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Box Office: 941.351.8000 / 800.361.8388


Photo by Cliff Roles

Asolo Repertory Theatre’s Men Who Cook fundraiser is a fun and casual cooking extravaganza. The fourth annual Men Who Cook was held on Sunday, May 4, 2014 at Mattison’s Bayside at the Van Wezel and featured 26 of Sarasota and Bradenton’s most well-respected gentlemen, each of whom prepared their favorite dish to share. The event was chaired by Beverly Bartner, Judi Gallagher, Molly Schechter and Margaret Wise and featured live music, an old-fashioned cake auction, a table décor competition and many other contests. All proceeds benefitted Asolo Rep’s 2013-14 season.

We thank all those who contributed to the success of this year’s event. We hope to see you at the theatre soon.

For more information on Men Who Cook, please contact Laura Stuart Wood, Special Events Manager, at 941-351-9010 ext. 4712 or

Photo by Cliff Roles

Asolo Rep thanks the following sponsors for their generous support of the Fourth Annual Men Who Cook.

Managing Director
Market Investment Director, Southwest Florida
U.S. Trust

Entrée: Smoked Duck and Andouille Gumbo

Scott is a Managing Director and Market Investment Director for U.S. Trust® in southwest Florida. In addition to his professional responsibilities, he serves on the board of Take Stock in Children of Sarasota County. Scott moved to the area in 2002 from Knoxville, TN and in his spare times enjoys numerous outdoor activities that draw so many to Florida’s Sun coast. Scott’s interest in cooking began in college as a way to earn money for tuition and stay fed... A self-professed weekend culinary warrior, Scott  is very much at home in the kitchen sharing ideas and creating interesting dishes with his brother, Brian, and friends. Bon Appétit!!!

Business Development
Octex LLC

Entrée: Poached Chilean Sea Bass over Polenta Napoleon

 John Bowman comes from the world of pharmaceutical sales and marketing, and now does Business Development for Octex LLC. In college, John worked in fine dining, and developed a passion for food and preparation techniques. After many years of burning down kitchens and unintentionally poisoning family and friends, he is ready to show those daring enough to sit at his table that he is dangerous in the kitchen in other ways. His biggest inspiration in the kitchen is local award-winning Chef Mac DeCarle, former partner at Cork, and now owner of Nutrition Kitchen.

President & CEO
JA Moody Company
Entrée: Shrimp and Artichoke Linguine
Frank is the President of JA Moody Company, a specialty Marine sales and service company. He is also the Chairman of SSG-Barco, Inc., an environmental remediation and engineering company. Frank has three grown children, Lisa, Greg and Tara as well as six lovely grandchildren ranging from 2 years to fourteen years in age.  He enjoys running on the beach, biking, kayaking and boating.


Managing General Partner
Southeast Venture "SeVen" Holdings, LLC

Entrée: Cogan's “Military Mess Hall” Chili

Chris Cogan was born in Louisville, Kentucky as one of nine children. Cogan learned many early lessons relative to surviving in a large, competitive household including how to cook and be self-sufficient. After moving to Florida in 1984, Cogan spent a couple of decades as a bachelor building software companies and gaining an appreciation for finer cuisine (not from a can). He married his wife Aimee in 2004 and together they have a five year-old daughter who is proud of the fact that she “got her height and her sweet-tooth from her Daddy.” Chris and Aimee are founding members of the Bellwether Group at Morgan Stanley, one of the top financial advisory teams in the country. The Cogans are committed to advancing the arts, higher education and entrepreneurialism in Florida. They enjoy boating and traveling around the globe in search of interesting boutique hotels. Chris still enjoys cooking several times a week and considers himself an experimental chef who would rather guess how something is made than refer to a cookbook.


Entrée: Dean’s Hearty Chili

Dean Eisner is past president and chief executive officer of Manheim, a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. Headquartered in Atlanta, Manheim is the world’s largest provider of vehicle remarketing services. Before joining Cox, Eisner served in various executive management positions at General Electric, CBS and Sony in New York, and AGB Market Information in London.

