MEET THE CHEFS
Chef Steffani Adaska, School Director
Chef Steffani Adaska oversees the day to day operations of A Taste of The Mountains. Steffani began her culinary career in New Jersey at the age of 13 and has run several kitchens and catering businesses in NJ, NY and AZ. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and passion of food and has taught at King’s Cooking Studios in NJ as well as at Kennett High School Adult Education program here in the valley. She has overseen the Test Kitchen for Art Culinaire Magazine and currently does recipe testing for Clean Eating Magazine. Steffani is an active member of American Culinary Federation and Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce. Steffani is an inventor, a serial entrepreneur, a Personal Chef. She is also chef/host of The Clean Plate w/Steffani, a local cooking show on Channel 3. Steffani has a degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management and is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of American.
Chef Kendra Stanley
Kendra is a native of NH. She is a graduate of the highly regarded Balsam’s Culinary Apprenticeship Program, an intense 3½ year culinary program know for delivering top chefs. Chef Stanley earned two Gold Medals and one Silver Medal in competitions while attending the Balsam’s program. She is well traveled, working in several hotel kitchens throughout the US as an apprentice. After culinary school, Chef Stanley worked at The Ritz Carlton Cleveland for three years and then was an opening team member at Classic’s Restaurant at the Intercontinental Hotel, Cleveland, OH, where they achieved Four Star Four Diamond status in one year.
In addition to her passion for food, Kendra is extremely passionate about her family and friends. She reside in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Chef Jonathan Spak & his wife moved to the Mount Washington Valley in 2007 from CT. A graduate of Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Jonathan and his wife were able to realize their dream of owning their own inn & restaurant when they purchased The Oxford House Inn. They have established a close working relationship with the finest farms and artisan food producers in the area.
They have worked in kitchens across the US, including restaurants in CO, NY and RI. Their love of travel allows them to incorporate unique ethnic flavors and techniques into their seasonally changing menus!
Chef Gary Sheldon, CEC AAC ACE HGT
Chef Sheldon brings 48 years of Culinary experience to his job as Corporate Executive Chef of Sysco Foodservice, Northern New England. He is a Certified Executive Chef and one of only 700 members of the ACF Honor society American Academy of Chefs. As an approved Certification Evaluator he has the task of evaluating chefs who want to be Certified. Chef Sheldon is also 1 of only 100 Chefs in the country inducted into the Honorable Order of the Golden Toque.
He spent 17 years on the Board of Directors of the Balsam’s Apprenticeship School, 15 years working with High Schools competing in Skills USA, and is the competition Chairman for the State of Maine and New Hampshire for Pro-Start.
Chef Sheldon has twice been named N.H. Chef of the Year, and once Maine Chef of the Year. He has received 2 President Medals for Culinary Excellence, and has won over 20 competition awards at the State, Regional, and International levels.
Chef Sheldon is currently serving his 4th terms as President of the White Mountain Chapter of the American Culinary Federation.
Chef Bryant Alden, CEC
Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor, The Chef's Market
Bryant Alden was born and raised on Cape Cod, MA. As a child he got his passion for cooking from his grandmother who cooked for affluent families who summered on the Cape. As a teenager, he spent his years cooking in various prestigious Cape Cod restaurants while attaining his culinary skills. Bryant spent the next few years living in Boston working for an upscale catering company that hosted events all over the city including Symphony Hall and JFK Library.
Over the past 20 years, Chef Bryant has taken numerous accredited courses offered by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and National Restaurant Association. He is a Certified Executive Chef. His extensive career as an Executive Chef and Consultant has taken him throughout New England. He has been an active member of the ACF since 1994 and was awarded the White Mountain Chapter “Chef of the Year” in 2004.
In 2005, Chef Bryant and his wife opened the Chef’s Market of North Conway. The Market is a unique specialty gourmet food market located in the quaint New England village of North Conway, New Hampshire. Chef Bryant’s personal chef services offer customized cuisine to please any palette. Whether your plans include an intimate dinner, relaxed buffet, cocktail party or holiday gathering, the Chef’s Market will ensure a memorable event. The Market offers a creative selection of fully prepared gourmet dishes, hearty sandwiches, homemade soups and salads. Everything from Chef Bryant’s kitchen is completely homemade using only the freshest of ingredients.