James Beard Foundation’s Chefs & Champagne Celebrates 25 Years

Over the weekend, The James Beard Foundation’s Chefs and Champagne celebrated it’s 25th anniversary! This year’s honoree was none other than co-host of ABC’s The Chew co-host and a popular competitor on Bravo’s Top Chef, Carla Hall. The annual fundraiser welcomed guests at the beautiful Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack, NY for an exquisite tasting party with culinary offerings from a select group of over 40 chefs that traveled from as far as California and Antigua to prepare and present  to the exclusive audience, bubbly provided by Champagne Tattinger and the wines of Wölffer Estate Vineyard.

Carla Hall

Chefs & Champagne participating chefs included:

  • Franklin Becker, The Little Beet Table, NYC;
  • Anthony Bucco, Restaurant Latour at Crystal Springs Resort, Hamburg, NJ;
  • Marc Anthony Bynum, Hush Bistro, Farmingdale, NY;
  • Erin Cayaban, Botequim, NYC;
  • Amanda Cohen, Dirt Candy, NYC;
  • Leah Cohen, Pig & Khao, NYC;
  • Ben Del Coro, Fossil Farms, Boonton, NJ;
  • Daniel Eddy, Rebelle, NYC;
  • Didier Elena, Chefs Club by Food & Wine, NYC;
  • Brad Farmerie, Public and Saxon + Parole, NYC;
  • Michael Ferraro, Delicatessen, NYC;
  • Tom Fraker and Marco Zapien, Melissa’s;
  • Pastry Chef Colleen Grapes, Oceana, NYC;
  • Sam Hazen, Atlantic Grill, Ocean Grill, Blue Water Grill, and Blue Fin, NYC;
  • Patti Jackson, Delaware and Hudson, Brooklyn, NY;
  • Luis Jaramillo, Blue Water Grill, NYC;
  • JJ Johnson, The Cecil, NYC;
  • Tyler Kinnett, Harvest, Cambridge, MA;
  • Chris Lavey and Pastry Chef Stephen Collucci, Colicchio & Sons, NYC;
  • Jamie Leeds, Hank’s Oyster Bar, Washington D.C.;
  • Pastry Chef Matthew Lodes, Rose Bakery, NYC;
  • James Beard Award winner Tony Maws, Craigie on Main Street and the Kirkland Tap & Trotter, Boston, MA;
  • George Mendes, Aldea and Lupulo, NYC;
  • Todd Mitgang, Crave Fishbar, NYC, and South Edison, Montauk, NY;
  • Harold Moore, Harold’s Meat + Three, NYC;
  • Melvin Myers, Success Catering, presented by Antigua and Barbuda;
  • Titti Qvarnström, Bloom in the Park, Malmö, Sweden;
  • AJ Schaller, Corkbuzz Wine Studio, NYC;
  • Noah Schwartz, Noah’s, Greenport, NY;
  • Shannon Shaffer, Design Cuisine, presented by Celebrity Cruises;
  • Pastry Chef Daniel Skurnick, Buddakan, NYC;
  • Michael Vignola, The Strip House, NYC;
  • Nick Wallace, Preserve, Jackson, MS;
  • Florian Wehrli, Triomphe, NYC;
  • Jason Weiner, Almond, NYC and Bridgehampton, NY, and L&W Oyster Co., NYC;
  • Doron Wong, Northern Tiger and Yunnan Kitchen, NYC;
  • Jonathan Wu and Matt John Wells, Fung Tu, NYC;
  • Pastry Chef Zac Young, David Burke Group

The samplings menu ranged from Carla Hall’s petite gourmet goods to seafood  and a varied selection of grilled, smoked Farm Fresh meats. If I had to choose what absolutely tasted the best and had me reaching for a third and fourth sampling, The Smoked Pork Belly with Braised Cabbage and Mustard Cream was heaven to my taste buds. The spicy kick, the perfectly paired cabbage and dare I say If one could savor perfection that is exactly how it would taste.

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I also enjoyed the Chef March Anthony Bynum’s Octopus with Yellow Eye Beans, Picholine Olives, Tomatoes, Lemon Balsamic, and Paprika Oil. The taste was delightful and pair nicely with Brut. Chef Bynum hails from Hush Bistro, located in Farmingdale New York.

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The VIP after party presented by Sysco included themed stations. The Brunch all night station was by far the best. The Chicken and Waffles served with Crown Maple Syrup, Molasses and Hot Sauce had just the right amount of sweet with the maple syrup, it almost seemed infused in the waffle which was delightful and the chicken was just right.  Desserts ranged from ice cream to fruit samplings and the wine and champagne flowed through the night.

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Carrying on its long tradition of supporting culinary education, the James Beard Foundation announced  Yuliya Kotova as the recipient of the 2015 Christian Wölffer Scholarship and the ICC Intensive Sommelier Course tuition waiver. Established in 2006, the Christian Wölffer Scholarship assists students in their study of food and wine.

The James Beard Foundation’s Chefs & Champagne is considered to be the East End’s premier culinary summertime event. A silent auction consisting of fine-dining experiences, wines and spirits, cookware, and culinary travel packages raised over $70,000 to support the James Beard Foundation’s mission and educational programs, including culinary student scholarships and the organization’s annual food conference on sustainability, public health, and nutrition.

For more information, visit The James Beard website and to become a member, click here.