Zov and TV Food Network Stars raise $30,000 for the James Beard Foundation

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They laughed, they nibbled, they embellished, they shared and, best of all, they cooked. Local Chef Zov joined by TV Food Network stars Michael Symon and Anne Burrell headlined a 2-day fundraiser benefiting the prestigious James Beard Foundation. More than $30,000 was raised during the festivities, which included a VIP fundraiser attended by prominent guests including novelist Dean Koontz, and a culinary concert where the three cooked up a lavish lunch for scores of enthusiastic supporters. All proceeds will benefit the James Beard Foundation’s Scholarship Program, whose mission is to celebrate, nurture, and preserve America’s diverse culinary heritage and future.

A Cleveland native, Symon took home top honors on “The Next Iron Chef,” and eventually secured his place as a permanent Iron Chef on “Iron Chef America.” He has since taken over as the new host of two hit series “Dinner: Impossible” and “Cook like an Iron Chef.”

Burrell is the host of “Secrets of a Restaurant Chef.” In January 2010, her newest show, “Worst Cooks in America,” debuted on Food Network as the highest rated new show in Food Network history, attracting 4 million viewers for the first episode. The second season of the hit show is currently airing.

“This weekend was amazing on so many levels. Both Anne and Michael were so warm, generous and supportive and our guests during the 2 days thoroughly enjoyed themselves,” said Chef Zov, a James Beard Angel Award recipient, restaurateur, cookbook author and owner of 3-heralded OC restaurants that bear her name.

Added Burrell, “The dinner on Saturday was top notch and it was an honor being here.”

Symon said that he was impressed by the support of the local community for the educational programs offered by the James Beard Foundation.

Zov’s Bistro and Bakery serves some of Southern California’s finest Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine set in chic, yet comfortable environments. Founded in 1987, Zov’s Bistro in Tustin, California, has become one of the most recognized restaurants in Orange County, with an award-winning bakery, banquet facilities, full-service catering, and cooking classes. Her two other restaurants, Zov’s Neighborhood Cafes and Bar, are located in Newport Beach and Irvine. Visit www.zovs.com.

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PHOTO: http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/8877/zovannesymonatjamesbear.jpg

(L-R) Anne Burrell, Michael Symon, Zov Karamardian at the culinary concert, a fundraiser for the James Beard Foundation, held at Zov’s Bistro in Tustin this past Sunday .

Photo Credit: Marcie Taylor