Tuesday, September 24, 2013

09/24 Cristina Ferrare

At the early age of sixteen, Cristina started a career in modeling with the Ford modeling agency in New York. Her career as a super model spanned over twenty-five years. Max Factor put her under contract as their spokesperson while still a teenager.  During that time her career took off as she graced the covers and pages of every major fashion magazine including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Ladies Home journal and traveled the world as a sought after international cover girl. During this time she soon became a trusted spokesperson and endorsed numerous commercial products.

In the early 80’s, Cristina co-hosted “AM Los Angeles,” which was the #1 rated morning television show during her five year tenure.  Between many TV appearances, she has hosted her own shows:  “Cristina and Friends” and a two hour live show from Universal Studios’ “Home and Family”. She was a substitute co-host on “Good Morning America” and co-hosted numerous times with Regis Philbin on “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee.” Her primetime series for CBS, “Shame on You,” was one of the first magazine format shows that featured consumer fraud and awareness. It set the stage for other prime time magazine formats that followed. For NBC, she co-hosted “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” with Dr. Drew Pinsky. At one time, Cristina had three shows on the air at the same time: the afore mentioned live morning talk show, “AM Los Angeles,” “The Home Show,” and the primetime series “Incredible Sunday” all for ABC. In feature films, she starred opposite David Niven in “The Impossible Years” and the critically acclaimed “J.W. Coop” with Oscar winner, Cliff Robertson. Cristina is an accomplished author, with her New York Times bestseller, Okay, So I Don’t Have a Headache, and bestseller Cristina Ferrare’s Family Entertainment, Cristina Ferrare Style and Realistically Ever After, a humorous view of finding happiness when he’s not Prince Charming, you’re not Snow White and life is not a fairy tale

Her fifth and most recent cookbook, A Big Bowl of Love was released on Mother’s Day 2011 and has been widely accepted and has received raving reviews from bloggers across the country. She is already hard at work on her next cookbook! The success of her books attests to her expertise in the areas of women’s health, wellbeing, culinary arts, stylistic design, as well as her great zest for life and her humor.

Cristina completed 28 shows that air on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) that debuted on January 3rd, 2011. Cristina’s show, “A Big Bowl of Love” featured celebrity guests along with members of her family and friends serving up great ideas for all kinds of situations that happen in real life!

She has been hosting a series of web episodes for “Oprah.com” that includes cooking classes with the emphasis on how to prepare delicious meals for families, who are struggling with money, time and idea issues. She is writing weekly blogs for Oprah.com that include recipes and answers to questions from fans.

Cristina completed Kellogg commercials for OWN and appeared with her Kellogg recipes on over 20 million Kellogg cereal boxes.

In addition to her complete and extensive web site www.CristinaFerrareCooks.com. Cristina has become a curator on the new and exciting shopping web site www.OpenSky.com as well a key taste maker on the new and fastest growing recipe web site www.Foodily.com

Cristina has been able to harness all the experience she has had over the years interviewing different types of people including entertainment executives, major motion picture and television stars, directors, producers, writers, medical professionals, politicians, designers, and chefs and let it fuel her entrepreneurial spirit into starting her own design business. In 2006, Cristina, along with her partners Brian Thorson and Tim Hosier, started a line of home accessories through their newly formed “Ferrare With Company.” It included picture frames, napkin rings, lamps, scented candles, candle sticks, accessories for the table, and show stopping, one of a kind mirrors and chandeliers using only the finest materials. Swarovski crystals and semi-precious stones, pearls, shells, and metals are placed by hand, piece by piece, onto each object and are true works of art. The pieces are sought after by top interior designers around the country and sells to over 60 stores including Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys on line. In early spring of 2012 they sold their successful company to a leading worldwide manufacturer and distributor of life style products.

Cristina has spoken at various conventions around the country including the 2004 “The Women’s Conference” where she monitored a session about women’s health and sexual well being. In 2007 she hosted, along with Chef Art Smith, a session on cooking for 300 women! She sat on the Board of Directors for “The Women’s Conference” which was headed by California’s First Lady Maria Shriver. Once a year, over 14,000 women come from all over for a life-changing day. It is a true day of transformation and empowerment that encourages women to be their own “Architects of Change” for a better life for them, their families, and their community! She was the keynote speaker at the Creative Connection annual meeting held in St Paul, Minnesota 2011.

