CHEF JULIUS RUSSELL/CHEF TIKI
Private Chef | Executive Chef ~ KeHE Distributors | TV Host – Big Ten Network | Chilean Culinary Ambassador | Voted UPTOWN Magazine’s “Best Caterer” 2012
Chef Julius serves as owner of A Tale of Two Chefs, Executive Chef for KeHE Distributors and TV Host on the Big Ten Network. He serves as the consulting chef for Red Monkey Foods and Nature Isle Tropical Gourmet. In association with the Chilean Consulate & ProChile, he is a culinary ambassador that enthusiastically promotes the flavors of the country of Chile. Also, he serves as the Culinary Instructor the Common Ground Foundation.
Chef Julius’ culinary training began at the age of eight under the careful guidance of his mother. After college, he began to build a corporate career, while continuing to hone his culinary skills. After successfully climbing the ranks, Mr. Russell left his Executive Sales Management position to pursue his passion as a Private Chef.
Over the past decade Chef Julius has continued his culinary training stateside at the New Orleans School of Cooking and in Paris with Princess Marie Blanche de Broglie at La Cuisine Marie Blanche and Patrick Terrien at Le Cordon Bleu Academie d’Art Culinaire de Paris.
His ability to blend classic French technique with the flavorful influences of Cajun/Creole, Caribbean, Latin American and Asian cuisines is unmatched. His motto, “The Flavor Leads” speaks to his passion for blending global cuisines to create innovative dishes that transcend region.
As a Private Chef, Chef Julius accommodates the culinary needs of celebrities in multiple markets, as well as, prominent Chicagoans by providing in home dining and elaborate dinners for parties. In addition, A Tale of Two Chefs provides specialty catering, team building, food demonstrations and menu design for corporate clients such as, Red Monkey Foods, MillerCoors, ConAgra Foods, Goodman Theater, N’Digo Magapaper, Jewel-Osco, NBC5 Chicago, Christian CEO’s of America, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Schnucks, HEB and Giant Eagle.
As the Executive Chef of KeHE Distributors, he oversees recipe design and the “Cuisine Based Selling” program where grocery chain execs are invited to experience KeHE products via multiple course meals showcasing recipes created by Chef Julius. KeHE is an employee-owned company, headquartered on a 1 million square foot campus in Romeoville, IL. They distribute 60,000 products to 33,000 retailers in four countries. It is the leading specialty food distributor in the country.
Chef Julius’ major appearances include the Bloomingdale’s Home Store “Cooking with Heat” Series, The Taste of Chicago’s “Dominick’s Cooking Corner”, The Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest, All Clad’s “Roast Like a Pro”, Jazz at Jewel Summer Series, Real Men Cook for Jewel Osco, Giant Eagle’s Food & Wine Show with The Food Network and the San Francisco Food & Wine Show.
His commitment to philanthropy is demonstrated through his work with the Common Ground Foundation, American Diabetes Association, Common Threads, Chicago Public Schools “Cooking Up Change” Healthy Schools Campaign, Darfur Darfur, Umoja Student Development Corporation and the Firehouse Community Art Center.
Chef Julius has been featured on The View, The Chicago Tribune, BET Networks, WGN, ABC, NBC, N’Digo, MetroMix, Red Eye, NBC’s iVillage “In the Loop”, Time Out Magazine and Chicago Sun-Times.
CHEF STANLEY HAGERMAN
Chef de Cuisine
Chef Stanley Hagerman’s white tablecloth restaurant experience brings a finishing touch to A Tale of Two Chefs. His management roles at the some of Chicago’s leading restaurants such as The Signature Room, The Pump Room, Ambria, La Petite Folie, and the Marion Street Cheese Market have rounded out his natural creative ability, allowing him to create out of the box dishes with flawless timing and execution. A graduate of The Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago, he values the continuous learning process that great Chef’s embrace and instills the quest for perfection in his support staff. As Chef de Cuisine, Chef Stan’s involvement and input with the menu and day-to-day operations is reflected in the product we produce.
Wine and Spirits Expert
Born and raised in Chicago Illinois, Dawn was introduced to the arts at home at a very early age. Her family regularly attended the theatre, and had a love for music and entertaining guest. That’s when an interest in the hospitality industry began.
In 1998 she landed a job with the largest wine and spirits distributor in Illinois as a sales rep for small accounts and worked her way up to District Sales Manager and from there to Portfolio Manager to the top bars and restaurants in the city for the largest and most prestigious luxury brands in the world. During her career she has traveled throughout Europe and California to wineries and distilleries and attended dinners and parties with the most influential people in the wine and spirits industry. In 2005 she attended the Hennessy 2million case celebration in France where she received an award for her contribution to the brand in the state of Illinois. And she is just getting started.
As Dawn continues her career she has become WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Test) certified and completed courses with the French Wine Society. She focuses on consumer education and is studying to becoming a certified sommelier. Dawn loves to travel and still loves the arts, music, dancing and is a huge supporter of the arts staying in schools. In addition to serving as the resident wine expert with A Tale of Two Chefs, she is currently an advisory board member for brand development with Saudades Imports and works as a freelance writer and consultant.