Catherine Ann "Cat" Cora (born April 3, 1967 in Jackson, Mississippi is an American professional chef best known for her featured role as an "Iron Chef" on the Food Network television show Iron Chef America[1] and as co-host of Around the World in 80 Plates on Bravo.

Cat-Cora Chefs-Coat-NEW preview-e1541016756935-portrait.jpg

Early life

Cora was born in Jackson, Mississippi, the daughter of Virginia Lee (née Brothers) and Spiro Pete Cora.[2][3] Her father was of Greek descent (her paternal grandparents were from Skopelos, Greece).[2][4] Her grandfather and father were both restaurateurs. When she was 15 years old, she brought a business plan to her father and grandfather, knowing they could help her.[1] Cora's style of cooking was influenced by Julia Child, Barbara Tropp, M.F.K. Fisher and her grandmother, Alma.


After receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Biology at the University of Southern Mississippi, she enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.[5] Cora has appeared on Simplify Your Life. She was also a co-host of the Food Network show Kitchen Accomplished.

In January 2005 Cora co-founded Chefs For Humanity,[6] which describes itself as "a grassroots coalition of chefs and culinary professionals guided by a mission to quickly be able to raise funds and provide resources for important emergency and humanitarian aid, nutritional education, and hunger-related initiatives throughout the world."[7] She has also participated in charity wine auctions held by Auction Napa Valley.[8]

In 2006 she was hired as a paid spokesperson for InSinkErator Evolution series garbage disposals.[9] Cora is also Executive Chef for Bon Appétit magazine[10] and a UNICEF spokesperson.[11] In March 2006, Cora was the Grand Marshal for Hal and Mal's St. Paddy's Parade in her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi.[12] In the September 2006 issue of FHM, Cora was featured in the cooking section, where she demonstrated various recipes using items purchased from a convenience store. Cat Cora also belongs to Macy's Culinary Councils, amongst Tyler Florence, Rick Bayless, and others. She has worked as an entertainer for The Olivia Companies, a travel company catering to the lesbian market.[13]

In 2008, Cora had a voice role for the video game Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine.[14]

The eponymous Cat Cora,[15] a new bar and lounge style restaurant, opened at Terminal 2 at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in April 2011. Later in 2011, a Cat Cora's Kitchen was opened in Terminal E of the Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). Cora also operates Kouzzina by Cat Cora at Disney's Boardwalk Resort at The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL.

Cora opened The Ocean Restaurant at the S.E.A. Aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa off Singapore in February 2013. The 63 seat restaurant is inside the world's largest oceanarium and has stunning views of deep-sea wildlife from every table.

Cora is currently the co-host of the show Around the World in 80 Plates an American reality competition show that premiered on May 9, 2012 on the Bravo cable TV network.[16]

Personal life

Cora is a lesbian and has four sons – Zoran, Caje, Thatcher, and Nash – with her wife, Jennifer. Jennifer bore the first three; Cat gave birth to Nash three months after Thatcher was born.[17][18] She currently resides in the Santa Barbara, California area with her family.


  • Culinary Hall of Fame Induction.[19]


Year Title Role
2004 Kitchen Accomplished Host
2005-2012 Iron Chef America Iron Chef
2006 Celebrity Cooking Showdown Herself
2007 Chef's Story Herself
2007 The Next Food Network Star Guest Judge
2008 The Next Iron Chef Guest Judge
2009–Present The Best Thing I Ever Ate Herself
2010 MasterChef (U.S. TV series) Guest Judge
2011 Top Chef: Just Desserts Guest Judge
2012 Top Chef Guest Judge
2012 Around the World in 80 Plates Co-host
2012 Chopped All-Stars Contestant
2012 Miss USA 2012 Judge
2013 Eastbound & Down Guest Chef
2014 America's Best Cook Mentor
2014 Food Fighters Herself


  1. 1.0 1.1 Yancey, Kitty Bean. "'Iron Chef' Cat Cora is out of the bag", USA Today, March 31, 2006.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named finda1
  3. Yancey, Kitty Bean. "What's cookin' with 'Iron Chef' Cat Cora", USA Today, April 5, 2006.
  4. Iron Chef Cat Cora Aligns with Greek Food Line in News & Opinion on The Food Channel®.
  5. Food Network profile.
  6. Chefs For Humanity: About Us
  7. Chefs For Humanity: Home page
  8. Auction Napa Valley.
  9. Rovito, Rich. "Elevating the garbage disposal", The Business Journal of Milwaukee, July 28, 2006.
  10. Cat Cora Named Executive Chef of Bon Appétit Magazine, PR Newswire, August 9, 2006.
  11. "Chefs for Humanity president Cat Cora joins UNICEF as spokesperson", UNICEF, January 20, 2006.
  12. Lucas, Sherry. "Iron Chef to lead Mal's St. Paddy's Day Parade", The Clarion-Ledger, January 1, 2006
  13. The Olivia Companies.
  14. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named IMDBbio
  15. T2 Concessions.
  16. Brown, Rob. season1. Bravotv.
  17. Belge, Kathy. Cat and Jennifer Cora.
  18. YouTube Interview with Cat Cora. YouTube.
  19. Culinary Hall of Fame Induction

External links

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