Press Releases

Mar 13, 2017

Live Cooking Showdown Set to Sizzle at Chicago O’Hare International Airport

Five finalists will battle it out to have their dish featured at an O’Hare airport restaurant and receive VIP trip for two to the 2017 HMSHost-sponsored James Beard Awards in Chicago

CHICAGO — An eclectic group of aspiring chefs from across the country are set for a sizzling cook-off competition in front of a live audience at Chicago O’Hare International Airport on March 21. Created by global restaurateur HMSHost, in partnership with the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA), Channel Your Inner Chef is a unique, multi-phase cooking contest that spotlights local flavors and culinary talent and celebrates HMSHost’s sponsorship of the 2017 James Beard Awards.

“Channel Your Inner Chef is a unique innovative event brought to you through the collaborative partnership of HMSHost and the Chicago Department of Aviation,” said HMSHost Vice President of Marketing Atousa Ghoreichi. “The third installment of Channel Your Inner Chef brings new twists, featuring a diverse group of finalists, an esteemed judging panel, and chef demonstrations and tastings.”

Five finalists were selected from across the nation to face off in this 30-minute timed cook-off, right in O’Hare’s Terminal 2. Their challenge is to create an original recipe from a bounty of fresh, locally sourced ingredients, generously provided by local supplier Midwest Foods, and revealed to them only at the start of the event. They will be judged by an acclaimed panel of aviation professionals and renowned food experts, including James Beard award winner and One Off Hospitality Group Chef and Partner Paul Kahan and James Beard Foundation President Susan Ungaro.

Video submissions to this year’s competition were expansive and ranged from culinary students to amateur cooks showcasing their favorite dishes. Five finalists were selected among video entries received that were judged by cooking technique, recipe, presentation, form, and showmanship.

While this year’s five finalists come from diverse backgrounds, each is equally enthusiastic about cooking. Their submitted dishes included traditional plates with modern twists and their own flair such as a crab cake benedict, a spicy Alfredo manicotti, and a pork tenderloin accompanied by a cabbage and carrot slaw. Finalists’ video submissions can be viewed at ChannelYourInnerChef.com.

This year’s Channel Your Inner Chef winner is vying for the chance to have his or her dish featured on the menu of an HMSHost-operated restaurant at O’Hare for all travelers to experience. The winner will also receive two roundtrip airline tickets for a flight within the continental U.S. and a VIP trip to the James Beard Awards Gala on May 1, 2017 at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Held post-security in O’Hare’s Terminal 2 for the third year in a row, this not-to-be-missed event is open to the traveling public and features live musical entertainment, HMSHost chef cooking demonstrations and sample tastings from HMSHost-operated restaurants at O’Hare. Those not at O’Hare can watch the event action streaming live on Facebook at Facebook.com/HMSHost and follow along at #CYIC2017.

Learn more about HMSHost’s Channel Your Inner Chef at ChannelYourInnerChef.com.

About HMSHost
Global restaurateur HMSHost is a world leader in creating dining for travel venues. HMSHost operates in more than 120 airports around the globe and at more than 80 travel plazas in North America. HMSHost is a part of Autogrill Group, the world's leading provider of food & beverage services for people on the move.