Eisner currently serves on the boards of Ringling College, Mote Marine Laboratory, the Sarasota Arts Alliance, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation, Woodruff Arts Center, Center of Civil and Human Rights, and Automotive Hall of Fame. His interest in education also has him serving in advisory roles at the University of Michigan, Georgia Tech and Ringling College. Eisner also serves on the advisory board of CVC, a large New York-based private equity firm. 

Eisner holds a bachelor's degree in accounting and computer science from Purdue University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan. His interests include sailing, racket sports, traveling, movies, photography, and newfound exploits in golf and motorcycling – though his greatest interest is in his family: His son Matthew is a senior at University of Michigan, and his daughter Sarah attends boarding school in Vermont.


Entrée: Rosie's Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya

 Jerry Feinstein is a retired general contractor. His career included industrial and commercial construction, real estate development and home building. He lives in Longboat Key and Aspen with his wife Wendy. They have five children and nine grandchildren. In addition to cooking, Jerry enjoys biking, skiing, and boating. He loves being with his family and special friends. Theatre, opera, ballet and travel enrich his life.

“There isn’t a place in the world that I love more than the kitchen. It’s not important where it is, how it is, as long as it’s a kitchen. A place where I can cook; where I’m happy. If possible I prefer it to be functional and lived in, with a lot of towels, dry and clean, and sparkling white tiles. I also like incredibly messy kitchens where the floor is scattered with vegetables pieces. I feel so at home in a lively kitchen that if I look up, I see stars shining in the sky.” -Unknown poet 

IB Coordinator/Assistant Principal
Riverview High School
Entrée: Contemporary Flemish Stew
Dr. Paul Gallagher is the IB Coordinator and Assistant Principal of Riverview High School. Most recently Doctor Gallagher was named to an International Board of Directors for IB Schools, representing both North and South America. Not only has he mastered the craft of quiche, as evidenced by last year's Irish Country Quiche, but he has reached into family folklore for this year's entry: Contemporary Fleming Stew. A humorous Irishman, Dr. Gallagher harbors a passion for eating...and, in the process, found the love of his life in Chef Judi G.

Director of Development
Community AIDS Network
Entrée: Cold Sesame Noodles with Shrimp in Black Bean Sauce
A transplant from Tuxedo Park, New York, Scott has been on the board of many local and national non-profit organizations and chaired over 6 major Galas during his 16 years here. After selling his business of managing opera singers, he transferred his fundraising skills to the Human Services world and is currently the Director of Development for Community AIDS Network of Southwest Florida. In his spare time he and his partner of 32 years have renovated more than 15 homes, including those of Emily Post, Dorothy Draper and William Waldorf Astor. In what little time he has left – Scott plays tennis, gardens and is a passionate needle-pointer!


President & CEO
MoJack Inc.

Entrée: Country Sausages with Beans

Jack and his wife Maureen have been winter residents of Longboat Key since 2006. They are originally from the Philadelphia suburbs of Media, Pennsylvania. He is the retired President and CEO of MoJack, Inc. Jack enjoys playing golf, walking, reading and especially traveling, where he and Maureen pursue their mutual passion for good and different cultural foods! This is Jacks' fourth year of participation in MEN WHO COOK in Sarasota. He is looking forward to tasting everyone's creations and sharing his recipe with those who enjoy different variations of traditional American and Italian cuisine! 


Senior Relationship Manager
PNC Wealth Management

Ever since his first fried bologna sandwich, one of Brad's favorite activities is experimenting for friends & family in the kitchen. A 19 year resident of Sarasota with his wife Mary Beth and two children, he considers the invitation to participate in Men Who Cook a great way to support Asolo Rep. Based on advice from counsel, he is drafting a hold harmless letter given his wife's recommendation, who has been eating his cooking for 25 years. 


