Chefs & Speakers

Click here to see when and where these speakers will be on stage.

Chris Anderson // Odell Brewing Company

Nebraska native, local to Des Moines, this 10+ year industry veteran spent nine years in distribution before joining the employee owned Odell Brewing Company in 2016. As the Iowa and Nebraska market manager he works directly with distributors, retailers, and consumers to further the growth of Odell and the spirit of the independent craft beer scene. In his free time, he is an enthusiast of live music, college athletics, running, and his family of humans and cats.

Melissa Bartholomew // VOM FASS

Melissa Bartholomew is an Iowa native and Des Moines resident for over twenty five years.  She is the owner and manager of VOM FASS located in the Shops of Roosevelt, which opened in 2012. VOM FASS translates from the cask and the shop is based upon European tradition of sampling products before you purchase, VOM FASS offers high quality culinary oils, vinegars, rare spirits and unique liqueurs.

DIY Vinaigrettes

All chefs and seasoned cooks make their own vinaigrettes and dressings. They are extremely easy to make and most importantly, you’re in complete control of what goes into them. Most manufactured vinaigrettes and dressings contain a long list of unnatural ingredients and preservatives. When you learn the simple technique of making your own, you have the freedom to personalize the flavor with fresh, quality ingredients.

In this DIY session, you will be able to:

  • Identify oils and acids commonly used to make vinaigrette
  • Describe the difference between stable and unstable emulsions
  • Make a basic vinaigrette, and learn how to vary it
  • Take home your vinaigrette that you make in this session
  • Take home new ideas and recipes


Marc Carrigan // Foley Family Wines

Marc is a 17 year industry veteran with both distributor and supplier experience. Originally from Southern California, this Twin City transplant has had the opportunity to travel the globe and work with many domestic and international wine partners from Napa and Sonoma, to South Africa, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, Italy, Germany and other world renowned growing regions.

Currently, Marc is the Midwest Regional Manager for Foley Family Wines. Foley owns and represents multiple wineries and brands, both domestically and internationally. Marc's philosophy on good wine is simple; "good wine is the wine YOU like".

Jonathan Cook // Iowa Events Center

Jonathan began with Spectra Food Services & Hospitality as a Sous Chef at Wells Fargo Arena overseeing the Principal River’s Edge restaurant. Throughout the course of his career with Spectra, Jonathan has grown the food and beverage department at the Iowa Events Center through the opening of Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center, menu creation, client tastings and striving to take the “convention” out of convention center catering.

Jonathan has traveled to assist with numerous other properties including Gateway International Raceway, Iowa Speedway, Duke Energy Center, Memphis International Raceway and Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Jonathan’s favorite events include the BRAVO Awards Gala, Festival of Trees, and the VIP Reception for Iowa’s Premier Beer, Wine and Food Expo. 

He enjoys opportunities to use molecular gastronomy within the kitchen and pushing vegetarian meals to be more unconventional. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing, learning about mushrooms prevalent in Iowa and has a passion for cheese.

Cal Dennison // Kingdom Wine Company

Cal Dennison currently holds the position of Senior Director of Winemaking—Table Wines at E. & J. Gallo Winery. Cal has a strong wine knowledge base matched with extensive experience in winemaking, winery management, and viticulture from a career spanning over 30 years in the wine business.

Cal joined the winemaking industry in 1983 as a UC Davis graduate with a degree in Viticulture and Enology. He has worked with grapes from some of the finest vines of the Coastal, Central and Southern regions of California, and brings a comprehensive and intimate understanding of the subtle gradations of climate and soil throughout the state to create award-winning varietal wines.

Cal says, “Wine has been in production for over 5,000 years and we winemakers are still experimenting and innovating! There’s lots more to do in terms of innovation and creativity in our industry—and it’s this passion and dedication to produce extraordinary wine that I instill in my team of California based winemakers. I embrace challenges as opportunities to craft new wine styles while strive for continuous improvement in my winemaking.”

Matt Drennan // Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

Chef Matt Drennan’s appreciation for cuisine and hospitality was developed at young age, beginning his culinary career at the age of 16 in the kitchen at Okoboji Grill in Ames, Iowa. In 2008, he graduated from the Iowa Culinary Institute where he trained in classic French cuisine.

