Center Stage

STAY TUNED FOR THE 2020 LINE-UP!

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! 

 

 

THANK YOU TO OUR 2019 CHEFS!

Mareya Ibrahim

CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF MAREYA IBRAHIM

FEATURING THE BEST BLENDER GAZPACHO WITH BAKED AVOCADO CRISPS 
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM CENTER STAGE

GIORGIO RAPICAVOLI

CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF GIORGIO RAPICAVOLI

FEATURING CARBONARA AL TARTUFO
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2019, 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM, CENTER STAGE

GUILLERMO PERNOT

CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF GUILLERMO PERNOT

FEATURING CURRIED BAHAMIAN STYLE SPINY LOBSTER
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2019, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM, CENTER STAGE

ROBERTO TREVINO

CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF ROBERTO TREVINO

FEATURING TROPICAL CEVICHE, CEVICHE DE TUNA, MEXICAN SHRIMP CEVICHE, AND MORE!
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2019, 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM, CENTER STAGE

JOHN RIVERS

CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF JOHN RIVERS

FEATURING BRISKET BARBACOA BOWLS
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2019, 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM, CENTER STAGE

KRISTY CARLUCCI

CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF KRISTY CARLUCCI

FEATURING PUMPKIN PIE CHIPS AND DIP
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2019, 12:15 PM - 1:00 PM, CENTER STAGE

Shaun O'Neale

CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF SHAUN O'NEALE

FEATURING ROASTED GARLIC AND WILD MUSHROOM RISOTTO
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2019, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM, CENTER STAGE

ADDITIONAL EVENTS ON CENTER STAGE

Torch Award

The Torch Award

The Torch Award, presented by The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show and The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association was created to honor outstanding chefs and/or restaurateurs who embody Illumination, Energy, Joy, Victory, Enlightenment, Hope and Education.

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Coaches Hot Seat

The Coaches "Hot Seat"

The Coaches "Hot Seat" is not for the faint of heart. Only the brave can withstand the lightening fast session of rapid-fire coaching from 3 of the industries top coaches. Get the early, as volunteers will be selected at the beginning of the event.

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Foodservice council for women

Foodservice Council

The Foodservice Council for Women has created a platform for women in the food and beverage industry to connect, share, inspire and learn from on another.  The panel features women leaders in the foodservice industry who are transforming the hospitality industry with their outstanding contributions.

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Beacon Award

The Beacon Award

The Beacon Award recognizes a woman leader who has truly served as a Beacon for our industry through her leadership, contributions, and inspiration. The word Beacon symbolizes many things including a person that illuminates or inspires. Join us to congratulate this year's honoree!

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Mareya Ibrahim

MEET OUR 2019 CENTER STAGE EMCEE...MAREYA IBRAHIM!

"THE FIT FOODIE"

As seen on Recipe Rehab and the Food Network, Mareya Ibrahim is The Fit Foodie, a TV chef, holistic nutrition coach, author and award-winning entrepreneur and inventor. She is the author of the new book, "Eat Like You Give a Fork: The Real Dish on Eating to Thrive" and host of the "Recipes for Your Best Life” Podcast. She is a signature chef to the NY Times bestseller “The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life”. Her column, “The Fit Foodie" appears in Edible Orange County Magazine. She is also the co-inventor of the patented eatCleaner line of products. Learn more at www.mareyaibrahim.com

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CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF MAREYA IBRAHIM

FEATURING THE BEST BLENDER GAZPACHO WITH BAKED AVOCADO CRISPS

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM CENTER STAGE
When it's too hot to eat soup or you want to sip on something more savory than a smoothie, gazpacho is a go-to source of real nutrition in a glass. It's all veg, and it goes down like buttah and you get the bennies of everything being raw.  Making it in the blender means it's ready in no time flat, and everybody's got time for that. 
Eat Like You Give a Fork with Mareya Ibrahim! 
BONUS: A select amount of copies of Mareya’s new cookbook Eat Like You Give a Fork will be distributed during her demo!​
MAREYA IBRAHIM

MORE ABOUT MAREYA IBRAHIM

"THE FIT FOODIE"

