Visiting Chef Program

    The Visiting Chef Program partners with exceptional volunteer chefs who come to the Warrior Retreat at Bull Run and create once in a lifetime extraordinary meals for our injured warriors and their families. The program takes a farm-to-table approach to providing meals with fresh vegetables and herbs right from a garden on the property.

    If you are a personal or restaurant chef interested in volunteering, please contact the program lead Larry Zilliox at for additional information.  It is a great way for chefs to give back to the community doing the thing they love most.

Honorary Head Chef

Chris Edwards

Chris Edwards Fine Dining Cuisine

A graduate of culinary arts from Johnson and Wales in Charleston, SC, Chef Edwards trained in Spain at El Bulli and El Raco de Can Fabes, both three Michelin Star restaurants. He has worked at such notable restaurants as Maestro in Tysons Corner and Fiamma in New York. He was Chef at the highly-acclaimed Restaurant at Patowmack Farm and Salamander Resort. 

Visiting Chefs

FS1 Jason T. Rohrs

United States Coast Guard  

Jason Rohrs was born and raised in Napoleon, Ohio. He earned his Associates Degree in Culinary Arts from Hocking College. Petty Officer Rohrs enlisted in the United States Coast Guard in 2009.  He first served on Coast Guard Cutter EAGLE. He was selected to work at the Department of Homeland Security Executive Dining Facility. Petty Officer Rohrs was an enlisted aide for General Martin Dempsey. He currently serves and an enlisted aide to General Joseph Dunford, the 19th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


United States Navy

CSC(SW) Matthew P. Susienka is the Senior Enlisted Aide and Executive Chef to the Commander Naval Service Training Command in Great Lakes, IL. He joined the Navy as a Mess Management Specialist in 1997. He became an ACF Certified Executive Chef (CECR) in April 2013 and an ACF Certification Evaluator in June 2014. He was named Defense Logistics Agency's 2014 Top Chef. In 2015 he led the Navy Culinary Arts team to a 2nd place overall finish during the 40th Annual Fort Lee Military Culinary Arts Competitive Training Event and selection to the prestigious U.S. Army Culinary Arts Team.

CS1 (SW) Patrick D Parigi

United States Navy

Petty Officer Parigi is Chef to the Commander, Naval Reactors/Propulsion in Washington, DC. He a Texas native who enlisted in the Navy in 2006. His first duty assignment was aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD6) out of San Diego, CA.  After finishing his tour at sea he transitioned into the Flag/Enlisted Aide community.  He has numerous enlisted aide tours of duty including enlisted aide for Commander, Joint Forces Command in Naples, Italy, Pacific Command in Hawaii, and NATO Special Operations Command in Belgium.

Elena Clement

The Guiding Knife 

Chef Elena Clement graduated from the Florida Culinary Institute in 1992 and spent the next six years at the Ritz Carlton Hotel Company. She is owner of The Guiding Knife, a business providing baking, pastry, and culinary training to professional chefs and food enthusiasts. She frequently trains military culinary specialists. Elena is a Certified Executive Pastry Chef (CEPC®) and an approved judge with the American Culinary Federation (ACF). In addition, she is the Executive Director of the Nation’s Capital Chef’s Association, her local ACF chapter and an ACF ACE (Approved Certification Evaluator) Trainer. She is also a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, Washington, DC chapter.

Shawn Harlan

Chef Instructor

Chef Shawn Harlan is an accomplished chef and instructor with close to 30 years’ experience in hospitality. He is a Certified Executive Chef (CEC) and an Approved Certification Evaluator (ACE) with the American Culinary Federation (ACF). He is a Chef Presenter for Darégal Gourmet products and has experience at the notable 5 Star - 5 Diamond Awarded The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia, the 5 Diamond Awarded Lespinasse Restaurant in Washington, DC, and the 5 Star - 5 Diamond Awarded Chateau de Sureau & Elderberry House Restaurant in California.

