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celebrity chef series: lisa godsey
Story by Shaila Creekmore, Photo by Dero Sanford

Well-known Jonesboro chef and restaurant owner Lisa Godsey will be the second in a series of celebrity chefs preparing dinners for a fundraiser benefiting The Woman’s Discovery Center.

Godsey is the head chef and co-owner of Godsey’s Grill, located at 226 South Main. The restaurant is a popular lunch spot and draws large dinner crowds to the downtown Jonesboro location with their famous burgers, signature dips, wood-burning pizza oven, steaks and smoked meats.

Last month, Godsey and partner Gray Hurt opened a second downtown location, Godsey’s Gourmet Market & Catering. The new location features many of Godsey’s favorites available to go as party platters, casseroles or packed deli items. The market also has specialty food items from across the country and fresh meats and cheeses. A full-time pastry chef will have desserts prepared daily. The location is also allowing Godsey’s to once again provide full-service catering.

On Monday evening, April 26, Godsey will demonstrate the preparation of several of her favorite dishes as part of the Celebrity Chef Dinner presented by The Woman’s Discovery Center and Occasions Publishing Group. During the demonstration, Godsey and guests will enjoy her meal together. Guests will have the opportunity to interact with the chef in an informal setting.

“I am looking forward to talking to people about food. I am a huge foodie and once you get me going you can’t shut me up,” said Godsey. “I think this is a wonderful program. I would like to see this more often. People want to know what chefs are doing and what they are thinking and being able to share this with people is wonderful.”

Food for the evening’s meal will be furnished by sponsor Hays Supermarkets. OL Events is providing linens, table settings and appointments. Gift certificates for all attendees and a special door prize will be provided by Cooking Now/The Lower Deck. A special booklet of the evening’s menu with all recipes will also be provided.

Seating is limited to 30 guests and reservations are $50 per person. Proceeds from the event will help provide additional programming at the center, and also go toward the operation of The Women’s Professional Clothes Closet.

“The proceeds from these three Celebrity Chef events will make it possible to offer classes in various types of cooking and techniques,” said Faye Cox, executive director of The Woman’s Discovery Center. “We’ve had many requests for a variety of types of cooking classes. Beginners want to learn the basics, while more experienced cooks would like to learn things like preparing Asian cuisine or sushi or making pastries and other more complicated desserts.”
The first in the series for 2010 was Piero’s Restaurant chef Marco Trimarchi.
“Marco did a fantastic job. The guests learned a lot from him and it was a very enjoyable evening together. Marco’s food is always wonderful, but the attendees really enjoyed getting to know him. He introduced us to new foods and taught us how to easily prepare them in several different ways at home. Marco really wants all of us to become comfortable in our own kitchens,” said Cox.

The Celebrity Chef dinner is open to men, women and youth who want to learn more about cooking or just enjoy a great meal.

“Last time, we had a mother bring her young son because he wants to become a chef when he’s older. What a neat experience for him to have at a young age in something he’s interested in,” said Cox. “There were singles, couples, families, men, women, and teens in attendance. Everyone had ample opportunity to interact with the chef. We all went home satisfied in every way with the evening.”

Cox said she is anticipating a quick sale of the available tickets for the event and encourages people to call soon to reserve their seat.

“Many of those at Celebrity Chef I are anxious to return and Lisa is so popular in her own right. It promises to be another fun and delicious evening,” said Cox.
Celebrity Chef Dinner featuring Lisa Godsey will be held April 26 at The Woman’s Discovery Center, 1413A Market Place Drive, at 6 p.m. For more information or for reservations, call 933-9939 or 219-2488.