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The 2021 Autism Speaks Chef Gala Houston will take place, in person, on Friday, June 11, 2021 at 6:00 PM at The Westin Houston Medical Center. You can expect the evening to be filled with a robust silent and live auction, signature cocktails and hors d’oeuveres by Chef Peter Cox of the Westin’s Terrace 54 Bar + Table. Guests will enjoy unique culinary creations from renowned Houston Chefs and restaurants. To make the evening even more special, all of our featured Chef’s will be assisted by Junior Sous Chefs who are either children or young adults on the spectrum.

Valet parking is complimentary for all event guests and can be located at 1709 Dryden Rd. Please also use this address for ride share drop off and pick-ups. The attire is smart business casual and cocktail.

We look forward to safely coming together in person at The Westin Houston Medical Center to showcase our mission and work to create a kinder more inclusive world for people with autism! Here are just a few of the ways for how we plan to keep you safe:

  • The Westin ballroom will be at 25% capacity, with smaller tables spaced apart
  • Masks are required unless seated at your table, or eating and drinking
  • Contactless registration through online pre-registration
  • Hand sanitizer stations and social distancing reminders throughout the space

We are thrilled to announce our 2021 Chef Gala Honoree, Jim McIngvale of Gallery Furniture, affectionately known as “Mattress Mack”. We are so proud to be able to recognize a very special Houston leader and community member who has done so much for our city. Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale is a Texas-grown phenomenon who knows how to "Save You Money, TODAY!" Learn more about Mack, by clicking on the 2021 Honoree tab!

By joining us, you’ll be empowering our work to promote solutions for the needs of people with autism and their families and will support our continued commitment to create a kinder, more inclusive world.

Autism Speaks Culinary Cares Fund

Ten percent (10%) of net funds raised this year at all Autism Speaks chef events nationwide will support the newly created Autism Speaks Culinary Cares Fund. This fund provides $500 relief grants to culinary industry employees affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with demonstrated need who have autism or another intellectual or developmental disability, or who care for someone who does. In addition to the relief grants, applicants on the spectrum will be the first to have access to our newly developed coaching platform, which provides individualized support, professional development, upskilling and more.



Join Autism Speaks and the below chefs for the 2nd annual Autism Speaks Chef Gala Houston at The Westin Houston Medical Center. To learn more about restaurant and chef opportunities, please click here.

The Bearded Baker
Terrace 54 Bar + Table
The Barking Pig
The Phoenix on Westheimer
California Pizza Kitchen

Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale is a Texas-grown phenomenon who knows how to "Save You Money, TODAY!"

In 1981, Mack and his wife, Linda, started Gallery Furniture with five thousand dollars and a dream. Mack began television advertising with his motto of "early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise," he quickly became a household name. With three locations, Gallery Furniture has been top in the nation for many years selling the most furniture and mattresses per square foot.

Over the years Mack has received countless awards, most notably the volunteer service award "Points of Light" awarded personally by former President George H.W. Bush. Mack's strong work ethic is matched only by his philanthropy and believes "we all have the responsibility for the well-being of our community."

Past charitable contributions include: providing shelter for hundreds displaced by Hurricane Harvey and hosted countless relief efforts following the disaster; as well as supplied Houstonians with cleaning materials, clothing, water and food. Mack hosts the Annual Christmas Giveaways furnishing hundreds of homes for 30+ years. McIngvale has also donated $4+ million to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. He has a passion for supporting health innovations, including sponsoring the nation’s first Mobile Stroke Unit with The University of Texas Health Science Center in partnership with Memorial Hermann, Texas Heart Institute, Baylor College of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and co-founded the Peace of Mind Foundation for those affected by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. McIngvale has donated millions of dollars of furniture to teacher lounges in Houston-area schools, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, United Way, hurricane victims, and more. He helped to raise over $12 million dollars for the Bush/Clinton fund to aid those affected by the Tsunami in Southeast Asia and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. McIngvale and Gallery Furniture fed 25,000+ people celebrating Thanksgiving and Easter for countless years. Despite these efforts, Mack believes that being at Gallery Furniture every day providing hope to the community is his most important and significant community involvement.

Mack and Linda also own and operate Club Westside; and enjoy spending time with their children James, Laura, Elizabeth and Regina, and their three grandchildren.

For more information:
Phone (713) 724-5092

Come Join Us!

Support Gala

What Drives Us

Today 1 in 44 children in the US is diagnosed with autism.*

What Makes Us Unique

Autism Speaks' effort fuel innovative research and critical lifelong supports and services.

How We Help

Autism Speaks has funded nearly $234M, primarily in scientific grants, resulting in an additional $1B of publicly-sourced autism-related funding.

*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prevalence estimates are for 3 years prior to the report date (e.g. 2021 figures are from 2018)