This past weekend, the James Beard Foundation invited me to its 27th annual Chefs and Champagne fundraiser. The beautiful gathering of top chefs took place at the Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack, New York. The event honored Marcus Samuelsson, an award–winning chef, author and restaurateur for his talent and involvement in the community. He is such a positive-spirited, innovative, and generous person. The event also recognized this year’s James Beard Foundation scholarship recipients. The benefit’s silent auction raised over $100,000 to support the JBF’s mission, scholarship, education and JBF Impact Programs. It offered items such as restaurant, cookware, memorabilia packages, and more.
The Chefs and Champagne benefit truly delighted everyone’s palate. Over 35 chefs, mostly from the East End and NYC prepared seafood, meat, soup, vegan dishes, pastries, and more for guests to enjoy. Attendees also enjoyed Champagne Baron de Rothschild and wines and ciders from Wölffer Estate Vineyard. Additional sponsors included: Neuman’s Kitchen, Alfredo Prodotti, Audi, Big Green Egg, Brewery Ommegang, FreshDirect + FoodKick, and Gokokuya. Furthermore, other sponsors included: Hamptons.com, Hamptons Magazine, KAMUT®, The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach, Royal Cup Coffee and Tea, Saratoga Spring Water, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Windstar Cruises, and WVVH. The food and champagne definitely flowed through the event, all for a wonderful mission. That mission is to continue providing culinary education initiatives and nurture impressive culinary talent. What an honor to part of this incredible evening!