The James Beard Foundation (JBF), the country’s preeminent culinary organization, announced today that Marcus Samuelsson, multiple James Beard Award–winning chef, author, philanthropist, and restaurateur, will be honored at this year’s Chefs & Champagne on Saturday, July 29, 2017. The annual Hamptons fundraiser and tasting party, to be held at the Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack, New York, is one of the East End of Long Island’s most highly anticipated foodie events of the summer. Culinary and drink offerings from more than 40 chefs, beverage masters, and artisanal purveyors will be featured along with flowing Champagne and Wölffer Estate wines.
“I am so excited to be part of Chefs & Champagne, as it’s really one of the highlights of the summer to get to see your colleagues and friends and cook for them,” said Samuelsson. “Looking at the list of the previous recipients, I feel very humbled to be a part of such a delicious, diverse, American cooking family. When I think about the James Beard Foundation, I think about the aspirations of young chefs. I think about Mildred [Amico], Julia [Child], Jacques [Pépin], and all the times I’ve cooked at the Beard House. This organization has given me so many incredible moments and I thank you for that.”
Marcus Samuelsson is the acclaimed chef behind Red Rooster Harlem, Ginny’s Supper Club, and Streetbird Rotisserie. A committed philanthropist and the youngest person to ever receive a three-star review from The New York Times, Samuelsson has won multiple James Beard Foundation Awards including Best Chef: New York City, and was tasked with planning and executing the Obama Administration’s first State dinner. He was also crowned champion of television shows “Top Chef Masters” and “Chopped All Stars,” and served as a mentor on ABC’s “The Taste.” Samuelsson co-produces Harlem EatUp!, an annual food and culture festival launched in Harlem, New York in 2015, and is also the founder of the website Food Republic. He is the author of Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home cookbook and The New York Times best-selling memoir Yes, Chef, as well as the young adult version, Make It Messy. His newest book, The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem, was released in October 2016. He opened Marcus at MGM National Harbor outside of Washington, D.C., in December 2016 and has announced the opening of Red Rooster Shoreditch in East London. In May 2016, he was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.
“Marcus truly exemplifies the essence of our mission, which is to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone,” said Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation. “What makes Marcus so special is his philanthropic endeavors; his love of learning and sharing the culinary uniqueness of different cultures; his creative process influenced by his Swedish and Ethiopian background; how he uses art, music, and fashion in designing his dishes. Marcus holds a special place in our heart and in our history, having generously hosted over 25 Beard House dinners to benefit our Foundation, more times than any other chef.”
Among the chefs* who have signed on to fete Marcus this summer: Greg Baxtrom, Olmsted, Brooklyn, NY; Anthony Carcaterra, Verde Wine Bar, Deer Park, NY; Brian Cheewing, Wölffer Kitchen, Sag Harbor, NY; Philippe Corbet, Lulu Kitchen & Bar, Sag Harbor, NY; Pastry Chef Britt-Marie Culey, Coquette Patisserie, Cleveland, OH; Tom Fraker and Marco Zapien, Melissa’s Produce, CA; Robb Garceau, Neuman’s Kitchen Events & Catering, LIC, NY; Michael Kramer, JIANNA, SC; Oliver Lange, Zuma, USA; Jeffrey McInnis and Janine Booth, Root & Bone, NYC, and Stiltsville Fish Club, Miami; Junghyun Park, Atoboy, NYC; Roxanne Spruance, Kingsley, NYC; Galen Zamarra, Mas Farmhouse, NYC.
Over the last 26 years past honorees have included Ted Allen, Daniel Boulud, Julia Child, Bobby Flay, Thomas Keller, Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse, and Martha Stewart. Funds raised at Chefs & Champagne help support the James Beard Foundation’s wide variety of initiatives, including culinary student scholarships and the organization’s annual food conference on sustainability, public health, and nutrition. A silent auction consisting of fine dining experiences, wines and spirits, cookware, and culinary travel packages will also raise funds for the organization.
With a long tradition of supporting culinary education, the James Beard Foundation will also announce the recipient of the 2017 Christian Wölffer Scholarship at the event. Established in 2006, the scholarship fund supports students in their study of food and wine. As of 2017, the Foundation will have awarded over $7 million in financial aid to nearly 2,000 recipients.
The Chefs & Champagne main event will take place from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm on Saturday, July 29, and is open to the public—reservations are $200 for James Beard Foundation members and $275 for non-members. General admission includes all tastings, silent auction bidding opportunities, and a gift bag. VIP premium admission, beginning at 5:00 pm, is $375 for James Beard Foundation members and non-members. VIP tables of 10 are available for $4,000. The VIP experience includes an additional exclusive reception hour with early access to all tastings, reserved table seating, advanced silent auction preview, gift bag, and access to the VIP after-party. Reservations can be made by calling (212) 627-2308 or at jamesbeard.org/chefsandchampagne.