Culinary professionals and enthusiasts alike now have the opportunity to show off their cooking skills for the opportunity to experience culinary stardom in the third annual NRA Show Hot Chef Challenge 2010. The National Restaurant Association launched the contest on YouTube with the help of reigning champion Kristina Vanni, who invites professional chefs and home cooks to submit a video of themselves preparing their favorite recipe using fresh produce.

The winner of NRA Show Hot Chef Challenge 2010 will have the opportunity to travel to Chicago to showcase his or her creations, and cook alongside celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson at the 2010 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show’s World Culinary Showcase on May 22. The winner will also receive accommodations for three days and two nights at the Affinia Hotel Chicago, and a special dinner with wine pairings at Chef Samuelsson’s acclaimed Chicago restaurant C-House.

“Fresh produce is versatile, healthy and delicious, which makes it perfect as the theme ingredient for our NRA Show Hot Chef Challenge,” says Ira Cohn, convention chair for NRA Show 2010 and president of ARAMARK Business and Industry Group. “We are calling all current and future culinary stars to enter the contest to show off innovative dishes with their favorite fruit or vegetable. The lucky winner will not only get to collaborate with Chef Samuelsson, but will do so at the largest restaurant industry event in the world—NRA Show 2010.”

Interested chefs and cooks should submit an original video demonstrating their recipe on the NRA Show’s Web site by April 29. Videos should be no longer than two minutes and recipes must include at least one fresh produce item, plus any other ingredients of their choice. Competitors should refer to the Association’s What’s Hot in 2010 chef survey for ideas, ranging from superfruits to black garlic, ancient grains to heirloom tomatoes. YouTube users will rate the video submission to select the top three, from which one will be chosen as the winner by Samuelsson, last year’s Hot Chef Challenge winner Kristina Vanni, a panel of food critics, and foodservice industry professionals. Viewers may rate the contestants’ videos from one through five stars.

Last year’s NRA Show Hot Chef Challenge winner Kristina Vanni of North Hollywood, California, cooked among celebrity chefs Marcus Samuelsson and Rick Bayless at NRA Show 2009 and made incredible industry connections. This recognition helped lead her to being crowned the National Pork Board’s “Next Pork Personality” at the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival in October 2009. She currently serves as a contributor to Better Homes & Gardens’ Web site.

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