Sub-Zero PreservationWolf
Meet the judges

Our 2013-2014 Kitchen Design Contest winners will be selected by a panel of seven judges. To learn more about our judges and their accomplishments see their bios below.

Jamie Drake
Jamie Drake

Author of some of this country's most glamorous spaces, New York-based designer Jamie Drake believes that the best décor expresses personality and place. Renowned for his exuberant color sense, his eye for the unique and telling detail, his practical approach to planning, and his equal facility in traditional and modern styles, Drake creates inviting, delightful, and resolutely livable environments.

Fascinated by color and design from an early age, as a high school student Drake worked for one of the New York metropolitan area's leading contract design firms. While at Parson's, he interned in Angelo Donghia's office. He launched his namesake, multi-discipline firm, Drake Design Associates, immediately after graduation. In the thirty-plus years since, he has completed countless interiors for an impressive roster of clients. Notable residences include a Los Angeles showplace for Madonna, apartments in the Dakota and other historic New York landmark buildings, and multiple projects for his longtime client, former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, including the renovation of Gracie Mansion, the Mayor's ceremonial residence, and various rooms at City Hall. Recent commercial work includes a from-the-ground-up medical facility in Florida and a private foundation in New York City.

Nothing if not prolific, Drake has masterminded rug collections for Roubini and Safavieh, a furniture line for Lewis Mittman, bathroom fixtures for THG, fabrics for Schumacher, sinks for Elkay, bath accessories for Labrazel, light fixtures for Boyd Lighting, and has recently collaborated with Theodore Alexander for a furniture line that will debut at the 2014 April High Point Market. In addition to the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club Decorator Show House, he has created rooms for numerous Show Houses, including Metropolitan Home's Showtime Showhouse, Hampton's Cottage & Gardens Idea House, The Esquire Show House in Coldwater Canyon, Hollywood, House Beautiful's Chicago Showhouse, the Southampton Rogers Memorial Library Show House, and the Hearst Designer Visions Show House. Widely published, Drake's projects have enlivened the pages of Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, French Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, as well as The New York Times, British House & Garden, Hotel Design, HospitalityDesign, Veranda and Interior Design. Known for his quick wit, Drake has appeared on Bloomberg TV, LXTV Open House, and HGTV Top Ten. Since 1998 he has served as a judge for the Sub-Zero and Wolf Kitchen Design Contest.

Drake's shelf full of industry honors now includes his 2013 Fashion Group International Night of Stars Award for Interior Design, his 2013 Decoration & Design Building's Stars of Design Award, his 2011 induction to the ASID College of Fellows as well as his 2003 triple crown: the Interior Design Magazine's Interior Design Hall of Fame, the IFDA New York Circle of Excellence for Interior Design, and the Andrew Martin International Interior Designer of the Year. A recipient of the 2000 D & D Designers of Distinction Award, he sits on several prestigious boards, among them the New York Community Trust and the Historic House Trust Directors' Council. An active member of the New York Metro Chapter of ASID and recipient of its Presidential Citation and Platinum Award, he was its vice president from 1994 – 1996. Drake, who received a Partnership for the Homeless Director's Award in 2008, has long been deeply involved in good causes. He currently serves as the Chair of The Alpha Workshops, where he has been a board member for more than a decade.

Doug Durbin
Doug Durbin

Doug Durbin has been imagining, designing and building fine cabinetry, millwork and furniture since he began his career as a master cabinetmaker's apprentice in the late 1970s. In 1983 Doug, with his brother John, founded Exclusive Woodworking, a fine cabinetry and millwork manufacturing company. Together, they then founded nuHaus in 1988. Masters of kitchen architecture, nuHaus has designed, constructed and installed fine cabinetry and architectural millwork to wide acclaim for over 25 years.

Doug leads the nuHaus design team and is well regarded as an industry leader. His unique design philosophy, developed nearly four decades of dedicated, hands-on experience, derives from the interplay of what he describes as “the obvious, the subtle and the hidden…or whispers”—blending materials and textures, space, light and technology to create deeply personal environments for his clients.

Notable nuHaus projects include the Sub-Zero and Wolf showroom in Buckhead outside of Atlanta, Georgia, the Sub-Zero and Wolf showroom in Chicago's Merchandise Mart, The Links House at Royal Dornoch, in Dornoch, Scotland and an estate in Ghana, Africa. nuHaus has won eight Sub-Zero and Wolf Kitchen Design Contests and now Doug serves as a judge of the prestigious competition.

E.J. Meade
E.J. Meade

One of the founding partners of Arch11, an architecture and interiors firm designing heirloom quality residences, EJ has become a voice for modern architecture in the new west.

