The next University Lecture Series (ULS) speaker’s accomplishments are just as numerous as they are diverse. Between being a chef, television personality and entrepreneur, Cat Cora will share her wisdom with USF students this week.
Cora, a world famous chef, will be speaking as part of ULS on Tuesday at 8 p.m. Her speech will take place in the Marshall Student Center Oval Theater and will focus on her role as an entrepreneur and her focus on healthy dining.
According to Cora’s website, “Cat Cora is a world-renowned chef, author, restaurateur, contributing editor, television host and personality, actress, avid philanthropist, health and fitness expert, lifestyle entrepreneur and proud mother of six.”
Cora was born and raised in a tight-knight community in Jackson, Mississippi, which greatly influenced her career. Cora was raised by a family that valued cooking and eating, as they were the center of their lives.
Recently, Cora’s restaurant Olilo opened a location in the Juniper-Poplar POD Market as a healthy dining option for students. Olilo features Mediterranean-inspired rice and vegetable bowls. Developed by Cora, these bowls are created with a base of rice or lettuce and have other ingredients like meats, avocado, chickpeas and salsa.
Olilo is really a play on olio Cora said in the announcement of her partnership with Aramark.
“It’s olive oil, it’s the Mediterranean diet,” she said. “It’s health and wellness. It’s actually something you can eat every day.”
Cora rose to fame while she was the co-host on Food Network’s show Melting Pot with Rocco Di Spirito. Since then, she’s starred in multiple television shows including Iron Chef America where she was the first female chef to compete.
Cora has opened over 18 restaurants in the U.S. and globally, from Singapore to the Detroit Metro Airport.
In an interview with USA Today, Cora explained why cooking family dishes is so important to her.
“It’s something you put your heart into,” Cora said. “You took the time and effort to make something special.”
Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public with priority seating given to current students. No pre-registration is required.