About Cat Cora
Cat Cora is a world-renowned chef, author, restaurateur, contributing editor, television host and personality, actress, avid philanthropist, health and fitness expert, lifestyle entrepreneur and proud mother of six.
The Jackson, Mississippi native has been captivating audiences since she made her TV debut in 1999, as co-host of Food Network’s Melting Pot with Rocco Di Spirito. She went on to host My Country My Kitchen: Greece, Date Plate, and was one of the featured hosts on Fine Living’s Simplify Your Life.
Cat later made television history in 2005 when she became the first-ever female Iron Chef on Food Network’s hit show: Iron Chef America. Since then, she shattered the glass ceiling as one of the first females to dominate the historically male culinary industry. After Cat’s Iron Chef debut, she was featured extensively on a number of television shows, most recently as co-host on BRAVO’s “Around the World in 80 Plates” as well as FOX’s “My Kitchen Rules.”
In 2006, Cat was awarded Bon Appetit Magazine’s “Teacher of the Year Award” and was named the Executive Chef of the magazine. Since then, she has blazed her own trail through the culinary world, becoming the first female inducted into The American Academy of Chefs Culinary Hall of Fame.
Cat has opened more than 18 restaurants across the U.S. and globally, namely Cat Cora’s Kitchen, located in numerous locations throughout the U.S., Ocean by Cat Cora, an award-winning restaurant in Singapore, Cat Cora’s Taproom located in the Detroit Metro Airport, Cat Cora’s Gourmet Market in Salt Lake City’s International Airport, Kouzzina by Cat Cora at Disney World, CCQ at Macy’s, OLILO by Cat Cora in partnership with Aramark and Mesa Burger which can be found in Santa Barbara, CA. She is currently busy focusing on her newest restaurant, Fatbird Southern Kitchen and Bar, which recently opened with much success in the Meatpacking District of New York, NY.
Cat continues to be a leader in her industry as she masterfully synchronizes her award-winning talents with mainstream accessibility, all while she
evolves into a space beyond the culinary world.
Cat’s upbringing in Jackson, Mississippi’s intimate Greek community had an incalculable influence on her career. Raised by a family for whom cooking and eating were the center of life, meals at the Cora house often combined spices from the South with fresh cheeses and home-cured olives sent by relatives from the island of Skopelos. Her first cookbook, Cat Cora’s Kitchen was inspired by her Greek and Southern heritage and contains many of her family’s favorite recipes.
In her second book, Cooking From The Hip: Fast, Easy, Phenomenal Meals, Cat elevates at home cooking to new levels, applying her “go-with-what-you’ve got” philosophy to creating simple, yet sensational meals. Cat’s third cookbook, Classics With a Twist: Fresh Takes on Favorite Dishes (Houghton Mifflin, June 2010) showcases her signature fast and healthy approach to family-friendly recipes from around the world.
Cat resides in the Santa Barbara area with her partner and biggest fans, her six sons.
COOKING FOR A CAUSE
Outside the kitchen, Cat is known for her philanthropy. She is President and Founder of Chefs for Humanity, an organization that originated in response to the 2004 Tsunami disaster. Modeled after Doctors Without Borders, the not-for-profit gathers the culinary community together to raise funds and provide resources for important emergency, educational and hunger-related causes. Recognizing Cat’s altruistic determination in the food world, UNICEF named her a nutritional spokesperson to help raise awareness for humanitarian crises around the world.
In June 2010, Cat joined First Lady Michelle Obama as part of her Chefs Move To Schools campaign in an effort to provide nutritional guidance and education from professional chefs to schools nationwide.
Cat traveled to Ethiopia in February 2012 with Save the Children to help shed light on the side of the global child hunger crisis that doesn’t make headlines. The trip included visits to Save the Children programs in the region that promote solutions to the chronic malnutrition crisis.
To date, Cora has successfully launched several unique restaurant concepts. In 2008, she partnered with Macy’s to open Cat Cora’s Que (CCQ), a casual barbeque restaurant featuring her favorite takes on global BBQ located in South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California. In 2009, Cora collaborated with Disney to launch Kouzzina by Cat Cora at Disney’s Board Walk Resort in Orlando, Florida. Kouzzina’s menu was a tribute to Cora’s heritage and featured her time-honored Mediterranean family recipes and personal Greek favorites. Kouzzina closed in 2014, but plans are under consideration to bring Kouzzina to another location.
In 2011, Cora unveiled Cat Cora’s Kitchen, a sophisticated dining option for airport travelers, in Virgin’s Terminal 2 at the San Francisco International Airport. She opened locations at the George Bush International Airport in Houston Salt Lake City International Airport, with a new Cat Cora’s Kitchen slated that opened at Atlanta International Airport in 2015. In conjunction with Cat Cora’s Kitchen at the Salt Lake City International Airport, Cora opened Cat Cora’s Gourmet Market in March 2012, which offers travelers healthy and organic takeaway options.
Cat also recently joined RWS Resorts to launch “Ocean By Cat Cora” on Sentosa Island in Singapore.
In September 2010, Cat and Disney Online launched Muppets Kitchen, a series of webisodes featuring Cat and co-hosted by a spicy Italian Muppet named Angelo. With the help of Muppet friends, Cat and Angelo are helping families rediscover time together through the joy of cooking. Launched in conjunction with Muppets Kitchen is HastyTasty Cooking Tips With Cat Cora and the Muppets. These instructional webisodes provide moms with advice on how to get their kids excited about cooking as well as step-by-step instructions for preparing nutritious meals the whole family will love.
In 2011, Cora launched her first line of cookware with Starfrit, Canada’s leading purveyor of kitchen preparation products. The Cat Cora by Starfrit line emphasizes clever, eco-friendly cookware and kitchen essentials to make mealtimes easy for the at-home cook. Her Starfrit product line includes; The Cook N’ Serve Casseroles, Acacia Utensils, Cutlery and Silicone Tools. She also has two thriving food lines under the Cat Cora’s Kitchen name: the first, Cat Cora’s Kitchen by Gaea, features preservative-free all natural products like olives and olive oil from Greece; and the other, by manufacturer Grecian Delight Foods, Inc., features healthy Mediterranean flatbreads, dips and spreads. In addition, Cora has her own collection of wines under the Coranation label.
In 2013, Cora partnered with MOZO Shoes to create her first signature shoe line, comprised of two different styles for women.
In 2012, Cora released her new iPad app entitled “Cat Cora’s Kitchen.” Cat’s app is a robust and powerful tool that enables home cooks of every skill level to plan, prepare and serve individual dishes or complete menus from her repertoire with absolute confidence. Video tutorials, a sophisticated easy-to-use scheduling feature, and an intuitive and user-friendly interface ensure that the home cook has everything necessary to succeed in the kitchen and bring a single dish or a multi-course meal to the table on time and cooked to perfection.