Holiday season is equal parts giving and eating, so Graduate Oxford has combined both of those into one great charity fundraiser. Through Graduate Gives you can order a pie from Graduate Oxford to be prepared by renowned pastry chef Dwayne Ingraham. Half of all proceeds will be donated to Palmer Home for Children. We spoke with Ingraham about how he got involved as well as his recent win on Food Network’s Best Baker in America.
Ingraham was given lead on this event by the Graduate Oxford Executive Board.
Graduate Gives is a companywide program through Graduate that they allow each hotel to operate locally and choose their own charity to work with. Every major holiday Graduate Oxford will hold a similar fundraiser for a charity of their choice.
With the two time Food Network challenge champion at the helm, the only other detail was to nail down which charity to partner with for the Graduate Gives program.
“A couple of the executives around the table had really good connections and relations with [Palmer Home],” said Ingraham. “They were very excited about the charity work that [Palmer Home] is doing.”
While there is an endless list of pies that we all see around the table at Thanksgiving, Ingraham chose to keep the options simple and classic for this fundraiser.
“We will be offering Pumpkin and Pecan Pies,” said Ingraham. “My personal favorite is pecan pie. I love a pecan pie all day every day. It doesn’t even have to be Thanksgiving, I can eat a pecan pie anytime of the year.”
Work on Graduate Gives Thanksgiving fundraiser began right after news of Ingraham’s win on Best Baker in America. With four appearances on cooking challenges and two wins, he is now introduced at Food & Beverage Director as well as TV Personality. However, the chef takes the ladder with a grain of salt.
“I still don’t really see it like that. It’s been four lovely appearances on the Food Network and it’s been fun but…TMZ hasn’t showed up yet outside the door yet. I haven’t quite hit Beyoncé level.” laughs Ingraham.
The paparazzi isn’t following him to work, but he does get recognized on the street by fans.
“It’s very humbling,” said Ingraham. “I’m always nervous I’m going to embarrass myself. One day I went down to [The Blind] Pig and had a few drinks, then when I’m on my way up a mom and her son notice and me and ask if they can get a picture. I say of course, but I really hope I didn’t look or smell drunk right now. So, it has its humbling moments as well as its funny moments.”