Cristina lives in Los Angeles with her husband, entertainment executive Tony Thomopoulos. They have a blended family of seven children and four grandchildren.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

09/17 Alex Shaw

Alex Shaw is a 12 year old lead guitar prodigy, who is currently the front "man" in his own band. Backed by various professional, seasoned musicians, The Alex Shaw Band has become quite well known in this area because of it's uniqueness. This 12 year old rock star lights up the stage with his Classic Rock and Blues and has been wowing crowds with his talent from coast to coast.

Alex has only been playing guitar for about 4 years, but started performing only 3 months after picking up the guitar. Alex can be seen performing both locally and nationally volunteering his time and talents at various local charity events to help raise money for those less fortunate.

In March 2011, Alex was featured at the "Rock Out Kid's Cancer" Music Festival in Jupiter, Florida, making a special appearance with the headlining band, Big Vince and the Phat Cats and also sharing the stage with legendary saxophonist, Clarence Clemons, long time member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, just before his passing. Local radio hosts from the Gater 98.7 and Wild 95.5, have raved about Alex on the airways after seeing him perform. Alex was also interviewed on various local radio stations.

In 2009, at only 9 years old, Alex's accomplishments earned him an artist endorsement with one of the largest guitar manufacturers in the world, Samick Music Corporation. Alex is considered Samick's youngest endorser and proudly rocks Samick Greg Bennett designed guitars. As a Samick artist, Alex has had the privilege to attend the 2011, 2012 & 2013 NAMM Shows, (National Association of Music Merchants) in Anaheim California, one of the largest trade shows in the music industry, where Alex represented Samick Music and demonstrated his guitar skills before 10's of thousands of people.

In 2011, Alex was discovered on YouTube by Barbara Strauss, executive producer for the Sarasota Blues Fest, and was chosen to participate and be featured in her latest project, a kid's TV pilot called "Harmony's Kitchen;" which is a show that features child prodigy musical talents. During the shoot, Alex was privileged to work and record with legendary producer Bud Snyder (Allman Bros) and Berry Oakley Jr. (son of Allman Bros. bassist)

In fall of 2011, Alex was one of the opening acts for the 21st Annual Sarasota Blue Fest. It is traditional for the Blues Fest to invite a young musical prodigy to open the show and Alex was honored to be in the line-up with such great national acts as Shaun Murphy (Little Feat, Meatloaf, Bob Seger) and grammy award winning band, Los Lobos.

Also in 2011, Alex's Youtube videos also caught the attention of the producers of the Ellen Degeneres Show who called him up and interviewed him with interest of Alex making an appearance on the Ellen Show. He is also being sought after by the casting directors of America's Got Talent and was invited to a private audition in front of producers this past November.

In March of 2013, Alex was invited to perform at Runaway Country, a three-day music festival which featured headlining bands such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Lady Antebellum, Charlie Daniels, Dierks Bentley, Sara Evans, Billy Currington, Craig Morgan, and more. While he was performing he was noticed by the writers and photographers from US Rockstar Magazine, who interviewed him and featured a story about Alex in the June issue of the magazine.

This young artist is making his name known both locally and nationally performing at such venues as, BB King's blues Club (West Palm Beach), Seminole HardRock Casino (Hollywood, Florida) Bitter End (NYC's oldest and most famous rock club) to name a few. Alex has also performed at conventions in Nashville, Las Vegas and New York and most recently, at age 12 toured Chicago with the School of Rock Allstars and played such venues as Metro Chicago, Beat Kitchen and Lollapalooza 2013.

Alex is an old soul, mature beyond his years, inspired by all of the great guitar legends and determined to follow in their footsteps. If he keeps it up, I'm sure we'll be hearing great things about this kid! It is safe to say that the future of Rock n' Roll is in good hands!



