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Inaugural Cleveland Autism Speaks Chef Gala Raised Over $100,000

August 11, 2013

The first ever Cleveland Autism Speaks Chef Gala, hosted by celebrity Chef Michael Symon was a high energy affair showcasing 11 of Cleveland’s best chefs. This sold-out event was held in the heart of downtown at Cuyahoga Community College Hospitality Management Center. Guests and foodies alike strolled through demo kitchens to taste signature dishes from chefs including Brian Doyle (Sow Food and Beachland Ballroom), John Selick (University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center), and Chris Hodgson (Hodges Restaurant) who all have a personal connection to autism.

Rocco Whalen (Fahrenheit, Rosie and Rocco’s Restaurant), Eric Williams (Momocho, Happy Dog), Jonathon Sawyer (Greenhouse Tavern, Noodlecat), Paul Minnillo (Flour), Brandt Evans (Pura Vida, Blue Canyon), Jonathan Bennett, (Red the Steakhouse, Moxie the Restaurant), and Britt-Marie Culey, (Coquette Patisserie) also plated up delicious fare while guests bid on silent auction items. The highlight of the evening was the live auction that started with special artwork presented to Chef Michael Symon by Seth Chwast, a local artist with autism, and ended with an exciting drawing to win a pair of tickets to the VIP after-party held at Lola.

Shari and Michael Goldberg served as the evening’s honorary co-chairs and Jim and Jennifer Sammon served as the event co-chairs. Proceeds from the gala will benefit Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization dedicated to increasing awareness of autism and raising money to fund autism research.

For more on this event, check this article from