BRAVO MEDIA TAKES CULINARY COMPETITION TO A NEW LEVEL WITH "AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 PLATES" PREMIERING ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 9 AT 10PM ET/PT
Co-Hosts Curtis Stone And Cat Cora Welcome Guest Judges Wolfgang Puck, José Andrés, Nigella Lawson, Narda Lepes and Alvin Leung "The Demon Chef"
NEW YORK -March 7, 2012 - Bravo Media serves up the most incredible culinary competition with "Around The World In 80 Plates" presented by Chase Sapphire Preferred premiering on Wednesday, May 9 at 10pm ET/PT. Hosted by food experts Curtis Stone and Cat Cora, the network's most ambitious production to date follows 12 chefs competing in a spectacular race over 40 days and across 10 countries including Argentina, China, England, France, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Thailand, United States and Uruguay. For a sneak peek at the series, visit: http://www.bravotv.com/around-the-world-in-80-plates/season-1/videos/a-new-culinary-adventure
In each episode, the contestants will travel to a different international city to learn the local customs, cultures and cuisines as they battle it out in two different cooking challenges testing their skills and determination. The first is "The Course" where the chefs race around each city performing high-pressured tasks with the winning team earning the "Exceptional Ingredient" which will give them an enormous advantage during the final elimination challenge. Ultimately, they will face-off in "The Takeover" testing not only their kitchen skills, but their customer service, teamwork and knowledge of local delicacies as they run local restaurants. World-renowned restaurateurs and celebrity chefs such as Wolfgang Puck, José Andrés, Nigella Lawson, Narda Lepes and Alvin Leung "The Demon Chef" will serve as Food Ambassadors each week giving the competing chefs an insight into the local food culture at each destination. The losing team will then self-eliminate who they believe was the weakest link in "The Takeover," resulting in one chef being sent home.
In the first episode, 12 chefs begin the journey of a lifetime in London, England where they are immersed in the local food culture. During "The Course," they race in a pub crawl to win the "Exceptional Ingredient," but tensions rise quickly for one team as they unsuccessfully navigate the confusing streets of London. Then each team must take over a Gastropub to serve up authentic dishes to Nigella Lawson who serves as this week's Food Ambassador to help the British locals choose a favorite restaurant.
The competing chefs are:
TWITTER HANDLE: @AllDicedUp
HOMETOWN: Los Angeles, CA currently resides in Sherman Oaks, CA
PROFESSION: Executive Chef/Owner, All Diced Up Catering, Sherman Oaks, CA
CULINARY EDUCATION: Los Angeles Culinary Institute Avery Pursell is the Executive Chef and Owner of All Diced Up, a boutique catering company in Los Angeles. Pursell was formally trained at the Los Angeles Culinary Institute and has had the opportunity to cook with several culinary masterminds including Gordon Ramsay and Marcel Vigneron, who helped expose her to different techniques and cuisines that she uses every day. Her passion for food stems from a long-standing family tradition of food enthusiasts and she continues to gain inspiration and knowledge by traveling, working closely with other talented chefs and creating fine-tuned dishes for each event she works. Avery is always looking for her next big move, next country to visit or cookbook to devour.
TWITTER HANDLE: @dacheezyjuan
HOMETOWN: Voorhees, NJ
PROFESSION: Chef de Cuisine at Fatty Crab in New York City
CULINARY EDUCATION: French Culinary Institute Chaz Brown is a passionate chef devoted to his culinary craft and strives to always be creative and inventive in the kitchen. After graduating from the French Culinary Institute, where Brown was credited as the Mid-Atlantic Chef of The Year in 2009, he went on to compete on Top Chef Season 9. Chaz is the Chef de Cuisine at Fatty Crab in New York City and hopes to one day open a restaurant dedicated to heat and smoke and broadening customer's palates.
TWITTER HANDLE: @claramoore314
HOMETOWN: St Louis, MO
PROFESSION: Chef and General Manager at Local Harvest Cafe and Catering, also teaches and writes about food
CULINARY EDUCATION: Cooking and Baking at Baltimore International College Clara Moore has realized one of her most sought after dreams at her current job with Local Harvest in St Louis - supporting local farmers, serving seasonal foods and creating a sustainable food community. Born and raised in the industry, Clara has worked at a wide variety of restaurants since the age of 15 - from a 24 hour diner to haute cuisine - and enjoys her 30 seat casual cafe the most. She finds food to be the single most important political, domestic and public issue and loves the opportunity to meld her passion with her values. Clara finds traditional cuisines the most interesting and hopes to continue travelling the world and eating street food everywhere she lands.
