A former journalist who served as The Dallas Morning News’ longtime restaurant critic and The Los Angeles Times’ food editor, Leslie is the winner of a long list of honors, including two James Beard Awards. She is the author of five books about food and wine, including American Appetite and The Fourth Star, along with an acclaimed novel, Greetings From the Golden State.

Since 2017, she has been working in the food & beverage industry; during her two-year tenure with Rebees, she helped open Billy Can Can and Hatchways Café, both in Victory Park, Dallas. The consultancy she launched in 2019, Leslie Brenner Concepts, specializes in food & beverage programming, concept creation, culture-building and project vision.

Seth Brammer

Seth spent the first half of his career in kitchens and the second half talking in front of people.

With an academic background in food science and nutrition, Seth has worked in restaurants such as Filament and the Second Floor in Dallas, and Nick’s on Broadway in Providence, as well as in hotels, fine wine, craft cocktails and corporate environments.

In 2018 he partnered with chef Josh Sutcliff to found ShipShape Hospitality Concepts, focused on increasing access to quality local food experiences in D-FW. In 2019 the pair launched Skin Contact, a natural wine bar pop-up; Vetiver, a farm-to-table pop-up dinner series; and FARMTENDER, the first bartender-focused farm tour.

Seth teaches Beverage Management at El Centro’s hospitality college in downtown Dallas, and he continues to host educational workshops and events for the industry, focused on improving access to relevant and modern continuing education for hospitality professionals.

Seth’s work has been featured in The Dallas Morning News, D Magazine, The Dallas Observer, Modern Luxury Dallas, and Vogue Magazine. In 2016, he was recognized as one of Zagat’s top 30-under-30 influential restaurant professionals in Dallas, TX.

Josh Sutcliff

Josh Sutcliff started his career as a 13-year-old dishwasher intrigued by the chaotic nature of the kitchen. At 14, he started cooking at a small restaurant in North Carolina, where he remained through high school. In 2010, he moved to San Francisco where he attended Le Cordon Bleu while working at the restaurant Bix.

Two years later, Josh moved to Dallas, serving as chef de cuisine at Matt McCallister’s highly acclaimed FT33; later, he headed the kitchen at Filament, where he was recognized as one of Zagat’s top 30-under-30 influential restaurant professionals in Dallas. In 2016 he garnered effusive praise as executive chef at Mirador. The modern American restaurant — focused on local and seasonal ingredients — earned a 4-star review from The Dallas Morning News, and Josh was named Rising Star Chef of the Year by CultureMap Dallas.