Kevin gets his motivation from where he came from and with his newest restaurant
KEVIN RATHBUN STEAK, he pays homage to the big league steakhouses.  With the
opening of KEVIN RATHBUN STEAK, he continues to bring his savvy Kansas City
hospitality and his love of entertaining to the Atlanta area.

Kansas City has been widely known for its large stockyards. It has the reputations of
being the home of BBQ and one of the most widely known jazz birthplaces. Its
history includes stockyards being constructed as early as 1871 as well as introducing
many of the jazz greats to America and beyond. This, in part, has made Kansas City an
Some of the things this BBQ man does:
He's the Executive Chef at Southern Hospitality, a New York BBQ restaurant
He's one of the featured BBQ Chefs at The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia
He travels the country as the Spokeschef for The Big Green Egg Grill and Smoker Company
He teaches BBQ cooking classes all around the country
He writes the "Ask Dr. BBQ Column" for Fiery Foods & BBQ Magazine
He's been a guest chef at the Twin Cities Food and Wine Festival
He's been the guest chef for a winemaker's dinner at The Florida Winefest
He's been a guest chef at the Woodford Reserve Distillery

Ray's travels took him to 32 states and Canada last year. His website can be found at
With over 31 years of experience, Kevin has prided his success on what he calls a mutual fund which
maintains an upward mobility of hospitality, education and an unprecedented thirst for knowledge.

He has worked with celebrity chefs and restaurateurs such as Bradley Ogden, Emeril Lagasse, Stephen
Pyles, Ella Brennan and Pano Karratossos and he has honed not only his technique in the kitchen, but his
passion for owning and operating his own businesses.

In May of 2004, Kevin opened his namesake restaurant “Rathbun’s” in Atlanta.  It opened to critical
acclaim and was voted by Esquire Magazine as one of the  “Top New Restaurants in the Country”.  Since
the inception of Rathbun’s, Kevin has opened a second restaurant Krog Bar.  It is located next door to
Rathbun's and has received local and national acclaim.

Kevin resides in Atlanta with his wife, Melissa. In his spare time, he enjoys, philanthropy, reading
cookbooks, dining out, fine cigars, traveling and humbly admits that he would have a passion to
restaurant designing in his next life.

Find out more about Kevin Rathbun on his restaurant website,

Ray Lampe grew up in Chicago and after high school spent 25 years in the
family trucking business. In 2000 the trucking business had run its course,
and it was time for Ray to do something different. He had been
participating in BBQ cookoffs as a hobby since 1982, so he decided to take
a leap and try to turn his hobby into a career. In 2000 Ray moved to
Lakeland, Florida and began his career as a BBQ man. Ray has written four
cookbooks and is currently working on a fifth.

The first four are: Dr. BBQ's Big-Time Barbecue Cook; Dr. BBQ's Barbecue
All Year Long, Dr. BBQ's Big Time Barbecue Road Trip & The NFL Game Day
Cookbook, published by Chronicle Books.

As Executive Chef of Carmichael’s Chicago Steak House, located in
the flourishing West Loop neighborhood, Dean Eliacostas impresses
guests daily with his traditional, yet creative Chicago-style
steakhouse fare.  A roomy joint in the West Loop loft district, this
comfortable steakhouse pays homage to old Chicago, with big, blown-
up photos of the stockyards on exposed brick walls, and handsome
Prairie-style oak accents.

Born and raised on Chicago’s south side, Dean’s enthusiasm for
cooking surfaced during his early twenties, combining his two
passions: people and food.
“I love people and in this business you have to be a people person.  Plus I love to eat. There is no
better feeling than when you create a dish and see how much someone really enjoys it.”

Chef Dean earned his Associate’s Degree from the Culinary Institute of America in 1995. Prior to
Carmichael’s, Dean worked at some of Chicago’s finest establishments including Marche, Capitol Grille,
Rivers, and now as Executive Chef at Carmichael’s Chicago Steak House.

