The 2nd Annual Ramen Festival will feature two levels of judging for best ramen in the universe: the “People’s Choice,” voted on by all of our guests, and “Critic’s Choice,” which will be selected by our special celebrity chef guests!

Our special celebrity chefs (alphabetically below) at the event are San Diego personalities that have contributed to San Diego’s food culture and San Diego’s special culinary talent!  Learn more about them and visit their websites by clicking on their name or photo!


Cathlyn Choi

Recognized as “Korean Food Ambassador” by her fans and media, Cathlyn Choi is a TV personality, celebrity chef, cookbook author and Huffington Post contributor. She’s the host and producer of a popular PBS cooking show ‘Cathlyn’s Korean Kitchen’, the first and only Korean cooking show produced in English by a Korean chef in the US. She is also the producer and host of ‘Asian Voices’, featuring Asian and Pacific Islanders, community, culture, lifestyle and entertainment in Southern California.

Cathlyn performs live culinary demonstrations at the Del Mar Fair, Asian Cultural Festival San Diego, Irvine Korean Cultural Festival, House of Korea Cultural Festival, Convoy Night Market, LA Times Food and Wine Festival, San Diego Bay Food and Wine Festival, the Gourmet Experience Expo, Taste of South Lake and Let’s Move California.


Lauren Lawless

Personal Chef, TV personality, author, and mother Lauren Lawless is an inspirational, innovative and determined new face in the industry. She got her break as a contestant on Master Chef Season 8 and has continued to impress everyone with her out-of-the-box cooking style.

You’ll catch her cooking alongside with the best of them. Chef Lawless has been a celebrity guest judge at many festivals including the most recent 3rd Annual San Diego Mac N Cheese Festival, The Pacific Wine and Food Classic and many more. There is a reason why they turn to her for her expertise. She has a beautiful palette for taste, unique style of cooking and a joy for great food like none other. Be sure to keep an eye out for her cookbook soon to be released early next year.

Chef Lauren Lawless, is a true southern Californian born and raised woman. This self-taught chef made her mark by being an unique and ever-changing chef for the modern consumer. Her upbeat, spunky, and positive attitude brings life and a warm spirit to the typical stress filled kitchen setting. She is definitely one-of-a-kind and is always keeping it exciting in the kitchen just as a true Andrew Zimmern alike, you’ll catch her chowing down on such things as eyeballs, intensities, tongue, snails, and yes-even bugs!


Sam the Cooking Guy

Sam the Cooking Guy is an everyday guy – me (I have 15 Emmys… just thought I would drop that one in) – who has found a way to make cooking casually understandable. With no fancy equipment and by speaking English instead of ‘chef-speak,’ I’m sort of the everyman of cooking. I have two shows, the TV show SAM THE COOKING GUY airs on YUR VIEW with COX, and my online show, STCGO.

Both are shot right in my house – and I cook with my kids, dogs – just like we all do. There’s no fois gras… no white truffle oil, no ‘Peruvian mountain-raised squab in sesame-lime-soy marinade stuffed with braised forest turnips and wild enoki mushrooms in a hand pressed plum and raspberry glaze.’

I’m just a regular guy, using regular words showing how to cook easy, great food… Food that’s ‘big in taste and small in effort.’ It’s a handful of ingredients and a few steps – that’s it. This is a cooking show “for the rest of us,” I like to say.