John Howie, Cyrus Habib to speak at Bellevue College Foundation Luncheon

April event will raise funds for student scholarships and programs

 Chef and restaurateur John Howie and State Representative Cyrus Habib will be the featured speakers at the Bellevue College Foundation’s 15th Annual “Become Exceptional” Luncheon April, 30 at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue.

Howie is known for bringing unique, specialty foods to the Pacific Northwest at his five Puget Sound restaurant locations: Adriatic Grill in Tacoma; Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar in Bellevue and Seattle; SPORT Restaurant & Bar in Seattle; and John Howie Steak in Bellevue.

Howie and Seastar have been honored and praised in many publications, radio and television shows including Food & Wine, Wine Spectator, Sunset, Martha Stewart Living, CBS Early Morning Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, Food Network, Wine Spectator, Sunset Magazine, and KING TV 5 Evening Magazine. Seastar also received the highest rating in the 2008 and 2010 Zagat Survey for “Top Cuisine – Seafood” and “Top Cuisine – Raw Bars.”

Howie has been invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York City on five separate occasions and represents Washington State annually at the SuperBowl in “The Taste of the NFL.” He is a repeat guest at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, the Naples Food and Wine Festival, and has been a guest chef on Holland America cruise line.

Habib, first elected in 2012, represents the 48th Legislative District, including parts of Redmond, Kirkland and Bellevue and all of Clyde Hill, Hunts Point, Yarrow Point, and Medina. An Eastside native, he went on to college at Columbia, to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and to Yale Law School, where he was editor of the law review. He currently practices law with the Seattle firm of Perkins Coie, specializing in meeting the legal needs of high-tech start-ups.

Habib has served on the Bellevue Human Services Commission and on the King County Civil Rights Commission. As a blind man and advocate for the disabled, he has testified before Congress on the need to redesign paper currency to enable the visually impaired to distinguish among different denominations. He is a member of the board of directors for both the Bellevue College Foundation and the Bellevue Downtown Association.

Proceeds from the event, which raised nearly $300,000 last year, provides crucial funding for academic- and need-based scholarships, as well as programs that support academic innovation and quality educational opportunities for all BC students. More than 700 community and business leaders are expected to attend the luncheon, the foundation’s biggest fundraising event of the year. John Curley, host of The Tom & Curley radio show and former Evening Magazine host, will emcee the event.

Previous foundation scholarship recipients Leyia Johnson and Alain Patience Mizero are also featured speakers. They will speak from the student’s perspective, sharing the critical role scholarship funding provides for theirs and many other’s academic success.


What:  Bellevue College Foundation’s 15th Annual “Become Exceptional” Luncheon

Where:  Meydenbauer Center, 11100 NE 6th St. in Bellevue

When:  Wednesday, April 30; doors open at 11:30 a.m., program runs 12 to 1:30 p.m.

Cost:  Free to attend; guests are encouraged to make a donation at the event

RSVP:  Call (425) 564-2945; email; or online at

More information:  Visit

Last Updated May 1, 2014