About Plate

Plate is all about food. Our sole focus is to celebrate the chef’s craft—creative culinary innovation.

At Plate, we love the challenge and the excitement of taking food further, every day. We are driven by an insatiable curiosity and passion for food that we share with our chef audience. We speak their language. Exploring the culinary world, we uncover the most interesting and inspiring food and drink ideas. And by presenting these ideas to our readers, we stimulate creativity and menu innovation, so they too can take food further.

Plate puts content in front of chefs and restaurateurs via print, digital and social media channels, connecting and engaging subscribers on their terms – whether it’s in the kitchen or on the go. Every issue takes a “deep dive” into a singular culinary theme. And in 2016, we're proud to unveil the all new, mobile friendly PlateOnline, expanding the rich brand experience readers have had with Plate magazine to the web.

Our 3rd Annual "Chefs to Watch” Special Issue recognizing chefs from around the country who stand out because of how incredibly creative their food is, and how immensely focused they are in making that food just as delicious. The soulfulness in their cooking says great things about the state of dining in America today, and in the years ahead. These are the heroes of our story and Plate is honored to celebrate them.

The Plate team is steeped in food and the foodservice industry. We live and breathe food and restaurants and our editor is a CIA-trained chef.

Chandra Ram, Editor

As Plate’s editor, Chandra lives and breathes food and what's new in restaurants today. Chandra spent 15+ years in the foodservice industry as a cook and consulting chef before turning to food writing and editing. And, with schooling in journalism, an associate's degree from The Culinary Institute of America and a sommelier certificate, it’s no wonder Chandra was asked to give the commencement addresses at the CIA and Cordon Bleu schools, to join the James Beard Foundation Award judging committee and to be board president of Meals on Wheels Chicago. Her favorite foods? “Nothing beats fried chicken and champagne,” she says, “though sampling five pizzas, including Neapolitan, pan and deep dish, for my birthday was pretty perfect.”

And when she’s not thinking about food, you may find her 60 feet below the ocean surface, enjoying a moment of Zen in her scuba gear.

Liz Grossman, Managing Editor

Liz has been the managing editor of Plate magazine since 2007. She’s also the co-founder of Between Bites, a nonprofit that offers a food-themed live literary series. Other good deeds include volunteering with Meals on Wheels Chicago and Culinary Care, teaching the kid’s writing workshop “How To Cook a Wolf” for 826Chi and reading from her middle school diary for Mortified Chicago, a daring endeavor she’s still recovering from. Her writings have appeared in Newsweek, Robb Report, CNN Traveller and Chicago magazine. Graze magazine also published her Between Bites story on cooking in Charlie Trotter’s kitchen. Liz loves laughing with her big family and good friends around the dinner table, sometimes even making them wait to eat while she shoots their food.

You can enjoy Liz’s photos and follow her foodie adventures on instagram @elizabites_chi.

Amy Cavanaugh, Senior Editor

Amy Cavanaugh joined Plate in 2016 after several years as the restaurant and bar editor and dining critic at Time Out Chicago. Prior to that, she was a freelance writer in Chicago and Washington, DC and has written for the Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Eater, Saveur, Serious Eats and other publications. She’s a huge cocktail nerd, and loves trying new spirits and traveling to visit cocktail bars. A New England native, Amy is happiest when devouring seafood, whether it’s a buttery Connecticut lobster roll or an Old Bay-covered crab feast.

Follow her eating adventures on Instagram @AmyCavanaugh.

Karen Fenske, Director of Sales & Marketing

Karen began her career at Leo Burnett and Starcom Worldwide. Over the next 20+ years, she built her skills in the advertising sales and marketing industry, including a decade as Midwest Advertising Director at Shape Magazine. She has earned an MBA in Finance and Marketing and a BS in Advertising and Media from the University of Illinois. In addition to her prerequisite love of cooking and wine, Karen is a yoga, fitness and travel enthusiast. She is partial to the Piedmont region and its authentic Northern Italian foods and wines.

Karen enjoys sipping a big Barolo paired with the goat and sheep cheeses of the Piedmont region.

