Gale Butler of AutoNation; Chef Michelle Bernstein, Dennis Haas of ARC Broward; and Jen Klaassens of The Wasie Foundation

There was “No Place like ARC Broward” as more than 375 local notables and philanthropists joined renowned Celebrity Chef Michelle Bernstein, Honorary Delish Chair; Dennis Haas, President and CEO of ARC Broward; ARC Broward graduates and students in making “Delish 2013” Presented by The Wasie Foundation a spectacular culinary celebration, raising more than $100,000 for ARC Broward.  The event, which transported guests on a delectable journey to Oz, took place at the Panorama Ballroom in the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six on Friday, March 22.  Chaired by Jen Klaassens, Vice President of Programs for The Wasie Foundation, and Gale Butler, Vice President of Corporate Affairs for AutoNation, “Delish 2013” showcased the delectable culinary creations prepared by competing teams of star chefs, students and graduates of the ARC Broward Culinary Institute; and celebrated the incredible success that the ARC Broward Culinary Institute program has proven to be.  The proceeds raised during the event will support critically-needed services for children and adults with autism and intellectual disabilities and people with other challenges.

 NBC 6 Anchor and Reporter Trina Robinson with Maria Alonso

Throughout the event, guests savored the extraordinary cuisine created by the teams of chefs during the culinary challenge and enjoyed an evening of live entertainment, dancing and a fabulous silent auction. Chef Bernstein served as the lead judge and presented the Best Overall Dish Award to ARC Broward Executive Chef Andres Marin and Student Chef Arielle Weekes for their innovative creations of Bourbon Glazed Grilled Salmon on a Cilantro and Jicama Slaw with a Red Cabbage and Beet Cream Sauce, Ancho-Chili Grilled Skirt Steak with Boursin Yukon Mash and Chipotle Chimichurri, and for dessert, a Shot of Crushed Blackberry with Grand Marnier, Vodka and Lychee Juice Garnished with a Lychee Fruit.  The Fan Favorite – Asian Glazed Salmon and Shrimp on a Bed of Mixed Greens with a Scoop of Sticky Rice Topped with Wasabi Aïoli and a Wonton chip was created by Chef Elisa, Owner and Chef of Elisa’s Catering, and Student Chef Joe Aycock.  Chef Lenore Nolan-Ryan, Owner and Operator of Lenore Nolan-Ryan Cooking School, and her Student Chef Kamaria Fowler-Henderson catered to long lines all night long with their “Wok-in Stir Fry Station.” Kamaria is now employed regularly by Chef Lenore.  Additionally, Chef Steve Acosta taught his student chefs the art of pulling mozzarella, his specialty as Head Chef at da Campo Osteria in the Il Lugano Hotel.  The station created by Chef Roy Vilacrusis, was a popular hit featuring digital artwork and photos of his team’s prep work combined with scenes from the Wizard of Oz.Arielle Weekes, ARC Broward Culinary Institute Student Chef of the Year; Calvin Wood, Chef Andres Marin, Chef Shermika Lyons and Chef Michelle Bernstein

Chef Bernstein also presented the ARC Broward Culinary Institute Student Chef of the Year Award to “Delish 2013” honoree, Arielle Weeks.  After being diagnosed with autism late in his developmental years, Arielle, with the help of a family friend and vocational rehabilitation, found the ARC Broward Culinary Institute. Arielle has excelled in the program and has quickly stepped up as a leader who takes initiative to complete each task.  He has also worked numerous events through ARC Broward’s underground supper club, The Traveling Plate. This experience afforded him an opportunity to put his newly learned skills to work. Along with developing his natural talent in the kitchen, Arielle has displayed tremendous personal growth. Upon graduation he intends to continue his culinary training with advanced degrees.

 Tariq Hamin, Chef Steven Acosta and Mario Lacayo

“Delish 2013” also honored community members who have supported ARC Broward.  Honorees included NBC6 Miami which recently recognized and awarded ARC Broward with a grant for operating it’s high-impact, progressive ARC Broward Culinary Institute program; and the Founders of The Traveling Plate underground supper club. The Traveling Plate honorees included Jennifer Saltz, Shareholder, Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A.; Kelly Alvarez, President, Strategic Philanthropy; Jon Swergold, Litigation Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, P.A.; Captain Rick Wierzbicki (ret), BSO Hate Crimes/Anti Bias Task Force; Pam Anselmo, Esq., Becker & Poliakoff. P.A.; David DeLeon, Executive Chef, Signature Grand; and Gina Reynen, Vice President, Creative Benefit Solutions, Inc.

 Jen Klaassens, Vice President of Programs for The Wasie Foundation, and Joe Aycock, Student Chef

The ARC Broward Culinary Institute uses food as a tool to transform lives and build stronger communities. The non-profit catering program creates outstanding culinary experiences in an ambiance of style and taste while providing real-world employment opportunities for the graduates of the Entry Level Culinary Arts Certificate Program.

 Peter Neirouz; Marla Neufeld, Associate at Greenspoon Marder; and Jason Neufeld, Associate at Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert PA

Event sponsors included The Wasie Foundation; Little Black Dress Vodka; Premier Beverage; Brio Tuscan Grille; Panache Style; AutoNation; Seitlin MMA; Vedgee Tortillas; Wood Business Systems; PNC Bank; Broward Health; Doumar, Allsworth, Laystrom, Voigt, Wachs, Adair & Bosack, LLP; Florida Panthers Foundation; Bank of America; Florida Blue; Roetzel and Andress; Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky, Abate and Webb; Tim Singer and Associates; Gary Arenson, CPA; Mario Careaga and Ray Stapleton; City Furniture; Community Bank of Broward; Florida Community Bank; Gibraltar Bank; Greenspoon Marder; FMS Bonds; Ken and Bernadette Gregson; Lincoln Financial Group; Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, LLC; Nova Southeastern University; Phoenix Package Logistics; Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A.; Steve Pattison and Family; Lifestyle Magazines and Eye on South Florida.

 Lori and Josh Vajda and Andrea Schliessman

ARC Broward is a nationally accredited, private, not-for-profit organization serving children and adults with autism, intellectual disabilities, and people with other life challenges. Incorporated in 1956, ARC Broward provides a full continuum of services and operates several mission based enterprises with a caring team of more than 450 health-care, educational, and other professionals. For more information and event updates, please visit or or

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