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Spring Festival Culinary Talent

Learn more about some of the local and guest chefs who made the Spring Festival such a memorable series of events!

Our Local Chefs

Charles Park, Executive Chef/Owner
Beaufort Grocery Company

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Charles Park, C.E.C., a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, a member of the prestigious Chaîne des Rôtisseurs™, and his wife Wendy, established the restaurant in 1991 on the site of the old Owens Grocery Store.


Charles serves as Executive Chef of the establishment, while Wendy manages the front of the house and doubles as Pastry Chef.


In 1994, the restaurant was expanded to the adjacent property at 115 Queen Street where special dinners, private parties, wedding receptions and other catered events are accommodated in the historic house, as well as in its beautifully landscaped garden.

Jayson Foster
Executive Chef, Blue Moon Bistro

Jason began his culinary path at the Spouter Inn as a line cook.  He spent the next 15 years under many talented chefs. 


In 2008, Jayson was one of the first three students to go to France as part of the Goellner French Exchange program at Carteret Community College.  While in France he worked under two Michelin Star Chefs. 

In 2012, he was part of the winning team in the Fire on the Docks Culinary Cooking Competition.

Jayson and his wife Nadya, recently purchased the Blue Moon Bistro.  He and his wife are looking forward to stating a new chapter in their life!

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Kris Dykeman - Executive Chef
SoundSide Restaurant, Morehead City

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Kris Dykeman was born and raised in Stockbridge, VT where he began learning about the restaurant business at an early age through another great chef; his father.

Every day after school the bus would drop Kris off at the restaurant where he would carefully watch his father and learn the meaning of dedication to the kitchen. He began his culinary career cooking breakfast, washing dishes, and helping his father cater weddings. Chef Kris picked up his own personal style by working at different types of restaurants in different positions.

He moved to Emerald Isle, NC in 2004 and worked at other great restaurants on the coast. 

Most importantly, Chef Kris Dykeman strives to use fresh, local ingredients for a light, but filling meal. He also has a large horticultural background and enjoys visiting local farms where we purchase the majority of our produce. All of our desserts are also made in-house daily by Kris and the creations are never ending!

Chris Stephens - Executive Chef
Moonrakers, Beaufort

Chef Chris started growing his passion for food when he was 15. He hasn’t stopped working in the kitchen since.

His career path was an easy decision, and so was where to go to College when he gained early admittance into Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI on scholarship.


After graduating, he relocated to the Isle of Wight, England, and spent a year apprenticing in a rigorous work environment under a Michelin star chef.

Upon returning to the States he started working at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston.

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Jon McGregor - Executive Chef
Aqua Restaurant, Beaufort

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Jon began his restaurant experience at 16 working as a humble busboy at the Charter Restaurant in Morehead City.

After attending West Carteret High School, he went on to attend and graduate from the Johnson and Wales College of Culinary Arts in Charleston SC.  Jon worked at several Renaissance hotels in Charleston and Charlotte.

His love of seafood and the coast brought him back to Carteret County where he became Chef de Cuisine for Aqua Restaurant in Beaufort and eventually Executive Chef of both Aqua and Clawson’s 1905 Restaurant & Pub. 

Jon loves using local ingredients such as Carteret county seafood and produce.  He has partnered with Merrell farms, HWY 101 Beaufort, to bring fresh seasonally available local vegetables to both menus.

When Jon is not cooking, he loves fishing and is also a talented musician.

Jon Papa - Chef de Cuisine
Moonrakers, Beaufort

Hailing from Eastern Virginia, Jon Papa accumulated over 20 years of culinary experience prior to joining the Moonrakers crew as Chef de Cuisine.


Jon moved to Carteret County in the late 1990’s and shortly after landed a job as a grill cook at the Channel Marker Restaurant.


His professional culinary career began at Johnson & Wales, Charleston, South Carolina then later at the Art Institute of California – San Diego. He took this experience to his next opportunities throughout southern California at The Marine Room of La Jolla and Morgan Run Club & Resort of Rancho Santa Fe. 

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Jon ventured back home to the east coast to be in closer proximity to his family whilst working in hospitality as a Task Force Manager for Hilton Worldwide. Throughout his travels, he acquired techniques, flavor profiles, and concepts that synthesized his diverse culinary vitae. 


