Five award-winning James Beard celebrity chefs from around the nation will be preparing their signature specialties for a once-in-a-lifetime dinner during the 15th Annual Housewares Charity Foundation (HCF) Gala, Monday, March 12, at the Hilton Chicago. Participating in this unique culinary experience will be Michelle Bernstein, host of the PBS weekly TV series, “Check Please! South Florida;” Todd English, host of the Emmy-nominated PBS travel series, “Food Trip with Todd English;” renowned pastry chef Gale Gand, host of PBS’ upcoming “Heirloom Recipe Project;” Stephanie Izard, winner of “Top Chef- Season 4;” and former personal chef to Oprah Winfrey as well as the founder of Common Threads, Art Smith..
Honorees for this year’s gala are: John Tighe, senior vice president/GMM—home at JCPenney, Lifetime Humanitarian Award; Vincent Naccarato, chairman of Molto Capital, Lifetime Achievement Award; and Jane and Neil Golub, owners of Price Chopper supermarkets Lifetime Philanthropy Award. The event will benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), the HCF’s legacy charity, along with IIT Institute of Design, The Lynn Sage Comprehensive Breast Center of Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the James Beard Foundation. The gala is held annually in conjunction with the International Home + Housewares Show.
To reserve seats for the 2012 HCF gala, contact Paul Murphy at 508-272-0717, visit the website at www.housewarescharity.org or make reservations onsite at the Show Store on Level 2.5 of the South Building.
Michelle Bernstein, Chef/Owner, Michy’s, Sra. Martinez, Michelle Bernstein at The Omphoy and Crumb on Parchment
Michelle Bernstein was awarded “Best Chef South” in 2008 by the James Beard Foundation. In addition to having four restaurants throughout Southern Florida, she has worked with the appliance manufacturer Fagor America to produce her own line of cookware and cutlery, Michelle B. Bernstein is also the co-author of the cookbook Cuisine a Latina. She makes regular appearances on several different national TV shows like “Top Chef” and “Good Morning America.” She dedicates time to Common Threads, educating students on the importance of tolerance and diversity. Bernstein is also a brand ambassador for Crisco as well as a member of Lean Cuisine’s Culinary Roundtable and The Macy’s Culinary Council.
Todd English, Chef/Restaurateur, Todd English Enterprises
Todd English has been honored numerous times by the James Beard Foundation: “National Rising Star Chef” in 1991, “Best Chef in the Northeast” in 1994 and “Who’s Who in Food and Beverage in America” in 2004. In 2001, English was awarded Bon Appetit’s “Restaurateur of the Year” award and was also named one of People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People.” At 20, he attended the Culinary Institute of America and graduated in 1982 with honors. English has worked in and owns restaurants in Italy, Boston, Las Vegas, New York City, West Palm Beach, Nantucket, Connecticut, Walt Disney World and on two cruise liners. His international travel and cooking series, “Food Trip with Todd English,” has won him two James Beard Awards and an Emmy nomination. He hosts two other cooking shows, “Cooking Under Fire” and “Opening Soon,” and has made appearances on “Top Chef,” “Iron Chef,” “The Today Show,” “Martha Stewart Living,” “Good Morning America,” “CBS This Morning,” “Live with Regis and Kelly,” “Extra” and “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” English has authored four critically acclaimed cookbooks and in 2005 came up with a line of cookware and lifestyle products, The Todd English Collection. He is involved with several local and national charities including Big Brother, the Anthony Spinazzola Foundation, the Boys and Girls Clubs, Volunteers of America, Food Bank of NYC, Feeding America, Make-A-Wish Foundation and many others.
Gale Gand, Executive Pastry Chef/Partner, Tru
Gale Gand’s Restaurant Tru in Chicago is a one-star Michelin, four-star Mobil, five-diamond AAA, Relais & Chateaux Relais-Gourmand rated restaurant. She was recognized in 2001 as the “Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation and Bon Appetit Magazine and in 1994 as one of Food & Wine’s “Top Ten Best New Chefs.” Gand has made guest appearances on “Martha Stewart Living,” “Oprah” and “Iron Chef” and has appeared as a judge on “Top Chef,” “Top Chef: Just Desserts,” “Food Network Challenge” and “Last Cake Standing.” Gand is the author of seven cookbooks. She has a BFA from RIT and attended culinary school at La Varenne in Paris. Gand is involved in Michelle Obama’s Chef’s Move to School initiative to help fight childhood obesity, Chicago’s Green City Market and Art Smith’s foundation, Common Threads. She also is an executive board member of the Chicago chapter of the AIWF and a long-time member of the James Beard Foundation and Les Dames D’Escoffier.
Stephanie Izard, Chef/Partner, Girl & the Goat
Selected as one of the “Best New Chefs” in 2011 by Food & Wine, Stephanie Izard is the chef/partner of the Chicago restaurant Girl & the Goat. A 2011 James Beard “Best New Restaurant” nominee, Girl & the Goat has been praised by high-profile publications such as Saveur, The New York Times, Food & Wine, Better Homes and Gardens, Chicago Tribune, Time Out Chicago, Chicago Magazine and Chicago Reader. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Scottsdale Culinary Institute, and has worked in some of the most respected kitchens in Chicago including La Tache, Spring and Vong. She previously owned the highly acclaimed restaurant Scylla, which she sold just prior to appearing on and winning Season Four of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” Izard’s first book, “Girl in the Kitchen,” was released in 2011.
Art Smith, Executive Chef/Co-Owner, Table fifty-two, Art and Soul, Southern Art, LYFE Kitchen, Joanne and Founder of Common Threads
Art Smith has received the culinary profession’s highest awards and has cooked for some of the world’s most famous celebrities. For 10 years he served as Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef. Smith has made television appearances on programs such as “Top Chef,” “Top Chef Masters,” “Iron Chef America,” “The Today Show,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Nightline,” Fox News, “Extra,” “BBQ Pitmasters,” “Dr. Oz” and “Oprah.” Smith contributes to Martha Stewart Living Magazine and O, The Oprah Winfrey Magazine, and has published three award-winning cookbooks. In 2003, he founded Common Threads, a non-profit organization that teaches children about diversity and tolerance. For his Common Threads leadership, Smith was honored by Chicago magazine as a “Chicagoan of the Year in 2007.” That same year, the James Beard Foundation named him “Humanitarian of the Year.” Smith was inducted into the Chicago Culinary Museums Hall of Fame in 2010 and September 30, 2010 was proclaimed as Chef Art Smith Day in the city Chicago. In January 2012, he opened Joanne on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with Lady Gaga’s parents, Joseph and Cynthia Germanotta.