We are passionate about contributing to the world with elevated food and service and capturing growth in the exciting future of culinary innovation.

Principal, CEO, Executive Chef

Chef Austin Yancey grew up in South Carolina where he first discovered a passion for cooking in his grandmother’s kitchen. As a student at Le Cordon Bleu of Chicago, he expanded upon the rich traditions and warm hospitality of southern farm-to-table cuisine that shaped his childhood. He spent years cooking in fine-dining kitchens including at Alinea, a 3-Star Michelin restaurant. As a culinary instructor and competition coach, Chef Austin enjoyed giving back to the community by mentoring young chefs who have developed successful careers.

Elite Personal Chefs was created in 2011 with the vision of sharing Chef Austin's passion for elevated food and culinary innovation with the world. Chef Austin brings elements of fine-dining into the catering scene with seasonal ingredients, customized menus, and unparalleled service. As a corporate chef and consultant, he connects passionate people with amazing products through an international network of culinary leaders. 

  • Executive Chef, Culinary Educator, and Personal Chef, American Culinary Federation 
  • Master Chef Trainee, CMC, WGMC, Edward G. Leonard and Le Cordon Bleu
  • Bachelor of Science in Culinary Management; Associate degree in Applied Science of Culinary arts, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts 
  • Educator of the Year in Academic Leadership of 2012, Career Education Corporation 
  • Gold Medalist, Dubai World Hospitality Championship of 2013
  • Recipient of Olson Communications “Chefs of Tomorrow” grant in 2012 
  • Gold Medalist of the “What’s in Your Wok?” of 2012, Minute Rice of Riviana Foods

Certified Sommelier

Jean Tomaro is passionate about pairing fine wines with exceptional cuisine and joins the team as a Certified Sommelier and beverage consultant. Her approach to hospitality is focused on knowledge and sincerity with a fun, approachable style. 

Jean began her professional wine career under the tutelage of Master Sommelier Doug Marello and Sue Kim-Drohomyrecky of Spring where she gained experience in fine-dining service and cuisine. She went on to become an Assistant Sommelier at the celebrated restaurant L2O in 2008 and currently serves as the Executive Beverage Director of Hogsalt Hospitality- known for Chicago favorites such as Bavette’s Bar and Boeuf and Au Cheval. 

  • Certified Sommelier, Court of Master Sommeliers
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of Michigan, 2004

Sales Associate

As a Sales Associate, Austin works with clients at every stage of partnership to facilitate our innovative culinary and business goals. He brings extensive sales and business development experience from years as a beverage sales representative at Johnson Brother’s Liquor Company and consultant for business Software at Inside Sales. As with all team-members at EPC, Austin has a passion for quality food and wine with years of service experience at top restaurants in the US. 

  • Bachelor of Arts with Honors, College of Charleston’s Business and Hospitality Program
  • Certified Sommelier, Court of Master Sommeliers 
  • Leader in volume producer and premium distribution at Johnson Brother’s Liquor Company 

Personal Chef

Chef Jaime Esparza embodies the spirit of Epic Personal Chefs with his dedication to the culinary arts. He began his career thirteen years ago as a dishwasher in his family-owned restaurant where he went on to become the Executive Chef. 

  • Executive Chef, La Fiesta Azteca
  • Captain, Le Cordon Bleu competitive culinary team 
  • Silver medalist, American Culinary Federation State Competition, 2014
  • Young Chef medalist, Idaho State Department of Agriculture, 2014
  • Finalist, Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Clash, 2014 

Personal Chef / Culinary Partner

Originally from Jamaica, Chef Kirk spent thirteen years in Toronto, Canada before landing in Chicago to attend Le Cordon Bleu. He successfully launched his own private event catering business: Mange La Vie. With similar culinary values and goals, Chef Kirk and Chef Austin decided to form a partnership between the two companies – allowing EPC to expand the scope of their Private Events division while continuing to practice the art and joy of cooking. 

  • Founding Owner & Chef, Mange La Vie Private Events
  • Associate of Arts and Sciences, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, 2013

Personal Chef 

From appearing on “Chicago’s Best” to cooking for the Chicago Blackhawks, Chef Frank has been shaping the culinary scene in Chicago for over ten years. He thrives on collaborating with clients to create distinctive menus and is passionate about food and beverage pairings. 

  • Founding owner & Chef of Guerrilla Market Chef
  • Graduate, Kendall College of Culinary Arts, 2013 

Event Manager

Alexandra believes in honoring the human tradition of setting the table for family and friends. She finds joy in creating memorable events and exploring the world through food and wine. She joins the EPC team with seven years of elevated food and beverage service in New York and Chicago.

  • Certified Sommelier, Court of Master Sommeliers 
  • Master of Science in Education, Fordham University, 2011
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, University of Minnesota, 2009