Meet the Money Hungry Host and Panelists

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Photo By: Jason DeCrow

Photo By: Jason DeCrow

Photo By: Jason DeCrow

Photo By: Jason DeCrow

Photo By: Jason DeCrow

Photo By: Jason DeCrow

Photo By: Jason DeCrow

Kal Penn

Kal is an actor, writer, producer, sometimes-college instructor and emerging foodie. He is known for starring roles including the Harold and Kumar franchise, House, Designated Survivor, and Sunnyside, a comedy he co-created. Penn has also taught courses on film and media at the University of Pennsylvania, and in sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Originally from New Jersey, he received his BA in Sociology with a specialization in Theater, Film, and Television at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a graduate certificate in International Security from Stanford University.

Adrienne Cheatham

Adrienne Cheatham grew up in the kitchens and dining rooms of the restaurants her mother managed in Chicago. After graduating from Florida A&M University, Adrienne attended the Institute of Culinary Education to pursue her culinary ambitions. She later went on to work with Marcus Samuelsson as the Chef de Cuisine of the Marcus Samuelsson Group. Passionate about nutrition, Adrienne works with Schwan’s as part of the Chef’s Collective to develop healthy food for school lunch programs. She shares a home in Harlem with her best friend and husband, Stephen Bailey. She is also the founder of SundayBest, a pop-up series held in secret locations around Harlem.

Eric Adjepong

As a first-generation Ghanaian-American born and raised in New York City, Eric sources the flavors and influences in his cooking from many of the West African dishes he grew up eating. He is passionate about introducing diners to West African cuisine and the impact its diaspora has had on South American, Latin American, Caribbean, and American food, all in his elegant, artfully plated style. Eric has cooked in several Michelin-starred restaurants in New York after graduating with degrees in culinary arts and nutrition from Johnson & Wales, one of the country's premiere culinary universities. He also holds a Master of Public Health in International Public Health Nutrition from the University of Westminster in London.

Esther Choi

Esther is the chef and owner of Mokbar and Ms Yoo in New York City. Her formal training as a chef began at New York City’s Institute of Culinary Education, continuing in the kitchens of ilili and La Esquina, as well as that of the Food Network. Inspired by the time-honored techniques of her grandmother’s cooking, Esther believes that food is the ultimate expression of a country’s culture. From its history and social customs to its language, geography, and arts, Esther seeks to offer guests an understanding and appreciation of Korean food.

Nilou Motamed

Born in Iran, raised in Paris and New York, Nilou attended Binghamton University and the Sorbonne, and is fluent in four languages. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, writer Peter Jon Lindberg. Nilou most recently served as Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine, one of the world’s leading culinary media brands, with an audience of more than 13 million. Prior to Food & Wine, Nilou was the first-ever Director of Inspiration for Conrad Hotels & Resorts, where she reimagined the guest experience and concierge programs for 24 luxury properties around the globe.

Palak Patel

Palak is a classically trained renowned chef, TV personality, TEDx speaker, and chef at the Institute of Culinary Education. She’s one of the food industry’s newest and sassiest rising stars, gaining critical acclaim from victories in famed shows like Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay on Food Network. Most recently she was top four on season 14 of Food Network Star. Born and raised in India, Palak grew up living with her extended fifteen-person family where cooking and eating together were part of her family DNA from a very young age.

Tiffani Faison

Chef Tiffani has made a name for herself nationwide for her dynamic personality, culinary prowess, and fierce work ethic. Under Big Heart Hospitality, her Boston-based restaurant group, she creates restaurants that are warm, inspired, and instantly lovable. Tiffani began her career working under such renowned chefs as Daniel Boulud, Alain Ducasse, and Todd English. She is the chef and owner of Sweet Cheeks Q and Tiger Mama in Boston.

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