Now familiar as the braided powerhouse on Food Network's hugely popular show The Next Iron Chef and most recently as a contestant on Bravo's Top Chef Masters, chef Celina Tio got an early start in the kitchen. Even at the tender age of eight, her typical day used to involve shopping lists, Julia Child re-runs, baking and cooking for family and friends. How time flies. During seven years heading the kitchen at Kansas City's renowned American Restaurant, Celina Tio garnered both local and national accolades. These included 2005 "Chef of the Year" by Chef magazine and the James Beard Foundation's 2007 "Best Chef: Midwest."
Tio was also recently honored by KC Magazine as "Chef of the Year" for her first proprietary restaurant, JULIAN. At this popular Kansas City neighborhood gathering spot, she creates chefdriven "feel good food" for her guests, family and friends - just like she did in her youth.