Sam Pogue

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Principal, paper to table

By all conventions, a Manhattan event producer may not be the most natural proponent of live fire cooking and exploring the outdoors...and yet this year marks the third year of paper to table's bonfire, a chef's cookout.

"I'm by no means an expert when it comes to cooking; live fire or otherwise. But I'm curious enough to have learnt how to build fire pits, manage cooking fires, and cook over different flames. I've observed, read and listened to the best chefs, firetenders, and pitmasters...and I love that bonfire cookout is our chance to experiment together!" 

It's not perhaps the most natural progression for a former music industry exec turned yogi, and subsequently an event producer from the Upper East Side, but it turns out the path less taken is pretty great.

Mr. Dana Koteen

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principal, restaurant reason

"The town I went to high school in had two main schools: North and South. There was a third, smaller school that I would graduate from called The Village School, the motto of which was 'The road to success doesn't just go North and South.' I have almost always taken the road less traveled."

In 2013, Dana would again take the road less traveled to begin shaping Restaurant Reason into the industry standard for training in restaurants. He joins the bon*fire team with intense passion for hospitality, a deep love of food, and a history of spending summers barefoot in the hills of Vermont to a soundtrack of 70s folk music, reggae and the smacking sound of hacky sacks.

Alejandro Cantagallo

Disclaimer, this dapper gentleman rarely wears a jacket and tie at a bonfire. 

educator & culinary consultant, Son of a Butcher 

Growing up in Queens, the son of South American immigrants, Alejandro had an early start in the food world helping his father out in the family's butcher's shop. Throughout his twenties he worked his way through the front of the house at a number of North Shore country clubs and later shifted gears by attending CUNY CityTech’s hospitality management program. 

Currently, he is an adjunct lecturer in the Hospitality Management Department at CUNY New York City College of Technology and is seeking a Masters Degree in Labor Studies from the CUNY School of Professional Studies. Through his academic work and in his work with Union Square Hospitality Group, Alejandro hopes to contribute positively to workers rights in the hospitality field. 

Tony Delois

co-founder, uncommon hospitality Maine

While on sabbatical from Maine, Anthony (Tony) spent time learning food systems from the ground up. Literally!! Having farmed in Spain and California, he decided to have a go at a cooks life working in San Francisco and NYC, before returning home to Maine in 2016.

There he started working in hotels, and is currently opening both a hotel and restaurant in Portland, ME with Nick Verdisco. 

The Francis is slated to open Fall 2017!

Kathryn Arffa

Eric Faust

Private Chef, Austin TX

My love for cooking started when I was young. My father is a chef and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. He worked in a busy kitchen and I use to love going to work with him on days off from school. Any prep work  he gave me I would try to do the best job I could with hopes of making his busy day a little easier. Years later, against his best wishes , I followed in his footsteps. I remember the first day I walked into [Aureole's] kitchen and falling in love with everything around me.  The smells, the stainless everything, the ingredients I had never seen before and the urgency that every cook had to get ready for service. 

Yale MBA Candidate, Verde Farms intern

Kathryn joins bon*fire for its second season after spending the summer at Verde Farms, a grass-fed beef company in Boston. 

She is currently getting her MBA at the Yale School of Management, and prior to that she was the special events manager at SCRIBE Winery in Sonoma, CA where she learned about stone fruit season and the great western landscape. She is passionate about all things food and has done it all; from farming to marketing for sustainable food companies.

At the end of the day, her favorite part is the act of bringing people together around a table for good conversation and great meals.

Patrick Lussier

Executive chef, Philippe Antoine Traiteur Montreal 

Patrick is passionate about making people feel welcome, and does so through his cooking. He joined caterer Philippe Antoine Traiteur in 2016 after helping to open Oasis Surf's first Quebec location, and insightful stages throughout France.  

He enjoys the creativity of fashioning fire pits out of what is available and delivering unexpected campfire dishes...just ask him about the time he cooked dinner for six on a family camping trip after the gas grill broke down.