TV chefs create shoe designs for home cooks

A trio of celebrity chefs in the US, known for their appearances on specialty TV channel Food Network, have inked a deal to design their own shoe collection.

Between them, culinary stars Marcus Samuelsson, Chris Cosentino and Aarón Sanchez are restauranteurs, Top Chef Masters and Iron Chef America competitors, and will now be able to add the title of shoe designer to their culinary repertoire.

Instead of stiletto heels and dainty straps, however, the signature series, called Sharkz, will be modeled after the chefs' personal style and designed to cushion tired feet in hot kitchens.

While celebrity chefs are commonly enlisted to peddle cookware and kitchen appliances, footware has become another stream of endorsement in an industry where kitchen staff log long hours on their feet in slippery, hot kitchens. Perhaps one of the earliest shoe endorsements came from Iron Chef America's Mario Batai, whose signtaure uniform includes knee-length shorts and orange Crocs. He now has a signature shoe named after him: the Bistro Mario Batali edition.

According to shoe industry magazine Footwear Plus , Mozo ( http://www.mozoshoes.com/), the maker of slip-resistant work shoes, is expected to launch the new line from the three chefs this spring.

Samuelsson, winner of the Top Chef Masters challenge in season 2, is also the youngest chef to be awarded two, three-star ratings from The New York Times. Cosentino and Sanchez are well-known for their Food Network series Chefs vs. City, which pits locals against the pair in food-related obstacle courses that traverse the city.

The magazine describes Cosentino's shoe as sneakers, surf and California; Samuelsson's style as urbane, sophisticated and "very New York,"and Sanchez's shoes a reflection of his Latin heritage.

The chef-designed series will be priced at $69.95. The Batali Crocs are priced at $39.99.

 

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