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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! 

THANK YOU TO OUR 2019 CHEFS!

Mareya Ibrahim

CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF MAREYA IBRAHIM

FEATURING THE BEST BLENDER GAZPACHO WITH BAKED AVOCADO CRISPS 
SUNDAY, AUGUST 25, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM, CENTER STAGE

Ricardo Zarate

CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF RICARDO ZARATE

FEATURING CEVICHE CROCANTE
SUNDAY, AUGUST 25, 2019, 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM, CENTER STAGE

Brian Malarkey

CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF BRIAN MALARKEY

FEATURING OXTAIL GNOCCHI
SUNDAY, AUGUST 25, 2019, 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM, CENTER STAG

Shaun O'Neale

CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF SHAUN O'NEALE

FEATURING ROASTED GARLIC AND WILD MUSHROOM RISOTTO
MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2019, 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM, CENTER STAGE
Leslie Durso

CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF LESLIE DURSO

FEATURING PORTOBELLO ZARANDIATO 
MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2019, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM, CENTER STAGE

Antonia Lofaso

CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF ANTONIA LOFASO

EAT WELL. COOK WELL. BE INSPIRED.
MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2019, 2:45 PM - 3:30 PM, CENTER STAGE

Chris Robbins

CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF CHRIS ROBBINS

FEATURING "BUFFALO" DUCK WING CONFIT IN TANGERINE-SRIRACHA GLAZE
WITH CELERY-CITRUS SALAD 

TUESDAY, AUGUST 27, 2019, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM, CENTER STAGE

THANK YOU TO OUR 2019 CENTER STAGE EMCEE...MAREYA IBRAHIM!

THANK YOU TO OUR 2019 CENTER STAGE EMCEE...MAREYA IBRAHIM!

"THE FIT FOODIE"

As seen on Recipe Rehab and the Food Network, Mareya Ibrahim is The Fit Foodie, a TV chef, holistic nutrition coach, author and award-winning entrepreneur and inventor. She is the author of the new book, "Eat Like You Give a Fork: The Real Dish on Eating to Thrive" and host of the "Recipes for Your Best Life” Podcast. She is a signature chef to the NY Times bestseller “The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life”. Her column, “The Fit Foodie" appears in Edible Orange County Magazine. She is also the co-inventor of the patented eatCleaner line of products. Learn more at www.mareyaibrahim.com

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CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF MAREYA IBRAHIM

FEATURING THE BEST BLENDER GAZPACHO WITH BAKED AVOCADO CRISPS 

SUNDAY, AUGUST 25, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM, CENTER STAGE
When it's too hot to eat soup or you want to sip on something more savory than a smoothie, gazpacho is a go-to source of real nutrition in a glass. It's all veg, and it goes down like buttah and you get the bennies of everything being raw.  Making it in the blender means it's ready in no time flat, and everybody's got time for that. 
Eat Like You Give a Fork with Mareya Ibrahim! 
BONUS: A select amount of copies of Mareya’s new cookbook Eat Like You Give a Fork will be distributed during her demo!​
ABOUT MAREYA IBRAHIM

ABOUT MAREYA IBRAHIM

"THE FIT FOODIE"
As seen on Recipe Rehab and the Food Network, Mareya Ibrahim is The Fit Foodie, a TV chef, holistic nutrition coach, author and award-winning entrepreneur and inventor. She is the author of the new book, "Eat Like You Give a Fork: The Real Dish on Eating to Thrive" and host of the "Recipes for Your Best Life” Podcast. She is a signature chef to the NY Times bestseller “The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life”. Her column, “The Fit Foodie" appears in Edible Orange County Magazine. She is also the co-inventor of the patented eatCleaner line of products. Learn more at www.mareyaibrahim.com

CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF RICARDO ZARATE

FEATURING CEVICHE CROCANTE

SUNDAY, AUGUST 25, 2019, 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM, CENTER STAGE
Join us at Center Stage as 'the godfather of Peruvian cuisine', Chef Ricardo Zarate showcases his talent that has earned him widespread criticial acclaim and praise from media and consumers alike. His Ceviche Crocante includes Halibut, Aji Amarillo, Lecho de Tigre and Crispy Calamari...YUM! 
A meet and greet with the Chef to follow his culinary demonstration. 
More About Ricardo Zarate

More About Ricardo Zarate

Born in Lima, Peru, ‘the godfather of Peruvian cuisine’ Ricardo Zarate is synonymous with indigenous South American foods. Immaculately executed and fused with his underlying passion, drive and kitchen ingenuity, Zarate’s cuisine has earned him widespread critical acclaim and praise from media and consumers alike.

