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[09/13/11 - 08:44 AM]
Celebrity Chef, Stephanie Izard, Named Official Chef of the "CMT Artists of the Year" Event, Premiering in December
"I cannot wait to hear who will be in attendance this year and create a menu that I feel best represents those honored," said the "Top Chef" winner.

[via press release from CMT]

CELEBRITY CHEF, STEPHANIE IZARD, NAMED OFFICIAL CHEF OF THE "CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR" EVENT, PREMIERING IN DECEMBER

CMT Taps "Top Chef" Winner to Prepare Gourmet Meals Inspired by Country Music's Five Biggest Stars of 2011

NASHVILLE - September 13, 2011 - James Beard Award Nominee and one of Food & Wine magazine's "Best New Chefs," Stephanie Izard, will be the official chef of the second annual CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR event, it was announced today by John Hamlin, Senior Vice President, Music Events and Talent for CMT. The critically-acclaimed celebrity chef of Chicago's Girl & the Goat restaurant will come to Nashville to create a one-of-a-kind menu with gourmet dishes in honor of CMT's top five country music artists of the year. The 90-minute special premieres on CMT and CMT.com this December.

"Stephanie Izard is a rock star in her own right," said Hamlin. "She's an immensely talented chef who understands the pressure of creating a unique experience for a high profile crowd. The Nashville music community is in for one incredible evening with Stephanie in the kitchen, making this event, once again, the hottest ticket in town."

Izard is the first solo-featured chef to prepare the event's signature gourmet meals for over 300 industry guests, including the evening's honorees and celebrities from across the entertainment spectrum. Each year, CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR brings five honorees together with their peers, for a glamorous evening of culinary wonders and star-studded performances from the country world and beyond, all in celebration of the past year's successes.

"I am very excited to be involved with CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR and to have the opportunity to work with such accomplished and talented musicians," said Izard. "I cannot wait to hear who will be in attendance this year and create a menu that I feel best represents those honored. Musical performances are a lot like cooking; it is all about enticing various senses to create a unique experience for others."

The 2011 CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR honorees will be announced in early October. Last year's honorees included Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift and Zac Brown Band. Special guests included host Kevin Costner; performers Maroon 5, Joe Perry, Darius Rucker, Adele and Amos Lee; and presenters Cat Cora, Smokey Robinson, Kix Brooks, Kid Rock, Martina McBride, Hayley Williams and Randy Owen. For more information as it becomes available, follow CMT on Twitter (@FollowCMT) with hashtag #CMTAOTY, Facebook, or download CMT's mobile app, CMT Insider, at www.cmt.com/app.

CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR honorees are chosen by ranking the top five artists based on the following criteria: sales (physical albums, digital albums, and single downloads); country radio airplay based on spins; concert grosses as a headliner or co-headliner; and activity on CMT.com (video streams, searches, and artist page views). The rankings are then compiled to identify the leading performers across the four categories cumulatively. CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR is executive-produced by John Hamlin and Margaret Comeaux for CMT.

Selected as one of the Best New Chefs in 2011 by Food & Wine, Stephanie Izard is the chef and partner of the Chicago restaurant Girl & the Goat. A 2011 James Beard ´┐ŻBest New Restaurant' finalist, Girl & the Goat has been praised by high-profile publications such as Saveur, New York Times, Food & Wine, Better Homes and Gardens, Chicago Tribune, Time Out Chicago, Chicago Magazine and Chicago Reader. Stephanie is a graduate of University of Michigan and the Scottsdale Culinary Institute, and has worked in some of the most respected kitchens in Chicago including La Tache, Spring, and Vong. She previously owned the highly acclaimed restaurant Scylla, which she sold just prior to appearing on and winning Season Four of Bravo's Top Chef.

Izard's first book, Girl in the Kitchen, publishes October 5, 2011 (Chronicle). In October 2011, Stephanie will launch the "Goat Tour," where she will partner with her chef friends and Share Our Strength to bring her food and her book around the country in one-of-a-kind dinners. Tour markets and dates to come. Stephanie Izard is represented by ROAR, a Beverly Hills-based talent and brand management company.

CMT, a unit of Viacom's MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B), is the leading television and digital authority on country music and entertainment, reaching more than 93 million homes in the U.S. CMT and its website, CMT.com, offer an unparalleled mix of music, news, live concerts and series and is the top resource for country music on demand. The network's digital platforms include the 24-hour music channel, CMT Pure Country, CMT Mobile and CMT VOD.





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