Judges – 2022

Five judges for this the 2022 Dallas Kosher Chili Cook-off are:

Craig Davis

Craig Davis has served as President and CEO of VisitDallas since January 2020.  Davis has worked in the hospitality industry for more than three decades. He began his tenure at VisitPittsburgh in 2000 as Executive Director of Convention Sales. He was promoted to Vice President of Sales and Marketing in 2007 and to the position of President and CEO in March 2012.  Davis’ background in the hospitality industry includes executive experience at hotels in Toronto, Chicago and Pittsburgh.  Before coming to Dallas, he served as the Chair of Destinations International, a professional organization representing destination organizations and convention and visitor bureaus worldwide.

David Feder

David Feder and his family have been a part of Tiferet Israel for almost 60 years. He’s been involved in the food business in one form or another for more than 40 years, and currently is the Executive Editor–Technical for Prepared Foods magazine (www.preparedfoods.com). A former noted chef in Dallas and Austin, he has written for the Dallas Morning News and the late and lamented Dallas Times Herald and taught Food Science and Nutrition at UT Austin before becoming a full-time journalist. David worked for a number of magazines, including Better Homes and Gardens, LightStyle, and First. He also is the author of The Skinny Carbs Diet Book (Rodale Press, 2010). Fool that he is, in 1995 David moved to the cold, dark, humorless Midwest, living outside of Chicago with his wife, their two-year-old son, plus a pair of spoiled dogs (a wiener and a pug) and freezes his tuchas off every year waiting for the Dallas Kosher Chili Cook-off to begin. He recently escaped Chicago and moved to Austin.  You can read his 2012 write up of the Dallas Kosher Chili Cook-off.

Danny Hall

Danny Hall is Executive Chef Embassy Suites Hotel in Frisco, Texas. Believe it or not, Chef Hall started out washing dishes while in his teens in an Italian restaurant and soon found a passion for the kitchen that influences everything he does. Upon arriving at the Adams Mark hotel as the restaurant chef he quickly fell in love with his wife Adriana at the age of 28.  Their love grew into 3-children.  He is creative, committed to his Art and has a real passion for fine food and people specializing in Italian, French, Thai and the Art of Cuisine.  Danny received training Ernst Gruch Certified Master Chef, Uwe Rudnick Executive Chef, Jim Anile Executive Chef, and Michael Braun Executive Chef.  They gave him a love for food that will never fade.

Jordana Kohn

Jordona Kohn attended Queens College and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Education. She then went on to attend culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu of Dallas, earning the honor of Valedictorian and graduating with a bachelor’s in Culinary Arts and Hospitality. She had been working in the food industry for the last 13 years, but she has been exposed to food preparation all her life. Her great grandfather, grandfather, and father were all kosher butchers and her father was a restaurant owner for a time.  Jordona worked in the food world in Miami, New York, Baltimore, Jerusalem and Dallas. Jordona started gaining traction in the Dallas kosher scene as the executive chef at A Taste of the World Catering.  But Jordona’s goal was always to start her own restaurant. Enter: The Market. Local.Comfort.Cafe. She and her partner, Stacey Clark, have worked tirelessly to provide the community with a unique take on a casual café that happens to be kosher.  Jordona lives with her amazing husband Justin, and her three beautiful children, Arianna, Gaby, and Ezra. You can follow Chef Jordona on Instagram and along with The Market journey at Facebook @ChefJordona and the @themarkettx

Keo Valesquez

Keo Valesquez is the Executive Director of Watermark Retirement Communities which operates The Preston at the Park Cities, a luxury senior living community in Preston Center.  Previously, Keo was the Director of Hospitality Operations at Harbor Retirement, Executive Sous Chef at the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts at Las Colinas, Director of Food and Beverage and Executive Chef at Vi  formerly Classic Residence by Hyatt, and Executive Chef/Consulting Chef at Urbano Café, ranked by the Dallas Observer in 2013 as no. 25 in the list of Dallas’ 50 most interesting restaurants.