World Culinary Showcase

Brought to you in 2014 by

The energy and spectacle of your favorite celebrity chefs came to life at NRA Show 2014, as they worked culinary magic around some of today’s hot topics and trends live on stage.

Their personalities, thoughts and banter proved highly entertaining—and their tips, recipes and techniques sent us all home with a lot to work with and think about.

The audience asked questions, laughed, learn and left inspired—and it'll all happen again next May.

2014 World Culinary Showcase:

Rick Bayless - Most people know him from winning the title of Bravo’s Top Chef Master with his authentic Mexican cuisine, his highly rated on-going Public Television Series, Mexico—One Plate at a Time, as well as his award-winning, seven cookbooks, including his latest book, Fiesta at Rick’s.  His Chicago restaurants include: Frontera Grill, Topolobampo,  XOCO and 3 locations of his Tortas Frontera. His award-winning Frontera line of salsas, grilling sauces and organic chips can be found coast to coast. Rick and his staff began the Frontera Farmer Foundation in 2003 to attract support for small Midwestern farms. Each year, grants are given to our local farmers for capital improvements to their family farms. Chef Bayless has won James Beard awards for:  Midwest Chef of the Year, National Chef of the Year and Humanitarian of the Year and in 2007, Frontera Grill won for Outstanding Restaurant.

Maxime Bilet - Forbes named him one of the top "30 under 30" in the food and wine industry in 2012, and Scoffier one of the best emerging chefs of that year. He is the co-author of Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, which received the 2012 Book of the Year Award from the James Beard Foundation and of Modernist Cuisine at Home. For six years, he was the Director of Culinary Arts and Sciences at The Cooking Lab where he led the research and development. Before that he was head chef of Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar in New York City at the age of 22. Maxime moved to London the following year and worked with Heston Blumenthal in the development kitchen at The Fat Duck. Chef Bilet is an active guest teacher and advisor to the Hunger Intervention Program’s community kitchen and is a board member of the Quick! Help for Meals as well as an honorary trustee of The Culinary Trust.

David Burke - With over 30 years in the culinary industry, David Burke is one of the leading pioneers in American cooking today.  His passion for food and for the restaurant industry shows no signs of slowing down. His restaurant empire includes: David Burke Townhouse, David Burke at Bloomingdale's, David Burke Fishtail, and David Burke Kitchen, all in New York City; David Burke's Primehouse and Burke’s Bacon Bar in Chicago, David Burke Prime at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut and Fromagerie in Rumson, NJ. This year Burke will be bring David Burke Kitchen also to Aspen, Colorado. Burke has two cookbooks, Cooking with David Burke and David Burke's New American Classics. Chef Burke's vast talents have been showcased recently on television, including season two of Top Chef Masters, and in 2013, he returned to season five of Top Chef Masters.

Anne BurrellAnne has worked at some of the top restaurants in New York and studied the culinary traditions of Italy.  She also stars in Food Network favorites Worst Cook in America, Chef Wanted and Secrets of a Restaurant Chef.  Anne published her first cookbook, Cook Like a Rock Star, in 2011 and earned her a place on the New York Times Bestseller List. Anne’s second book, Own Your Kitchen: Recipes to Inspire and Empower was released in October.

Maneet Chauhan - Chopped judge, Iron Chef challenger and James Beard Award winner. Chef Chauhan's books World on My Plate and Flavors of My World, best portray her culinary approach—a deep pride in representing her Indian culinary heritage, as well as a love and panache of using spices in an elevated platform, while incorporating the culinary influences of her journeys and experiences. She has a soon-to-be-opened restaurant in Nashville, TN. Chef Chauhan is an active supporter of various charities such as CRY (Child Rights and You) and P.A.V.E. (Partnerships for Action, Voices for Empowerment), Chef Chauhan is highly devoted to giving back to the community that has given her so much.

