Rapid Fire Challenge

2019 Rapid Fire Challenge: Meatless Monday Edition


Let's get meatless! Are you ready to bring on the veggies for a chance to win $1,000?! 

This year's Rapid Fire Challenge theme is Meatless Monday! Bring on your favorite dishes minus the meat! Chefs are encouraged to get creative and be ready for your one shining moment! 

The winner will be crowned the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show Rapid Fire Champion, receive $1,000, bragging rights and gain exposure to over 100 media outlets including the Food & Beverage Magazine, Nation's Restaurant News, local television and radio affiliates, as well as, thousands of industry professionals! In addition, Meatless Monday 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. 

See the below details on how you can submit for your chance to compete! 


  • Submissions must include the title and recipe for your meatless dish, as well as, a video (only 1-2 minutes) submission of why you should be the champ (videos can be as simple as being shot with your smart phone). Please also include a bio and headshot (will be used to announce the top three chefs). Partially complete submissions will not be accepted. 
    TIP: Remember the videos will be used for voting so make sure they are clear, creative and sell yourself. 
  • Submissions open on Friday, June 14, 2019 and will close on Friday, July 19, 2019. They must be sent to Patricia Copela at patricia.copela@clarionevents.com  
  • Videos will be added to the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show co-located with the Healthy Food Expo Facebook page for peer voting for the Top 3 best meatless dish and presentation. Online peer voting will take place from Monday, July 22, 2019 until Friday, July 26, 2019. 
  • The final three competitors will be announced on Monday, July 29, 2019. The top three chefs must be available to do a culinary demonstration of their dish on Monday, September 16, 2019, 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm on Center Stage. 
  • At the show, the top three chefs will each be given a total of 20 minutes to demo their meatless dish for up to four esteemed judges. They should also plan on having samples available for about 30 - 50 audience members and press. 
  • The judges and audience will then crown the Rapid Fire Challenge: Meatless Monday Edition Champion! 



*Top 3 chosen chefs/restaurants are responsible for cost of their ingredients for the culinary demonstrations and samples, as well as travel to the show. 



Shaun O’Neale exploded onto the culinary scene in September 2016 when he claimed the title of 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”. 

During his season of MasterChef, Shaun won over the palates of Gordon Ramsay, Christina Tosi, Daniel Boulud and Wolfgang Puck with his bold flavors and flawless presentation.  He carried the same techniques that earned him a record-setting eight wins in the MasterChef kitchen through to the completion of his cookbook.  “My Modern American Table” teaches other home cooks how to recreate Shaun’s upscale, modern American dishes like his lobster ravioli and salted caramel chocolate tart. 

For the past 20 years, Shaun has been orchestrating dance floors as a DJ with the highlight of his career culminating on New Year’s Eve 2011 as he became the first DJ to perform on Las Vegas Blvd in front of over 100,000 people.  Beginning in Tampa, FL and now calling Las Vegas, NV home, Shaun has taken the same skills and determination that helped him to become a successful DJ and used them to start the next phase of his life as the next up-and-coming culinary star. 

Shaun 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.  As he continues his world-wide travels promoting his cookbook and building his brand as DJ/Chef/Author, Shaun will continue to work hard for his fans and the people who support him and look forward to joining him on his culinary journey.

Click here to learn more about Shaun


Our 2019 Judges Are Coming Soon!

Hari Pulapaka, Ph.D., C.E.C.,
Executive Chef & Co-Owner, Cress Restaurant
Associate Professor of Mathematics, Stetson University
Pet Project: Sinfully Vegetarian



Interested in being a judge or supporting the Rapid Fire Challenge Competition?

Please contact Patricia Copela for more details: patricia.copela@clarionevents.com or 203.202.3823