The tour, sponsored by the National Restaurant Association, includes lunch with executives from Food Network, Share Our Strength, and the National Restaurant Association. Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association, and Debbie Shore, co-founder and associate director of Share Our Strength, chose the winners in a random drawing from more than 1,800 restaurants that sent in their contributions within two months of this year’s Great American Dine Out.
“More than 3,500 restaurants participated in this year’s Great American Dine Out, and nearly 750 of them came to us through the National Restaurant Association’s sponsorship,” Shore says. “We’re grateful to the National Restaurant Association and Food Network for providing this tour as one way for us to thank those restaurants that sent us their contributions early.”
Winners who will travel to New York for an overnight stay and a tour of Food Network’s studios, scheduled for January 26, include: Ric Scicchitano, senior vice president of Food & Beverage, Corner Bakery Café in Dallas; Jim Materese, franchise owner of The Melting Pot in Buffalo, New York; and Stephen Schwarz, chef/owner of Mat & Naddie's in New Orleans.
“Corner Bakery Café believes in Share Our Strength’s mission to end childhood hunger in America and the entire team was thrilled to be part of the campaign,” says Jim Vinz, president and chief operating officer of Corner Bakery Café. “We are honored to be one of the winners of the Food Network tour and look forward to continuing our work with Share Our Strength to end childhood hunger by 2015.”