On Monday, June 15th, 50 of the area’s best chefs served tastings of their signature plates in the ballroom of the Marriott Marquis to raise money for Food & Friends. The chefs were participating in our 25th Anniversary Chef’s Best Dinner & Auction Presented by Friendship Hospital
for Animals. We proudly honored the Marriott family, Marriott International and The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation during the event.
Chef’s Best was in a new home this year, the stunning Marquis Ballroom at the brand new Marriott Marquis.
During the VIP Reception, Board President Mike Bento recognized partners that have supported Food & Friends for over a decade. Peter Glassman, Director of Friendship Hospital for Animals and Debbie Marriott Harrison, Global Officer, Marriott Culture and Business Councils for Marriott International were recognized for their numerous contributions over the years. Also honored was David Hagedorn who started Chef’s Best 25 years ago and helped to build it into one of the best nights of philanthropy in Washington, DC.
Supporters gave in various ways including a Live Auction with once-in-a-lifetime experiences and trips. Highlights included a trip to Cuba which sold to three different bidders for $10,500 each, a cooking class and lunch with Chef Patrick O’Connell at the Inn at Little Washington which sold for $11,000 and a home-made dinner for 8 by Food & Friends’ Executive Chef which sold for $5,700. An appeal was made to the audience to support Food & Friends’ clients – current and new – facing diabetes. Guests at Chef’s Best gave generously and more than $76,000 was collected.
Celebrity Chef Co-Chair, Jeff Black of Black Restaurant Group, took the stage to thank attendees and make a special announcement. He told a story of visiting Food & Friends’ facility and being so taken with the operation that he asked a simple question; “What would it take for me to pay for the food in this place for one day?” He got the answer and at last night’s event, Jeff Black, with his family and their foundation, donated $35,000 to fund one full day of meals for Food & Friends’ clients.
All proceeds from Chef’s Best will ensure the delivery of specialized meals and personalized nutrition counseling to Food & Friends’ clients living with cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-challenging illnesses. This year, supporters will help provide more than 1 million meals to more than 2,700 individuals in Washington, DC, Virginia and Maryland. Food & Friends depends on the support of corporations, foundations and individuals and is grateful for the sponsors who have contributed to Chef’s Best.