LOS ANGELES, Oct. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, partnered with luxury appliance maker Jenn-Air last week to host a unique dinner in Los Angeles that raised more than $1.25 million for the organization. Using Jenn-Air ranges and cooking tableside, 100 top chefs created signature four-course meals for individual guest tables at this inaugural event, held on October 8th at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica.
Hosted by late night comedian Conan O'Brien and featuring a performance by musical guest P!nk, the event drew a Who's Who of Hollywood to honor Autism Speaks Co-Founders Suzanne and Bob Wright and commemorate the organization's 10th anniversary. Similar chef galas in New York have raised nearly $8 million for the research, awareness and advocacy initiatives of Autism Speaks.
As exclusive appliance sponsor, Jenn-Air provided nearly 50 ranges and a suite of kitchen appliances as an auction prize for the event. Also included in the prize is dinner for eight prepared in the top bidder's home by Chef Antonia Lofaso, winner of Bravo's Top Chef Season 4 and chef/owner of Scopa Italian Roots. Funds from this and other auction items have been designated for such Autism Speaks initiatives as summer camp for kids with autism, the genome research program known as MSSNG, and providing iPads to individuals who struggle to communicate.
"Autism touches all of us, whether personally or societally," notes Brian Maynard, Jenn-Air marketing director and auctioneer of the evening's culinary prize. "As a brand committed to making chef-worthy appliances and giving back, this was a natural fit for Jenn-Air."
In addition to Lofaso, participating chefs included Art Smith, Table Fifty-Two; Ben Ford, Ford's Filling Station; Brian Malarkey, Herringbone; Govind Armstrong, Post & Beam; Jet Tila, Food Network; Joachim Splichal, Patina; Josiah Citrin, Melisse; Mary Sue Milliken, Border Grill; Michael Voltaggio, Ink.; Nancy Silverton, Osteria Mozza; Neal Fraser, Redbird and many others. Collectively, they have earned James Beard awards, Best New Chef titles and rave reviews from diners in Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Chicago, Denver and points in between.
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, and repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 in 68 children in the U.S. and 1 in 48 boys are on the autism spectrum.
ABOUT AUTISM SPEAKS
Autism Speaks is the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed $560 million to its mission, the majority in science and medical research. Each year, Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in nearly 100 cities across North America. On the global front, Autism Speaks has established partnerships in more than 70 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit AutismSpeaks.org. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/autismspeaks Twitter: https://twitter.com/autismspeaks
ABOUT JENN-AIR BRAND
Since the introduction of the first self-ventilated cooktop in 1961 and downdraft ventilated range in 1965, Jenn-Air brand has consistently grown its reputation as a technology and design innovator. Its selection of style options includes two distinct stainless steel collections and a cutting-edge Floating Glass finish in black. From downdraft cooktops, wall ovens and professional style ranges to dishwashers, refrigerators and such entertaining essentials as warming drawers, built-in ice machines and wine cellars, Jenn-Air brand offers a complete line of major kitchen appliances. To learn more about the Jenn-Air® appliance collection, or speak with a member of the concierge team, please visit jennair.com, facebook.com/jennair, instagram.com/jennairusa and twitter.com/jennairusa.