CHEF, the Culinary & Hospitality Education Foundation of Southwest Florida, announced tickets are now on sale for its annual fundraising event to be held April 3, 2019, at Kensington Golf & Country Club, 2700 Pine Ridge Road, Naples, Florida. This year’s theme is, “CHEF Celebrates Club Chefs,” honoring Kensington Golf & Country Club’s Executive Chef and past president of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Caxambas Chapter, Naples & Marco Island, Ralph Feraco. Purchase tickets here. (

CHEF was established in 2004 as a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization with the mission to raise scholarship funds to benefit Collier and Lee County high school students, allowing them to pursue careers in the culinary arts and hospitality industries. CHEF Board Member and Gala Event Chair Chrissie Forbes said, “we are very excited to recognize Chef Feraco, winner of the 2017 Dr. L. J. Minor Chef Professionalism Award, along with other acclaimed ACF member chefs from across Southwest Florida. Funds raised at our event will benefit Collier and Lee County students in pursuing their culinary and hospitality endeavors.”

The annual event will begin with an exclusive VIP Wine Tasting at Kensington Golf & Country Club at 5:00 p.m., with wines expertly curated by a renowned sommelier, and hosted by Naples Wine Collection owners Jim and Laura Dixon. Tickets for the VIP Wine Tasting include the Gala event and are priced at $500 per person. Guests attending the Gala only, featuring delicacies prepared by award-winning ACF member chefs, paired with select wines from the Naples Wine Collection, will join the group at 6:30 p.m. Gala and auction tickets are $175 per guest. Purchase Gala tickets here. (

Incredible culinary offerings will be presented by:

  • Chef Richard Crisanti, Shadow Wood Country Club, Bonita Springs
  • Chef Dave Durante, Kalea Bay, Naples
  • Chef Ralph Feraco, Kensington Golf & Country Club, Naples
  • Chef Wilhelm Gahabka, Naples Lakes Country Club
  • Chef Michael Madsen, Naples Sailing & Yacht Club
  • Chef Tim Recher, Bay Colony Golf Club, Naples
  • Chef Brian Roland and Nicole Roland, Crave Culinaire, Naples
  • Chef Carlos Torres, Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club, Naples


Special culinary and travel silent and live auction items will be called by Scott Robertson Auctioneers’ popular founder himself, with entertainment provided by Steve DeLadurantey.

In 2018, more than $65,000 was distributed through the CHEF Scholarship Fund for students pursuing degrees at Florida Gulf Coast University and the Culinary Institute of America, among others. For more information, contact CHEF Board member, Beth Oliver, 239-985-7516. For details on CHEF’s mission, visit