Submitted by Saint Martin’s University

Saint Martin’s University has announced that the 2024 Saint Martin’s Gala will feature celebrity chef host Pati Jinich, an acclaimed cookbook author, television personality and culinary educator. The Saint Martin’s Gala is the University’s annual signature fundraising event for student scholarships, which raised more than $2 million in 2023.

“We are excited to welcome Pati Jinich to campus as our celebrity chef for this year’s Gala,” said Roy Heynderickx, Ph.D., interim co-president of Saint Martin’s University. “The purpose of the Gala has remained true after 16 years: To engage hundreds of our alumni and friends to learn about the transformative experience of a Saint Martin’s education and to raise scholarship funds to make that experience a possibility for countless students today and into the future.”

Born and raised in Mexico City, Pati Jinich comes from a family of accomplished cooks and, in her own words, “food maniacs.” Chef Pati’s infectious enthusiasm for food shines through in her every endeavor. Her culinary expertise is rooted in the rich tapestry of her cultural heritage, steeping every dish in authenticity, creativity and Mexican flair.

Chef Pati is host of the three-time James Beard Award-winning PBS television series “Pati’s Mexican Table” where she invites viewers into her kitchen, sharing cherished family recipes, culinary secrets and heartwarming stories that celebrate the vibrant history of Mexican cuisine.  Chef Pati also hosts PBS primetime docuseries “La Frontera,” and is the resident chef at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C.

“Inspired by the Benedictine principles of hospitality, stewardship and community, the Gala becomes a celebration of shared values and commitment to service,” said Fr. Kilian Malvey, O.S.B., interim co-president. “I am certain that Chef Pati Jinich will help us reach new heights of success for the Gala and for our students.”

Pivoting from a career as a political analyst, Chef Pati swapped policy papers for pots and pans to make exploring and sharing Mexico’s cuisine her life’s work. Notably, she cooked at the White House for President Obama’s Cinco de Mayo celebration and has been recognized by the Council of the Americas and the National Immigration Forum for her efforts in bridging cultural divides and advocating for immigrants in the United States. She was also named one of the National Immigration Forum’s “Keepers of the American Dream,” a distinguished honor reserved for individuals who exemplify the spirit of immigrant achievement and actively enhance the well-being of immigrants in the U.S.

With Chef Pati’s infectious energy and unwavering dedication to authenticity, the Saint Martin’s 2024 Gala promises to be as exhilarating as it is delicious.

“After 16 years, the Saint Martin’s Gala continues to raise critical scholarship funds for countless students,” said Nate Peters, interim vice president of institutional advancement and vice president of marketing and communications. “Scholarships embody the essence of our mission, fostering a community where every student has the opportunity to thrive. Join us!”

The Saint Martin’s Gala, which will be held on Saturday, November 2, in the Hal and Inge Marcus Pavilion on Saint Martin’s main campus in Lacey, is the University’s signature fundraising event for student 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 Tom Douglas, Dario Cecchini, Roy Breiman, Anne Burrell, Jacques Pépin, Carla Hall and Roy Yamaguchi.

Learn more about the Saint Martin’s Gala and purchase your tickets by visiting the Saint Martin’s University website or by contacting the Office of Institutional Advancement at 360-438-4366 or gala@stmartin.edu.

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