Monday, August 15, 2016

Event Recap: Autism Speaks Chef Gala 2016

Hello, strangers! I know that it's been quiet over here lately. The last three weeks have included two work trips, and a long weekend getaway to Maine for Mr. H and I. It's been fun, but I'm exhausted, and ready to be home. 

Today, I have a guest post for you. While I was in Maine, my good buddy Crystal attended the bi-annual Chef Gala to benefit Autism Speaks for me. She's popping in today to tell you all about it.

2016 Autism Speaks Chef Gala Recap

This is Crystal from Eat*Drink*Cleveland and I’m stopping by to tell you about a great event I went to recently. Because my dear friend Bite Buff was out of town eating all the lobster, and she knew I recently moved (and desperately needed a fun night out on the town!), she graciously offered me her tickets to the Autism Speaks Chef Gala. Let’s just say, it was just what I needed!

This is one of the best fundraisers in CLE hands down. Where else can you sample over the top delicious food from our very best local chefs AND also get up close in personal with Michael Symon and his out of town chef friends. This year, Chef Symon brought his friend Bobby Flay. What a fun combo they make!

VIP ticket holders were given access to the meet and greet ahead of time. We were able to mix and mingle and get a head start on the party. (Yes, I’m totally crushing out our dynamic duo if you can’t tell from my super cheesy smile!)
Afterwards we headed out to see what the Cleveland chefs had prepared for this special event. Here are some of my favorite bites:
We made it our mission to try everything and we actually succeeded. We were smart and shared samples at a lot of the stations. There was so much food and all of it was delicious! My favorite bite of the night was the Pork Rind Crispy Treats from Jonathan Sawyer. They sounded a little weird but they were amazing! Huge points for creativity too.
Then everyone headed to the ballroom for a seated chef demo. Bobby Flay and Michael Symon cooked up a storm and we were given family-style platters of food to try as well. We somehow managed to taste all of these dishes, but barely. We were completely stuffed. During the meal we learned a lot about Autism Speaks, they raffled off seats on stage and there was a live auction. They also included a very moving tribute to the late co-founder of the organization, Suzanne Wright.
The best part - $300,000 + was raised for Autism Speaks. In two years, this amazing event will be back – make sure you don’t miss it when it does. But you don’t have to wait until then to support this very worthwhile cause. Click here to donate and you can follow them on Facebook too.

Thanks again to Bite Buff for the opportunity to attend this event and share my thoughts with all her awesome readers.

This was one event that I hated to miss, but the Maine trip was worth it. I also enjoyed drooling over the Chef Gala posts on social media that evening. The event highlighted some of Cleveland's finest, and raised funds for an important cause. Thanks for stepping in for me, Crystal, and I'm glad that you enjoyed the much-deserved night out!

Disclosure: I was provided two VIP tickets in exchange for this post and a ticket giveaway, and two General Admission tickets for one lucky reader. All opinions stated are 100% Crystal's.