This year's distinguished panel of judges includes ...
Robb Walsh (Head Judge): Three-time James Beard Award winner Robb Walsh is the dining critic at Houstonia magazine and a partner in El Real Tex-Mex Cafe in Houston's Montrose neighborhood. Walsh is also a co-founder of Foodways Texas, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving Texas food history headquartered at UT-Austin. His latest cookbook is The Hot Sauce Cookbook from Ten Speed Press.
Randy Clemens: Clemens is a graduate of the California School of Culinary Arts and has written for Gourmet, Saveur, Wine Enthusiast, Los Angeles magazine, and Beer Advocate. He is the author of the bestselling The Sriracha Cookbook, The Veggie-Lover's Sriracha Cookbook, and The Craft of Stone Brewing Co., all from Ten Speed Press. He lives in Los Angeles, Calif., where he is an avid homebrewer and recognized beer judge.
Mando Rayo: By day, Mando Rayo is a Latino engagement strategist, and by night he's a taco journalist. Through his contributions to the famed Taco Journalism blog, fans go behind the scenes with the trailers and taqueros who make it all possible. He and fellow taco blogger Jarod Neece are the co-authors of Austin Breakfast Tacos: The Story of the Most Important Taco of the Day (History Press, 192 pp., $14.99).
Paula Disbrowe: Disbrowe is a food writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Food & Wine, and Cooking Light, among others. She previously served as the food editor of Restaurant Business magazine and regional travel editor of Southern Living. She is the author of four cookbooks, including Real Cajun with Donald Link, which won the 2010 James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook.
David Garrido: European-born Garrido began his cooking career under Southwestern cuisine pioneers Stephan Pyles and Bruce Auden. For many years, Garrido was executive chef of Jeffrey's restaurants in Austin and Washington, D.C., and is also co-owner of O's Campus Cafe on the UT campus. Formerly executive chef of Chuy's Comida Deluxe and owner of Garrido's.
Alan Lazarus: Executive chef and co-owner of the highly acclaimed Vespaio and SoCo hotspot Enoteca Vespaio next door, Lazarus has long been recognized as one of Austin's top toques. After more than 35 years of cooking in Austin, one of his newest interests is organic gardening, raising herbs and tomatoes to be featured in his popular restaurants.
Stephanie McClenny: McClenny formed her small company, Confituras, in 2010. It did not take long for Austin's food community to recognize her commitment to good jam. Confituras has been twice awarded the Local Hero Awards by Edible Austin readers and three times awarded the national Good Food Awards. In 2013, the Austin Food & Wine Alliance awarded Confituras a culinary grant for their emerging Preserving Austin Project.
Will Holland: Chef Holland is a very busy man. As a restaurant consultant, he has opened 50 Planet Hollywoods. As a senior partner at Wolf Creek Quality Foods, he helps produce choice condiments – including two great salsas. As an executive chef, he caters high-profile functions and Caribbean yacht charters. His latest venture is in culinary education, producing the POV Chef app with the Google Glass Project.
Lynda Berrios: This Wharton, Texas, native blends her marketing and cultural anthropology background as the Texas Local Forager for Whole Foods Market's Southwest Region. Her career with Whole Foods began as a cashier, but her undying passion for bringing people together through food led her to her current role. Berrios is motivated by the passion and spirit she sees in small producers and artisans across Texas.