An exciting slate of top culinary masters and celebrity chefs will heat things up live on stage in the World Culinary Showcase, one of the most anticipated and talked about features of the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show.

Whether you're a foodie fanatic or simply take delight in watching passionate pros practice their craft, the World Culinary Showcase is the place to be to find fun, flavorful, and cost-effective menu inspiration. NRA Show 2012 will be held at its new dates May 5-8 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

"Our show-stopping roster of chefs will introduce attendees to unique taste and flavor experiences, preparation and plating techniques, and jaw-dropping creativity that's sure to alter one's view on the restaurant industry," says Jack Crawford, convention chair for NRA Show 2012 and president and CEO of Ground Round Independent Owners Cooperative, LLC. “So, plan to get to the World Culinary Showcase early, grab a front-row seat, and get ready to hang on."

Participating celebrity chefs in the World Culinary Showcase will include:

  • Rick Bayless– Winner of Top Chef Masters, multiple James Beard Foundation awards, chef and owner of Chicago-based Frontera and Topolobampo restaurants, and author of countless cookbook classics.
  • Stephanie Izard– Winner of Top Chef, named one of Food & Wine magazine’s 2011 Best New Chefs chef and owner of Girl & the Goat, a 2011 James Beard “Best New Restaurant” nominee, 2012 James Beard “Best Chef: Great Lakes Region,” author of Girl in the Kitchen.
  • David Burke– Meilleurs Ouvriers de France winner, chef and owner of seven restaurants throughout the country, including New York City’s David Burke Townhouse and David Burke Kitchen, Top Chef Masters competitor, inventor of the cheesecake lollipop, cookbook author.
  • Spike Mendelsohn– Two-time Top Chef contestant, chef and owner of Good Stuff Eatery and We, The Pizza in Washington, D.C., contender on this season’s The Next Iron Chef.
  • Fabio Viviani– Two-time Top Chef contestant, chef and owner of Café Firenze and Osteria Firenze in Southern California, author of Cafe Firenze Cookbook and Did I Really Make Breakfast.
  • Richard Blais– Winner of Top Chef: All-Stars, chef and owner of Southern-based Flip burger boutique, HD-1, and The Spence.
  • Maneet Chauhan– Executive chef at Indian-Latin fusion restaurant Vermilion (Chicago, Manhattan), Iron Chef challenger and Chopped judge, repeat representative at James Beard House’s annual awards dinner, active supporter of culinary academies and charities such as March of Dimes, Share Our Strength, Apna Ghar, Make a Wish Foundation and more.
  • Homaro Cantu– Chef and owner of Moto Restaurant and iNG Restaurant. 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."  
  • Ben Roche– Pastry Chef of Moto and consults on the dessert menu at iNG, which offers the world's only sugar-free flavor-changing desserts. Chef Roche is the co-host along with Cantu on the television show Future Food, which airs on Discovery Network's Planet Green.  
  • Chris Jones– Director of culinary innovation for Moto and iNG Restaurants. Jones was also a contestant on Top Chef: Texas, where he dazzled judges with a flavor-changing dish inspired from some of his menu creations at iNG. 
  • Richard Farina– Chef de Cuisine at Moto Restaurant and recent contestant on Top Chef: Texas. News of Farina's work from Moto has reached hundreds of news outlets and he was recently named one to Zagat's list of top young chefs, "30 Under 30."  
  • Todd English– Chef and restaurateur with more than 20 restaurants spanning the country, including Olives (Boston, New York, Las Vegas), four-time James Beard Award winner and inductee into James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who in Food and Beverage in America,”critically acclaimed author of the recent title, Cooking In Everyday English, The ABCs of Great Flavor at Home.


Many of the celebrities from World Culinary Showcase will also be signing books after their demonstrations at scheduled times in the Celebrity Book Signings area, including Bayless, Izard, Burke, Mendelsohn, Viviani, Blais, and English. For a full schedule of the World Culinary Showcase and Celebrity Book Signings, visit

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