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Press release: Pastry Art’s Scholarship Foundation Raises Over $100,000 For Students
Pastry Art’s Scholarship Foundation Raises Over $100,000 For Students
For the Love of Chocolate Gala Treats Its Guests Like Stars
Chicago, Illinois (February 27, 2013) – After the rush of the holidays, Chicagoans prepare for a highlight in their long winter: For the Love of Chocolate Scholarship Foundation’s Annual Gala, a sweet feast for the senses dedicated to raising scholarships for dedicated students of the pastry arts. In its eighth year on Saturday, February 23rd, the event devoted itself to making its guests feel like stars for their contribution to scholarships for future students of The French Pastry School of Kennedy-King College at City Colleges of Chicago. The historic venue, Union League Club of Chicago, lent the perfect ambience to bring life to the theme of Old Hollywood Glamour – soaring ceilings, rich wood paneling, lavish chandeliers, and an unmatched collection of artwork served as an elegant backdrop for the over 800 party-goers. For some guests, the evening began with a five-course dinner by a collection of Chicago’s greatest chefs but all ended their night indulging in decadent sweets and lively tunes in the Dessert Dance Party. Thanks to all of the attendees, participants, volunteers, and the incredible sponsors of For the Love of Chocolate, the foundation netted $106,000; all of which will go to funding student scholarships for L’Art de la Pâtisserie and L’Art du Gâteau programs.
The gala began with a red carpet reception, complete with a troop of paparazzi from Redmoon Theater and a cheering crowd of fans, among them current students of The French Pastry School and beneficiaries of For the Love of Chocolate Scholarships. Before sitting down to dinner in the dazzling dining room, the VIP guests were treated to a reception featuring live music from a local big band and appetizers served by old-fashioned cigarette girls. Gathering some of Chicago’s greatest gastronomical talents in one meal, they were treated to dishes by Chef Paul Virant of Vie Restaurant, Chefs Paul Kahan and David Posey of Blackbird, Chef Yves Roubaud of Shaw’s Crab House, Chef Michael Garbin of Union League Club of Chicago, and Chef Dominique Tougne of Chez Moi.
Guests roamed between two Dessert Dance Parties where they sampled cuisine – both sweet and savory – from friends and alumni of The French Pastry School. “Tonight, we had an event filled with alumni from The French Pastry School’s first full program in 2000 to last term’s graduating class,” explained Franco Pacini, Director of For the Love of Chocolate Foundation. “They were here to support future students to receive the training that they benefited from and strongly believe in; this is exactly the kind of community that makes our foundation so special. Every single participant in the event made such marvelous contributions and it is important to us that every single dollar that they helped raise will go to funding scholarships.”
A highlight of the evening was the Cocoa Couture Fashion Show: twenty-six dresses made from ingredients and kitchenware were modeled down the runway right in both the VIP dinner and the Dessert Dance Party. Each design featured Jelly Belly® products: whether they were sixteen pound dresses; strands of “pearl” necklaces; or one-of-a-kind clutches. Designers accented their designs with serving tongs, strainer baskets, re-purposed packaging, and, of course, lots of chocolate.
The foundation and gala could not exist without the many generous sponsors and donors that make these grants possible for future students of the pastry arts. The 9th Annual For the Love of Chocolate Gala, already in the planning process, will take place in February of 2014: keep current with details on next year’s amazing event and the work of the eponymous foundation by visiting www.ftloc.org and following them on Facebook and Twitter. The next For the Love of Chocolate scholarships will be awarded to students who start L’Art de la Pâtisserie on July 8th and L’Art du Gâteau on September 3rd. Stay tuned for news of the progress of the many scholarship recipients, students, and alumni of The French Pastry School.