Taste of the Nation Palm Beach would not be possible without the support and leadership of our event chairs. Learn more about them here.
Chef Lindsay Autry
It’s not every day you get to see and taste the talents of a chef like Lindsay Autry. Her reputation has garnered respect from some of the greatest chefs in America. Lindsay describes her cuisine as soulful, embracing Mediterranean flavors while blending in her southern roots. Lindsay has held various chef positions on the East Coast as well as three years in Mexico.
She honed her skill under the James Beard Award winning Chef Michelle Bernstein, starting at Azul at the Mandarin Oriental in Miami and then on to open MB as Sous Chef in Cancun, Mexico. Lindsay served as Chef de Cuisine of Las Brisas at The Fairmont Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen, and was the Executive Chef of Michelle Bernstein Restaurant & The Omphoy Ocean Resort. Most recently, Lindsay was the Executive Chef of the historic Sundy House in Delray Beach, Florida as well as a finalist on Top Chef. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Lindsay is a native of North Carolina but currently resides in South Florida.
Chef Zach Bell
Addison Reserve Country Club
An early fascination with the kitchen dates back to the fourth grade when his family’s relocation meant several months residing at a hotel. He was captivated with the workings of the hotel kitchen, which became his after school playground. After a stint in one of the largest hotels in Orlando and culinary school, he fell into a French kitchen in Miami that would lead him to New York City and the heralded Le Cirque. Zach followed Andrew Carmellini to work with Daniel Boulud at the newly opened Café Boulud New York. In 2003, Daniel tapped Zach to open his first restaurant outside of New York City; Café Boulud Palm Beach.
In July of 2011, after 13 years with Daniel Boulud, Zach felt ready for a fresh new challenge and became the Executive Chef of Addison Reserve Country Club; ranked 4th in the nation as a Platinum Club of America Residential Country Club. Zach had the opportunity to rebuild the kitchen team’s philosophy, focus and technique from the ground up during a $20 million clubhouse renovation.
Zach perceives cooking as a craft melding technical skill with a love of food and a respect for process. No short cuts! The wonderful bounty of Florida and the Southeast drive his cuisine, guided by years of practicing the best of French technique. Zach is thrilled to work with as many local farmers and fisherman as possible as well as being able to source the finest ingredients around the world. This philosophy, along with his team building skills and detail orientated work ethic have earned Zach four consecutive trips to New York as a finalist for Best Chef : South at the James Beard Awards.
Zach has become a dedicated member of the Palm Beach County philanthropic community spearheading many culinary events for Feeding South Florida, The March of Dimes, The Boy’s and Girl’s Club, Quantum House. In 2010, Share our Strength recognized Zach with a National Community Leadership Award for his work with the No Kid hungry campaign. His work with No Kid Hungry has taken him to Capitol Hill lobbying for Child Nutrition and to the Republican National Convention introducing delegates to the problems America’s children face. Zach continues his work with Share our Strength as Chair of the Palm Beach Taste of the Nation event.
Chef Clay Conley
Chef Clay Conley opened buccan in Palm Beach, Florida in 2011. He wanted to create a casually sophisticated space that offered small plates with big flavors, and replicate the camaraderie felt when dining at a friend’s house. The result? Raving accolades, a James Beard Award nomination for Best Chef: South - in both 2012 and 2013 - and an expansion. In February 2012, he opened Imoto (transl: little sister), an intimate, Asian-focused extension of buccan.
His “progressive American” approach at buccan blends the classic comfort of his New England childhood, the rustic boldness of the Mediterranean, and the sensual influence of Latin America. Highlighting contrasting tastes, textures, and temperatures, Clay applies his flair and sense of balance to traditional flavor combinations and dishes.
Chef Clay and his restaurants have been recognized in national and international publications including Travel + Leisure, Robb Report, Conde Nast Traveler, Miami Herald, Complot, USA Today, Fodors, Boston Globe, NY Post and Wall Street Journal. Buccan is listed as Forbes Travel Guide’s “hottest spot” in Palm Beach and as Esquire’s “Where to Eat in South FL Now,” and has received “Best Restaurant” honors from all area publications. Clay has also cooked on Emeril’s Florida, featured on both Food Network and Cooking Channel, and on The Today Show and Fox and Friends.
Chef Allen Susser
Chef Allen Consulting
Allen Susser is a winner of the prestigious James Beard Award. His personal culinary viewpoint has been established since 1986 upon opening Chef Allen’s as chef/owner of his groundbreaking Miami restaurant. The New York Times called Allen the “Ponce De Leon of New Florida cooking”. Chef Allen’s cuisine is fresh and flavorful, like a tropical vacation on a plate. Food & Wine magazine named Chef Allen "One of the Best 10 Chefs in America".
In 2000 Allen launched Chef Allen's Consulting a boutique restaurant and hospitality consulting firm - providing strategic initiative, culinary resources, and innovative direction for the industry. Allen has consulted for American Airlines, Kitchen Aid, Fairchild Tropical Gardens, McCormick Spice, Kraft and Sunkist. In 2008 was named consulting chef for Jade Mountain Resort and this year added Anse Chastanet Resort also on St Lucia in the West Indies. In 2011 he debuted a new casual direction of comfort food launching Burger Bar by Chef Allen at Fort Lauderdale - Hollywood International Airport and is currently developing a privately held QRS national brand concept. Current clients include Daily Melt, Slainte Irish Pub + Kitchen and Books & Books Cafe.
Susser is currently the spokesman for the National Mango Board and is a Culinary Ambassador for the Monterey Bay Aquarium for its sustainable seafood watch. He received an honorary Doctorate of Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales University. His Alma Marta- Florida International University award Allen the President's Award for community service. Allen was recognized as Chef of the Year for Share Our Strength and later was honored nationally as Humanitarian of the Year by Share Our Strength for his commitment to End Childhood Hunger. He is currently active on the Board of Feeding South Florida. Susser is an advisory member of the James Beard Foundation, The Florida Commissioner's Seafood and Aquaculture Committee, and has served on the National Board of Directors for the American Institute of Wine and Food. Susser served as president of the Miami chapter of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. He is the original author of New World Cuisine and Cookery (Doubleday, 1995), The Great Citrus Book (Ten Speed Press, 1997) and The Great Mango Book, (Ten Speed Press, 2001).