Call it the Hartmut Handke Fan Club.

An ad hoc committee of food lovers has been set up to raise $150,000 to defray expenses relating to getting Master Chef Handke and his support staff to Lyon, France, where he will represent the United States against 21 other nations in the Bocuse d’Or competition.

Handke will compete in January over the span of two days. To know his competition, Handke made two trips to France last year. He expects at least two more this year - all expensive for any independent operator without corporate backing or commercial food endorsements.

In culinary parlance having Handke’s restaurant in Columbus equates with having the Super Bowl winner in the city. USA-wise he has won it all. Individuals and corporations interested in contributing to the HANDKE TO LYON fund may call attorney Harry Henning, 614-227-1923. Henning is president of the American Bocuse d’Or Culinary Institute; financial planner Jim Budros is chairman.

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