French 3-Star Chef Christian Le Squer Announces First U.S. Contract With Florida Culinary Accelerator Program
NAPLES, Fla., April 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- During his recent trip to the United States this past weekend, Michelin 3-Star Chef Christian Le Squer has agreed to develop a program in conjunction with the Florida Culinary Accelerator at Immokalee, Fla. Le Squer will immediately begin work on developing a mentoring program, master classes and a competition-based cooking opportunity for new products that will be manufactured at the Culinary Accelerator. The contract is a three-year commitment which will have Le Squer visiting the United States frequently and becoming more involved in the concept of culinary entrepreneurship in America.
The Culinary Accelerator and its parent organization, Economic Incubators, Inc., have been working to develop the partnership with Le Squer for the past 18 months. The Accelerator is situated in rural Immokalee, Fla., where farming employs over 40% of the population. Local restaurateurs and farmers are already feeling the buzz about being offered an opportunity to turn their family recipes into marketable products.
"I'm excited," said Danny Gonzalez, manager of Lozano's Restaurant in Immokalee. "We get tons of customers that want to buy our salsa by the gallon, but we just run out. We have to turn people away."
Gonzalez hopes to be one of the first involved in the membership-based Accelerator when construction is complete this Summer.
Le Squer admits he was slow to act on signing a contract in the United States and needed to feel the right connection with a community-focused culinary opportunity that could be his first entry to the U.S. market.
"I want to make you proud," Le Squer said to Economic Incubators President and CEO Dr. Marshall Goodman in a meeting on Saturday. "I want to be proud of my work and want to feel good about the project I choose to be my first in America. I feel a connection with this project that already makes me proud. It can only grow from here," Le Squer continued.
A $12,500 grant from the State of Florida will fund the first year of the educational component Chef Le Squer will provide to the Culinary Accelerator under his contract. His travel expenses are being funded through private donations. He also agreed to donate his services as the chef for a fundraiser dinner to be held in the near future.
"This is truly an amazing grass-roots effort that has attracted a world-famous chef," said Goodman. "We are beyond honored that Mr. Le Squer will be joining us to shine a spotlight on culinary education and entrepreneurship."
Upon his return to France, Le Squer will continue to work closely with the Culinary Accelerator team to work through details of the mentoring program and cooking competition components to be solidified by this Fall.
A few culinary highlights of Le Squer's first journey to Florida and the U.S included experiencing key lime pie for the first time, meeting many of the residents of Immokalee who will benefit from the Accelerator, and sampling locally-grown produce from several farmer's markets.
About Chef Christian Le Squer
Most recently, Le Squer led the Paris-based Le Cinq restaurant at the Four Seasons George V to their 3rd Michelin star in 2016, a challenge he started in October 2014 at the bequest of Four Seasons General Manager José Silva. Le Squer is known for his exemplary consistency, which earned him 3 Michelin stars for 12 consecutive years. He earned his first Star at the age of 34, working as a chef at the Parisian Grand Hotel's restaurant, Café de la Paix.
About the Culinary Accelerator @ Immokalee
The Culinary Accelerator @ Immokalee is a membership-based commercial kitchen located in Immokalee, Florida. The Accelerator provides essential space, equipment, and services for culinary entrepreneurs to bring their products from kitchen to market. The Culinary Accelerator @ Immokalee is expected to be complete in Summer of 2017.
Culinary Accelerator @ Immokalee
Jennifer Pellechio, COO
170 Airpark Blvd. #103, Immokalee, FL 34142
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All interview requests for Mr. Le Squer should be scheduled through the media contact above.
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SOURCE Culinary Accelerator @ Immokalee