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SmartWomen Luncheon returns for 15th year to feature Chef Anne Burrell

  • Chef Anne Burrell

SmartWomen Luncheon returns for 15th year to feature Chef Anne Burrell

27 Sep 2017

For 14 years running, the SmartWoman Luncheon & Expo has been the flagship fundraiser for St. Joseph’s/Candler’s Mary Telfair Women’s Hospital.

Last year, the event raised more than $150,000 for the Telfair Mammography Fund, which ensures all women have access to mammography and breast health services. Through the funding, the life-saving procedure is offered to women who have no insurance or can’t afford it. According to St. Joseph’s/Candler, about 25 percent of the population in our region is uninsured or under-insured.

Each year, the luncheon host is a special guest speaker. In years past, Fran Drescher, Amy Grant, Dr. Jennifer Ashton, Marilu Henner, Erin Brockovich and many more have shared their insight. For the 15th iteration, world-renowned chef Anne Burrell will speak.

“I am very much looking forward to the SmartWomen Expo & Luncheon!” Burrell said. “I will be sharing my story filled with colorful, emotional and funny experiences from my journey. I will also be happy to entertain questions.”

The celebrated chef is a Food Network star, author and restaurateur. After studying the culinary arts in Italy, Burrell worked in some of the top restaurants in New York City. She’s battled alongside Mario Batali on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” and hosted the channel’s show “Worst Cooks in America.” She also wrote The New York Times best-selling cookbook “Cook Like a Rock Star.”

“The career choices that I have made have been done with care, thought and dedication to my craft,” Burrell said. “I have always tried to stay true to myself and forge a path for myself that I feel very good about. I have been very lucky to have some very unique experiences and opportunities and try to do my very best and appreciate each one of them. I am a very hard worker, but some great luck has also played a part in it!”

Burrell took a bold step earlier this year and opened her first restaurant in Brooklyn, Phil & Anne’s Good Time Lounge. She’s spent most of the past decade as a TV chef since leaving her job at New York’s Centro Vinoteca in 2008. Her new restaurant focuses on Mediterranean and Italian influenced dishes.

“Ah, the restaurant … ask me on any given day and the answer may vary,” Burrell said. “But, in all seriousness, things are going well, and I’m extremely happy to be back in the restaurant business! It’s home to me.”

Burrell does several charity events throughout the year. In 2015, she raised $75,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation after winning the “Chopped All-Stars” tournament.

“I do a fair amount for various charities,” Burrell said. “I always try to pay it back or pay it forward, whichever way you want to look at it. It is always very important to remember your own journey and be grateful. I have never been to Savannah and am very much looking forward to it!”


What: Chef Anne Burrell at the SmartWomen Expo

When: 10 a.m. Oct. 4

Where: Savannah International Trade & Convention Center, 1 International Drive

Cost: Sold out; waiting list available