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GrowingGreat’s Farm-to-Table Benefit Gala honored Executive Chef Diana Stavaridis

Executive Chef Diana Stavaridis

Executive Chef Diana Stavaridis

The third annual GrowingGreat’s Farm-to-Table Benefit Gala honored Executive Chef Diana Stavaridis’ partnership with elementary schools affiliated through the GrowingGreat Jr. Chefs Program

GrowingGreat is a science-based community garden program aimed towards youth in local public schools. Stavaridis’ partnership with GrowingGreat includes founding the GrowingGreat Jr. Chefs Program, which provides Manhattan Beach-area 4th and 5th graders the opportunity to devise a dish for Manhattan House’s rotating seasonal menu utilizing produce grown from their own school community gardens.

Executive Chef Stavaridis, of Manhattan House restaurant in Manhattan Beach, helmed the seasonal “farm-fresh” dinner menu for the event.

 GrowingGreat’s Farm-to-Table Benefit Gala


Chef Stavaridis and her staff served up family-style portions of Manhattan House’s signature gluten-free dishes to 300-400 dinner guests.

Plates included Grilled Lamb Meatballs with lemon herb yogurt, Garden Salad with organic greens, sprouts, avocados and radishes; Oven Roasted Organic Mary’s Chicken served with pesto, Anson Mills Polenta, Baby Rainbow Carrots, with buckwheat tabbouleh, hummus and citrus confit; and Sautéed Greens, including house-smoked bacon and pickled spring onion.

 GrowingGreat’s Farm-to-Table Benefit Gala


Providing chef demonstrations were David LeFevre of MB Post, and Michael Fiorelli of Love & Salt. Sausal Executive Chef & Partner, Anne Conness provided appetizers, and Stephanie Franz, Pastry Chef at The Strand House provided dessert.

 GrowingGreat’s Farm-to-Table Benefit Gala

The event, hosted by television personality, Rossi Morreale also consisted of a live auction which featured getaways to Sonoma Wine Country and Steamboat Springs, CO.

Additional beneficiaries honored included “Green Fork Honorees” John & Kari Boiler. Presented with the first-ever Leadership Award were GrowingGreat students, Maria Beltran & Destiny April Celio. Honorary Event Chairs were Michael & Andrea Zislis.

Students learn more about culinary arts, food metabolism, healthy eating habits and a “farm-to-table” mentality through planting and maintaining produce grown in GrowingGreat-sponsored community gardens located on school premises.

GrowingGreat’s Farm-to-Table Benefit Gala took place on Saturday, June 4th, 2016 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 72andSunny, an advertising agency located in Playa Vista, Calif.

For further information, please visit

Manhattan  House Restaurant

Established in 2015, Manhattan House is a community-focused, American-style gastropub with a heavy emphasis on locally-sourced and seasonal fare. Head Chef, Diana Stavaridis maintains local gardens where much of their kitchen’s produce is grown. The gastropub’s culinary mentality is maintaining food sustainability and incorporating only the freshest, homegrown, ingredients. They procure seasonal, local produce, meats and seafood whenever possible from area farms and purveyors. All dishes are then made from scratch, yielding unique homemade flavors. Aged cedar wood panels – reclaimed from old Hollywood Bowl seats, plush leather seating and chalk art reflect a rustic take on contemporary interior design.  Manhattan House offers private dining options for receptions, cocktail-style events and intimate dinner parties.  Doors are open Tuesday through Sunday beginning at 5pm, Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 2pm, and closed on Mondays.

More About GrowingGreat

GrowingGreat is a 501(c)3 non-profit school garden and nutrition education organization dedicated to inspiring children and adults to adopt healthy eating habits. Their mission is to empower every child to grow up healthy through science-based garden and nutrition education. GrowingGreat’s goal is to help children and families understand where their food comes from, appreciate that food serves a purpose in one’s overall health and has an impact on one’s longevity and well-being. For more information on the GrowingGreat program, please visit

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