BEHIND THE SCENES
THE AC TEAM
Dedicated to making a magazine that inspires chefs of the future.
Co-Publisher and Editor in Chief Carol Newman’s devotion with Art Culinaire began in a quiet corner of the Conrad Hilton Library as a CIA, Hyde Park student [1994-1996]. Between rows of books, she cracked her first AC issue and let its beguiling pages seduce her. She also picked up Food Arts, Saveur, and Chocolatier magazines, the latter, where she landed an internship just as publisher Michael Schneider launched magazine, Pastry Art & Design. In the small, always-interesting editorial department on West 34th Street, she jumped at every task and opportunity that came her way: schlepped fresh produce from Balducci’s to photo shoots, tested recipes in the Mesa Grill kitchen with Wayne Harley Brachman, scribbled notes as Hans Röckenwagner introduced her to farmers at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market, traveled to Paris, France to write features on hotel pastry chefs at Plaza Athénée, Hôtel de Crillion, and Georges V. Carol opted to jettison the program at CIA to pursue editorial work. Interviews ranged from cold and aloof to curious. During an interview for an assistant position with writer, Jeffrey Steingarten, The Man who ate Everything, Carol was asked to taste and discuss Olestra potato chips. Homesick, Carol moved back to California and built her editorial experience: copy editor for a high-tech magazine; editor of a small cookbook publishing company; photography assistant; agency copywriter; and retail copywriter. In 2003, Franz Mitterer offered her the executive editor position at Art Culinaire. Carol packed up her 2001 Honda CRV and drove to Morristown, New Jersey. Just outside the New Jersey State Line, the woman renting her a room in Morristown reneged on the deal and Carol lived out of a suitcase for two months. She threw herself into AC, shepherded Issues 71-75, and edited the third ‘Best of Art Culinaire’ book. At Campton Place, Carol interviewed newcomer Daniel Humm, fresh from Switzerland, and worked with iconic chefs David Bouley, Lidia Bastianich, Michel Richard, Ron Siegel, Charlie Palmer, and Gray Kuntz. But it was Charlie Trotter who influenced her most. He became a friend and provided her countless, memorable experiences over years to come, as well as words of encouragement: “you’ll crush it!” She left her full-time position at Art Culinaire to freelance, taking on story assignments from Michael Batterberry, founder of Food Arts, writing for Rosewood Hotels Magazine, working with Alain Gayot, etcetera. She always kept in touch with mentor, Franz Mitterer of Art Culinarie, and as a freelancer, contributed to several AC issues (84, 85, 104,109, and 110). For AC, she covered Douglas Keane when he was chef of the original Healdsburg, Cyrus location, and flew to Lima, Peru, to interview Virgilio Martínez Véliz at Central and Pedro Miguel Schiaffino of Malabar. When Franz decided to retire in 2013, he called Carol. In a memorable and life-altering evening, the two met at a wine bar in New York City—and the ground under AC shifted. One year later, Carol and her husband, Lars Ryssdal purchased the magazine, and over beers with Franz at Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa, California, Carol and Lars forged ahead with Issue 111.
Co-Publisher and Director of Operations Lars Ryssdal hustled early Huey Lewis and the News, Commodores, Blondie, Greg Kihn, and countless albums as a record promoter on the west coast. A proud achievement: he made San Francisco the breakout market for the late Bobby Caldwell’s hit, ‘What You Won’t Do for Love.’ When Lars traded records for wine, he dove into roles as salesman, educator, twice-certified sommelier, working sommelier for Seastar Restaurant, The Herbfarm, Cascadia, and brand Manager for Corliss Wine Estates. He became such a fixture on the Northwest wine scene for 25 years, that in 2011, the Washington Wine Commission awarded Lars as the state’s first and only “Ambassador of Wine.” When Lars returned to California in 2012, he took on a General Managing role for Ackerman Family Vineyards in Coombsville, while he and Carol transitioned AC and operations from Issue 110 in New Jersey to Issue 111 in California. Lars enjoys helping facilitate the careers of aspiring sommeliers with his heartfelt involvement in the Court of Master Sommeliers and Society of Wine Educators. He continues to head the sommelier teams at Taste Washington (he has since 2003) and as Chef Sommelier for the Children’s Hospital Auction of Washington Wines (for over a decade). For the past five years, Lars has led the wine team at San Francisco’s Annual Meals on Wheels Star Chefs & Vintners Gala. He is the brainchild of Art Culinaire’s Looking Glass section, bringing wine education to the magazine through quarterly blind tastings, and day-to-day he facilitates AC’s behind-the-scenes functions as printing, subscription, retail and advertising liaison…and then some.
