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The James Beard Foundation’s First-Ever Chefs & ChampagneSM Los Angeles Will Honor Tom Colicchio
Fundraiser Celebrates the Worlds of Cuisine and Fashion on Melrose Place on May 4
(New York, NY) For almost 20 years, the James Beard Foundation has hosted the celebrated Chefs & ChampagneSM party in the Hamptons. This year, the Foundation is taking the annual fundraiser west to showcase the extraordinary and diverse culinary talents of Los Angeles. Set amid the exclusive, ivied-walks of Melrose Place, on Sunday, May 4 Chefs & ChampagneSM Los Angeles will bring together innovators and tastemakers from the worlds of cuisine and fashion to honor Tom Colicchio, Chef/Owner of Craft Restaurants and ‘wichcraft and Head Judge of Bravo’s Top Chef.
“After a long history of celebrating culinary art and icons in the Hamptons, we are thrilled to expand our Chefs & Champagne fundraiser to the emerging luxury district of Melrose Place, featuring over 30 Los Angeles-area chefs” said Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation. “And we couldn’t think of a more fitting guest of honor than Tom Colicchio, who is a multiple James Beard Award-winner and an icon within the culinary community.”
In addition to tastings from local restaurants, California wineries, flowing Champagne and specialty cocktails, the event will feature a lavish silent auction, including items from Chefs & ChampagneSM Los Angeles fashion partners Carolina Herrera New York, Diane von Furstenberg, Frédéric Fekkai, Lambertson Truex and Mulberry, among others.
“It's an honor for Diversified Luxury to take part in bringing this event to Los Angeles and to support the pivotal role the James Beard Foundation plays in our culinary heritage,” said Kevin Mark Lodie, Founder of Diversified Luxury Marketing. “We are extremely pleased with the quality of talent and sponsors that have come together to debut Chefs & ChampagneSM in L.A.”
Chefs & ChampagneSM Los Angeles participating chefs include:
• Matthew Accarrino, Craft Los Angeles
• Gino Angelini, Angelini Osteria
• Govind Armstrong, Table 8
• Octavio Becerra, Palate Food and Wine
• James Boyce, Studio at Montage Laguna Beach
• Thomas Boyce, Spago Beverly Hills
• Pastry Chef Kristy Choo, Jin Patisserie
• Michael Cimarusti, Providence
• Josiah Citrin, Mélisse
• Neal Fraser, Grace Restaurant
• Hiroyuki Fujita, Kumo
• Eric Greenspan, The Foundry on Melrose
• Zov Karamardian, Zov’s Bistro
• David LeFevre and Pastry Chef John Park, Water Grill
• David Lentz, The Hungry Cat
• Bruno Lopez, Hotel Bel-Air
• Walter Manzke, Bastide
• Dennis Mejia, Republic
• David Myers, Sona
• Pastry Chef Ramon Perez, Boule
• Michel Richard, Citrus at Social
• Kristi Ritchey, Murano
• Steven A. Rojas and Pastry Chef Johnny Zepeda, Saddle Peak Lodge
• Marin Santos, Dolce Enoteca e Ristorante
• Bijan Shokatfard, Geoffrey's Malibu
• Kerry Simon, Simon LA at Sofitel
• Joachim Splichal, Paperfish
• Mike Stern, Michael's
• Jason Travi and Pastry Chef Miho Travi, Fraiche
Chefs & ChampagneSM Los Angeles will take place on Melrose Place on Sunday, May 4, 2008. A VIP champagne reception and silent auction preview will begin at 5:00 pm and will be followed by a promenade of chefs and Champagne from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Admission to the promenade is $195 for James Beard Foundation members and $275 for the general public. VIP premium admission is $325 for James Beard Foundation members and $400 for the general public. VIP tables of 10 are available for $3,250. In addition to all chef tastings, Champagne and wine, the VIP experience includes: VIP reception with tray-passed hors d’oeuvres, special Champagne, a photo opportunity with chefs, silent auction preview, reserved table seating, and additional VIP gift bag. Reservations can be made by calling (212) 627-2308. To reserve a VIP table for 10, please contact Yvon Moller at (212) 627-2090.
