Inaugural Chef’s Roast

September 22, 2014 @ 6:30 PM – 10:30 PM
Union Market
1309 5th Street Northeast
Washington, DC 20002

On September 22, culinary personalities from around the country will gather in Washington for a first-of-its kind charity roast of D.C. chef and pioneering restaurateur, Nora Pouillon. The night of food, comedy and philanthropy will be held at Dock 5 in Union Market, and honor Nora’s legacy, while poking some fun at her occasional foibles. All proceeds from the inaugural Chef’s Roast will benefit the Chef Action Network, an organization dedicated to building the next generation of chefs advocating for policies that support health, nutrition and sustainability.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m., the event will feature a series of roasters who will offer anecdotes and commentary on Pouillon’s storied culinary career, which saw the Austrian-born chef open Restaurant Nora in 1979 in Washington’s Dupont Circle neighborhood, and eventually turn it into America’s first certified organic restaurant.

The list of roasters is a who’s who of food world personalities, environmental and food issue advocates, including:

  • Chef Rick Bayless – Frontera Grill, Toplobompo and Xoco
  • Chef Carla Hall – Co-host of ABC’s The Chew
  • Chef Michel Nischan – Wholesome Wave and Chef Action Network
  • Chef Mary Sue Milliken – Border Grill Restaurants and James Beard Foundation trustee
  • Chef Patrick O’Connell – The Inn at Little Washington
  • Chef Ann Cooper – “The Renegade Lunch Lady”
  • Ken Cook – President, Environmental Working Group
  • Jim Crawford – Owner, New Morning Farm, Founding Member, Tuscarora Organic Growers
  • Robert Egger – Founder and President, LA Kitchen, Former President, DC Central Kitchen

The inaugural Chef’s Roast is the brainchild of Arabella Advisors founder and managing director, Eric Kessler, and his wife, Sharapat Kessler, who also serve as event chairs on the host committee. “The Chef Action Network does a remarkable job helping chefs shine a spotlight on important culinary and environmental issues,” said Eric, “and we are thrilled to be able to support it while also paying tribute to Nora, a truly remarkable talent who has had a major, if often underappreciated, influence on American dining.”

During the proceedings, guests will enjoy a Nora-inspired feast prepared by culinary luminaries:

  • Cathal Armstrong (Restaurant Eve, Eamonn’s, PX, The Majestic and Society Fair)
  • Scott Drewno (The Source by Wolfgang Puck)
  • Mike Isabella (Graffiato, Kapnos and G)
  • Kate Jansen (Pastry Chef at Willow)
  • Haidar Karoum (Proof, Estadio, Doi Moi)
  • Mary Sue Milliken (Border Grill Restaurants)
  • John Mooney (Bidwell, Bell, Book & Candle)
  • Tracy O’Grady (Willow)
  • Mikaela Reuben (Private Chef, Vancouver, BC)
  • Andrea Reusing (The Lantern)
  • Christian Thornton (Atria)
  • Sherry Yard (Helms Bakery)

Individual tickets to the Chef’s Roast are $300, while tables for 10 can be reserved for $7,000-$30,000 inclusive of unique opportunities, including a meet and greet with chefs and celebrity roasters. All tickets are available through Eventrbite.

About the Chef Action Network

The Chef Action Network (CAN) is a non-profit organization that connects chefs to tools and resources that will help them create significant and lasting change in their communities, the country and the world. CAN is focused on harnessing the power of America’s preeminent chefs in support of a strong, sustainable, just and healthy food system.


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