With 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 30 chefs are joining forces from around the country to showcase their love for Spanish techniques. The list below incorporates all the wineries and chefs attending. This years winery lineup will be released later this month.


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!


With over 40 chefs cooking at the first Rioja Wine and Tapas Festival last year, attendees of the festival got a chance to meet and eat some of the best bites, they showcased their love for Spanish techniques. The list below gives you an example of chefs who were there cooking, this coming year, expect some new faces and some familiar friends to Rioja to return. This years winery lineup will be released later this month.

Seamus Mullen

Seamus Mullen - New York City

Favorite Spanish Restaurant in USA: Minibar in Washington DC
Favorite Spanish Restaurant: Asador Etxebarri

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Bio: Seamus Mullen is an award-winning New York chef, restaurateur and cookbook author known for his inventive Spanish cuisine. He opened his first solo Spanish restaurant, Tertulia, in 2011, followed by El Colmado, a tapas and wine bar in 2013 in the new Gotham West Market! 

"I'm very exciting to participate in the Rioja Fest and support the James Beard Foundation! It's a great opportunity to celebrate food and wine the Spanish way and benefit a cause that has inspired chefs and winemakers around the world to make great food and wine and share it with others.

Francis Derby

Francis Derby - New York City

The Cannibal Beer & Butcher

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."

Matthew Accarino

Matthew Accarrino - San Francisco


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

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Bio: Matthew Accarrino is the nationally recognized chef of SPQR in San Francisco. His unique culinary style draws inspiration from his Italian heritage, personal experience and classical training. The result is an intensely personal cuisine that is both technically polished and soulful. Recognized with a Michelin star in 2013 and 2014, and nominated three times by the James Beard Foundation as a semi-finalist. Accarrino co-authored and released his first book in October 2012.

"It is a great experience and honor to work alongside chefs and friends in food and cooking. it is also exciting to to support the James Beard Foundation and learn about another culture while tasting the great work of winemakers from Rioja."

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 - Philadelphia

The Mildred

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."

Luis Bollo - New York City
Salinas Restaurant

Favorite Spanish Restaurant in USA: Minibar
Favorite Spanish Restaurant: Asador Etxebarri

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Bio: Originally from San Sebastian, Spain, Chef Luis Bollo has worked in three Michelin starred kitchens including Martin Berasategui. Bollo was awarded with the Best Chef of the Year by Esquire and has earned two NYTimes stars twice with Salinas and Meigas in NYC. He is currently Chef/Partner at Salinas.

"I am honored to be part of the event that showcases the creative and original culinary spirit of Spain along with Rioja wines. Being from San Sebastian, Spain, very close to the Rioja region, I will try to create a dish inspired by my childhood memories of visiting small towns and wineries in Rioja with my family. I am happy that James Beard Foundation is named as the beneficiary of the event because they have done a marvelous job, bringing food culture from all over the world to NYC."

Mike Stark - Boston

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

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Bio: Mike Stark began working at Coppa under Chefs Ken Oringer & Jamie Bissonnette while attending New England Culinary Institute where he graduated in 2010. In 2012 Stark took over as Sous Chef at Oringer's Barcelona style tapas restaurant while working with Chef Mike Smith. As of January 2014 Stark accepted the position of Chef de Cuisine at Toro.

"I'm happy to be part of such a fun event for a great cause!"

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!"

ALEX RAIJ - New York City
La Vara, Txikito, El Quinto Pino

Favorite Spanish Restaurant in USA: Mateo
Favorite Spanish Restaurant: Txikito Bar

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Bio: Alexandra Raij is a New York based Chef and Restaurateur. She was named Chef of the Year by Eater for 2012 and was named one of 6 ‘Women Chefs to Watch’ by Bon Appetite. Her collection of restaurants in Manhattan and Brooklyn, co-owned with her husband, Eder Montero, have set new standards for Spanish cuisine stateside. Their inimitable style can be tasted in Brooklyn at La Vara, an improvisational restaurant where Spanish dishes are inflected with Middle Eastern touches. El Quinto Pino, a charming multi-regional tapas bar, and home to the Uni Panini, has just expanded to include a dining room. Finally, Txikito, a Basque restaurant, also in Chelsea, focuses on Basque cooking from pintxos and putxeros, to cider house steaks, whole fish and suckling pig. Alex’s dishes and recipes have appeared in Food and Wine, Bon Appetite, and The New York Times Magazine. She has contributed to several books including Phaidon’s Tapas and 1080 Recetas as well as 2014 IACP winner, The Journey.

"We love promoting Spanish food and culture. It's our job and we love it!"

 - 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.?"

The Thomas

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

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Bio: Originally from Westfield, NJ, Jason has worked under acclaimed Chefs Thomas Keller and Charlie Palmer in both California and Las Vegas. He was named Wine Spectator Las Vegas Rising Star Chef 2004 and is an ACF Certified Executive Chef. He left his role as Chef Instructor of Le Cordon Bleu Las Vegas to join The Thomas as Chef de Cuisine. 

"I'm excited to participate in such a prestigious event as it narrows the gap between the delicious food and wine of Spain and the United States. It will serve as a platform for educating the American consumer on authentic Spanish cuisine through the lens of chefs from across the country. Living and working in Napa Valley has been a life changing experience for me and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to bring a little splash of California wine country to the Big Apple!"


MARK LADNER - New York City
Del Posto




New York City
Casa Mono y Bar Jamon

Favorite Spanish Restaurant in USA: tbd
Favorite Spanish Restaurant: tbd

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DAMON WISE - New York City

Favorite Spanish Restaurant in USA: tbd
Favorite Spanish Restaurant: tbd

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JAMIE BISSONNETTE - New York City / Boston
Toro / Coppa



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