The second youngest of 13 siblings, Zarate grew up in a shoebox-shaped cement house with a tin roof, typical to Lima in the 1970s and ‘80s. From a large family, Zarate frequently helped in the family kitchen, learning technique from his mother and grandmother, whom he credits as his biggest influences.

By age 17, Zarate yearned to be in the kitchen full time, enrolling in his hometown culinary school, Instituto de las Américas, and going on to form what would become the foundations of his Peruvian influence.

Upon graduating, Zarate headed to London to practice his craft in a new culture, working for 12 years at notable restaurants including One Aldwych and Zuma. It was here that his passion for new foods and ingredients grew. Zarate began to draw inspiration from Japanese, Chinese and European flavors, still prominent in his cooking today.

In 2009 Zarate headed to Los Angeles, opening Mo-chica, Downtown at Mercado la Paloma. Housed in a cultural center designed to showcase local creativity to the broader community, the restaurant was soon followed by pop-up restaurant, Test Kitchen, where Zarate offered consumers a new dining experience weekly from a rotating roster of high profile guest chefs.

With Zarate’s cuisine beginning to shape a large following, in 2011 Zarate introduced the modern Peruvian cantina, Picca. A critical success, it was recognized as one of the GQ ‘best new restaurants’ and a Conde Nast Traveler ‘Hot Table’, all within one year of opening. It was also in this year that Zarate was named the prestigious honor of Food & Wine ‘Best New Chef’.

In April 2013, Zarate opened Paiche, a Japanese izakaya-style Peruvian seafood restaurant located in Marina Del Rey, consequently named one of Esquire’s ‘Best New Restaurants’. In the same year, Zarate also expanded to Santa Barbara, opening Blue Tavern, a quintessential Californian fare driven restaurant, seen through the eyes of a native Peruvian leader.

In 2014, Zarate sought a new project, splitting from his partners at all restaurants, and pursuing authorship of his first cookbook ‘The Fire of Peru’. In the summer of 2015, in the lead up to the book’s launch, Zarate opened the pop-up Once, based at Santino’s in Santa Monica. Soon after, ‘The Fire of Peru’ debuted in October, aiming to guide consumers to try the food of Zarate’s country. With a wealth of flavors and dishes to explore, Zarate accredits the book to the ‘Peruvian home cooks’, including his mother, ‘who we should all be thankful for’.

In summer 2017, Zarate opened Rosaliné on the iconic corner of Melrose and La Cienega in West Hollywood, quickly rising through the ranks of prestigious L.A.-based restaurants. Topping numerous “best of” lists, Rosaliné has earned a spot on award-winning restaurant critic Jonathan Gold’s “101 Best Restaurants” list, Thrillist’s “Best New Restaurants in 2017,” and Eater’s “Most Beautiful Restaurants of 2017,” among others.

In 2018, Zarate reincarnated Once, introducing his signature, elevated Peruvian cuisine to the Las Vegas Strip at The Palazzo in Spring 2018. Describing his newest concept, Zarate says, “Once is the new wave of Peruvian cuisine that combines modern Japanese elements with traditional Peruvian staples that I experienced growing up in Lima. It will remind people about the extensive history, not only of Peru, but of the melting pot of cultures that has evolved Peruvian food over centuries.”

In February 2019, Zarate opened Pikoh in West Los Angeles. Inspired by the culinary melting pot of the city, the all-day neighborhood restaurant infuses homestyle American cuisine with Latin, Asian and other international flavors that are “local” to Los Angeles. Zarate’s menu is as eclectic as the city’s culinary footprint and a culmination of his years of collaboration across high-profile kitchens including Mo-Chica, Picca and Rosaliné. 

To learn more about Ricardo Zarate click here

CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF BRIAN MALARKEY

FEATURING OXTAIL GNOCCHI

SUNDAY, AUGUST 25, 2019, 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM, CENTER STAGE
 Chef Brian Malarkey has created 15 wildy successful restaurants across the United States and this year he will be on Center Stage dazzling us with his culinary talent. Don't miss the Food Network judge, Top Chef finalist and winning mentor on ABC's The Taste in action as he demonstrates Herb & Wood's best selling dish, Oxtail Gnocchi. The dish features gnocchi, oxtail, roasted garlic, parsley, chive, sherry, parmesan, and horseradish. Chef Beau MacMillan named the dish the best thing he ever ate in the current season of the Cooking Channel's "The Best Thing I Ever Ate". 
A meet and greet with the Chef following his demonstration. 
About brian malarkey

About brian malarkey

Chef Brian Malarkey has created 15 wildly successful restaurants across the United States. His latest venture, Herb & Wood, located in San Diego’s buzzing gastronomic neighborhood of Little Italy, has been awarded with numerous accolades. Herb & Wood was named one of the country’s “Biggest Restaurant Openings” by Zagat, one of America’s “10 Best Restaurants” by USA Today, “Restaurant of the Year” by Eater San Diego and most recently “Best Restaurant” by San Diego Magazine. Upon opening, the San Diego Union Tribune described Herb & Wood as, “the most thoughtful, exquisitely executed, stylish restaurant of the year.”