State Street Eating House + Cocktails; ARK Catering
Entrée: “Jail Bird” Meatloaf

Christian Hershman's interest in food began in 1993 where he worked under John Letchner at Morel Restaurant. Eventually, Christian was recruited by the owners of the Alley Cat Cafe to be the Executive Chef at 20 years old. After several successful seasons at Alley Cat, Christian created and founded NOAH on Palm Avenue at 25 years old. NOAH was one of the original understated, "in the know" dinner only restaurants in downtown Sarasota. The natural progression was to then expand into personalized catering such as private chef services, custom events and wine sales with his company ARK. In 2011 Christian and investors launched STATE STREET EATING HOUSE + COCKTAILS. Christian is thrilled to be back downtown on State Street offering American food classics, loosely based on the 1950s. Also Christian has found a new passion through reproducing classic cocktails with historical accuracy and has spearheaded the "craft cocktail" scene that has recently emerged in Sarasota.
Entrée: Miss Lesley’s Apricot and Pecan-Stuffed Smoked Pork Loin with Vermont Maple Slow-Cooked Apples



President and CEO
Michael Urban Hair Studio
Entrée: Southern Lovin’ Chicken with Rustic Greens
Michael S. Krempel is the President & CEO at Michael – Urban Hair Studio. His 14 years of professional experience in the hair fashion industry, combined with a dedication to expand and refine his knowledge, has resulted in expert styling and coloring techniques.

Exceptional technique and years of experience represent only a part of Michael’s uncommon talent. His imagination and intuition allows Michael to connect with his guest, better understand what they want, and develop a complete image of their style. This artistic side completes the necessary union of creativity, knowledge, and experience that makes Michael a truly unique and extraordinary stylist.


The Taste of Venice

Entrée: Braised Espresso Boneless Short Ribs over Creamy “Company” Mashed Potatoes

Edward Machado, is a retired Hair Stylist & Salon Owner from Cape Cod, MA. For many years, Ed was hairstylist to matriarch Rose Kennedy and several of her "clan," as well as stylist in residence at the Cape Cod Melody Tent, catering to many beloved Broadway stars who performed there, including Rosemary Clooney, Helen O’Connell, Margaret Whiting and Rose Marie. That exposure kindled in him a passion for "living well" leading naturally to fine food. Over the years (in the opinion of his frequent dinner guests}, he became a self-taught amateur chef of note, as well as an avid devotee of the Performing Arts. 

Together with his wife Kathleen, they operate The Taste of Venice – “Adventures in the art of living well”, which offers gourmet food tours of downtown Venice, Florida restaurants. Their blended family, split between Massachusetts and Florida, consists of 8 children, 19 grandchildren and soon to be 17 great-grandchildren.


Executive Chef and Proprietor

Chef Paul Mattison grew up in New York, cooking and gardening side by side with his Italian grandmother, Esther. He began his culinary career at age 15 in a local Greek restaurant and was encouraged by the restaurant’s owner to attend the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). Upon graduating with honors from CIA, Chef Paul went to Aspen where he would refine his skills over the next five years working at Piñons, a one-of-a-kind restaurant receiving top kudos from Zagat.

In 1991, Chef Paul relocated to Sarasota, Florida as the executive chef and proprietor of the Summerhouse Restaurant on Siesta Key, which quickly became a local treasure and institution, establishing Chef Paul Mattison as a celebrated local chef. In 2001, Chef Paul and Jason Sango created the Mattison’s concept which includes: Mattison’s Catering Company, a full service in-house and off-site catering company; Mattison’s City Grille, an award-winning al fresco restaurant in downtown Sarasota; Mattison’s Forty-One, a highly acclaimed local restaurant boasting comfortable elegance in South Sarasota; Mattison’s Bayside at the Van Wezel, the official in-house caterer at the waterfront Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall offering pre-show dining and events; and Mattison’s Culinary Adventure Travel, a personalized tour operator offering an irreplaceable hands-on culinary experience filled with history, culture, tradition and of course amazing meals.

Chef Paul regularly conducts cooking demonstrations, wine-pairing dinners, culinary tours, and participates in a variety of local fundraising events.


President & CEO
Nuovo Salon Group

Entrée: Lacquered Chicken Wings

In addition to being the President and CEO of NUOVO Salon Group, Terry moonlights as the Fashion Editor for the Herald Tribune’s Style Magazine. Initially a pre-med major eyeing dermatology or plastic surgery, Terry’s father always predicted he’d be “a hairdresser or a chef”. While the beauty industry prevailed, culinary pursuits have remained a passion and a pastime for this creative, forward-thinking professional.

