Celebrity chef Guy Fieri visited the Port City last week to host three sold-out events benefitting Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington, the all-girls charter school founded by former Food Network executive Judy Girard in 2015.
Food prep for the week’s events began last Tuesday, with Fieri being assisted by several local chefs including Brian Dennis, Aaron Beaton and Dan Pastore of the Country Club of Landfall, Bobby Zimmerman of True Blue Butcher & Table and Brandon Stark of Michael’s Seafood.
Proceeds from this year’s fundraiser will help fund the school’s new campus, 4100 Sunglow Drive. Construction is expected to begin this spring on land near Maides Park that was donated by the Cameron family. The new campus, designed by a team of female architects from LS3P Associates, will feature middle and high school wings, a media center, a cafeteria, an administrative building and outdoor space.
Students from the school were present at the breakfast and lunch events at Landfall Country Club on Friday. They greeted guests and recited their school pledge. Earlier in the week, they presented Fieri with a birthday cake in celebration of his 50th birthday, which took place last Monday.
“Most of the ladies I met, even at just 13 years old, are already carrying themselves with a recognition and a strength that you wish all kids had,” Fieri said.
Fieri said he was eager to participate in the fundraiser because he loves kids and believes in investing in their future. He said he felt empowered by the heart and soul that is fueling GLOW.
“I like being around powerful people, people who are making things happen, people who are making commitments to the community,” Fieri said. “We all have to bring each other up; that’s what community is all about. And the folks here in Wilmington have been overwhelmingly generous.”
While in Wilmington, Fieri also filmed several episodes of his popular Food Network series, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Fieri and his crew, along with his signature red Chevy Camaro, were spotted at The Copper Penny, Something Fishy, Ceviche’s, Fork-N-Cork, Cast Iron Kitchen and Sweet n Savory Cafe.
Fieri admitted it was difficult to choose just six Wilmington restaurants to include in the program.
“There are so many fantastic places to visit,” Fieri said. “And it’s impossible to include them all, but I think we gave a nice little representation of what you guys have to offer.”
Fieri said the Wilmington segments will air in separate Triple D episodes, beginning in about eight weeks.
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