The Team



Top food writers agree that no other chef can compare to John Rivera Sedlar. Sedlar grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and while in his early twenties, gained acclaim as a chef in the South Bay region of Southern California. He later mastered classic techniques while evolving his own approach to food.

While cooking at his own first restaurant, Saint Estephe, Sedlar combined the traditional foods of his childhood with classic French techniques, developing what he termed "Modern Southwest Cuisine". Bon Appetit magazine called the restaurant "among the very best in California or even the west".

As Sedlar continued to look for inspiration from his homeland, he also went on to combine the best of the world's culinary influences.

Today, John Rivera Sedlar is a top-notch restaurant consultant and continues to create special menus.
Sedlar is a publisher author, a winner of many awards, and has made frequent appearances on various TV shows. Additionally, Sedlar is the creator and founder of the first Latin food museum in the United States, MUSEUM TAMAL. His work has taken him to literally around the globe, and he has cooked in many countries including Italy, Russia, China, Chile and Japan.

Published Books:
Modern Southwest Cuisine (author)-Ten Speed Press, 1994
Tamales (co-author)-McMillan, 1998

Cook's Magazine Top 50 Who's Who of Cooking in America
FOOD AND WINE Magazine’s Honor Roll of American Chefs
Food Arts Magazine Silver Spoon Award

TV Appearances:
The Today Show
Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
CBS This Morning
Food Television Network




A Renaissance creative professional possessing the experience and ability to lead a project from creative spark to product launch. He uses his own process, borne of 25 years in entertainment design to bring authentic emotion to products and places. A passionate artist, producer, and designer that has achieved breakthroughs in spite of fiscal limitations and within corporate cultures; Eddie has been described as a "perfect storm" of art, commerce, and world class execution.

"Our creative process begins by anticipating the end result, what the customer should feel when they experience a product or place; then we design using all of the senses to convey that core emotion. This immersive approach embeds the message deeper. We call it State of the heart technology."

Recent SottoStudio creations include a world class exhibition for Turner Classic Movies featuring $10m in priceless artifacts from Film classics like "Casablanca", "The Wizard of Oz" and "The Maltese Falcon". In the world of Automotive, they're now charging admission to what has become the number one Ferrari dealership in the country nestled within the $2b Wynn Resort in Las Vegas. Aston Martin became experiential with the creation of "ClubAston", a showroom so exclusive it's inside a vault. Currently in design is a massive LED digital facade for the Aladdin Resort in Las Vegas. The list is growing with Proctor and Gamble, PepsiCo, Dubai International, Gensler Architects, Kerzner Resorts, Universal Studios, Walt Disney World, and Microsoft to name a few.




Harrison is a food writer and author with more than 30 cookbooks to his credit that together have over a million copies in print. He has co-authored books with some of America's leading chefs, including John Sedlar, Mark Miller, Stephan Pyles, Norman Van Aken, Roy Yamaguchi, Alan Wong, and Douglas Rodriguez. He edited Tamales, the cookbook co-authored by Sedlar, Miller, and Pyles, as well as several books on Southwestern Cuisine. Harrison also has several individual book credits. He has written articles on Mexican cooking and traveled extensively through Mexico and Central and South America. Harrison also has prior experience in the museum arena. Prior to becoming a food writer over 15 years ago, he led a fundraising and conceptualization campaign over a four-year period to establish the Sigmund Freud Museum in Hampstead, London.




As author, writer, editor, consultant, and media personality, Norman Kolpas has been a leading force in the world of lifestyle-related media for more than 25 years. An honors graduate of Yale University, Kolpas has been editorially and strategically involved with some of the leading brands in the food world, including working on 14 volumes of the landmark series "The Good Cook" from Time-Life Books; serving as managing editor of "The Pleasures of Cooking" magazine for Cuisinart; leading book-publishing efforts for "Bon Appetit", "Architectural Digest", and "Home" magazines; serving for 10 years as lead creative consultant on the development of Williams-Sonoma's book-publishing program; and working as Senior Vice President of Media Content for the branding company of Wolfgang Puck, for whom Kolpas continues to ghost-write a weekly syndicated newspaper column.

Kolpas is also an award-winning journalist and author. He has contributed hundreds of feature articles and columns on a wide range of topics to leading national and regional magazines. He has published more than 40 cookbooks with over a million copies in print, including co-authoring "Modern Southwest Cuisine" with John Rivera Sedlar. "Southwest the Beautiful Cookbook", for which Kolpas wrote the narrative text, was a 1994 nominee for Best American Cookbook in the Julia Child Cookbook Awards.




Dr. Shapiro is an agronomist and Vice President of Agriculture at Seeds of Change, the largest certified organic seed company in the United States. A two-time Ford Foundation Fellow, a Fulbright Scholar, and a National Endowment for the Arts recipient, he is also a former university professor. Shapiro is a respected expert in world sustainable agricultural systems. He began his work in Europe more than 25 years ago and later moved to Latin America, particularly the Oaxaca Valley of Mexico, the highlands of Guatemala, and the altiplano of the Andes. He has been widely quoted in print and broadcast media, and has addressed numerous agricultural and economics meetings in the




Ramirez is a food writer, and former Food Editor for The Press-Enterprise, a daily paper (circulation 200,000) for inland Southern California. He also wrote a bi-weekly syndicated column on vegetarian cooking for Copley News Service. Besides this, he has participated in several symposia on the cooking of Mexico, particularly along the Sonora/Arizona border. He is currently one of the editors for The Press




The Arámbula Phillips team brings over 30 years of proven results in the domestic, U.S. Hispanic, and international as well as digital marketing arenas on both sides of the brand - client and agency.

The agency principals are very well versed in brand-building based on years of developing regional, national and international brands across cultural, language, and geographic boundaries while maintaining brand integrity. Brand experience includes the megabrands of Toyota Motors, M&M/Mars human and pet-food products, Kia Motors, American Airlines, Kellogg's and Burger King. Domestically, the team has led the work on several well known brands, including Gruma's Maseca, Unilever's Ragu, Pepsi Cola's soft drinks, Texaco's Havoline, the family of InterContinental Hotels, and the Fluid Milk Board's "Got Milk?" campaign.

About Carlos:
Originally from Mexico, Carlos is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in History with a Psychology emphasis, while his left-brain also indulged in the W. Edward Deming's philosophies taught by the Industrial & Systems Engineering department.

About Richard:
Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Richard has lived throughout Latin America, the United States and France. He is tri-cultural and trilingual, fluent in Spanish and French, and holds a B.A. degree in International Relations from the University of San Diego.

Go to Genesis
Go to Press