Matt traveled to France in the summer of 2008, training at the Novotel Café in St. Entienne. After returning to Iowa, he became Sous Chef with Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar. In 2014, Chef Drennan was named Chef Partner.

Matt brings a straightforward approach to cooking and an affinity for southwestern cuisine. He believes food doesn’t need to be complicated to be good. When food is prepared with creativity and passion, a chef gives life to everything on the plate.

Joe Foster // Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits

Joe Foster is currently Director of Sales Off Premise wine for Southern Glazer’s of Iowa. He has been with the company since 2004.

Prior to joining Southern Glazer’s he worked for Hy-Vee Foods INC. for 11 years in various capacities that included Operations and Wine & Spirits department management. He also previously managed Captain Morgan On Premise promotions. (He was Captain Morgan.)

Joe earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from William Penn College in Oskaloosa, Iowa. He went on to earn his CSS designation from the Society of Wine Educators in 2013. He also earned his GPE designation in 2013. He also recently completed his Level 2 WSET examination earning the highest possible level of Distinction.

In his free time Joe volunteers for multiple local animal charities, spends time watching 80’s movies, collecting vintage vinyl records and most of all spending time with his family. He is married to Kara and has three children—Ella (13) and twins Mason (3) and Audrey (3). The family also has an extremely grumpy but lovable Dachshund named Paxton.

Joey Hansen // Exile Brewing Co.

Joey Hansen is from Grinnell, IA and joined the Exile Brewing team in 2014. During his time as Head Brewer, Exile has grown into the largest production brewery in Iowa and earned top honors at multiple beer competitions along the way. Joey's commitment to quality is paramount to Exile's growth as a brewery and has helped build a foundation for future exploration. When Joey is not brewing beer or cleaning tanks, he can be found with a beer in-hand watching college football (go Hawks!).

Terrie Kohl // Country Club Market

Terrie Kohl came to Des Moines as a food service food broker and then a national food service buyer. Terrie then took her next visionary step by attending The New England Culinary Institute in Essex Juction, Vermont, 1996. Chef Terrie interned at The Montauk Yacht Club in Montauk, Long Island, New York, Thyme & Again Catering and South Hampton Bath and Tennis Club in South Hampton, Long Island, New York. Her second internship brought her back home to Des Moines where she was employed at the Downtown Des Moines Marriott Hotel, Embassy Club Capital Square and Aramark/Pioneer Hi-Bred. She gained additional expertise as the Catering Chef at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Terrie dreamed of starting her own business, and she established Country Club Market in 2003. From there, Country Club Market has filled a unique niche in Central Iowa, offering culinary arts classes, customized catering, and a bakery that produces some of the tastiest treats in town. Chef Terrie's work has been featured on KCCI-TV8, WHO, Iowa Ingredient and Great Day and in the Des Moines Register, Juice, Cityview, Relish, MyWaukee Magazine, Iowa Ingredient and Fiftysomething. Most recently seen at the Meredith Culinary Pavillion doing a cooking demo for the World Food and Wine Festival.

In addition to the above, Country Club Market is also a member of The Greater Des Moines Partnership/Catch Des Moines and the Clive Chamber of Commerce.

David Jespersen // Riboli Family Wine Estates

Born in Des Moines, Iowa, David Jespersen spent his first twenty-four years in Iowa. David worked at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club where he developed his passion for the food and wine industries. David then accepted a position in Scottsdale, Arizona as the general manager of a gourmet family-owned restaurant where he further refined his knowledge of food and wine. He began working exclusively in the wine industry in Tucson, Arizona as the fine wine sales person for a local distributor. He has enjoyed working in the wine industry ever since.

David’s career has taken him around the country and the world to explore the wine regions and learn about all aspects of the wine industry. He has continued his education throughout his career, and has garnered Certifications from the Society of Wine Educators as a Specialist of Wine and a Specialist of Spirits. David is the Regional Manager for Riboli Family Wine Estates, a family-owned company in their fourth generation which has been producing wines since 1917. Riboli produces award-winning estate bottled wines, having earned over 1,000 medals at wine competitions throughout the United States.​

John McMains // NoCoast Beer Co.

