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Two weekends ago, Cory and I were lucky enough to attend the Autism Speaks Cleveland Chef Gala after winning tickets from a giveaway from Rachel of CLE Fashionista. It was so fun to get dressed up for an evening and head to one the most beautiful spaces in our city, the Cleveland Museum of Art. The event was held in the sprawling museum atrium and showcased small bites from Cleveland’s top chefs/restaurants. Prior to tasting all the delicious food, Cory and I got the chance to meet Chef Mario Batali and Cleveland native Chef Michael Symon, both of The Chew and Food Network fame. As a Food Network junkie and The Chew fanatic, I was totally starstruck. I vaguely remember telling Michael Symon how much I loved the french fries at his Cleveland restaurant Lola. Derp.
Dinner was co-cooked by Mario and Michael in an interactive presentation. I even got to taste caviar for the first time, so I can finally cross that one off my Twenty-Six by 26 List!
The evening also included both a live auction and a silent auction. Our bidding number got lost at the check-in table so we couldn’t bid on anything, but the items up for auction were pretty incredible- spending the day backstage with Michael during a taping of The Chew, VIP tickets to a taping of Conan in Los Angeles, and a private dinner party for 30 at the top of the Terminal Tower in Cleveland were just a few of the items. If I remember correctly, the auctions raised around $26,000 for Autism Speaks.
The event was so elegant- from the location to the food, everything was incredible. Cory and I had a wonderful time tasting all the food from Cleveland’s best chefs and mingling with other Clevelanders. Best of all, the event benefited a great cause.
Thank you Autism Speaks and CLE Fashionista for a wonderful evening!
Michael Symon & Mario Batali signing books
Chef Gala selfie
Bacon & smoked trout guacamole from Momocho (sooo good!)
An autographed cookbook to fuel my obsession with ABC’s The Chew
Mario Batali’s infamous orange Crocs
Goat Cheese Sundae from The Cheese Shop at the Westside Market (again, sooo good!) I can’t wait to try to recreate these at home! Luckily the program from the event included recipes of all the things we got to taste. Such a good idea!