Eliacostas enjoys the challenge of creating new dishes from the visual appeal, to aroma, to the taste.  
Drawing from Mediterranean influences, Dean uses fresh herbs and seasonal fruits and vegetables, while
keeping an open mind to innovative ideas.  “I feel it all comes down to hard work and passion,” said

In his free time, Dean enjoys hunting, baseball and spending time with his wife Jennifer, his son Sammy
and his daughter Grace.  Chef Eliacostas has been a very dedicated supporter of the Signature Chefs
Auction, presenting at the event while at Rivers and now at Carmichael’s Chicago Steak House.

From his very birth Mike Zeller seemed destined to make a career of
bratwurst. He was born on the venerable Bratwurst Days weekend in
1959. This grand annual eating event has been held in Sheboygan,
Wisconsin—the self-designated Brat Capital of the World—since 1953.

It's debatable whether Mike took his life's calling from the day he
came into the world. Or perhaps his career choice was motivated by
the affection this Sheboygan native has for brats—driven in part by
his family's penchant for stuffing their own sausage from scratch.

Whatever the case, Mike has worked in the food industry for well
over 20 years. After obtaining a degree in Hotel & Restaurant
Cooking, he received further training at various eating
establishments before opening his own 300-patron restaurant.
Mike joined Johnsonville Sausage in 1998 and continues to lead the company's in-house Culinary Team
and Test Kitchen staff. Comprised of food science, development and sensory specialists, Johnsonville
R&D staff devises new products and recipes for the company's wide array of sausage products—for both
consumer and food service applications.

Since joining Johnsonville Mike has developed menu entrees for leading national restaurant chains, and
has helped Johnsonville gain acceptance and expanded use in both domestic and overseas markets
including Japan, Russia and the Caribbean.

A member of the Research Chefs Association, Mike has a special interest in globalization/fusion food
and culinary spice trends. He brings that focus—and much more—to his food research, development
and education projects for Johnsonville Sausage.
Corporate Executive Chef
Director New Product R&D Allen Brothers Inc.
President ACF Chicago Chefs of Cuisine Association

Born: Chicago

  • Proud father of two daughters; Nicole and Stephanie
  • Graduated Washburne Trade School Chef Training - 1976
  • Trained at the Drake Hotel, Chicago ,Hilton Hotel Chicago,
  • Interned at Green Acres Country Club
  • Was Executive chef for hotel at age 21 upon graduating,
    promoted to property in Greensborough N.C
  • In store baker for Jewel foods
  • Executive chef SZABO food service North Western University,
  • Executive Chef Mission Hills Country Club
  • Chef for Catering company Movie locations ,Color of Money, TV mini series Amerika, TV series
    Crime Story
  • Executive Chef Barrington Hills Country Club
  • Corporate Executive Chef/Director New Product Development Allen Brothers-1994-present
  • Part time Chef Instructor Elgin Community College
  • 2 Time winner of Presidential Medallion from American Culinary Federation
  • Chicago Chefs of Cuisine " Chef of the Year 2007"
  • President Elect Chicago Chefs of Cuisine 2008-2010
  • Inducted into American Academy of Chefs 2008
  • Founding member Research Chefs Association
Chef Larry "Duce" Raymond
Sweet Baby Ray's

Duce Raymond is son of Larry Raymond and
nephew of Dave Raymond.  He was born in
Chicago and raised in Wausau WI.  He grew up
in and around restaurants and has been
working in the food/service industry for 12
years.  So naturally with this type of
background he was destined to find his career
in food/service.  He initially realized his passion
for the culinary arts after cooking in Park City
Utah during the 2002 Winter Olympics.  
The experience then propelled Duce to attend Kendall College where he majored in Culinary
Arts and notably he was part of Kendall’s first graduating class of their four-year bachelor
degree program on the subject.  Duce’s specialties include Cuisine of South and Central
America and of course Barbecue.  

Duce is currently Operations Manager of Sweet Baby Ray's Catering Company.  He oversees
the production of all the food that leaves the kitchen and is responsible for many of the fine
details that go into any and all catering functions.  Duce has BBQ experience stemming from
such famous events such as the Taste of Chicago, Naperville Rib fest and the rooftops at
Wrigley Field.  He is also a member a competition BBQ team  “The Church of Swinetology” and
he hopes to bring home some trophies to display in the restaurant.  Duce was recently married
this past September and currently resides in Itasca, IL.  
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