Sips & Suppers 2013

2013 Sips Photographer Elizabeth Parker-5

Photos by Elizabeth Parker

The ultimate DC food event, Sips & Suppers, was held all across the city and into McClean and Bethesda this past weekendWe saw everyone from DC culinary scene fan favorites, Top Chef stars, CNN correspondants, and legends that have shaped the way Americans eat forever and continue to move for change.

Sips & Suppers is a two-day celebration of food and community hosted by José Andrés, Joan Nathan and Alice Waters. The fundraiser, now in its fifth year, was launched during President Barack Obama’s first inauguration, and has grown to include almost 100 acclaimed chefs, mixologists and food artisans. With its focus on bringing together the food, restaurant and non-profit communities, this year’s event is the largest in Sips & Suppers history. Sips & Suppers benefits DC Central Kitchen and Martha’s Table. The event raises vital funding and focuses on poverty, hunger and nutrition in Washington and the nation. Food and wine professionals from across the country and around the world, including chefs and wine specialists from France, Iceland and Italy, come together in a show of incredible community effort.

On Saturday, we tasted our way around the Newseum with Sips where over 40 restaurants, mixologists and artisan food makers came out in support of the cause. The atmosphere at the sold-out event was jubilent, a celebration of both DC’s exploding food scene and the return to local, simple food.

All 500 attendees burst into applause when Alice Waters called for DC to lead the charge to bring healthy food into our public schools, “When you feed [kids] fast food, you’re selling them fast ideas.”

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On Sunday, the fundraiser went back to its roots. In 2009, it’s own inaugural year  as well as the President’s, Sunday Suppers started as 12 dinner held in private homes. Now, 5 years later, the event has expanded to 26 dinners held from McClean to Capital Hill and Bethesda to Georgetown. I had the immense pleasure of zooming around town with Joan Nathan and Ariane Batterberry, founder of Food & Wine and Food Arts magazines, as we tried to pack as many visits in as possible (we made it to 6 altogether) while nibbling on the chefs’ creations.

Highlights from Sunday Suppers that we visited include:

  • Popping in to visit Mintwood Place’s Cedric Maupillier at his Georgetown dinner
  • Catching up with Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef and the Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives, at Alice Waters and the team from Chez Panisse’s event
  • Beholding the artfully curated starters at José Andrés’s Minibar (This exclusive dinner was $1000 per person)
  • Enjoying the succulent Pekin Duck and Broken Rice prepared by The Source’s Scott Drewno and Toki Underground’s Erik Bruner-Yang
  • Meeting up with Wolf Blitzer at the dinner designed by Ardour’s Sébastian Rondier and Michael White of Altamarea Group, New York
  • Listening to Micheal Solomonov of Philly’s Zahav and Adam Sobel of Bourbon Steak notoriety discuss how they got their start as chefs
  • Surprising partygoers at Kaz Okochi from Kaz Sushi Bistro and Roberto Donna from Al Dente’s Japanese meets Italian collaboration

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The weekend can was best summed up by Joan’s daughter, Merissa, “$400,000 raised for the homeless. 26 dinners. One giant museum fundraiser cocktail party. And 150 others wined and dined since Friday. My mother is amazing.”

Can’t wait to do it all again next year!