Famed Pastry Chef Gina DePalma Inspires Cancer Survivors

Michelle Mathew

Award-winning pastry chef Gina DePalma inspired guests at a benefit for ovarian cancer held at the Ritz last night with a tearful story of personal triumph.

"I'm not in my chef's white, but I'm with you," DePalma said to the crowd of hundreds who filed into the Ritz Carlton last night for the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance benefit Tuesday night.

"When I was diagnosed with stage four cancer, the chef came out of me," said a tearful DePalma. "I thought, 'What can I apply from the life of a chef to this enormous task?'"

She added, "I will keep banging this drum of mine. I will bang loudly and proudly -- and I can be very annoying."

Women chefs from D.C., Maryland and Virginia, came out to support the gala and whipped up gourmet appetizers, entrees and desserts.

"Things like this are really inspirational for us. ... We're just as excited to taste everyone's food," said Christine Wansleben, owner of Mise En Place in Richmond, Virg.

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