Meijer LPGA Celebrity Chef Cookoff brings big names and great food to GR

lpga meijer simply give program

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-Nationally-acclaimed celebrity chef Mario Batali and culinary expert Gail Simmons will be at the Grand Rapids Public Museum to participate in this year’s Meijer LPGA Celebrity Chef Cookoff presented by Kraft. The entertaining and interactive cooking event will be held at 6:30 p.m. July 24 at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, and will showcase their personal culinary creations with event proceeds benefiting the Meijer Simply Give program, which replenishes the shelves of food pantries throughout the Midwest. Last year alone, the Meijer Simply Give Program raised $600,000 for its cause.



Both Batali and Simmons will prepare an appetizer and main course while interacting with guests throughout the evening, and guests will vote on their favorite. For tickets visit:, for $100 apiece, tickets include food, wine and a ticket to the golf tournament for the weekend.

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 “Grand Rapids is a city that is passionate about great food, which is why we think this specific event is such a highlight of tournament week,” Meijer President J.K. Symancyk said. “After the success of last year’s event, we are excited to open up more tickets to the general public while still maintaining the museum’s unique atmosphere.”

This year’s event will feature: Mario Batali: He counts 26 restaurants, 10 cookbooks, numerous television shows and two Eataly marketplaces (with a third opening soon) among his ever-expanding empire of deliciousness. Batali appears daily on ABC’s “The Chew,” a daytime talk show on ABC that celebrates and explores life through food.  Gail Simmons: She is a trained culinary expert and judge on Bravo’s Emmy-winning series “Top Chef,” as well as head critic on “Top Chef Masters.” Since 2004, Simmons has been Special Projects Director at Food & Wine Magazine. She participated alongside Cat Cora and Carla Hall in last year’s Meijer LPGA Celebrity Chef Cookoff.

 “I couldn’t be more thrilled to be coming back to Grand Rapids,” Simmons said. “Last year, the community really embraced the inaugural event and its great cause. I’m so impressed and excited about what Meijer has done to raise awareness for their Simply Give program.”

For more information on the Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft or to volunteer please visit

About the Meijer Simply Give Program:

Meijer is a family-owned retailer based in Grand Rapids, Mich. with a fundamental philosophy aimed at strengthening the communities it serves. Meijer operates more than 200 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky, and proudly donates more than 6 percent of its net profit each year to charities throughout the Midwest. With hunger as a corporate philanthropic focus, Meijer partners with hundreds of food banks and pantries through its Simply Give and food rescue programs. Meijer also supports education, disaster relief, and health and wellness initiatives. You can participate in the program by purchasing a $10 donation card by visiting

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