Still busy “behind the chair” Terry continues to serve a thriving (and very valued) clientele. Already a Strategies Certified Business Coach, he recently embarked on Inspiring Champions’ Advanced Leadership Program “to stay on top of the game”. Active in the community, he heads up the marketing and promotion for NUOVO Salon Group and attends many of the charitable events Sarasota is so well known for. When not out and about, you can find him at home with his partner Mike, their two Schnauzers “Paint” and “Pi” and their Puggle “Brody”.


Entrée: Moussaka

Ron Pantello spent forty years in the advertising agency business based in New York City. He graduated from the University of Miami and earned his MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Ron is co-author of Medicine Ave: The Story of Medical Advertising in America, Volumes 1 & 2. 

Recently retired and living on Longboat Key, Ron spends his time writing plays and screenplays. His most recent screenplay, Blood Secrets, was a second round selection in the PAGE awards and quarterfinalists in Scriptapalooza writing contest. His new play Mother and Sons was a finalist in the 2013 New Play Festival at The Players Theatre in Sarasota, Florida.


Jack Dusty at The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota

Entrée: Pork Chile Verde with Cilantro Rice

Michael grew up in Riverside, California and moved to Florida in 1983. His extensive knowledge of wine comes from 10 years with Southern Wine and Spirits in South Florida and the Keys. He had the opportunity to travel to vineyards both here in the USA and internationally. He has shared this knowledge with his guests at the Ritz-Carlton for the last 7 years, now at their new Jack Dusty Restaurant. A graduate of the Cortiva Institute of Massage Therapy, Michael also works in the beautiful Ritz-Carlton Sarasota Spa. In 2008 Michael and his wife Coral opened Cutting Loose Salon with their grown children Travis and Taelor -- with new locations in downtown Sarasota and now in Lakewood Ranch.

Michael and Coral stay connected with the community both personally and professionally. Some of the organizations they are involved with include Designing Women, SPARCC, Habitat for Humanity and The Center for Building Hope. They live in Sarasota and share their home with their two chocolate labs, Moose and Rocky. Michael’s passion for cooking was enhanced after his training with Paola Baccetti from Casa Ombuto in Tuscany, Italy. His family and friends have enjoyed Michael’s cooking and now he is excited to be one of the talented men to participate in the 2014 Men Who Cook!




Entertainment Editor
Herald-Tribune Media Group

Entrée: Gruyere, Mushroom and Ham Bread Pudding

Brian Ries is Entertainment Editor at the Herald-Tribune Media Group, where he oversees all the food and drink content for the paper. Before joining the Herald-Tribune, he worked as a critic, reviewing restaurants in Sarasota and Tampa Bay, dining at more than 500 spots during a five-year period. Brian is a passionate baker and loves to get creative in kitchen, serving his favorite audience … his wife and son. He looks forward to preparing for an extended audience and hopes that the crowd at Men Who Cook will be a little more forgiving than he used to be.


Director of News and Digital Content

Entrée: Ragu a la Sabato with Penne Pasta 

Steve is a Broadcast and Digital Media Specialist who joined the ABC7 News team in 2012. When not covering the news he can usually be found on a golf course or in the kitchen with his wife Sandra, with a glass of vino and creating a Calabrian family recipe. 

A dual citizen of the US and Italy, he and his wife Sandy have been married for over thirty years, have lived in eight different markets, and are absolutely certain they have found paradise on the Suncoast.


President, Shrimp and Aquaculture
National Fish & Seafood, Inc.

Jeff has lived in Sarasota for 34 years. He is the President of the Shrimp Division for National Fish Co. which is one of the world’s largest integrated seafood producers. In his few escapes from traveling, he enjoys cooking and snow skiing. His passion for cooking began as a young child spending time with his father in the kitchen. 


Gary W. Sweetman Photography & Digital Imaging, Inc.

Entrée: South African Bunny Chow

Gary W. Sweetman is pleased to be a “4-time Chef” for Men Who Cook. Gary has been an innovative commercial and portrait photographer since 1971. His love for the theatre drew him to the Asolo, where he was production photographer from 1973 to 1989 and stills photographs special plays such as Other Desert Cities and the upcoming premier of Hero: The Musical. In 1984 he moved into the current Manatee Avenue West 4000+ sq. ft. studio which was the first photography studio conceived and constructed on Florida's West. His commercial assignments and professional teaching have taken him from Sweden to Shreveport. His studio also specializing in heirloom photo restoration. Long before it was fashionable to be a green business, his environmental concerns and conservation played a significant role since 1971.

