March 24 deadline for April 5 Guest Chef Dinner at Anderson Gardens

• Chef Al Castrogiovanni to prepare dinner, Chef Gale Gand to prepare dessert

Staff Report

Rockford’s Anderson Japanese Gardens is hosting celebrity chef Gale Gand and local favorite chef Al Castrogiovanni for a unique pairing during its Guest Chef Dinner Saturday, April 5. Both chefs were featured during last year’s Guest Chef Dinner Series and are back by popular demand.

The evening begins with a social hour at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner prepared by Chef Al Castrogiovanni starting at 6:30 p.m. Dinner will be followed with a featured dessert prepared by Chef Gale Gand.

Gale Gand is a nationally-acclaimed pastry chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, television personality, teacher, entrepreneur and mother. Chef Gand has been recognized as Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year by The James Beard Foundation and by Bon Appetite magazine. She is the founding pastry chef and partner of the beloved Chicago restaurant Tru, receiving accolades from The James Beard Foundation; the Michelin, Mobil and AAA guides; Relais Gourmand and Wine Spectator magazine. For eight years, Gand hosted the Food Network series Sweet Dreams, the first nationally televised all-dessert show. She also has eight cookbook titles to her credit, including her most recent, Gale Gand’s Brunch!.

Al Castrogiovanni’s restaurant, Alchemy, is Rockford’s first year-round convertible restaurant. Drawing on his culinary experience with Giovanni’s Restaurant and his work in Chicago with famed chefs Shawn McClain and Stephanie Izard, Alchemy supports Castrogiovanni’s vision that world-class food and service should — and can — be available in his hometown.

The cost is $155 per guest (includes tax and gratuity). Space is limited, and reservations are required by Monday, March 24. Reservations can be made by contacting Katie Weston at (815) 316-3306 or

From the March 19-25, 2014, issue

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