First Female Chef Inducted in the American Academy of Chefs® Culinary Hall of Fame
As a prominent figure in the culinary community, Cat Cora made television history in 2005 when she became the first and only female Iron Chef on Food Network’s Iron Chef America.Since then, Cora has continued to evolve her craft to become an accomplished author, restaurateur, contributing editor, avid philanthropist, television host and proud mother of four.
As a successful restaurateur, Cora previously opened Cat Cora’s Que situated in South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California as well Cat Cora’s Kitchen with three locations including San Francisco International Airport, George Bush International Airport and Salt Lake City International Airport which is also home to Cat Cora’s Kitchen Gourmet Market. The acclaimed chef collaborated with Disney to create, Kouzzina by Cat Cora, a Mediterranean restaurant located at Disneyworld Boardwalk in Orlando,Florida.
Growing up in an small Greek community in Jackson, Mississippi, where she developed a passion for the culinary arts while watching her family and relatives infuse Southern spices with Mediterranean delicacies, Cat Cora acted on advice from her mentor Julia Child and left for New York as a young adult to study at the Culinary Institute of America. She continued her culinary education in Europe, completing apprenticeships from two of France’s renowned three-star Michelin chefs, and eventually returned to New York before travelling west to Napa Valley, California.
As a philanthropist, Cora has founded Chefs for Humanity, a non-profit dedicated to reducing hunger worldwide by supporting humanitarian relief and promoting nutrition education.
In July 2012, she became the first female chef to be inducted into the American Academy of Chefs® Culinary Hall of Fame.