As seen on Recipe Rehab and the Food Network, Mareya Ibrahim is The Fit Foodie, a TV chef, holistic nutrition coach, author and award-winning entrepreneur and inventor. She is the author of the new book, "Eat Like You Give a Fork: The Real Dish on Eating to Thrive" and host of the "Recipes for Your Best Life” Podcast. She is a signature chef to the NY Times bestseller “The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life”. Her column, “The Fit Foodie" appears in Edible Orange County Magazine. She is also the co-inventor of the patented eatCleaner line of products. Learn more at www.mareyaibrahim.com

CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF GIORGIO RAPICAVOLI

FEATURING CARBONARA AL TARTUFO 
BLACK TRUFFLE, EGG YOLK & BREADCRUMBS 

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2019, 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM, CENTER STAGE

Don't miss out on your chance to see this Chopped Champions winner and Miami based Chef in action on Center Stage.
Giorgio Rapicavoli is sure to delight your tastebuds with his unique European-inspired creations and flavorful dishes. 
A meet and greet with the Chef following his demonstration. 

 

 

Giorgio Rapicavoli

More About Giorgio Rapicavoli

By the time Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli reached his mid-twenties, he had already led at a handful of respected restaurants in his home town of Miami, Florida. He also rubbed elbows with worldfamous chefs; was lauded as the city’s first winner of Food Network’s Chopped; and owned, operated and killed it at the pop-up, Eating House before making it a permanent fixture on the 305’s evolving culinary scene, along with the Coconut Grove favorite Glass & Vine. Now, with a Chopped Champions win and three James Beard nominations under his belt, Rapicavoli is hotter than ever. 
 
Born and raised in Miami to an Italian mother and an Argentine father, Rapicavoli’s love of cooking ignited at age five when he and his mom would spend Sundays in the kitchen making her beloved pomodoro sauce. After high school, Rapicavoli enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at Johnson and Wales University, where he upheld a nearly perfect GPA and a repeated standing on the Dean’s List. Alas, never one to be called conventional, Rapicavoli dropped the program a semester short of graduation to dive full-force into the industry. He took turns working under renowned chefs Robin Haas and Adam Votaw, was the executive chef at Chispa Doral at just 21 and then honed his craft during his three-year executive chef stint at 660 at The Angler’s on Miami Beach. The cuisinier has been a repeat guest at Slow Food’s Terra Madre in Italy alongside the likes of Ferran Adria, Alice Waters and Josh Viertel, an experience Rapicavoli attributes to changing his life, as well as his understanding of food. In 2011, he filmed an episode of the popular Food Network show Chopped, blowing away the judges and host. 

Launched in February 2012, using his winnings from Chopped, Eating House pop-up instantly became a Miami favorite, creating a cult following of avid imbibers chomping at the bits to see what Rapicavoli would create next. Innovative, fun and funky twists on mostly comfort food, were dished out to blissful guests for seven months before it closed, as planned, at the end of September 2012. In November of the same year, the Miami community rejoiced as Rapicavoli and business partner Alex Casanova announced they were purchasing the cafe from its owners and would open the permanent outpost of Eating House, now a Coral Gables institution. 

Rapicavoli’s energy, momentum and passion continued past the doors of Eating House. In 2014, he conceptualized and executed Tartare Bar, his successful four-day pop-up at the World Golf Championships – Cadillac Championship in Doral, Florida. He repeatedly cooked at prestigious events such as Sundance Film Festival’s ChefDance, Foreign and Domestic Chef Ned Elliot’s Indie Chefs Week in Austin, Texas, and Identita Milano, Italy’s famous international cooking convention. Rapicavoli has been recognized by various national and local outlets, including Travel + Leisure; The New York Times; The Cooking Channel’s Unique Eats; Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30; twotime nominee for Food & Wine’s “The People’s Best New Chef”; James Beard Rising Star Chef 2013 semifinalist; James Beard Rising Star Chef 2014 nominee; James Beard Best Chef South 2016 semifinalist and more. Refusing to slow down, Rapicavoli and his team opened a second restaurant project, Taperia Raca, to immediate success and sold it for profit with plans to take the concept elsewhere. He was also invited to return to Food Network’s Chopped Champions where he won again and went on to compete in the Ultimate Champions Tournament
 
Then in 2015, Rapicavoli partnered with the boutique culinary firm Grove Bay Hospitality Group to open the intimate garden oasis, Glass & Vine, in Coconut Grove’s iconic Peacock Park. He sought inspiration for the restaurant through a culinary and cultural tour of Europe, and the influence of which is reflected in his unique creations and flavorful menu; which offers shareable, European-inspired vegetable, seafood and meat dishes, plus unique craft cocktails. 
 

