JBF Chefs and Champagne

JBF Chefs and Champagne

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The James Beard Foundation welcomed Padma Lakshmi as this year’s guest of honor at the annual Chefs and Champagne soiree on Saturday, July 28th at Wölffer Estate Vineyard in the Hamptons.

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Chefs and Champagne is the premier culinary celebration of the summer, with New York influencers, culinary connoisseurs, and farm-to-table foodies venturing out East to enjoy unique tastings from over 35 chefs, beverage masters, and artisanal purveyors -- twenty of whom were female. Among the culinary highlights of the night were foie gras macarons, savory smoked egg, and bars flowing with Champagne Boizel and Wölffer Estate wines.

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“I am excited to be joining the ranks of previous guests of honor such as Julia Child and Martha Stewart to support the foundation’s mission to make America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone,” said Padma. “Bringing attention to JBF scholarship, women’s leadership, and other impact programs aligns with many of the causes that are close to my heart.”

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Padma is an internationally known best-selling author and the host and executive producer of Bravo’s Emmy award-winning Top Chef. Her passion for food, family, and feminism makes her an ideal role model for the future generation of female chefs.

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The annual event has been running for over 27 years in support of the work that the James Beard Foundation does to provide culinary education and implement a better food system. Past guests of honor include Marcus Samuelsson, Ted Allen, Daniel Boulud, Bobby Flay, Carla Hall, Thomas Keller, Emeril Lagasse, and Wolfgang Puck.

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The Foundation partnered with Rethink Food NYC to make the affair even more sustainable and transform excess food into ready-to-eat meals for the city’s food insecure populations.

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“This year’s summer fundraiser had the greatest impact yet,” noted James Beard Foundation CEO Clare Reichenbach. “The annual event exemplifies our continued commitment to create exceptional experiences all in support of the Foundation’s mission to change the world through food.” 

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The Foundation is in an energetic pursuit of skyrocketing an evolution in the culinary industry. Issues such as gender imbalance and diversity in culinary leadership are being tackled by JBF and its mission to nurture America’s future food leaders. Thanks to the silent auction, over $100,000 was raised to support JBF’s impact programs including Boot Camp for Policy and Change, Women in Entrepreneurial Leadership, and Smart Catch.

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