The Talamura Story and Team
2020 really gave the event community an immense sucker punch to the gut in a way we could never have imagined. One minute we were elbows deep in planning and executing magical experiences for thousands of eager guests and the next we were completely and totally scuttled with no hope in sight. We have shifted and hustled for the past year doing whatever we could do keep busy in whatever way we could knowing with insane optimism that someday and somehow the show would go on. Around January when rumors of a vaccine began to surface an escape plan was hatched. What was at first just a casual telephone call to friends abroad to ferment a scheme to "just get out of town" very quickly ramped up into developing a series of inspired culinary experiences. If you have that introverted friend that insists on being in the kitchen at social functions you may have an idea of how this was conceived. We had all the ingredients for something truly special and the only way we could imagine this adventure was to make it a party and invite others to enjoy it. I have had the great fortune of working on some truly inspiring projects while networking with many influential and creative individuals along the way. I believe in the power of working together to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
These people are my tribe and I am so lucky.
mama chef selene
Chef Selene Johnson
30 years in the kitchen includes the dish pit, the pastry kitchen, pantry sections, hotlines, concession catering, fine dining and banquets. The “office” is just as likely to be a farm field as a 5 star hotel suite, winery, airport hanger, a super bowl stadium or your own house.
As a chef mercenary primarily for high end events and festivals for up to 5000 guests since 1998 Selene has had the honor to work with some the hardest hitters in the industry, dozens of whom are Michelin star and James Beard awardees. Dropping names like they're hot, she would describe her training as a constant trial by fire in some of the highest pressure situations. Nicknamed the “chef whisperer” her pride comes from getting done the nearly impossible in extraordinary circumstances.
Due to her close relationships with farmers and producers as well as chefs her personal culinary style is derived from a sense of responsibility in allowing the best products to shine. Simplicity, playfulness and tradition are all words to describe her own cooking and she is best described by those who know her well as having an insatiable curiosity in all things.
Forty plus years in the hospitality industry in virtually every position possible - from working the line in the kitchen to front of the house management, marketing, operations, and completing her wine certification courses has given Dorothy varied and vast skillsets.
As the Senior Culinary Director for the past 14 years of two of the largest and most highly acclaimed Food & Wine Festivals in the U.S. she is tasked with locating 125 or more of the finest culinary talents both in the US and abroad for each event. Notable chefs she has worked with include – Jeremiah Tower, Jacques Pepin, Alain Passard, Francis Mallmann, Daniel Boulud, Eric Ripert, Daniel Humm, Christopher Kostow, and Food Network stars Guy Fieri, Giada De Laurentiis, Tyler Florence, Masaharu Morimoto as well as hundreds more Michelin Starred Chefs and James Beard Award Winners.
All culinary operations including - event concepting, website descriptors for each event, equipment needs, ordering over 20 tons of food products, sponsor relations, chef coats, credentials and event signage, menu descriptors and the complex logistics of moving food to 8 different venues, fall under her team’s workload at these 4-day culinary extravaganzas that thousands of guests attend.
Dorothy prides herself on insuring visiting chefs feel welcomed and looked after before, during and after
each event. She also believes that you are only as good as the team you select to work with, and her
team are the best from top to bottom and start to finish.