Dine well, do good for Junior Achievement


On Sept. 27 at 7 p.m.,  Chef Leonardo Maurelli, III will be hosting a dinner at Gadsden’s Back Forty Beer Company,  200 North 6th Street.

Chef Leo will be preparing an Alabama farm to table dinner experience, featuring locally sourced seafood, pork, beef and produce paired with the finest craft beers from Back Forty Beer Company.

All will be southern cuisine in a fine dining presentation.  The cost is $75 per person and will include beverages.  

Chef Leonardo Maurelli, III is a native of the Republic of Panama.

Chef Leo, as he is affectionately known to all who know him, was raised as the youngest son in a very large Latin Italian family.

He immigrated to Alabama in the early 1990’s and quickly began his apprenticeship in the culinary field, honing his skills under the tutelage of many award winning and world traveled chefs.

He is an avid supporter of local farmers, cheese makers, beer makers and artisans. Leo shares his unique multicultural take on traditional southern dishes and cuisine, doing so in an approachable, straight forward and elevated way.

He enjoys the playful balance of creating southern dishes with underlying notes that pay homage to his Sicilian and Panamanian roots.

Leo has served as the Executive Chef of the famed Amsterdam Café in Auburn, Alabama, Special Events and Catering Chef and Chef de Cuisine for The Hotel and Dixon Conference Center in Auburn, Alabama to name a few of his positions.

Chef Maurelli is a Hotel and Restaurant Management graduate from Auburn University.

He is the 2011 Alabama Restaurant Association and Alabama Hospitality Association Chef of the Year.

He is a founding member and President of The Front Porch Revival, a nonprofit organization in charge of promoting the arts in Alabama.

Currently, he is the Executive Chef at the famed restaurant Central situated in the heart of Montgomery’s downtown entertainment district.

Central provides a sophisticated yet relaxed dining experience featuring wood fired dishes prepared with fresh gulf seafood, local meats, greens and other seasonal ingredients courtesy of executive chef Leonardo Maurelli, III.

The restaurant is housed in an 1890’s grocery warehouse and boasts an atmosphere with exposed brick, flickering gas lanterns, 16 ft. ceilings and a bustling open kitchen.

All proceeds from the evening will benefit Junior Achievement of Gadsden/Etowah  County.

This local non-profit organization impacts students through a dedicated network of volunteers; their mission is to educate students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs.

Junior Achievement bridges the gap between the classroom and the boardroom. 

For the 2012-2013 school year, JA volunteers taught 1,758 students in 80 classes in Etowah County schools including Adams Elementary, Floyd Elementary, Hokes Bluff Elementary, Striplin Elementary, Walnut Park Elementary, Gadsden City Middle, Sardis High, and Southside High schools.

Tickets can be purchased at Family Savings Credit Union, 711 East Meighan Blvd or Back Forty Beer Company, 200 6th Street. 

For more information on Junior Achievement or this event, contact Lesli Bishop 256-439-5773 or lbishop@familysavingsscu.com.

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