STAMFORD, CT - On Monday, January 28, the Stamford Family YMCA will host its second annual “Fine Food for a Cause” event, part of the Y’s effort to raise awareness and funds to fight the local childhood obesity epidemic. The event, which will be emceed by Chris Hansen, a Dateline NBC correspondent, will feature local chefs and honor Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant co-founders Sasa Mahr-Batuz and Andy Pforzheimer, and Sam Cingari, founder of the 10 Cingari family-owned Grade A ShopRite supermarkets in Fairfield County.
Mahr-Batuz has been in the food business for more than 25 years. In 1989, he co-founded nuovo Pasta, a company that produces fresh pasta sold nationwide. He is responsible for Barcelona’s original concept, its ongoing innovation and the widely distinct designs that make the restaurants magnets for the style-conscious.
Pforzheimer has been a restaurant professional for over 30 years. He served a classic two-year apprenticeship in Burgundy, France, after which he worked in some of the finest kitchens across America. He was an Executive Chef in some of New York’s hottest restaurants, including Arcadia and 21 Club, before moving to Connecticut to be the original food editor for Martha Stewart Living. Pforzheimer along with Mahr-Batuz opened the first Barcelona in South Norwalk in 1996. Under his leadership, the restaurant group has since grown to seven locations throughout the United States.
Born and raised in Stamford, Cingari has been part of “the family business” at Grade A Market on Shippan Avenue since he was a kid -- sweeping floors, stocking shelves, bagging groceries and making deliveries. His parents, who came from Italy in 1920, set the example of helping their neighbors in need at a time when their growing family was living on a very limited income. Ever since, he and his family have continued this tradition, giving generously to the community and donating their time and business acumen to serve on many local charity boards. Cingari himself has been a longtime supporter of the Stamford Family YMCA, holding both an individual membership as well as serving on its Board of Directors for many years.
Fine Food for a Cause will take place at the Stamford Yacht Club, 97 Ocean Drive West in Stamford at 6 p.m. Attendees will enjoy a three-course, four-star meal prepared by some of the area’s most well-known chefs and served At the Chef’s Table. The event also includes the opportunity to participate in silent and live auctions. The cost is $175 per person and proceeds from the evening will help fund a multi-purpose teaching kitchen, which will be used to deliver cooking skills and nutritional education to underserved local kids and families. Nestlé Waters North America is the Masterchef (title) sponsor of the event, with other sponsors to date including Moffly Media and CT Bites.
For more information and reservations, visit www.stamfordymca.org/finefood or contact Katrina Dorsey at the Stamford Family YMCA at (203) 357-7000, extension 129. Details are also available via the Fine Food for a Cause Facebook profile.