A highlighted feature of the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo - Center Stage is an educational, interactive and entertaining area for restaurant and foodservice professionals who want to stay abreast of what's hot in the food world. Come see our featured chefs, watch their cooking demonstrations and taste their samples!
2022 Center Stage Line Up
ABOUT MAREYA IBRAHIM
Staying ahead of the curve ensures your business has a competitive advantage. As customers’ expectations rise, so should your team, signature menu, and business!
Art Sutley, Nightlife & Hospitality Expert, Director of Strategic Accounts Savage & Cooke Distillery
Mia Mastroianni, Celebrity Mixologist, Consultant as seen on Bar Rescue
Phil Wills, Owner/Partner, The Spirits In Motion© Consultant as seen on Bar Rescue
ABOUT SHAUN O'NEALE
Since his MasterChef win, Shaun has been traveling and performing at some of the most recognizable culinary events all over the world. As of the end of 2018, he has traveled to over 35 US cities and 7 countries including Italy, Ireland, Canada, the Caribbean and Costa Rica. Shaun will also have performed at over 80 food festivals, expos and events with one of the highlights being a returning celebrity chef at both Disneyland’s and Disney World’s annual food festivals. Shaun has worked with both MLB and NHL teams creating menus for their luxury suites. He is a member of Macy’s Culinary Council and has performed several cooking demos with them throughout the US.
Shaun’s talents spread far beyond the entertainment world as he became Newcastle Brown Ale’s first culinary chef ambassador in 2018. He was the only MasterChef winner to be featured on two additional seasons of the show, not including hosting the MasterChef Celebrity Showdown in 2017. Shaun has also made appearances on Home and Family, Best in Food and starred in his own commercial for Morningstar Farms.
Shaun has strong ties in the culinary community and was married to his wife by none other than Chef Gordon Ramsay himself. Beyond the kitchen, Shaun is passionate about traveling and reading up on culture and history. His future plans include opening his first restaurant in his home city of Las Vegas, NV.
ABOUT MELISSA COTTINGHAM
Enthusiastic about cultural cuisines, Chef Mel believes that the best way to learn about a culture is to join them in their kitchen. Raised in Memphis, Tennessee she began cooking alongside her mother at the age of twelve, but recently unlocked that young passion and made it a career. She is currently a private chef and owner of a pop up restaurant called Melnificent Wingz. Chef Mel has been featured in numerous publications including Complex Magazine, Infatuation LA, and Yelp. She has also been featured on ABC's Supermarket Sweep, Spectrum 1 News, Tastemade's Frankie vs The Internet and will be appearing on a pending new Food Network Show. She has graced the palates of some of your favorite entertainers including: Tracee Ellis Ross, Marsai Martin, Larenz Tate, Wayne Brady, KevOnStage and many more. With a smile and personality that can't help but charm you, Chef Mel's greatest pleasure will always be bringing people back to the dinner table and giving them hugs from the inside out.
ABOUT LAUREN LAWLESS
Chef Lauren Lawless has been living by her motto of inspiring the world one plate a time. Her journey as a TV personality, personal chef, author, and caterer have allowed her to create a unique global cooking style that is truly FLAWLESS. She has appeared on shows such as Masterchef, Travel Channel's Best in Food as well as Food Network's Supermarket Stakeout where she won the grand prize and title of Supermarket Stakeout Champion. Lawless has also made appearances on multiple news stations, radio stations, newspapers, and magazines. She most recently appeared on season 19 of Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen where she made the top ten and finale. Chef Lawless just recently released her first Autobiography/Cookbook called Flawless Cuisine: Inspiring The World One Plate at a Time, sharing stories and recipes for all to enjoy. Chef Lawless plans on opening a second restaurant by this summer with a new partner. The new lounge/club/restaurant is called METE Supperclub, pronounced MEET, an Asian fusion style restaurant with gourmet cuisine. Some of the menu items include hot rocks with sizzling wagyu and miso truffle butter, char grilled oysters, a mystery bento box, sushi, bao bun flight, lobster corn dogs, cotton candy cocktails, and so much more!
ABOUT DEANNA "BOMB CHICA" COLON
Early on Deanna discovered her talents for music, so at 18, cooking took a backseat. She was awarded a full tuition scholarship to Berklee College of Music. After graduation, she left the family business and pursued a career in entertainment. Deanna was a quarter semifinalist of Season 8 of America’s Got Talent, has written and sung on over 200 songs for Radio, TV and Film- including a Top 3 Billboard hit and has sung backgrounds for and with some of the world’s biggest artists, producers and songwriters such as Celine Dion, David Foster, Justin Bieber, Diane Warren and Nick Jonas to name a few!
Deanna auditioned for MasterChef Season 10 and won a coveted white apron from Judges Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Aarón Sánchez to make the Top 20. Inspired by her time on MasterChef, Deanna decided to take her creativity to the plate! She realized food is entertainment as well.
Deanna was a Judge & Chef on 5 episodes of SLING’s show Hot Mess Express. She creates online content across social media and teaches cooking classes privately and virtually through TakeLessons and Eatwith. Deanna was cast as a Chef in an online ad for Facebook/Oculus, as well as appearing in an ad for Imperfect Foods. Her partnerships include Sphericator by Cedar Lane, Imperfect Foods, OneHope Wine, Girl’s Life Magazine, Keto Krate, Boos Blocks and ChefUniforms.
Deanna is an entertaining dynamo! Whether on stage or on a plate, Deanna oozes BIG FLAVOR!. She Cooks. She Sings. She Entertains. She's the host doing the MOST!