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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Remember This Guy?

Apparently, he's a very memorable Top Chef contestant? I wouldn't know, since I've so far managed to avoid that particular crack pipe, but I'm thinking I should maybe start DVRing past episodes of Top Chef. In the interests of preparation.

Because in a week, I'm going to be meeting him. That's right, Marcel Vigneron is coming to Ohio! He's not such a freak as that makes him sound, though--next week, nearly 40 top flight chefs from around the country are flocking to my little neck of the woods for the annual Food & Wine Celebration hosted by our local organic veggie producer to the stars, the Chef's Garden. Figures no less illustrious than Thomas Keller, Charlie Trotter, and Alain Ducasse have sat on the board of that company and used the Chef's Garden vegetables in their restaurants. The Culinary Vegetable Institute is the marketing arm of the farm, a gorgeous state of the art kitchen and facility where chefs can come to stay and play with the product. I work for Veggie U, the nonprofit wing of the syndicate. The Food & Wine Celebration is a fundraiser for the Veggie U program, which goes into elementary schools to teach kids about nutrition and sustainable agriculture.

So that's the background. But the important thing is that this year's event is all about food reality shows. Lee Ann Wong will also be attending and the emcee for the event is 2007's Iron Chef winner (and local Cleveland golden boy) Michael Symon. An enormous tent is set up on the lawn and the forty chefs and wine vendors set up booths where they cook little tastings for the 1,000 or so guests who show up in their garden party best to swill wine, watch cooking demos and a Star Chef cookoff competition, and hopefully spend gobs of money bidding in the silent and live auctions (of which I am the chairperson this year.) A rocking good time is had by all, and if you're anywhere near Milan, OH, I highly suggest you call for tickets before they're sold out. You won't regret it! (Check the link for details.)

I may not have lots of time to post between now and the event, but tune in next week for pics and dish on how everything went.


My jealousy knows no bounds. Seriously. It's making me queasy how jealous I am.

And, by the way, good luck next weekend! I'm sure it will be a success!

Oooooh, I'm so jealous! I want to be there. Can I trade places and pose as you??? Pretty please. Sigh.

What!!! Go back and watch now. Get on the wagon. You'll love it. Have fun.

This event sounds seriously fun. Looking forward to seeing the pix and hearing all the stories :).

The planning is going well, if hectic. I'll check in after it's all done! Don't envy me too much--I'll be spending most of the day making sure no one bids too low on our fabulous auction items. did it go? Have you recovered yet?

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