Last week I told you I'd share a little bit about Food & Friends big event Chef's Best. And now is the time!
I was able to get some quality photos of the evening from work. I would like to credit the majority of these pictures to Darren Santos our photographer.
Let me give a little background about Chef's Best. Chef's Best is Food & Friends signature gala fundraising event. 60 chef's from the DC metro area provide tastings of their cuisine while guests can bid on silent and live auction items all to support Food & Friends life sustaining services.
This year is the 21st year of Chef's Best so the theme was blackjack/cards. Our program books and center pieces all had the theme tied in.
Pretty cute, right?
Food & Friends is a very gay friendly organization, having started in the late 1980's when members of the gay community wanted to help their friends that were suffering from HIV/AIDS. Therefore many of our supporters are gay.
Disclaimer: This is in no shape or form meant to offend or represent my feelings about religion and or homosexuality. This is merely a picture from the evening of a very prominent chef, and well quite frankly the only photos of him that evening.
Now that thats over with, this is Patrick O'Connell. For those of you in the culinary world, you probably know who he is. He has won 5 James Beard awards, started the first 5 star country house hotel (The Inn at Little Washington) and was part of the farm to table movement before it even had a name.
He was also a guest judge on the DC season (5) of Top Chef.
He likes to dress up every year and he likes to push the envelope. Two years ago he dressed as the Pope because he has been referred to as "the Pope of American Cuisine". This year he did so by dressing up as "GOD", along with Adam and "Steve".
There were a lot of other great chef's from amazing restaurants in the area.
Hello Cupcake, Marcel's, Hank's Oyster Bar, Restaurant Nora, Bastille, Dino, Ristorante Tosca...and the list goes on.
My role in the evening was managing the silent auction from start to finish. From setup to breakdown.
We had some really great items this year including a mixology class for 4, box seats to a Washington Nationals game, a week stay at a private condo in St. Thomas, and an assorted case of wine to name a few.
It was a lot of work and it kept me pretty darn busy most of the night.
Per usual, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that guests and others do not know about. I had to trouble shoot at times during the evening and in heels to boot, girl power!
Despite being so busy, you better believe I was able to try some of the food!
Can you blame me?
It's pretty amazing that we work for months on this one event. We shuffle 1200 guests and 60 chefs into the Washington Hilton and then in a matter of hours its all over.
But when its all done there is no better feeling. It's definitely an adrenaline high, maybe not quite like sky diving or bungee jumping but a euphoria all its own. And best finished off with a big glass of wine.
In the end we did well budget wise considering the economic climate.
Our live auction really helped with items like tickets to NYC fashion week, trips to Costa Rica and Australia, a cupcake and champagne party at Hello Cupcake for 12 etc.
In the end and most importantly our clients will continue to receive nutritionally specialized meals free of charge because of our fundraising efforts at Chef's Best.
It makes all the planning, stress, and hours completely worth it.
Photo by Wade Morrison from MetroWeekly
So who wants to come next year?