A virtual visit with beloved cookbook author and Food Network star Ina Garten is on the table for participants in Beacon Education’s newest fundraiser.
Garten will virtually host an intimate event in Wilmington in the spring, where a handful of winners in a limited raffle will enjoy a menu of the Barefoot Contessa’s recipes, curated by Garten and prepared by Pine Valley Market’s Christi Ferretti and her staff.
Garten joins a handful of celebrity chefs who have headlined Beacon Education’s (formerly named GLOW NC) foodie fundraisers, among them Emeril Lagasse, Rachael Ray, Guy Fieri and Giada De Laurentiis. However, the opportunity to partner with Garten is unique, according to Beacon CEO Todd Godbey, who said the introverted TV star doesn’t typically get involved in these kinds of events.
“Ina has only done this once in an intimate setting,” Godbey said, adding that tickets to the previous event sold at auction for approximately $50,000.
Only 100 raffle tickets, priced at $1,000 each, are available for the event
. Out of these ticket holders, five winners will be selected at a Jan. 20 event, where cocktails and hors d’oeuvres – again selected by Garten and prepared by Pine Valley Market – will be served. Each of the winners, along with up to three guests per person, get exclusive access to the spring event, where Garten will make an hourlong appearance. After chatting with Garten, a three-course dinner of Garten’s recipes will be served.
Even those who aren’t selected for the dinner with Garten could get a treat at the Jan. 20 event, where Godbey said Garten might virtually “pop in” to draw the names of the winners.
About half of the tickets have already sold in a pre-sale offered to members of Beacon’s secret supper club, Rare. An annual membership to Rare, typically priced at $1,000, is included with the purchase of a raffle ticket.
Inspired by similar groups in Raleigh, Rare organizes exclusive dining experiences for members quarterly, each of which is announced a month in advance with limited details revealed in hints shared in the days and months leading up to the event.
In a nod to the secret supper club, the location of the spring date with Garten has not been disclosed.
Beacon Education is the nonprofit parent company for Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington (GLOW), the state’s only single-gender public charter school, as well as the forthcoming Spark Academy early childhood education centers. The Ina Garten event and the Rare supper club support both initiatives, which broadly aim to provide equitable access to high-quality education.