This July, hundreds will come together at Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack to raise a glass to host and executive producer of Bravo’s James Beard Award-winning and Emmy award-winning Top Chef, Padma Lakshmi, who has been selected as The James Beard Foundation’s (JBF) Chefs & Champagne guest of honor.
“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 Lakshmi.
JBF, the country’s preeminent culinary organization, will host its annual Hamptons fundraiser and tasting party on Saturday, July 28.
The 2018 soiree will feature over 35 chefs, beverage experts, and artisanal purveyors, who will offer up unforgettable bites and sips. The event will also include flowing Champagne Boizel and Wölffer Estate wines.
So far, participating chefs include Alex Baker, Yves, NYC; Emma Bengtsson, Aquavit, NYC; Janine Booth and Jeff McInnis, Root & Bone, NYC; Peter Botros, The Stone House at Clove Lakes, Staten Island, NY; PJ Calapa, Scampi, NYC; Adrienne Cheatham, Sunday Best Dinner Series, NYC; Jessica Craig, L’Artusi, NYC; Suzanne Cupps, Untitled at the Whitney, NYC; Georgette Farkas, Rotisserie Georgette, NYC; Tom Fraker, Melissa’s Produce, CA; Nicole Gajadhar, Saxon + Parole, NYC; Gregory Gourdet, Sage Restaurant Group, Portland, OR; Joe Gurrera, Citarella, Bridgehampton, East Hampton, and Southampton, NY, Greenwich, CT; and NYC; Patti Jackson, Delaware and Hudson, Brooklyn, NY; Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau, Shuko, NYC; JBF Award Winner Pastry Chef Sarabeth Levine, Sarabeth’s; NYC; Mina Newman, Sen Sakana, NYC; Ayesha Nurdjaja, Shuka, NYC; Chintan Pandya, Rahi, NYC; Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli, Don Angie, NYC; Barbara Sibley, La Palapa, NYC; Joseph Smith, Wölffer Kitchen, Amagansett and Sag Harbor, NY; Roxanne Spruance, Kingsley, NYC; Chris Starkus, Urban Famer, Denver, CO; Hilary Sterling, Vic’s, NYC; Audrey Villegas, 2 Spring, Oyster Bay, NY; Jason Weiner, Almond, NYC; Mathew Woolf, Rainbow Room, Bar SixtyFive, NYC; and Emily Yuen, Bessou, NYC.
The benefit will also commemorate the 2018 Christian Wölffer Scholarship winner, who will be announced at the event. The scholarship fund champions students that plan on studying food and wine. Since it was established in 2006, the Christian Wölffer Scholarship has granted nearly $8 million worth of funding to over 2,000 recipients.
“Bringing attention to JBF scholarship, women’s leadership, and other impact programs aligns with many of the causes that are close to my heart,” Lakshmi added.
Lakshmi, an internationally known TV personality, model, actress, food expert, and author, hosted two successful cooking shows before joining Top Chef. She penned the best-selling cookbook, Easy Exotic, as well as Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet, The Encyclopedia of Spices & Herbs, and her food memoir, Love, Loss and What We Ate – which was a The New York Times best-seller. Last year, Lakshmi – who co-founded of the Endometriosis Foundation of America – became an ambassador for the ACLU. She was also fêted earlier this year by Variety with the 2018 Karma award.
“Padma’s passion for food, family, and feminism as well as her business savvy makes her an ideal guest of honor at this year’s Chefs & Champagne,” said Clare Reichenbach, chief executive officer of the James Beard Foundation. “She is such an inspiring role model for future generations of chefs, writers, and entrepreneurs. We look forward to celebrating her accomplishments this summer in the Hamptons.”
Chefs & Champagne will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $225 for James Beard Foundation members and $300 for non-members. VIP premium admission is also available. It grants attendees access to the tasting at 5 p.m., and tickets are $425 for James Beard Foundation members and non-members.
For more information, visit www.jamesbeard.org.