Rocco DiSpirito
Rocco DiSpirito is a chef and the author of ten books including his newest book, The Pound A Day Diet, and back-to-back # 1 New York Times bestsellers NOW EAT THIS! and NOW EAT THIS! DIET. As part of his mission is to change perception of healthy food by making delicious low-fat, low-calorie dishes easily accessible, he launched the Now Eat This! Truck. In September 2012 Rocco's weekly Show Now Eat This! With Rocco DiSpirito began syndicating across America, in which he challenges, guides and encourages a family to make healthier lifestyle choices. In 2012 Rocco founded his production house, Savory Place Media, and created Now Eat This! Italy for AOL Originals. Rocco began his culinary studies at the Culinary Institute of America and by 20 was working in the kitchens of legendary chefs around the globe. He was named Food & Wine Magazine's Best New Chef and was first to appear on Gourmet Magazine's cover as America's Most Exciting Young Chef. His 3-star Restaurant, Union Pacific, was a New York City culinary landmark for many years. 

Graham Elliot - Graham Elliot is a critically acclaimed chef, restaurateur and television personality who also happens to be one of the most recognized faces cooking in America today.  Graham received three James Beard Award nominations, competed on Iron Chef and the first two seasons of Top Chef Master and is a judge on Fox’s MasterChef. When he's not traversing the globe in search of gastronomic inspiration, Graham resides in Chicago with his wife and business partner Allie, and his three children.

Marc Forgione - Chef Marc Forgione is the chef/owner of Restaurants Marc Forgione and American Cut in New York City and Revel in Atlantic City. He is one of seven Iron Chefs competing on Food Network's Iron Chef America, following his win on season 3 of The Next Iron Chef. Restaurant Marc Forgione was recognized with a glowing two-star review in the New York Times and received a Michelin star consecutively three years in a row. In summer, 2013 he opened a Laotian restaurant, Khe-Yo,with Executive Chef Soulayphet Schwader. He also recently launched his hand-crafted Bloody mix, Batch 22. Chef Forgione’s first cookbook, Marc Forgione: Recipes and Stories from the Acclaimed Chef and Restaurant will be published in late April 2014. 

Duff Goldman - Duff Godlman founded and owns Baltimore's Charm City Cakes bakery, and stars in the hit Food Network show, Ace of Cakes. Duff recently added product designer and marketer to his accomplishments, with the introduction of Duff Goldman by Gartner Studios cake baking and decorating products. Duff's work has been featured on Food Network Challenge, Iron Chef America, Oprah, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and more. 

Robert Irvine - With over 25 years in the culinary profession, Chef Robert Irvine has cooked his way through Europe, the Far East, the Caribbean and the Americas, in hotels and on the high seas. Irvine brings his experience to The Food Network as host of Restaurant: Impossible and Restaurant Express. He has been previously seen on Dinner: ImpossibleWorst Cooks in America, and The Next Iron Chef. Robert is the author of two cookbooks, Mission: Cook! and Impossible to Easy.

Barbara LynchJames Beard Award-winner Chef Barbara Lynch is regarded as one of Boston’s—and the country’s—leading chefs and restaurateurs.  In 1998, Barbara opened a restaurant of her own, No. 9 Park, in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. The restaurant immediately received rave reviews from publications around the country and was named one of the “Top 25 New Restaurants in America” by Bon Appétit and “Best New Restaurant” by Food & Wine. Since then Barbara has expanded her presence in Boston by opening B&G Oysters, The Butcher Shop, Drink and Sportello and Menton, a fine dining restaurant. Menton has received numerous accolades since opening, including being named one of both Bon Appétit and Esquire magazine’s best new restaurants in 2010. Barbara is currently the only female in the United States to hold the distinguished title of Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux. 

Jehangir Mehta - A participant in Food Network’s Next Iron Chef Redemption, the runner-up on the Next Iron Chef, a participant in the Iron Chef America, chef Jehangir Mehta has built quite a fan following! However, patrons at Graffiti, Graffiti Me, and Mehtaphor, Jehangir’s restaurants in Manhattan, don’t watch television to be ardent fans. They simply love the food and the man who created it. It is no wonder then that fifty percent of Jehangir’s clients are repeat customers. Prior to his own restaurant soiree, Jehangir was the highly acclaimed pastry chef at some of New York City’s finest restaurants including Aix, Union Pacific, Mercer Kitchen, Compass, and Jean-Georges, and also the author of Mantra: The Rules of Indulgence. Chef Mehta has now launched the Gastro-Kids After-School initiative that promotes healthy eating among children through exciting after-school menus created just for them.

