Not a single soul left hungry from the kick-off party of James Beard's Taste America this week in Tribeca. The scene was full of foodies and chefs, feasting on the best of the best from the country's most notable chefs. Champagne and cocktails were flowing all night long at the prestigious event which felt like a true celebration of the art of food.
James Beard Foundation CEO Clare Reichenbach, alongside Capital One Vice President of U.S. Card Lauren Liss, welcomed guests with a celebratory toast with co-hosts Bellamy Young (Scandal) and U.S. Olympic figure skater Sasha Cohen.
Food lovers mingled over delicious bites and beverages as Good Food for Good came to life through an immersive sensory experience. Leading chefs from across the country, including Mei Lin of Nightshade (Los Angeles), CJ Jacobson of Aba (Chicago), Richard Landau of Vedge (Philadelphia), Caroline Glover of Annette (Colorado), Brad Kilgore of Kilgore Culinary (Miami) and Tiffani Faison of Orfano (Boston), partied with guests to a soundtrack provided by DJ Hesta Prynn.
Sustainability and preventing food waste were centerpieces of the evening. A “full-use kitchen” activation, featuring Esther Choi of Mokbar, Kwame Williams of Vital Dining and the James Beard Foundation’s Culinary Director Jameeale Arzeno, was a highlight. There, chefs created delicious waste-not dishes and shared tips and techniques for pros and home cooks alike on how to waste less in their own kitchens. In addition, thanks to a partnership with the Food Recovery Network, more than 200 pounds of uneaten food from the event -- including 38 pounds of grits, 14 pounds of zucchini and more than five pounds of carrots, squash and scallions -- was rescued in accordance with food safety guidelines.
Other notable guests included James Beard Award-Winning Rising Star Chef of the Year Kwame Onwuachi, Top Chef alums Sara Bradley, Richard Blais, Tiffany Derry, Elizabeth Falkner and Nini Nguyen, as well as star chefs Marc Murphy and Tony Messina.
2019 marks the 7th consecutive year of the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America, which will bring the Foundation’s Good Food for Good™ programs to 20 cities across the country.
What makes Taste America so special is that it gives food lovers across the country a unique dining experience while enabling them to learn more about the impact of their food choices from passionate leaders who are changing the food landscape.
Taste America is a celebratory manifestation of the Foundation's Good Food For Good mantra, which symbolizes the organization’s focal shift from pure gastronomy to public good. Good Food for Good represents the Foundation’s work toward a world in which everyone can enjoy delicious, nutritious food produced in a sustainable way.
Taste America is bringing Good Food for Good to life in cities across the country by celebrating, nurturing and honoring chefs who are making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse and sustainable for everyone.
This year, the Foundation is joining forces with Food Recovery Network to ensure that Taste America events are Food Recovery Verified, meaning that all surplus food from these events will be recovered and donated to hunger-fighting nonprofits, who support food insecure individuals, in each city.
Photography by: Photography Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for James Beard Foundation