All the world’s a stage as the saying goes, but the Chef Demo Stage in the designated Central Park of the New York Produce Show will be THE place to be Wednesday, December 6th, at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City.
Now in its 14th year, the NYPS will continue a favorite feature by launching Chef Demonstrations starting at 11:00 a.m. Spotlighted first is CHEF WALKS FIRST (Jessica Pamonicutt), Executive Chef and Owner, Ketapanen Kitchen, Chicago.
Native Executive Chef Pamonicutt, classically trained at Le Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts, brings healthy indigenous fusion cuisine to the forefront of Chicago’s culinary scene with Ketapanean Kitchen, a ground-breaking Native American Pop-Up Kitchen and Catering Company.
A member of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, she was born on the reservation and raised in Chicago, immersed in a communal setting where food was the centerpiece of life. Ketapanen, an expression of love in the Menominee language, embodies her mission. The menu offers traditional and modern indigenous dishes, and familiar ones featuring locally sourced Indigenous ingredients.
Pamonicutt partners with organizations across the Great Lakes Region to address issues such as food access, food sovereignty, food justice and healthy eating. She is Chef Partner of The Trotter Project, an educational partner of Pilot Light, and a board member of The American Indian Center of Chicago.
Next in the rousing Chef Demo lineup at 12:30 p.m., is CHEF DAINA SOTO-SELLERS of Johnson & Wales University, Charlotte Campus. She is a science-driven chef with more than 20 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, both front- and back-of-house. Her experience includes catering, casual, fine dining and hotel environments in Puerto Rico, Saipan, St. Thomas USVI, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, and Boston. She has been a full-time culinary instructor at Johnson & Wales University Charlotte since 2015 and previously taught in Puerto Rico, her birthplace.
Chef Soto-Sellers has a master’s degree in Culinary Innovation and Food Product Development from the Dublin Institute of Technology in Ireland. She also trained with research and development chefs at the Basque Culinary Center in San Sebastian, Spain. She currently teaches courses for the Culinary Nutrition Program (Applied Nutrition, Vegetarian and Food Science).
CHEF MING TSAI, Founder of Ming’s Bings, is the featured chef for the 2:30 p.m. demonstrations. He is a James Beard and Emmy Award-Winner, philanthropist, TV personality, and entrepreneur. Chef Tsai is the creator of award-winning restaurants, author of five cookbooks, was host and executive producer of the longest-running cooking series on PBS, Simply Ming, and he just shot a new miniseries titled Simply Ming: Better For You.
In 2022, Tsai joined the cast of five world-class chefs in the Netflix series Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend. In 2020, he launched an East-meets-West frozen food line, MingsBings. They are now available in more than 5,000 grocery stores nationwide, and at iconic venues such as Fenway Park, Tropicana Field, and Hard Rock Stadium. He is the chairman of the National Advisory Board for Family Reach, and an ambassador for World Central Kitchen, along with his long-term support of numerous charitable causes.
Produce-centric dishes will be prepared by all three chefs and tastings will be available.
“Chef Demonstrations have been an attendee favorite for many years at the New York Produce Show,” says Ken Whitacre, a NYPS founder, and CEO/Publisher of Produce Business. Hosted with the Eastern Produce Council, Produce Business encourages participation in the seven-hour trade show held December 6th. “New York City is known for being the business focal point of the world and this New York Produce Show is a well-appreciated, and well-attended event.” Whitacre adds, “It’s genuinely international as we have industry experts participating as speakers and panelists and exhibiting from all over the world. It’s a joy and privilege to present this to the industry.”