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Greenville, SC

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OCTOBER 21, 2017

Lexus Celebrity Chef Dinner

The Chefs

Matt Accarrino

San Francisco, CA

Chef Matthew Accarrino is the nationally recognized executive chef of SPQR in San Francisco. Born in the Midwest and raised on the East Coast, he moved west to California in 2007. He had originally hoped to become a professional cyclist until a leg injury turned his passion for cooking into a career. Today, he is doing both. Accarrino’s unique culinary style draws inspiration from his Italian heritage, personal experience, and classical training with some of America’s best chefs.

Nick Graves

Restaurant 17
Travelers Rest, SC

Growing up in Pawley’s Island in South Carolina, Chef Nick Graves was inspired by local Chefs Bill Austin and Louis Osteen, who influenced him to pursue a culinary career. Graves has worked with the Rebel Restaurant group as a research and development chef, and most recently was with the EC at Halls in Greenville, South Carolina.

Michael Kramer

Greenville, SC

A Los Angeles native, Chef Michael Kramer grew up surfing and cycling, getting his first taste of the culinary world in high school when he worked in a restaurant. He later graduated from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and served as an apprentice for legendary French Chef Roland Passot at La Folie restaurant.

Bryan Voltaggio

Frederick, MD

Chef Bryan Voltaggio is a true son of the Chesapeake, born and bred in Frederick, Maryland. By the young age of 20 and after having served as sous chef and executive chef at two regional hotel restaurants, Voltaggio made the decision to enroll at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, NY. Upon graduating, Voltaggio staged at Aureole, in New York City, where he met his mentor chef Charlie Palmer. Following a stint at Michelin three-star Pic restaurant in Valence, France, Voltaggio reunited with Palmer as executive chef at Charlie Palmer Steak in Washington, DC. After almost a decade with Palmer, Voltaggio took a leap of faith and returned
to Frederick, Maryland to open VOLT in 2008.

Cole Dickinson

Frederick, MD

Before graduating high school, Chef Cole Dickinson began working in the industry as a bus boy at 15 years of age. He quickly transitioned to a spot on the line, then working his way up through a variety of kitchens. He worked for Chef Michael Voltaggio at Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg, California, and then continued to work under Voltaggio as his sous chef at Hemisphere at the Greenbrier in West Virginia, followed by The Bazaar by José Andrés in Beverly Hills.

Ken Vedrinski

Trattoria Lucca
Charleston, SC

A three-time James Beard Award semi-finalist, Chef Ken Vedrinski grew up cooking under his grandmother’s tutelage, later receiving a degree in restaurant management from Columbus College and an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales University.

Biju Thomas

Biju’s Little Curry Shop
Denver, CO

Chef Biju Thomas is a lifelong cyclist and the founder of Biju’s Little Curry Shop, one of the most talked about new food concepts out today. Thomas has served as executive chef to numerous Pro-Tour teams, as well as the Tour of California, USA Pro Challenge and the Colorado Cycling Classic.

Craig Rogers

Border Spring Farms
Patrick Springs, VA

Chef Craig Rogers is the owner and shepherd of Border Springs Farm LLC in Patrick Springs, Virginia, at the foothills to the Blue Ridge. His lamb is featured in restaurants from across the country and used by some of the greatest and most well-known chefs in America.

Border Springs Farm is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge on the Virginia–North Carolina border. Rogers’s lamb graze on specially sown high-sugar grasses which, coupled with a unique breeding, creates a rich lamb flavor with an exceptionally sweet fat. His lamb is Animal Welfare Approved (a third party certification).