Introducing TCC Foundation’s 2021 Cleaver and Cork Guest Chef – Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian

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Happy Wednesday, everyone! I have some exciting news for you all about the March 2021 Tallahassee Community College (TCC) Foundation Cleaver and Cork fundraising event.

Every year, the burning question is… who will TCC feature as the celebrity guest chef at the event? I’m so happy to share that 2021 is set to bring Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian to Tallahassee for its four-part culinary experience, Cleaver and Cork 2021, and Tallahassee Foodies will be in attendance for full event coverage!

A globally-renowned chef, restaurateur, TV host, and author, Zakarian’s resume also includes countless accolades – including a trio of coveted Three-Star Reviews from the New York Times, a James Beard Award for “Chopped” and a Michelin Star. 

“Iron Chef Zakarian has been at the top of my list since the very beginning,” said Heather Mitchell, Executive Director of the TCC Foundation. “With each new year, we look to up the star power, and I think we’ve accomplished just that – and then some.”  

Zakarian’s technical mastery was honed over his five-year, meteoric rise at Le Cirque, and then throughout a series of apprenticeships across Western Europe. His current restaurant empire spans coast-to-coast, including Point Royal and County Point, located just a few hours away in Hollywood.  

Outside of the kitchen, Zakarian is known for his television career on Food Network, including his ongoing role as co-host of “The Kitchen” and his 46-season tenure as a judge on “Chopped”. He also has a growing line of gourmet foods and culinary tools for the home cook and serves as Chairman of the City Harvest Food Council, a food rescue organization dedicated to fighting hunger in New York City. 

“My mission is to inspire, teach, and share the art of living well,” shared Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian. “I am excited to bring that forward in a big way at this year’s Cleaver and Cork – with the end goal of leaving a lasting impact on not just one’s relationship with food but oneself.”  

This year, Cleaver and Cork expands its event lineup to include four events over the course of the week: 


Progressive Cocktail Party 

Sunday, February 28 | 1:00 –5:00 PM  

The Progressive Cocktail Party will kick off the four-part experience in advance of welcoming Iron Chef Zakarian to Tallahassee. On Sunday, February 28, five local restaurants will host a private party, each offering a different course and wine pairing that includes their own unique spin on Zakarian’s recipes.   


Cooking Demonstration 

Thursday, March 4 | 6:00 – 7:30 PM  

Turner Auditorium at Tallahassee Community College  

444 Appleyard Dr, Tallahassee, FL 32304  

On Thursday, March 4, Geoffrey Zakarian will be live in action at the Cooking Demonstration sharing his tips and tricks featuring recipes from his cookbooks including “The Family that Cooks Together”, “Cast Iron Cooking: The Dutch Oven”, “My Perfect Pantry” and “Town | Country”.  


Signature Dinner  

Friday, March 5 | 6:00 – 9:30 PM  

TCC Lifetime Sports Complex at Tallahassee Community College  

444 Appleyard Dr, Tallahassee, FL 32304  

The Signature Dinner is the premier culinary experience, which will take place on Friday, March 5. The exclusive dinner with Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian will feature a four-course meal curated specifically for the event with each course paired with sommelier-selected wines from around the world. 


Food and Wine Festival 

Saturday, March 6 | 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM  

306 S Duval St, Tallahassee, FL 32301  

New to this year’s lineup, the Food and Wine Festival will take place on Saturday, March 6 on Kleman Plaza. The festival will include local food vendors and wine tastings, as well as feature cooking demonstrations by Iron Chef Zakarian and other talented local chefs.   


This year’s events are sponsored by Moore, Capital City Bank and Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare. 

“At the TCC Foundation, the health and safety of our guests is our top priority,” shared Mitchell. All events will adhere to State of Florida event guidelines and CDC health guidelines.  

All proceeds from Cleaver and Cork will benefit the Tallahassee Community College Foundation’s Athletics Program.  “The funds from Cleaver and Cork provide us the opportunity to further elevate educational program opportunities, scholarships, and teaching and learning facilities,” explained Mitchell. “I’m so proud of the work we’ve been able to do but the truth is, we’re just getting started.” 

For more information on Cleaver and Cork or to purchase tickets, visit cleaverandcorktcc.com.   

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