NRA Show 2016 Foodamental Studio Lineup Announced

The National Restaurant Association announced the official lineup for the third annual Foodamental Studio at the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, taking place at Chicago’s McCormick Place from May 21—24. The interactive educational workshops allow guests to learn from top chefs and industry experts with hands-on experiences on the NRA Show floor.

Throughout the four days of the NRA Show, there will be more than 15 workshops, each limited to 50 seated attendees with additional standing room. These interactive classes showcase the latest culinary techniques and trends presented and taught by top chefs across the country, including:

Dumpling making with Food & Wine Best New Chef Mike Sheerin from Packed

Making the most delicious, quick tart with James Beard Award Winning Pastry Chef Gale Gand.

Harmonizing flavors from cross-cultural cuisines with Chef John Csukor from Kor Food Innovation.

Creating compound butter with seasonal herbs and spices with Chef Todd Kelly from Orchids at Palm Court.

Preserving and pickling techniques with Chef Phil Foss from El Ideas.

“The Foodamental Studio experience highlights key trends from the show floor and education sessions and puts them into practice through an innovative learning experience for attendees,” says Lisa Ingram, convention chair for NRA Show 2016 and CEO and president of White Castle System, Inc.. “The NRA Show team is proud to bring the restaurant industry’s top chefs and thought leaders from around the country to the show floor, providing our attendees the opportunity to gain multiple new skills.”

The official 2016 lineup of Foodamental Studio sessions includes:

Latitude Adjustment

CEO, CMO of Kor Food Innovation John Csukor

Saturday, May 21 at 10—10:45 a.m.

Learn the art of latitudinal cuisine with John Csukor, CEO, CMO of KOR Food Innovation. This is the harmonious melding of two cuisines through general latitude, growing practices, indigenous ingredients, and cooking styles. Attendees will explore how to create new fusions and get practice creating some themselves.

Barreled Over By Balsamic

Iron Chef America Judge and Italian Culinary Expert Mario Rizzotti

Saturday, May 21 at 11:15 a.m.—noon.

Bold, smooth, sweet, complex: not all balsamics were created equal. Learn how to taste balsamic vinegar the professional way with Iron Chef America judge and Italian culinary expert Mario Rizzotti. Mario will turn attendees into a balsamic vinegar connoisseur and show them a few tricks of the trade on tasting.

Loco for Cocoa

Vitamix Manager and Recipe Development Chef Bev Shaffer

Saturday, May 21 at 1:45—2:30 p.m.

Chocolate is a perennial favorite, but now is the time to learn some new tricks for this top treat. Chef Bev Shaffer of Vitamix leads this fun, interactive session that immerses attendees in the flavors of chocolate. Attendees will taste different types and then make chocolate bark and chocolate espresso fondue.

Rules of the Rolls

Roka Akor Corporate Executive Chef Ce Bian and Chef de Cuisine Justin Reding

Saturday, May 21 at 3—3:45 p.m.

Becoming a traditional itamae of sushi takes years of on-the-job training and apprenticeship. In this session, Corporate Executive Chef Ce Bian and Chef de Cuisine Justin Reding of Roka Akor Chicago will teach attendees the techniques and key components of a perfect roll. Attendees can touch and feel the roll while they practice the art of rolling sushi.

Under the Canapé

Bottlefork and The Duck Inn Partner and Director of Food & Beverage Chef Kevin Hickey

Sunday, May 22 at 10—10:45 a.m.

Chef Kevin Hickey of Bottlefork and The Duck Inn, known for his farm-to-table philosophy and big, bold flavors, will show attendees how to make his modern interpretation of a classic canapé, bruschetta. Chef Hickey will demonstrate and instruct attendees how to build the perfect spring bite using unique seasonal and non-traditional ingredients.

Butter Me Up

Orchids at Palm Court Executive Chef Todd Kelly

Sunday, May 22 at 11:15 a.m.—noon.

Butter is better when it's packed with complex flavors. Executive Chef Todd Kelly of Orchids at Palm Court will guide attendees through the process of making house made butter. Then, attendees will learn how to dress it up with unique, seasonal flavors and get inspired to try their own signature blends.

