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The Judges

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Andrea Potischman

Andrea Potischman


Andrea Potischman is a classically trained chef turned food blogger. In 1999, Andrea graduated from The French Culinary Institute (now The International Culinary Center) in lower Manhattan. Andrea studied under Master chefs Jacques Pépin, André Soltner, Jacques Torres. While in school, Andrea also completed an extensive internship at the world-renowned Montrachet in SoHo.

After graduation, Andrea worked as a saucier at The Century Club, an elite, private literary club. There, Andrea cooked for politicians and celebrities such as Henry Kissinger, Michael Bloomberg and Ruth Reichl.  Andrea also taught private cooking class, led corporate culinary team building programs, catered, tested and developed recipes, managed a restaurant, and was the general manager of a cooking school in TriBeCa. In 2009, Andrea moved to Northern California with her husband.

In 2017, Andrea—a mom of two boys (and three rescue dogs)—launched a food blog called Simmer + Sauce.


Stephen Simmons

Chef Stephen Simmons

His love for food and cooking started with his grandmother and grew through education at the City College of San Francisco and an internship with Executive Chef Jeremiah Tower and Chef Marc Franz. He quickly rose as a Bay Area culinary celebrity working at The Stanford Court Hotel; and as Executive Sous Chef at Campton Place under Bradley Ogden; Executive Chef at Casa Madrona Hotel and Restaurant, Sausalito; and Opening Chef and Chef de Cuisine for One Market Restaurant, San Francisco. He was nationally recognized as Rising Star Chef by the James Beard Foundation. Stephen partnered with Bradley Ogden as Opening Chef de Cuisine at the nationally recognized Lark Creek Inn. Chef Simmons next ventured on his own;


He purchased and revitalized a local Marin property creating Bubba’s Diner a popular San Anselmo comfort food restaurant. He worked as manager of food operations at Skywalker Ranch for the past 15 years. He presently lives in Guerneville, California.

Hema Kundargi
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Hema Kundargi, MS RDN

Hema Kundargi was drawn to cooking since her childhood and pursued her passion over her lifetime. Initially trained as an accountant, Hema throughout her career continued to follow her heart’s passion of cooking, creating unique dishes and designing healthy recipes. Hema has hosted cooking shows and contributed articles to food magazines. Hema hosted and produced an award winning cooking show “Indian Vegetarian Gourmet’ on local channels in the bay area, wrote about Indian cuisine for San Jose Mercury, LA times and Bon Appetit. Hema maintained a food column for India Currents magazine and Cupertino Scene before going back to Graduate school.

Hema Kundargi is a Registered Dietitian with a Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics, and currently working as a dietician at AC Wellness clinic in Cupertino. She is currently working towards as an additional certification as a  Culinary Medicine Specialist. Hema’s dream is to host cooking workshops that teach patients how to manage their health conditions with tasty and healthy cooking techniques.


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