Industry News | February 15, 2013

Celebrity Chefs Line Up for 2013 NRA Show

The National Restaurant Association announced that celebrity chefs from across the country—including Top Chef Masters winner Rick Bayless, Iron Chef’s Cat Cora, and judges Maneet Chauhan, Marcus Samuelsson, Marc Murphy, and Aarón Sánchez of Food Network’s hit show Chopped will perform live on the World Culinary Showcase stage at the 2013 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show. NRA Show 2013 will take place May 18–21 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

The World Culinary Showcase cooking demonstration theater is the focal point where some of the country’s top chefs will show their mastery live, featuring today’s hottest menu trends, including the latest in healthful options, local sourcing, molecular gastronomy, gluten-free alternatives, high-profit commodities, and jaw-dropping creativity.

“We look forward to welcoming some of the world’s most celebrated culinary artists to NRA Show 2013’s World Culinary Showcase. As highly successful restaurateurs, these chefs serve as inspiration not only to television audiences from coast to coast, but also to fellow industry professionals,” says Jeffery W. Davis, Convention Chair for NRA Show 2013 and CEO of the United States Beef Corporation. “Throughout all four days of whirlwind energy and excitement at the NRA Show, these culinary masters will provide attendees with tips, techniques, and recipe ideas that are sure to please every restaurant guest.” 

Participating celebrity chefs in the World Culinary Showcase will include:

Rick Bayless: Winner of Top Chef Masters, multiple James Beard Foundation awards, chef/owner of Chicago-based Frontera, Xoco, and Topolobampo restaurants, author of countless cookbook classics. 

Anne Burrell: With her trademark spiky blond hair and pumped-up personality, Anne Burrell has been sharing her passion for food and cooking with America and isn’t slowing down. Not only has she worked at some of the top restaurants in New York and studied the culinary traditions of Italy, she also stars in Food Network favorites such as Chef Wanted, Worst Cooks in America, and Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. Burrell has battled alongside Mario Batali as his sous chef on Iron Chef America and is a New York Times best-selling author with her cookbook “Cook Like a Rock Star.”

Homaro Cantu: Chef and owner of moto and iNG restaurants. Cantu opened iNG in 2011 and has created the world's only restaurant offering flavor-changing experiences. iNG has already been the subject of more than 200 articles, including a recent spot on ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer where she described the flavor changing experience as "something that will change the world of gastronomy forever." 

Maneet ChauhanChopped judge, Iron Chef challenger, and James Beard Award winner, Chef Chauhan is celebrating the release of her book “World on My Plate” and her soon-to-be-opened Nashville restaurant. An active supporter of various charities such as CRY (Child Rights and You) and the Make a Wish Foundation, Chef Chauhan is highly devoted to giving back to the community that has given her so much.  

Cat Cora: First and only female Iron Chef, first female inducted into the American Academy of Chefs Culinary Hall of Fame, culinary mastermind behind six restaurant properties, executive editor for Bon Appétit magazine, accomplished television host, author of three successful cookbooks, and founder of Chefs for Humanity.

Mike Isabella: Washington, D.C.–based chef/owner of Graffiato and the soon-to-open Kapnos and G, named "the People's Best New Chef, Mid-Atlantic Region" by FOOD & WINE magazine, two time contestant on Top Chef, which included a runner-up spot on Top Chef All-Stars. He is also a member of the American Chef Corps, a network of chefs from across the U.S. who serve as resources to the Department of State.

Marc Murphy: Executive chef and owner of Benchmarc Restaurants (Landmarc +Ditch Plains) and Benchmarc Events in New York City. He is a judge on Food Network’s Chopped and has made appearances on Iron Chef America, Unique Eats, and the Best Thing I Ever Made, among others. He is a member of the Leadership Council for Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign and official spokesperson for Share Our Strength’s Dine Out For No Kid Hungry program. In addition, he is vice president of the Manhattan Chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association.

Marcus Samuelsson: Marcus Samuelsson is an internationally acclaimed chef, restaurateur, and author. He caught the attention of the culinary world when he became the youngest person to receive a three-star rating from the New York Times. In 2009, Samuelsson was honored as guest chef at the White House, where he planned and executed the Obama administration’s first state dinner. His memoir, Yes, Chef, is a bestseller, and his restaurant, Red Rooster Harlem, has received countless accolades.

Aarón Sánchez: Aarón Sánchez learned his culinary craft in his mother’s kitchen as a young boy. By age 16, his culinary capability earned him an apprenticeship with world-renowned chef Paul Prudhomme. Sánchez is the chef/owner of Mestizo Leawood and the culinary visionary behind Tacombi and Crossroads at House of Blues. He’s also well known on the culinary screen for starring in series such as Food Network's Chopped, and Utilisima's Aarón Loves NY and MOTOCHEFS.

Many of the chefs will also be doing book signings after their demonstrations at scheduled times in the Celebrity Book Signings area, including Bayless, Burrell, Cantu, Chauhan, Cora, Isabella, Samuelsson, and Sánchez. For a full schedule of the World Culinary Showcase and Celebrity Book Signings, visit Restaurant.org/Show.

The annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest single gathering of restaurant, foodservice and lodging professionals. NRA Show 2013 will be held May 18–21 at McCormick Place in Chicago, and the 2013 International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event held in conjunction with the NRA Show will take place May 19–20. The events attract 61,000-plus attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 100-plus countries, and showcases the latest products, services, innovative ideas, up-to-the-minute information about trends and issues and more growth opportunities than any other industry event.