DC’s top chefs to dish up gourmet cuisine for a good cause
WASHINGTON– Nowhere will you find more award winning chefs than at Chefs for Equality, an evening of food, cocktails, fashion, music and an extraordinary auction supporting a vote for marriage equality in Maryland. The event features 23 award winning area chefs, including four James Beard Award winners, and three award winning mixologists. The area’s top restaurants are represented at the star-studded evening which will raise critical funds and awareness just two weeks before voters decide the fate of marriage equality in Maryland. A list of the participating chefs and mixologists and the awards they’ve won is below.
The evening, hosted by prominent food columnist and cookbook author David Hagedorn and the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, will be emceed by fashion icon and television personality Tim Gunn. Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who signed marriage equality into law earlier this year, is the featured guest. Music is provided by DJ Shea Van Horn.
“This is an unprecedented show of support by the Washington area’s best chefs for marriage equality in Maryland,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.
"I'm honored to be part of HRC's Chefs for Equality event as we work to protect marriage equality at the ballot box in Maryland," said Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley. "As Marylanders VOTE FOR QUESTION 6 on Election Day, Maryland will become the first state in the nation to successfully defend marriage equality at the ballot box, but we cannot do it without the hard work and support of so many including the Human Rights Campaign."
“Marriage equality is an important issue to me personally,” said David Hagedorn. “I’m thrilled to bring together leaders of the culinary community for a very special night to uphold Maryland’s law giving all its citizens the right to marry the one they love.”
Personal Chef tables are available for auction where award-winning chefs will work in pairs to cook five-course menus for tables of eight. These duos include: Spike Gjerde (Woodberry Kitchen) and Erik Bruner-Yang (Toki Underground); Cathal Armstrong (Restaurant Eve) and RJ Cooper (Rogue24); Michel Richard (Central) and Bryan Voltaggio (Volt); Vikram Sunderam (Rasika) and Nicholas Stefanelli (Bibiana); Ris Lacoste (Ris) and Jamie Leeds (Hank’s Oyster Bar); Enzo Fargione (Elisir) and Peter Smith (PS7s); Victor Albisu (Taco Bamba) and Amy Brandwein (Chef AmyB); Nora Pouillon and Todd Woods (Restaurant Nora) with Haidar Karoum (Estadio/Proof); and Cedric Maupillier (Mintwood Place) and Devin Bozkaya (Westend Bistro). A top-flight sommelier will offer each Personal Chef table an exclusive wine pairing.
Attendees will be greeted by a bevvy of beverage options from acclaimed area mixologists, including Derek Brown of The Columbia Room, Gina Chersevani of Eddy Bar, John Harris of Firefly, Rachel Sergi of Jack Rose and Todd Thrasher of TNT. Guests will also enjoy creative tasting stations from 25 DC area restaurants, including BLT Steak, Cork Wine Bar, Estadio, Kaz Sushi Bistro, Wit and Wisdom, Cedar and Pearl Dive Oyster Bar.
Christopher Vazquez and Rick Davis of Amaryllis Floral + Event Design generously donated their services to design the entire event, whose theme revolves around the concept of two people joining together. Wedding-worthy fashions, donated for auction by clothiers such as Michael Andrews Bespoke and Carine’s Bridal Atelier, will be modeled as tableaux vivants throughout the event. The areas top pastry chefs will offer as dessert that evening cutting from elaborately designed wedding cakes.
An after-party will be held at Graffiato Restaurant at 10 p.m., featuring small plates by Mike Isabella, Scott Drewno of The Source and Teddy Folkman of Granville Moore's, as well as cocktails from top mixologists, including Jon Arroyo of Founding Farmers, Ari Wilder from Fujimar, Michael Searles from Virtue Feed and Grain and Gina Chesevani of Eddy Bar. Tickets for the after-party are $50.
*JBF = James Beard Foundation
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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