Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Chef’s Best Dinner & Auction Celebrating Food & Friends

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On Monday, May 13th, more than 60 of the area’s best chefs dished up special tastings of their signature plates in the ballroom of the Washington Hilton to raise money for Food & Friends, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC.  The chefs participated in the organization’s Chef’s Best Dinner & Auction Celebrating Food & Friends’ 25th Anniversary presented by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation

Keith and I were invited to attend this wonderful event and thanks to the efforts of this year’s Celebrity Chef Chair Jeff Black of Black Restaurant Group, guests enjoyed tastings prepared by some of the region’s most talented chefs including: Teddy Folkman, Granville Moore’s; Wes Morton, Art and Soul; Nicolas Flores, Hank’s Oyster Bar; RJ Cooper, Rogue 24; and Jennifer Nguyen, Zentan Restaurant among other notables from the DC dining scene. In addition, attendees had the opportunity to bid on an array of exciting silent and live auction items featuring fantastic trips, one-of-a-kind experiences and private dining opportunities.

Trends of the night included various summer soups, tartares, and fun concoctions like bacon cheesecake, tomato cotton candy, and watermelon soup with pop rocks.  Here are some pictures I managed to take while sampling all the grub:

Oysters from Patowmack Farm

Clockwise from top left: arctic char from Logan Tavern; tuna tartare; mussels from Granville Moore's; salmon tartare.

Grilling up pork loins!

Clockwise from top left: melon soup; Virginia beef tartare from Black Restaurant Group; pork curry from The Pig; vanilla and chocolate parfait with apricot; jamon and truffle cheese sandwich from Boqueria; venison ham sandwiches.

Dolci Gelato

Hello Cupcake

The event raised $960,000 which is a record breaking success for Food & Friends. This represents more than 10% of their operating budget. The Live Auction Items that raised the most funds were 10 hours on a private jet, donated by Matt Voorhees and Chris Dorobek, which raised $28,000 and a cooking class for 6 with Chef Patrick O’Connell of The Inn at Little Washington, which raised $15,000.  All proceeds from Chef’s Best will ensure the delivery of specialized meals and personalized nutrition counseling to Food & Friends’ clients living with cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-challenging illnesses. This year, supporters will help provide more than one million meals to more than 2,900 individuals in Washington, DC, Virginia and Maryland.

During the event, Food & Friends proudly honored Washingtonian and Cathy Merrill Williams, President and Publisher, for giving a voice to our community and for highlighting not only the very best that Washington has to offer but showcasing what is truly special – its people.

Left to Right: Alex Barron, Walmart’s Regional General Manager for the Mid-Atlantic States; Craig Shniderman Executive Director of Food & Friends; Cathy Merril Williams, President and Publisher of Washingtonian; Kathleen Jaeger, the President of the NACDS Foundation and; Jim Cicconi, Senior Executive Vice President of External and Legislative Affairs for AT&T.

"I am both proud and humbled to be honored by Food & Friends, an organization I have long admired," says Cathy Merrill Williams, President and Publisher of Washingtonian Media. "The Washingtonian shares your deep commitment to the Washingtonian community and we commend your tireless efforts to feed both the bodies and souls of our most vulnerable citizens."

The event was phenomenal and I am glad we were able to come out and support such a great cause.

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