John’s passion for culinary arts eventually landed him a position focusing on crafting dishes with the most enjoyable beverage in the universe “Beer”. John’s primary focus had been on minimalistic scratch cooking coupled with effective mixing and matching of flavors. Pulling the minimalistic elements of creation into developing complex and palatable combinations, this idea transferred perfectly into the realm of craft beer brewing. Beer found its way into many of John’s dishes, desserts, breads, pastries and meats. He soon realized the possibilities were endless and true joy came from start to finish in brewing, sampling, then implementing the beer in his cooking. Once the beer obsession set in, there was no turning back. Full attention was eventually turned to the brewing process and working to partner with other chef’s in the industry to assist in creating food and beer pairings that surpass the imagination.  

Alessandra Meschini // Cooking with Alessandra

Ever since I was a little girl in Italy, I have adored cooking. My curiosity for new techniques and recipes helps me learn new things every day. Sharing food with others and discovering our own culinary secrets is such a special thing, and our capacity to try and appreciate new foods is infinite. Food brings people together, it makes us happy, it does more than just sustain us—it makes our lives richer. My name is Alessandra, and I’d like to cook with you.​

Heidi Messelheiser // Southern Glazer's of Iowa

Heidi has over 7 years of sales and merchandising experience in the beverage industry. She previously worked for PepsiCo for over 3 years before joining Southern Glazer’s of Iowa.

She attended DMACC where she earned her Associate Degree in Business Management. She also attended the University of Iowa and graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Studies degree with a Certificate of Entrepreneurship.

In her free time she enjoys yoga, working out, shopping, golfing, traveling, spending time with her cat “Lou” while watching her favorite TV shows and spending time with her friends and family.   

Heidi also is active in the Lutheran Church of Hope and currently resides in West Des Moines.

Cassandra Monroe // Cassandra Monroe | A Lifestyle Blog

Cassandra Monroe is a freelance photographer and blogs at her food, living and photography focused lifestyle blog, Cassandra Monroe. While Cassandra spends her days working as a full time food stylist assistant, she also spends her off time photographing and styling food, interiors and products. When she does find time to relax, Cassandra enjoys searching for photography props in local thrift stores, getting in a good workout and eating her way through the culinary scene of Des Moines, Iowa, where currently she resides.

Nick Murphy // Toppling Goliath Brewing Co.

Nick Murphy was born and raised in Northeast Iowa and is a 1999 graduate of Waukon High School.

He has been with Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. for nine years and was the first brewer and employee of the company. Nick currently fills the role of Sales Manager.

Dawn Musgrove // New Day Catering Company

Dawn began her culinary journey as a nine-year old, making pot roast and cookies for her family. After graduating from Iowa State University, she fell in love with the food scene and eloped to Seattle to spend more time with her passion—beginning her formal culinary training at a natural foods restaurant in Seattle. 

Dawn now runs New Day Catering Company, providing handcrafted, thoughtfully designed and impeccably executed food for parties and corporate events in the Des Moines metro. In addition to catering, New Day can be booked for personal chef experiences and fabulous cooking classes. 

Aaron Ostrem // NoCoast Beer Co.

A man of wide-ranging education and diverse experience. Aaron attended Iowa State University where he received bachelor degrees in History and Political Science. The pivotal role beer, wine, and alcohol have had on social and political history was a major focus in his studies. He has worked extensively in the restaurant, and bar industry. His love affair with beer and wine began while working at greenhouses in the Omaha area. Producing plants at work blossomed into a massive home gardening operation that included hops and grapes. Upon hearing NoCoast Brewery was opening in his hometown, Aaron headed back to be a part of it all. ​ 

Benjamin Poole // Johnson Brothers

Benjamin Poole, CSW is currently a district manager in the on premise division at Johnson Brothers and is passionate about helping clients build a successful wine program. Ben has spent eight years in the wine business building rapport with customers and driving sales.

Outside of work, Poole can be found spending time with his wife Stephanie and three children, cooking, golfing, cheering on the Cubs, or drinking a cold one.

