Submissions Being Accepted Until Friday, July 19, 2019


ORLANDO, FL July 11, 2019 - This year's Rapid Fire Challenge theme is Meatless Monday and all Chefs are encouraged to get creative and submit their favorite meatless dish for a chance to be crowned the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show Rapid Fire Champion, receive $1,000, and bragging rights.  The event takes place Monday, September 16, 2019 from 3:30-5:00 pm on Center Stage at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. Submissions for Rapid Fire are being accepted through July 19, 2019 and  must be sent to Patricia Copela at patricia.copela@clarionevents.com.  Guidelines for submissions can be found here.

The event is supported by Meatless Monday who will write a personality piece about the winner which will be sent in their weekly email newsletter, featured on their homepage and promoted via their social media channels. The winning recipe will accompany the piece, and will permanently be included in the Meatless Monday recipe database, crediting the winning chef and linking to his/her website.


“The Rapid Fire Challenge is a great event for chefs to compete and be recognized for their creativity with meatless options, which is in high demand.  We thank our professional judges, our emcee Shaun O’Neale, and of course our partner Meatless Monday,” said Tom Loughran, Vice President, Clarion UX Food & Beverage Group. “We are looking forward to receiving the meatless dish recipes local chefs enter and seeing who our loyal social media audience selects to compete live during the Show.”


The Rapid Fire Challenge Emcee Shaun O’Neale is a self-taught chef who educated himself by reading cookbooks, studying the history of food and traveling the globe to absorb different cultures and flavors.  Shaun is America’s best home cook and was named Season 7 Champion of MasterChef on FOX.  He graduated from reality star to culinary star in May 2017 with the release of his debut cookbook “My Modern American Table”.  The 2019 Rapid Fire Challenge judges include Hari Pulapaka, Ph.D., C.E.C., Executive Chef & Co-Owner, Cress Restaurant Associate Professor of Mathematics, Stetson University Pet Project: Sinfully Vegetarian, Kristine Palkowetz, Wellness Expert and Chef, Joyful Goodness and Kendra Lott, Publisher, Edible Orlando. 


The  Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show and Healthy Food Expo are produced and managed by Clarion UX, and sponsored by the Florida Restaurant & Lodging AssociationClarion UX produces 37 events across 13 sectors of both trade and consumer events. Clarion UX, which is the U.S. division of Clarion Events, UK, and backed by The Blackstone Group has become one of the fastest growing event companies in the U.S. with aggressive growth through both acquisition and launch.  Clarion acquired PennWell in early 2018, bringing 4 Tradeshow 200 events into the U.S. portfolio and super-charging the already rapid growth.  Clarion UX has offices in Trumbull, CT; Kennesaw, GA; Boca Raton, FL; Tacoma, WA, and Fairlawn, NJ.

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