Chefs & Menus

Chef Christopher Holbrook of Signature Catering

Chef Christopher Holbrook
Signature Catering

Foie Gras Philly Cheesesteak Spring Roll with Milk Llama Stout Cheese “Fun-deaux”  
In his career, Holbrook has trained under three European chefs — from England, France, and Ireland – but credits local luminaries like Tim Creehan for giving serving as valuable mentors as well.

“That’s one of the things I love about my job now, is the opportunity to work with young chefs and pass my knowledge and techniques on to them,” Holbrook said. “The first chef I worked for, he gave me copies of all his CIA (Culinary Institute of America) books, all his notes and took me to a place where I was inspired to serve great food. It’s a rewarding situation to be able to give that back. He graduated in 1998 from Johnson & Wales University from their culinary arts program.

Before becoming the general manager of Another Broken Egg, Holbrook was the executive chef at Infiniti Dining Group in Atlanta, responsible for developing Sage Woodfire Tavern into a Jezebel top 100 Restaurant, which it hadn’t achieved in its first four years of business, as well as being the chef and owner of Signature Catering in Atlanta.

He has served as a consulting chef for an exclusive club in the Bahamas, as a private chef for New Orleans mogul Al Copeland and Ford Motor Company executive Michael Dingman. He has also worked in landmark restaurants Beaumont’s and Kiawah Island Resort in Charleston, S.C., where he had the opportunity to cater the 1997 World Cup of Golf and 1998 Federation Cup of Tennis, as well as personally cook for President George W. Bush. Locally, he has worked at many fine Destin restaurants, from Beachwalk Café to Rutherford’s 465.

“I’ve had some wonderful opportunities that I wouldn’t trade for the world, to work with other people who really care about food and want to create great food,” Holbrook said. But one of the greatest lessons that he’s learned is that it isn’t all about just the passion for food, being successful in the culinary industry is also about being good at business. Holbrook has also built a solid reputation as a “fixer,” someone who can come in and deliver consistency and efficiency, who can reduce food costs while improving a restaurant’s prestige.

So now he has focused on bringing his talents to private guests, couple’s wanting the best for their special day, and working with many concierge’s to provide their guests that special occasion. “Working for myself again and focusing on the guests, is rewarding beyond belief on so many levels. Now I can bring the best restaurant on the coast right to your house and the food is executed before your eyes, which is something I’m very proud of.”

Chef Ruston Johnson - Ruth Chris

Chef Ruston Johnson
Ruth Chris Steak House

Seared Ahi Tuna
Chef Ruston Johnson was born in St. Cloud, Minnesota. At the tender age of four his family moved south to Henderson, Kentucky to escape the harsh Northern winters. His interest in cooking originated there while watching cooking shows at the age of fourteen.

Before Ruston started his culinary career he worked for his dad in construction. “I could see the happiness in his eyes as he built a dream house for people. I liked seeing people happy when you do a job and do it right and what better way than cooking. I get to see happy faces when I cook,” says Ruston. His first kitchen experience was as a teenager at a few fast food restaurants and a steak house.

Relocating to Tallahassee, Florida in his senior year of high school Ruston enlisted in the United States Coast Guard. Stationed in Michigan on a small icebreaker on the Great Lakes he replaced the ship’s chef while he was on vacation. The Captain was so impressed with Russ that he told chef to go back to cooking school and replaced him with Ruston. Later, Ruston became the chef of the Polar Sea a larger Coast Guard cutter. While sailing the seven seas he passed through the Panama Canal three times and traveled the world visiting 12 countries along the way.

After his service with the Coast Guard, Ruston attended Johnson & Wales in Norfolk, Virginia. Upon graduation he interned at the Elephant Walk in the Sandestin Resort. Chef Johnson worked at some of the most well known restaurants along the Emerald Coast including the Sandestin Hilton, Frangista, Cafe Grazie, and Louisiana Lagniappe. Chef Johnson started with the famous New Orleans based Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Destin, FL in 2006 where he remains the Executive Chef.