Champagne Sponsors include Nicolas Feuillatte. Event Sponsors include Au Bon Climat, Domaine de Canton; Evian; illy Caffè; Lambertson Truex; Los Angeles Confidential magazine; Mercedes-Benz of Beverly Hills; Sofitel LA; TurboChef. Cultural Partners are Geffen Playhouse; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art.
Chefs & ChampagneSM New York
The 18th annual Chefs & ChampagneSM New York will take place on Saturday, July 26, 2008 at the Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack, New York and honor James Beard Foundation Award-winner Wolfgang Puck.
About the James Beard Foundation
The James Beard Foundation is dedicated to celebrating, preserving, and nurturing America’s culinary heritage and diversity in order to elevate the appreciation of our culinary excellence. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, James Beard, who died in 1985, was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts. Today, the Beard Foundation continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships to culinary schools, and publications, and by maintaining the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs. For more information, please visit www.jamesbeard.org.
ABOUT JAMES BEARD:
Anointed the “dean of American cookery” by the New York Times in 1954, James Beard laid the groundwork for the food revolution that has put America at the forefront of global gastronomy. He was a pioneer foodie, host of the first food program on the fledgling medium of television in 1946, the first to suspect that classic American culinary traditions might cohere into a national cuisine, and an early champion of local products and markets. Beard nurtured a generation of American chefs and cookbook authors who have changed the way we eat.
James Andrew Beard was born on May 5, 1903 in Portland, Oregon, to Elizabeth and John Beard. His mother, an independent English woman passionate about food, ran a boarding house. His father worked at Portland's Customs House. The family spent summers at the beach at Gearhart, Oregon, fishing, gathering shellfish and wild berries, and cooking meals with whatever was caught.
After a brief stint at Reed College in Portland, in 1923 Beard went on the road with a theatrical troupe. He lived abroad for several years studying voice and theater, but returned to the United States for good in 1927. Although he kept trying to break into the theater and movies, by 1935 he needed to supplement what was a very non-lucrative career and began a catering business. With the opening of a small food shop called Hors d'Oeuvre, Inc., in 1937, Beard finally realized that his future lay in the world of food and cooking.
In 1940, Beard penned what was then the first major cookbook devoted exclusively to cocktail food, Hors d'Oeuvre & Canapés. In 1942 he followed it up with Cook It Outdoors, the first serious work on outdoor cooking. Beard spent the war years with a brief stint in cryptography, but he primarily served with the United Seamen's Service, setting up sailors' canteens in Puerto Rico, Rio de Janeiro, Marseilles, and Panama.
When he returned to New York in 1945, Beard became totally immersed in the culinary community. Between 1945 and 1955 he wrote several seminal cookbooks (see below for a complete list). He appeared in his own segment on television's first cooking show on NBC in 1946, and then on many other spots on television and radio. He contributed articles and columns to Woman's Day, Gourmet, and House & Garden, served as a consultant to many restaurateurs and food producers, and ran his own restaurant on Nantucket. He became the focal point of the entire American food world.
In 1955, Beard established the James Beard Cooking School. He continued to teach cooking to men and women for the next 30 years, both at his own schools (in New York City and Seaside, Oregon), and around the country at women's clubs, other cooking schools, and civic groups. He was a tireless traveler, bringing his message of good food, honestly prepared with fresh, wholesome, American ingredients, to a country just becoming aware of its own culinary heritage. Beard also continued to write cookbooks, most of which became classics and many of which are still in print. (See below for a complete, annotated list of Beard’s books.)
When James Beard died at 81 on January 21, 1985, he left a legacy of culinary excellence and integrity to generations of home cooks and professional chefs. His name remains synonymous with American food.