Ming Tsai, Gala 2017 Chef
April 11, 2017

LACEY, Wash. – Saint Martin’s University has announced that the 2017 Saint Martin’s Gala will focus on the theme of China and feature James Beard Award-winning Chef Ming Tsai.

The Saint Martin's Gala, which will be on Saturday, Nov. 4, in the Marcus Pavilion on Saint Martin’s main campus in Lacey, is the University’s major fundraising event for student scholarships. Last year’s Gala raised more than $1.2 million for scholarships. Over the years, the black-tie affair has grown to be the premier culinary event in the South Sound region, featuring a live auction, a five-course gourmet dinner and on-stage cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs. Previous featured chefs have included Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich and Andrew Zimmern.

Last year’s Gala was the first to highlight one of the University's many international partnerships and initiatives, focusing on Brazil. This year’s theme, China, highlights Saint Martin's many relationships and programs in that country, including sister universities in Beijing, Shanghai and Inner Mongolia.

This year’s featured chef, Ming Tsai, is best known for his show "East Meets West with Ming Tsai" on the Food Network. His current show, the Emmy-nominated "Simply Ming," is currently in its 13th season on PBS. Based in Boston, Tsai opened his first restaurant, Blue Ginger, in 1998, and his second restaurant, the tapas-style Blue Dragon, in 2013. Tsai traveled to the 2008 Beijing Olympics to report on the food traditions that define his Chinese heritage.

As a young man, he studied mechanical engineering at Yale University and spent summers studying at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. After Yale, he moved to Osaka to train with Sushi Master Kobayashi. He later returned to the United States and earned a master’s degree in hotel administration and hospitality marketing at Cornell University.

Tables and individual tickets for Saint Martin’s Gala are now available through the Saint Martin’s University Gala website.

The sponsors for 2017 Saint Martin’s Gala include presenting sponsor Bon Appétit Management Co.; reception sponsor Washington State Employees Credit Union; broadcast media sponsor KCTS 9; wine sponsor Maryhill Winery; print sponsor Capitol City Press; and celebrity photo sponsor Anchor Bank. Individuals or organizations interested in sponsoring Saint Martin’s Gala can contact Dana Pethia, University director for fundraising events and corporate sponsors, at dpethia@stmartin.edu.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres 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 25 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,243 undergraduate students and 277 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 350 more students to its extended campus at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at www.stmartin.edu.

For additional information:

Genevieve Chan
Vice President, Marketing and Communications

Dana Pethia
Director for Fundraising Events and Corporate Sponsors