This year we are adding Mentor Roundtables to the agenda! Tastemaker Conference feels strongly that community over competition is the key to success. Creators of all levels can benefit from learning from one another. Even the most experienced creators can benefit by sharing their knowledge with the group. And, who knows, you might just meet your new creator bestie!
What are Mentor Roundtables?
The Mentor Roundtable is a chance to meet and learn from attendees in a small group setting. Attendees of all experience levels will be in each group with the goal to learn from one another.
How are Mentor groups assigned?
All attendees will be randomly assigned to a mentor roundtable group. All groups will have a designated mentor leader who is considered a knowledgeable blogger/creator/expert. The mentor leader will be in charge of leading the discussion and available as a resource to the group. Expect to hear from your mentor the week before the event!
Meet the Mentors
Allea Grummert (she/her)
I’m Allea Grummert, an email marketing strategist & conversion copywriter and owner of Duett. I help bloggers and content creators make a long lasting first impression through automated welcome & nurture sequences that engage readers, build brand loyalty and optimize conversions for sales and site traffic.
Alyssa Rivers (she/her)
CEO and founder of The Recipe Critic, Alyssa Rivers, started her blog from scratch, and she has grown The Recipe Critic into a go-to resource for millions of home cooks. She runs a thriving brand – all while being a working mom to four children. The Recipe Critic’s consumer awareness and social media presence continues to grow, with millions of page views a month, 12 million Facebook followers, 300K Pinterest followers, and 200K followers on Instagram. The Recipe Critic is home to thousands of recipes that have been tried, tested, and approved by the world’s most honest critics… Kids and families from all over the world. Alyssa’s goal is to provide families with quick and easy meals that don’t sacrifice taste. From slow cooker meals to one-pot meals, air fryer recipes, baked casseroles, grilled delights, and desserts galore, Alyssa’s recipes are everything that you need! Your family and guests will keep coming back for more!
Archana Mundhe (she/her)
Brita Britnell (she/her)
Brita runs the Vegetarian website Food with Feeling and has been blogging in the food space for over 11 years. She has a passion for all things video and loves working with other bloggers to help grow their businesses! She lives in Portland, Oregon with her girlfriend and 6 year old daughter. When she isn’t working, Brita loves being outdoors camping, hiking, and being with her golden retriever, Bosco (who, yes, also has his own Instagram account!).
Caytlin McCleery (she/her)
Meet Caytlin McCleery, the vibrant culinary expert who joined The Stay At Home Chef in 2021. Her passion for cooking sparked in childhood, when she spent countless hours experimenting with flavors and ingredients, and it continued to blossom as she skipped college classes to immerse herself in Food Network’s culinary delights with Alton Brown.
Today, as a wife and mother of five, Caytlin enjoys the lively culinary banter with her family, her personal “guinea pigs.” Their invaluable feedback helps shape the delectable dishes she shares with the worldwide audience of The Stay At Home Chef.
Cyd Hodges (she/her)
Cydni Mitchell Hodges (aka Cyd) is the Chief Operating Officer and part owner for the Sugar Geek Show, a recipe blog and online education platform for baking enthusiasts and sugar artists. Since 2014, Cyd has served as a food business coach through her brand Sweet Fest®, an online company that supports the business needs of the Sweet Community in the areas of professional development, marketing, branding and web design. By trade, Cyd is an accountant & financial analyst with a Masters from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the Founder of the Sugar Coin Academy, an online business academy for business owners in the baking and sweets industry, and she is also the organizer of The Ultimate Sugar Show, Georgia’s Largest Annual Baking and Sweets Expo in Atlanta. She is also the Business Blogger for the Retail Bakers of America and a columnist for American Cake Decorating Magazine.
Dora Stone (she/her)
Dora is the chef, recipe developer, and photographer at dorastable.com and Mi Mero Mole. Born and raised in Mexico and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York, she adopted a vegan diet to take control of her health. She is passionate about teaching others the benefit of a plant-based lifestyle and is the author of Vegan Tamales Unwrapped: a step-by-step guide to sweet and savory tamales.
Eden Passante (she/her)
I’m Eden Passante, the creative force behind all the recipes and parties featured on Sugar and Charm! With a Bachelor’s Degree in Home Economics from California State University, Northridge, I aim to simplify entertaining with easy recipes and charming party ideas. I grew up in a remote California town, honing my baking and crafting skills before moving to Los Angeles and starting Sugar and Charm in 2010. It’s an influential brand where I share tips on hosting beautiful parties and creating uncomplicated, delicious dishes. Sugar and Charm has been acknowledged in numerous renowned publications such as Etsy, Real Simple, The Wall Street Journal, and Martha Stewart. I’ve also collaborated with hundreds of brands like Pinterest, Williams Sonoma, and Yankee Candle to share my tips on entertaining. My passion for home economics has contributed significantly to my expertise in entertaining—from planning menus to creating stunning decorations. Aside from creating content for Sugar & Charm, I’m working on my first book, which is set to release in Fall 2024! Based in Los Angeles, I share my life with my husband, two boys, and our sweet dog, Bella.