Connected to Herb & Wood is Herb & Eatery, an artisan market and all-day cafe. Additionally, Malarkey is a partner and operator of three healthy fast- service restaurants in San Diego, Green Acre and Farmer & The Seahorse, with his business partner Christopher Puffer. Malarkey was the founding executive chef of Searsucker and Herringbone restaurants, which sold majority stake to Hakkasan Group in 2014. Under his guidance, the brands expanded both across the country and internationally to 10 locations. In 2018, Malarkey resigned from Searsucker and Herringbone to focus on the Puffer Malarkey Restaurants (Herb & Wood, Herb & Eatery, Green Acre, Farmer & The Seahorse) and two upcoming projects, Herb & Sea and Animae, set to open in 2019.

Malarkey is a judge on Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games, makes regular appearances on the Today Show and Good Morning America, and was a Top Chef finalist and winning mentor on ABC’s The Taste, which he co-hosted alongside Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson and Ludo Lefebvre. Malarkey has also judged a variety of television cooking programs, including Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook Off, Chopped All-Stars, and Cutthroat Kitchen, and can be seen headlining food and wine festivals around the country.

Growing up on a ranch in Oregon, and spending summers enjoying fresh seafood on the coast, helped Malarkey discover his love for food and cooking at a young age, prompting him to enroll in Le Cordon Bleu in Portland. Prior to opening his first restaurant, Malarkey held positions at several marquee restaurants in Los Angeles, including Chef Michel Richard’s Citrus. He and his wife of 15 years, Chantelle, have three beautiful children named Hunter (9) and twins, Sailor and Miles (7). He is active in his free time, surfing, paddle boarding, spear fishing and boating. He is also a racehorse owner and a past racetrack photographer. Always eager to give back to the community, Malarkey has supported dozens of organizations and nonprofits throughout the years, including Rady Children’s Hospital, the Berry Good Food Foundation, Chimps Inc., Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Surfer’s Healing and more. 

To learn more about Brian Malarkey click here

CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF SHAUN O'NEALE

FEATURING ROASTED GARLIC AND WILD MUSHROOM RISOTTO

MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2019, 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM, CENTER STAGE
Join us at Center Stage as Shaun O'Neale demonstrates a traditional Italian risotto with a spin, in honor of Meatless Monday! 
Sweet roasted garlic and fresh in-season mushrooms finished with amazing Italian cheeses!
 
BONUS: A meet and greet with the Chef to follow his demonstration and a select amount of copies of
Shaun's new cookbook My Modern American Table will be distributed during his demo.​
ABOUT SHAUN O'NEALE

ABOUT SHAUN O'NEALE

Shaun O’Neale is a world-recognized chef currently residing in Las Vegas, NV.  A former DJ, Shaun was crowned Season 7 Champion of MasterChef on FOX in 2016 and completed his first cookbook in 2017 titled “My Modern American Table”.  He is a self-taught chef who developed his upscale, modern American style of cooking by reading cookbooks and traveling the world.

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. 

Click here to learn more about Shaun

 

CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF LESLIE DURSO

FEATURING PORTOBELLO ZARANDIATO 

MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2019, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM, CENTER STAGE
​In honor of Meatless Monday, this Southern California native, who has been plant-based since the age of eight, has been well ahead of the times.
Join Vegan Chef and Wellness Expert, Leslie Durso who will present one of her signature dishes from the Four Seasons.
Her dish consists of marinated, suveed, and grilled mushrooms thinly sliced served with chipotle aioli, avocado, and slaw in a warm tortilla.
Leslie is the glowing face of a fresher plant-based movement that refuses to compromise style for sustainability. Get ready to be WOW'd! 
ABOUT LESLIE DURSO

ABOUT LESLIE DURSO

A vegan chef and wellness expert, Leslie is the glowing face of a fresher plant-based movement that refuses to compromise style for sustainability. Walking the plant-based talk since age eight, this Southern California native has always been well ahead of the times with her meatless mindset. She works as a consulting chef for hotels, resorts, and restaurants around the world and is currently the vegan chef at the Four Seasons, Punta Mita, Mexico. Once simply known as Leslie the lab girl with Bill Nye the science guy, Leslie took her love of education and shifted from science to plant based food. After establishing herself as a private chef for the NYC and Hollywood elite, Leslie emerged as a public persona, hosting cooking segments on television and online. Determined to inspire beneficial life-long eating habits for everyone, her show Accidentally Vegan can be seen on FABFITFUNTV and she regularly appears on The Doctors, Food Network, Discovery Channel, Hallmark Channel, and written for VegNews, CNN.com, Redbook, Glamour, and more, evangelizing the benefits of a mindful lifestyle, delivered with her trademark blend of sunshiney sophistication and girl-next-door relatability. Maxim Magazine wrote: “We want to hire Leslie as our own personal chef! We’ll even eat vegetables for her.”