Sean Dowling


Army Veteran and Chef Sean Dowling has worked as a chef in the Charlotte area for 12 years. He has a degree in business and learned his trade (cooking) by working his way up as an apprentice to many great Chefs. He has a passion for cooking and food and feels if it is worth doing then it is worth doing right.

Duane S. Keller

Eddie Merlot’s

Chef Keller is an award winning Executive Chef at Eddie Merlot's in Ashburn, VA. He has been a guest chef at the James Beard Foundation in New York City and in 2002 he helped Julia Child celebrate her 90th birthday with “dazzling gastronomic creations.” Washingtonian Magazine has named him as a Top Chef in their “Top 100,” “Top 50,” and “Best Brunches,” profiles. Gourmet Magazine featured The Chef in an article about the Ashby Inn in Paris, VA. The Chef has worked with the American Heart Association creating heart-healthy menus, and the Smilezone. The Chef helped cook for Hurricane Katrina relief and during Pentagon rescue operations after 9/11.

Nate Waugaman

America Eats Tavern

Chef Waugaman is a 1996 graduate of the Johnson & Wales University Culinary Arts Program in Providence, RI. He is Executive Chef at America Eats Tavern in the Ritz Carlton Hotel Tysons Corner. America Eats Tavern is part of the José Andrés Think Food Group. In 2010 Washingtonian Magazine named him an Up-And-Coming Rising Star Chef.

Justin Gudiel

Trattoria Villagio

From butcher’s assistant to line cook to pizza master, Justin Gudiel has held just about every title in the kitchen along the way to becoming Executive Chef of Trattoria Villagio in Clifton, Va.  Gudiel grew up in Guatemala and from an early age was working alongside his parents in their butcher shop.  In 2006, Gudiel moved to Northern Virginia to pursue his dream in culinary. Chef Gudiel was named Executive Chef of Trattoria Villagio in 2014.  Gudiel continues to grow as a chef, continuously inspired by fresh, local ingredients - an important part of his vision.

Nicholas J. Forlano

Forlano’s Market & Restaurant 

Chef/Owner Nick Forlano is an Air Force Veteran raised in a restaurant family. At an early age he worked in the family restaurant beginning a career that would eventually lead him to become Chef at The Ashby Inn. In 2008 he opened Forlano’s in The Plains, VA.

Emily Carter

Red Truck Rural Bakery

Emily is Head Pastry Chef and Manager of the Red Truck Rural Bakery in Marshall, VA. Growing up in Upstate New York Emily has always had a passion for food. She pursued this passion by attending The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park New York and graduating with her degree in Baking and Pastry Arts.

Denise Baxter

CIA/Ambassador ʹ92

Chef Baxter is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and was appointed an Ambassador by the CIA Board of Directors in May 2014. For ten years Chef Baxter taught the Culinary Arts program at Mountain View High School in Stafford, VA. She is a Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCC) and Certified Secondary Culinary Educator (CSCE). She is a past president of the Nation's Capital Chef's Association.

Mackenzie Mantegazza

Abigail Kirsch Catering

For Chef Mantegazza cooking was always part of her everyday life. Mackenzie’s mother and father are CIA Alumni. While earning a Bachelor’s degree from The Culinary Institute of America, she worked on pilot study for Harvard and the CIA. She was voted the General Manager for their Senior Charity Event which raised over $5,000 for The Poughkeepsie Children’s Home and graduated with Honors. Mackenzie is now furthering her culinary career in NYC with Abigail Kirsch- a renowned fine dining catering company.

Benedict M. Zappone

Top Line Catering

Chef Zappone is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute’s Le Cordon Bleu Program in Culinary Arts. He is the owner/executive chef of the full service catering and event design company Top Line Catering in Haymarket, VA. He has worked at some of Northern Virginia’s finest restaurants including The Inn at Little Washington, Girasole, and L’Auberge Provençale.

Lou Patierno


Chef Patierno is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. After studying in France and Italy he perfected dishes at the late Tiberio in Washington, DC. In 2004 with his wife Lydia, he opened Girasole in The Plains, VA.