E.J. practices with the aspiration that buildings can inform us about place and landscape. Believing that the best architecture is a response to site and time, he draws from experience that includes studying philosophy and American Studies at Colby College, a Masters in Architecture from the University of Colorado, and years of building experience.

After graduating from Colby, E.J. worked in carpentry in New England, learning traditional building methods and finish carpentry. Inspired by a summer studio at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, E.J. studied architecture at the University of Washington in Seattle, and earned his Masters from the University of Colorado in 1991. He was the recipient of the Alpha Ro Chi Medal for Design Excellence and the Emerging Impressions Award from the AIA.

As part of his practice, E.J. was a senior instructor at the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado from 1993-2005. He is still involved in the academic community, regularly participating as an invited design critic at the University of Colorado and other universities around the country. He serves on several national and international design competition juries. E.J. presented the work of Arch11 at numerous universities, national conferences and the Denver Art Museum. His work is published in academic and professional journals.

His firm, Arch11 is published in journals worldwide, received numerous design awards, 24 AIA awards in the past five years, including firm of the year 2009 from the Colorado AIA north. In 2009, they won two Sub-Zero and Wolf awards for the Syncline house kitchen.

Cristina Menezes
Cristina Menezes

Architect Cristina Menezes' believes that the important achievement in architecture and decoration occurs when one finds their identity and culture in each detail, recognizing themselves in all corners of the design.

A visionary architect and designer, Cristina began her professional career in 1986 and in 1990, opened her own company, Cristina Menezes Arquitetura e Decoração LTDA. Cristina has completed many civil architecture and interior projects for single and multi-family homes in Brazil and Lebanon.

Known for their lightness and simplicity in the space, Cristina's designs aren't lost in preconceived formulas. Rather, Cristina interprets her clients' style, culture, and wishes, and finds inspiration to design spaces that are essential to their health, happiness, and wellbeing, helping them to live better.

Cristina has showcased her work at a variety of shows in Brazil and has been featured in several publications including Casa Vogue, Habitat, and Décor Book. Her work has won prestigious awards, including the 2010-2012 Sub-Zero and Wolf Kitchen Design Contest People's Choice Award and Regional Award for "Living Gourmet." Most recently, Cristina's project "Pocket House" was honored with Special Mention at the 2014 Architizer A+Awards in the Plus Categories Architecture +Living Small, for her innovative design with a small footprint.

Matthew Quinn
Matthew Quinn

As one of the leading experts in kitchen and bath design, Matthew Quinn has worked around the world providing his clients with original, memorable spaces. Through residential, commercial, multiunit, and hospitality projects brought to him by the world's top architects and interior designers, Matthew increases the design and functionality of kitchens and baths.

Matthew observes the environments, lifestyles, and desires of his clients to inform his custom design solutions. His innovative and creative concepts highlight his keen awareness of the synergy between design and lived experience. Function is amply addressed, but so are aesthetics and comfort.

He is the recipient of numerous national design awards, including first place in the Sub Zero and Wolf Kitchen Design Contest and has been published in numerous magazines and books including Architectural Digest and Veranda. Quinn serves on multiple design boards for high-end kitchen and bath product manufacturers.

Matthew is a principal in Atlanta based Retrofit Ventures and Design Galleria Kitchen & Bath Studio. He is also the founder of the Matthew Quinn Collection, a new showroom concept in luxury kitchen, bath, and architectural hardware that blends the best product available today with Matthew's own expanding lines of kitchen, bath, and closet products.

Matthew's design aesthetic is showcased in his product designs. 2009 KBIS saw the debut of the new Matthew Quinn Collection line of boutique baths and sinks for MTI Baths. The stunning display also showcased the MQ Collection of faucets for the Rubinet Faucet Company. While offering distinctly customizable options, Matthew's successful product designs integrate the grace of classic architectural lines and foster a modern statement in kitchen and bath design. 2010 brought the introduction of the MQ Collection of architectural hardware manufactured in partnership with Reveal Designs, and a collection of stone and metal architectural hoods and mantels manufactured by Francois & Co. were released in 2011.

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra 2012 show house was the stage on which Matthew and Art For Everyday launched the Multiplicity Collection; a collection of architectural moldings and cabinet legs. Today, Matthew continues to design beautiful spaces for his clients and innovative products for the kitchen and bath industry. 2015 will feature the release of Matthew's new Kitchen Design Book.