Pat Neely -  After turning his family restaurant into one of the most renowned barbecue restaurants in the South, Pat Neely embarked on a career in television as one of America’s favorite celebrity chefs with Food Network’s Down Home with the Neelys, where he shared the secrets behind his favorite dishes and his passion for food, family and fun. After thirteen seasons, the show continues to have a consistent presence on Food Network and recently joined the line up at the network’s sister channel, Great American Country.  

Claire Robinson - Claire Robinson combines her passions for food and teaching in 5 Ingredient Fix, a Food Network series featuring fresh recipes made with five ingredients or fewer. Claire also authored her first cookbook, became the host of Food Network Challenge, as well as hosted shows on BBC America and Cooking Channel. 


Art Smith - Art Smith is the executive chef and co-owner of Table Fifty-Two, Art and Soul, LYFE Kitchen restaurants, Southern Art and Bourbon Bar, and Joanne Tratorria. Once day-to-day chef to Oprah Winfrey, the two-time James Beard Award recipient has been on Top Chef Masters twice and made regular television appearances on programs such as Iron Chef America, The Today Show, BBQ Pitmasters, Dr. Oz, Oprah and Top Chef. Smith is also the author of three award-winning cookbooks: Back to the Table; Kitchen Life: Real Food for Real Families; and Back to the Family. Smith is the founder of Common Threads, a non-profit organization teaching low-income children to cook wholesome and affordable meals since 2003. In 2007 he received the Humanitarian of the year award from the James Beard Foundation.

Ming Tsai - Ming Tsai is the James Beard Award-winning chef/owner of Blue Ginger and his new Asian Gastropub Blue Dragon. An Emmy Award-winner, Ming is also the host and executive producer of PBS-TV's Simply Ming, now in its eleventh season. Chef Ming is the author of five cookbooks including his latest, the interactive Simply Ming In Your Kitchen. Ming is a national spokesperson for the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) organization. Ming also worked with Massachusetts Legislature to help write Bill S. 2701 that requires local restaurants to comply with food allergy awareness guidelines. A member of the Harvard School of Public Health's Nutrition Round Table, Ming also supports many charities including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Cam Neely Foundation, Family Reach Foundation, Common Threads and Greater Boston Food Bank.

Fabio Viviani - Chef Fabio Viviani’s passion for food began during his childhood in Florence, Italy. Between his training in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine at IPSSAR Saffi and working with culinary luminaries such as Simone Mugnaini, Alessandro Panzani and Saverio Carmagini, Viviani—Fabio owned and operated 5 restaurants in Florence, a Farm House and 2 nightclubs by the time he was 27. He went on to move to California and open his Café Firenze and popular Los Angeles Italian eatery Firenze Osteria. He has since opened a third restaurant called Siena Tavern in Chicago, and is currently working on the highly anticipated opening of Siena Tavern Miami, FL. Fabio’s television appearances include Top Chef, Top Chef All Stars and Life After Top Chef, and as a reoccurring guest host on the new Hallmark Channel series Home and Family. He was also the host of the Telly and Webby award-winning web series Chow Ciao! on Yahoo! one of the top 10 lifestyle and food shows on the internet. He has authored two successful cookbooks, the first Café Firenze Cookbook, and his latest release, New York Times Best-Seller Fabio’s Italian Kitchen. Viviani regularly shares recipes with his fans through his online Magazine, “Fabio’s Kitchen Academy.” 

Andrew Zimmern - Andrew Zimmern is a two-time James Beard Award-winning TV personality, chef, food writer, teacher and is regarded as one of the most versatile and knowledgeable personalities in the food world. As the creator, host and co-executive producer of Travel Channel's hit series, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre World, he travels the globe, exploring food in its own terroir. Zimmern’s podcast, Go Fork Yourself with Andrew Zimmern and Molly Mogren, won the Stitcher Award for Best Food/Cooking Podcast in 2012. Zimmern’s food truck, AZ Canteen, debuted in the summer of 2012. AZ Canteen is expanding to multiple trucks and brick-and-mortar locations in the coming year. Zimmern is a contributing editor at Food & Wine magazine, an award-winning monthly columnist at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine and a senior editor at Delta Sky magazine. Andrew is the author of The Bizarre Truth, Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World of Food and Andrew Zimmern’s Field Guide to Exceptionally Weird, Wild & Wonderful Foods. Zimmern serves on the board of directors for Services for the Underserved in New York City, and The National Youth Recovery Foundation. He resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife Rishia, son Noah and several un-eaten pets.