Ed Matthews

One Block West

A native Virginian Chef Matthews is the owner/chef at One Block West in downtown Winchester. He is the author of the E-book Cooking with Fresh Herbs and the Mangia e Beve blog. He has been named to Best Chefs America by his peers since its inception in 2013.

Anne Thomas

AKT Nourish 

Chef Anne Thomas has brought fresh organic local fare to Haymarket, VA with AKT Nourish. Open for breakfast and lunch the menu changes frequently based on the availability of locally grown ingredients.

Grant Brown

Granted Artisan Bakery 

Chef Brown is the first pastry chef to join the Visiting Chef Program. Creating healthy sweet treats for his customers are his specialty. Sweet potato brownies, cupcakes with apples, blackberry, and lemon are all customer favorites.

Brooke Ross

Cook With Brooke 

Brooke Ross is the author of Cook with Brooke: Comfort Food Made Simple, easy to prepare creative recipes that are fun for the whole family. She is a Northern Virginia resident and a graduate of L'Academie de Cuisine. 

Johnny Scott

The Mission Kitchen

Chef Johnny is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of Savannah and a member of the American Culinary Federation (ACF). He is owner and head chef of The Mission Kitchen. His personal style is cuisine inspired by adventure, a unique selection of foods developed from local inspirations and international travel. He credits his creations to friendships developed across cultural lines from Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.

Angela Davis

The Kitchenista Diaries 

Angela Davis is a self-taught home cook turned food blogger, recipe developer and food photographer. She writes recipes and cooking tutorials for her award winning food blog, and several national food brands. From her passion for home cooking she started her own company, Elevated Comfort, offering personal chef & culinary coaching. Angela recently published her first eBook and is writing a cookbook for young adults, with an expected release date in 2016. She is a mother of two and resides in Haymarket, VA. 

Erik “Chef Egg” Berlin

Cooking With Egg

Chef Egg is the host of Chef Egg Live: Pop Up Cooking Events and Chef Egg’s Cooking Eggsperience web series. He trained in culinary arts at Anne Arundel Community College’s HCAT program and graduated from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore with a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management. Chef Egg gained teaching experience with Whole Foods Market as a culinary instructor and community outreach chef. He has worked with Walter Reed Hospital, Navy Entertainment, Naval Resilience Programs and the Wounded Warrior Project to teach soldiers and caregiver how to lead a healthy lifestyle through the culinary arts.

Michael Natoli

Chef Instructor

In 2007, Chef Natoli graduated with honors in Advanced Baking and Pastry from The Art Institute of Washington, receiving the coveted L'Académie Brillat-Savarin and La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Young Professional medal.  He developed and managed the Culinary Arts & Sciences training program at the Arlington Career Center for almost a decade and recently retired to engage in community volunteer work.  Upon graduating high school, Chef Natoli volunteered for the US Navy and is a Viet Nam veteran.  Although an experienced pastry chef, Chef Natoli also enjoys and specializes in Italian cuisine especially regional Southern Italian specialties.


Dizzy Pig has been making high quality barbecue rubs used by professional BBQ competition teams and top chefs across the country since 2002. Made from fresh all natural ingredients, Dizzy Pig rubs have no MSG, are gluten free, and low in salt.

Located in Haymarket, VA. The Farm at Broad Run has been growing a wide variety of produce and heirloom vegetables since 2008. Using pesticide free organic practices The Farm at Broad Run supplies the Visiting Chef Program with exceptional vegetable plants for our garden.

Trident Enterprises International, Inc has been a leading provider of deer fence for over 25 years. Located in Frederick, MD Trident Enterprises donated a deer fence vital to protecting our Chef’s Garden. 

Located in Nokesville, VA, Rainbow Acres Farm provides pasture raised, non-GMO fed broiler/roaster chickens, eggs, and poultry products to the Warrior Retreat at Bull Run. 

True Farms, LLC is just down the road from the Warrior Retreat at Bull Run. True Farms provides a variety of clean, fresh, environmentally friendly, hydroponically grown lettuces to the Visiting Chef Program year round.