Eight years ago, Alice Waters (chef and owner of Chez Panisse in California) wanted to do something that would give back to the community and the nation. Mrs. Waters picked the phone up and called her friend Joan Nathan (authority in Jewish cooking) and with the help of Jose Andres (owner of Oyamel, Jaleo, China Chilcano and more) Sips and Suppers was born. The Sips and Suppers started as an event where executive chefs would cook in private homes one evening and now has grown into a two night weekend experience. The first portion “Sips” which features an opportunity of tasting dishes from the star-studded lineup of chefs and mixologists from across the district and the world offering up samples to the crowd. The second day for the “Suppers,” attendees are now spoiled with choices of which chef to meet and dine with for the more intimate and elegant dinner party that occur in private homes.
Sips and Suppers returned this year with a bang at the Newseum, despite the snow storm pushing the event one week Sips and Suppers has become an event that is marked every year on the calendar. The dynamic trio of the three founders continued to ensure a great evening, goodwill, and good times. Gianluigi Dellaccio (former pro polo player turned owner/chef of Dolci Gelati) prepared gelato named after the founders that was available exclusively for the VIP event. Jose Andres was a cool refreshing Celmentine Sorbetto, Alice Waters was a delicious tasteful Hazelnut and Joan Nathan was a creative Candied Ginger that incorporated a delicate balance of sweet and spicy. Also included in the VIP event, attendees were welcome to exclusive tastings from Katsuya Fukushima of Daikaya, Caitlin Dysart of 2941, and K.N. Vinod of Indique.
The Sips event has grown to such popularity at the Newseum that there is a crowd at almost every station and mixologists were setting up bars inside the elevator! The ever popular Gina Chersevani of Buffalo Bergen was there in an elevator with her “Wanna Be A Baller” signature cocktail that ran out very early in the night. Which gave a chance to ask her and a number of other chefs, Why do you participate in this event, year after year?
“I have been doing this for six years and even did this the year I was pregnant because this is an event where you can see your work helping others” – Gina Chersevani
“This event is a blast and I enjoy supporting the community” – Chef Bob McCarter
“I love working with children, cooking, touching people’s hearts, and getting people healthy nutritious meals” – Chef Rob of instructor at Martha Table.
“This is my first year at this event and I really like the concept and the chance to talk to everybody” – Chef Daniel West of Pinstripe
“I have been doing this for many years and I love Martha’s table and DC Central Kitchen and it is a great chance to get exposure” – Michael Koch of Firefly Farms
Sips and Suppers has grown and continues to grow to help DC Kitchen and Martha’s Table educate and illuminate the growing number of people on homelessness in the capital. The attendees and chefs help to develop local, long term solutions to hunger, and to date the event has raised over two million dollars for the organizations. This event will mark the eighth year the event has been running. It’s popularity is no doubt due to the combination of mind-blowing food and festivities, the creativity of the organizers to deliver year after year, and knowing that you are contributing to making a difference in people’s lives.