Our Mentors

From award-winning chefs and restaurant entrepreneurs to inventory specialists and cooking show producers, Abe's is building a dream team of mentors to help it become a leading food brand.

Manolo Lopez

Chef Manolo Lopez

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Puerto Rican chef and social entrepreneur Manolo López has focused on showcasing his culture through food and inspiration around the world. Manolo started his social work after hurricane Maria devastated his native Island in 2017. After being one of the first responders to enter the Puerto Rico, he created brigades that would bring clean water, warm food, and medicine to towns all over the Island. Two months after his first initiative he launched the Cosa Nuestra Relief Fund, a program designed to support the local economy after the storm by paying restaurants to offer and distribute free meals all over the Island. Today, the program is being highlighted and studied in Washington D.C.


Manolo has been named one of the "Top 18 Most Influential Latinos of NY." From creating recipes for the New York Times to mentoring youth, Manolo's passion lies in inspiring others to drive change in their local communities and around the world. 

As he continues to evolve his work in his home of Puerto Rico, Manolo shares his message about community building around the world. 


Chef Charles Michel

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Chef Charles Michel is a philomath studying the convergence of art, science, and multisensory aesthetics.


Based at Oxford University between 2013 and 2016, Charles published over a dozen papers in scientific journals on crossmodal perception. He works as an experience designer in a variety of fields, and as an artist using food and the meal ritual as a medium. In recent years he has been working on cutting-edge projects that innovate community building, hospitality, and experiential art.

Charles Michel stars on the new Netflix show The Last Table. 

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Dan MacCombie

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Dan MacCombie is a social entrepreneur with a passion for creating new pathways and models for connecting individuals, communities, livelihoods, food, and ecosystems.


After graduating from Brown in 2008, Dan and his co-founder moved to Ecuador to found the Amazonian tea company and social enterprise, Runa, which supports farmers’ livelihoods and reforestation. Runa was later acquired by Vita Coco in 2018. Dan now works as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Dev Equity, a social investment fund focused on food + urban development in Latin America, is developing a new cacao snack company, and advises or serves on the board of a number of food & beverage companies.


Kim Bryden

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Kim Bryden is the CEO & Founder of Cureate and Cureate Connect. She has worked in the food and beverage industry from government, to Fortune 500 retail management, to food-tech startup.


Cureate provides services to emerging food and beverage business owners to assist with their growth and scaling initiatives. They have worked with emerging retail outlets like Glen's Garden Market; to nationally acclaimed food start-ups such as Beefsteak, a José Andrés concept.


With an ever-present mission to shift purchasing dollars back into local economies, the team built Cureate Connect; an online platform that matches large business and institutional buyers with local food and beverage entrepreneurs through new business opportunities in retail, wholesale, and events/catering.

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Stan Sagner

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Stan Sagner is a writer and producer focused on the intersection of food and culture. He is also an independent media and food strategy consultant advising clients including Sony and BBC


He formerly served as Head of Visual Content & Strategy for Rodale and as Restaurant Critic and columnist for the New York Daily News. Previously, he was Managing Director of International Channel Development for the Hearst Corporation.  


Chef Carolina Santos-Neves

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Carolina Santos-Neves is a Brazilian-American chef, writer, culinary consultant and food diplomat.


After graduating from Brown University, she worked as an editor at Epicurious for 5 years and then, after attending the Chef's Training Program at the Natural Gourmet Institute, entered the restaurant world as the chef de cuisine of Comodo in 2012.


Carolina is presently working on several projects that focus on community development, activism, healthy eating, and communication. To her, food is the highest form of diplomacy.

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Nasser Jaber

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Originally from Ramallah, Nasser Jaber came to the US as a university student to study economics and finance. He began working in restaurants to pay for his degree before he found his true passion for food. His talents would ultimately take him from waiting tables to training under the best chefs in New York City.


Nasser broke into the New York food scene when he opened Mazeish, a Palestinian-South American fusion restaurant on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit and diverse stories of America’s immigrant communities, he decided to use the restaurant as space for chefs to try new concepts, celebrate their heritage, and host dinners to address social issues. It was this concept that gave rise to Nasser’s acclaimed project Komeeda, an online platform that helps people connect, taste exciting new foods, and meet the passionate chefs behind their meals.  Komeeda is also dedicated to social impact through culinary diplomacy, sharing the values of entrepreneurship, private enterprise and food security to the world. Komeeda has been recently working with the US government in Turkey and Sweden to provide real solutions to the refugee crisis through food hospitality and farming.

Chef Behzad Jamshidi

Chef Behzad Jamshidi

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Born and raised in Vancouver, B.C., Behzad Jamshidi’s most recent endeavor was with the Michelin-starred Gabriel Kreuther in New York City. Being mentored in the kitchens of Michelin-starred and world-renowned chefs, Jamshidi’s training inspired an obsession for fine dining and service.

Behzad loves to use the skills that he’s acquired and apply them toward creating narratives through food, stories that are whimsical, communal, and that inspire guests to share their experiences with one another. His many food programs often are an ode to his Iranian heritage and share the stories of his childhood and upbringing in immersive and gallant ways. 

Through his community organization of Moosh, Chef Behzad hopes to create platforms and communities for people who aspire to promote communal experience, create social changes, and celebrate the diversity within food culture. By creating a community collection of artists, and using them exclusively for his projects, he hopes to express his gratitude for all the resources and people who enable him and his food initiatives.