Iron Chef Judge and Culinary Icon, Donatella Arpaia, Comes to Fairfield University


Media Contact: Teddy DeRosa, tderosa@fairfield.edu, 203-254-4000 ext. 2118

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (February 8, 2015) — One of the most influential women in the world of food, Fairfield University graduate Donatella Arpaia ‘93 is hosting the Quick Center’s Open VISIONS Forum on Friday, Feb. 26 at 8 p.m. to discuss how she followed her dream to success in the culinary world.

Tickets are $45 and are available through the Quick Center Box Office: 203-254-4010, or toll-free 1-877-ARTS-396 (1-877-278-7396). Tickets can also be purchased online at www.quickcenter.com. The Quick Center is located at Fairfield University, 1073 North Benson Road, Fairfield, Connecticut.    

Arpaia, who recently launched a Frontgate lifestyle line, is best known for her role as head judge on Food Network’s Iron Chef America and The Next Iron Chef. She is a regular contributor to NBC’s TODAY where she offers her culinary expertise and mouthwatering recipes, and is the owner of critically acclaimed Kefi restaurant in New York City. Arpaia will share her story as an attorney-turned-culinary mogul in a lecture titled: “From Undergrad Stag to a Hotshot TV Foodie: How This Iron Chef and RestaurateurFollowed Her Dream to Success.”

“The Quick Center is delighted to have Donatella Arpaia appear on our stage to host an Open VISIONS Forum,” said Peter Van Heerden, director of the Quick Center for the Arts. “We are honored and proud to showcase the skill and expertise of our alumna. Donatella has really carved out a powerful space in the culinary world and patrons and students can look forward to an informative journey as we travel with her from her days at Fairfield to her place as an influential Hotshot Foodie.”

Arpaia grew up in a restaurant family, but pursued a brief career as a corporate attorney before returning to her passion for the culinary arts. She has created successful restaurants such as davidburke & donatella, Anthos, Kefi and Prova. These projects and others have collectively earned significant accolades, such as Michelin Stars, Five Diamond Awards, and James Beard nominations. Arpaia was named by Zagat as “The Hostess with the Mostest,” and featured in Crain’s New York’s “40 under 40,” and New York Post’s “Most Powerful Woman.” She is a two-time winner of the New York Food & Wine Festival’s Meatball Madness competition and will be judging meatballs made by Fairfield University students before hosting the Open VISIONS Forum.

Joining Arpaia on stage will be Fairfield County local, Sissy Biggers, a staple in the food-television world since hosting the Food Network’s first cooking competition, “Ready, Set, Cook! Biggers regularly shares new household products and food trends with Kathie Lee and Hoda on NBC's Today Show and she presents annually at the Food & Wine Magazine Classic in Aspen—America’s preeminent gathering of foodie, taste makers. Her company, Big Sis Productions, provides media and presentation training consulting. Biggers and her husband, Kelsey, founded Southport Galleries, Fairfield County's fine art destination.  

#Vol. 48, No. 93

 Fairfield University is a Jesuit University, rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 36 states, 47 foreign countries, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are enrolled in the University’s five schools.  In the spirit of rigorous and sympathetic inquiry into all dimensions of human experience, Fairfield welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to share ideas and engage in open conversations. The University is located in the heart of a region where the future takes shape, on a stunning campus on the Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.

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Posted on February 12, 2016

Vol. 48, No. 93

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