South Seattle Community College announces chefs for ‘Gifts from the Earth’ gala

December 19, 2011 11:48 am
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Just in from South Seattle Community College (P.S. Added post-publication – longtime journalist Margaret Larson will emcee!):

Fifteen of the region’s top chefs will participate in South’s 2012 Gifts from the Earth gala, the annual event that celebrates the hospitality industry and raises funds for college programs and student scholarships. The singular event provides food and wine aficionados, donors, and sponsors a unique opportunity to interact with celebrity chefs and South students while enjoying innovative cuisine and the finest Washington wines.

The festivities, sponsored by Food Services of America, take place Saturday, January 28, 2012, at South Seattle Community College beginning at 5 pm. The evening features hors d’oeuvres, wine tasting and a silent auction, followed by dinner and a live auction that includes unique wine and dining packages.

It’s the can’t-miss event of the year, as the region’s celebrity chefs create their own menus and prepare a multi-course gourmet feast for two tables (10 guests per table) each. All the courses are paired with fine wine from Washington wineries, poured by student sommeliers from South’s own Northwest Wine Academy.

Gifts from the Earth is more than a unique fundraising event; it also provides invaluable, hands-on learning and professional networking opportunities for South Seattle Community College students Hospitality Management bachelor’s degree program students manage guest relations, Culinary Arts students prepare meals alongside celebrity chefs, and students in the Wine Technology program pour wine with winemakers.

2012 Celebrity Chefs (* denotes South Seattle Community College alumni):
Ron Arbour – Royal Argosy; Jay DeLong – Canapé & Northwest Wine Academy instructor; Eric Floyd – Washington Athletic Club; Chris Frantela – Bellevue Harbor Club; Mark Guth* and Carly Duke* – Emerald Cove Catering; Kraig Hansen – Palisade Restaurant; John Hart – Sheraton Seattle; Jeff Maxfield* – Sky City; Renatto Medranda – The Westin Bellevue; Brent Novotny – Cactus Restaurant; Cody Reaves – Flat Iron Grill; Sean Rogers – Broadmoor Golf Club; Robert Scribner – South Seattle Community College; Kenneth Slack* – Sullivan’s Steakhouse Seattle; and Travis Chase – The Tin Table.

2012 Featured Wineries
Antonville Winery, Barnard Griffin, Brian Carter Cellars, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Chatter Creek, Columbia Winery, Covington Cellars, DeLille Cellars, Elsom, Eroica, Gecko Cellars, Hollywood Hill, Isenhower Cellars, Kestrel Vintners, Martedi Wines, Michael Florentino Cellars, Northwest Wine Academy, Nota Bene Cellars, O.S. Winery, Palouse Winery, Pleasant Hill Cellars, Soos Creek Winery, Stomani Cellars, Waterbrook, and Willis Hall.

Additional chefs and wineries may be announced.

Title sponsor Food Services of America (FSA) is one of the nation’s largest foodservice distributors, serving customers in 15 western and mid-western states. This is the fifth consecutive year that FSA, a long-time supporter of South’s award-winning culinary and hospitality industry programs, has participated as the Gifts from the Earth title sponsor. The cocktail hour and silent auction reception is sponsored by Union Bank. Additional sponsors include Boeing, Charlie’s Produce, Interbay Food Company, Tony’s Coffee, Rebar & Associates PLLC, Odom Distribution, and Ferguson Construction.

Tickets for Gifts from the Earth may be purchased for $175 per person. Corporate and table sponsorships ranging from $1,750 to $5,000 are also available. More information on ticket purchase and sponsorship opportunities may be obtained by contacting the South Seattle Community College Foundation at (206) 934-5809, email to, or on the web at

Celebrity Chef Profile – Carly Duke & Mark Guth, Emerald Cove Catering

Emerald Cove Catering Company Operations Director Carly Duke and Chef Mark Guth are seasoned Gifts from the Earth veterans. They participated in the event as Culinary Arts Program students and are returning for the second consecutive year as guest chefs. Both graduated from South in 2006 with certificates in Restaurant Production and Banquet & Catering Operations, and share a unique perspective on the student/chef connection that distinguishes Gifts from the Earth.

“We have so many things on our plate, but being part of the school and remembering the experience we had, we thought it would be really fun to do,” said Carly of their decision to participate as guest chefs the first time. “It makes me feel kind of old, but it’s really fun to see the students and remember where you were then.”

Adds Mark, “I think it’s really good for students to interact with people who are actually in the industry. It’s also great exposure, because the guest chefs bring out all sorts of ingredients and methods that students don’t normally see. There’s lots of variety.”

The dynamic duo is bringing along another South alumn, Brandon LaVielle, to help them prepare their special 5-course menu for the evening. All the guest chefs take full advantage of the opportunity to cook foods of their own choosing, and Gifts from the Earth diners are always treated to imaginative, inspired meals.

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