 

CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF GUILLERMO PERNOT

FEATURING CURRIED BAHAMIAN STYLE SPINY LOBSTER

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2019, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM, CENTER STAGE
What better way to experience Cuban food than with Chef Guillermo Pernot? His passion led him on multiple culinary missions to Cuba in search of discovering what its cuisine is like today. Keeping in tune with traditional techniques from Old Havana and bold flavors from Santiago de Cuba, he manages to modernize Cuban cuisine with dishes like roasted garlic boniato-potato mash and coconut crab fritters. You won’t want to miss out on this prolific use of flavors by Chef Pernot! Plus raffle prizes including a gift certificate to Cuba Libre and a select amount of copies of Cuba Cooks: Recipes and Secrets from Cuban Paladares and Their Chefs to be won!
Guillermo Pernot

More About Guillermo Pernot

"Chef-Partner," Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar

National renowned chef and restaurateur Guillermo Pernot joined Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar as the top toque in the Fall of 2006. As Chef-Partner, Pernot is responsible for maintaining the quality, taste and authenticity of Cuba Libre’s cuisine at all locations as the company expands its concept across America. His dinner, lunch and brunch menus envision what Cuba’s cuisine would be like today, if it had continued to flourish beyond the golden era of the 1950s. Pernot’s dishes are full of color, aroma and style.

In 2010 Pernot embarked on a mission to discover what Cuba cuisine was today. During multiple visits to Cuba, Pernot forged relationships with the premier local chefs in Havana. He spent days cooking and dining with them in their restaurants, homes and farms. In January 2012, Chef Pernot and Cuba Libre launched a culinary exchange series named Pop-Up Paladar, in which the top chefs of Havana are invited to cook in Cuba Libre’s kitchens for special guest chef dinners. In return, Chef Pernot invited Cuba Libre’s guests to join him on a series of custom cultural and culinary tours of the island nation’s capital. The inaugural trip embarked April 2012.

Pernot is credited for introducing Nuevo Latino cuisine to Philadelphia. While owner of ¡Pasion! Pernot earned an impressive list of accolades including awards from Gourmet, Philadelphia Magazine and Fodor’s. Pernot was named Esquire’s “Chef of the Year.” Additionally, he received two of the most prestigious awards given in the food industry. The James Beard Award for “Best Chef of the Mid-Atlantic Region” and “Best Single Subject Cookbook” for Ceviche: Seafood, Salads and Cocktails with a Latino Twist.

Pernot’s background also includes the launch of Vega Grill, during which Food & Wine named him one of “America’s Ten Best New Chefs,” and Restaurant Hospitality named him one of the “Ten Rising Stars.” He also spent time in Miami, where he led the kitchen at Gloria Estefan’s Latin restaurant, Allioli in South Beach.

In September 2018 Pernot released his second cookbook, CUBA COOKS: RECIPES AND SECRETS FROM CUBAN PALADARES AND THEIR CHEFS. A vibrant celebration of the island’s bold flavors, creative techniques, and unique inspirations of Cuba’s finest paladares, Cuba Cooks spotlights a rich variety of dishes which have been adapted from some of the best private restaurants from Old Havana to Santiago de Cuba. 

Pernot’s culinary success can be attributed to his passionate and flavorful cuisine – a culinary dedication to his roots. Born in Argentina, Pernot and his wife, who is Cuban and related to the third President of Cuba, live in suburban Philadelphia with their two children.

CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF ROBERTO TREVIÑO

FEATURING TROPICAL CEVICHE, CEVICHE DE TUNA, MEXICAN SHRIMP CEVICHE, AND MORE! 