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

09/10 Chef Rick Tarantino

Rick Tarantino or Chef Rick as he is know in the media has a diverse back ground that has helped him build a successful career as a celebrity chef. He attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Campus and graduated with a Bachelors' of Science from the School of Food Science and Nutrition. Then began his work experience at the prestigious chain of Sheraton Hotels and Resorts from Los Angles to New York's five star St Regis Hotel, Rick worked his way up the corporate ladder. But that was only the beginning, with years of experience in the family hotel business that he was raised in and now with corporate hospitality business under his belt, he began his entrepreneurial career and started Inn Vision a state of the art in-room movie company in hotels around the country. After successfully selling that venture he went back into his family hotel and restaurant business with his father. Emerald Hotel and Resorts International, owned and operated hotels and restaurants in New England.

Rick then returned to school and received his Masters of Science degree from Johnson & Wales University, the world leading hotel and culinary school. Wanting to give back he began teaching at the school. That lead to an opportunity to develop an alumni and development office for the Chancellor, so when his father retired, they sold the hotel company and Rick began his next career as an educator, author and fundraiser. During the ten year period at Johnson & Wales, Rick met Justin Miller a young inspiring 6 year old who loved to cook. Rick trained Justin to become the Guinness Book of Records Worlds Youngest Chef and the two travelled the world cooking and inspiring others. This launched Rick in to the Television and Media industry.

The pair appeared on almost every national television show venue from Good Morning America, David Letterman, Disney, to the Food Network. Rick also became a research chef for many national brands like Westinghouse, Rival's Crock -Pot, Cattlemen's, BBQ sauce, Kraft Foods, and VacuWare to just name a few. In addition he now appears regularly on HSN ( Home Shopping Channel ) and The Shopping Channel Canada as well as National Infomercials and Tradeshows.

Chef Rick has experience in many media outlets, live appearances, press tours, news shows, morning shows, radio, infomercials, cook books, and currently co-hosts a cable cooking show called You Won't Even Miss it. He worked with Celebrities like the late Julia Child, Emeril Lagasse, Jarred Fogle from Subway and Martin Yen. He is sought after for recipe development by food companies and supermarkets. He develops many of the free recipes you pick up at the grocery store and tours supermarkets regularly teaching customers recipes and how to enhance their meals to get out of the "Food RUT". You can see him at Hannaford's, ACME, Lowes, Sweet Bay and Shaw's. He also endorsees his own line of products called Chef Rick Spices, Chef Rick Seafood , Proware Professional Kitchen Products and Bold Chef. He does product development for companies like All-Clad , Williams Sonoma and Westinghouse.

Go to www.myrastellidirect.com/chefrick to get wonderful Chicken Breast!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

09/03 Shecky Greene

Shecky Greene (born Fred Sheldon Greenfield; is an American comedian. He is known for his nightclub performances in Las Vegas, where he has been a headliner for more than thirty years. He has appeared in several films, including History of the World, Part I and Splash, and has guest starred on such television shows as Mad About You, Laverne & Shirley, Love, American Style, and Combat!

Shecky Greene is considered by his peers to be the consummate nightclub performer. As a headliner in Las Vegas for more than 30 years he has been seen by millions of people. He does not have a repetitious act, but each performance is tailored to his audience. Quoting Bob Hope, he is truly a "comedian's comedian" who not only tells jokes, but sings, tells stories, improvises songs during a show--and occasionally becomes quite physical on stage.

Las Vegas is known for featuring the world's best and most talented performers, and Shecky's has always been the show to see--not only for hotel guests, but for those who live there as well. His comedic talent is enjoyed by other entertainers who on their nights off stay after their own engagements to watch him perform. Jerry Lewis calls him "the epitome of comic genius."

Greene hails from Chicago and began his career near Milwaukee while still in college. He left college for good when Martha Raye asked him to play her club in Miami, and later returned to Chicago to work the famed night spot, The Chez Paree.
His move to Las Vegas was a natural step in his career. It was there that he introduced Elvis to the Las Vegas audience when Presley performed as his opening act.. His work in films include Splash, Mel Brooks History of the World Part 1,and Tony Rome.

He was the guest host on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, the Merv Griffin Show and The Mike Douglas Show, but he is probably best remembered for his role as Braddock in the hit action drama Combat. Although there were numerous offers for more films, tv series, etc. Shecky's love for stand up comedy always came first......