Gerald White, Associate Publisher

Throughout his career, Jerry has been immersed in the restaurant industry where he developed a penchant for Kumamoto oysters, Margherita pizza, key lime pie and Chardonnay. The key to his success? Creating opportunities for foodservice companies to work more closely with the chef and operator communities. Jerry joined the Plate team in 2010 after 25+ years in foodservice operations, distribution and media sales, where he held top sales and management positions with several leading food media companies.

A big fan of Danny Meyer, Jerry heads to the Big Apple when looking to dine out at a favorite restaurant.

Steven Mayer, Publisher

Steve has been in foodservice publishing for more than 35 years. After 20 years with Restaurants & Institutions, then the leading publication in the industry, he joined Plate shortly after its first issue was published in 2002, and has led Plate ever since. Plate has succeeded and grown in a tough media environment. However what makes Plate so rewarding for Steve is its having a clear and consistent mission, executing at such a high quality level, and having such a great team, committed and working together. Steve has been recognized by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association. He is a regular at the National Restaurant Association’s Marketing Executives Group.

He loves Oregon Pinot Noirs and Washington State Syrahs. He also loves outdoor dining with Tony Priolo at Piccolo Sogno, though his favorite meal would have to be his wife’s osso bucco with risotto.

Bill McDowell, Editorial Director

Although he’s been with Plate since its inception in 2002, Bill has yet to master the art of a perfect omelet. In addition to Plate, Bill oversees editorial operations for sister publications Meatingplace, CarneTec and HOTELS. His career as a business journalist has been almost entirely focused on food and hospitality industries, with stints at Cahners/Reed Business Information, VerticalNet and Advertising Age.

With a passion for travel and exploration, Bill continues his quest for the perfect gin martini.

Katie Wilson, Recipe Editor

A Chicago-based editor for more than a decade, Katie Wilson got her start working on law manuals and other, less flavorful copy. When she found herself spending her free time reading cookbooks and food magazines, she decided to mix business with leisure and train her editor’s eye on food. Her go-to dish? “Massaman curry with sweet potato, please!” She’s also partial to a tomato soup recipe that calls for a bit of sugar, and has nearly perfected her clean-out-the-fridge chilaquiles. Now she wrangles recipes for Plate, along with helping cookbook authors and chefs fine-tune their manuscripts.

She’s always in search of great weekend trips to unfamiliar locales, but also likes to recharge at one of her happy places—the bar inside Ishnala, a magical supper club overlooking Mirror Lake in Wisconsin.

Laurie Hachmeister, Corporate Director, Marketing & Events

As Corporate Marketing Director, Laurie oversees efforts to enhance the company’s foodservice, hospitality and meat and poultry processing brands through integrated marketing programs, live events and custom publishing. Most of her career has been spent in the foodservice and hospitality sector. When not picking blueberries in Southern Michigan or wandering art fairs, you’ll find her tasting wines in Sonoma Valley or ballooning over the mountains of Arizona. Creating an intimate dining experience for friends is one of her favorite things and her Brussels sprout recipe has gained its own following. Prior to Plate, Laurie was VP Marketing for a Chicago design firm and a Marketing Executive for Reed Business Foodservice and Hospitality publications.

What’s her favorite food? Why tacos of course. "I could have them for every meal.”

Bert Ganzon, Senior Art Director

A designer of award-winning publications since 1999, Bert came onboard with Plate as the lead designer in early 2015. Prior to joining the MTG Media Group, he held positions with Putman Media and Advanstar Communications. When it's time to put the mouse down, Bert enjoys photography, Chicago street festivals or drinking beer with his friends.

He’s also a fan of salad, Blackbird, George Lucas and fully leaded coffee. Go figure.

Steve Vanden Heuvel, Senior Art Director / Front End Web Developer

Steve is an award-winning art director and 13-year veteran of B2B publishing, not to mention a film enthusiast and connoisseur of the craft beer variety. Prior to joining MTG Media Group, he held design positions at Stagnito Communications and Putman Media. At MTG he’s responsible for website design and User Interface, in addition to article and special projects design for Plate’s sister publications Meatingplace, CarneTec and HOTELS. Steve is wishy-washy about his favorite food, declaring that “it depends on which way the wind is blowing,” but is unwavering about his passion for the Green Bay Packers.

They rank just below his boys, his wife Angie and her “best apple pie on the planet.”

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