TWITTER HANDLE: @chefgary
HOMETOWN: Detroit, MI, resides in Chicago, IL
PROFESSION: Private Chef
CULINARY EDUCATION: Culinary Diploma 03 Institute of Culinary Education, New York, NY Detroit native, Gary Walker credits his mother for sparking the culinary passion that has led him to become a wildly successful Private Chef and owner of his own company, Cheflove in Chicago. Gary grew up spending endless hours in the kitchen, keenly observing his mother's elaborate meals and eventually taking on the responsibility of feeding the family at the age of 12 when she returned to the work-force. After graduating Wayne State University in Detroit, Gary embarked on a journey to New York City to chase his dreams and enroll in The Institute of Culinary Education. After working in some of the city's best food establishments and learning the ins and outs of the industry, Gary headed to Chicago to open Cheflove, where he has the opportunity to travel the globe preparing multicultural meals for his clients that are deeply rooted in home-style, using fresh, local and organic ingredients.
TWITTER HANDLE: @jennajohansen
HOMETOWN: Boulder, Colorado currently reside in Denver, CO
PROFESSION: Chef/Restaurateur, Cooking Class Instructor and Blogger: thelastthingweate.com
CULINARY EDUCATION: B. S. Restaurant and Resort Management from Colorado State University; A. O. S. Culinary Arts from Johnson & WalesColorado native Chef Jenna Johansen began her culinary career in a bakery at the age of 14. Since that first job, Jenna has learned every element of restaurant operations, from high volume corporate chef positions and waiting tables to working abroad and becoming the executive chef of several popular restaurants, including one that she co-owns. She gravitates towards independent restaurants with multiple opportunities for creativity and learning. Jenna's cuisine is global, simple, seasonal and surprising. Her ability to successfully cook multiple cuisines and knack for creatively marrying flavors has diners falling in love with her delicious and unique dishes.
TWITTER HANDLE: @johnvermig
HOMETOWN: Clinton Township, Michigan currently resides in Chicago, IL
PROFESSION: Executive Sous Chef, Table Fifty-two
CULINARY EDUCATION: Education: B.S. Culinary Arts, Johnson & Wales University John Vermiglio is a Midwesterner currently serving up Southern hospitality in Chicago. Born in Detroit, MI, John began his gastronomic career at the age of fourteen washing dishes in a bagel shop. Vermigilo's passion and drive for all things food originates from an innate commitment to serving people and eating. John is committed to his philosophy that there is really nothing that cannot be pickled. Vermigilo's dishes are locally focused and seasoned with the finest detail. John is looking forward to bringing his talents back to Detroit one day in a restaurant of his own.
TWITTER HANDLE: @chefkevenlee
HOMETOWN: Chatsworth, California
PROFESSION: Executive Chef and CEO of My World on a Plate Catering and Events.
CULINARY EDUCATION: C.I.A. (Culinary Institute of America) located in Hyde Park New York and Dominican Carlton Tivoli located in Luzern, Switzerland.
Keven A. Lee is an internationally-trained chef with degrees from some of the top culinary schools in the world including: New York's Culinary Institute of America and Dominican Carlton Tivoli located in Luzern, Switzerland. Lee expresses his culinary creativity by utilizing ingredients from all over the globe and describes his cuisine as an eclectic version of Classical French Mediterranean with strong Asian and Pacific Rim influences. Keven currently resides in California where he serves as Executive Chef and CEO of his own private events company, My World On A Plate.
TWITTER HANDLE: @lizontheline
HOMETOWN: Los Angeles, CA
PROFESSION: Chef de Cuisine, Hotel Wilshire, Los Angeles, CA
CULINARY EDUCATION: Self-trained Liz Garrett is currently the Chef de Cuisine of two properties at the Hotel Wilshire in Los Angeles, CA. After years in the fashion and retail industry, Liz decided to follow her dream and become a professional chef. One week into her externship at one of LA's most popular restaurants, The Foundry on Melrose, chef and owner, Eric Greenspan offered her a position on the line working garde mangier. Over the next two years, Liz relentlessly worked her way up and trained at every station, until she was promoted to Sous Chef. Now, in addition to running her own kitchen, she is also working on helping her mentor, Greenspan, to open Etage, a fine-dining restaurant located at the Hotel Wilshire. Liz is the most happy in the kitchen but also loves spending free time sleeping, entertaining friends and singing karaoke.
