The First and Only Female Iron Chef
Where you'll see her:
· Original Cinema & Forbidden Fruit
· The Flavors of Cat Cora
· Select Your Indulgences: Film Feasts
It's no surprise Cat Cora became a world renowned chef. Her culinary aspirations began at an early age, and by 15, she had developed a business plan for her own restaurant. In 2005, she made television history on Food Network's Iron Chef America as the first and only female Iron Chef, and in November 2006, Bon Appétit Magazine named her Executive Chef of the magazine.
She was raised in a small Greek community in Jackson, Mississippi. At the Cora house, it was common to eat spices from the South, as well as fresh sheep and goat 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. There is no doubt Cat's upbringing had an influence on her career, but it was the advice from her famous mentor Julia Child that set her on a path to becoming a professional chef.
Cat 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. A documentary, Cat's in the Kitchen was also made about her first James Beard dinner in April, 2002.
Prior to Iron Chef America, Cat was co-host of Food Network's Kitchen Accomplished, where she worked with a design expert and contractor to surprise a homeowner with a 3-day kitchen makeover. In 2006, Cat appeared alongside Wolfgang Puck in NBC's Primetime Miniseries, Celebrity Cooking Showdown, where celebrities were paired with famous chefs and competed in a timed cook-off à la Iron Chef.
With her recently launched second book, Cooking from the Hip: Fast, Easy, Phenomenal Meals, Cat elevates at home cooking to new levels. The book applies her "go-with-what-you've got" philosophy to creating simple, yet sensational meals.
Cat's signature restaurant, CCQ opened Dec. 2008 and was founded on the concept of fast-casual barbecue.
Outside of the kitchen, Cat is known for her philanthropy. She is President and Founder of Chefs for Humanity, an organization which was founded in response to the 2004 Tsunami disaster. The not-for-profit gathers the culinary community together to raise funds and provide resources for important emergency, educational and hunger-related causes. In addition to this, she recently became the nutritional spokesperson for UNICEF.
Cat resides in the Santa Barbara area with her family, including her biggest fans, her two sons.
Where you'll see him:
"Reality is a dirty word for me, I know it isn't for most people, but I am not interested. There's too much of it about."
Ken Russell was born in Southampton, England, in 1927. After short stints in the Royal Air Force and Merchant Navy, and a short but brilliant career in ballet dancing, he studied photography. His work appeared regularly in magazines for a few years from 1954. He moved into filmmaking with a silent movie (Peepshow) in1956, and Amelia and the Angel (1958). In 2008 a boxed set of five of the most famous of his TV films was released in the US as Ken Russell at the BBC, including Elgar and Song of Summer (Delius).
His first commercial films were French Dressing in 1963 and Billion Dollar Brain in 1967. Women in Love (1968), with its first nude wrestling scene and its Oscar for Glenda Jackson, and The Devils with Vanessa Redgrave and Oliver Reed, provocatively changed the landscape of filmmaking. Following these were The Boyfriend with Twiggy, Tommy with the Who (a box office smash which virtually invented the music video), and Altered States with William Hurt, a critically acclaimed science fiction film. Other films included The Music Lovers, Savage Messiah, Aria, Mahler - too many to list. In the 1980s he made more films, including Barry Sandler's exciting Crimes of Passion with Kathleen Turner and Tony Perkins, Gothic with Gabriel Byrne, and the camp classic Lair of the White Worm with Hugh Grant. He also made rock videos for Elton John, Bryan Adams and others.
In the'90s, he made many films for TV such as Road to Mandalay and the popular Lady Chatterley. In 1999, he started his Garagiste movement with his home-produced Gorsewood films, from Fall of the Louse of Usher and Mata Hari to the new Boudica Bites Back. He made the horror film Trapped Ashes in 2007. He continues to court controversy with Kitten for Hitler and is currently filming Bravetart. To date, Ken Russell has published 6 novels including Brahms Gets Laid, a book of film criticism, a book on directing and an autobiography. An updated autobiography, A British Picture, was published by Southbank Publishing in 2008. For the last two years, he has written a weekly column on film and art for the London Times. In 2006, a cache of 200 original Ken Russell photo-essays from the 1950s were rediscovered by Topfoto. Also in 2006, his house burned down. In 2007, Ken Russell improbably appeared in Celebrity Big Brother with Jermaine Jackson and Dirk Benedict. Ken Russell lives in Hampshire, England, in the New Forest with his wife Elise, who stars in his current films.
Where you'll see her:
Actress Glenn Close is a beloved and acclaimed performer, creating indelible characters on stage, screen and television. A Tony, Emmy, SAG, and Golden Globe award winner, she began her career on stage and in 1974 received her first Tony nomination for her Broadway appearance in Barnum. She is now the recipient of three Tony Awards for her performances in The Real Thing, Death and the Maiden and for the musical, Sunset Boulevard.
Close made her film debut in 1982's The World According to Garp, receiving an Academy Award nomination for her performance. She went on to receive four additional Oscar nominations for performances in The Big Chill, The Natural, Fatal Attraction and Dangerous Liaisons. Other popular films that she has appeared in include Jagged Edge, Reversal of Fortune, Air Force One, 101 Dalmatians, and its sequel.
For television, she won an Emmy Award for her TV film, Serving in Silence, a SAG Award, and a Golden Globe for her performance in Showtime's The Lion in Winter, and a Golden Globe for her new critically acclaimed FX drama series, Damages, of which the Los Angeles Times said, "Close's performance illuminates rather than outshines with its high wattage."
Close is a Trustee Emeritus of The Sundance Institute and a Trustee of The Wildlife Conservation Society.