Friedemann Weinhardt
Friedemann Weinhardt

Friedemann Weinhardt, owner and principal designer at Design First Interiors, is a German-born, self-taught designer based in Ottawa, Ontario. With an unrelenting attention to detail for all aspects of a project, Friedemann is a fearless designer unafraid of any room. He uses complex simplicity to enhance his clients' lives through good design.

While he recalls with vivid appreciation the uncompromising requirement for good work demanded by his high school general arts courses as well as a handful of post-secondary design courses that helped whet his appetite for the design world, Friedemann's professional career began in 1975 as a draftsman for a large multi-national power generating manufacturer. It was there, working in a room with 25 other draftsmen for two years, that he honed his drawing skills to professional standards. He then spent seven years in various sales and marketing positions, including a five year stint as an account manager of Sub-Zero built-in refrigeration in Southern Ontario. For the last few years of his sales career, Friedemann took on additional part time work as a furniture designer and maker operating two companies, Freedom Furniture, and Fast Forward Designs, selling his pieces at flea markets and by referral. It was while he was making furniture that Friedemann's creativity started to blossom and his conviction to pursue a career in design was solidified.

Hoping that his background in drafting and sales would prove suitable, Friedemann sought out an apprenticeship in kitchen and bath design at Van Leeuwen Boomkamp, an upscale furniture retailer in Ottawa, during which time his love for design became even more focused to the disciplines of kitchen and bath. Then, in 1986, Friedemann opened the doors to his own business, Design First Interiors, where he presently serves as owner and principal designer.

Beginning with only courage, determination, and a commitment to using design as a tool to improve the quality of life for his clients, Design First Interiors was created. The firm's work originally concentrated on kitchen and bath specialties, and were driven by the sale of cabinets and related products. Over time, the experience of "Doing Good Design" migrated to include other areas of the client's homes, and the company has now evolved to become a full service interior design firm with an emphasis on cabinets and custom millwork.

A foundational hallmark of Friedemann's work has always been an unrelenting attention to detail for all aspects of the projects. To this end, it is his architect and designer colleagues' drawings that allow the firm to create projects of complex simplicity. A significant component Design First's marketing has been through its participation in design contests within various organizations with which Design First is proud to be associated, including the NKBA (National Kitchen & Bath Association), OHBA (Ontario Home Builders Association), GOHBA (Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association), and the Sub-Zero and Wolf Kitchen Design Contest (KDC). Through these various competitions, Friedemann and Design First have been honored and received many dozens of awards. The awards which have always given Friedemann the most personal satisfaction are the awards he has received from the Sub-Zero and Wolf Kitchen Design Contest. A seven-time regional winner for Eastern Canada and the second place global award winner in 2013, Friedemann holds the Kitchen Design Contest wins in highest regard due to the caliber of work that is submitted for these prestigious competitions.

Vasi Ypsilantis
Vasi Ypsilantis

Vasi Ypsilantis began her design career in 1985 after attending Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Starting in the kitchen design and cabinet sales industry, she honed her skills quickly and became a partner in her first business in 1989. In 1999, Vasi opened her own boutique kitchen and bath showroom, The Breakfast Room, Ltd., which has become a major kitchen design showroom offering Poggenpohl and Downsview cabinetry as well as other high end interior products. Vasi's main client base is composed of interior designers, architects and builders who trust her ability in space planning, kitchen design and the ability to design, manufacture and install any complicated or creative design concept. In addition to her kitchen showroom business, Vasi heads her own interior design and build firm, Vasi Ypsilantis Design Associates.

Vasi's love for traveling, appreciation of fine art and architecture, and her 30 years experience in the design and construction industry gives her the inspiration to include creativity and superb execution in all her projects. Her business partner and husband, Chris Neocleous, and an expert staff of installers and design associates, support Vasi and help make her businesses successful.

Over the past few decades Vasi's extensive portfolio of work has been published in numerous national and international magazines, and has acquired her loyal clientele. Vasi has created kitchens and other spaces for numerous show houses and historic homes, for which she has won two Notable Designer of Distinction awards. Her work in 2007 at La Selva in Upper Brookville, N.Y. earned her first place for best traditional kitchen design in the national Sub-Zero and Wolf Kitchen Design Contest, a competition for which Vasi served as a judge in 2010-2012.

Vasi's recently published projects include the show house to benefit the American Heart Association at the Sylvia Pratt Estate in Glen Cove, Long Island, and the renovation of The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island. The Ronald McDonald House, designed to house families with seriously ill children undergoing critical medical treatment, was a monumental task as it required renovating four kitchens and the dining room without any cost to the home. Vasi's commitment to giving back to her community, as well as her ability to enlist her loyal vendors and designers to donate their time and product, created a space that makes a difference in many people's lives everyday.

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