If spring’s unpredictable weather has you pining for summer, the James Beard Foundation (JBF) is giving you another reason to wish summer was already here.
This July, the James Beard Foundation will toast to multiple James Beard Award-winning chef, author, philanthropist, and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson during Chefs & Champagne, the JBF’s annual fundraiser and tasting party in the Hamptons.
“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.”
Taking place at Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack on Saturday, July 29, this year’s soiree will once again bring together over 40 chefs, beverage masters, and artisanal purveyors who will present unbelievably delicious bites and sips, and, of course, the champagne and Wölffer Estate wines will be flowing.
“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.”
Samuelsson, who was born in Ethiopia and raised in Sweden, is the owner of Red Rooster Harlem, Ginny’s Supper Club, Streetbird Rotisserie, Marcus’ Bermuda, American Table Cafe and Bar, Kitchen and Table, American Table Brasserie and Bar, Norda, Eatery Social Taqueria, Marc Burger, and Uptown Brasserie. The chef, who was the youngest person to ever receive a three-star review from The New York Times, was selected to plan and helm the Obama Administration’s first State dinner. He’s a regular on Food Network’s Chopped and ABC’s The Taste, and has reigned supreme on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters and Food Network’s Chopped All Stars. Samuelsson also serves as a co-producer of Harlem EatUp!, an annual food and culture festival launched in Harlem, New York in 2015, and founded the website Food Republic, a “site for people who want to eat and drink well, and to live smart.” The talented chef has penned several books including Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home cookbook, New York Times best-seller Yes, Chef, Make It Messy, and The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem, his latest book, which was released in October 2016.
Samuelsson and his wife Maya Gate Haile founded Three Goats Organization, a New York based non-profit organization that is committed to bettering the health and well-being of children, young women and families in Ethiopia by providing sustainable access to essential resources, like food and water. He is also a UNICEF Ambassador (since 2000), and is a champion of Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), MOFAD, Childhood, City Harvest, FC Harlem, Harlem Children’s Zone, and Storefront Academy.
“I think about Mildred [Amico], Julia [Child], Jacques [Pépin], and all the times I’ve cooked at the Beard House,” noted Samuelsson. “This organization has given me so many incredible moments and I thank you for that.”
So far, Greg Baxtrom of Olmsted (Brooklyn, NY); Anthony Carcaterra of Verde Wine Bar (Deer Park, NY); Brian Cheewing of Wölffer Kitchen (Sag Harbor, NY); Philippe Corbet of Lulu Kitchen & Bar (Sag Harbor, NY); Pastry Chef Britt-Marie Culey of Coquette Patisserie (Cleveland, OH); Tom Fraker and Marco Zapien of Melissa’s Produce (CA); Robb Garceau of Neuman’s Kitchen Events & Catering (LIC, NY); Michael Kramer of JIANNA (SC); Oliver Lange of Zuma; Jeffrey McInnis and Janine Booth of Root & Bone (New York, NY), and Stiltsville Fish Club (Miami, FL); Junghyun Park of Atoboy (New York, NY); Roxanne Spruance of Kingsley (New York, NY); and Galen Zamarra of Mas Farmhouse of (New York, NY), have signed on for the 2017 Chefs & Champagne.
In May 2016, the James Beard Foundation inducted Samuelsson into its Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. “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,” added Ungaro.
Tickets to Chefs & Champagne begin at $200 for James Beard Foundation members and $275 for non-members.
For more information, visit www.jamesbeard.org.