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The Bearded Chefs

Worldwide Brotherhood

Here you see our Brothers around the globe. If you want to cook creative and on a high level, you should be open minded and learn from Chef's worldwide. We are lucky to show you our hall of fame of Bearded Chef's


Chef Lance McWhorter (USA)
was raised in the restaurant industry and secured his first culinary job at the age of 13 as a dishwasher in a busy tourist town diner and has worked in the industry for well over a decade. During his service in the US Army, US Navy, as well as several years working as a high threat security contractor in the Middle East, he has had the opportunity to travel to almost 40 different countries, turning the exposure to so many different cultures and cuisines to his true passion, cooking.
After retirement from the public service life, Chef Lance turned his focus back to the restaurant business, attending the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, and finding his place as a Chef at several successful restaurants in the Texas Hill Country. Looking for his opportunity to return to his family homeland of East Texas, he has now found his most esteemed position as the first Executive Chef of McGarity's Saloon and Fine Dining Restaurant in Jefferson. He brings with him a passion for the finest dining, incredible seafood, creative specials, and impeccable service, all inspired by the cuisines of the various countries he has traveled to around the globe.
Chef Lance believes in sustainable cooking practices, and in featuring as many seasonal, farm to table, and locally sourced ingredients as possible.

“There is no greater change of career for a former military man than the move into the culinary world. The heat, the steel and fire, the noise, the stress.... No place makes him feel more at home.”

Chef Kevin Vanaken (BEL)

Hi! My name is Kevin Vanaken, 34 years old, father to two lovely daughters and married to my soulmate Katie.

I started as a kitchen assistant at the age of 21. After dressing salads, i was promoted to sous-chef. I learned fast as i am passionated about food. 3 years later my chef left and i was thrown into the world of being a chef. At 24 years old i was the chef of a grill and steakhouse. Allthough i loved that place, i was asked in a team to compete in a television show. We got second place, but man, did i grow! It was as star-restaurant so i studied the french cuisine at it's best.

My love for traveling and cooking soon resulted in my own style and i developed a love for meat and burgers. In 2017, i'm starting a small daytime lunchbar together with my wife. In KROK we will be serving grilled sandwiches, inspired by the french Croque monsieur. I'm also helping a friend start his burger and meat bar and will be working there as a chef.

I'm always bussy but i love it that way!

Food and family, That's what i'm all about. And yeah, don't forget my beard!

Chef Matthew Pietsch (USA)

Matthew is the Executive Chef and co-owner of the celebrated restaurant Salt of the Earth located in Fennville, Michigan, & Principle Food & Drink in downtown Kalamazoo, MI, where he has been a foundational element in the farm-to-table movement in West Michigan since 2009.  Matthew’s food focus begins with sourcing the highest quality ingredients and to then to process these ingredients as simply as possible, in an effort to honor the ingredients integrity, as well as the individuals that worked so tirelessly to produce it. 


"Cooking in the moment" encompasses Matthew's philosophy of driving emotionality, seasonality, inspiration from ingredients, and the surrounding world to drive passionate experiences for both guests and staff members throughout his businesses. 


A West Michigan native, Chef Matthew has been in the culinary and hospitality

industry since 1997. As a college graduate of the culinary arts, Chef Matthew was inspired by an apprenticeship with the U.S. National Pastry Team in 2004 and worked throughout West Michigan for several years as Executive Pastry Chef. in late 2006, he relocated to Detroit, MI where he operated the famed Opus One kitchen, and then took over operations as Corporate Executive Chef for Ford Advertising. Teaming up with Iron Chef Michael Symon to open Detroit’s upscale steakhouse; Roast, this set the stage for Chef Matthew to relocate to Fennville in 2009 where he launched his first restaurant Salt of the Earth, and in 2015, introduced Principle Food & Drink to downtown Kalamazoo, MI.


Matthew commits his passion and energy to furthering the experiences of his guests through the provision of genuine and thoughtful hospitality while supporting the local community and movement of responsible sourcing, ingredient quality & environmental sustainability.

“Check out his Book: "Sea Robins & Triggerfish" : The complete guide to preparing and serving overlooked seafood & ByCatch”

Chef Mike Evans (USA)

That bearded guy is more than just a cook. His inspiring workings are sometimes more Art, then just a dish. Its nice to have him in the Team. He is Kitchen Manager/Pastry Chef at the Sushi Pop in 310 W Mitchell Hammock Rd- Oviedo, Florida

if you are in that area, check in.

“Get him on instagram @thebeardedchefslife.”

