A Tasteful Pursuit's founding chef and now the executive chef of the Lever House, Bradford Thompson, will be this year’s national spokesperson. Thompson will participate in events throughout the season. An award-winning chef and a strong advocate for Share Our Strength, he has been honored as one of Food & Wine Magazine's Best New Chefs of 2004, and was the recipient of the prestigious James Beard Award: Best Chef Southwest in 2006. In 2005, Share Our Strength honored him as its Outstanding Chef of 2005, for his extraordinary contributions to Share Our Strength and his efforts to ending childhood hunger in his community.
The 2009 tour features chefs from across the nation, including:
- Daniel Boulud, Café Boulud, Palm Beach, Fla.
- Charlie Palmer, Charlie Palmer Steak, Washington, D.C.
- Terrance Brennan, Artisanal Bistro, New York City
- Stephan Pyles, Stephan Pyles Restaurant, Dallas
- Michael Symon, Lola Bistro, Cleveland, Ohio
- Jacques Torres, Jacques Torres Chocolates, New York City
- Tyler Brown, The Capitol Grille at The Hermitage Hotel, Nashville, Tenn.
- Jody Adams, Rialto, Boston
- Gordon Hamersley, Hamersley's Bistro, Boston
- R.J. Cooper, Vidalia, Washington, D.C.
- Michel Richard, Citronelle, Washington, D.C.