Erin Collins (she/her)
Erin Collins has been blogging for 10+ years and has a passion for the ever-changing world of food blogging. She is the voice, author, and photographer behind the popular gluten-free food blog Meaningful Eats. Erin holds a bachelor’s degree in food science and a master’s degree in nutrition. She resides in North Carolina with her husband and children.
Evelyn Williams (she/her)
Chef Evelyn is the CEO, Founder, and Dean of Curriculum Development at Gourmet Grad School. Gourmet Grad School is a Culinary Entrepreneurship Academy that teaches professional chefs and passionate home cooks how to earn income outside the traditional restaurant kitchen. Evelyn is a former Chemical & Environmental Engineer who left corporate America to pursue her passion for food full-time. For the past 14 years, she has cooked professionally as a personal and private chef for celebrities and high-net-worth individuals, teaching in-person and online cooking classes, hosting culinary events and restaurant tours, working with food brands, creating content as a podcast host and consulting with other culinary entrepreneurs on how to create multiple streams of income and create high-end culinary brands.
Izzah Cheema (she/her)
Jazzmine Woodard (she/her )
Jazzmine Woodard is a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion practitioner, recipe developer, and travel writer with over 10 years of experience. Her intersecting passions and skillsets have helped her cultivate a dual career of developing digital content on her website, Dash of Jazz, while serving as a trusted DEI advisor to leaders in the private sector. She is also a Board member of the Eat the Culture collective, which empowers, educates, and amplifies Black culinary creators. Jazzmine resides in Houston, Texas, and travels to experience different cultures and foodways as often as possible
Julie Tran Deily (she/her)
Julie Tran Deily started her blog, The Little Kitchen, in 2009. She’s a former software engineer and a nerd at heart, she has been blogging and running her business full-time since 2012. She loves to share recipes that are easy to make and are accessible to home cooks looking to learn new tips and tricks.
She has spoken at various conferences over the years including Tastemaker Conference and Mediavine Conference as well as WITS and TBEX. She loves sharing her knowledge and actionable tips for content creators and small business owners on her other site. She lives in Central Florida with her husband and rescue pets.
Lama Bazzi (she/her)
Introducing Lama, the creative force behind TasteGreatFoodie! Inspired by the challenge of crafting a memorable Thanksgiving dinner for loved ones, my culinary journey began under the guidance of my mom. What started as a simple success ignited a passion for creating delightful yet straightforward recipes. From sharing homemade treats on a personal page to founding TasteGreatFoodie in 2018, we’ve evolved into a community of over 325,000 friends across various social platforms. Boasting over 4 million combined video views and a thriving blog, connecting through intricately crafted recipes brings me immense joy. In the kitchen, a diverse array of recipes emerges, catering to varied tastes like vegan, low carb, and gluten-free. My transition from a novice cook to an enthusiast fuels the excitement to share more culinary inspiration. Finding happiness in assisting others to feel at home in the kitchen, my recipes transform into heartwarming experiences and meaningful bonds in people’s lives and homes.
Laura Muller (she/her)
Meet Laura Muller, a passionate Hispanic cooking influencer with over 12 years of experience transforming traditional Mexican recipes into nutritious delights. Recognized as one of Chicago’s Latinos 40 under 40, Laura has creatively brought Mexican cuisine into the spotlight by infusing healthier elements. With a social media following of over 3 million, she crafts bilingual content, drawing inspiration from her beloved abuelita Conchis, a natural chef who worked wonders in the kitchen. Laura’s culinary journey includes highlights like Michelle Obama’s Partnership for a Healthier America conference and a stint as a storyteller for Disney Princess in California.
Lisa Steele (she/her)
Lisa Steele is a 5th generation chicken keeper, author, and founder of the popular backyard chicken keeping brand Fresh Eggs Daily. With nearly a million followers worldwide, she has been dubbed “Queen of the Coop” by the media, and has been teaching others to raise backyard flocks using herbs, natural remedies and old-timers methods for over a decade. Lisa has written several top-selling books on raising backyard poultry and most recently released her debut cookbook, The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook (HarperCollins, 2022). She has been featured on NPR, The Splendid Table, CNN, Fox News, The Spruce Eats, the Hallmark Home & Family Show, KTLA, and California Live and in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, Parade Magazine among others. Leaving a career on Wall Street behind, Lisa lives on a small farm in Maine with her husband, their corgi, barn cat and flock of about three dozen chickens, ducks and geese where she currently produces and hosts the award-winning television show Welcome to my Farm on CreateTV. Find Lisa on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter @fresheggsdaily and her website www.fresheggsdaily.com.