Jon returned to the kitchen to take the helm as the Executive Chef of Chateau Morrissette of Floyd, VA, a beautiful winery and restaurant located on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

At Moonrakers, Jon seeks to create internationally inspired dishes that will showcase a renewed and fresh approach to one’s palate. As an enthused proponent of sustainability, he seeks to source local ingredients of the highest quality and to create dishes with bold presentation and piquancy. 

Outside of the daily grind, you can find Jonathan cheering on the Carolina Hurricanes, strumming Metallica on his guitar, or exploring unbeaten paths in his Jeep.

Our Guest Chefs

Jeremy Walley, Executive Chef/Proprietor
Lulu & Blu - High Point, NC

Jeremy Walley is the proud new owner of Lulu and Blu.

After studying culinary arts at GTCC for a brief period he accepted a sous chef position at M Stephen's which led him to Blue Water Grille. It is there where he was able to really perfect his skills.

He went on to help open Lulu and Blu where he held the executive chef position from 2014-2017, leaving only to open Manna Food Truck, fulfilling his dreams of owning his own business.

He has recently purchased Lulu and Blu and is very excited to see where this new venture will take him. 

Jeremy Walley
Guest Chefs
Local Chefs

Alain Lemaire - Executive Chef
Sensory Delights - South Florida

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Award winning Chef Alain Lemaire is the Co-owner and Executive Chef of Sensory Delights, LLC a full service catering company based out of South Florida. He is a native of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where he first discovered his interest in cooking. Later on, he developed an increasing passion for food and foodservice which led him to attend the Culinary program at the acclaimed Johnson & Wales University. Thanks to his heritage and having spent most of his career in South Florida, Caribbean and Latin flavors play a major role in Chef Lemaire's style of cooking: "fresh, bold and in your face!" as he would say it.

Chef Lemaire has participated in and featured as a guest chef in numerous food events and festivals throughout the United States and overseas. Most recent events include Charleston Wine & Food Festival, New York African Restaurant Week, Grace Jamaican Jerk Fest, Journée de la Cuisine Haitienne and Taste of the Caribbean in Montreal Canada, Iron Fork Miami, South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Taste of Dallas, Taste of the Sea, A la Carte Food and Culture Festival New York, Haiti's Food & Beverage Festival, Dania Beach Seafood Festival, Boca Raton Wine & Food Festival, Colors of the Caribbean and much more.

Chef Lemaire is also a huge supporter of education, giving back to the community and the less fortunate. He has partnered with Haiti Chefs for Education, World Central Kitchen and Easter Seals South Florida.

He joined the army, and served in Iraq before attending culinary school in Savannah, GA. 

He is now the Executive Chef of The Hackney, where his connections with local fishers and love of seafood have garnered him a stellar reputation. 

Alain Lemaire
Charles Park
Jayson Foster
Kris Dykeman
Chris Stephens
Jon McGregor
Jon Papa

Genevieve Guthrie - Executive Chef
Coral Bay Club

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Genevieve Guthrie, Executive Chef at the Coral Bay Club, started her journey as one of Carteret Community College's first Culinary Arts graduates.


Chef Guthrie's love for cooking started at a young age. She started working in in a military base kitchen as a teenager, first as a dishwasher and later as a short-order cook specializing in omelets. After moving on to become a shift supervisor at Burger King, she learned that Carteret Community College was starting a Culinary program.

In 2004, Chef Guthrie joined the College’s first class of Culinary Arts students.

While in school, she became a line cook at the Coral Bay Club in Atlantic Beach, where she was able to apply the skills she learned in class. In 2007, Chef Guthrie graduated with an Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Technology.  

In 2008, while working full-time, Chef Guthrie joined Carteret Community College as an adjunct instructor in the Culinary Arts program. As a part-time instructor, she has shared her passion for cooking and has given back to the community by helping to prepare Carteret County's future chefs.


Chef Guthrie earned numerous promotions at the Coral Bay Club, ascending from Banquet Chef to Sous Chef, Chef de Cuisine, and finally Executive Chef in 2017.


