Guy Fieri to fire up the stage as headliner for Saint Martin’s Gala

March 31, 2012

GuyFieriLACEY, WASHINGTON — And the celebrity chef is…Guy Fieri!

Saint Martin’s University announced this morning that it will welcome Guy Fieri as the celebrity chef for its 2012 Gala, an annual black-tie affair benefiting student scholarship funds. The announcement concluded the University’s “Guess the Celebrity Chef” contest on Twitter, ending a week of suspense and speculation about this year’s headliner.

The Saint Martin’s Gala will take place Saturday, Nov. 3, at Marcus Pavilion on the University’s Lacey campus. As the Gala chef, Fieri will lead guests on an epicurean adventure featuring a gourmet dinner, specially selected wine and a live auction. From the on-stage Viking kitchen, Fieri will entertain guests as he prepares each course from a menu created exclusively for the event. The day’s program also will feature a ticketed afternoon event with Fieri, separate from the Gala, similar to last year’s “Meet the Chef” affair.

Known for his high-energy personality, his passion for food and his trademark blond spiky hair, Fieri has been dubbed a “culinary rock star.” In addition to being a talented chef, he is a successful restaurateur, engaging television personality and New York Times best-selling author. Fieri’s first TV program, Guy’s Big Bite, premiered on Food Network in 2006. Today, Fieri also hosts the top-rated show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and the special series Tailgate Warriors, and serves as guest judge on Next Food Network Star. Since 2010, Fieri has been host of the NBC primetime game show, Minute To Win It.

“In many ways, the Gala showcases the best of Saint Martin’s,” says Saint Martin’s University President Roy Heynderickx, Ph.D. “At the heart of the event are our spirit of hospitality and our sense community, which we seek to share with every guest we host on campus.”

“We prepare our students to enter the world with a commitment to service and a spirit of generosity, and encourage them to blend these values into their professional and personal pursuits. Guy models this with gusto, uniting his culinary passion with a philanthropic vision,” adds Heynderickx.

Fieri’s philanthropic efforts focus on young people and the military. In 2011, he officially launched CWK (Cooking With Kids), a program that encourages developing healthy eating habits to address the childhood obesity crisis, strengthen the family unit by sharing quality time in the kitchen, and as a result increase children’s self-esteem in a fun and positive way. He also actively supports the armed forces, and has visited and entertained troops throughout the world.

The Gala, which falls the week before Veterans Day, has traditionally welcomed several servicemen and women among its guests. This year, as part of the Gala program, Fieri will help Saint Martin’s recognize its students and supporters from the military, in particular, those from the University’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord extension campuses.     

“Last year, we raised the bar on the Gala, drawing both longtime, loyal friends and new supporters,” says Heynderickx. “This year, we hope to not just host another successful event, but also increase awareness of Saint Martin’s, its mission and its exceptional students.” 

Last year’s Gala, which featured chef Mario Batali, was a record-setting event for the University. It brought in more than $600,000, generating in excess of $150,000 alone from the Feed-A-Mind paddle-raise for student scholarships.

The 2012 Gala co-chairs are Dick ‘64 and Karen Roney and Armandino ‘59 and Marilyn Batali.

Individual ticket and table sales will begin May 1. Individual tickets for the event are $250; table costs vary. Availability of individual tickets will be extremely limited; individuals who plan to purchase tickets are encouraged to coordinate with others in advance to purchase a table.  

For additional details about the Saint Martin’s 2012 Gala, including ticket and sponsorship information, visit the event website at, or contact the Saint Martin’s University Office of Institutional Advancement at 360-486-8885 or For more about Guy Fieri, visit

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, coeducational university located on a 380-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 21 majors and six graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Everett College, Centralia College and Tacoma Community College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at

For more information:

Jennifer Fellinger
Vice president for marketing and communications
Saint Martin’s University