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Posted at 7:00 AM ET, 01/13/2011

Waters and Nathan to host fundraising dinners

By Tim Carman
sunday suppers_opt.jpg Alice Waters's first dinner attracted a host of famous toques. (James M. Thresher for The Washington Post)

What began as a chance to push a local/seasonal agenda on an incoming administration has transformed into an annual fundraiser for the hungry. For the third year in a row, chef/activist Alice Waters and cookbook author Joan Nathan are organizing a host of intimate, at-home dinners to raise money for local charities. Jose Andres, who's busy building an empire, has assumed honorary host duties this year.

Sunday Night Suppers on Sunday, Jan. 23, will feature more than 20 chefs, most of them local, who will cook private dinners in 15 homes. Among the participating chefs are Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve, Bertrand Chemel at 2941, Roberto Donna of Galileo III, Scott Drewno of The Source, Elizabeth Bourgeois of La Mas Tourteron in Gorde, France, Alon Shaya of Domenica in New Orleans, Ruben Garcia from Minibar and Fabio Trabocchi of the forthcoming Fiola Ristorante. Waters will also cook a dinner at Nathan's home, an event that's already booked way beyond its capacity of 20 guests.

"I think we're up to 40, and I think we may go up to 50," Nathan told All We Can Eat from her stopover in Miami, where she was promoting her new cookbook, "Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France."

In fact, even though tickets are $500 a head, there are fewer than 10 slots remaining for this year's dinners. This is clearly good news for Martha's Table and D.C. Central Kitchen, the beneficiaries of the event, if not for those who'd like to take part in a private dinner with their favorite chefs. Last year's dinners raised $135,000, Nathan says, while operating expenses were only $3,000. All the chefs and organizers donate their time, and ingredients, likewise, are often donated.

But even if you can't grab a seat at a Sunday Supper, you can still take part. For the second consecutive year, organizers are supplementing the dinners with a more informal cocktail reception. This year's reception has been shifted to a more hospitable evening, but Saturday Night Sips on Jan. 22 will still maintain its focus on young chefs and mixologists. Among those expected to provide food and drink are Will Artley of Evening Star Cafe, Antonio Burrell of Masa 14, Shannon Overmiller of The Majestic, Gina Chersevani of PS 7's and Owen Thomson of Cafe Atlantico.

Tickets to Saturday Night Sips are $100 a person (down $25 from last year's price!), and more than 100 tickets remain for the event.

By Tim Carman  | January 13, 2011; 7:00 AM ET
Tags:  Tim Carman  
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