Nation’s Biggest Culinary Event for LGBTQ Equality Hosts Top Chefs and Mixologists

by Stephen Peters

2016 HRC Chefs for Equality brings together top chefs and mixologists for an incredible evening raising crucial funds in the fight for full LGBTQ equality

WASHINGTON – For the fifth consecutive year, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation – the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization – and prominent food writer David Hagedorn are once again bringing together the capital region’s top chefs, pastry chefs, and mixologists for Chefs for Equality. The evening of food, cocktails, and music to benefit the fight for full LGBTQ equality will be held Wednesday, October 26, 2016, at the Ritz-Carlton, Washington, DC. In addition to the impressive fare, an auction benefiting the HRC Foundation will be held.

“Chefs from all over the region are coming together for our incredible event to stand with the LGBTQ community and help raise crucial funds for the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s vitally important work,” said David Hagedorn. “Despite tremendous progress made, LGBTQ people still face unfair and unjust discrimination in far too many places across the country. And with more than 200 anti-LGBTQ pieces of legislation introduced in 34 states this year, the work of the HRC Foundation is more important than ever before.”

The fight for full LGBTQ equality is far from over. Even with nationwide marriage equality, 31 states lack explicit protections against discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender identity. The HRC Foundation’s educational work is vital to raising awareness on these important issues.

The event will also honor the late renowned chef Michel Richard -- a strong supporter of the LGBTQ community and patron of Chefs for Equality since its inception -- with a special table in his memory. The Washington Post said Richard’s “...innovative and whimsical fusions of French and American foods made him one of the country’s most influential chefs.”

As they have for the previous four years, Christopher Vazquez and Rick Davis of Amaryllis Floral Event + Design will enhance the Ritz-Carlton’s ballroom for the amazing event.

Chefs for Equality features savory tasting and drink stations headed by the national capital region’s top chefs, pastry chefs, and mixologists. But the jewels of the Chefs for Equality crown are eight personal chef tables – an opportunity to dine with celebrity chefs for a lavish five-course meal right in the middle of the action during the event. Celebrity chef groupings for these tables include: Jen Carroll, David Guas, and Ris Lacoste; Ian Boden, Bryan Voltaggio, and Jeremiah Langhorne; Victor Albisu, Amy Brandwein, and Nick Stefanelli; Cathal Armstrong, Erik Bruner-Yang, Scott Drewno, Danny Lee, and Yesoon Lee; Todd Gray, Vikram Sunderam, and Alex Levin; Tarver King, Marjorie Meek-Bradley, and Johnny Spero; Mike Friedman, Jamie Leeds, and Michael Schlow; Bill Smith, Joy Crump, and David Shannon.

In addition to these tables are two centerpiece tables for 16 guests, each matched with Washington’s most celebrated fine dining chefs, including Patrick O’Connell, Frank Ruta, Aggie Chin, Fabio Trabocchi, Robert Wiedmaier, and Eric Ziebold at one table. The second centerpiece table is a tribute to the late Michel Richard, and includes chefs David Deshaies, Cedric Maupillier, Roberto Donna, Kaz Okochi, Eric Krempp, Jeff Buben and Luigi Hervé.  Baker Mark Furstenberg of Bread Furst will provide the bread for all 10 of the personal chef tables.

The full list of participating chefs, pastry chefs, bakers, and mixologists can be found here:

Tickets for Chefs for Equality can be purchased at Additionally, tickets for the after-party at Mike Isabella’s Kapnos restaurant can be purchased separately for $50. All proceeds will benefit the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s nationwide work for LGBTQ equality.


WHAT:  An evening of food, cocktails, fashion, and music to benefit the HRC Foundation’s nationwide work for LGBTQ equality.

WHEN:  Wednesday, October 26, 2016

WHERE:  Ritz Carlton, 1150 22nd Street NW, Washington, D.C.

TICKETS:  $200 and can be purchased at

Renowned DJ Shea Van Horn will provide the music for Chefs for Equality and the after-party.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work, and in every community.


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