Chef Demos & Lectures

2022 List Coming Soon

Chefs & Lecturers from Previous Festivals

David Stern - Lecturer

Has farmed small fruits and vegetables at Rose Valley Farm for 35 years. His certified organic farm is between Lake Ontario and the Finger Lakes in Upstate New York. He has produced garlic for over 30 years and was a co-founder of the Garlic Seed Foundation in 1984. He has been the Director of the Foundation since its inception, and is a Board member of its parent organization, Friends of Garlic, Inc. For many years, he has researched, written about, lectured about, and eaten a lot of garlic. You can look for David at or nearby the Garlic Seed Foundation tent.

Tony Sarmiento “Growing Garlic in Your Backyard”


Backyard gardener of garlic, tomatoes, and other vegetables in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland, for more than 25 years. His hardneck garlic has won blue ribbons at the Maryland State Fair and Montgomery County Fair. He also has volunteered regularly at the Garlic Seed Foundation tent at HVGF. His backyard is so small that he volunteers with Silver Spring Village, a community organization that helps older adults age in their own homes and stay active in their community.

Bob Dunkel – Lecturer

For me the challenge has always been to find the balance between my family and work and my commitment to supporting sane policies that affect our communities. Moving to New York State in 1981 brought me into working with NOFA/NY and supporting the organic community. There I met David Stern and we found that one thing we had in common was garlic. The Garlic Seed Foundation was just starting up and I happily joined up to connect with this notorious group of stinkers! The first few issues of the press were out then and I began to send in letters and articles and by about 1985 I took over as editor. Many issues have come and gone since then. 
I've been growing garlic for twenty years and I am trying to maintain a small collection of garlics that do well in the northeast. I have tried to level off at about 100 strains per year and no more than 10.000 row feet. I found that the quality suffered if I got too much bigger and my time became too compromised. I have even been planting a bit less quantity in order to work on quality while keeping the soil productive as well as chemically free. 

Noah Sheetz

Originally from El Paso Texas, Noah Sheetz settled in the Hudson Valley to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Over the course of his career, Noah has worked in fine dining restaurants, owned a bakery, taught courses in culinary arts, and served as the Executive Chef at the Governor’s Mansion in Albany through the last four administrations. Most recently, Noah spent a year working for Cura Hospitality at Hudson Valley Hospital Center in Peekskill. In his role as the Executive Chef, he planned healthy, seasonal meals made with local ingredients and conducted cooking demonstrations at the hospital’s bi-monthly farmers markets in an effort to promote the concept of eating as a prescription for health. Noah recently completed his MBA at the University of Albany, an accomplishment that serves him well in his new role as the farm to table coordinator for the Chefs Consortium, a collaboration of creative and talented chefs who are committed to these same ideals. Noah creates partnerships with other non-profit organizations, actively recruits new chefs for the Consortium, and facilitates the procurement of local ingredients for educational events. Noah’s personal philosophy is to emphasize fresh, local ingredients in his menus. This includes cooking with high quality produce prepared the same day it is harvested whenever possible. Noah travels throughout New York City, the Hudson Valley, and the Capital region building relationships with area farmers in his mission to support local agriculture and to highlight the many benefits of eating locally.

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