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Restaurants to host cooking classes for youth from hospital

By Staff | Aug 7, 2009

Before Cape Harbour’s Rumrunners restaurant hosts its annual Celebrity Chef Night next week, head chef Todd Johnson will host a cooking class for children at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Children being treated at The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida will spend the morning away from treatment learning to make pizzas and gelato ice cream.
“It’s an interactive pizza and gelato class for eight or nine children who are diagnosed with cancer,” Johnson said.
The children will first design their own pizza with Johnson at The Joint and then head to Run Agrounds, a coffee and ice cream shop, to make the gelato.
“I’m going to demonstrate to them how we make our dough from scratch and let each child make their own pizza, and we will sit down and eat that for lunch,” he said, “and make them their own ice cream whatever flavor they want.”
Johnson said he is excited about Saturday’s class. His first job was at Pizza Hut and he remembers classes of children being allowed to make their own pizzas and the effect it had on them.
This is the first time Johnson is offering a private cooking class for pediatric patients. There have been gelato classes in the past, but this is the first time both are offered to children staying at the hospital.
“Lets do it now and get the kids over here, get them out of the hospital and get some fun for a few hours,” he said.
Pediatric patients at The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida are treated for different types of cancer and blood disorders.
Celebrity Chef Night, in its fifth year, brings top chefs from local restaurants Rumrunners, The Joint, H2, Cin Cin, Mad Takeout and Norman Love Confections, each offering samples to the community from 6-9 p.m. Aug. 19.
Proceeds from the event benefit the pediatric oncology and hematology programs at Lee Memorial Health System.
For information on Celebrity Chef Night or to purchase tickets, contact the Lee Memorial Health System Foundation at 985-3550.