World-renowned Celebrity Chef Art Smith will receive the Dream Maker Award at the Ed Asner Family Center’s first annual A NIGHT OF DREAMS Gala, a night of music and philanthropy, on November 15, 2018 at Exchange LA Downtown.

Emmy-nominated Actress Angela Bassett (Black Panther, American Horror Story, Master of None) will present the award to Chef Art for his dedication to changing the world for ‘differently-abled’ individuals. Hosting the evening will be Emmy-winning comedian Wanda Sykes.

Grammy Award-winning music legend Peter Frampton will headline the A NIGHT OF DREAMS Gala, along with performances by Naia Izumi, NPR’s 2018 Tiny Desk Contest Winner, among others. The Ed Asner Family Center’s mission is to promote self-confidence in special needs individuals and bring balance and wellness to those individuals and their families.

The Gala will also present Dream Maker Awards to Emmy-winning actor Ed Asner, presented by actor Michael Shannon (Midnight Special, The Shape of Water, Nocturnal Animals), and Elaine Frontain Bryant, Emmy-winning Executive Vice President and Head of Programming for A&E Network, presented by producer Jonathan Murray (Project Runway, Born This Way) for their dedication to promoting a positive image for the special needs communities, including those on the autistic spectrum, Down Syndrome, developmental disabilities, among others.

Renée Frigo, the Night of Dreams Gala Chair said, “I’m so excited that Chef Art Smith offered to cook the same night he’s being honored! Chef Art is truly one of the most lovable and philanthropic chefs in the world and has been helping others his whole life. I am grateful to call him a friend. Our main floor guests will be treated to what Lady Gaga and Oprah have enjoyed for years – his famous fried chicken and hummingbird cake.” Renée Frigo is the founder of Oak Street Pictures recently bringing her producing partner, Beth Hubbard on board. Renée is the co-founder and former CEO of Lucini Italia, renowned for bringing the highest quality extra virgin olive oil from Tuscany to the United States at an affordable price. Lucini grew to over 60 products available in over 20,000 stores and is recognized as the number one premium Italian food brand.

World-renowned celebrity chef Art Smith, best known as Oprah’s chef for over 20 years and now his restaurants including Artbird, Homecomin’ and Southern Art, is being honored for his charitable contributions and commitment to children. He is the founder of Common Thread, a non-profit organization teaching low-income families to cook wholesome and affordable meals for over 12 years. It has morphed into a free healthy cooking program that has reached over 125,000 children. In addition, Smith and his talented team will be showcasing their signature recipes as the chef of A NIGHT OF DREAMS Gala preparing the menu and delicacies for the evening.

Smith loves the idea of bringing people together through food. It’s partly what made him the success he is today. He is the executive chef and co-owner of Table fifty-two, Art and Soul, Southern Art and Bourbon Bar, and LYFE Kitchen restaurants. Smith has received the culinary profession’s highest awards and has cooked for some of the world’s most famous celebrities. In 1997, Smith became the personal day-to-day chef to Oprah Winfrey, and has made several television appearances including ABC’s Lady Gaga Thanksgiving Special, Top Chef, Top Chef Masters, Iron Chef America, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Nightline, Extra, Entertainment Tonight, The Dr. Oz Show and the Oprah Winfrey Show. Smith is the author of three award-winning cookbooks: Back to the Table; Kitchen Life; Real Food for Real Families; and Back to the Family and the recipient of numerous awards and honors.

In addition to Chef Art Smith’s culinary delicacies, Joan’s on 3rd will be providing platters for the mezzanine seating. The evening will spotlight a silent auction, live auction and also offer a “Fund-A-Mission” auction where guests will have the opportunity to support special The Ed Asner Family Center initiatives including summer camp for kids with autism and other programs for the community.

The Ed Asner Family Center is dedicated to promoting self-confidence in differently “abled” individuals, bringing balance and wellness to them and their families. The Center not only caters to the needs of the special child but aims to engage the whole family in order to help them face their unique challenges. For Information and Sponsorship opportunities about The Ed Asner Family Center, contact Navah Paskowitz-Asner

A Night of Dreams Gala is proudly sponsored by Plush Beds, Megalo Media, Big Fish Media, Lucky 8 TV, Ireland Family Foundation Sony Pictures Entertainment, OrigProd, Netflix, CBS, Renegade, IPC Television LLC, Newman Aaronson and Vanaman, Sprouts, Wolcott Architects and Haworth. In-Kind sponsors include Gibson Foundation, Sprouts, Oro Imperial Tequila, Southwest Airlines, Toki Doki, Cobrum Estates Olive Oil, Custom Comforts Mattress, Braemar Country Club, Glorious Pies, Retrove Skin Care and Lavender Blue.

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