Press Releases

Mar 9, 2016

Ready, Set, Sizzle: Finalists Set to Dish Out in a Live Cook-Off Competition at Chicago O’Hare International Airport

\"Channel Your Inner Chef\" winner will have recipe featured on O’Hare menu and win airfare and a trip to attend the HMSHost-sponsored James Beard Awards in Chicago

BETHESDA, MD — A diverse group of aspiring culinarians are set for a sizzling cook-off in front of a live audience inside of Chicago O’Hare International Airport’s Terminal 2 on March 22. Created by global restaurateur HMSHost in partnership with the Chicago Department of Aviation, the second annual Channel Your Inner Chef competition spotlights local flavor and celebrates the culinary innovation in the airport community.

Five selected finalists will compete in a 30-minute timed cook-off with the challenge of creating an original recipe from a bounty of ingredients revealed to them only at the start of the event. They will be judged by a diverse panel of aviation professionals and guests in the Chicago community.

Channel Your Inner Chef is a great way to celebrate our 2016 James Beard Awards sponsorship, and we’re thrilled to partner with the Chicago Department of Aviation to bring back this innovative, first-of-its-kind culinary contest to Chicago,” said HMSHost Vice President of Marketing Atousa Ghoreichi. “Given the popularity of the inaugural Channel Your Inner Chef event, HMSHost received a wide array of submissions that ranged from culinary students to amateur cooks vying to showcase their favorite dishes.”

The five finalists were selected among video entries received from across the nation and were judged by cooking technique, recipe, presentation, form, and showmanship.

The finalists hail from Los Angeles to Connecticut and places in between with dishes as diverse as the group. Submitted dishes included a grilled rack of lamb over parmesan creamy rice with an arugula and kale salad; chicken burgers with a twist; a unique take on Southern-style shrimp and grits; beef short ribs over pasta with butternut squash puree; and a recipe inspired by the Japanese dish Yakisoba. Finalists’ video submissions can be viewed at

Up for grabs for the winner is the chance to have his or her dish featured on the menu of an HMSHost-operated restaurant at O’Hare for all travelers and airport community to experience. The winner also receives two roundtrip airline tickets for a flight within the continental U.S. and a VIP trip for two to attend the James Beard Awards Gala on May 2, 2016 at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

“This competition is a wonderful way to include the traveling public and the airport community in the overall passenger experience at O’Hare International Airport,” said Ginger S. Evans, Commissioner, Chicago Department of Aviation. “It’s also an innovative way to bring new and exciting dishes to O’Hare’s restaurants and to highlight culinary talent from around the city and the country.”

Held post-security in O’Hare’s Terminal 2, this not-to-be-missed event is open to the traveling public and will feature live musical entertainment, a secondary stage with cooking demonstrations from HMSHost chefs, and sample dishes from HMSHost-operated restaurants at O’Hare.

Full details about Channel Your Inner Chef, can be found at

About HMSHost
Global restaurateur HMSHost is a world leader in creating dining for travel venues. HMSHost operates locations all over North America, and is part of Autogrill Group, the world's leading provider of food & beverage services for people on the move. Visit for more information.