Chef Guthrie's story embodies the mission of the North Carolina Community College System:  meet students where they are and carry them as far as they can go.

Genevieve Guthrie

Chris Lopez - Executive Chef
34° North Restaurant

Originally from Guam, Christopher Lopez was raised in Jacksonville, North Carolina in a military family. Traveling the world he became interested in the culinary arts. He worked in small restaurants and bistros throughout high school and college. Chris found his way to Cary, North Carolina working at the now defunct 1750 Ordinary.

In 2008, Chris’ passion for food took him to Las Vegas, Nevada where he worked under some of the top chefs in the industry. As Garde Manger, Chris worked for Thomas Keller when he brought his award-winning bistro cuisine to the city of Las Vegas with Bouchon at the Venetian.


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Chris also worked as a chef under Chef Kim Canteenwalla, the powerhouse behind the acclaimed Las Vegas neighborhood favorites; Honey Salt, Made L.V. and Andiron Steak & Sea.Chris helped open 34° North Restaurant at the Beaufort Hotel and in 2020 became the Executive Chef.

Chris Lopez

Ashley Moser
Cypress Hall - New Bern, NC

Chef Ashley Moser, a New Bern native, didn’t always aspire to be a chef. However, after spending three years at NC State University, he realized his calling. He packed his bags and headed south to Charleston, SC where he attended Johnson & Wales University and cultivated his passion for cooking—something that had been instilled in him at an early age by his grandmother’s passion for the very same thing.

Staying true to his roots and using quality ingredients at every turn, Ashley’s cuisine is influenced by his southern upbringing. His cooking is straightforward and creative, taking his patrons on a culinary adventure from start to finish.

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Ashley Moser

Baptist Knaven
Mosaic Café & Bistro - Carrboro, NC

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Born in the Netherlands and trained in France, it has been Chef Baptist’s mission throughout his career to create exciting menus and dishes that exemplify the relationship between old and new.


He and his business partner, Dr. Jerry King, purchased Restaurant Provence in 2012, and they’ve been a staple of the Triangle restaurant scene ever since.

Baptist Knaven

Luca  Annunziata 
Forchetta - Charlotte, NC

Chef Luca was appointed to Executive Chef at The Holiday Inn Charlotte Center City hotel in April 2018.  

He began his unique culinary career under his mother’s guidance in Naples, Italy, where he developed a deep love for the art of cooking. His passion led him to travel around the world and granted him over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry. 

Chef Luca is a Food Network Chopped champion! In case you missed it click here to watch the exciting episode, "Time and Turmoil."

He has been a recipient of many awards, including the esteemed Zagat Platinum Award for Excellence. He is most proud of his former restaurant, Passion8, being named “Top 25 Best Restaurants in Charlotte” by Charlotte Magazine.

Luca Annunziata

Paul Manley
Sea Level NC - Charlotte, NC

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Evolving the concept of Sea Level NC has been a project of passion for Paul Manley for over six years. While designing and opening other successful seafood restaurants and oyster bars in The Carolinas, Paul uncovered a fundamental flaw in their business models. The safe and consistent procurement of oysters, their core offering, was volatile and subject to outside factors beyond their control. Reliance on a wild product for a signature menu item so significant that it’s in a business’ name is a threat. Their reputation and future is tied to a product that is susceptible to spoilage, disease, and sustainability issues.

Paul set out to create a seafood restaurant that grew its own signature items and relied more on sustainable, local supply lines. He then spent two years networking on the North Carolina coast with aquaculture specialists, farmers, scientists, shrimpers, and other “watermen”. From these efforts he partnered with local NC oyster and clam farmers in the town of Sea Level, North Carolina to grow his own line of product, designed and harvested specifically to his restaurant standards.

He now has the only farm-to-fork oyster grown in North Carolina to be served on the half shell at Sea Level NC. There are only a handful of other known restaurants with this proprietary relationship to an oyster farm in the United States: Hog Island Oyster Bar in CA, Matunick Oyster Bar in RI, and Island Creek Oyster Bar in MA. They have garnered national praise for their sustainable model, co-branding efforts, and explosive popularity.

Sea Level NC takes this concept one step further. The core of its seafood offerings are harvested from local NC farms, in partnerships with coastal fishermen, and is dedicated to serving only non-threatened species.

