Name: Cat Cora
Cuisine: Greek & Mediterranean
Background: With rich Greek heritage, Cat Cora is from Jackson Mississippi raised in a family of restauranteurs. She created her first restaurant’s business plan at age 15. After receiving a degree in Physiology and Biology, Cat went to the Culinary Institute of America in New York which, interestingly enough, would give her the opportunity to learn from Larry Forgione (Iron Chef Marc Forgione’s father).
She continued her education in Europe, learning from several mastered chefs in France, and returned to New York as a sous chef at The Old Chatham Shepherding Company. After deciding to head west, Cat served as Chef de Cuisine at Napa Valley’s Bistro Don Giovanni and began her television debut with the Food Network.
Cora went on to open Kouzzina, located in Disney World as well as Cat Cora’s Kitchen, a trendy lounge-style restaurant located in terminals at the San Fransisco and Houston airports. Furthermore, Cora opened CCQ (short for “Cat Cora ‘Que”) which features her bold southern cuisine and seasonings.
Personal Style: In response to the tsunami of 2004, Cora co-founded Chef’s for Humanity, a relief organization modeled after Doctors Without Borders. Cat’s generosity and philanthropic nature are synonymous with her ambition as a chef and her love for people. Openly gay, Cora lives in Santa Barbara with her partner and four sons and continues to give back to the community through her foundation and connection with her fans.
- 2004: Named Nutritional Spokesperson for her “Chefs for Humanity” efforts by UNICEF
- 2006: Teacher of the Year Award by Bon Appetit magazine
- 2010: Joined Michelle Obama in “Chefs Move to Schools” campaign
- Kouzzina by Cat Cora, Walt Disney World
- Cat Cora’s Kitchen, SFO Airport, San Francisco, CA & Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston, TX
- Cat Cora’s Classics with a Twist
- Cooking From the Hip
- Cat Cora’s Kitchen
- Food & Wine
- FREE Cat Cora recipes featured on catcora.com