Raised in a family where everyone cooked, Oscar Ascota’s love for great food was instilled early in life. He is Cuban-American, so pork to him is not just the “other white meat,” it’s the first meat of choice. At his restaurant, Indian Creek Country Club, he celebrates every occasion with a pig roast. His signature Cuban sandwich features pork on pork – slow roasted fresh ham marinated with mojo on boiled sweet ham.
He feels fortunate to lead the kitchens at a private country club that holds a rich tradition of culinary excellence. This allows him to source only the best products, which is what led him to Niman Ranch. Oscar not only values the products for high quality, he is also a firm believer in the sustainability and family farming philosophies held by the company. He is truly honored to have the chance to give back to the families and individuals that work so hard to ensure that greatness translates to the center of his customers’ plates.
Chef Lucas Sautter – Alderbrook Resort and Spa – Union, Washington
“I love to use Niman Ranch products because of taste and consistency, not to mention the way the animals are raised and cared for, I think it speaks volumes for the families and farmers. It for me is the best product in America.”
Chef Lucas Sautter brings over 12 years of culinary experience to Alderbrook Resort and Spa. He is a graduate of Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Arizona. Lucas has been a loyal employee of Alderbrook since 2005, working his way up from Lead Line Cook to Banquet Chef. Before then, he worked at the Classical French, AAA Five Diamond Award and Mobil Travel Guide Four Star Restaurant, The Tack Room in Tucson, AZ. He was also the executive chef of Basilico Restaurante Italiano in Olympia, WA. Lucas is a member of the American Culinary Federation, Washington State Chef’s Association and is on the Culinary Arts Advisory Board at Olympic College. He resides in Shelton with his wife, Crystal and their six year old daughter.
We’re honored to have chefs with his expertise joining us in Iowa!
“Niman Ranch has always been our go to for sustainable antibiotic free pork. We feel creating dishes with integrity is our responsibility as chefs.”
After completing a degree in Restaurant/Hotel Management at Colorado State University and at Hotel Institute Montreux in Switzerland, Kelly Whitaker cultivated his skills in the back alley trattorias and little-known cities north of Naples, Italy. Returning to the States, Kelly perfected his craft in Los Angeles and Hollywood cooking in Michelin star restaurants, where he began developing his wood fire skills. He opened his first wood-fire concept restaurant called Basta, located in Boulder, Colorado, after returning in 2008.
Kelly believes strongly in sourcing his ingredients as locally as possible, with his style of cooking being inspired by Southern Italian comfort farm food. He is currently expanding his talents with his newest concept, Cart-Driver, located in Denver Colorado. This fast/casual autogrill-style eatery replaces the normal “to-go” repertoire with responsibly sourced and well prepared food. Kelly’s hospitality group, IE Hospitality, hopes to create approachable concepts centered on responsible, quality ingredients while maintaining the highest level of customer service.
We can’t wait to taste what Kelly cooks up in Iowa!
Chef Keenan Bosworth – Pig & Pickle – Scottsdale, Arizona
“I use Niman Ranch for Consistency and Flavor, as well as how they raise their livestock. Happy pigs make a happy restaurant!”
Chef Keenan Bosworth started cooking in the early nineties at a young age in Madison WI. His first inspirations of food and cooking come from his parents, who always maintained huge gardens, cooked every night, and took weekly trips to the legendary Dane County Farmers Market on the capital square. He ended up working at the Edgewater Hotel, then later at L’Etoile with Odessa Piper, who re-inspired those childhood memories of fresh food, local ingredients and approachable menus driven by the integrity of the products sourced.
After a few stints in Milwaukee, he moved to Scottsdale, AZ and founded the Phoenix Slow Food chapter. This immediately introduced him to the limited but wonderful small farms and producers that Arizona has to offer. After working with Payton Curry at Digestif, and then at Atlas Bistro for several years, he opened up Pig & Pickle in December of 2012 with his business partner, drink-man and longtime friend, Clayton MacGregor. They stay open late to provide others in the service industry a place to get good food and drinks after their long shifts. Their goal is to bring high quality ingredients with fair neighborhood prices to a relaxed, fun atmosphere, which they have most certainly achieved.
We’re lucky that chefs as passionate about good food as Kennan will showcase our farmers’ award-winning pork at the Farmer Appreciation Dinner!
Chris Beischer – The Mercer Kitchen- New York City, New York
“As a country boy from Pennsylvania, I grew up loving animals, knowing the importance of how they should be raised. Niman Ranch has the best tasting meat because of how their animals are treated, respected and care for. It is my brand of choice.”
Chris Beischer was born and raised in Pennsylvania and started cooking at age of seventeen. He decided to formally train as a Chef at the world-renowned Le Cordon Bleu School in Paris and graduated at the top of his class. Chris’ first job in New York was at the famed Quilted Giraffe. After a memorable dinner at Lafayette Restaurant with Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Chris discovered a cuisine that spoke to his senses and decided then that he would next work for Jean-Georges at his first restaurant, JoJo.
Chris moved up to Chef de Cuisine in 1997, earning him high praises. In 2000, Chris moved downtown, taking the helm at (The Mercer) Kitchen, with its pleasing and cutting-edge cuisine that works so well with the sleek multi-textures décor of leather, brick, glass and stone. Over the years, Jean-Georges has closely relied on Chris’ artistry and skills to train chefs from other restaurants to the Jean-Georges’ culture of taste and excellence. Chris has been part of the opening teams many of Jean-Georges’ ventures, cooked at the James Beard House, and sits on the advisory board of two culinary schools.
We’re honored that talented chefs like Chris have a commitment to cooking with the finest tasting meat in the world. We can’t wait to taste what he comes up with for the Farmer Appreciation Dinner this September!