2020 Chef Showcase

Chef Johnny Alarcon Ruiz

A native of Lima, Peru, Johnny Alarcon Ruiz was destined to communicate his passions, through the language of fine cuisine. Coming from a family of food-lovers within the culinary rich country of Peru, set him on course to hone his culinary skill at the prestigious Laureate International University. There, he was certified with the “Seal of the Blue Cord”.

Emigrating to the dynamic country of Panama heightened his inspiration and brought opportunity as he was hand chosen to oversee the food and beverage program at the most luxurious casino in Central America, the Ocean Sun Casino.

He later opened four restaurants, with the highlight being the “Panaviera”, an acclaimed high- end fine dining restaurant in the Trump Hotel. Panaviera is also known as the “Highest Restaurant in Panama” as it sits on the 66th floor of the Trump International Hotel & Tower Panama.

During his time in Panama, Chef Johnny was a professor at prestigious universities including Ganexa Art University, Panama Hotel School, and his alma mater, Laureate International University.

He now resides in South Florida as the head Chef at the Casino at Dania Beach.

Refresh Live And Chef Kulture

Chef Chad Cherry

Chef Chad Cherry is known for his unique fusion cuisine, blending the flavors of the Caribbean & Latin America with traditional Southern and American dishes. He has owned 2 award winning cafes and served notables like President Barack and Michelle Obama. He is featured annually at The Food Network’s SOBE Wine & Food Festival, was the recipient of the I am Hope Award, and the 33 Emerging Minds of Miami Award at Art Basel. Chad’s passion lies in his ability to use food to build communities and help people improve their quality of life and he has facilitated over 1,000 healthy food demos. As a social entrepreneur he has been awarded fellowships with BMe and Red Bull Amaphiko. He is co-founder of Chef Kulture and co-owner of Refresh Live Café, Inc., and serves on the National Programs Committee for New Leaders Council and Co-Chairs the National Black Caucus.

Chef Karen Pandy-Cherry

Karen Pandy-Cherry is an Award Winning Entrepreneur, Speaker & Advocate. She is proud to be the Sous Chef for her husband, Eco-Chef Chad Cherry. Karen is Co-Founder of Refresh Live, A Food, Education & Lifestyle Company formed around their work combating food accessibility, economic inequality and social justice issues and Chef Kulture, the preeminent network for black food culture in the country. Chef Chad & Karen have spent the last 10 years feeding, educating, and entertaining South Florida. Their hope is that through their collective efforts they can expand their companies, Refresh Live and Chef Kulture, in a way that blesses the lives of every American.×