On this episode of “Hot off the Press” Chef Pete and fellow celebrity chef “Mess Lords” Celina Tio and Sikey Vlahos broadcast from Whidbey Island, Washington, where they brought some Southwest to the Northwest serving up pork chili, fish tacos and cocoa bread budding to sailors stationed at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.
The event, sponsored by Navy Entertainment, was part of this year’s Mess Lords tour where a group of celebrity chefs team up to help boost the morale of those in the United States Armed Services. As a founding member of the organization, Chef Pete and crew offer cooking demos, culinary shows, entertainment, and of course good eats to the men and women who selflessly serve our country.
Chef Pete was joined by James Beard Award-winning chef Celina Tio, owner of The Belfry in Kansas City, Missouri, and formerly Julian, her first proprietary restaurant which is set to close this summer. Tio said she plans to turn her focus to The Belfry, which she recently reopened, and expand its role to include more private and special events.
After earning a degree in hotel and restaurant management from Drexel University, Tio started cooking at Philadelphia's Ritz-Carlton hotel. By age 23 she had become the chef of the hotel's Grill Room. Her culinary career also includes time at Walt Disney World and seven years heading the kitchen at Kansas City’s renowned American Restaurant. Tio has competed on Bravo TV’s Top Chef Masters, as well as Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef and Iron Chef America.
Sikey Vlahos and his family emigrated from Greece in 1971 when he was just 7 years old. After graduating high school in 1984, Sikey and his mother opened Voula’s Offshore Café in Seattle, and the restaurant is still thriving after more than three decades under the family’s ownership. Featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners Drive-Ins and Dives and known as one of the best breakfast eateries in Seattle, Voula’s serves up American diner classics with a Greek twist.