2018 Chefs & Champagne: A culinary affair to remember

I had the pleasure of attending James Beard Foundation’s 2018 Chefs and Champagne this past weekend at the Wölffer Estate Vineyard. Padma Lakshmi was magnificent as the event’s guest of honor. Over 35 chefs from all over the nation developed incredible dishes for the event. The chefs prepared a mix of savory food and desserts such as Vitello Tonnato, Corn Soup with Truffles, Blueberry Tartlette with Lemon Thyme and Almonds, and Whipped Feta with Watermelon and Pistachio Dukkah.  Guests were able to browse and bid on silent auction items that included travel packages and dining experiences such as 5 nights in Miami and dinner for 2 at James Beard House. There were also wines, spirits, and cookware featured. The auction raised over $100,000 to benefit JBF’s mission, scholarship, education and JBF Impact Programs.

Sponsors for 2018 Chefs and Champagne included: Audi; Big Green Egg; Calvisius Caviar; Hamptons.com; Hamptons Magazine; Heineken®; Lakhani Coaching; Loaker; Melissa’s Produce; Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company; Royal Cup Coffee and Tea; Saratoga Spring Water Company; Seedlip Drinks, Tito’s Handmade Vodka; VerTerra Dinnerware; Windstar Cruises; WEHM; WVVH.

The following chefs participated in the event: Alex Baker, Yves, NYC; Emma Bengtsson, Aquavit, NYC; Stephan Bogardus, The North Fork Table & Inn, Southhold, NY; Janine Booth and Jeff McInnis, Root & Bone, NYC and Stiltsville Fish Bar, Miami Beach, FL;  Peter Botros, The Stone House at Clove Lakes, Staten Island, NY; PJ Calapa, Scampi, NYC; Adrienne Cheatham, Sunday Best Dinner Series, NYC; Michael Corvino, Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room, Kansas City, MO; Pastry Chef Jessica Craig, L’Artusi, NYC; Suzanne Cupps, Untitled at the Whitney, NYC; Georgette Farkas, Rotisserie Georgette, NYC; JBF Award Winning-Pastry Chef Claudia Fleming*, The North Fork Table & Inn, Southold, NY; Tom Fraker, Melissa’s Produce, CA; Nicole Gajadhar, Saxon + Parole, NYC; Gregory Gourdet, Sage Restaurant Group, Portland, OR; Joseph Gurrera, Citarella, Bridgehampton, East Hampton, and Southampton, NY, Greenwich, CT;  and NYC;  Patti Jackson, Delaware and Hudson, Brooklyn, NY; Jimmy Lau, Shuko, NYC.

Additional chefs included: Mina Newman, Sen Sakana, NYC;  Ayesha Nurdjaja, Shuka, NYC. Chintan Pandya, Rahi, NYC;; Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli, Don Angie, NYC; Michael Ronzino, Wölffer Kitchen, Sag Harbor, NY; Laëtitia Rouabah, Benoit Restaurant and Wine Bar, NYC; Surbhi Sahni, Saar Indian Bistro, NYC; Barbara Sibley, La Palapa, NYC; Roxanne Spruance, Kingsley, NYC; Chris Starkus, Urban Farmer, Denver; Nick Stefanelli, Masseria, Washington, D.C.; Hillary Sterling, Vic’s, NYC; Audrey Villegas, 2 Spring, Oyster Bay, NY; Jason Weiner, Almond, Bridgehampton, NY and NYC; Mathew Woolf, The Rainbow Room, Bar SixtyFive, NYC; Emily Yuen, Bessou, NYC.

*James Beard Award winner

Following the main event, there was an after party sponsored by Amali, NYC and Calissa, Watermill, NY. It featured an array of cold and hot dishes as well as Champagne Boizel and Heineken. A DJ was also playing a mix of music at the event. What a spectacular evening benefiting culinary education and programming!

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