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Introducing Tasty's New Talent Program

Marcus Samuelsson leads as Executive Chef-in-Residence with acclaimed chef JJ Johnson and Rising Talent

Taylor Miller / Via BuzzFeed

Marcus Samuelsson

Taylor Miller / Via BuzzFeed

Marcus Samuelsson is the acclaimed chef behind restaurants worldwide including Red Rooster Harlem, Red Rooster Shoreditch, and Marcus B&P. Samuelsson was the youngest person to ever receive a three-star review from The New York Times and has won multiple James Beard Foundation Awards including Best Chef: New York City. He was tasked with planning and executing the Obama Administration’s first State dinner. Samuelsson was crowned champion of television shows Top Chef Masters and Chopped All Stars, and served as a mentor on ABC’s The Taste. A committed philanthropist, Samuelsson co-produces the annual week-long festival Harlem EatUp!, which celebrates the food, art, and culture of Harlem. Samuelsson is co-chair of the board of directors for Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP). In 2016, he was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. He is the author of multiple books including The New York Times bestselling memoir Yes, Chef, the young adult version-- Make It Messy, Marcus Off Duty cookbook, and his latest book-- The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem. Samuelsson recently debut his new TV series titled No Passport Required with VOX/Eater and PBS. Follow him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at @MarcusCooks.

Alexis deBoschnek

Alexis deBoschnek works across recipe development and new formats at Tasty as a Senior Culinary Specialist. After a quick stint in the fashion industry, she worked at Eater, Tasting Table, and EAT Club while attending culinary school at the International Culinary Center in New York, prior to joining Tasty.

Joseph “JJ” Johnson

Joseph “JJ” Johnson is a James Beard-nominated chef best known for cooking Pan-African flavors. Chef JJ is opening FIELDTRIP in Harlem this fall, showcasing heirloom rice from around the world together with bold flavors. JJ's signature style of transforming simple cuisine with unexpected ingredients was inspired by the Caribbean flavors he grew up with, combined with global tastes acquired from his travels. He is also the co-author of new cookbook Between Harlem and Heaven.

Kanchan Koya

Kanchan Koya is the founder and author of Spice Spice Baby, a platform and cookbook that highlights the healing power of spices. Born and raised in Pune, India, Kanchan moved to the United States to pursue Molecular Biology at the University of Texas, and obtained a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from Harvard. When she’s not experimenting with spices or spending time with her kids, Kanchan is a health coach.

Rie McClenny

Rie McClenny studied Culinary Art at the International Culinary Center in New York and worked as a chef in the restaurant industry in New York City and Los Angeles, joining BuzzFeed as a recipe developer for Tasty Japan before becoming a video producer for Tasty US.

Alix Traeger

Alix Traeger moved to Stockholm, Sweden to launch a travel and food blog and work as food stylist after graduating from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Health Sciences. She joined Tasty as video producer and connects with the audience through an approachable and fun lens on cooking.

Vaughn Vreeland

Vaughn Vreeland graduated from Elon University with a degree in French and Cinema Studies. After spending a year in Thailand, he spent time at the Lucettegrace Patisserie in Raleigh, NC prior to joining Tasty.

Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins

Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins is the Executive Chef and Partner of El Jardín, a regional Mexican restaurant in San Diego, CA, who learned under chefs including Denise Roa, Gavin Kaysen, and Javier Plascencia before appearing on Top Chef season 15 and Top Chef Mexico. Claudette finds inspiration from frequent visits to Mexico, as well as from her husband and teenage children, with whom she resides with in San Diego.

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