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Great Line Up of Chefs Demos and Competitions Announced for Center Stage at International Restaurant & Foodservice Show



Trade Show and Conference Taking Place March 5-7 at Javits Center in New York City
NEW YORK, NY, February 27, 2023 – A wide range of international chefs, culinary professionals, and bartending professionals who have appeared on Netflix Pressure Cooker, Bar Rescue, Chopped, and Food Network will showcase international flavors, share their knowledge, recipes and techniques on Center Stage at next week’s International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York, taking place March 5-7, 2023 at the Javits Center in New York City. In addition to culinary demos there will be the Hip Sip Bartending Competition and Rapid-Fire Meatless Monday Competition. Brian Connors, Director of Bacardi Center of Excellence and Florida International University, Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management will emcee the action-packed Center Stage during the three-day event. The full Center Stage schedule and registration is available on the Show website.
“We are excited to be featuring culinary dishes from Greece, Barbados, Latin America, and India from several leading international chefs along with two exciting competitions to educate and entertain our attendee’s during their visit to Center Stage,” said Rita Ugianskis, Vice President, Clarion Events Food & Beverage Group. “We have many exciting activations also taking place in Center Stage including a robot from United Robotics who will deliver chef samples, a culinary demo using Waring Equipment from Singer Equipment, a QR code from to order snacks, and arcade games from Kiddieton.  We invite all attendees to make time to watch fantastic demonstrations and taste delicious food and drinks.” 
Brian Connors will talk to the chefs about their backgrounds and countries of origin while they explain their unique approach to cooking by introducing attendees to their traditional flavors and spices. During the demonstrations the chefs will show the audience how to prepare a dish from start to finish, explain the importance of each ingredient, their cooking methods and style. The audience is encouraged to ask questions, taste the dishes, and give feedback. These live culinary demonstrations add an exciting and interactive component to the trade show and is a great way to get a taste of international flavors.
Sunday, March 5 
  • 12:00 pm - Chef Maria Loi, known as the Julia Child of Greece, will discuss how she melds the inspiration of ancient Greece with a modern approach to the Mediterranean diet. Chef Loi will prepare Avramar Kranios a la Spetsiota - Avramar Greek Stone Bass Spetses-Style, a traditional Greek dish featuring a unique fish species with tomato paste, tomatoes, and herbs. 
  • 1:00 pm - Let's Talk Womxn (LTW) Panel Discussion and Culinary Demonstration with Chef Barbara Sibley of La Palapa Restaurant. Join a dynamic panel including Amy Scherber, Founder and President, Amy’s Bread; Maricel Presilla, Chef, Zafra Restaurant; May Abraham Fridel, Founder, Passion for Spices; Naami Tamir, Co-Owner, Lighthouse Restaurant who will discuss success stories on women champions in the industry. During the discussion Chef Barbara Sibley will prepare Tostadas de Barbacoa con Guacasalsa. Chile Guajillo Beef Tostadas with Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa.
  • 2:00 pm - Raise The Bar: Elevated Cocktails without the Costs. Art Sutley from Savage & Cooke Distillery will join Bar Rescue’s Mia Mastroianni and Phil Wills as they take a deep dive into how to streamline operations, and how to take a broad, top-down view of key parts of a bar program to ensure efficiency. 
  • 3:00 pm - Hip Sip: Battle of the Modern Bartender Competition – Lipservice Rye Whiskey competition will feature nine bartenders and mixologists creating the best rye whiskey cocktail. The contestants will be judged on creativity, use of product, taste, presentation, and flair. Art Sutley, Mia Mastroianni and Phil Wells will judge the competition following their panel discussion.

Monday, March 6
  •  12:00 pm - Chef Renee Blackman who willshare her experience on Netflix's PRESSURE COOKER, Food Network's ‘Chopped’ and ‘Kitchen Crash’ will prepare Pan seared scallops w/ Argentinian chimichurri & pickled tomato, red onion and golden berry mélange. 
  • 1:00 pm - Chef Jamie Simpson from The Culinary Vegetable Institute will highlightwhat happens when the worlds most recognized Farmer and a drop-dead gorgeous chef walk into a deli. Enjoy an enlightening and entertaining hour discussion on The History of The Chef's Garden and why the vegetable sandwiches just might possibly be the future. 
  • 3:00 pm Rapid Fire Challenge Meatless Monday Single Skillet. Attendees are invited to root for their favorite chefs who will bring their more creative plant-based items or veggies for the chance to be crowned the Rapid Fire Champion and win $1,000. Brian Connors will interview the chefs and discuss each of the dishes with the judges: Chef Maria Loi; Chef Renee Blackman; Stratis Morfogen, Brooklyn Chop House; Laura Bray, Social Influencer; and Dawn Kelly from The Nourish Spot. 

Tuesday, March 7 
  • 12:00 pm Chef Michelle “Mishy” Bernstein will showcase the art of laying flavors, how to take a simple dish and make it memorable using a base of a nice puree, seared vegetable or fish and several fun toppings. She will discuss how her style melds taste experiences from her travels around the world into her signature style of exciting, eclectic cooking. 
  • 2:00 pm – Executive Chef Ali Loukzada will prepare Duck liver mousse with berry compote and crackers and discuss how he came to New York in 1999 from India leaving his parents restaurant business to get on his own adventure.

In addition to Center Stage the exhibit hall all attendees will have access to Coffee Fest and new products and innovations from hundreds of exhibiting companies. The International Restaurant & Foodservice of New York (IRFSNY) is the East Coast's premier industry event drawing significant attendance from restaurant and foodservice operations.  Attendee registration is now open. If registering multiple people from the same organization, see the option to add additional team members at the completion of the first registrant. Register six or more team members at the same time and automatically receive a 30% discount off on each.

The International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York is owned by Clarion Events Food & Beverage Group and sponsored by The New York State Restaurant Association ( The Clarion Events Food & Beverage Group also includes, Coffee Fest, The NGA ShowFlorida Restaurant & Lodging Show and the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo. Clarion Events operates over 180 events in 50 countries from 15 offices in the UK, the US, South Africa, Brazil, Germany, Singapore, UAE, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and the Netherlands. Clarion can trace its roots back to 1947 and takes great pride in being one of the oldest independent event organizers in the UK. More recently the firm has developed an international portfolio of brands and now has interests in a number of global vertical industries including energy, security and defense, hospitality, electronics, technology, fashion, retail, gaming and marketing. The teams at Clarion create uniquely effective and stimulating environments that can serve as a platform to build businesses, enhance customer relationships, and accelerate product awareness.


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