PHILADELPHIA, PA (June 15, 2016) – Eating at work may never be the same thanks to a strategic partnership announced today between world-renowned “Iron Chef” Cat Cora and Aramark (NYSE: ARMK), the global provider of dining solutions to businesses, universities, schools, hospitals and stadiums. Chef Cora, a TV personality, author, restaurateur and lifestyle entrepreneur, and Aramark have teamed up to transform the on-site dining experience for millions of employees at offices across North America.
As part of the new partnership, Chef Cora and Aramark will introduce a concept developed exclusively for Aramark’s business dining clients, called OLILO by Cat Cora. With a focus on eating well, OLILO by Cat Cora will offer a delicious, healthy, made-your-way menu, featuring Cora’s signature Mediterranean tastes and flavors. The name OLILO pays tribute to Chef Cora’s Greek heritage and is derived from “olives” and “olive oil,” a staple of Mediterranean cooking.
“As the first and only female Iron Chef and the first female chef inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame, Cat Cora has been breaking boundaries her entire career, and we look forward to partnering with her on an innovative approach that we believe will amplify the business dining environment,” said Marc Bruno, Aramark’s Chief Operating Officer for Business Dining. “By bringing together Chef Cora’s award-winning brand and healthy cooking advocacy and Aramark’s commitment to enriching and nourishing the lives of the thousands of consumers we serve every day, we have an opportunity to elevate the on-site dining experience with a unique concept that offers guests an even greater variety of culinary options.”
"My philosophy and brand has always revolved around creating dining with concepts that are not only delicious but good for you. Aramark and I share this same philosophy and are committed to creating a nationwide revolution in eating well,” adds Cat Cora. “Aramark and I also are dedicated to collaboration, innovation and building a culture at OLILO that centers on real people and the highest quality of excellence in all areas. I am thrilled to partner with Aramark and to open the first OLILO in New York at Goldman Sachs. It is the first of many to come!"
OLILO’s station design, uniforms and aesthetics convey a calming, rustic at-home cooking vibe. OLILO by Cat Cora’s menu is a “build-your-own” fast casual Mediterranean concept. Evoking Cora’s personality and guiding culinary principles -- “Spices of course.” “Take chances.” and “Abide by the seasons.” -- the menu features super greens, grain blends, flatbreads and quinoa tabbouleh with choices of protein, homemade spreads, toppings and dressing.
Aramark’s partnership with Chef Cora is the result of employers looking for new and innovative ways to recruit and retain talent, as well as create a more engaged workforce. Across its portfolio, Aramark is continually innovating and diversifying its menu offerings to further enhance the guest dining experience.
With a shared commitment to promoting the benefits of eating well, the partnership with Cora supports Aramark’s Healthy for Life® 20 By 20 commitment to improve the way Americans eat by empowering them to make healthy food, nutrition and lifestyle choices. OLILO further expands Aramark’s comprehensive suite of innovative menu options and nutrition and wellness programs that work together to support healthy lifestyles based on research into global trends, as well as the knowledge of our chefs, dietitians and other experts.
OLILO by Cat Cora’s first partnership with Aramark debuted at the Goldman Sachs café in the firm’s 200 West Street global headquarters in New York City, with an appearance by Chef Cora. The 200 West Street café provides a healthy, diverse range of cuisines to Goldman Sachs employees and visitors/guests, while focusing on sustainability, partnering with local restaurants and supporting community engagement efforts.
Aramark is currently in discussion with several other business dining clients about opening OLILO at their sites. Annually, Aramark serves more than 150 million meals across its 1,200 business dining locations and 2 billion meals globally. Future plans for the partnership include expansion into Aramark’s Education and Sports and Entertainment businesses.
About Cat Cora
As a prominent figure in the culinary community, Cat Cora made television history in 2005 when she became the first female Iron Chef on Food Network’s Iron Chef America. Since then, Cora has continued to evolve her craft to become an accomplished author, restaurateur, contributing editor, avid philanthropist and television host.
Cat Cora is the published author of three successful cookbooks and one children’s book and most recently her memoir called "Cooking As Fast As I Can: a Chef's Story of Food, Family and Forgiveness." Cora has launched several restaurants in the US and beyond, with Ocean by Cat Cora on Sentosa Island in Singapore, as well Cat Cora’s Kitchen with 4 locations including San Francisco International Airport, George Bush International Airport and Salt Lake City International Airport which is also home to Cat Cora’s Kitchen Gourmet Market, Cat Cora's Kitchen Atlanta airport as well as soon to be Cat Cora's Taphouse in Detroit Airport.
She is also the founder of Chefs for Humanity, a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing hunger worldwide by supporting humanitarian relief and promoting nutrition education.
She has trained in two, three star Michelin restaurants with Georges Blanc and Roger Verge as well as cooked for many celebrities and dignitaries including President Obama and First Lady Michelle at the White House.
On-screen, Cora has hosted, guest judged and appeared as herself in a number of hit food shows. Some of these shows include Food Network’s Melting Pot; NBC’s Celebrity Cooking Showdown; Bravo’s Around the World in 80 Plates as well as Top Chef, Master Chef and Chopped. And now coming to primetime, Cat is a host along with Curtis Stone, on Fox's new show "My Kitchen Rules", the #1 hit show out of Australia.
Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) proudly serves the world’s leading educational institutions, Fortune 500 companies, world champion sports teams, prominent healthcare providers, iconic destinations and cultural attractions, and numerous municipalities in 19 countries around the world with food, facilities, and uniform services. Because our culture is rooted in service, our employees strive to do great things for each other, our partners, our communities, and our planet. Aramark has been named to DiversityInc’s “Top 50 Companies for Diversity” list, the Forbes list of “America’s Best Employers for Diversity,” the HRC’s “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality” and scored 100% on the Disability Equality Index. Learn more at www.aramark.com and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.