Center Stage

A highlighted feature of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show - Center Stage is an educational, interactive and entertaining area for restaurant and foodservice professionals who want to stay abreast of what's hot in the food world. Come see our featured chefs, watch their cooking demonstrations and taste their samples!

Don't miss these featured presentations:

  • Torch Award presentation to Melissa Kelly, Chef and Owner, Primo
  • NEW Rapid Fire Challenge: Appetizer Edition face-off


Culinary Demonstration Theater Ingredient Sponsor: 

Check out our entire 2016 Line-up:

   Tuesday, September 27

1:00PM - 2:00PM
Torch Award Presentation to Melissa Kelly, Chef and Owner, Primo


3:30PM - 4:15PM
Ashley Nickell, ASH Orlando, Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen

Chef Ashley has appeared on both Cutthroat Kitchen and Hell's Kitchen. She previously worked at her family's restaurant, Funky Monkey Wine Company, and has recently opened her own restaurant - Restaurant ASH.

   Wednesday, September 28

1:00PM - 2:30PM
Beacon Award Presentation to Edna Morris, followed by Foodservice Council for Women panel discussion

1:00PM - 3:00PM
NEW Rapid Fire Challenge: Appetizer Edition

It’s time for the ultimate showdown. After many submissions, 3 chefs will take the stage to be named the Rapid Fire Competition: Appetizer Edition Champion! The three chefs will demonstrate their dish and provide samples for the judges and the audience. Each dish will also feature a local ingredient – cheese, bread, protein, sauce – whatever their secret ingredient is! Help choose the judges choose the winner through the Audience Choice portion of the voting. Only one will be named the Champ!

Chef Competitors:

Eric Parker,
Duffy's Sports Grill
Ernie Danjean,
Dockside Cafe
Tavoris Ingram,
The Twisted Tuna


Ryan Vargas, 
Tchoup Chop
Keith Keogh,
Total Food Network

James McGuiness, Keiser University

Sponsored by Edible Orlando

Thursday, September 29

12:00PM - 12:45PM
Keith Williamson, Datz
Tuna Poke

Chef Keith passion for cooking began by helping his mother in the kitchen. He studied at the Restaurants School in Philadelphia and lived in Italy for 6 months working at a Michelin 2 star restaurant. Keith honed his skills at various restaurants, including as the owner and chef of Baci Italian Grill.

2:00PM - 2:45PM
Doug Braselman, Emeril's Orlando

Equipped with more than 14 years of experience in the culinary arts, Douglas Braselman took the helm at Emeril's Orlando at Universal's CityWalk® as chef de cuisine in April 2015. Braselman, a New Orleans native, joined Emeril’s Orlando after spending nearly 10 years under the guidance of some of the best chefs and restauratuers New Orleans has to offer including Chef David Slater, Chef Gregg Collier, Chef Susan Spicer, Chef James Wong and Roy Barre.