Chef Tomas Lidakevicius (UK)


Born in Lithuania Thomas first entered the London restaurant scene as a Commis Chef and from there on thoroughly enjoyed refining his craft with top chefs such as Paul Walsh at City Social, Aggi Sverrisson at Texture, Chris McGown at Corrigan’s Mayfair and Joo Won from Galvin at Windows.

Chef Tomas’ menu inspiration comes from the seasons and everything else that is constantly changing and evolving around him. He remains open to ideas that spring to mind spontaneously. and the end result is always a great looking plate rich in textures and full of perspective.

Tomas prides himself on being a family man and considers his tight-knit team a part of it.

Fun fact: He enjoys Rap music in his spare time so much so that he has even dropped an album in the past.


“I cook to make people smile during and after meal. I mix old and new school to present food in the best way!” 

Edgar Vakaras (UK)

My name is Edgar Vakaras and I am Chef de Partie In one of the biggest hotels in London . 

We have 2 restaurants in our hotel and a possibility to cook for 3000 people. 23 cooks work in our kitchen.

And I can say,  the kitchen is a very busy job.  Sometimes we have time just for cooking and sleeping.

But if your heart burns for the kitchen and you like to cook and be a part of the restaurant, you  will be very happy.


Certainty I want to say that work of the cook is not for everyone.” 

Jan Vyhnalek (UK)

I'm from Czech Republic, I have been working in Hospitality since I was 15 years old, and that was, when I have started attending catering college. I've finished the college when I was 19, I've been working in different places- restaurants and hotels around the region of south Moravia \ Bohemia as apprentice, week in the real business and week in the school \ study, exams. Good and proper preparation for professional carrier.


I have started working as a comis chef in local restaurant. The local restaurant was well known for it's chef specialities and it was very busy too, that is about 16 years ago, I was then very young and learned the things by hard way! Working 7 days a week back then. I've done almost a year in this place, then I moved to other restaurant, that was an Italian place, I've spent there half year and have received an offer to work in vibrant brand new beautiful business \ leisure hotel in heart of vineyards, a fairy tail landscape, this was extremely busy place with local cuisine and all fresh in the house made ala carte.


I've been working there for over two years, started as a junior chef de partie, when I left I was junior sous chef, this was one of my hardest years in hospitality, yet it was fantastic eye opener and I've learned all sorts of things! Then job offer in London came on my plate! And that's were my  journey in London have started.


Keep on Beardin the Kitchen” 

Chef John William Hall (ZAF)
is a modern family man living the best of both the farm and city life on their farm in Cullinan, on the outskirts of the capital city of South Africa.
As qualified chef, John practices his passion for food at leisure along with his foodie-wife who has a PhD in Nutrition. John appreciates the luxuries in life, and pursues the perfect balance between work and play.
His cooking style is relaxed yet adventurous, combining traditional recipes with modern ingredients or methods - mostly while enjoying a single-malt or shiraz.

“Some nice organic South African BBQ Lamb, a good Beer and Friends. Thats the Real way to enjoy the Life."

Chef Werner Steckmann (DE)

Ich bin ein Naturmensch. Schon in meiner Kindheit und Jugend war die Natur mein Spielplatz. Auch in meiner Phantasie: Karl May, Jack London und C. W. Ceram habe ich verschlungen. Den Helden ihrer Geschichten habe ich später in der Wirklichkeit nachgeeifert zu Fuß, mit dem Kanu, auf Skiern und mit dem Hundeschlitten, in Afrika, Lappland, Nordamerika, Kanada und Alaska.

Über die enge Verbindung zur Natur kamen auch die Leidenschaft für die Jagd, für Wildbret, Kräuter, Heilpflanzen und Pilze sowie für das Kochen mit diesen köstlichen Lebensmitteln und Zutaten. Neben der überragenden Qualität des selbst erlegten Wildbrets, begeistert mich die Tatsache, dabei unmittelbar alle Schritte der Wertschöpfungskette beeinflussen zu können.

Vor Jahren begann ich meine Jagd- und Kochpassion über Blogs mit anderen zu teilen.

“Das Leben ist zu kurz, um schlechten Wein zu trinken”

Butcher Jonny Farrell (UK)

Hi. I'm Jonny, the Resident Butcher at BLue - Butcher & Meat Specialist. Originally from a village in Northern England, the concept of butchering was very much a part of my upbringing where i would often catch my father skinning rabbits or plucking pheasants. I went to university to study audio engineering but kept my passion for food alive by working in restaurants to pay the bills.

It wasn't until my move to Shanghai that really harnessed my passion for butchery. I fell madly in love with the trade and began to teach myself knife works and the different parts of each animal. Now based at Hong Kong's answer to a premium Butcher Shop.

