Monday, May 2, 2011

AMP 150 Winner And A Great Charity Event

At midnight on Saturday, I visited and entered the number of comments left on my blog post regarding the $25 AMP 150 gift card (45 comments). The first go-round left me with #18. Counting the comments from the beginning, it turned out that #18 had been deleted by the original author. Fine. I went for a second random number and this time came up with:

Magical number forty-three! Counting backwards from the bottom led me to MalininGrl, who happened to leave her email address in her comment. I emailed her and she was more than happy to accept the gift card. Congratulations, MalininGrl, I hope your meal at AMP 150 is spectacular!

Next up, I wanted to mention Dinner In The Dark ... now wait, gentle reader. As you know well by now, since last November I have published on a monthly basis my escapades at this amazing series of charity events. And even though May's DITD at the Greenhouse Tavern on Monday, May 16th is already completely sold out, I still plan to review last month's DITD at Palate Restaurant in Strongsville next Monday (as has been my tradition).

However, what I wanted to tell you about was a special Dinner In The Dark that is happening on Monday, May 23rd at AMP 150. It is a slightly different format than the regular dinners. Normally, DITD is a six course wined paired meal that is a "sit down" type of dinner. This special event will have fifteen different stations, each manned by a different chef and instead of servers running food to your table, you will simply approach each station and get the food yourself. So, in essence, this particular event is more of the "stand and mingle" type of dinner.

More importantly, this event is a benefit for the Matthew Finkel Fund. Here's the official profile:

"This 'Special Edition' DITD will feature 15+ chefs offering small bites at various tasting tables. There will also be an assortment of micro breweries and wineries represented as well. As usually we will be offering multiple raffles and silent auctions. The proceeds to this event will go to a scholarship fund in the name of Matthew Finkel and the money will help an under privileged Northeast Ohioan attend the Culinary Institute of America.

Price is $40.00 per person, all inclusive. Due to the expected size of this event, we WILL NOT be able to accept payment at the door.


Matthew grew up up in a two bed room apartment in the Bronx with his mother (who is blind), father, grandfather, grandmother, two sisters and brother. He loved to cook since he was a young boy. At the age of 8, he started helping his mother, who was going blind, prepare meals for the family. He was a very good guitarist who began playing at the age of 10 and loved Jimi Hendrix, as well as, composing his own music. He enjoyed working with computers, and would help anyone who was having technical trouble, He had a great heart, and would help anyone with anything, whether or not he he time to spare.

But it was cooking that was his main passion. He would read cookbooks to learn and try out recipes because he knew he wanted to be a chef. He dreamed of going to culinary school but knew it was financially impossible. While in high school he learned of the Food Network offering a full scholarship to CIA with full room and board. Out of countless applicants, he was chosen most deserving and was awarded the scholarship on The Food Network Awards in 2007 by Catherine Zeta Jones and Aaron Eckhart. He received his bachelors of professional studies in Baking and Pastry Management from CIA in May 2010. After graduating he went to work for Bravo TV Top Chef winner Harold Dieterle at his Manhattan restaurant Perilla. He moved to Ohio last October to start a life with fiancee Kirsten Brayn. whom he met and fell in love with while both attended CIA. Matthew was working in Ohio at an artisnal bread shop the Bread Chef in Boardman, Ohio, as well as, Ely Pugh's Vegan restaurant, Ely's To-Go."

So, if you feel like helping out with a great charity and getting to try out the food from fifteen of Cleveland's fantastic chefs, this might be the perfect opportunity. I encourage you to get tickets while they are still available, unlike the DITD at the Greenhouse Tavern and most likely for the one next month at Flying Fig. To buy tickets, simply visit their EventBrite page.

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