Paul Manley

Dan "The Pig Man" Huntley
BBQ Provocateur- Charlotte, NC

Dan Huntley is a Charlotte-native and 7th generation North Carolinianian.


He is the author of the book, “Extreme BBQ” with dispatches from Buenos Aires, Istanbul, Colombia and Athens.


He is a former restaurant owner, food truck entrepreneur and “BBQ Provocateur” caterer.

He was a reporter/columnist for The Charlotte Observer for 25 years. He has published in Rolling Stone, Garden & Gun, and The Picayune in New Orleans.

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Dan Huntley

Sammy Shipman
Beaver Creek Lodge- Colorado

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Growing up, Sammy always knew he wanted to be a chef. This can be credited to the blending of his childhood spent between the NC coast and rural Iowa farmland. North Carolina provided a backdrop for the outdoors, hunting and fishing. In Iowa Sammy spent summer days raising rabbit, chicken, gardening and learning putting the seasons bounty “up” for winter.


College came and passed where he earned a degree in culinary arts right here at Carteret Community college. Soon after he was offered an internship in France working at top Michelin restaurants.

Upon returning, he ventured westward holding high level leadership roles at the Grove Park Inn, Jackson Lake Lodge Hotel, and Game Creek Club.  Sammy joins us from his most recent endeavor as executive chef of Beaver Creek Lodge, a Kessler Collection. In down time, (if chefs even get that) he returns to eastern North Carolina each year to participate in the Beaufort Wine & Food Festival.


On days out of the office you can likely find him skiing or hiking with his wife, dog, and son.

Sammy Shipman

Hector Garcia
Sea Level - Charlotte, NC

Hector Garcia was born and raised in Miami, Florida surrounded by Cuban culture and cuisine. He fell in love with the industry by happenstance when assisting his aunt at her restaurant so he could “stay out of trouble”.


Since those early days, he collected credits towards a Mechanical Engineering degree, but the kitchen kept tugging at his heartstrings. He made a transfer to Le Cordon Bleu and graduated from his coursework in 2010.


Hector has had the privilege to work with many great Chefs and hone his skills at well-respected establishments.

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Los Fuegos, Alinea, and Area 31 are just a few of the spots he’s called home. Before joining High Tide Hospitality in Charlotte, NC he worked as a Chef at Walt Disney World. When the pandemic began, he made his way to Charlotte where he worked as a Sous Chef at The Waterman Fish Bar. He was recently promoted and transferred internally to Executive Chef of upscale seafood restaurant, Sea Level NC.


Hector is fluent in Spanish and conversational in French and Portuguese. He is a Disney fanatic and says Goofy is his favorite “Fab 5” character. When he’s not in the kitchen, you can find Hector reading comic books, playing board or video games, or spending time with his fiancee. He aspires to be a Culinary Director for a multi-unit group one day, and own a small Caribbean restaurant on the side.

Hector Garcia

Matt Walker - Executive Chef/Owner
Three 10, Wilmington, NC

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Matt grew up in the low country of South Carolina. He comes from a large, close knit family who celebrates with feasts. 


During his college years he worked in the kitchen of an Earth Fare where he discovered that the food industry fit in with his analytical mind and endeavored to teach himself how to cook.


Over the next 10 years he worked his way up in a variety of restaurants in both South Carolina and Colorado. Notably, he advanced to sous chef and pastry chef at Jax Fish House in Fort Collins, CO. 

Moving to Austin, TX in 2014 he was part of the team at both Swift's Attic (whimsical modern American)  & L'Oca d'Oro (fresh modern Italian).

In 2015 Matt opened his first restaurant in northeast Austin named Royal Jelly., The funky gastropub had 26 seats inside and an eclectic world menu ranging from buffalo goat tongue, Tom Ka Mussels, jerk quail to weekly burger collabs.

Moving back to the east coast in 2018, it took three years to construct and open his second  restaurant, three10. Situated in 1920's bungalow and focused on the traditional ingredients of the low-country and coastal Carolinas, we cook fresh, local & sustainable with the intention of modernizing familiar favorites. 

Matt Walker
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