Home Industry News Releases Dough Wines Announces Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja as New Brand Ambassador 

Dough Wines Announces Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja as New Brand Ambassador 


Council of Ambassadors Features Four Culinary and Advocacy Leaders Who Personify Dough’s Purpose and Mission of “Rising to the Occasion” 

SONOMA, CALIFORNIA (August 24, 2022) – Dough Wines, the first wine collaboration of the James Beard Foundation (JBF), is thrilled to announce the second Council of Dough Wines Ambassadors, which includes new member Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja (Shuka, Shukette NYC). The Dough Ambassador Program features four culinary and advocacy stars who were chosen for their work which aligns with Dough’s mission to “rise to the occasion” as a proponent for good.

“As a chef, restaurateur and advocate for a more sustainable food system, it’s an honor to join forces with Dough Wines, a brand that shares my commitment to diversity and sustainability efforts and restaurant recovery,” said Chef Ayesha. “I look forward to continuing to amplify these ideals through my role as a Dough Wine ambassador.” 

Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja joins the three esteemed ambassadors who have collaborated with Dough since 2021. The four ambassadors are: 

  • Ayesha Nurdjaja of New York, Chef & Restauranteur of acclaimed Shuka and Shukette, JBF Award Finalist Nominee “Best Chef: New York State” 2022.  
  • Greg Wade of Chicago, Managing Partner at Publican Quality Bread, sustainable grain advocate, JBF “Outstanding Baker of the Year” 2019. 
  • Jennifer Bushman of San Francisco, a sustainable aquaculture advocate and creator of healthy, regenerative seafood brand, Sea Pantry. 
  • Joanna James of Connecticut, women’s equality activist and founder of the nonprofit MAPP, Filmmaker & Director of the documentary “A Fine Line”.

As spokespeople, the ambassadors will generate conversations and highlight the three areas of focus that are the foundation of the brand’s mission: 

  • Restaurant Recovery: Providing critical resources to help restaurants come back stronger and more resilient.  
  • Equity in the Kitchen: Ensuring that everyone regardless of race, gender, age, etc. has the opportunity to thrive. 
  • Food Sustainability: Establishing a more sustainable food system through education, advocacy and thought leadership. 

“We are honored to welcome Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja to the incredible Council of Ambassadors this year,” said Steve Myers, President of Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners. “Together with these industry leaders, we will continue building upon the James Beard Foundation’s program to push for new standards in the restaurant industry, creating a culinary future where all have the equal opportunity to thrive.”

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Chef Ayesha is the daughter of an Indonesian father and Italian mother. Growing up, she was always inspired by her family’s cooking, which was marked by the use of exotic flavors and generous hospitality. Her entrepreneurial spirit first led her to pursue a business degree at Pace University, but she ultimately followed her passions and enrolled at the Institute of Culinary Education.  

Chef Ayesha is now the Executive Chef and Partner at Shuka in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood and her newest venture, Shukette, the celebratory dining destination in Chelsea. At Shukette, Chef Ayesha applies her seasonally-minded philosophy and deep understanding of spices to Shukette’s vibrant and constantly changing menus of flavorful dips, salads and entrees from the crackling grill to showcase the region’s many cuisines, locally and sustainably sourced whenever possible. Both Shuka and Shukette are part of the Bowery Group and the menus champion the group’s focus on seasonality and sustainable sourcing. In 2022, Ayesha was recognized as a James Beard Award Finalist Nominee for Best Chef: New York State. 

Launched in 2020 and created in collaboration with Distinguished Vineyards and Wine Partners (DVWP), Dough firmly believes that change can rise from the smallest of actions. Through its partnership, Dough and the James Beard Foundation work to celebrate, support, and elevate the people behind America’s food culture and championing a standard of good food anchored in talent, equity, and culture.


Dough Wines was developed by Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners (DVWP) as the first collaborative wine brand with the James Beard Foundation. The wines support positive systemic changes in the culinary arts and beverages professions. Dough Wines is proud to support the James Beard Foundation, with an annual donation and a focus on restaurant recovery, equality in the kitchen and food sustainability. To learn more, please visit doughwines.com.  


Formed in 2008, Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners is a dynamic mid-size wine company that includes a collection of iconic wineries from some of the world’s most prestigious wine regions. Recognized as benchmarks for their appellations, the Distinguished Vineyards portfolio includes the highly acclaimed Argyle Winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, MacRostie Winery and Vineyards in Sonoma County, Markham Vineyards and TEXTBOOK in Napa Valley, as well as Wither Hills in New Zealand. Dedicated to excellence, social equity and sustainability, Distinguished Vineyards includes more than 1,000 acres of sustainably certified estate vineyards. Wither Hills holds Sustainable Winegrowing NZ accreditation, and its estate vineyards are certified organic by BioGro NZ, Argyle in Oregon is LIVE Certified, MacRostie is Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing, and Markham Vineyards is certified both Napa Green and Fish Friendly Farming. For more information, visit www.dvwinepartners.com.  



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