We had over 50 Wineries attended the first Rioja Wine and Tapas Festival, attendees of the festival got a chance to meet with the winemakers and the best importers representing Spain's most prominent wine region.  For one day, over 35 chefs are joining forces from around the country to showcase their love for Spanish techniques. The list below includes a sampling of the wineries and chefs attending on May 2nd in Chicago.


Amezola de la Mora


Baron de Ley

Bodegas Baigorri


Bodegas Bilbaínas

Campo Viejo 

Carlos Serres

Castillo de Cuzcurrita

Compañia de Vinos Telmo Rodriguez


Bodega Cooperativa San Esteban

Bodegas Covila



Dinastía Vivanco

D.O.5 Hispanobodegas

Eguren Ugarte

El Coto


Bodegas Fernandez de Pierola

Finca Allende

Finca Egomei

Finca Nueva

Gomez de Segura Ibañez

Bodegas Heredad de Baroja


Bodegas Larchago

Luis Alegre

Bodegas Luis Cañas

Marqués de Cáceres

Bodega y Viñedos Marqués de Carrión

Marqués de Riscal

Marqués de Tomares

Martinez Corta


Bodegas Muga

Bodegas Muriel

Bodegas Navarsotillo


Bodegas Palacio

Palacios Remondo


Bodegas Patrocinio

Bodegas Ramirez de la Piscina

Ramón Bilbao

Bodegas Riojanas

Raquel Saenz Sacristan

Rug Vino

Ruiz de Viñaspre

Bodegas San Prudencio

Sierra Cantabria

Solar Viejo 

Soto de Torres 

Bodegas Tarón

Bodegas Tobia 

United Wineries

Bodegas Valdemar


Viña Eguia

Viña Ijalba

Viña Salceda

Viñedos de Alfaro

Viñedos de Paganos

Everyone enters to win a cellar!

We expect over 50 chefs will be in the house cooking at the first Rioja Wine and Tapas Festival in Chicago over the James Beard Awards weekend. Attendees of the festival will get a chance to meet and eat some of the best bites showcasing their love for Spanish cuisine and tapas. The list below gives you an example of chefs who were there cooking this year, expect some new faces to pop in the list below as we get closer.

David Cordua - Houston

Daniel Olivella - Austin

Haidar Karoum - Washington DC

Katie Button - Asheville, NC

Kylen McCarthy - New York City
Il Buco Alimentari

Jason Vincent - Chicago

Adam Halberg - Washington DC
Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant

John Manion - Chicago
La Sirena Clandestina

Tim Graham - Chicago

Joshua Whigham  - Washington DC

Sarah Simmons - New York City
Birds & Bubbles

Sarah McDonnell - Chicago

Nicole Pederson - Chicago
Found Kitchen

Nathan Sears - Chicago
The Radler

Thomas Rice, Kurt Guzowski - Chicago
TÊTE Charcuterie

Carlos Gaytan - Chicago

Rob Levitt - Chicago
Butcher & Larder

Greg Laketek - Chicago
West Loop Salumi

Joe Heppe - Chicago
Oak & Char

Jeff Parkin - Chicago
Bar Pastoral

Greg O'Neill - Chicago
Pastoral Artisan

Francis Derby

Francis Derby - New York City

The Cannibal

Favorite Spanish Restaurant in USA: Tertulia
Favorite Spanish Restaurant: Mugaritz

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Bio: Francis Derby started cooking on Long Island in his teens. After moving to Manhattan and working at some of the city's most progressive restaurants he traveled to Spain to work at restaurant Mugaritz and learn more about Spain's food and techniques. Francis is currently the Culinary Director for Abbey Restaurants and Executive Chef of The Cannibal Beer & Butcher.

"Its always good to spend some time cooking some Spanish inspired food. Brings me back to my time spent in San Sebastián as a young cook."

Michael Sullivan

Michael  Sullivan - Tennessee

COCHON 555 (Formerly of Blackberry Farm)

Favorite Spanish Restaurant in USA: Tertulia
Favorite Spanish Restaurant: Arzak

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Bio: Michael Sullivan is a nationally celebrated butcher and charcuterie. During his 10 years at Blackberry Farm, he worked with the most prestigious chefs in today's culinary landscape. Known for old-world salumi and whole muscle curing, Michael brought BBF's to be one of the most respected programs in the country. From cookbooks to private events for Lexus, Michael is leading the educational front on preserving heritage breed pigs. Currently he is Director of Operations & Culinary for the Cochon US Tour.  

"Every time I get invited to do an event in New York City involving things I care deeply about, such as morcilla, iberico, paella, and whole animal presentations, I can't hesitate. Better yet, I am able to support the James Beard Foundation while celebrating Spain's most prominent region with some of the best chefs in the country."

Michael Santoro

Michael Santoro - New York City

Andaz 5th Avenue

Favorite Spanish Restaurant in USA: Tertulia
Favorite Spanish Restaurant: Mugaritz

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Bio: Michael Santoro has worked in top kitchens all over the world. His focus now is on regional produce and whole animal usage. He has artwork of his dishes displayed in the James Beard house and owns one of Philadelphia's top restaurants named The Mildred.

"Spanish food is some of my favorite food of all time. The flavors are bold, the techniques are exciting, and the country is beautiful. I'm proud to bring my experience of cooking and living in San Sebastián to this event."

