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From Food Network’s ‘Sweet Genius’ to the Four Seasons: Chef Lasheeda Perry '08

It says a lot about Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta’s Executive Pastry Chef Lasheeda Perry '08 that her Instagram handle is @misschefsmileypants. (“Smiling never goes out of style,” reads her bio page motto.)

The first thing she does when she’s introduced as JWU Providence’s 182nd Distinguished Visiting Chef (DVC) by interim Dean Susan Marshall is to give shoutouts to her favorite instructors in the audience: “Hi, Chef Stamm! Hi, Chef Alexander! Hi, Chef Miscovich!” Whenever a student asks her a question, she beams: “Great question, yay!” Her high-wattage smile is present even when she’s concentrating on plating up her demonstration dessert, a coconut tres leches cake with ube (purple yam) ice cream and a macadamia crunch tuile.

‘Give Your Best + Work for the Best’: The Purple Pig’s Jimmy Bannos, Jr. Returns to JWU

Distinguished Visiting Chef Jimmy Bannos, Jr.

Food runs in Jimmy Bannos, Jr.’s family — literally. “I’m a fourth generation restaurateur,” the 181st Distinguished Visiting Chef (DVC) and chef-owner of Chicago’s The Purple Pig recently told a rapt crowd of students and faculty. “My mom is Italian and my dad is Greek, so food is a major component of our lives.”

Dream Big + Challenge Yourself: Career Advice from Jen Welper '06

Jennifer Welper’s interest in culinary nutrition was sparked by a tragic event: The death of her beloved grandfather. “I was raised on a dairy farm in Minnesota,” the 180th Distinguished Visiting Chef (DVC) told the packed auditorium full of culinary students, many of them on the culinary nutrition/dietetics track. “Meat and potatoes country. My grandfather was only 68, and he died of complications from diabetes and heart failure. Once I arrived at Johnson & Wales, it was a revelation to learn that these diseases are preventable through proper nutrition.”

Talking Inspiration, Influences + Tomato Pie with Lindsay Autry '04

“The more you cook, the more you go back to your roots.” Lindsay Autry '04 is back at JWU for a very important reason — she is taking part in a JWU Epicurean Society demonstration and reception to support student scholarships — and she is sharing her signature recipe for tomato pie, a dish that harks back to her childhood in North Carolina, with the invited guests.

Mixing Music + Wine with Master Sommelier Serafin Alvarado

As one of only 149 Master Sommeliers in North America, Serafin Alvarado has turned his passion for wine into a remarkable career, including stints at the late Charlie Trotter’s namesake restaurant and his current position as Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits’ director of wine education. Recently, Alvarado brought his informal and informative teaching style to JWU’s Providence Campus as the College of Culinary Arts’ 4th Distinguished Visiting Master Sommelier.