Thursday, September 23, 2010

9/23 - Ken Jeong, Sam Talbott

KEN JEONG ("Senor Chang" on NBC's "Community")
Ken Jeong, known in some circles as the "scene stealer," is quickly establishing himself as the go-to character actor for many of today's hit comedies. In May 2009, Jeong appeared as the Asian mobster Mr. Chow in the sleeper-hit comedy film "The Hangover," which also starred Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis. The film is the highest-grossing R-rated comedy to date, and has tallied $277 million at the domestic box office.  Later that same summer, Jeong was seen in two more comedies. The first was the Will Ferrell-produced film "The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard," opposite Jeremy Piven. He was next reunited with Cooper in the film "All About Steve," which also starred Sandra Bullock. Since his feature-film debut as the doctor in "Knocked Up" in 2007, Jeong has gone on to a number of memorable roles in a series of successful comedies. Directed, written and produced by Judd Apatow, it was Jeong's first film and grossed $219 million at the worldwide box office. The year 2008 saw Jeong with his first major role as the villain in "Role Models." Taking on the role of King Argotron, Jeong acted opposite Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. The film went on to gross over $90 million worldwide. In the same year, he had bit parts in two other major comedies with "Pineapple Express" and "Step Brothers."  Jeong's career path started off on a different course. He earned his undergraduate degree at Duke University and went on to attain his medical degree at the University of North Carolina. He completed his internal medicine residence in New Orleans while developing his comedy. In 1995, Jeong won the Big Easy Laff Off. The competition, which was judged by former NBC President Brandon Tartikoff and Improv founder Bud Friedman, turned out to be his big break as Tartikoff and Friedman urged Jeong to head to Los Angeles. Once in Los Angeles, Jeong began performing regularly at the Improv and Laugh Factory, and appeared on a number of television series, including NBC's "The Office," "Entourage" and "MADtv." It wasn't until his pivotal role as Dr. Kuni in "Knocked Up" though that Jeong solidified himself as a feature-film comedian. In 2006, Jeong and fellow comedian Mike O'Connell also left a mark on YouTube in "Million Dollar Strong," a spoof of a rap duo. Since the video's posting in 2006, it has garnered over one million views and Jeong and O'Connell have been tapped by MTV Films to write and star in the film version.

Chef Sam Talbot - "Pears"
SINCE HIS DEBUT ON TOP CHEF, TALBOT HAS OPENED HIS OWN WORLD-CLASS RESTAURANT IN NEW YORK CITY.HE’S BEEN VOTED ONE OF THE MOST HANDSOME MEN IN NEW YORK. AND HE’S REVEALED TO THE WORLD THAT HE HAS TYPE ONE DIABETES. WE’RE EXCITED TO HAVE CELEBRITY CHEF SAM TALBOT JOINING US TODAY FROM THE DOMAINE SERENE VINEYARD IN OREGON. At the forefront of the 'integrative kitchen', which breaks down the walls between the way we eat and the way we live, Sam is today one of America's most original chefs. What is the food? Who's eating it? Where? When? In what circumstances? Sam's approach to cooking is to understand how all these questions - and their answers - interconnect. His approach to life is the same: Sam surfs, snowboards, practices yoga, travels widely, moves easily among the worlds of fashion, entertainment, sports, and celebrity. Diagnosed at a young age with juvenile diabetes, Sam lives every hour with a profound understanding of the impact of food on life and life on food. That understanding has become a uniquely creative driving force for his cooking style and recipes. A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Sam began his culinary training at Johnson and Wales University in Charleston. During his schooling, Sam worked at the acclaimed J. Bistro in Charleston where he worked under chef /owner James Burns. Sam still considers Burns his mentor and returns frequently to Charleston to cook, fish, and refresh his culinary "juices." At 24, Sam moved to New York City as Executive Chef of the Black Duck Restaurant in the City's legendary Gramercy Park neighborhood. Two years later, he opened his own restaurant, the Williamsburgh Cafe in Brooklyn's trendiest locale; he was nominated for Best New Chef in Brooklyn by CitySearch and Best Restaurant in Brooklyn by the New York Post. Sam's inventive dishes have been praised by The New York Times, New York Magazine, the Daily News, the New York Post, Zink Magazine, Time Out New York and Forbes Magazine. He has traveled the world exploring his culinary passions and expanding his culinary vision, cooking and eating in some of the world's best restaurants - and some of the worst. His travels have included a 28-day stint in Paris finding work as a chef wherever he could and a 2006 journey across the U.S. stopping at local favorites in small towns. Wherever he goes, Sam's cooking is always a reflection of his insistence on fresh, healthy ingredients. That is part and parcel of who he is as a diabetic - one who also volunteers extensively with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and who uses his newfound celebrity to increase awareness of the disease and to raise money to fight it. Unique even among celebrity chefs, Sam brings to his kitchen his deep love of nature, keen sense of taste, creative mind, and intrinsic understanding of the relationship between food and health. His is the quintessential 'integrative kitchen In the summer of 2008, Sam joined the brand hew hotel and restaurant The Surf Lodge in Montauk, NY as Executive Chef and created a menu of locally-sourced, market-driven seafood. The restaurant is currently the most buzzed about culinary destination on the east end with features in Time Out New York, the New York Times, People magazine, and more. In early 2010, Sam will helm the culinary team at the Morgan's Hotel Group's latest property, the Mondrian Soho.

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