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2019, 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM, CENTER STAGE
Get ready for some Ceviche! Food Network Chef Roberto Treviño will be serving up 4 different mouth watering Ceviche dishes developed for the  Don Julio Mexican Kitchen and Ceviche Bar. Be one of the first to taste and enjoy samples of the Chef's Tropical Ceviche, Ceviche de Tuna, Mexican Shrimp Ceviche, and more! A meet and greet to follow with the dynamic Chef! 
Roberto Treviño

More About Roberto Treviño

"Puerto Rico's Rock Star Chef" (and recent Orlando Transplant) from Food Network's Iron Chef America

You cannot come into Puerto Rico and not eventually hear Chef Roberto Treviño’s name as one of the most important modern day chef’s and businessman in the island. His popularity in the island has not only resulted because of his talents, hard work and dedication to his craft, but also because of his famous appearance on The Iron Chef battling the world renowned Chef Mario Batali. Originally from San Francisco, California - the island called Chef Treviño in the early 1990’s with the opening of the Conquistador Resort in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. In the mid 1990’s he teamed up with the owner of OOF Restaurants to establish three of Puerto Rico’s most well known restaurants in Old San Juan: The Parrot Club, Dragonfly, and Aguaviva. In 2007, Treviño admirably ventured off on his own and opened up what is conceivably one of San Juan’s best and most decorated restaurants - Budatai. Today, his business restaurant ventures have also opened up hot spots such as Bar Gitano, El Barril, and Casa Lola and is a permanent fixture on many television shows and food festivals in the island. The island has called him here for a reason, and Puerto Rico and its people are better off for it.

CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF JOHN RIVERS

FEATURING BRISKET BARBACOA BOWLS

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2019, 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM, CENTER STAGE
Join us at Center Stage as John Rivers, Founder and CEO of 4 Rivers Smokehouse dazzles us with his love of barbeque! 
A meet and greet with the Chef to follow his demonstration. 
John Rivers

More About John Rivers

Before founding 4 Rivers Smokehouse, Founder & CEO John Rivers served as president of a $1.5-billion-dollar healthcare company. After helping raise much needed funds for a young girl battling cancer, John ultimately left the corporate world and started a “Barbecue Ministry” in his hometown of Winter Park, Fla. where he cooked out of his garage for schools, churches, charities, civic organizations and others in need. After gaining widespread local appeal for his barbecue, Rivers opened the first 4 Rivers Smokehouse in Winter Park on October 26, 2009.  As he explains it, “When I first started the ministry in my garage, I never imagined that it would grow into the company we’re blessed with today.” A decade later, 4 Rivers has 14 Smokehouses throughout Florida and Georgia, with each smoking more than 15,000 pounds of meat per week. Also part of the 4R family are The COOP, 4R Cantina Barbacoa located at Disney Springs, two 4 Rivers walkup venues a ESPN Wide World of Sports as well as eateries at Camping World Stadium, Spectrum Stadium and Raymond James Stadium.   

Rivers has received national recognition for his style of barbeque by leading media outlets such as Southern Living, Food & Wine, The Daily Meal, FSR Magazine, MSN and more. He has also had the honor to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City twice, and has enjoyed participating at the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival and the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival for eight consecutive years. In 2013, John authored his first book, The Southern Cowboy Cookbook, which can be purchased at all 4 Rivers Smokehouse locations as well as Barnes & Noble, Costco and Amazon.com. He has also has launched a line of 4R retail and manufactured products currently available at Publix, Fresh Market and are also distributed nationally by partners such as Sysco, Aramark and Amazon.

Rivers is a graduate of Florida State University’s College of Business, where he currently serves on the Board of Governors. He also chairs The 4R Foundation, a nonprofit organization that maintains a focus on supporting and caring for the communities that the 4R Restaurant Group serves. In 2018, The 4R Foundation donated valuable funds to 650 local organizations, non-profits and churches. Additionally, Cows ’n Cabs, the brand’s signature annual charity even has raised more than $635,000 for local charities since the inaugural event in 2012. Rivers lives in Winter Park with his wife Monica and two children, Jared and Cameron.

