Over 1,000 guests descended upon Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack on Saturday, July 29 to fête multiple James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef, author and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson, revel in phenomenal bites from over 35 chefs, and sip on flowing Champagne Barons de Rothschild, and wines and ciders from Wölffer Estate Vineyard during the James Beard Foundation’s 27th annual Chefs & Champagne summer fundraiser.
“This is my 12th Chefs & Champagne,” James Beard Foundation President Susan Ungaro told Hamptons.com, “and it’s so exciting to be honoring Marcus Samuelsson because not only is he one of the most award-winning chefs that has done great things for the Foundation, and for Harlem and the world, but he’s also been a chef cooking around this tent honoring other Chefs & Champagne honorees through the years. So it’s a really special day, for us and for Marcus.”
As per usual, Wölffer Estate Vineyard provided the perfect backdrop for the sumptuous soiree. “I think this is the 20th year Wölffer Estate Vineyard is having Chefs & Champagne here on our Vineyard, so we’re very excited,” Wölffer Estate Vineyard Winemaker & Partner Roman Roth told us. “It’s the 30th anniversary for James Beard Foundation. The sun is coming out, fantastic food, friends, and wine – it doesn’t get any better than this.”
This year’s Chefs & Champagne silent auction alone raised over $100,000 to support the JBF’s mission, scholarship, education and JBF Impact Programs, which include the annual Food Summit and Leadership Awards, and Jordan Werner, the recipient of the 2017 Christian Wölffer Scholarship and the ICC Intensive Sommelier Course tuition waiver, was on hand to celebrate the impressive accolade.
“This event is something I remember coming to as a young cook, looking up to the best and brightest,” honoree Marcus Samuelsson told the crowd. “I want to thank all the guests that come out and support us every year. The talent and diversity that comes out of these programs and scholarships wouldn’t happen without you guys.”
The North Fork Table & Inn in Southold, a first time Chefs & Champagne participant, was thrilled to be showcasing local ingredients. “We were honored to be asked to be a part of the 2017 James Beard Foundation Chefs & Champagne event. The North Fork Table & Inn prepared a Sweet Corn Mousseline with Fermented Blueberry powder, highlighting local ingredients that we sourced from Krupski’s Farm, which is our sweet corn and Bhavana Berries, which is our own blueberries,” Chef Stephan Bogardus noted. “We chose this dish to have some fun and try something new getting out of our comfort zone in figuring out what we can do with products that we look at in very specific ways. We wanted to make people think a little bit and we wanted to answer some questions with taste.”
Matt Abdoo of Pig Beach Brooklyn and Pig Bleeker; James Ahearn of Verde Wine Bar; Greg Baxtrom of Olmsted; Pastry Chef Sherry Blockinger of Sherry B Dessert Studio; Stephan Bogardus of The North Fork Table & Inn; P.J. Calapa of The Spaniard; Denisse Lina Chavez of El Atoradero; Brian Cheewing of Wölffer Kitchen; Graeme Cockburn of Windstar Cruises; Matt Conroy of Virginia’s; Philippe Corbet of Lulu Kitchen & Bar; Pastry Chef Britt-Marie Culey of Coquette Patisserie; Andy D’Amico of Marseille and Nice Matin; Tom Fraker and Marco Zapien of Melissa’s® Produce; Robb Garceau of Neuman’s Kitchen, Events & Catering; Alex Guarnaschelli and Michael Jenkins of Butter; Bryan Hunt and Pastry Chef Abby Swain of Fowler & Wells; Oliver Lange of Zuma; Shane McBride of Augustine and Balthazar; Jeffrey McInnis and Janine Booth of Root & Bone and Stiltsville Fish Club; George Mendes of Aldea and Lupulo; Junghyun Park of Atoboy; Pastry Chef Carolina Perego of Citarella; Dominic Rice of Calissa; Todd Richards of Richards’ Southern Fried; Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster Harlem and Streetbird; Chad Shaner of Freek’s Mill; Pastry Chef Daniel Skurnick of Le Coucou; Roxanne Spruance of Kingsley; Fumio Yonezawa of Jean-Georges Tokyo; and Galen Zamarra of Mas Farmhouse and the Halyard were among 2017 participants.
For more information about the James Beard Foundation, visit www.jamesbeard.org.