Art Director and Chicago-native Elena Bragg has been with Art Culinaire since Issue 134. 10 years ago she put her life-long enthusiasm for art and design to practical application with a career in publishing. Her objective within Art Culinaire is to delicately balance text, photography, and design, harmonizing the stories and recipes on each page. She greatly cares about typography, color, visual storytelling, and her golden retriever Oats who accompanies her on hikes and fly fishing expeditions in her new home state of Colorado.+ Check out Elena’s website
Steve Legato’s ’s images define Art Culinaire. With his artistic sensibility, elegance, and precision, Steve doesn’t just shoot images, he crafts compelling food and chef stories. If you own an AC collection, look for Steve’s work that goes back to issues in the 60’s. We’re so fortunate to continue to have Steve’s work grace our pages and inspire you. When he isn’t carrying a camera, Steve’s a passionate wood worker and a multi-instrumentalist, notably an accomplished bass player in a Rush tribute band. Steve never misses an opportunity to cook and often his home cooking involves long braises or smoking fish. Past speaking engagements on food photography include seminars at Temple University, The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), The Antonelli Institute, and Philadelphia Inquirer. Philanthropic endeavours include The Vetri Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Operation Second Chance (providing support for wounded combat veterans), Neighborhood Bike Works and Manna, Philadelphia.
+ Check out Steve’s website
Andrea D’Agosto is a Los Angeles-based lifestyle photographer and artist. She grew up in a small town in Wisconsin working in her family’s restaurants where food presentation and family recipes sparked her interest. After attending school in Madison Wisconsin, she moved west to Los Angeles. Since then Andrea has been photographing some of the best and most well-known restaurants in Southern California including Spago, CUT, Bestia, Tar & Roses, Rustic Canyon, Alma, Din Tai Fung, Salt’s Cure, Under Belly, Hinoki and the Bird, Little Fork and Willie Jane. Andrea shot the rustic Bernhard Mairinger photos for Art Culinaire 111, Matthew Kenney in Issue 112, Niki Nakayama at n/naka for Issue 115, Della Gossett in Issue 125, and the feature on Tristan Aitchison at Providence, whose dish adorns the cover.
+ Check out Andrea’s website
Evan Sung is a prominent food, lifestyle, and travel photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. A native Manhattanite, Evan has made his way through the world from Iceland to Senegal to Seventh Avenue. In addition to his freelance tenure with The New York Times, and many book bylines, we are fortunate to have Evan make magic happen inside the pages of Art Culinaire. Find Evan’s brooding shots of Wolfgang Ban’s dishes in Issue 111. In Issue 116, find Evan’s dazzling cover shot of David Bouley’s Scottish Langoustine, among many lovely others.
+ Check out Evan’s website
Kelly Puleio pushes the conventional ideas of beauty. A fine art photography graduate of the Art Institute of Philadelphia and the California College of the Arts, Kelly’s unique perspective graces our pages. We’re fortunate to have such a dynamic talent based locally in San Francisco, not far from Art Culinaire’s headquarters. In Issue 113, her camera captures the minimalist finesse of James Syhabout at Oakland’s Commis. Issue 117 features Kelly’s beautiful cover shot of Christopher Kostow’s chocolate blackberry.
