Southern California’s Rising Star Chefs to Battle At 2013 Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo

July 01, 2013

Prestigious Critics and Restaurateurs to Judge the Mystery Box Challenge

LOS ANGELES, CA July 1, 2013 – Rising star chefs will be center stage at this summer’s Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo.  The Expo is partnering with Brad Metzger Restaurant Solutions Hospitality Recruitment to bring this fast paced and energetic Rising Star Chef Mystery Box Challenge to the 2013 event. This will be the first year this special event will be held showcasing four of Southern California’s rising chefs who will compete and then be judged by three top esteemed critics and restaurateurs. The event will take place Monday, August 19th at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

“The Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo is the best industry event in Southern California and we are thrilled to be partnering with them to present this cooking competition,” said Brad Metzger from Brad Metzger Restaurant Solutions. “We have some of the brightest rising star chefs in the region competing for a prestigious panel of judges who can certainly help their careers – this will certainly be an event not to be missed.”

The four chefs competing in the competition are:

  • Nyesha Arrington from Top Chef Season 9
  • Tin Vuong, Executive Chef/ Partner at Abigaile, Wildcraft and Little Sister
  • Jesse Barber, Executive Chef at Barnyard
  •  4th chef to be determined

Each competitor will be given mystery ingredients and 20 minutes to make the best dish possible. The professionals who will be judging these dishes include Brian Malarkey, Chef and Restaurateur; Jennifer Sommer, LA Correspondent for Food and Wine Magazine and Russ Parsons, Food Editor for the LA Times. Brad Metzger will be the moderator for this challenge. After the competition the rising star chefs will discuss today’s restaurant trends, in a session titled “Rising Star Chefs Talk, #restauranttrends” moderated by Sarah Christopher, Senior Director of Culinary Recruitment.

“What a great way to make a splash for our return to Los Angeles. The Rising Star Chef Mystery Box Challenge, paired with the other events at the show will make this year’s Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo one of the best and most exciting food shows we have ever had,” said Ron Mathews, Event Director of Reed Exhibitions, producers of the event. “We are thrilled to be able to showcase rising star chefs from Southern California and give them an opportunity to shine in front of the leaders in our industry,”

The 2013 Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo will take place August 18-20 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. This is the largest showcase of foodservice products in the Western United States. Other Special Events include:

  • Food Trends Experience- An expanded tasting arena and Demo Theater will be home to over 100 trend focused food and beverage products.  This is the perfect place to find and source new products. 
  • Trade Show Floor – Distributor Partners Sysco and US Foods will join over 650 leading industry suppliers who will provide the newest products and services as well as samples of fresh new ideas in food and beverages. 
  • Culinary Clash: Battle Los Angeles – The California Restaurant Association Educational Foundation will present this fun and interactive cooking competition among restaurant teams to raise money for high school culinary arts education.
  • Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum – offers an educational program showing the keys to a successful foodservice business from experts chosen by Ferdinand Metz, a Certified Master Chef, Dean for Le Cordon Bleu and the past President of the World Association of Chefs Societies.
  • Expo Comida Latina - This co-located trade event focuses on Hispanic retail and foodservice markets and will feature food, ingredients and services, as well as culinary demonstrations by top chefs and education sessions on Hispanic foodservice.
  • Ultimate Barista Challenge USA - Professional baristas compete against each other and prepare their signature espresso beverages for a panel of judges. In addition to watching the competition, spectators also learn about fine espresso and coffee.



About the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo
The 2013 Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo will be held Sunday, August 18 - Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The Show is produced and managed by Reed Exhibitions, and sponsored by the California Restaurant Association (  Reed Exhibitions produces several other foodservice events including the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show scheduled for Sunday, September 22 – Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL and the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York, scheduled for Sunday, March 2- Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. For more information on exhibiting or attending future events, call (800) 840-5612 or visit the official Show website at

About Brad Metzger Restaurant Solutions (BMRS)
BMRS, a Southern California based Hospitality Recruitment and Placement firm, has established relationships with and represents a broad range of clients, including the most acclaimed independent fine dining restaurants in the U.S., celebrity chef restaurant groups, casual restaurant companies, luxury hotels, country clubs and distinguished private chef clients.  For more information, visit