James Beard Foundation’s Chefs & Champagne Honors Marcus Samuelsson

Over the weekend, we headed out to the amazing beautiful Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack, New York for the James Beard Foundation‘s 27th annual Chefs & Champagne summer fundraiser. One of our favorite events of the year. This year, the foundation honored multiple James Beard Foundation Award–winning chef, author and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson. More than 1,000 filled the outdoor tent for a night of philanthropy, music, laughs, delicious cuisines from over 35 prestigious chefs, plus endless bubbly and wines from Wölffer Estate Vineyard and Champagne Barons de Rothschild.


Chefs & Champagne’s guest of honor, Marcus Samuelsson, joined the ranks of gastronomic giants such as Martha Stewart, Carla Hall, Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse, and Wolfgang Puck, who have all been fêted at prior events. Some of you may know Samuelsson from his many restaurants like Red Rooster Harlem, Ginny’s Supper Club, and Streetbird Rotisserie. He is much more than just his restaurants. Marcus has a slew of New York Times best sellers, planned and executed the Obama Administration’s first State dinner, and has won multiple James Beard Foundation Awards including Best Chef. Now you can add Chefs and Champagne honoree to his many accolades.

“This year’s summer fundraiser honoring Marcus Samuelsson was one of our most successful ever,” said Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation. “Marcus is a role model for chefs, restaurateurs and culinary entrepreneurs worldwide. His extraordinary talent, philanthropic endeavors, and boundless energy to help others complements our mission to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture, more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone.”

Marcus Samuelsson wasn’t the only winner of the night, Jordan Werner received the 2017 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. Also in attendance was multiple Christian Wölffer Scholarship recipient Christina Cassel and JBF National Scholars recipient Earlene Cruz.

Many of the funds raised at Chefs & Champagne were through the silent auction. The auction included one-of-a-kind dining experiences, wines and spirits, cookware, and culinary travel packages. The auction raised over $100,000 to support the James Beard Foundation’s mission, scholarship, education and James Beard Foundation Impact Programs, which include the annual Food Summit and Leadership Awards that help promote a better food system.

Chefs & Champagne participating chefs included: Matt Abdoo, Pig Beach Brooklyn, NY and Pig Bleeker, NYC; James Ahearn, Verde Wine Bar, Deer Park, NY; Greg Baxtrom, Olmsted, Brooklyn, NY; Pastry Chef Sherry Blockinger, Sherry B Dessert Studio, Chappaqua, NY and NYC; Stephan Bogardus, The North Fork Table & Inn, Southhold, NY; P.J. Calapa, The Spaniard, NYC; Denisse Lina Chavez, El Atoradero, Brooklyn, NY; Brian Cheewing, Wölffer Kitchen, Sag Harbor and Amagansett, NY; Graeme Cockburn, Windstar Cruises; Matt Conroy, Virginia’s, NYC; Philippe Corbet, Lulu Kitchen & Bar, Sag Harbor, NY; Pastry Chef Britt-Marie Culey, Coquette Patisserie, Cleveland, OH; Andy D’Amico, Marseille and Nice Matin, NYC; Tom Fraker and Marco Zapien, Melissa’s Produce, CA; Robb Garceau, Neuman’s Kitchen, Events & Catering, NYC; Alex Guarnaschelli* and Michael Jenkins, Butter, NYC; Bryan Hunt and Pastry Chef Abby Swain, Fowler & Wells, NYC;  Oliver Lange,  Zuma, NYC; Shane McBride, Augustine and Balthazar, NYC; Jeffrey McInnis and Janine Booth, Root & Bone, NYC, and Stiltsville Fish Club, Miami; George Mendes, Aldea and Lupulo, NYC; Junghyun Park, Atoboy, NYC;  Pastry Chef Carolina Perego, Citarella, multiple locations in NY and CT; Dominic Rice, Calissa, Water Mill, NY; Todd Richards, Richards’ Southern Fried, Atlanta; Marcus Samuelsson*, Red Rooster Harlem and Streetbird, NYC, and Marcus at the MGM National Harbor Hotel, Washington, D.C.; Chad Shaner, Freek’s Mill, Brooklyn, NY; Pastry Chef Daniel Skurnick, Le Coucou*, NYC; Roxanne Spruance, Kingsley, NYC; Fumio Yonezawa, Jean-Georges Tokyo, Tokyo; Galen Zamarra*, Mas Farmhouse, NYC, and the Halyard, Greenport, NY.

*James Beard Award winner

Sponsors for the James Beard Foundation’s Chefs & Champagne include Wölffer Estate Vineyard (host venue); Champagne Barons de Rothschild (exclusive champagne); Neuman’s Kitchen, Events & Catering (VIP after-party); Alfredo Prodotti, Audi, Big Green Egg, Brewery Ommegang, FreshDirect + FoodKick, Gokokuya, Hamptons.com, Hamptons Magazine, KAMUT, Melissa’s Produce, The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach, Royal Cup Coffee and Tea, Saratoga Spring Water, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, VerTerra Dinnerware, Windstar Cruises, and WVVH.

For more information, visit jamesbeard.org/chefsandchampagne.

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