Cat Cora made television history last year on the Food Network's "Iron Chef America" as the first and only female "Iron Chef." Based upon the format of the Japanese cult sensation, "Iron Chef," America carries on the legend of the kitchen stadium as world-class chefs battle the legendary Iron Chefs of America -- Bobby Flay, Mario Batali, Masaharu Morimoto, and now, Cat Cora.
She also co-hosted the Food Network show, "Kitchen Accomplished" and Food Network's "Melting Pot" with fellow chef Rocco Di Spirito. She was also the host of "My Country, My Kitchen: Greece," and she was one of the featured hosts on Fine Living's "Simplify Your Life." She is featured in a documentary "Cat's in the Kitchen" by director-producer Scott France about her first James Beard dinner that took place in April, 2002. Cora will also be featured in a new series for PBS called Chef's Story, co-produced by Full Plate Media and the same company that created "Inside the Actor's Studio".
Cora's first published cookbook was "Cat Cora's Kitchen" and she is currently working on a second one -- "Cooking from the Hip."
On the humanitarian front, Cora is the President and Founder of Chefs for Humanity, which was developed in response to the tsunami tragedy. It is a national grassroots coalition of culinary professionals who raise funds and resources in response to circumstances that put any group of people in a country in need of humanitarian relief. In addition to this, she recently became the nutritional spokesperson for UNICEF 2006 with a focus on Malawi, Africa
Cora was raised in a small Greek community in Jackson, Mississippi, by a family who held strongly to their Greek and Southern heritage that included traditions, celebrations, and food. Both her grandfather and godfather were restaurateurs and by the time she was 15, she had already presented a business plan to them for her very own restaurant.
Leaving Mississippi for New York, Cora got the education of her dreams at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park on the advice of a famous mentor, Julia Child. Cora's culinary education continued in Europe with apprenticeships with two of France's three-star Michelin chefs: Georges Blanc and Roger Verge. After returning to New York, Cora worked as a sous chef at the Old Chatham Shepherding Company Inn under Chef Melissa Kelly before heading west to plant her roots in Northern California as Chef de Cuisine in Napa Valley's Bistro Don Giovanni. Cora has plans for her own signature restaurant in 2007.
Cat has appeared on "The Today Show", "Regis and Kelly" and "The Tony Danza Show" and has been fortunate enough to cook for such luminaries as Jacques Pepin, Robert Mondavi, Wolfgang Puck and Bill Gates.