Lynn Pritchard // Table 128 Bistro + Bar

Lynn Pritchard grew up on a small family farm in Annawan, Illinois. Central to his upbringing was a mother, who if not in the kitchen, was found in the garden, caring for the produce that would soon be on the dinner table. Lynn began studying business and soon shifted to the culinary arts when he moved to New York. As a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY, he has worked for and with some of America’s greatest chefs; Stephen Pyles, Dean Fearing, Hubert Keller, Anne Willan and Julia Child.

After several years of living on the East coast and in the South, Lynn returned to the Quad Cities area and opened Red Crow Grille. As the Executive Chef for six years, he garnered multiple awards for his culinary skills and became a well-recognized figure in the restaurant scene.

With a career change from kitchens to sales and distribution, Lynn and his wife, Sarah, moved to Des Moines in 2006. However, like a siren’s song, the restaurant business kept calling him back. Today, Lynn and Sarah are co-owners of Table 128 Bistro + Bar in Clive, Iowa which they opened in the Spring of 2013. The restaurant has been recognized as one of the best restaurants in Iowa and has a loyal following of the best guests anywhere, according to Lynn.

If not in the restaurant, Lynn can be found on the phone with one of his farmer/vendors, rubbing the bellies of and playing with his dogs (Trotter and Keller, named after two of his favorite chefs/mentors) or reading anything about food, restaurant or business culture.

Lynn and Sarah are involved in several private and public organizations including Chaine de Rotisseurs, the Iowa Restaurant Association, Court of Master Sommiliers, Winefest Des Moines and many non-profits. Together, they enjoy traveling, exploring unique wines and wine regions, reading and just spending a few rare moments of relaxation together.

Yeager Sharpe // Breckenridge Brewery

My name is Yeager Sharpe and I have worked for Breckenridge Brewery for 10 years now. I started as a server at the Ale House Grand Junction, one of the many restaurant locations that Breckenridge-Wynkoop owned at the time. I worked my way up and began running the beer program for Colorado Craft, another restaurant location across from Coors Field in downtown Denver. From there I went on to take what I had learned about the beer industry back to the Ale House Grand Junction where the craft beer market has remained a few years behind the Denver curve. After reviving the craft beer scene in Grand Junction and helping breath new interest into what was once considered a stagnant market, I returned to Denver to run all of the beer programs for Breckenridge-Wynkoop LLC. I spent a year in that role before officially getting pulled over to Breckenridge Brewery proper where I have since directed all Colorado events for the brewery. I have recently received my Certified Cicerone certification and have been working as an educator for the brewery as well as becoming a draught tech servicing the Brewery’s Farm House Restaurant and now other accounts.

Alex Strauss // West Lakes Hy-Vee

Alex Strauss comes to West Lakes Hy-Vee with over 16 years of experience. He received a master's degree from Loyola University and then went on to get an associate's degree in culinary arts from Kendall College in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois. During this time he worked at numerous restaurants and hotels in Chicago, including the Drake Hotel.

Moving to Des Moines at the turn of the century, Alex started a catering and personal chef company. During this time, he taught cooking classes, won culinary awards and made local television appearances.

Alex has traveled the world "on his stomach" picking up knowledge and recipes from around the globe. His main focuses at Hy-Vee are working with customers on recipe development, answering cooking questions, offering healthy dining options and helping on menu development.

Stacey Wertzberger // Fleur Drive Hy-Vee

Stacey graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in hotel and restaurant management.  She has worked in various restaurants and hotels around the metro and held many positions from the grill to the sauté station, from salads and desserts, to Kitchen Supervisor and Sous Chef.

Stacey has worked for Hy-Vee since 2008, formerly serving as the Catering Manager of the Fleur Drive Hy-Vee. Stacey has  a passion for food and customer service, and is here to provide you with the knowledge you need to cook and eat healthy, while enjoying it too!  

Stacey looks forward to the opportunity to help your family create new memories in the kitchen, and teach you that it is not difficult to make a gourmet meal. Stacey is looking forward to helping you design and plan the perfect menu for the most elegant dinner party to the perfect family gathering. 

Stacey specializes in appetizers, healthy cooking, sneaking vegetables into dishes, and convenient and fast dishes for your family.