Anthony Sasso - New York City
Casa Mono y Bar Jamon

Favorite Spanish Restaurant in USA: Casa Galicia
Favorite Spanish Restaurant: Can Flores

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Bio: Studied and trained in New York City, lived and cooked in and around Barcelona, Anthony has been the head chef at Michelin starred Casa Mono for 5 years where he uses local ingredients in his interpretation of Iberian traditions, sourcing the greatest products that both Spain and the East Coast have to offer in creating a uniquely innovative Spanglish cuisine.

"Can't think of a better event to be a part of than one that will be showcasing all that Spain has to offer in one of the most incredible event spaces in New York. I'm especially looking forward to sharing this experience with some impeccable wine producers, chef friends that I respect enormously, and others that I'll get the chance to meet for the first time, all over a healthy amount of Jamon, Rioja wine, and tapas."

DANNY MENA - New York City
Hecho en Dumbo

Favorite Spanish Restaurant in USA: Degustation
Favorite Spanish Restaurant: La Casa del Abuelo

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Bio: Chef Danny Mena was born and raised in Mexico City. At 18 he moved to the United States to study engineering. After graduating he returned to Mexico for a year, where the life of an engineer did not suit him, which prompted him to move to New York to pursue studies at the French Culinary Institute. Upon graduating he interned at Blue Hill and then worked at The Modern. In 2007, he and partner Ethan Smith began a small Mexican restaurant, called Hecho en Dumbo, in DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) Brooklyn, creating classic rustic Mexican cuisine of Antojitos, or small cravings. Using organic vegetables, antibiotic-free proteins, and house-made tortillas, Hecho en Dumbo developed a devoted following larger than the capacity of their small cooking space. Hecho en Dumbo moved to the Bowery in March of 2010, where the new iteration of the restaurant currently thrives. In 2013 chef Danny Mena opened his second restaurant, Sembrado, in the East Village creating a truly authentic Mexico City style restaurant focused on the tortilla.

"To be part of such a great event, where there is so much consciousness of cuisine, culture and the environment that we live in is truly fantastic. To be able to experience such great food and wine, with so many people I care about is just the icing on the cake. Being a member of the JBF, and having participated in other events to benefit such a great foundation, I'm truly honored!"

 - New York City
Fine Foods From Spain & Chorizo Manufacturers

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Bio: Despaña Brand Foods was established in the early 70's as the first meat manufacturer of Spanish style chorizos based in New York. Although the company’s focus in the specialty food sector stemmed originally from their USDA inspected manufacturing facility in Queens, their focus expanded during the late 80’s as they began to gradually incorporate a wide line of imported specialties from Spain. As ambassadors in NY of foods from Spain, their products are comprised of a mix of traditional old world flavors and a blend of new times avant garde presentations of ingredients. Their influence in creating and supporting market tendencies has created a bridge represented more prominently to the public in their unique food boutiques in Queens and SoHo, NYC.Their chorizo factory remains in Jackson Heights, with their corporate headquarters and warehouse facilities for distribution in Woodside, Queens.

"Despaña is excited to support this special event where our chef friends, collaborators and colleagues continue to be inspired by ingredients and flavors from Spain. A perfect match will be made with the fantastic pairings of the wines of Rioja, so what more could we ask for?"

DYLAN FULTINEER - Richmond, Washington DC
Rappahannock Restaurants

Favorite Spanish Restaurant in USA: Toro
Favorite Spanish Restaurant: Too Many

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Bio: Originally from York, Pa, Dylan has worked around the country by way of Pittsburgh, Key Largo, Chicago and Los Angeles. He apprenticed for many years under Paul Kahan at Blackbird before moving to California where he opened Hungry Cat, Santa Barbara. Currently he is the Executive Chef of Rappahannock in Richmond, VA.

"I am a huge advocate of the food and wines of Spain. It is an honor to participate in an event that supports the great cause of the James Beard Foundation and the food and wine of Rioja. I support produces of great food and people who care what they eat.?"



Barlata Tapas & Bar

Favorite Spanish Restaurant in USA: Barlata
Favorite Spanish Restaurant: Susquet D' Admirall

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Bio: Chef Daniel Olivella - Born in the heart of the wine region of Penedes in Spain and with more than 30 years of experience in the restaurant business, Chef Daniel Olivella brings authentic Spanish flavors to his establishments in the Bay Area and Austin. He began his career as a teenager in his hometown of Vilafranca del Penedes at L’Era, which was the first international restaurant in the area. He then made the move stateside where he trained at Chicago’s La Paella. It was in Chicago where he had his first experience with Richard Melman’s restaurant group, Lettuce Entertain You at Café Babareeba and Shaw’s Crab House. Olivella ventured west to Palm Springs to work for Sydney Chaplin at Chaplin’s Bistro, continuing onto San Francisco’s renowned Zuni Café owned by Judy Rogers. Given the opportunity to work in his home country, Daniel, returned to Barcelona, where he worked at Servicio Wilson, a hot spot during the 1992 Olympics. Upon returning to the states, he was offered the position of Chef at Thirstybear, which in turn led him to open B44, a Catalan Bistro in the heart of the Financial District in San Francisco. Most recently, Olivella just opened Barlata in Austin, Texas, where he currently resides with his family.

"I am very eager to be part of an event that spot lights Spain's culture, gastronomy, cuisine and wines. It is an honor to collaborate with fellow spanish chefs in a common vision to promote the flavors of Spain in America."

MATT KELLY - North Carolina