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Posted on Thu. Apr. 10, 2014 - 12:02 am EDT

Fundraiser taps Zakarian

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Geoffrey Zakarian is an accomplished chef and restaurateur, known for his sophisticated taste and signature style.

He’s most recognized, though, as a longtime judge on Food Network’s “Chopped” and as a winner of “The Next Iron Chef.”

On Sept. 9, Zakarian will follow the steps of other famed chefs and head to the kitchen of Sycamore Hills Golf Club for the annual Blessings in a Backpack fundraiser.

Michael Symon, Cat Cora, Charlie Trotter and Marcus Samuelsson are among chefs who have participated in the event.

Blessings in a Backpack strives to help meet the nutritional needs of children in need by providing weekend meals, generating public awareness on the issue of child hunger and working to expand the program across all 50 states. All proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the Fort Wayne chapter of Blessings in a Backpack.

Zakarian currently oversees the food and beverage program at The Water Club at Borgata in Atlantic City, is the culinary director for The Plaza in New York, and owns two restaurants in New York City – The Lambs Club and The National.

Zakarian is the author of “Geoffrey Zakarian’s Town/Country,” published in 2006. His second cookbook, “The Perfect Pantry,” will hit shelves this fall.

Zakarian is also chairman of the City Harvest Food Council, which works with the food industry’s support to fight hunger in New York City.

“In these tough economic times, Blessings in a Backpack is helping to address a growing need in the community,” says Mike Gouloff, chairman and CEO of Schenkel Shultz and president of the northeast Indiana chapter of Blessings in a Backpack. “It is important that we understand the links between nutrition and education and do what we can to strengthen those links for our area’s school children.”

Tickets are $750 a person; call Gouloff at 424-9080, Paul Sauerteig at 423-2353 or Gretchen Gouloff at 433-3978.

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