Barbara Sibley www.lapalapa.com chef and artist, is the owner of La Palapa Cocina Mexicana and La Palapa Taco Bar. Barbara was born and raised in Mexico City. She co-authored the La Palapa cookbook Antojitos: Festive and Flavorful Mexican Small Plates. For many years she has collected traditional, rare and ancient Mexican recipes, including 17th Century recipes from Mexico’s convent kitchens, and traditional ingredients. Her interest in indigenous cuisines was deepened by her studies in Anthropology at Barnard College. Her New York restaurant career began at La Tulipe, a New York Times Three Star French Restaurant, where she was influenced by Sally Darr, Jacques Pepin, Julia Child, James Beard, Mimi Sheraton and Sarah Moulton. Since 1997, she has served, with Jennifer Clement, as co-director and founder of the San Miguel Poetry Week, an annual poetry conference in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
La Palapa focuses on Mexico City tacos and authentic regional Mexican cuisine featuring Tacos al Pastor, Mole Negro Oaxaqueno, Salsa Pibil and many other specialties from different regions of Mexico. Salsas and sauces are rich and spicy and fresh ingredients are used. A palapa is a palm-thatched shelter on a Mexican beach where you can relax with your feet in the sand looking at the ocean while you sip an ice cold cerveza flavored with lime and salt, and eat a spicy shrimp taco with salsa guajillo.
Yvette Leeper-Bueno www.vinaterianyc.com is the proprietor of Vinatería, the charming and beloved Harlem neighborhood restaurant and wine bar at 2211 Frederick Douglass Blvd. A lifelong New Yorker, Yvette maintains longstanding roots in Harlem- from her parents first meeting on 122nd Street in the fifties, to the renovated townhouse on 112th St. she has shared with her husband and sons for 12 years. Before opening Vinatería in early 2013, Yvette was already an entrepreneur, opening her own clothing design/manufacturing business and children’s clothing boutique, Leeper Kids. Eventually her entrepreneurial spirit, love for good food and fashion, and devotion to the Harlem community led her to open Vinatería on the historic Frederick Douglass Blvd. Since day one, Vinatería has fostered a spirit of inclusivity and community, offering an accessible but extensive wine program with rare finds, a thoughtful menu of Spanish and Italian-influenced seasonal dishes, a convivial atmosphere and fresh, contemporary design. Over the last seven years, Vinateria has been featured throughout The New York Times, Refinery29, Thrillist, Cherry Bombe, Domino, and many more and has been named by Wine Spectator as an Award of Excellence winner, three years in a row. Throughout the pandemic, Vinateria has remained open offering take-out and delivery, eventually adding to-go fresh pastas, house made sauces, and Italian bites as well as outdoor dining. Additionally, Vinateria is proud to have partnered with World Central Kitchen throughout the pandemic, serving more than 20,000 meals to medical workers and the food insecure.
Chef Angie Mar www.thebeatriceinn.com has spent the bulk of her life finding new ways to fall in love with food. A native of Seattle, Washington, Chef Mar comes from a family of food lovers and restaurateurs – her aunt was the celebrated Ruby Chow, who pioneered Chinese cuisine in Seattle – and these deep-rooted ties gifted Mar an innate love for bringing people together around a dining table.
Mar had the privilege of training in some of New York City’s most renowned kitchens, including honing her skills at whole animal butchery and open fire techniques at Andrew Tarlow’s lauded Brooklyn restaurants Reynard, Diner, and Marlow & Sons. She went on to work at The Spotted Pig, where she learned an unparalleled dedication to perfection and a love of simplicity.
In October 2013, Mar took the helm of the kitchen in the West Village’s storied Beatrice Inn. Best known for her love of working with whole animals, live fire, and dry aging techniques, she quickly revamped the menu and developed her signature style. In 2016, Mar bought the Beatrice Inn and made it her own, with a fresh perspective and new energy that transformed the restaurant into one of the one of the most coveted reservations in the city. Under Mar’s guidance, the Beatrice Inn is now known for its meat-forward menu and show-stopping presentations; her signature dry aging techniques are widely regarded as some of the most unique and innovative in the country; her Duck Flambé has graced the cover of Food & Wine; her Prime Rib was showcased in Bon Appetit; and her hospitality attracts visitors from around the world.
In 2016, Pete Wells awarded the Beatrice Inn two laudatory stars for The New York Times, calling it “one of the most celebratory restaurants in the city” and “a place to go when you want to celebrate your life as an animal.” Mar was named “Chef of the Year 2016” by Thrillist and was chosen as one of Food & Wine’s “Best New Chefs for 2017”. She has been featured in numerous publications and outlets, including Esquire, Late Night With Seth Meyers, The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, People Magazine, Bon Appetit, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many more. Her first book, “Butcher and Beast” (Clarkson Potter) was published in 2019.
Ruth Reichl www.ruthreichl.com began writing about food in 1972, when she published Mmmmm: A Feastiary. She moved to Berkeley, California in 1973, and became co-owner and cook at The Swallow Restaurant. In 1978 she became restaurant critic for New West and California magazines, and went on to be the restaurant critic and food editor of the Los Angeles Times. From 1993-1999 she served as restaurant critic for The New York Times. In 1999 she moved to Gourmet Magazine, where she was Editor-in-Chief for ten years.
She has authored five memoirs, Tender at the Bone, Comfort Me with Apples, Garlic and Sapphires, For You, Mom, Finally and Save Me the Plums, which was published in 2019. Her novel, Delicious! was published in 2014, and her cookbook, My Kitchen Year, 136 Recipes that Saved My Life in 2015. She edited Best American Food Writing 2018, and The Modern Library Food Series, which currently includes ten books. She was Executive Producer and host of the public television series, Adventures with Ruth and a judge on Top Chef Masters. She is the recipient of six James Beard Awards. At the moment she is working on a novel. Her most recent project is a documentary, with Laura Gabbert, director of City of Gold, about the ways the current pandemic is altering the food landscape.