Amtrak Culinary Advisory Team

Jamie Bissonnette

Jamie Bissonnette (co-chef/owner of Toro, Coppa and Little Donkey), a 2014 winner of the James Beard Award Best Chef: Northeast, co-helms NYC and Boston's most popular tapas destination Toro as well as Boston's beloved Italian enoteca Coppa. Jamie is also the winner of Food Network's Chopped series and Food and Wine first ever People's Choice Best New Chef. A champion of nose-to-tail cuisine — Jamie is a past winner and judge of the Cochon nose-to-tail competition. In August 2014, Jamie debuted his first cookbook: The New Charcuterie Cookbook, with a foreword by Andrew Zimmern, and can be found serving anything from Beef Heart Pastrami; to Veal Carpaccio; and Duck Prosciutto. In 2016, Jamie alongside co-chef/owner Ken Oringer, will open Toro Bangkok, Toro Dubai and their first project in Cambridge, MA: Little Donkey.

Roberto Santibañez

Roberto Santibañez is the chef/owner of Fonda restaurants in Brooklyn and Manhattan, NY. As a native of Mexico City and a graduate with honors from Paris's top culinary institutions, award-winning Chef Roberto Santibañez's culinary resume includes stints as restaurateur, culinary consultant, author and teacher in Mexico, Europe and the United States. He is the author of Rosa's New Mexican Table, nominated for an IACP and a James Beard Award. His second book Truly Mexican was one of the most Notable Cookbooks of 2011 by the New York Times, Epicurious, and Food & Wine. His third cookbook Tortas, Tacos and Tamales was published in the fall of 2012. Roberto is a culinary consultant for Amtrak and a member of The Culinary Institute of America's Latin Cuisines Advisory Council.

Matthias Merges

It's hard enough for a chef to open one great restaurant. Chicago's Matthias Merges has launched three in three years — one Japanese, one American and one Mediterranean. Though he was born in New Jersey and spent 14 years as executive chef at Charlie Trotter's, Merges has a preternatural knack for Japanese-accented cooking. At Yusho, his one rule is that he won't serve sushi; instead, he makes things like crispy pig's tail ramen. At his deluxe bar, Billy Sunday, he puts short rib potpie and other American dishes on the menu alongside bottled cocktails. And at A10, he celebrates Italy and France with recipes like bucatini carbonara topped with a 60-minute egg. In addition to his restaurant work, Merges is a founding member of Pilot Light, a volunteer organization that advocates for child nutrition, health and wellness. Working with educators, Pilot Light chefs create a hands-on classroom experience for students that gives them authentic experiences in cooking and nutrition.Merges lives in Chicago with his wife and business partner, Rachel Crowl, and their two daughters.

Daniel Malzhan

Daniel brings over three and a half decades of diverse culinary experience to his position in designing long distance dining car menus in his role with Amtrak since coming onboard with the railway in 2007. Prior to Amtrak, Daniel spent a decade developing global menus as Executive Chef for Delta Air Lines in their Atlanta test kitchen facility. Chef Malzhan has held a variety of other food-centric positions with a variety of restaurants throughout the hospitality industry over his career. He is a culinary graduate of the Hotel-Restaurant management school at San Francisco's City College, as well as a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, where he holds a degree in art. He completed the Menu Masters continuing educational program at the Culinary Institute of America in 2012.

David Gottlieb

Chef David is new to the Culinary Team at Amtrak overseeing the NEC, Acela First Class and State supported services. David brings with him over thirty-five years of culinary experience and a very diverse background in all aspects of the industry. Chef Gottlieb worked for more than twelve years in the prestigious kitchens of The Four Seasons Hotels in Philadelphia and Chicago, along with West Chester's award winning restaurant, Dilworthtown Inn. He was the District Chef for the Wood Company/Sodexho and led the culinary teams for MBNA with 18 cafés in the US and Canada. As a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Gottlieb combines his classic French training with American, European and Asian influences. David's recipes have been featured in The Locals Flavors cook book, Food and Wine and other publications. David believes in freshness, quality, taste and sustainability and is a strong supporter of many national charities.