With international travel as a family passion, Gary enjoys and cooks ethnic foods. Even as a child, he paid attention to his Grandmother’s cooking, but has never mastered her German potato soup! As an adult he simultaneously found it relaxing and challenging. Creating an exciting meal from ingredients at hand is always fun and usually successful (especially when you add some spices from the Egyptian Spice Market in Istanbul, Turkey).


Director of Community Investment
Gulf Coast Community Foundation

Entrée: Cosmopolitan Chicken Curry

Former Sarasota County Commissioner Jon Thaxton joined the Gulf Coast Community Foundation as Director of Community Investment in September 2012. Jon works with nonprofit organizations, donors, and other community partners to invest Gulf Coast grants and resources in projects that will transform our region and improve public policies. He currently leads Gulf Coast’s Feeding Hungry Families initiative, an unprecedented effort to transform our region’s charitable hunger-relief system. 

Before and during his career in elected office, Jon earned great respect for crossing traditional boundaries and listening to all sides of an issue before making a decision. His active involvement in both business and environmental issues ultimately contributed to his first successful campaign for the Sarasota County Commission in 2000 and his reelection in 2004 and 2008. He is recognized throughout Florida as a leading advocate for protecting the natural environment. He is a fourth-generation Floridian who was born near Osprey and began working at his family’s real estate company at 14. He began his environmental advocacy at Venice High School in 1974 as a founding member of the Ecology Club.

Jon is an acknowledged leader in growth management, environmental preservation, water conservation, and transportation planning. His commission appointments included the Metropolitan Planning Organization, Manasota Water Supply Authority, and National Association of Counties Growth and Land Use Committee. Jon has been awarded the 1,000 Friends of Florida State Growth Management Award and was twice named the Nature Conservancy’s Grassroots Activist of the Year. In 1996, he was featured in National Geographic for his work in preserving endangered species.


Van Buskirk Osteopathic

Entrée: Paella Pot

Richard Van Buskirk is a longtime Sarasota resident who is happily married to Monica Slater-Van Buskirk and the proud step father to Gabrielle Slater. He enjoys reading, attending Arts performances, gardening, writing and when he can make time for it, cooking.

Dr. Van Buskirk is an internationally recognized osteopathic physician who has practiced Family Medicine and Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine in Sarasota for 24 years. Before going to osteopathic medical school in West Virginia he was an Associate Professor in Physiology and Neuroscience, having earned his PhD from Duke University. Dr. Van Buskirk is a Fellow of the American Academy of Osteopathy and has served for 15 years on the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Osteopathy. He is the published author of books, medical and scientific articles and has given lectures and courses in North America, Europe and Japan.


Chairman and Founder
InfaCare Pharmaceutical Corporation

Entrée: "Slap Ya Mama" BBQ Ribs

Bob, also called “Dr V” by his friends and former employees, is Chairman and Founder of InfaCare Pharmaceutical Corp. developing new therapies for neonates and pediatric patients. He has over 40 years of drug development experience and was employed by Warner Lambert, E.R. Squibb and the Revlon Health Care Group prior to founding Roberts Pharmaceutical. Dr. Vukovich is a Trustee of Allegheny College, Meadville, PA. He is a graduate of Jefferson Medical College with a degree in clinical pharmacology and pathology. He has authored or co-authored over 100 scientific publications dealing with drug development and clinical pharmacology. He has received numerous awards in his career including Entrepreneur of the Year for Biotechnology. He and his fellow researchers developed over 30 new pharmaceutical products intended for patients with infectious disease, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid disorders and those with pediatric disease. 

Bob recently retired from the pharmaceutical industry and devotes most of his time breeding, selling, and racing Thoroughbred horses. They have bred many stakes winners and their dream is to have one of their horses entered into the Kentucky Derby. Bob and his wife Laura reside in Longboat Key and have four grandchildren. Their philanthropic efforts include local and national charities. Recently the couple made a significant contribution to Bob’s alma mater, Allegheny College enabling the College to construct a new Communication Arts building named after the Vukovich family.