president & Founder, OCTopus / toronto
Guy Rigby’s passion is food. For the last 26 years he’s had the good fortune to work (and eat) his way around the world with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. From Houston, Tokyo and Hong Kong to Toronto, Bangkok and New York, Guy has both savored the best of global cuisine and had a hand in helping to shape and define food and beverage trends. As the VP of Food & Beverage for Four Seasons in the Americas, Guy travelled around North and South America creating restaurant and bar concepts while working with the world’s top restaurant designers. Guy led the transformation of Four Seasons hotel dining rooms and lounges into vibrant, relevant restaurants and bars with great concepts that serve excellent food, are unique in the market and are profitable.
With a mind for business and a palate for innovation, Guy has now formed Octopus, a food and beverage consultancy dedicated to all facets of creating a memorable, profitable gastronomic experience.
Guy’s passion for all things culinary began at an early age. Born in England, he and his siblings grew up with his mother's accomplished cooking, a far cry from the stereotype of bland British food, which was complemented by selections from his father's wine cellar. Today Guy carries on the tradition of great food at home, donning the family chef's hat for his appreciative family, and his beloved Golden Retriever, Archie, who eagerly awaits any scraps from the table.
PRESIDENT & FOUNDER, BULLFROG + BAUM / NYC
Jennifer Baum is the founder and president of Bullfrog + Baum, an award-winning PR agency specializing in hospitality, lifestyle and consumer marketing. With a client roster that includes well-known culinary celebrities, up-and-coming culinary talent, consumer goods businesses, international real estate development firms and global hotel brands, Jennifer does as much to keep established brands top of mind as she does to bring the next best thing to the marketplace. With over 25 years in the industry, Jennifer’s corporate savvy and keen eye for creating and marketing successful concepts have played an integral role in the changing landscape of hospitality marketing.
When not eating, drinking, cooking or thinking about the above, she fills her time tackling the New York Times crossword puzzle in ink, Soul-Cycling, traveling with her family and hiking with her two mini golden doodles.
Chef / Owner, Pueo’s Restaurant / Kona, Hawaii
Jim Babian grew up in the restaurant world, so it seems inevitable that he would eventually find his calling in the kitchen. While growing up in Darien, Connecticut, Jim’s father opened a supper club where Jim worked in every area of the restaurant, finally ending up in the kitchen. It wasn’t long before Jim saw this as his calling and decided to attended the California Culinary Academy.
Jim’s talents eventually led him to the luxury hospitality world and Four Seasons Hotels. He developed a passion for working with local farmers and fishermen, providing mentorship to local culinary schools, participating in many charitable food & wine events, and more. Jim’s steadfast philosophy is to create rewarding dining experiences that are culinary adventures for the soul – highlighting his commitment to regional, seasonal and artisanal products.
President & Founder, Plus One Hospitality
With over a decade working for two of New York City’s top restaurateurs – Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Danny Meyer – Jen’s skills reflect a wide range of expertise developed through years of on-the-job experience. Having worked all front of house line level and management positions across a diverse portfolio of concepts, and in both domestic and international markets, Jen leverages that experience into a passion for both training and operations. As an independent consultant, Jen has evolved her knowledge beyond restaurants and formed a long-standing relationship with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, for whom she is now the preferred Food & Beverage Operations trainer for both existing properties, as well as for new openings and renovations.
Most of Jen's free time is spent much like her work life - traveling, eating, drinking, and exploring new cities. In the little time she is home in Portland, she enjoys watching sports, cooking dinner for friends, and keeping up with the ever-evolving food & beverage scene of the Pacific Northwest.
president & FOUNDER, dm works
Growing up in a very large close-knit family in Western Canada, Dennis learned from an early age that working together created positive synergies and outcomes. With a values-driven ethos, Dennis found his calling in training people to be their best selves.
With a deep base of experience in hospitality, Dennis has been firmly committed to the growth and development of hospitality leaders and their teams all around the world for more than 20 years. As the founder and president of DM WORKS, Dennis has worked with many of the world’s leading hotel brands, as well as other service industries. His client list includes Four Seasons, Rosewood, Ritz-Carlton, Morgan’s Hotel Group, Radisson and many other independent luxury brands. Dennis feels blessed to have become a sought after facilitator, consultant and coach.
In his free time, Dennis keeps very active, hiking, spinning, practicing yoga and traveling the world. He has a love of music and taught himself to play piano and guitar at a very early age.