There still are a few tickets available for this weekend's Autism Speaks 2013 Chef Gala, hosted by Michael Symon and featuring some of Cleveland's biggest culinary stars. To be held at the Tri-C Hospitality Management Center (180 Euclid Ave.) from 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, August 10, the fundraiser benefits the Northeast Ohio Chapter of Autism Speaks.
"This new local fundraiser replaces Rock Til it Stops," explains co-chair James Sammon, adding that he hopes it will be a popular annual event.
Sammon, a grade school buddy of Symon's since their St. Ed's days, says he, Symon and other close friends chose this cause because it has personally touched all of their lives.
The goal is to raise at least $100,000.
In addition to Symon, participating chefs include Rocco Whalen (Fahrenheit), Eric Williams (Momocho, El C), Brian Doyle (Sow Food, Beachland Ballroom), Jonathon Sawyer (Greenhouse Tavern, Noodlecat), Matt Mytro (Flour), Brandt Evans (Pura Vida, Blue Canyon), Chris Hodgson (Hodges), Britt-Marie Culey (Coquette Patisserie), Jonathan Bennett (Red, Moxie) and John Selick (University Hospitals).
Like other culinary fundraisers, this will be a grazing-style event, with tables spread throughout Tri-C and Pura Vida, including the kitchens. Silent and live auctions will offer guests the chance to win great prizes, including a trip to New York with tickets to a taping of The Chew and a makeover shopping spree with Clinton Kelly. Also, all attendees will be given a recipe booklet with all of the recipes of the dishes served.
"Autism has touched almost every family and we are trying to make people aware of it," explains Sawyer. "One of the great things about being a chef is that we are able to participate in events like this that make a difference not only in our local community but the world."
Eric Williams agrees. "I am honored to be part of the Cleveland chef community that can help such a great organization again," he says. "I always look forward to these big events to hang with my chef friends, and meet the people who support these organizations."
For more info or to purchase tickets ($150 and up), visit Autism Speaks.