Food Network Star Madison Cowan Joins the Line-Up at the Veggie U Food and Wine Celebration

Tickets are now available online for the 10th Annual Veggie U Food and Wine Celebration, at The Culinary Vegetable Institute on July 21st, 2012.

Chef Madison Cowan will join the lineup of celebrity chefs at this year’s Celebration. His accomplishments include Winning Challenger on Food Network’s Iron Chef America, and Grand Champion on the network’s Chopped (after defending his title with three consecutive wins). He is now a recurring Judge on the network’s Extreme Chef series, while also hosting No Kitchen Required on BBC America. Madison is also the author of Soul Voyage which chronicles his philosophy of cooking from the soul, as well as the journeys of this London-born, and Jamaican-raised, talent.

The line-up of additional celebrity headliners include Chef Robert Irvine (star of Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible), Chef Amanda Freitag (as seen on Unique Eats, America’s Next Iron Chef and Chopped); Chef Johnny Iuzzini (Judge on Bravo’s Top Chef Just Desserts, James Beard award winning pastry chef, and author); and Chef Claire Robinson (Food Network Challenge and 5 Ingredient Fix). The chef headliners showcase their many talents on the F&W Celebration demonstration stage, where attendees have the opportunity to get a real sense of their personalities, skill and artistry.

Master Sommelier Brett Davis of Vintner Select in Louisville, KY, will hold wine classes with the goal of educating the guests on the nuances of fine wines; and, celebrity MC and auctioneer Billy Harris is back this year to entertain the crowd.

Flavors of the World. Each of the thirty+ guest chefs at the event’s tasting stations have chosen a cuisine to transport attendees to their favorite locales or to a region and cuisine style they might not otherwise get to experience. Also new this year is the addition of two gourmet food trucks, a fun trend happening around the country, as top chefs put their award winning restaurant menus “on the road” in city streets, parks and catered events. Chef Rocco Whalen, restaurateur and executive chef at Fahrenheit in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood, who was also recently showcased on Food Network’s Fat Chef series, will bring his “Short Rib 1” Fahrenheit Truck. In addition, gourmet food-truck operator Chef Chris Hodgson, who achieved nationwide recognition when he finished second on Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race this year, will bring the famous “Hodge Podge” truck showcased on the series. Hodgson recently opened Hodge’s in downtown Cleveland with restaurateur Scott Kuhn.

Grand Tasting tickets for the Celebration are $150 each (please call for group ticket rates). VIP Party tickets are $300 each, and include preferred parking and early admittance, mingling with the celebrity chefs, private cuisine offerings, and exclusive silent and live auction items. To purchase tickets and learn more about the event, visit or call 419.499.7500. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.

The Veggie U Food and Wine Celebration is a unique opportunity to sample culinary masterpieces and wine pairings at the Culinary Vegetable Institute’s rustic riverside retreat. The grounds are alive on this summer Saturday with the aromas and flavors of the world’s best cuisine, food demonstrations, wine education and samplings, and the chance to contribute to a great cause through the unique offerings of the silent and live auctions. This annual fundraiser benefits Veggie U <> , a non-profit children’s education program that teaches the importance of nutrition and sustainable agriculture by providing interactive lesson plans with a classroom garden kit to elementary schools and special needs students.