 

CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF KRISTY CARLUCCI

FEATURING PUMPKIN PIE CHIPS AND DIP 

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2019, 12:15 PM - 1:00 PM, CENTER STAGE
Fall is rolling in fast and Chef Kristy Carlucci will demostrate her recipe featuring a fall favorite...PUMPKIN! 
Get ready to taste and learn from the Chef who is known for having the "Best Desserts in Orlando"! 
Bonus: A select amount of gift cards to the Osprey Tavern to be won! Don't miss out! 
KRISTY CARLUCCI

More about KRISTY CARLUCCI

Pastry Chef, The Osprey Tavern

Growing up in Upstate New York, when Kristy was collecting cookbooks and watching cooking shows as a child, it was a glimpse into what grew into her passion. Growing up, she would experiment in her grandmother’s kitchen, even pretending she had her own baking show. Making people feel welcome and comfortable moved her into a career as a nurse, all the while baking for her co-workers and family every chance she got. With the support of her friends and family, she decided to make the change to turn doing what she loved into her career. Kristy gained a strong set of fundamentals while studying Baking and Pastry Arts at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and even stayed on to complete the Manager in Training program. During her time there, she cemented a strong foundation of technique while learning to be detail-oriented. With over a decade of professional experience, she brings a style of classic French technique with Americana comfort, while focusing on seasonality and sustainability.

During her career, she has developed and strengthened her skills under the tutelage of some culinary greats. Upon gaining an internship with the Gordon Ramsay Restaurant Group, she was able to understand what working in a fine dining restaurant entailed. During her time in school, Kristy worked at the campus bakery under Chef Francisco Migoya, CMB, who made an enormous and lasting impact on her food philosophy. From there, she has honed her skills in many aspects of baking and pastry, namely at The Greenbrier, working under Chefs Thierry Delourneaux and Richard Rosendale, CMC.

Currently, she is the Pastry Chef of The Osprey Tavern in Orlando, FL. Working and living in Orlando, she has enjoyed such accolades as one of the “Best Desserts in Orlando”, several mentions and articles in local publications, featured in Pastry & Baking North America, cooked for The James Beard House, worked on an original dessert for Honey Nut Cheerios, and been a VIP Chef for Beard in Baldwin Food & Wine Festival. In May 2019, Kristy was inducted into Orlando Magazine's Dining Awards Hall of Fame. She was invited to cook at Chef Norman Van Aken's Farewell Dinner in August 2019.  At this year's ACF National Convention she was a guest speaker, talking about utilizing vegetables in desserts. She is also an adjunct professor of Baking & Pastry Studies at Valencia College, where she has much joy in being able to share her knowledge with the next wave of pastry cooks and bakers. 

 

Learn more about Kristy here.

CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF SHAUN O'NEALE

FEATURING ROASTED GARLIC AND WILD MUSHROOM RISOTTO

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2019, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM, CENTER STAGE
Join us at Center Stage as Shaun O'Neale demonstrates a traditional Italian risotto with a spin, in honor of Meatless Monday! 
Sweet roasted garlic and fresh in-season mushrooms finished with amazing Italian cheeses!
A meet and greet with the Chef to follow his demonstration and a select amount of copies of
Shaun's new cookbook My Modern American Table will be distributed during his demo.​
Shaun O'Neale

MORE About Shaun O'Neale

Shaun O’Neale is a world-recognized chef currently residing in Las Vegas, NV.  A former DJ, Shaun was crowned Season 7 Champion of MasterChef on FOX in 2016 and completed his first cookbook in 2017 titled “My Modern American Table”.  He is a self-taught chef who developed his upscale, modern American style of cooking by reading cookbooks and traveling the world.

Since his MasterChef win, Shaun has been traveling and performing at some of the most recognizable culinary events all over the world.  As of the end of 2018, he has traveled to over 35 US cities and 7 countries including Italy, Ireland, Canada, the Caribbean and Costa Rica.  Shaun will also have performed at over 80 food festivals, expos and events with one of the highlights being a returning celebrity chef at both Disneyland’s and Disney World’s annual food festivals.  Shaun has worked with both MLB and NHL teams creating menus for their luxury suites.  He is a member of Macy’s Culinary Council and has performed several cooking demos with them throughout the US.

Shaun’s talents spread far beyond the entertainment world as he became Newcastle Brown Ale’s first culinary chef ambassador in 2018.  He was the only MasterChef winner to be featured on two additional seasons of the show, not including hosting the MasterChef Celebrity Showdown in 2017.  Shaun has also made appearances on Home and Family, Best in Food and starred in his own commercial for Morningstar Farms.

Shaun has strong ties in the culinary community and was married to his wife by none other than Chef Gordon Ramsay himself.  Beyond the kitchen, Shaun is passionate about traveling and reading up on culture and history.  His future plans include opening his first restaurant in his home city of Las Vegas, NV. 

Click here to learn more about Shaun