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. 


Meet the Competitors

Carly Paige
Founder, FitLiving Eats;
Author, "Simply Swapped Everyday"

Featuring Lentil Walnut Tacos with Cashew
Sour Cream & Pineapple Avocado Salsa​

Chris Dancesia
Owner/Chef, Nick's Bistro

Featuring Summer Squash and Rice Noodle with Caribbean Gremolata and Coconut Oil 

Anne Hernandez
Founder, Our Urban Homestead
Featuring Vegan Shepherd's Pie


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!

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

Kendra Lott
Edible Orlando

Kristine Palkowetz 
Chief Wellness Officer
Joyful Goodness 

Dana Smith
Campaign Director
Meatless Monday




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