Meet the Chefs

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+ DUSTIN MARTIN – Primo Restaurant, Rockland, Maine

Events: International Oyster Chef of the Year Competition

Dustin Martin is the Chef de Cuisine at Primo restaurant, a premiere farm to table restaurant in Midcoast Maine. His career at Primo began at the Tucson location in 2005, which was his hometown. After cooking there for five years, Dustin decided to relocate to the Maine restaurant. He rose from cook to sous chef, and began managing the kitchen along with Chef Kelly.

During his tenure at Primo, Dustin has participated in numerous charity events and James Beard dinners, as well as the 2017 St Moritz Gourmet Food Festival and 2018 Venice Food and Wine Festival.

His strengths lie in his superior cooking skills - years as a line cook give him speed and precision. His passion to grow comes from his travels and his love of food.

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+ RODRIGO DE ROMANA – Rodney’s Oyster House, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Events: International Oyster Chef of the Year Competition

Chef Rodrigo de Romana was born in Miraflores, Peru and although his family immigrated to Canada when he was very young, he believes that being raised in that culture of food is what gave birth to his love of cooking. Graduating from George Brown in 2000, he worked in different kitchens around Toronto before landing at Rodney's Oyster House in 2007. Working with the best seafood available, he honed his techniques and became Chef in 2011. At Rodney’s he creates bold, fresh, dishes that integrate seamlessly into a menu with 30 years of tradition.

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+ KEVIN TRUONG – Fairmont Hotel, Austin, Texas

Events: International Oyster Chef of the Year Competition

Kevin’s culinary career began in 2011 at the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club in Oklahoma. In 2013, Kevin relocated to Chicago, Illinois, working under Dave Beran at NEXT. In 2014, he joined one Michelin star Takashi and help close down the seven year restaurant. In 2015, Kevin assisted in opening INTRO (former L20). Kevin relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2016 as Chef de Cuisine for Counter 3. FIVE. VII. a 25 seat Chef’s counter. In 2018, Kevin joined the preopening team of Fairmont Austin as Sous Chef and was promoted most recently as Chef de Cuisine of REVUE.

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+ BOB BENNETT – Zingerman’s Roadhouse, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Events: International Oyster Chef of the Year Competition

Bob Bennett has been with Zingerman’s since 2002, and with the Roadhouse since it opened in 2003. Check that, since before it opened–he painted the walls of the restaurant, and has been here ever since. His dedication to the success of the Roadhouse is unparalleled.

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+ DAVID FORBES – Ciel! Bistro Bar, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

Events: International Oyster Chef of the Year Competition

David Forbes’ 28-year career as a chef began at restaurant Aux Anciens Canadiens, where he worked while studying journalism and cinema at Université Laval. He soon developed a passion for the food service industry that led him to a cooking course at the ITHQ in 1998.

He was hired at Caprices de Nicolas, where he worked alongside William Frachot and Stélio Perombelon, poising him to become one of the founding staff of Leméac. This marked the beginning of a long journey peppered with restaurant openings. He later took over Le Cercle and turned it into Le Cercle, restaurant, bar et spectacles. He would then join forces with Groupe Le Massif, creating the restaurant areas at Hôtel La Ferme, where he worked for three years. Never one to back down from a challenge, Forbes left his previous position in the fall of 2014 to launch Ciel!, Quebec City’s very own revolving restaurant atop Hotel Le Concorde Quebec.

Forbes stands out through his passionate use of local products and his simple ways to showcase the ingredients behind a recipe. Beyond his distinctive love of vegetables, grains and cereals, Forbes is known especially for his creative use of even the most demanding cuts of meat. His simple, spontaneous and direct approach to cooking delights every palate day after day!

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+ RALPH C SMITH - Mine Oyster Raw Bar & Gathering Place, Boothbay Harbor, Maine

Events: International Oyster Chef of the Year Competition

Ralph C Smith II is the owner of the Mine Oyster Raw Bar & Gathering Place, The Boat House Bistro, and COD’s Head Fish House & BBQ… all located in beautiful Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

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+ RICKY SHELDON – Scales Restaurant, Portland, Maine

Events: International Oyster Chef of the Year Competiton

Hello, my name is Ricky Sheldon. I’m originally from Caribou, Maine but moved to Portland for college, I recently graduated from Southern Maine Community College, and I currently work at Scales in Portland!

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