An established animal advocate and proud rescue dog mom, Leslie is a founding Next Generation Board Member of the Humane Society of the United States.

Click here to learn more about Leslie

CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF ANTONIA LOFASO

MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2019, 2:45 PM - 3:30 PM, CENTER STAGE

Eat Well. Cook Well. Be Inspired.
Chef Antonia Lofaso, who has quickly become one of America’s most beloved chefs and is best known for her roles on Top Chef, CNBC’s Restaurant Startup, Cutthroat Kitchen, Iron Chef America, Best Thing I Ever Ate and most recently, and Food Network’s Guys Grocery Games. 
Her cuisine is an invitation to explore the depths of her interior world.  Her food elicits a curiosity that developed from stepping outside the suburbs of Long Island, and into the culturally diverse landscape of Los Angeles.​
Her belief that cavatelli and carnitas can co-exist seamlessly on the same menu conveys a sensibility, which is constantly evolving. But what remains in all of her dishes is a singular vision towards the future that longingly remembers the past.
Don't miss out and see her in action on Center Stage! 
ABOUT ANTONIA LOFASO

ABOUT ANTONIA LOFASO

Executive Chef & Restaurateur, DAMA, Scopa Italian Roots & Black Market Liquor Bar

Antonia Lofaso is a Chef, TV Personality, Cookbook Author and is the Executive Chef and Owner of Black Market Liquor Bar (Studio City, California), Scopa Italian Roots (Venice, California) and her newest concept, DAMA (Downtown Los Angeles, California), named as Downtown’s Most Exciting New Restaurant and Lounge by EATER LA and boasts “a menu of meticulously designed and executed dishes" that are “consistently good”(LA Times).

Her additional endeavors outside of the kitchen include Antonia Lofaso Catering and her chef wear line, CHEFLETICS, a lifestyle brand that creates the most fashion-forward, technology advanced, comfortable and beautifully designed culinary wear.

Throughout her career, Antonia has measured her success by her innate ability to understand her audience, while staying true to her own personality. She apprenticed under culinary legends and absorbed their sophisticated techniques, but was not afraid to take extraordinary risks to honor her instincts. After rising quickly through the ranks at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, she went on to transform various high-profile kitchens of Los Angeles.

Antonia has quickly become one of America’s most beloved chefs and is best known for her roles on Top Chef, CNBC’s Restaurant Startup, Cutthroat Kitchen, Iron Chef America, Best Thing I Ever Ate and most recently, Food Network’s Guys Grocery Games.

To learn more about Antonia Lofaso click here

 

 

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CULINARY DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF CHRIS ROBBINS

FEATURING "BUFFALO" DUCK WING CONFIT IN TANGERINE-SRIRACHA GLAZE WITH CELERY-CITRUS SALAD 

TUESDAY, AUGUST 27, 2019, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM, CENTER STAGE
Get ready for a unique experience with Chef Chris Robbins! His use of lesser-known ingredients such as furikake, hondashi, and Hamachi fish demonstrates his fearlessness with flavors. Similarly, his experimentation with liquid nitrogen at his restaurant LN2 illustrates his willingness to explore a multitude of cooking techniques and pull them off in the ultimate fashion. Stay tuned for Chef Robbins, who will bring his eccentric vision of food from LN2 to Center Stage! 

Chef Chris Robbins has been surrounded by the world of food since his early teen years. He began by washing dishes around the age of 17 and later developed enough skills in the kitchen to become an Executive Chef, restaurant owner and member of the Patina Restaurant Group. Although Robbin’s journey has been a successful one, it was anything but easy. Faced with trials and tribulations at such a young age, especially in regards to living with a bulimic mother, Robbins had the odds stacked against him. LN2 is a product of him “working every possible hour [he] could and devouring every cookbook [he] could get my hands on,” and the end result is a reflection of that dedication.

Named after the chemical symbol for liquid nitrogen, his restaurant LN2 is home to diverse culinary dishes created by himself and wife Mica Ray. A state-of-the-art wood-fired oven produces LN2’s signature pizzas in unique variations like caramelized fig, manila clams and white confit. However, it does not stop at the pizzas––Robbins and Ray add original spins to their menu by using liquid nitrogen as a freezing component to ice cream and as a demonstrable theatric when making cocktails. LN2, which was once a concept developed just 8 years ago, is at the forefront of the LA dining scene because of its quality products and fresh atmosphere.