Trained at Johnson and Wales University, Charleston, Chef Ben Bebenroth graduated in the top ten of his class and won the school's national Taste Down Under cooking competition in 2004. He was rewarded with a 5-week trip to Australia with his wife, Jackie, where he traveled with a French Master Chef to tour the country’s best restaurants and cook for national dignitaries along the way.
In early 2006, after spending some time in Northeast Ohio’s top kitchens, Bebenroth founded Spice of Life Catering Co. with a passionate commitment to source all ingredients from small, sustainable family farms within a 100-mile radius of Cleveland, Ohio.
Ben has spent most of his decade-long career forging relationships with local producers in order to understand how to balance consumer demand with seasonal offerings. This knowledge, combined with his award-winning culinary talents, make him one of the most sought after local food authorities in Northeast Ohio.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, SPICE OF LIFE
A graduate of Johnson and Wales University, Providence, Chef Andy Strizak comes to the table with a depth of knowledge gleaned from running the kitchens of this region’s local foods forerunners, including Parker Bosley of Parkers New American Bistro and Doug Katz of fire food and drink. After earning a coveted spot on Gourmet Magazine’s Top 50 Restaurants in America list as Parker’s Chef de Cuisine in 2006, he left to lead Michael Symon’s team at Lolita. He joined Spice of Life in 2011 to reconnect with his passion for sustainable sourcing.
EXECUTIVE CHEF, SPICE OF LIFE
Brandon Walukas is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York. He has worked with top chefs around the country, at Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, Niebaum Coppola Winery and Martini House in California, as well as Mojo and One Walnut in Cleveland. He joined Spice of Life to explore his interests in seasonal cooking and creative menu development.
EXECUTIVE SOUS CHEF, SPICE OF LIFE CATERING CO.
Ryan Bennett is a graduate of the International Culinary Academy in Pittsburgh. In addition to working in some of Cleveland’s best kitchens, such as Theory and Lolita, he has an extensive background in catering.
EXECUTIVE EVENT PLANNER, SPICE OF LIFE CATERING CO.
Jess Andjeski has over a decade of experience in the food and beverage industry, honing her service talents in high-traffic Cleveland hot spots Lola, the Flying Monkey and The Old Angle. After graduating from Cleveland State with a focus in PR and marketing, she blended her textbook knowledge with acquired hospitality skills to plan weddings, benefits and farm dinners for parties of up to 500.