The Chef’s Dinner is the L5 Foundation’s signature fundraising event. This year, Chef Michael Sullivan will prepare a complete dinner with the help of four well-known chefs from around the Southeast who will serve as his sous chefs. The dinner begins at 6:30 pm on Saturday, August 26, 2017.
Anyone who knows Michael Sullivan knows his lifelong passion for culinary arts and charcuterie. Known to his friends as Sully or the Reverend, Sullivan is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and spent time at various chef positions before landing at Blackberry Farm, where he was butcher and charcutier for 10 years and indulged his deep-rooted love of all things cured.
While at Blackberry Farm, Sullivan began working at Cochon 555, a nose-to-tail culinary tour dedicated to supporting family farmers and educating chefs and diners about the agricultural importance of utilizing Old World livestock. He spent five years with the tour, working with chefs and farmers across the country. He embarked on a new adventure in 2015, becoming a regional sales manager with Creekstone Farms Premium Beef. Like an old-fashioned circuit preacher, the Reverend Sully travels widely, spreading the gospel of Black Angus Beef and Duroc pork.
Jeremy Waybright is the executive chef for The Riggsby, Michael Schlow’s nostalgic American restaurant in Dupont Circle’s Carlyle Hotel. Waybright, who describes himself as an American chef through-and-through, traveled within the domestic cooking scene for almost 20 years before finally landing in Washington, DC.
Chef Luca began his culinary career in Naples, Italy, under his mother’s tutelage. Signora Filomena was a tremendous influence on her young son, whose passion for cooking was evident early on. Luca was able to express himself through cooking in a way he had never been able to before. Food was the vehicle that would enable him to travel the world and discover his unique cooking style.
Luca, owner of Luca Modern Italian Kitchen in Charlotte, is known for his innovative juxtaposition of complex contrasting flavors, creating a modernist’s interpretation of cuisine. In his more than 20 years of hospitality experience, Luca has worked in venerable four-star and five-diamond restaurants and hotels around the world.
Andrew Whitney was born in Dallas, but spent most of his life in Middle Tennessee. He began his career as a dishwasher at age 15, and worked his way around various areas of the kitchen. While he never had that ‘moment’ were he knew he wanted to be a chef, Whitney fell in love with cooking at a young age and did everything possible to find success in the industry. Whitney believes his passion for success and hard work comes from his father, who worked his way from a construction worker framing houses to becoming the Vice President of the largest home building company in Middle Tennessee.
Whitney went on to accomplish his career goals by receiving his Chef’s training at the Le Cordon Bleu in Atlanta. He was the executive chef for a Nashville food truck turned brick-and-mortar restaurant, Riff’s Fine Street Food, before joining the M Street Family. He is now the executive chef of Virago, the award-winning Asian fusion restaurant. His newest menu contributions are heavily influenced by the season, created with respect for regional traditions as well as Asian culture.
Chef Annie Pettry is a nationally recognized chef and owner of Decca in Louisville, KY. After training at the International Culinary Center in NYC, she cooked alongside renowned chefs in NYC, Asheville, and San Francisco, before moving to Louisville to open Decca in 2012. At Decca, Pettry applies classic French technique to Southern and Midwestern ingredients, with an emphasis on wood-fired cooking. Pettry was named Restaurant Hospitality’s “15 To Watch in 2015,” a 2015 & 2014 Food & Wine “The People’s Best New Chef” nominee, and a 2014 Star-Chefs Rising Star. Annie can be seen competing on season 14 of Bravo Media’s Emmy and James Beard Award-winning “Top Chef.”
Nasera Munshi is a skilled pastry chef and culinary arts professional recognized for his vast knowledge and experience. Munshi is pasty chef at Kayne Prime, a farm-to-table steakhouse in Nashville’s historic Gulch. He attended the California School of Culinary Arts and Le Cordon Bleu. Munshi was voted Best Pastry Chef of the Year in 2014 by the Orange County (California) Register. He has been featured in Orange Coast Magazine and on Bravo TV’s Best New Restaurant 2015.