4th Annual Chefs’ Showcase at the Fort Harrison Heralds Renaissance for Youth
06/24/2016

When five award-winning chefs get together at the Church of Scientology's Fort Harrison religious retreat, magic happens.

Online PR News – 24-June-2016 – Clearwater, FL – CLEARWATER, FL: One hundred culinary thrill-seekers gathered at the Church of Scientology’s Fort Harrison religious retreat on June 19th for the 4th Annual Chefs’ Showcase. Benefitting local charities, the event was an evening of food, wine and music pairings overlooking the Clearwater Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. More than $12,000 was raised, which organizers hope will help create a new renaissance for young people and families in need.

Co-sponsored by Tampa Bay Magazine, the event featured a Renaissance theme, created for the modern guest.

Participating chefs included Fort Harrison Executive Chef Barry Reid, Chef Vanessa Marquis (former Executive Chef for Royal Caribbean Cruises and founder of the Culinary Arts program for Metropolitan Ministries), Chef Rene Marquis (former US Army Chef and winner of the Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen), Chef Sean Ragan (of the Sandpearl Resort) and Chef Bill Brown, owner of William Dean Chocolates, (winner of more than 60 awards internationally for his chocolates). These chefs worked in coordination with the Executive Chef for the Church of Scientology’s operations in Clearwater, Chef Zoltan Vajna.

Each chef was introduced to the assembled guests and spoke about their course. This was followed by the Fort Harrison’s in-house sommelier describing the wine pairing. As an end to the trio, the Fort Harrison’s Music Director explained the significance behind the music pieces which were played to accompany the course.

A string quartet played music such as “Ode to Joy” to accompany the serving of a German appetizer and “Claire de Lune” to the serving of the French-inspired entree.

But the real centerpiece of the event was the raising of funds to help at-risk youth and their families.

As Lisa Mansell, the Public Affairs Director of the Church of Scientology and the MC for the evening said, “In demonstrating the idea forwarded by author, humanitarian and Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard ‘When children become unimportant to a society, that society has forfeited its future’, these charities have assisted thousands in need.”

The benefitting charities include the Police Athletic League, the Leonard Johnson Foundation and the Clearwater Community Volunteers.

“These organizations provide a wide variety of services to the community – from holiday-themed entertainments to football camps to after-school tutoring and drug abuse prevention education,” said Ms. Mansell. “We are honored to be able to help these groups increase their outreach.”

The Fort Harrison has served as the International Religious Retreat for the Church of Scientology since 1975. Fully restored in 2009, the Fort Harrison regularly hosts charity events.

Tampa Bay Magazine has been the go-to magazine for Tampa Bay area residents since 1986. Showcasing all that is good in the area, publishers Aaron Fodiman and Margaret Word Burnside also provide a forum for non-profits to reach the public most likely to support their endeavors.