Liz Marek (she/her)
Sugar Geek Show is an online cake decorating school founded in 2015 by internationally acclaimed and award-winning pastry chef, instructor, author, and Food Network Champion, Liz Marek. The website features a combination of free trusted recipes and simplified cake tutorials to more advanced techniques for the serious baker and business owner. The Sugar Geek Show community has a loyal and dedicated social media following of more than 5M
Marta Rivera Diaz (she/her)
Marta is a formally trained chef and the author of Sense and Edibility®. She has worked in the culinary profession for over 25 years and seeks to use her knowledge and skills to help people of all skill levels succeed at cooking, baking, and cocktail-making (because cocktails are life). Marta is a skilled recipe developer, food writer, and an advocate for underserved persons in the culinary industry.
Michelle Tam (she/her)
Michelle Tam is the co-creator of the Saveur Award winning food blog, Nom Nom Paleo. Together with her husband, Henry Fong, they’ve also produced a two-time Webby award winning cooking app, authored three New York Times bestselling cookbooks, have been nominated for a James Beard Award, and created a best-selling line of paleo spice blends.
Pailin Chongchitnant (she/her)
Rob Finkelstein (he/him)
Rob is the lawyer, pastry chef, food blogger (@cinnamonshtick) and food photographer behind Contract Legal Ease, where he sells various contract templates and an online course created specifically for food bloggers and food photographers. Through his New York City based law firm, Rob regularly represents bloggers and food photographers in connection with business formation, contract negotiation and drafting, copyright/trademarks, licensing rights, and other related matters. Rob spoke at the 2023 Tastemaker Conference about the importance of operating under a business entity. He has also been a guest speaker on various podcasts, including Eat, Blog, Talk, My Food Lens, and the Ultimate Blog Podcast, and a guest teacher at every Food Photography Corner retreat since its inception in 2021. Rob lives in Jersey City, NJ with his boyfriend, Risto.
Sean D. Martin (he/him)
Sean Martin is co-author of the critically acclaimed Fire + Wine cookbook, chef, brand manager, team lead, and contributing writer for Vindulge.com — one of the largest outdoor cooking, wine, and lifestyle websites founded by his partner and wife, Mary Cressler, in 2009.
Sean has been leading teams since 2003, most recently as the executive lead at Travelers Insurance for Lyft Claim services. From small teams of 8 to business verticals of 1,900 people, Sean has spent over two decades in leadership developing his teams to success. He left his fancy career to go full-time with Vindulge in March of 2020. He remains a leadership consultant for some of the largest Fortune 500 companies and continues to provide consulting services to help teams build synergy and success in a dynamic and hypercompetitive workforce. He also applies those same principles at a smaller scale for the team at Vindulge.
Shadi Hasanzadenemati (she/her)
Shadi Hasanzadenemati is a food writer and recipe developer, blogging at Unicorns in the Kitchen. She is the author of The Enchantingly Easy Persian Cookbook and several articles published in The Washington Post, Food52 and Epicurious. Shadi was born and raised in Tehran, Iran, and lived in Istanbul before moving to the United States in 2015. Her love for food led her to start Unicorns in the Kitchen, which quickly grew into a leading source of recipes inspired by the Middle East and Mediterranean. She is passionate about raising awareness of Persian cuisine and creating recipes that are accessible to those who are new to the world of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking.
Susie Bulloch (she/her)
Susie started Hey Grill Hey to share BBQ and Grilling recipes in 2015. It has since grown into one of the highest trafficked BBQ and Grilling recipe sites in the world. In 2019, she created Patio Provisions to sell her own line of BBQ seasonings and sauces. Patio Provisions has since grown to include a full manufacturing, fulfillment, and distribution company of specialty food products. She lives in Utah with her husband, Taste Test Todd, her 3 amazing kids, and 2 really fluffy Persian cats.
Toni Okamoto (she/her)
Toni Okamoto is the founder of Plant-Based on a Budget, the popular website and social media platform that teaches millions how to eat more plants without breaking their budget. She’s also the author of Plant-Based on a Budget Quick & Easy cookbook, and the co-host of The Plant-Powered People Podcast. Okamoto’s work has been profiled by NPR, NBC News, Parade, and she’s a regular presence on local and national morning shows across the country, where she teaches viewers how to break their meat habit without breaking their budget. She was also featured in the popular Netflix documentary What the Health. When she’s not cooking up a plant-based storm, she’s spending time with her husband and their rescued dog in Sacramento, CA.
How are mentor groups made?
These are randomly assigned to make it as mixed up of a group as possible of backgrounds, experience, niches, etc.
Are we grouped by experience?
Nope! We purposefully want these groups mixed up so that you can operate like a mastermind and share knowledge across the board with one another and meet those with more experience and those with less experience than you.
Is the mentor the only one supposed to share?
Nope nope nope! We think of these roundtables like masterminds, it’s a place to share your knowledge with each other. But it’s also a way to have a built-in group of people you will know at the conference and can connect with at the event and after. A cohort of sorts that can keep in contact after the event to support one another!
Can my bestie be in my mentor group?
It’s not likely as groups are random with no preferences made. We have designed the groups to be as random as possible to increase your networking opportunities, and give you the chance to meet even more creator-besties!