The Restaurant Show brings the magic with a roster of world-class chefs

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A stellar line-up of internationally acclaimed chefs will showcase their techniques at the Show's centennial event on 18–21 May in Chicago, US

To celebrate its centennial anniversary, The Restaurant Show will host at various stages across its show floor world-class celebrity chefs that will showcase their culinary expertise, industry experts that will demonstrate their techniques and internationally acclaimed mixologists that will present the magic behind their work.

Star power

One of the most anticipated demonstrations will occur on Saturday, May 18 at 3:30pm by the culinary team at English soccer team Manchester United, Anjula Devi and James Tagg. They will take the stage to showcase some of the unique contemporary dishes they create to offer at one of the largest football stadiums in the world. Anjula will be making an Indian thali, which will consist of delicious fresh local produce, chosen with sustainability in mind and which just happens to be plant-based and vegan.

Another attention-grabbing demonstration will be that of James Beard Award-winning chef Abe Conlon. Chef Conlon of The Fat Rice restaurant will discuss in-depth how he recreates Old World heritage recipes utilizing the techniques and technology of today (May 18 at 12:00pm).

In addition, James Beard Award-winning chef Zachary Engel will bring the magic of Israeli cuisine to the show floor on May 21 at 11am. But much more is in store with many other already-scheduled demonstrations planned for the 2019 Restaurant Show.

At the World Culinary Showcase live culinary meets star power. Attendees will watch their favorite chefs demonstrate their techniques and share their stories, plus, award-winning up-and-coming chefs demonstrate how they’re rethinking cuisine.

This year’s talent includes:

Gerry Garvin – Acclaimed chef, notable author, television host, James Beard nominee and philanthropist, Gerry Garvin is most widely known for his television series, Turn Up the Heat with G. Garvin. He has worked as a chef in restaurants across the country and went on to hosting Road Trip with G Garvin on the Food Network Channel. Garvin is now seen as a judge on Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games as well as Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives as a special guest host. He is America’s most down-to-earth chef, and his claim to fame is showing everyday cooks how to keep it simple with a Southern twist.

Abra Berens – Berens is the chef at Granor Farm in Three Oaks, Michigan. She trained at Ballymaloe in County Cork, Ireland, and Zingerman’s Delicatessen in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She strives to connect people with their food both through dinners and progressive food policy—helping to further a food system where farmers earn a living wage, protect our environment through agriculture, and waste as little food as possible.

Diana Dávila – Dávila is the chef and owner of Mi Tocaya Antojería in Chicago. Since opening in March of 2017, the restaurant has received numerous accolades including being named one of Bon Appetit Magazine’s Best New Restaurants 2017 (Top 50) and was a James Beard Semi Finalist for Best New Restaurant (2018). As a chef/owner she was named one of Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs (2018); Eater Chicago’s Chef of the Year (2017); Chicago Tribune’s Chef of the Year (2019) and was named a “Chef to Watch” by both Eater and Plate Magazine in 2017.

Zachary Engel – Engel is the executive chef and owner of Middle Eastern restaurant, Galit, which will debut in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood in April 2019. Previously, Zach was the chef de cuisine at Shaya Restaurant in New Orleans, where he led a talented team to take home the 2016 James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant, a culminating triumph at the end of a year of many “Best New” accolades. In 2017, he followed with winning the James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef of the Year.

Jason Hammel – Hammel is the chef of Lula Café in Chicago’s historic Logan Square and Marisol Restaurant at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Chef Hammel is the Jean Banchet 2018 Chef of the Year award and a James Beard Best Chef finalist. A twenty year farm-to-table institution, Lula Cafe has been recognized by Eater‘s “Essential 38” and the Michelin Guide. Hammel is also a co-founder of the food education group Pilot Light Chefs, which creates innovative culinary curriculum for Chicago Public Schools. Through his work in classrooms and kitchens, chef Hammel seeks to bring community, creativity, nourishment, and purpose back to the table.

Rick Bayless – Since 1987 Bayless has been changing the way America eats Mexican, with four award-winning restaurants in Chicago, two quick-service brands and a retail line of sauces, salsas, and more. He has won six James Beard Awards and his contributions to the community have garnered awards both in the United States and in Mexico.

Hari Pulapaka – Pulapaka is an award-winning chef and author with four James Beard Award semifinalist nods as Best Chef-South and multiple Food & Wine People’s Best Chef recognitions. His cuisine helped rate his restaurant, Cress Restaurant, as the top rated ZAGAT restaurant in Orlando in the inaugural 2013 guide. In 2016, Hari was recognized as a GRIST 50 fixer for his innovative and active work in the area of food waste reduction.

Chris Sayegh – Chris’ company, The Herbal Chef, is a pioneer in using cannabis-infused fine dining to elevate the perception of marijuana in mainstream media. Through dinners that include art, music, fine wine and top-notch ingredients, he simultaneously and effortlessly educates and entertains his audience. Sayegh produces gourmet edibles, THC-infused dinners, as well as catered and private dinners and is the subject of two television shows. Beyond this, The Herbal Chef has become the most well known cannabis and culinary entity in the world consulting with businesses and governments alike to make sure the future of on-site consumption is safe and enjoyable.