I aim to deliver unique aged and premium cuts of meat for you to take home or to enjoy at our restaurant

Chef Artem Khizhnyakov (RUS)

A young ambitious boss. 28 years. The passion for food appeared at the age of 12 and has not faded since. Last 4 years i develop in the author's kitchen. I prislikayut new flavor combinations. In my life there are tow passions. My wife and the kitchen. This two passions give me a constant push in life.

“Food is made up of little things. As well as the opinion of the people - by gestures, by words, by dress, by ironed shirt, flavor perfume ... all those little things that shape our view of the person.”

Chef Matt Edolls (UK)

I fell into the love of cooking past down from generations. the feeling of pleasing people with great food brings smiles to my face every time.

There's nothing else on the planet i'd rater be doing. thats me.

“Get him on instagram @that_bearded_chef for his culinary shots.”

Pitmaster Terrance "Big Perm" Nicholson (USA)


He began cooking over 20 plus years ago. He learned his basic techniques from sitting around observing cooking methods from his father and Uncles. Being Born on a farm in West Tennessee religion is a large part of life. So between multiple church services he took charge with helping the elders bbq fast meals and supplying them with fresh coals to feed the fire and he was hooked.


After meeting his wife in 2008 he traveled in the southeast to pick up multiple State influenced bbq cuisines. After returning to TN he decided to return to Nashville and build hold legacy there. Known as "El Jefe" of the bbq community Terrance is one of the few Pitmasters willing to reveal every last so called secret there is. To debunking myths, giving helpful tips, encourages novice cookers, even showcase methods on this Youtube Channel to educate the masses of different methods of cooking food over open flame to achieve an main purpose AWESOME FOOD.


"El Jefe" as the affectionately known owns Zillas's Pit BBQ a mobile catering and Pop Up Food Trailer which services Nashville TN and Surrounding Cities. His mission statement is to leave his legacy on bite at a time. Honoring time tested authentic methods sweet southern BBQ.



“From ribs to baked beans. Pork Butts to Brisket. If you look for bbq in its purest form Zilla's Pit BBQ is the spot for you - of real SWEET southern BBQ ” 

Pitmaster Eirik Kittelsen (NOR)

I'm 41 years old from Kristiansand in Norway. Married with two children. Im the Pitmaster of my own one man catering company named "Doghouse Barbecue".


We provide classic American Barbecue to the Norwegians. I'm self taught, and have been making Barbecue for 7 years. 2017 we are going to compete in the Jack Daniels invitational world Barbecue championship.


I have also worked as a head chef/Pitmaster in a Norwegian Barbecue restaurant. To make real Barbecue with authentic flavor I use a Gator Pit woodfired offset smoker custom built in Huston, Texas.


Food have been a lifelong passion for me from i started working in a bakery 13 years old. I have always been chasing genuine flavor and cooking with real wood has become my passion.

I believe the flavor we get when cooking with wood fire, awake something imbedded deeply in the human spirit.” 

Pitmaster Jacques in 't Veld (NL)

I am a bearded BBQ chef with a great passion for fire, hot coals, flames and  smoke.
We grill and smoke everything that is eatable.

Being a former butcher explains my love for meat. Bigger is better, more is more fun.
We provide a diversity of BBQing. From home cooking and private parties - food catering at festivals. I also train people how to BBQ in workshops.

Owning three foodtrucks, two offset smokers, a couple of ceramic grills and 15 Webers. 
Specialized in ribs, pulled pork, smoked salmon and lomo al trapo.

“Grill on!” 

Chef Jordan Hudson (GB)

Hi I’m Jordan Hudson, from the north east of England, i play bass, brew beer and mead and I’m a chef.

My family have always cooked for us, it was rare that we ever went out for food, every night my mam or my nana would have food ready for us. But back then my only interest was to become a rockstar. I started off cooking as any you person does, not interested, i worked in the fast food industry for seven years. I became more interested in cooking as the years went on but never had the guts to go out and do anything until i hit 23. I went to college got my NVQ an then started applying for real chef jobs, i had an obsession with American style food, just big portions and full of flavour food. I worked at a American Diner for a few years and loved it was perfect but i felt as though i wanted to learn more.

A few years later a friend of mine offered me a job in a smoke house, I’d never thought about ever working in one before but i took the chance because it was something new to learn. My first taste i was hooked, I’ve found what i want to do for the rest of my life, i bought a smoker i earns the methods and looked into other Low Country recipes. All the food I looked into just sounded amazing and tasted even better. I worked a few rock festivals with a smoker team and they were some of the best memories of my life. Now i work in an independent American sports bar and grill, introducing the idea of serving low country on the menu and my boss is in love with the thought, there’s even speak of a food truck for the future.

“I don’t care for fame all i want is to know people that enjoy their food, that’s why i cook, also the smell”

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