The (chef's) tables were turned on Monday night for the second annual Chef's Roast
at Union Market, with famed chef/restaurateur Tom Colicchio
the one on the chopping block for a change.
MSNBC anchor Alex Wagner
, the benefit's emcee, was joined by Top Chef
host Padma Lakshmi
and chefs Richard Blais
and Kerry Heffernan
in playfully skewering the owner of Craft Restaurants
(think Colicchio & Sons, craft, craftbar, craftsteak, and withcraft).
The beneficiary of the evening was the Chef Action Network
, an organization dedicated to building the next generation of chefs advocating for good food policies, and Food Policy Action
, a group cofounded by Colicchio that seeks to change the national dialogue on food policy by educating the public on how elected officials are voting on a full range of food policy issues.
The some 400 guests to yesterday's culinary celebration were greeted at the door by the musical stylings of the Bumper Jacksons
and then subsequently treated to a reception and dinner catered by some of the District's best chefs and mixologists, including Spike Mendelsohn
, Erik Bruner-Yang
, Robb Duncan
, Lee Anne Wong
, and Gina Chersevani
The 2015 Chef's Roast also honored Senator Patrick Leahy
and Senator Thad Cochran
for their leadership on childhood nutrition. Joining them at the event in a show of support were several of their colleagues in Congress, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
and Congressman Tim Ryan
Colicchio and 30 other chefs, representing 34 different states, will head to Capitol Hill today to meet with lawmakers about the Child Nutrition Act that is currently under consideration by Congress. Still hundreds of additional chefs will participate in the day of advocacy via social media, using the hashtags #realschoollunch, #saveschoollunch, #chefslead, and #votefood.
No doubt heads will roll (and stomachs will growl) soon after.