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Autism Speaks 2017 Celebrity Chef Gala Brings Together World-Class Chefs For a Cause

Autism Speaks Celebrity Chef Gala Will Bring nearly 100 World-Class Chefs to Cipriani Wall Street Tuesday, October 10

Hosted by *NSYNC recording artist Joey Fatone, event raises vital funds for autism research and resources for children and adults

WHAT: Acclaimed and accomplished chefs from around the country will put their cutting-edge skills to work at the Autism Speaks Celebrity Chef Gala. Now marking its 11th year, the event helps fund vital research, free resources and services that meet the diverse needs of people with autism at every stage of life. It’s part dinner party, part pop-up, part cooking demonstration as Cipriani Wall Street is transformed into a massive open kitchen with stations for nearly 100 chefs and pastry chefs.

Working beside an individual table for ten, each chef creates a signature four-course meal. They design the menu, prepare dishes à la minute, then serve. For the final course, pastry chefs will be whipping, baking and piping their own bespoke desserts.

These chefs, including many graduates of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), represent more than a dozen cities and collectively have earned Michelin stars, James Beard Awards, rave reviews and accolades locally, as well as in The New York Times, Bon Appétit and Food and Wine. They include:

Michael Armstrong – Bodega Negra                             Shaun McCrain – Copine      

Chad Brown – Hunt & Fish                                             Adrienne Mosier – Deuxave

Didier Elena – Chefs Club                                              Jon Nodler – High Street on Market

Michael Ferraro – Delicatessen                                     Jason Pfeifer – Maialino

Cipriani Wall Street – Team of Chefs                            Shaun McCrain – Copine

Michael Franey – SaltBrick Tavern                                Adrienne Mosier – Deuxave                  

Damian Franqui – Locanda Verde                                 Jason Pfeifer – Maialino                            

Michael Ginor – Hudson Valley Foie Gras & LOLA       Doug Psaltis – RPM Steak / RPM Italian

Joel Harrington – Lido Bottle Works                              Ralph Scamardella – TAO Group

Michael Kornick – DMK Restaurants                             Justin Shoults – Oak + Rowan

                                                                                         Andrew Zimmerman – Sepia

Joey Fatone, the multi-platinum *NSYNC recording artist and star of Broadway, film and television, will emcee the evening. Fatone, who is also a restaurateur and an advocate for people with disabilities, has a daughter who is on the autism spectrum.

Honorees include John Ferguson, a partner at Goodwin Proctor LLP who mobilized a team of lawyers, pro bono, to research and develop a free online resource filled with information for families of children with autism. He saw it as an opportunity to share his firm’s expertise to help others find answers.

Chef Gala event chair Brian Harper, an Autism Speaks national board member, is CEO of Rouse Properties, one of the country’s largest regional retail center owners, with a geographically diverse portfolio that spans the United States. Inspired by his son who is on the spectrum, Harper is committed to seeing that each person with autism spectrum disorder has equal access to care and support.

The evening will feature a performance by tenor Lawrence Brownlee. One of the most in-demand opera singers in the world, Brownlee was named 2017 “Male Singer of the Year” by both the International Opera Awards and He has appeared on the stages of the top opera companies around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Covent Garden, The Vienna State Opera and Opera National de Paris. He too has a son with autism.

WHY: Autism is a lifelong condition that affects an estimated 1 in 68 children in the United States and 70 million people around the world. Chef Gala is a premier culinary event that raises funds toward Autism Speaks’ mission to promote solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of people with autism and their families.

WHEN:  Tuesday, October 10, 2017

6:00 p.m. – Media Check-in

6:30 p.m. – Cocktail Reception (Interviews and photo opportunities at this time)

7:30 p.m. – Dinner and Program

WHERE: Cipriani Wall Street

55 Wall Street (between William and Hanover Streets)

New York, N.Y.  10005


FOR MEDIA CREDENTIALS, please contact:

Aurelia Grayson | 646-740-1335


Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, most caused by a combination of genetic and environmental influences. An estimated 1 in 68 children is on the autism spectrum.


Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. We do this through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. We empower people with autism and their families with resources, online tools and information covering the life span. To find resources, join a fundraising walk or make a donation, go to