meet our chefs
Chef Joel Gamoran, best known as the host for A&E’s hit series “Scraps,” has become one of the nation’s most well-known sustainability storytellers. Joel spent over ten years as a National Chef for Sur La Table. In 2018 Joel released his book “Cooking Scrappy” (Harper Collins), inspiring home cooks to turn scraps into delicious meals. Joel also makes monthly appearances on NBC’s Today Show, sharing his recipes and sustainability tips to a worldwide viewership. Through entertainment, creativity, humility, and education, Joel brings people together with a common goal of getting good food on the table while being mindful of waste.
Chef Lindsay Leopold knows her way around any kitchen, from her experience working in restaurants, running a culinary program, to her own home kitchen. Lindsay’s Haitian background adds dimension to her French and American style cooking. She’s all about bold, bright, colorful, and yummy food. Chef Lindsay has done several media appearances on local radio, television programs, including a demo of Soul Food in celebration of MLK Day at the Smithsonian's American History Museum. Lindsay believes that when her students, family, and friends walk away from her meals and her kitchen, they always walk away with a piece of her heart.
Chef Ben Leonard is a private chef and cooking teacher in Los Angeles, California. For many years Ben worked for celebrated restaurants in his home state of Maine, and then Los Angeles. Four years ago, he began exclusively teaching cooking classes at Sur La Table in Woodland Hills, California. During that time, in addition to running the cooking classes, he made numerous television and live cooking appearances—including hosting a charity dinner for the local community rescue mission, teaching a community kids class, and running events bringing awareness to local restaurants. Ben believes that cooking builds community and all of us deserve to feel comfortable and have fun cooking fresh, delicious, healthy food every single day.
Chef Renée Gabbett makes you feel that every meal you share should be celebrated. Exceedingly Midwestern, peppered with Korean and European roots, her style and approach to cooking could be described as New American Comfort Food. Teaching was a very natural transition after working closely with families as a private chef in Chicago and New York, cooking meals that are beautiful and special yet easily created at home. Renée worked as the chef and director of an international culinary school founded by Pizzaioli based in Venice, Italy. She is now designing classes for Goose Island Brewery’s global education in beer & food program, running catering events at Paulie Gee’s Logan Square, and is occasionally slinging slices out of the New York slice window.
Ryan has been in the realm of bespoke dining and food–centric events for the last 10 years. She grew up in her Mother’s organic health food store. Ryan is a certified Holistic Health Practitioner by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. She is a recipe writer and product developer and has consulted for plant-based restaurants in Washington state, New York City, on Little Corn Island, Nicaragua, Munich, Germany, and Paris, France and currently at the Red Fox Inn in Middelburg. Ryan is a published author of the N0-Fuss Cookbook for Newlyweds. You can also see her win an episode of CHOPPED, the episode “Light Makes Right,” on the Food Network and catch her co-host the finale episode. She also appeared in the Thanksgiving special of Joel Gamoran's first and second season of SCRAPS on the A&E network.