There are few celebrities who are instantly recognized by just their first names. Emeril, need anyone say “Emeril who?” is one of them, and he will be the guest of honor at the James Beard Foundation’s 20th annual “Chefs & Champagne New York” tasting event on Saturday, July 23, at the Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack.
“Emeril is clearly one of the most noted culinary icons in this country,” said James Beard Foundation Presi-
dent Susan Ungaro during a telephone interview last week. “Other than being able to see him, meet him, greet him, you’ll be able to have over 30 tastings from great chefs in the tri-state area. I guarantee you won’t go hungry. Or thirsty.”
More than 40 masters—including James Beard Award-winning chefs such as Manhattan restaurateur Daniel Boulud and local executive chef James Carpenter of The Living Room in East Hampton—will prepare their specialty dishes and pair them with wines from Wölffer Estate or Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte for the event.
Ms. Ungaro said she’s hoping at least 900 foodies will turn out to mingle with the chefs and celebrate Mr. Lagasse as he joins the ranks of Julia Child, Wolfgang Puck and Martha Stewart, who have all been honored by the foundation through the years.
“What an honor to be recognized by the James Beard Foundation,” Mr. Lagasse said in a recent press release. “I am looking forward to being part of such an incredible event, among exceptional colleagues, and most importantly, where the fundraising will be dedicated to supporting students’ culinary education.”
Proceeds from “Chefs & Champagne” will benefit the James Beard Foundation’s numerous scholarships, including the Christian Wölffer Scholarship, which is named for the late founder of Wölffer Estate Vineyard. Established in 2006, the Wölffer scholarship is awarded to a student from New York who is going on to culinary school and needs financial aid.
“So by coming, you’re not only doing good, but you’re having a good time, too,” Ms. Ungaro said. “There’s no doubt that people who vacation in the Hamptons have a great appreciation for fine champagne and fine food, but they also want to go where the action is. And there’s no doubt that on Saturday, July 23, this party will be just that.”
“Chefs & Champagne New York” will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 23, at the Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack. General admission tickets are $275, or $200 for James Beard Foundation members. VIP premium admission begins at 4:30 p.m. and costs $375. VIP tables for 10 are available for $3,500. For tickets or more information, call (212) 627-2308 or visit jamesbeard.org/chefsandchampagne.