Twist and Salt

Latinicity Culinary Director Daniel Moreno

Sunday, May 22 at 12:30 p.m.—1:15 p.m.

Go global with a new twist on serving seafood. Using lemon and salt to preserve and flavor seafood is a practice with deep historical roots that is experiencing a serious comeback on menus these days. Culinary Director Daniel Moreno will share the history of Peruvian ceviche and Spanish salty fish while teaching attendees these ancient techniques.

Crafting Flavor

Kendall College Chef Elaine Sikorski

Sunday, May 22 at 1:45—2:30 p.m.

Get familiar with bold flavors and how they influence plating presentation. Taking attendees beyond the recipe, Chef Elaine Sikorski of Kendall College will lead them through designing desired flavor perception of ingredients through the use of texture.

No Bones About It

Director of Culinary and Business Manager of KOR Food Innovation Logan McCoy

Sunday, May 22 at 3—3:45 p.m.

Make no bones about it—whole boned poultry is an art. Logan McCoy, Director of Culinary and Business Manager of KOR Food Innovation, will show attendees how to debone a whole chicken without piercing the skin. Once boned, they'll get to try out techniques for stuffing the bird so they can add fowl with flair to their menu.


Kendall College Instructor Chef Brendan McDermott

Monday, May 23 at 10—10:45 a.m.

Kendall College's professionally certified Chef Brendan McDermott will teach attendees the proper way to handle and use the most important piece of equipment in the kitchen—the knife. Get a better grasp on proper hand placement to improve safety while practicing techniques with basic cuts.

What's the Dill With Pickles?

EL ideas Chef Phil Foss

Monday, May 23 at 11:15 a.m.—noon.

Historically, the preservation of food allowed people to build roots and live in one place, which helped form communities. Chef Phillip Foss of EL ideas will share his enthusiasm for and expertise on the art of food preservation with attendees. They can get their hands dirty while making a quick pickle to take home.

rePACKED: The Art of Dumpling Making

Packed Executive Chef Mike Sheerin

Monday, May 23 at 12:30—1:15 p.m.

According to Chef Mike Sheerin, anything can go in a dumpling and he's proven this at Packed, his fast-casual counter service dumpling and bao haus. Back by popular demand, he'll share his passion for the almighty dumpling by teaching attendees the basic mechanics of creating unique dumplings from scratch.

Get Down to Fizz-Ness

Hearty Boys and Author and Mixologist Steve McDonagh

Monday, May 23 at 1:45—2:30 p.m.

Carbonated beverages are big business these days as customers look for better nutrition, natural taste, and fun food pairings. Author and mixologist Steve McDonagh of the critically acclaimed Hearty Boys will teach attendees the art of soda through tastings and a demo on how to make their own natural and tasty sodas from scratch.

Queen of Tarts

Cookbook Author and Pastry Chef Gale Gand

Monday, May 23 at 3—3:45 p.m.

When it comes to tarts, Chef Gale Gand knows how to build the best ones. Learn her tried-and-true tart techniques while attendees make their own pear tart. From puff pastry to a salted caramel sauce, they'll be preparing desserts that dazzle in no time.

Taking Back Breakfast

The Eastman Egg Company Executive Chef Drew Davis

Tuesday, May 24 at 10—10:45 a.m.

It is widely known that breakfast is the most important meal of the day for busy people.  So here’s the question: why do people limit themselves to the same old boring flavors and ingredients when they cook in the morning? Join this session as Executive Chef Drew of The Eastman Egg Company gives attendees the tools to create the perfect breakfast sandwich that brings new levels of flavor!

Brat Pack

Snapchef Owner, Culinary Solutions International and Senior Business Advisor Karl Guggenmos

Tuesday, May 24 at 11:15 a.m.—noon.

Making an impeccable encased sausage is not an easy task—unless attendees know the principles behind working with forced meats. Karl Guggenmos, Owner of Culinary Solutions International and Senior Business Advisor at Snapchef, will teach them how to put together the perfect spice mix and create phenomenal filling, which they'll practice piping into casings to create their own signature brats.

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