Celebrity Chefs, Panel Discussions and Competitions to be Featured on Center

Some of the biggest names in the Florida region culinary arts scene will present various cooking demonstrations, provide samples to taste, participate in panel discussions and competitions on Center Stage during the 2019 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show being held Sunday, September 15 and Monday, September 16 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. The Center Stage Emcee is Chef Mareya Ibrahim, The Fit Foodie, a TV chef, holistic nutrition coach, author and award-winning entrepreneur and inventor.

“We are thrilled to be welcoming a terrific line-up of Florida-inspired celebrity chefs who are involved with some of the leading restaurants in the region to Center Stage as well as present the Beacon and Torch Awards, and watch two exciting competitions,” said Tom Loughran, Vice President for the Clarion UX Food & Beverage Group. “Our attendees have become accustomed to seeing the most influential names in the restaurant industry on Center Stage and our 2019 event will not disappoint the restaurant, foodservice and retail professionals attending the upcoming Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show and Healthy Food Expo.” To access the full schedule, click here.

Sunday, September 15: Exhibit Hall open 10 am – 6 pm
* Culinary Demonstration with Chef Mareya Ibrahim: Mareya who is seen on Recipe Rehab and the Food Network will demonstrate The Best Blender Gazpacho with Baked Avocado Crisps (10:30am – 11:30am)
* Culinary Demonstration with Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli – Chopped Champions winner and Miami based Chef will delight with his unique European-inspired creations and flavorful dishes. (11:30am – 12:30pm)
* Culinary Demonstration with Chef Guillermo Pernot – Keeping in tune with traditional techniques from Old Havana and bold flavors from Santiago de Cuba, Chef Pernot will demonstrate how to modernize Cuban cuisine with dishes like Roasted Garlic Boniato-Potato Mash and Coconut Crab Fritters. (12:30pm – 1:30pm)
* Hip Sip: Battle of the Modern Bartender Rum Edition – Cheer on the finalists that were chosen to compete and battle their creative drink recipes, involving rum for the opportunity to be crowned the overall winner and take home $1,000. (1:30pm – 3:30pm)
* Culinary Demonstration with Chef Roberto Treviño- See “Puerto Rico’s Rock Star Chef” (and recent Orlando Transplant) from Food Network’s Iron Chef America (3:30pm – 4:30pm)
* Torch Award Presentation to James and Julie Petrakis, co-owners of The Ravenous Pig and Culinary Demonstration. The Torch Award recognizes this couples outstanding leadership, philanthropic efforts, extraordinary talent and innovation. Following the award presentation, Chef de Cuisine, Nick Sierputowski will join Julie for a culinary demonstration (4:30pm – 6:00pm)
Monday, September 16: Exhibit Hall open 10 am – 5 pm
* The Coaches “Hot Seat”- David Scott Peters, Emma Vaughn, and Darren Denington will offer a lightning-fast session of rapid-fire coaching as these industry top coaches explore the what, why, where, when and how of an operation (10:30am – 11:30am)
* Culinary Demonstration with Chef John Rivers – Founder and CEO of 4 Rivers Smokehouse will dazzle the audience with his love of barbeque (11:30 am – 12:15 pm)
* Culinary Demonstration with Chef Kristy Carlucci – Pastry Chef, The Osprey Tavern (12:15pm – 1:00pm)
* Culinary Demonstration with Chef Shaun O’Neale, a world-recognized chefcurrently residing in Las Vegas, NV. A former DJ, Shaun was crowned Season 7 Champion of MasterChef on FOX in 2016 and completed his first cookbook in 2017 titled “My Modern American Table”. His demonstration will feature Roasted Garlic and Wild Mushroom Risotto (1:00pm – 2:00pm)
* Beacon Award Presentation to Heather McPherson – Florida Restaurant and Food Publicist, Award-Winning Cookbook Author and Food Writer, and Florida Farms Advocate will be honored for her leadership, contribution and inspiration. The award will be presented at the Foodservice Council for Women panel discussion where Heather will join Chef Nora Galdiano, CEC, AAV; Chef Mareya Ibrahim; Executive Chef Paul DaSilva; Chef Jeannie Pierola, Chef Trina Gregory-Propst; and Isabel Laessig, Family Foodie Founder (2:00pm – 3:30pm)
* Rapid Fire Challenge: Meatless Monday Edition – Three chefs will put their creativity and skills to the test in this competition, and the winner will be crowned the Rapid Fire Champion, receive $1,000 and bragging rights.Shaun O’Neale,America’s best home cook and Season 7 Champion of MasterChef on FOX will be the Emcee for the event (3:30pm – 5:00pm)
The 2019 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show and Healthy Food Expo will provide thousands of industry professionals with access to hottest menu trends, state of the art design and decor, a renowned education program, special events including Hip Sip, Rapid Fire Challenge, several culinary demonstrations, and 450+ of the leading vendors and purveyors dedicated to serving the restaurant, foodservice and retail community. For more information, visit www.flrestaurantandlodgingshow.com.

The tradeshow and conference, is managed by Clarion UX, (www.clarionux.com) and sponsored by the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (www.frla.org). The 2019 event will be co-located Healthy Food Expo Florida, and attendees will have access to both events with just one badge. Clarion UX produces 37 events across 13 sectors of both trade and consumer events. Clarion UX, which is the U.S. division of Clarion Events, UK, and backed by The Blackstone Group has become one of the fastest growing event companies in the U.S. with aggressive growth through both acquisition and launch. Clarion acquired PennWell in early 2019, bringing 4 Tradeshow 200 events into the U.S. portfolio and super-charging the already rapid growth. Clarion UX has offices in Trumbull, CT; Kennesaw, GA; Boca Raton, FL; Tulsa, OK; Tacoma, WA, and Fairlawn, NJ.