Spectacular smack-downs and “Wild Wizardry” are on the menu for the 11th Annual Imagine Gala

Mystery, magic and mischief are all in store at the 11th Annual Imagine Gala, which happens from 7 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, March 12 at the Imaginarium Science Center, 2000 Cranford Avenue in Fort Myers to benefit the Imaginarium and Southwest Florida Museum of History. Get your tickets at www.i-sci.org/imaginegala and be transported as the Imaginarium is transformed to an adults-only zone where Southwest Florida’s top local chefs compete to delight your senses.

Join MasterChef Finalist Derrick Peltz to determine the fate of our gourmet gladiators with a vote for your favorite appetizer, prepared on the spot by local chefs James Fraser, David Rashty, Fabrice Delatrain and Ben Voisin. Not to be outdone, TV star Peltz will attempt to wow the crowd with his own take on the Fresh from Florida pantry. And will a mystery ingredient wreak havoc on the culinary contenders?
 
Meanwhile educator and performer Glen Beitman will bring his locally famous Wild Wizard science show, adapted for a mature audience. Sumptuous food will be passed throughout the evening. Fourteen speakers throughout the building and across the starlit campus of the Imaginarium will broadcast plenty of smack talk and play-by-plays of the cutting-edge competition, along with important announcements regarding the fabulous live and silent auction.
 
As the crowd is transported by the decadent delights the Imagine Gala has become known for, lucky attendees will find themselves planning for luxury vacations, chef’s table dinners and other opulent auction prizes, which last year included a Steamboat Springs cabin getaway and a fabulous Caribbean vacation.
 
Meet the chefs, who have gamely accepted the invitation to this annual food fight – and the challenge to surpass the record-breaking $100,000 that was raised last year:
                                                    
Chef David Fraser is a Johnson & Wales grad whose CV includes tenures in renowned restaurants in Paris, Italy and India. For the past 10 years he has been refining the chops of our future chefs, and is Instructor for FGCU’s Resort and Hospitality Management. Hey Chef, your students are watching!
 
The International Culinary Center in New York City is Chef David Rashty’s alma mater, and he’s got 3-star Michelin restaurants on his resume. Chef de Cuisine of the new Jack’s Farm to Table at the Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina, Rashty has worked under such prestigious names as Daniel Boulud and Jean Georges. Let’s see how those three stars help you with the mystery ingredient!
 
Chefs Fabrice Deletrain and Benjamin Voisin represent team Fathoms, the Cape Harbour eatery, and are the masterminds behind Black Salt Culinary catering. Deletrain studied at L’École de Paris des Métiers de la Table, and he worked with Michelin three-star chef Guy Savoy for eight years. Before joining his partner in crime, Voisin was Executive Chef at Montpelier Plantation and Beach on the Caribbean island of Nevis. Previously he managed 20 kitchen teams as Executive Sous Chef at the luxurious La Manga Club Hotel Principe Felipe in Spain. Voisin is also executive chef at Fathoms’ neighbor, The French Press. How do you say, “It’s showtime!” en français?
 
Many levels of sponsorship are available, offering exciting promotional opportunities, gala tickets, a seat on the Celebrity Cook-Off Judge’s Panel, family memberships and more. All money raised at the event benefits The Imaginarium Group and SWFL Museum of History Foundation, a 501(C)(3) organization that supports the Imaginarium and the SWFL Museum of History in raising exhibit and education program funds. Lipman Produce has once again graciously agreed to be Title Sponsor of the gala.
 
About the Imaginarium Science Center
The Imaginarium Science Center is a family-friendly science center and aquarium offering fun interactive exhibits and a 3-D theatre. The mission is to engage guests in the exploration of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) through hands-on exhibit experiences and educational programs that further the understanding of the natural and human-made world, foster an appreciation for Southwest Florida’s unique environment and natural waterways, and nurture intellectual curiosity, discovery, and innovation. For more information, visit www.i-sci.org.
 
About the SWFL Museum of History
The SWFL Museum of History The Southwest Florida Museum of History is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and interpretation of history and traditions, with particular emphasis on Fort Myers and Southwest Florida. Exhibits showcase the region’s rich history, from prehistoric to modern day. For more information, visit www.MUSEUMofHISTORY.org.
 
Two great museums come together!
The Imaginarium Science Center and the SWFL Museum of History have been under joint leadership for nearly a decade, but are now planning a new museum experience. Get a sneak peek as to where that path may lead at this joint fundraising event. It is sure to make history and blaze new trails into the future!