Culinary masters at the Celebrity Chef Tour are surely going to delight your taste buds and tickle your fancies with fine wine, serene settings and delicious cuisine. But they’re not doing it solely for your enjoyment—they’re also doing it for a worthy cause.

Originally introduced in 2004, the tour began after its creators wanted to bring the dining experience of New York City’s highly-acclaimed historic restaurant James Beard House to other cities around the country. After garnering success, a portion of the proceeds were donated to the James Beard Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that provides continuing education classes, guided tastings, children’s programs and scholarship opportunities to aspiring culinary students. Since the tour’s inception, it has raised $825,000 for the program.

Making stops in numerous cities across the country, the tour provides attendees with a chance to savor dishes from top chefs across the country while enjoying the atmosphere at some of the nation’s finest restaurants.

Marc Anthony Bynum, a participating chef in the event believes his contribution is an opportunity to “pay it forward” to the culinary industry.

“I feel it’s my duty to participate in an event like this because it gives to the industry that provides for me,” Bynum told the AFRO in a recent interview.

Getting his start at an early age, Bynum fell in love with cooking after observing his siblings’ reactions to his mother’s prepared meals. He honed his skills at New York’s Culinary Arts Boces Program while in high school and jumped right into the culinary industry shortly thereafter. In addition to serving as the executive chef of various restaurants in New York, Bynum has been awarded and recognized for his dishes and has appeared on the Food Network’s show “Chopped.”

Bynum will join four other celebrity chefs at the tour’s stop in Baltimore. He shared his planned delicacies that attendees can expect at the event.

“My dishes will include a Kobe and Foie Gras Slider as well as a Long Island striped bass with tomato confit and aged balsamic,” Bynum said. But overall, I think you see food that is indicative of the season, and highlights local ingredients and fantastic wineries.”

In addition to assisting aspiring chefs break out into the culinary industry, the tour also provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for established chefs to share their incredible dishes with people all over the country.

“I want to showcase my talents because I know that one day I will be one of the chef’s that this institution honors as one of its best,” Bynum said. “This event puts us in places where some people otherwise would have never tasted our food– all for a great cause. Besides that, I think it’s just going to be fun to network with other great chefs.”

The Celebrity Chef Tour comes to Baltimore on Oct. 21 at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel. For more information, visit: www.celebritycheftour.com.

Gregory Dale

AFRO News Editor