Jul 24, 2014 | Hope in the News

Internationally known chef and designer Jaime Laurita will headline the 20th Annual Celebrity Chef fundraiser, benefiting students of The Hope Institute for Children and Families. The event, which has become a Springfield tradition, will be held on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, at Erin’s Pavilion in Southwind Park.

Chef Laurita is the quintessential celebrity chef who has cooked for many of the world’s top touring entertainers, such as Sting, The Rolling Stones, Madonna and Aerosmith. The Chicago-area resident has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Food Network, as well as Bravo TV’s “Real Housewives of New Jersey” as brother of stars Caroline and Dina Manzo.

“Jaime’s passion for food and years of experience will allow residents in the Springfield area the unique opportunity to meet someone who truly has cooked for celebrities,” said Karen G. Foley, Hope Institute President and CEO. “We couldn’t be more grateful that he is partnering with Hope to help us continue to serve our students to ensure they reach optimum growth, independence and joy.”

As a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, Chef Laurita has earned a masters certificate in Italian Cuisine and is best known for infusing his imagination into the kitchen to create unique, organic and delicious meals. He has developed his signature brand of food and wine, and even teamed up with musician Sarah McLachlan to write the cookbook “Plenty: A Collection of Sarah McLachlan’s Favorite Recipes.”

Val Yazell, Director of External Affairs for Hope’s Springfield Region, said Chef Laurita serving as the event host is sure to give guests a one-of-a-kind experience in fine dining.

“Chef Laurita is a true ‘renaissance man’ whose expertise includes not only food but great wines and interior design,” she said. “Yet, the success of Celebrity Chef for the past 20 years speaks to the generous hearts of our community. I know that the people of Springfield will love Jaime Laurita.”

The 20th Annual Celebrity Chef Dinner ticket price is $150 and includes a main reception, dinner, drinks, exclusive raffle and entertainment. Tickets are available on The Hope Institute website at Guests must RSVP by Sept. 8. Reservations and special requests may be mailed to: The Hope Institute, Attn: Celebrity Chef, 15 East Hazel Dell Lane, Springfield, IL, 62712. Call (217) 588-7546 for more information.

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