Kari Underly – Kari was honored by Provisioner Magazine as one of 25 Future Icons of the Meat and Poultry Industry. She’s the author of the James Beard nominated book, The Art of Beef Cutting: A Meat Professional’s Guide to Butchering and Merchandising. Kari was recently a judge on the popular TV show, Chopped. Her favorite role is that of an educator as she travels the country conducting meat training seminars and demonstrations for corporations and meat enthusiasts.

Andrew Zimmern – A four-time James Beard Award-winning TV personality, chef, writer, and teacher, Zimmern is regarded as one of the most versatile and knowledgeable in the food world. Andrew is the host of Bizarre Foods, Driven by Food, The Zimmern List, and Big Food Truck Tip, a contributor writer at Food & Wine, and through the James Beard foundation funds the Zimmern’s Second Chances Scholarship.

Abe Conlon – Chef Conlon’s bold and vibrant global cuisine is a reflection of his Azorean-Portuguese heritage and travels. Together with business partner Adrienne Lo, Abe opened Fat Rice in 2012 and two adjoining concepts, The Bakery at Fat Rice and The Ladies’ Room, in 2016. He is the co-author of The Adventures of Fat Rice and won the James Beard Foundation’s 2018 “Best Chef: Great Lakes Award”.

James Tagg – Scottish-born James Tagg’s globe-trotting 35-year career in the industry has seen him working through the kitchen brigade ranks, predominantly working within the contract catering sector with time spent in hotels in the UK, Australia and South Africa. James was appointed as executive chef at Manchester United in 2011, developing and innovating contemporary authentic dishes for 75,000 avid sports fans at any given time.

Anjula Devi – Utilizing her cookery skills and passion for spices, Anjula is best known for creating delicious, authentic Indian cuisine as a consultant chef for Manchester United, arguably the biggest football club in the world. Anjula is the author of Authentic Indian Food and Spice for Life, as well as an accomplished demonstrator and teacher. Anjula’s mission is to promote authentic to create wonderful, delicious and nutritious meals.

Master mixologists and sommeliers

Besides the Chefs participating at the World Culinary Showcase stage, master mixologists and sommeliers will guide Show attendees through a deeper understanding of the magic behind the bar. Featured master mixologists and sommeliers will include:

Tony Abou-Ganim – Abou-Ganim is widely regarded as one of the pioneering and leading bar professionals in the world. He has made dozens of TV appearances on shows including TODAY, Iron Chef America, Good Morning America, CNBC, Fox News and more. He is the author of The Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails (Agate, 2010) which offers readers an in-depth look into spirits and ingredients available to today’s mixologist, both professional and amateur alike.

James Bowers – A true industry insider, Bowers began by building a career behind the bar. The Illinois native, went on to establish a solid status in the spirits industry, working at Los Angeles institutions such as Soho House and Coach and Horse. In his new role as National Brand Ambassador for The Macallan, James will be able to share his passion for single malt whisky as well as his knowledge around the iconic brand’s history and heritage.

Michael Carroll – Carroll first began as a certified chef traveling across the US and world, cultivating his diverse culinary talents and passion for brewing. In 2009, he chose to pursue his beer brewing ambitions, taking a position as a brewer for Half Acre Beer Co.. Since then, Carroll has exhibited a mastery in brewing traditions, and a number of his original recipes have graced the tables of many popular Chicago restaurants.

Jarmel Doss – Jarmel started her hospitality career by bartending to help her obtain her degree in biochemistry. She spent many years in hospitality management throughout Chicago. In 2015, she joined the Alinea group seeking something different. Ultimately, she fell in love with the science behind the magic. After expediting for a year and bartending in The Office, she was promoted to Assistant Bar Director in 2017.

Charles Joly – Joly is the Founder of Crafthouse Cocktails, a line of premium, bottled cocktails that debuted in 2013. He has opened and overseen seven venues in three different states and has developed one of the most respected beverage programs in the United States. Charles has received much industry praise, being named one of Bon Appétit ‘s 10 Most Influential Bartenders, one of Wine Enthusiast’s Top Spirit and Wine Professionals, and Crain’s 40 Under 40.

Maxx Kleiner – Kleiner was born and raised in the restaurant business. At the age of 16 years old, he started as a busboy at Carnivale and has worked up to his current position of Manager of Mixology and is a Level 1 Sommelier. Self-taught from his frequent world travels and travels around the United States, Maxx has revolutionized the Carnivale bar program with young, fresh and imaginative ideas.

Brian Schnell – A member of the Band of Bohemia team since 2016, Schnell has had various roles in the front of the house. He is now following his greatest passion by becoming one of Band of Bohemia’s Brewers, bringing yet another level of creativity to not only the brewing process, but the restaurant as a whole. Schnell is most looking forward to giving guests access to incredible cuisine paired with equally delicious beer pairings and adding his unique take to it in the process.

Further details:

These inspiring chefs and sommeliers will certainly contribute to a unique an enhanced show experience. Spanning three Halls at McCormick Place in Chicago, the Restaurant Show floor features more than 2,000 established and emerging supplier brands, hundreds of new-to-the-Show exhibitors, free consultation opportunities, specialty areas and culinary demonstrations from some of the most recognizable names in the business.

There is still time to register, for more information visit the Show’s website. Click here to view the up-to-date list of celebrity chefs and spirit masters that will be at our 100-year anniversary event.

Tatiana Vieira Green