Unparalled Line-Up of Celebrity Chefs, panel discussions and competitions to take center stage at the florida restaurant & lodging show

Unparalled Line-Up of Celebrity Chefs, panel discussions and competitions to take center stage at the florida restaurant & lodging show

ORLANDO, FL, August 28, 2018 – Center Stage − an educational, interactive and entertaining area for restaurant and foodservice professionals to stay abreast of what's hot in the food world – is a feature area at the 2018 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show being held Thursday, September 6 to Saturday, September 8 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. Some of the biggest names in culinary arts will present various cooking demonstrations, provide samples to taste, participate in panel discussions and competitions and even offer a yoga class. The Center Stage schedule is below, to access updates click here.

“Our attendees have become accustomed to seeing the most influential names in the restaurant industry on Center Stage and our 2018 event will not disappoint the restaurant and foodservice professionals attending the upcoming Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show,” said Tom Loughran, Vice President for the Clarion UX Food & Beverage Portfolio, “We are thrilled to be welcoming a terrific line-up of celebrity chefs who are involved with some of the leading restaurants in the country to Center Stage as well as present the Beacon and Torch Awards, and watch two exciting competitions.”

Thursday, September 6: Exhibit Hall open 11am - 5pm

  • Keynote Panel: Iconic Brands Navigating Healthy Change - Hear from iconic brands on how they are navigating “healthy change” to meet rapidly evolving consumer preferences with Anita Jones, President and Founder of Healthy Dining (11:30 am – 12:30 pm)
  • Torch Award Presentation and Culinary Demonstration with Allen Susser, Owner and Chef at Chef Allen’s Consulting, will receive this year’s Torch Award, recognizing his outstanding leadership, philanthropic efforts, extraordinary talent and innovation. Following the award presentation, he will demonstrate and prepare "Wild Florida Shrimp with Mango Curry and Ancient Grains", a dish that represents many of his passions. (1:00 pm- 2:00 pm)
  • Culinary Demonstration with Chef Fabio Viviani - Join Chef Fabio Viviani, “Fan Favorite” on Bravo’s Top Chef, Host of “Fabio’s Kitchen” and author of critically acclaimed cookbooks for his demonstration of his “Fresh Fettuccini with Roasted Pine Nuts and Basil Pesto.” (2:00 pm - 3:15 pm)
  • Hip Sip: Battle of the Modern Bartender – Cheer on the finalists that were chosen to compete and battle their creative drink recipes, involving whiskey, rum or vodka for the opportunity to be crowned the overall winner and win $1,000. (3:30 pm- 5:00 pm)


Friday, September 7: Exhibit Hall open 11am – 5pm

  • Culinary Demonstration with Mareya Ibrahim - Chef Mareya, Founder and CEO of Grow Green Industries, Inc. creators of patented, plant-based organic and Kosher solutions for food safety and shelf life extension, will demonstrate her “8 Superfoods Shake That'll Rock Your World!” (11:30 am- 12:00 pm)
  • Culinary Demonstration with Brandon McGlamery - Join Chef Brandon, Executive Chef at Luma on Park for his culinary demonstration followed by a meet and greet. (12:00 pm- 1:00 pm)
  • Beacon Award Presentation to Kathleen Blake – The Chef/Owner at The Rusty Spoon will be honored for her leadership, contribution and inspiration. The award will be presented at the Foodservice Council for Women panel discussion where Kathleen will join Chef Letty Alvarez, Chef Emily Ellyn, Chef Jenn, Chef Ingrid Hoffmann, Chef Mareya Ibrahim and Executive Chef Wendy Lopez. (1:00 pm- 2:00 pm)
  • Culinary Demonstration with Chef Emily Ellyn - Chef Emily of “Food Network Star,” “Cupcake Wars,” and “Cutthroat Kitchen” will present “Raising the Bar: Chef- Driven Non-Alcoholic Craft Cocktails.” (2:30 pm -3:30 pm)
  • Rapid Fire Challenge: Chicken, Honey and Beer Edition – Three chefs will put their creativity and skills to the test in this competition, and the winner will be crowned the Rapid Fire Champion, receive $1,000 and bragging rights. Shaun O’Neale, America’s best home cook and Season 7 Champion of MasterChef on FOX will be the Emcee for the event.  (3:30 pm- 5:00 pm)


Saturday, September 8: Exhibit Hall open 11am – 4pm

  • Culinary Demonstration with Chef Scottish Francis the Donut King - Join Chef "Scottish" Francis, the Donut King, as he talks about the history, creation and fundamentals to making, creating, and glazing donuts. (11:30 am - 12:30 pm)
  • Culinary Demonstration with Ingrid Hoffmann - Join the host of Top Chef Estrellas (Telemundo, NBC), Simply Delicioso (Cooking Channel) and Delicioso (Univision) for a culinary demonstration. (12:30 pm- 1:30 pm)
  • Culinary Demonstration with Talk of the Town Restaurant Group - Join us for a unique Center Stage experience celebrating Charley Woodsby and his new book “Red Lobster...The Beginning”. Charley will be signing copies of his new book while third generation and Talk of the Town Restaurant Group’s Senior Operating Partner, Clark Woodsby, cooks his grandfather’s original Jumbo Fried Shrimp recipe. (1:30 pm- 2:30 pm)

The 2018 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show will be held Thursday, September 6 - Saturday, September 8, 2018 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. The tradeshow and conference will provide 8,000 industry professionals with access to hottest menu trends, state of the art design and decor, a renowned education program, special events including Hip Sip, Rapid Fire Challenge, several culinary demonstrations, and 450+ of the leading vendors and purveyors dedicated to serving the restaurant & foodservice community.  For more information, visit www.flrestaurantandlodgingshow.com.

The tradeshow and conference, is managed by Clarion UX, (www.clarionux.com) and sponsored by the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (www.frla.org). The 2018 event will be co-located Healthy Food Expo Florida, and attendees will have access to both events with just one badge.  

About Clarion UX - Clarion 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. www.clarionux.com