Toledo's Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry is supported by national presenting sponsors Citi and SyscoŽ, national media sponsor Food Network, and national sponsor OpenTable.


2013 Guest Chefs

Chef Steven Meese

Host - "A Chef's Journey" - PBS

Fort Wayne, Indiana

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Steven’s love for food began in his parents’ native Greece where he spent his early childhood. Later, the family relocated to Daytona Beach, Florida, where he worked with his mother Elizabeth at the family restaurant, learning the ins and outs of the restaurant business.

At age 18, Steven moved to Chicago, training in some of the city’s finest hotels and restaurants. In 1990, Steven’s passion to extend his culinary training took him Walt Disney World. For over a decade, Steven would apprentice under Disney’s finest chefs, including Daryl Mickler, Great Chefs of the East; Raymond Pitts, renowned German chef; and Michael Laduke, a frequent judge on Food Network’s Iron Chef and Chopped. After Chef’s tenure at Disney, Steven trained under the tutelege of protégés of Culinary giants Emeril Lagasse, Paul Bocuse , and Alexender Stratta, traveling the country gaining great influence technique and experience.

Since his move to the Midwest, Steven’s sophisticated approach to food art and his colorful personality as an entertainer have captured wide media attention. Meese has gained national acclaim for his stunning visual presentation, modernistic style, and technique.

Steven has appeared on ABC, CBS and Fox and has been featured in many regional publications, including the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Toledo Blade, which has led to "Downtime Cooking" on Time Warner. Currently, Steven is the host of "A Chef’s Journey" airing on PBS. Steven is also making appearances on the prestigious Celebrity Chef Tour with the likes of Michael Symon, Tyler Florence, and Emmy Award winning Tom Colichio of Top Chef, benefiting the James Beard Foundation.

When Steven is not on television or in the kitchen, he is a chef ambassador for Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry, raising funds and awareness to end child hunger in America. Steven currently resides in Ohio.

Chef Nicholas Stefanelli

Bibiana Osteria Enoteca

Washington, DC

Chef Nicholas Stefanelli.jpg

Chef Nicholas Stefanelli was headed toward a career in the fashion industry in Milan when he caught the food bug. Food had always been a party of Stefanelli's upbringing (his grandparents grew their own vegetables) but he never saw it as a profession until he experienced the food culture of Italy.

Excited to pursue to his new career, Stefanelli enrolled in L'Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Maryland. After graduating in 2001, he externed at Galileo restaurant in Washington, DC. He quickly rose to chef de partie, and shortly after, the chef de partie of Laboratorio del Galileo, the dining room with an open kitchen in the back of the restaurant, where he was responsible for creating the tasting menus.

In 2003, he accepted a position as chef de partie at Maestro, the elegant Italian restaurant located inside The Ritz-Carlton in McLean, Virginia. He would spend the next four years there, moving up to the position of sous chef. Working under Maestro's James Beard Award-winning chef Fabio Trabocchi, Stefanelli developed a deeply-felt respect for regional Italian cuisine.

When Trabocchi moved to New York for the modern Italian, French-influenced restaurant, Fiamma, Stefanelli followed as chef de cuisine. Fiamma earned a three-star rating from the New York Times. Stefanelli returned to the Capital City after a year to work at Mio Restaurant. In 2009, Ashok Bajaj hired him as the opening chef for Bibiana. Stefanelli's sophisticated manipulation of regional Italian cuisine through a modern lens is evident in the elegant offerings on the menu, though the young chef continues to serve copious amounts of pizza and pasta to an eager public.

Chef William Skinner

Bar North

Huron, Ohio


Chef William Skinner found his love for cooking while watching his grandparents cook in the kitchen and started cooking professionally at the age 17. At the age of 20 he earned his first position as an Executive Chef of Uptown Bistro in Louisville, KY where he started to educate himself on what it meant to truly be a chef and do upscale food. At the age of 22 he then went on the Expo center where he began to cook for celebrities like Willie Nelson, Billy Bob Thorton, 3 doors down, and Lynard Skynard.

From there at the age of 23 he met Executive Chef Darrin Shelley who was nominated for the award of Best Chef Under 30 at the James Beard House and became his Sous Chef. Chef Darrin taught Chef Will the advanced techniques of cooking and the importance of the Farm to Table Movement. They began to run the Dirona Award Winning Restaurant where Chef Will began working his way up and after achieving many accomplishments Darrin Shelley then left and made Chef Will the New Executive Chef. After his stint with Chef Darrin Shelley he then moved back to his home state of Ohio where he achieved many goals and met the Owners of Bar North.

Now at Bar North he continues to bring that same philosophy of the Farm to Table movement to the city of Huron, Ohio with hopes that people and local restaurant owners join the movement. At Bar North Chef William will focus on Scratch made upscale food that the average person can afford with a wide variety of upscale small and large plates in a relaxed setting, whether it's dining inside looking at the beautiful 18th green or dining outside listening to live entertainment. You will always enjoy the seasonal changing menu and the food that he prepares from Local farmers like The Jones Family and Chefs Garden, Local meat suppliers, or the produce they continue to grow in the restaurants own garden. With Chef Will's cooking techniques and a well trained staff he his self is now up for the award of New Rising Young Chef in May where he hopes to win.