(Chicago) The National Restaurant Association today announced the winner of its "Hot Chef" Challenge on YouTube – Chef Keith Snow, President and Founder of HarvestEating.com in Greenville, S.C. Snow's winning video featured him preparing "wild-caught margarita fire shrimp with South Carolina plantation rice," using locally sourced ingredients and tequila. Snow will receive a trip to the 2008 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show – to be held May 17-20 in Chicago – and a spot in the Culinary Scene showcase among celebrity chefs and leading culinarians from around the world to share his passion for food and cooking with Show attendees. His appearance in the Culinary Scene is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 17, and his video will also be featured on the NRA Show Web site, www.restaurant.org/show.
"Locally sourced, seasonal and sustainable ingredients are among the top menu trends in restaurants, and Chef Snow demonstrated how to complement and marry those flavors with another on-trend ingredient —beverage alcohol," said William C. Anton, FMP, convention chairman for the 2008 Show, and chairman and founder of Anton Airfood, Inc. "We are all excited to see him in action among some of the most celebrated chefs in our industry at NRA Show 2008 and hope his ideas help enhance dining experiences."
Snow, 40, lives on a small farm on the border between North Carolina and South Carolina. Like many of his peers in the restaurant field, he was an early proponent of cooking seasonally with locally farmed ingredients for both optimum flavor and nutrition. Many chefs support local, sustainable farming, and an increasing number of restaurants are introducing the concept to their patrons. At Harvest Eating.com, Chef Snow takes the message of sustainable cuisine online, while also providing excellent cooking instruction in a relaxed approach that is accessible, encouraging and fun. He started cooking at age 14 and worked in the restaurant and foodservice industry for more than twenty years.
"I'm passionate about the importance of cooking with wholesome foods grown locally and in season," says Chef Snow. "Our site provides all the tools needed to enjoy cooking and adopt a healthy lifestyle that is beneficial for everyone, including local farmers."
The runners-up in the Association's "Hot Chef" Challenge on YouTube are John Hughes, executive chef and owner of Windows on the Water in Kennebunk, Maine; and Don Hensley, corporate chef for Martin Bros. Distributing in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
For the Association's "Hot Chef" Challenge, professional chefs and home cooks alike were encouraged to submit short videos of themselves preparing their favorite recipes using trendy food and beverage alcohol ingredients. Each video had to include one food item and one alcohol item (as an ingredient or as a pairing with a dish) from the Association's What's Hot… What's Not chef survey, available at www.restaurant.org/Downloads/PDFs/News-Research/200711chefsurvey.pdf. YouTube users voted for the top three videos, and the winner was then be selected by an Association panel.
The Culinary Scene features a custom-built demonstration kitchen in which trend-setter chefs such as Rick Bayless, Grady Spears, Charlie Ayers and Govind Armstrong will perform culinary showcases throughout the four Show days.
Now in its 89th year, the annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest single gathering of restaurant, foodservice and lodging professionals in the Western Hemisphere. The 2008 Show will be held May 17-20, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. The Show attracts 2,000+ exhibiting companies and 70,000 attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 115 countries. More information can be found on the Show Web site at www.restaurant.org/show.
Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises more than 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 14.4 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We operate the industry's largest trade show (NRA Show May 20-23, 2017, in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart); as well as the Kids LiveWell program promoting healthful kids' menu options. For more information, visit Restaurant.org and find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.