Chef Laurie Graupner - Seagars

Chef Laurie Graupner
Seagars Prime Steaks

48oz prime porterhouse with a mushroom maderia sauce
Executive Chef Laurie Graupner has her grandfather to thank for her introduction to the culinary arts. The two would watch cooking shows during her visits to California, which ultimately inspired the Menasha, Wisconsin native to pursue culinary school. Now a 14-year veteran of the culinary industry, Chef Graupner has honed her skills by working a variety of positions alongside a diverse group of chefs.

Chef Graupner first joined the team at Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood five years ago as a part-time line cook under the leadership of Chef Dan Vargo, the restaurant’s previous Executive Chef and newly appointed Executive Chef of Hilton Sandestin. Chef Graupner mentored under Chef Vargo as a line cook for several years before earning the title of Sous Chef, and now Executive Chef of Seagar’s.

Named Executive Chef of the AAA Four Diamond restaurant in January 2017, Chef Graupner shares her predecessor’s passion for locally sourced ingredients and partnering with local purveyors. Building on her years of training with Chef Vargo, she is committed to enhancing the fine-dining experience at Seagar’s and is bringing new and innovative ideas to the already thriving culinary team. Chef Graupner left Wisconsin and moved to Florida to broaden her knowledge in the culinary industry and to experiment with fresh, local produce and seafood available in the state. Even so, her favorite dish to prepare is sweet or savory risotto, and her favorite meal to eat is grilled ribeye with herbed gnocchi.

Chef Todd Misener

Chef Todd Misener
Stinky’s Fish Camp

Platain Encrusted White Fish
Cajun Hash w/ Brown Butter Sauce & Pickled green and red onions
Chef Todd Misener took his first restaurant job asa prep cook in a small family restaurant at the age of fourteen. Working in multiple restaurants throughout high school, he discovered his passion for fine food and creativity at a young age. He was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America and graduated with awards in 1989.

He immediately accepted a job with the late Master Chef, Jack Shoop in New Jersey to continue honing his love for the craft of cooking. Chef Todd spent the next 17 years working side by side with Chef Shoop studying a variety of ethnic cuisines and styles of cooking including Italian, German, Asian and foods of the Mediterranean but focusing on the French classics. His Career has taken him to New York, New Jersey, Atlanta, Boca Raton, Tallahassee, and to the panhandle of Florida, where he has planted his feet since 2004.

Chef Todd partnered with Chefs Jim Richard and Brannon Janca in 2007 to open Stinky’s Fish Camp in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. He also currently is the chef and director for Blue Mountain Catering Company. Chef Todd spends his spare time with his wife and their five wonderful children. Todd is a lifelong student of fine cuisine and pursuit of excellence.

Heidi McAnulla - Bake My Day

Chef Heidi McAnulla
Bake My Day

A Trio of Profiteroles, Gougeres, Pear with a prosecco glaze and candied ginger and  Double Chocolate Creme
Chef Heidi, the owner and a pastry chef for over a decade, believes in utilizing only the best ingredients possible. By making everything from scratch our creations not only look good but taste even better. We feel that baking is not about short cuts, but taking the time to do something memorable.

Bake My Day provides special occasion cakes and pastries,such as wedding and birthday cakes. We also provide desserts to local restaurants, as well as to the public. We make everything from scratch, with the best ingredients available.

Chef Mark Eichin of Paradis

Chef Mark Eichin
Restaurant Paradis

Bruised Pork Belly with Roasted fennel & pear compote
Restaurant Paradis is a small fine dining restaurant, with a comfortable and inviting full service lounge. Nestled in the beautiful coastal town of Rosemary Beach, Florida, you’ll find this hidden gem that loyal customers like to call home. Evoking a warm neighborhood feel, the dining area features an understated wine country elegance.

Open for dinner, Paradis is committed to serving fresh seasonal ingredients, which celebrate local produce and an abundance of fresh Gulf seafood, along with prime steaks and fine wines.

