Steve Jenkins
Vice President of Fairway Market


Throughout 2011, 2012 and 20 13, the Jenkins brand was hauled out for recognition via awards and distinctions as well as prestigious venues for lectures, speeches and food-related events. One of them was a talk given to the L2 ThinkTank, a TED-like event created by the NYU School of Business held at The New York Times new arena in Midtown Manhattan. Another was an address delivered at the premier New York International Olive Oil Competition, the world’s largest, held at the International Culinary Center in Manhattan’s Soho District. Jenkins also wrote a featured book review for Michael Paterniti’s The Telling Room that appeared in The Wall Street Journal. 2014 will include a keynote address in Sao Paulo, Brazil to the major supermarket trade group APAS of South America,

read more two cheese and wine-related lecture/tastings with his frequent co-lecturer Master Sommelier Joshua Wesson, at The National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington DC, and two more, one devoted to olive oil, at New York’s vital 92nd Street Y.

In March of 2010 Steven Jenkins was notified by the French Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries that he has been named Chevalier of the ‘Order of Agricultural Merit’, the coveted ‘poireau blanc’ by which few Americans have been honored.As of early summer 2010 the name Steven Jenkins is now
among the very select number of those in the Distinguished Service Hall Of Fame of the Consulate General of Italy and the Italian Trade Commission. In July of 2008 Jenkins was honored with The Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Cheese Society.

His latest book, The Food Life (Ecco/HarperCollins), was published earlier within the same month. Variously described in print over the years as “New York’s highest-profile grocer” (New York Magazine), “the enfant terrible of the fancy food business” (The New York Times), and “the ‘eminence grise’ of American cheesemongers” (The New Yorker), as well as having been featured in New York Magazine’s “The 100 Smartest New Yorkers” issue, he has worked at New York’s Fairway Markets for most of his career.

He was the first American cheesemonger inducted into France’s ancient and elite Guilde des Fromagers, in 1976, and was only recently elevated to “Prud’homme”, the guild’s highest status. In 1980 he was welcomed into France’s super-honorary society, Taste-Fromage, once again, the first American.

Jenkins’ first book, Cheese Primer (Workman, 1996), decidedly a “chef-d’oeuvre”, is in its recordbreaking fourteenth printing. Cheese Primer won the James Beard Award, and is regarded as the most important and indispensable book in the world of cheese for both professionals and amateurs. Jenkins has written extensively for every major food and wine publication as well as columns for the major trade magazines and domestic and international culinary journals. Jenkins is credited with having introduced countless cheeses and other foodstuffs to New Yorkers (and subsequently the rest of the United States), and continues to generate remarkable publicity and public awareness for food artisans and artisanal foods (it was he who popularized the use of the terms “artisan/artisanal” as well as “cheesemonger”).

He was recently named one of the 25 most important people in the history of the American specialty foods industry by Gourmet Retailer in their 25th-year anniversary issue. Steven has been a guest lecturer at numerous venues here in the US and in Europe (The National Geographic Society, The University of Pennsylvania, The 92nd Street Y, The Aspen Food & Wine Classic, The Fairway Masterclass Series); he is also in demand as a judge at various competitions and culinary schools (The American Cheese Society, The French Culinary Institute, ICE), and makes occasional appearances on television (Modern Marvels: Cheese (The History Channel), PBS with Jacques Pepin; a featured segment on CBS’s Sunday Morning). He is a regular guest on the award-winning NPR program “The Splendid Table” with Lynn Rossetto Kasper. Jenkins’ many videos and interviews can be seen and heard at food-related websites such as Heritage Radio, Chow, Serious Eats, The Cook’s Companion
and Epicurious. Jenkins was a board member of the American Cheese Society and is an active participant in the important work of the Oldways Preservation and Exchange Trust (Cambridge, Massachusetts). His many responsibilities at the highly regarded Fairway Markets (New York City) include the pioneering (exclusive) importation of traditional foods from over a hundred European companies. Jenkins lives in New York City with his wife Michelle and their children, Max and Lily.

Mel Bomprezzi
Vice President of Kroger Co.


Mel Bomprezzi, Vice President of Grocery and Natural Foods Merchandising, joined Kroger in 1979. He brings with him great operations and merchandising experience.

Mel began his career in the Delta Division, headquartered in Memphis, TN, in 1979 as a journeyman meat cutter. He has served as gift services manager, co-manager, store manager, head produce buyer, perishable manager, assistant meat merchandiser, meat merchandiser and meat/deli merchandiser.

In 2002 Mel moved to the Columbus Division as Vice President of Operations. In 2004 he was promoted to the role of Vice President of Merchandising in the Columbus Division. Mel earned a bachelor’s degree from Memphis State University and attended the Food Industry Management Program at the University of Southern California. He and his wife Lisa reside in Cincinnati, Ohio; have 3 children, Tyler, Mackenzie and Colin.