2019 Judges

The judges for the 2019 Dallas Kosher Chili Cook-off are:

  • David Feder
  • Dotty Griffith
  • Michael Mrugala
  • Pete Nolasco
  • Kim Schroeder
  • Tom Schroeder

David Feder

David Feder and his family have been a part of Tiferet Israel for 55 years. He’s been involved in the food business in one form or another for half of that time. He has worked as a noted chef in Dallas and Austin, as a food writer and as a teacher of Food Science and Nutrition at UT Austin before becoming a full-time journalist.

He wrote for both the the Dallas Morning News and the late, lamented Dallas Times Herald. He also worked for a number of magazines, including Better Homes and Gardens, LightStyle and First. He is the author of The Skinny Carbs Diet Book (Rodale Press, 2010).

Fool that he is, after finishing grad school at UT, David moved to the cold, dark, humorless Midwest where he freezes his tuchas off every year waiting for the Dallas Kosher Chili Cook-off to begin.

To bide his time, he is Executive Editor-Technical, Prepared Foods Network/NutraSolutions.com outside of Chicago. He lives in Chicago with his daughter Yael and his very spoiled wiener dog, Sadie.

You can read his 2012 write up of the Dallas Kosher Chili Cook-off or via the Prepared Foods website.

Dotty Griffith

Dotty Griffith is known as “the culinary ambassador of Texas”  and an authority on the cuisine of her home state.

She is an award-winning journalist, best-selling cookbook author, television-radio personality, and adjunct professor of culinary journalism at The University of North Texas.

The former Food Editor and Restaurant Critic of The Dallas Morning News has written 10 cookbooks including The Enchilada Queen Cookbook by Sylvia Casares with Dotty Griffith and The Texas Holiday Cookbook, Second Edition. Her first cookbook was Wild About Chili. Her latest cookbook is the Ultimate Tortilla Press Cookbook.

Chef Michael Mrugala

Chef Mark has been in the industry for over 43 years.

He currently works for the Olive Garden for over 14 years. He runs the entire kitchen operation at the restaurant on Northwest Highway.

He is a member of the American Culinary Federation, Texas Chefs Association, FMP from the National restaurant Association, and CFBE from the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

He is also a Certified ServSafe Instructor and Registered Servsafe Examination Proctor and a National Registry of Food Safety Professionals Test Administrator/Proctor.

He also teaches Culinary Arts at Tarrant County College.

Chef Pete Nolasco

A native of Texas, Chef Pete is the Chef owner of Chef Pete Catering and Ice Carving in Dallas Texas. He has worked in the best of Dallas restaurants and hotels for many years such as Hyatt Regency hotel DFW, The Four Seasons hotel, Sambucca Jazz Café, The Italian Club of Dallas, and more.

Chef Pete is also an artist and has received many awards and accolades for his ice pieces and his teachings of the art if ice carving. Chef Pete is the Director of the Dallas Chapter, Texas Chef Association and a member of the Epicurean World Master Chef Society.

Chef Pete was awarded the Best Caterer in Addison Texas in 2013. Chef Pete has traveled with the Epicurean World Master Chef Society to Limerick Ireland and won the gold medal in healthy food competition.

Chef Pete always strives to deliver the very best of food and service and is always focused on the carving details of his masterpieces.

Kim Schroeder

Native Texan, Kim has been in the food service industry for her entire working career. She worked at the Dallas market Center as a director for 10 years. For the past 14 years, she has servered as the Retail Food Service Associate Director at the University of North Texas.

Kim is Happily married for 18 years and has one daughter. When not working, She likes to travel and is the Queen of hosting parties.

Tom Schroeder

Tom Schroeder was born in Connecticut, but got to Texas as soon as he could. He has been an Executive chef for 34 years. He graduated from Johnson & Wales University with culinary degree.

He opened the OPUS restaurant at the Meyerson Symphony Center in 1993. He then served as Chef at the World trade Center in Dallas for 15 years.

He is currently the Senior Executive Chef for the Baylor Scott & White healthcare System.