and community connecting with people is his favorite thing about eating… besides the food!
If eating is your passion, you are welcome you to his Garden of Eatin’: @thefoodslutah
“They say you can’t outwork a bad died, but I’m trying to prove ’em wrong!”
Chase, also known as SLCFoodie, is the self-proclaimed food enthusiast of Utah. Chase has been posting food pictures since 2005, and created SLC Foodie in 2012 as a fun way to share all the tasty eats around Utah! With no professional food background he prides himself on being an “average joe’s” perspective. Though he may not understand the details of finer cooking, he sure knows how to understand what tastes great when he’s eating it!
“I don’t really have a favorite genre of food, but I love really big flavors. If its food that comes out of your pores afterwards I like it even better. “
Jenai is a native Ohioan with a taste for pierogi, matzo balls and big umami taste. Her childhood best friend was afraid to eat at her house because of her father’s Japanese cooking. Growing up experiencing his cooking, as well as her German-American mother’s, and that of many local Cleveland chefs, Jenai has been immersed in food culture from a very young age. She believes that everyone relates to food , and to share it and share your story!
“I was 25 years old when i got here. I had to learn the culture, I had to learn the language itself… but I ended up loving it”
Juve Hernandez has been in the hospitality industry since 1992. Because he is originally from Baja, he has a particular insight for Cuban cuisine. He loves to discover new combinations of flavor that he didn’t know were possible. Today he is the co-owner of Spicy Restaurant consulting – a company whose goal is to bring new and repeat guests to his restaurant clients. He is a water person, and though he has left surfing behind to pursue his dreams of owning a business, it will always be something he is passionate about!
“I’m married to a professional chef and we love to travel the world cooking and together. Whether it be grabbing local ingredients and cooking at our Airbnb together, or dining out at a greasy spoon, or taking those flavors that we’ve found and making them at home. ”
Kristen is a marketing and advertising professional, mother of 2, and self-proclaimed foodie. She fell in love with food when her now professional chef husband shifted from the television business to food. While he was attending culinary school, Kristen got bit by the foodie bug and learned how to appreciate great cuisine vicariously through her husband. She loves to travel, garden, and most importantly EAT!
“I’m a busy mom, I work 2 part-time jobs and perhaps most importantly, I’m a non-
What exactly does non-discriminating mean for her? If it looks good, why not give it a go! While she’s always up for a good, basic hamburger or hot dog, her heart truly lies with the complex spices and richly-infused flavors of Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine.
In ancient Rome, the job of a food tester was anything but fun and glamorous – in fact it was outright deadly. But times have changed and Ali is free to let her foodie flag fly!
Though she is often mocked by her family (rightfully) for saying “mmm!” before the food even touches her lips, she argues it’s simply because her sense of smell, touch and the sheer sight of a good-looking place is enough to make her cylinders fire like a 21-gun salute.”
“My favorite foods are spicy. I grew up in Southern California so spicy food always has a place in my heart. ”
Lindsay is a longtime saleswomen. Working for the chamber of commerce and encouraging businesses to join. Though she has no professional food background she loves food. Mexican is her favorite but she is no stranger to comfort food of all cultures. Food is a very emotional experience for her and she loves the dynamic experiences that flavor can bring. One of her favorite local spots not on the Chefpanzee lineup is Hires Big H because she has been eating there since she was a little girl.
“ I’ve gotten older and traveled a bit, and been exposed to many different cuisines. I try to get at least one dish that a region is known for. Now I’m interested in finding foods that are delicious and healthy. ”
Born in Brooklyn. he’s always been in love with food. he was raised on Jamaican food so that’s my favorite. As a corporate wellness coach Daniel got into cooking when he began to lose weight for a trip to Miami. Since then he has caught the bug and has been on the hunt for more healthy delicious recipes to cook. Since fitness is a big part of hit life, he sometimes views food as fuel and is always trying to put the highest grade he can through his system!
“For 20 years I have managed restaurants. I love my work because I am inspired by the fusions of different foods, and the culture that comes with every dish. “
As the founder of Spicy Consulting, Omar has a passion for helping restaurateurs reach their goals. In 1996 He started working at the first Arby’s in his hometown, then he moved to Utah 20 years ago, and started working in different restaurants where he gained experience in Italian, American, Greek, Hawaiian and Mexican cuisine. Omar is passionate about helping the small businesses and implores everyone to go support their favorite local spot!
“If you have an appetite for self indulgent, sad, desperate cooking shows, that’s what I’m all about!”
Growing up in rural Utah, Danny would spend his days after school watching cooking shows on PBS (before Food Network!) Influenced by the diversity of cultures in the Carbon County area where he was raised, and watching his mother interpret her Greek grandfather’s cuisine through the lens of his grandmothers pioneer heritage, I have a natural love of old world cuisine executed in an unfussy manner. A marketer by day, I spend my evenings trying to recreate these dishes for an ever-patient wife and two crazy basketball loving boys.