Annual Celebrity Chefs for Canines Event, Benefiting Big Dog Ranch Rescue Raises $501K for Ukraine and US Dog Rescue

Michelin-starred Chef Akira Back and star chefs from restaurants around South Florida showcased signature dishes and tastings at this sold-out fundraiser

Hundreds of quality attendees from all over South Florida – Miami Beach, Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale and star chefs gathered for the cause at the newly renovated Opal Grand Hotel in Delray Beach to benefit and raise funds for Big Dog Ranch Rescue, the largest no-kill dog rescue in the country, which has headquarters in South Florida and to date thanks to supporters across the globe, have rescued over 50,000 dogs around the country and the world.

The sold-out fundraiser hosted by Angela and Louis Birdman, raised a record-breaking $501,000 for the charitable cause, with a priority fundraising event mission being setting up shelters to help rescue dogs from Ukraine. An advocate for the animals, children, and the arts, Angela Birdman strives to build up the world around her. She gives of her time, energy, and resources in various ways throughout the year to many organizations in Miami-Dade including The Brunch for the Animals. Beginning in 2019 she began working as a rescue partner for Big Dog Ranch Rescue and founded Walk in Style for the Animals, held annually in Bal Harbour Shops.

Attending guests had an opportunity to experience signature tastings from star chefs around South Florida – Avalon Steak & Seafood, Farmer’s Table, Incredibowl, Ember Grill at The Ray and The Mad Table while bidding on luxury silent and live auction items. Michelin-starred Chef and TV personality Akira Back headlined the event, leading guests into a culinary exploration with two signature dishes from his recently opened namesake restaurant in Delray Beach at The Ray.

Chef Back, who owns restaurants around the globe, earned his Michelin-star for his culinary excellence at his restaurant, Dosa, in Seoul.

Established in 2008 by Lauree Simmons, Big Dog Ranch Rescue is the largest Cage-Free, NO-KILL dog rescue in the United States. Big Dog Ranch Rescue was founded on the idea that every dog deserves to live and, most importantly, to live a full and happy life. Big Dog is devoted to creating a healing community for dogs, both big and small, who have been neglected, abandoned, and mistreated.

This 501c3 foundation focuses its efforts primarily on Southeastern states, but it also saves dogs from international disaster zones. The Big Dog Ranch campus – which includes a veterinary clinic, a quarantine facility, special cabins for moms and their pups, and plenty of room for romping – can accommodate about 600 dogs. Each gets a medical exam, is microchipped, and is spayed or neutered. One hundred and fifty employees and an army of volunteers keep everything running.

For more information about Big Dog Ranch Rescue or to make a donation, please visit,

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