Cat Cora

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Cat Cora
Cora in April 2010
Catherine Ann Cora

(1967-04-03) April 3, 1967 (age 54)
EducationUniversity of Southern Mississippi
Culinary Institute of America
Jennifer Cora
(m. 2013; div. 2015)

(m. 2018; div. 2021)
Culinary career
Cooking styleMediterranean (Greek), Fusion ("Hellasian"), French
Television show(s)
WebsiteOfficial website

Catherine Ann Cora is an American professional chef best known for her featured role as an "Iron Chef" on Iron Chef America[1] and as co-host of Around the World in 80 Plates.

Early life[edit]

Cora was born in Jackson, Mississippi, the daughter of Virginia Lee (née Brothers) and Spiro Pete Cora.[2] Her father was of Greek descent (her paternal grandparents were from Skopelos, Greece).[3] 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]

Her first cookbook, Cat Cora's Kitchen, was inspired by her Greek heritage and Southern roots, and contains numerous recipes that were her family's favorites while she was growing up.[4]


After earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Biology from the University of Southern Mississippi, she enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.[5] Her partnerships with various corporations include: Macy's, when in 2008 they opened Cat Cora's Que (CCQ), a restaurant in Costa Mesa, California; Disney, when in 2010 they launched a series of webisodes called Muppets Kitchen; a number of airports across the US including George Bush International Airport in Houston and Salt Lake City International Airport, where in 2011 and 2012, Cat Cora's Kitchen and Cat Cora's Gourmet markets were opened. She has also appeared on Simplify Your Life, was a co-host of the Food Network show Kitchen Accomplished, and in 2011 she launched her own line of cookware in conjunction with Starfrit,[6] Canada's leading purveyor of food preparation products.[7]

Cat Cora's Kitchen, a restaurant at Terminal E of George Bush Intercontinental Airport

In January 2005 Cora co-founded Chefs For Humanity,[8] 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."[9] She has participated in charity wine auctions held by Auction Napa Valley.[10]

Cora also made television history in 2005 as the first female Iron Chef, joining Bobby Flay, Mario Batali and Masaharu Morimoto on the first season of Food Network's "Iron Chef America", spending 10 seasons on the show.[11]

In 2006 she was hired as a paid spokesperson for InSinkErator Evolution series garbage disposals.[12] She is Executive Chef for Bon Appétit magazine[13] and a UNICEF spokesperson.[14]

In March 2006, Cora was the Grand Marshal for Hal and Mal's St. Paddy's Parade in her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi.[15]

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, along with Tyler Florence, Rick Bayless, and others. She has worked as an entertainer for The Olivia Companies, a travel company catering to the lesbian market.[16] In 2008, she had a voice role for the video game Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine.

The eponymous Cat Cora,[17] 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 operated Kouzzina by Cat Cora at Disney's Boardwalk Resort at The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Kouzzina closed on September 30, 2014.[18]

On July 12, 2015 Cora was inducted into the American Academy of Chefs® (AAC®) Hall of Fame by The American Culinary Federation, becoming the first female chef ever to receive this recognition.[19]

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 Around the World in 80 Plates, an American reality competition show that premiered on May 9, 2012 on the Bravo cable TV network.[20]

Cora co-hosted the 2017 FOX reality cooking series My Kitchen Rules.[21]

Cora competed in the 2021 Second Annual Tournament of Champions on the Food Network, narrowly losing to Michael Voltaggio.

Personal life[edit]

Cora married her longtime partner Jennifer in June 2013,[22] and the couple have four sons together via in vitro fertilization.[23] In 2015, they filed for divorce [24] which was finalized in 2016.[25]

In 2017, Cora began dating record producer executive Nicole Ehrlich. They married on April 21, 2018, in Santa Barbara, California.[26] On April 26, 2021, Nicole Ehrlich filed for divorce from Cat Cora.[27][better source needed]


  • Bon Appetite Magazine's 2006 Teacher of the Year Award [4]


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
2013–present Guy's Grocery Games Herself
2014 America's Best Cook Mentor
2014 Food Fighters (TV series) Herself
2015 Cutthroat Kitchen Guest Judge
2017 My Kitchen Rules (U.S.) Co-host
2017 Bong Appetit (U.S.) Guest Chef
2019 Family Food Fight (U.S.) Judge


  1. ^ a b Yancey, Kitty Bean. "'Iron Chef' Cat Cora is out of the bag", USA Today, March 31, 2006.
  2. ^ Yancey, Kitty Bean. "What's cookin' with 'Iron Chef' Cat Cora", USA Today, April 5, 2006.
  3. ^ "Iron Chef Cat Cora Aligns with Greek Food Line". The Food Channel. January 19, 2011. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Cat Cora". HuffPost. Retrieved 22 June 2020.
  5. ^ "Cat Cora Bio". Food Network. August 13, 2008. Archived from the original on October 14, 2008. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Cora, Cat. "About Cat". Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  8. ^ Chefs For Humanity: About Us Archived March 19, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Chefs For Humanity: Home page Archived August 15, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Auction Napa Valley". Archived from the original on April 28, 2007. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
  11. ^ McCue, Matt. "The first female Iron Chef: How I overcame sexism in the kitchen". Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  12. ^ Rovito, Rich. "Elevating the garbage disposal", The Business Journal of Milwaukee, July 28, 2006.
  13. ^ Cat Cora Named Executive Chef of Bon Appétit Magazine Archived 2007-03-11 at the Wayback Machine, PR Newswire, August 9, 2006.
  14. ^ "Chefs for Humanity president Cat Cora joins UNICEF as spokesperson" Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine, UNICEF, January 20, 2006.
  15. ^ Lucas, Sherry. "Iron Chef to lead Mal's St. Paddy's Day Parade", The Clarion-Ledger, January 1, 2006.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ "The Olivia Companies". Retrieved September 23, 2010.
  17. ^ "T2 Concessions". May 1, 2011. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
  18. ^ "Kouzzina by Cat Cora to close on September 30, 2014",, March 24, 2014.
  19. ^ Cora, Cat. "Celebrity Chef Cat Cora Becomes First Female Inducted into The Culinary Hall of Fame". Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  20. ^ Brown, Rob (March 17, 2012). "Episode Guide". Bravotv. Archived from the original on March 31, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2012.
  21. ^ Petski, Denise (May 13, 2016). "Fox Orders 'My Kitchen Rules' Cooking Series With Curtis Stone & Cat Cora". TV Tonight. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  22. ^ Machado, Baker. "Iron Chef's Cat Cora Files for Divorce From Wife After 17 Years Together". Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  23. ^ Belge, Kathy. "Cat and Jennifer Cora". Retrieved August 14, 2010.
  24. ^ McRady, Rachel (2015-11-09). "Iron Chef America's Cat Cora, Wife Jennifer File for Divorce: Details". Us Weekly. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  25. ^ Gostin, Nicki (2020-09-16). "Chef Cat Cora claims ex-wife is out to 'destroy' her". Page Six. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  26. ^ "Cat Cora and Nicole Ehrlich Are Married". Us Weekly. 2018-04-21. Retrieved 2019-11-17.
  27. ^

External links[edit]

  • Profile,; accessed May 16, 2016.