TWITTER HANDLE: @ChefevilNick
HOMETOWN: Burlington, Vermont currently resides in Chicago, IL
PROFESSION: Executive Chef of The Drawing Room, Chicago
CULINARY EDUCATION: Graduated from: New England Culinary Institute, 2002 Nick Lacasse has worked his way up the kitchen ladder in Vermont, Seattle, Portland Maine and Chicago for nearly 20 years. His food obsession began while working at Etta's in Seattle at the age of nineteen. Tom Douglas was a great influence, learning regionality, seasonality and discipline in the kitchen. The following year, Lacasse was awarded a scholarship to New England Culinary Institute and since graduating in 2002, has worked under four James Beard award winning chefs. In 2007 Nick, as Executive Chef, opened The Drawing Room in Chicago's Gold Coast to great acclaim. Lacasse's food style is very personal, a mix of progressive techniques, seasonality, with often an homage to the foods of his unfussy New England upbringing. A six month hiatus from the kitchen in 2005-06 introduced Nick to his second true love, travel. A new respect for the ceremony of cooking and eating with fellow travelers was born in ramshackle rooming houses. Nick currently resides in Chicago.
TWITTER HANDLE: @Lou_Nicole
HOMETOWN: San Jose, CA, currently resides in San Francisco, CA
PROFESSION: Chef at Bushi-Tei in San Francisco
CULINARY EDUCATION: A.O.S. from California Culinary Academy Nicole Lou's Vietnamese heritage and upbringing has always centered on food -- enjoying elaborate claypot cuisine, assembling egg rolls alongside her cousins and preparing duck that had been freshly slaughtered in the backyard. After years in a corporate cubicle, Lou enrolled in the California Culinary Academy where she began pursuing her interests of simple, global cuisine focusing on pork, offal and various styles of charcuterie. As a student, Lou apprenticed at the world-famous Nobu in New York City and later returned to the Bay Area where she worked her way up to Sous Chef for Robbie Lewis at Bacar. Her love of the pig brought her to Perbacco, where she helped Stefan Terje win the 2010 Cochon 555. Lou has extensive experience in Mediterranean, Japanese and Chinese cuisine, but would like to now focus on her Vietnamese roots. Nicole has plans to take time off and travel through Southeast Asia to learn more cooking techniques and eating rituals.
TWITTER HANDLE: @Chef_Sai
HOMETOWN: El Paso, TX
PROFESSION: Chef/Owner of Tara Thai in El Paso
CULINARY EDUCATION: Self-trained Sai Pituk is the chef and owner of Tara Thai, an upscale and classic Thai restaurant nestled in the heart of El Paso's trendy Cincinnati District, which specializes in fresh, authentic recipes utilizing her secret mother sauces of Asia. Her non-traditional tutelage under street cooks, restaurant owners and friends and family in Thailand have infused her cooking with a soul that is uniquely hers and authentic to the spirit of Southeast Asia. Tara Thai was named Best Restaurant of the Year by El Paso Style Magazine in 2009 and Sai was named "New Chef of the Year" in 2010 by the El Paso Times. Sai is also a veteran of the United States army.
STEVE POSTAL (AKA "NOOKIE")
TWITTER HANDLE: @chefnookie
HOMETOWN: Cambridge, Mass
PROFESSION: Executive Chef, Fenway Park
CULINARY EDUCATION: Cambridge School of Culinary Arts Steve (aka Nookie) is currently working as the Executive Chef for the Boston Red Sox. Nookie has worked in several different restaurants over the years but his career really took off when he opened Oleana with his mentor, Ana Sortun in 2001 with Nookie serving as sous chef. Nookie has worked at some of the best restaurants in the Boston/Cambridge area including Icarus, Chez Henri and Casablanca. Nookie is an extensive traveller having lived in Umbria for 6 months and Barcelona for a year. Nookie prides himself on cooking sustainable food with a strong focus on seasonality. If he were a food, he would be a cucumber because they are extremely versatile.
Bravo has a co-production partnership on the series with Chase Card Services a division of JPMorgan Chase & Co. [NYSE: JPM] that features Chase Sapphire Preferred, a premier affluent rewards card designed with premium travel and dining rewards and benefits. The strategic multi-media advertising deal, crafted by Bravo and Newcast, a division of ZenithOptimedia, places Chase Sapphire Preferred as the entitled sponsor to the series and delivers exclusive content and experiences to Chase Sapphire cardmembers and Chase Sapphire Facebook fans.
"Around the World in 80 Plates" is produced by the Emmy(R) Award-winning Magical Elves for Bravo with Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz serving as Executive Producers.
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