+ Check out Kelly’s website
Greg Rannells’s high school classmates voted Greg “most versatile,” recognition that amused him. Today, he wonders if there might be some truth to it. After graduating Southeast Missouri State University with a business degree, Greg sold Xerox machines, then surgical lasers, frequently observing eye surgeries. He disc jockeyed for several radio stations, drove a dump truck, and set dynamite until his career transformed to photography. Greg spent eight years photographing fashion in Los Angeles before emotionally connecting to food photography. All food cultures fascinate Greg, driving his own kitchen experiments. Over the years his home has evolved into a food lab with continuous projects clogging counters; masas made from various colored corns and numerous fermentations that include home-brewed Lao Padaek fish sauce, still unopened after 1½ years. Greg says “I learn something from each interaction in three decades of visual storytelling. The culinary artisans I meet are so generous in sharing their knowledge.” We’re incredibly fortunate to have crossed paths and collaborate with Greg who began shooting with Art Culinaire in 2021. His back-to-back photographs grace the covers of Issues 139 and 140. Greg embodies his Mantra: “I eat, I travel, I live!”
+ Check out Greg’s website
Charity Lynne Burggraaf hails from the Pacific Northwest where she studied commercial photography at Seattle Central Creative Academy. For the past 15 years she’s worked as a food photographer collaborating on over 30 national and international cookbooks. Since 2011, Art Culinaire has been fortunate to team up with Charity on features in Seattle and the Olympic Peninsula, Canada, and the Mountain States. Charity’s gorgeous cover shot illuminates Issue 114 as it captures the Pacific Northwest perfectly: Olympia oysters on the half shell with lemon ice and trout roe photographed in the rain. It provides a window into Chef Renee Erickson’s broader oysters feature. When not passionately documenting the lives of artisans, chefs, and restaurants, Charity gardens, throws pottery and cooks at home.
+ Check out Charity’s website
Derek Richmond always finds ways to push the limits on the Chicago food scene. “I explore alternative angles and different types of lighting to reveal other perspectives.” Derek’s edge drives his success as a professional photographer and inspires him to pursue personal projects that dare to be different. Look for Derek’s work in Issues 114 and 115 and other upcoming issues. On the side, Derek relishes pickling, and he’s expressing himself through his personal project The Richmond Pickle Company, “Creative to the Richmond Pickle.”
+ Check out Derek’s website
Chad Jenkins is a new contributor to Art Culinaire. He began exploring photography as a teen, inspired by the natural landscapes and snow sports of the Pacific Northwest. At 18, Chad joined the Marine Corps where he spent the next eight years. During his second enlistment in Iraq, he rediscovered his passion for photography. After his tour of duty, Chad started a successful commercial photography career and has not looked back. Chad’s photo of sommelier legend Larry Stone graces 111’s cover and, in the same issue, he captures doughnuts at The French Laundry.
+ Check out Chad’s website
Greg De Villiers has spent more than four years living in and traveling around the Southern Cone—Peru, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina. He hails from South Africa, but currently works between Lima and Buenos Aires as a freelance food photographer and writer. We met Greg in Lima where he photographed chefs Pedro Miguel Schiaffano (Malabar) and Virgilio Martinez (Central). Greg triumphs in Issue 112 with his colorful cover photograph, and inside stories and photos about three prominent Cape Town, South Africa chefs. In Issue 115 Greg visits Kamilla Seidler of Gustu in La Paz, Bolivia.
+ Check out Greg’s website
Barb Legato, copy editor to Art Culinaire Magazine is also a freelance marketing consultant specializing in cultural analysis to help brands stay in step with consumers by anticipating change. She has deeply explored such topics as the future of snacking, beer, and breakfast, evolving meanings of ‘generosity’ in the U.S. for a chocolatier, and of ‘authenticity’ for a cheesemaker, and the transformation of stigmatized products from ‘ick to wow’. In Issue 115, Barb writes about native cuisine’s Renaissance. In AC Issue, 119, Barb explores the challenges of feeding school kids who live in Barrow, Alaska.
+ Check out Barb’s website
ENTHUSIASM FOR ART CULINAIRE
“I have always admired Art Culinaire for its commitment to gastronomy. The magazine consistently showcases and shares the best culinary artists from around the globe.”
– PAUL LIEBRANDT