Ever imagine joining an Alice Waters-hosted dinner party in a private home? Or pairing up top toques into gastronomic dream teams dishing out home-cooked meals? Culinary dreams become reality at the fifth Sips & Suppers weekend benefit in Washington D.C. on January 26 and 27. On Sunday night, a $550 ticket grants you access to one of 26 dinners held throughout the area in food-lovers’ homes, each presided over by a duo of the city’s and nation’s best chefs.
Co-founders Waters, José Andrés (one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People) and author Joan Nathan launched Sips & Suppers during President Obama’s 2009 inauguration as a “celebration of food and community” and to raise awareness about the city’s homelessness and hunger issues. Now an annual event, planners wisely switched the date to the weekend after the swearing-in for 2013 (traffic nightmares and security closures were a bear during the first Sips & Suppers).
This year, Waters hosts a dinner with chefs from her legendary Chez Panisse. Others at stoves around town include The Chew’s Carla Hall, her Top Chef brethren Mike Isabella and Jen Carroll, and Andrés cooking with innovative protégés from his minibar restaurant. Celebrate Chinese New Year a few weeks early with The Source’s Scott Drewno whipping up an inspired feast of his Asian-fusion creations. Best suited for omnivores, the supper by Alon Shaya of New Orleans’ Domenica features a whole roasted suckling pig. Dinner pairings include luxury global wines donated by Terlato.
If you prefer to spend your time and money on dancing rather than on a sit-down Sunday meal, $95 buys entrance to the Sips Saturday night cocktail party at the Newseum. With top mixologists like Buffalo & Bergen’s Gina Chersevani shaking drinks and bites by Hell’s Kitchen champion Rock Harper and area chefs, it’s partying inauguration-style all over again…minus the stifling crowds and hour-long coat check. An Iberico ham table features bites of the $150-per-pound Spanish delicacy flowing freely from Wagshal’s Market. Locavores will love the regional food samplings — we might not leave the FireFly Farms table all night with its creamy, tangy and irresistible goat cheeses.
Snag a ticket for admission to both events for a discounted $600. It’s food for a cause — all proceeds go to D.C. Central Kitchen and Martha’s Table, two beloved D.C. food nonprofits.
Photos Courtesy of Sunday Night Suppers