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‘Backpack’ fundraiser to feature restaurateur


– Jean-Georges Vongerichten, a four-star restaurant owner and cookbook author, will be this year’s celebrity chef for Fort Wayne’s “Blessings in a Backpack” fundraiser.

Since 2008, the “Blessings in a Backpack” program has brought celebrity chefs to Fort Wayne to raise money for the Fort Wayne chapter of the national program, which provides weekend meals to children by filling a backpack with food. This year’s event, with food by Vongerichten, takes place Aug. 13 at Sycamore Hills Golf Club, 11836 Covington Road.

Vongerichten, operates 38 three- and four-star restaurants around the world. He’s also won awards for his cookbooks, the most recent of which is “Home Cooking with Jean-Georges: My Favorite Simple Recipes.”

Two years ago, he and his wife, Marja, hosted a PBS cooking and travel show, “Kimchi Chronicles.”

Vongerichten was born just outside Strasbourg in Alsace, France, and came to the United States in 1985, opening a restaurant in Boston. He currently has restaurants in Paris, London, Shanghai, Las Vegas, New York and Chicago.

All proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Fort Wayne chapter of “Blessings in a Backpack.”

To buy tickets, which are $750 each, call Mike Gouloff at 424-9080, Paul Sauerteig at 423-2353 or Gretchen Gouloff at 433-3978.