Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, best known as head judge of Bravo’s “Top Chef” reality show, will get in the celebratory spirit at the National Restaurant Association’s first annual Restaurants Rock in Chicago party next month. Chef Colicchio will serve as the celebrity chef host at the official NRA Show industry celebration, which will be held on May 22 during the annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show .
Held at Chicago’s LaSalle Power Company, Restaurants Rock is the official party of the NRA Show and International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event (IWSB) and will celebrate the spirit of the restaurant and hospitality industry. The event will feature the Star of the Bar finalists in a live mixology competition, where the winner will be selected by a panel of judges that includes chef Tom Colicchio and master mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim, in addition to live musical entertainment by local favorite Hairbanger’s Ball, outstanding food and fantastic cocktails.
“The NRA Show is the number-one industry event to explore new business opportunities, but it’s also about showing our excitement for food, drink and hospitality,” says C.W. Craig Reed, convention chair for this year’s NRA Show 2011. “This year we are throwing a party to celebrate everything that we are as an industry, and we are thrilled to welcome Chef Colicchio as the host of this exciting event. We are also proud to help support our future industry leaders with a portion of the proceeds from the event going to the ProStart program.”
Colicchio has been the head judge on every season of the Bravo reality TV show “Top Chef.” He also serves as the consulting producer on Bravo's spin-off series "Top Chef Masters." Colicchio cofounded the Gramercy Tavern in New York City, serving as a co-owner and as the executive chef. He is currently the founder and co-owner of Craft, Craftbar and Craftsteak in several cities, and ‘whichcraft sandwich shops. Colicchio is also the recipient of five James Beard Foundation Medals.
Proceeds from Restaurants Rock will benefit the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s ProStart program , an industry-driven high school curriculum that provides real-world educational opportunities and builds practical skills for 90,000 students nationwide.
Restaurants Rock will be held on Sunday, May 22, 9 p.m. until midnight. IWSB attendees receive complimentary access to Restaurants Rock, but must sign up online to receive tickets. Non-IWSB attendees may purchase tickets for $50. Space is limited and tickets are given out on a first come, first served basis.
The annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show—held May 21-24 at Chicago’s McCormick Place—is the largest and most comprehensive global gathering of restaurant, foodservice and lodging professionals. The event attracts tens of thousands of attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 100+ countries, and showcases more products, services, innovative ideas and other growth opportunities than any other industry event. For more information, visit the Show website at www.restaurant.org/show.