MEET OUR TEAM
Michael Reginbogin is the Founder & Principal of Washington D.C. based KNEAD Hospitality + Design – a multi-concept / multi-unit restaurant company which owns, designs and operates a number of Celebrity Chef-driven restaurants ranging from QSR’s to casual / fine dining concepts.
Additionally, Michael serves as KNEAD’s Design Director.
A California native and USC graduate, Reginbogin cut his teeth in the restaurant industry with the Hillstone family of restaurants, which he considers the foundation for the career path that followed, including leadership roles at respected restaurant groups across the nation including the TAO Group, BR Guest Restaurant Group, Samba Brands Management, Dream Hotels and more.
Jason Berry was raised in Los Angeles with a passion for cooking and dining. From a young age, he gravitated to the restaurant industry where his love of all things food could be combined with a deep respect for genuine hospitality. He received a BS in Business Entrepreneurship and Japanese from the University of Southern California and later earned an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. In over three decades in the restaurant business, Jason has worked with a wide variety of concepts from Wendy’s to California Pizza Kitchen and Houston’s (Hillstone) in both front and back of house positions. In 2004, he joined Rosa Mexicano as Regional Director of Operations, overseeing the company’s growth from three to nineteen locations around the world. He was named Chief Operating Officer in 2011. In 2014, Jason moved to Washington, D.C. and formed KNEAD Hospitality + Design with his partner Michael Reginbogin. Together, they have collaborated on the design and creation of what is now the KNEAD family of restaurants.
James Beard Award winner Edward Lee is the author of Smoke & Pickles and Buttermilk Graffiti; chef/owner of 610 Magnolia, MilkWood, and Whiskey Dry in Louisville, Kentucky; and culinary director of Succotash in National Harbor, Maryland, and Penn Quarter, Washington, DC.
He appears frequently in print and on television, including earning an Emmy nomination for his role in the Emmy Award–winning series The Mind of a Chef. Most recently, he wrote and hosted the feature documentary Fermented. He lives in Louisville and Washington, DC, and you can find him on Instagram and Twitter @chefedwardlee.
Born in Mexico City, Chef Roberto Santibañez graduated with honors from Paris’ prestigious Le Cordon Bleu. His award-winning international career includes culinary consultant, author, and teacher. He founded three highly-acclaimed restaurants in Mexico City before serving four years as Executive Chef at Fonda San Miguel in Austin, Texas and five years as Culinary Director for Rosa Mexicano restaurants in New York City. Chef Santibañez has authored Rosa’s New Mexican Table, nominated for an IACP and a James Beard Award. His second book, Truly Mexican, was named by The New York Times as one of the Notable Cookbooks of 2011. Food & Wine magazine honored his Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales as one of the best cookbooks of 2012. He serves on The Culinary Institute of America’s Latin Cuisines Advisory Council. Chef Santibañez is the chef/owner of three Fonda restaurants in New York City as well as Mi Vida in Washington, D.C. and serves as Culinary Director of Blue Dahlia within Wegman’s market in Natick, Massachusetts.
James Beard Award semi-finalist Umber Ahmad grew up traveling around the world, belonging simultaneously everywhere and nowhere. Her family is from Pakistan and she grew up in a town in northern Michigan filled with first-generation Finns and Swedes. The magic of spices was first taught to her in Pakistan, where as a very young girl, she learned that food had a language all its own. After studying genetics at MIT and business at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Umber spent much of her career in finance. During her tenure as an investment banker, she was the subject of “Risk|Reward”, a critically acclaimed 2002 TriBeCa Film Festival-premiered documentary about women on Wall Street.
Umber is a founding Managing Director of a boutique investment advisory firm that specializes in business development throughout MENA, Europe and Asia. In this capacity, she works closely with sustainable food providers, emerging technologies, luxury brands and world-renowned chefs to expand their concepts globally. Continuing with this work, in 2014 in collaboration with Chef Tom Colicchio, Umber created the next great culinary experience with Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery. Based in New York City, Mah-Ze-Dahr creates memories and storytelling through exquisite pastries. Umber and her work with Mah-Ze-Dahr have received a number of awards and been featured in myriad publications, including The New York Times, Vogue, Travel & Leisure, Martha Stewart and more.