Paradis welcomes wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, and all celebrations, both intimate and large. Throughout the year, Paradis also offers select wine dinners and tastings from some of California’s most exclusive vintners.

With a focus on coastal cuisine, Paradis draws from the rich flavors of the coastal area as well as various other regions to create its innovative and tantalizing dishes. Paradis’ chefs have a flair for using common ingredients, but with a unique twist. Dedicated to sourcing locally grown products so the menu changes with the seasons, Restaurant Paradis prides itself on providing customers with new dishes to look forward to year round.

Whether you’re strolling by in your flip flops and shorts or dressed up for a night out on the town, our staff will welcome you with smiling faces. Maybe you’ve just dusted the sand off your feet and realized its dinner and you’re too relaxed to go home and cook. Come on in to Restaurant Paradis where we can meet your leisurely or more sophisticated appetite!

Chef Angela Poe

Chef Angela Poe
Edwards Fine Food and Wine

Mojo Roasted Pork Shoulder Sliders with House Pickles
Crab Deviled Eggs w/ Pickled Beet Salad
Angela Michelle Poe has been surrounded by the restaurant business for most of her life. Her mother and stepfather have a restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee and her father and stepmother have managed and worked in corporate restaurants for most of her life. Angela was raised on the border of Kentucky and Tennessee and after high school in Hopkinsville, she attained an Associate of Arts degree at Hopkinsville Community College. Then, she moved to Nashville to attend the Art Institute where she received a culinary diploma.

Angela became interested in cooking while in high school. She credits her mother with being an amazing cook and says she became an inspiration. Angela says, “I never really appreciated her skills until I was older and started eating dinner at my friends’ houses or trying to cook meals for myself. I picked up an issue of “Gourmet” magazine my sophomore year and began trying to replicate the dishes in the magazine.” It was then that she began to work in restaurants, both back and front of the house. Angela’s experience has been varied and taken her into some of the best restaurants in Nashville. She started as a line cook at the Nashville City Club, moving to Lead Cook at Lime in downtown Nashville. Later she became a line cook at Water’s Edge and subsequently, at Volare. After serving as Lead Cook at Ravello, again in Nashville, Angela headed south. Since 2012, she has been the Sous Chef and now Head Chef of Edward’s Fine Food and Wine.

Angela’s philosophy of food preparation is that simple, comforting food with straight forward flavors results in a superior dining experience. Balance and restraint when trying to highlight a great local product are key to a good dish. She is grateful to have worked with Chef Ed Reese at Edwards Fine Food and Wine for the past five years and thanks him for his interest in making her a great chef.

Outside of cooking, Angela loves to spend time with husband, Tim, and their fur babies. She enjoys reading books, watching movies, and trying new restaurants. She is always learning and Edward’s Fine Food and Wine is all the better for it.

Chef Kevin Korman - Roselie

Chef Jimmy McManus
Grande Vista Bar & Grill

Cast-iron pan roasted duck breast with local Calamansi  Bigarade Honey vanilla butternut squash   
Chef Chris Mongogna

Chef Brendan Davey
Primrose Restaurant

Gulf Shrimp Agnolotti w/ Veggie Ragout
Butternut Squash Cheesecake
Chef Brendan Davey started his culinary career at the young age of 14, as a dishwasher at a country club. He was quick to learn the business and in years to follow, he advanced to line cook. With a passion for learning and personal growth, Chef Brendan enrolled in the Florida Culinary Institute where he refined his approach to cooking. In 10 years with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel he honed his craft in numerous locations around the country and eventually overseeing four properties as Sous Chef, including the 5-Diamond Ritz-Carlton Boston Common.
Most Recently from Sea Island Resort in Southeast Georgia where he held the position of Chef de Cuisine at the Fine Dining restaurant for the Lodge.
Chef Brendan is committed to the pursuit of excellence in his Craft. “Teaching the core values of cooking and paying respect to all areas of cuisine is paramount to success.” Chef enjoys baking, pastry and all things related to improving the dining experience. When he is not in the kitchen you can find him spending quality time with his growing family.

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