Courtesy of Sips & Suppers via Twitter
Courtesy of Sips & Suppers via Twitter

For the past 11 years, Washingtonians have been opening their hearts — and their wallets — for the annual Sips & Suppers charitable event, which pairs master chefs from Washington and beyond to create private dinners and memorable dishes to benefit Martha’s Table and DC Central Kitchen.

While the packaging has changed this year, the motivation behind the weekend event remains the same. The new incarnation includes a “DC Night Out Experience” in addition to the private dinners that philanthropists can sponsor, bringing a renowned chef into their homes to create an intimate dinner, with wine pairings, for a small group.

In the past, Sips & Suppers had one night of a food fest at the Newseum, where supporters purchased tickets and were treated to a smorgasbord of gourmet delights from chef-created tastings, to craft cocktails and sweet treats. This year, the experience will expand from one locale to multiple venues throughout the city.

Patrons of the “DC Night Out” experience will be able to participate in the unveiling of this new format that will showcase the very best of D.C.’s hospitality industry.

“These restaurants will welcome out-of-town chefs to partner on curated menus and create a unique dining experience for Sips & Suppers guests,” said Robin Jackson, assistant director of Special Events for Martha’s Table, which recently relocated from Columbia Heights to The Commons at Stanton Square in the Stanton Road/Hillsdale area of Ward 8.

Sips & Suppers is the brainchild of culinary giants José Andrés, Joan Nathan and Alice Waters, who began the event in 2009 as a means of raising awareness of hunger and poverty in the District.

Andrés continued his advocacy to end hunger with the recent high-profile establishment of an emergency kitchen on Pennsylvania Avenue NW to ensure that furloughed federal workers have hot meals for themselves and their families during the ongoing government shutdown.

This unique fundraiser brings together some of the greatest chefs with “a growing community of local philanthropists and activists in support of two organizations leading the fight against hunger in our nation’s capital: DC Central Kitchen and Martha’s Table,” Jackson said.

“Since its inception, Sips & Suppers has raised over $4 million for these two iconic nonprofits,” Jackson added.

The award-winning DC Central Kitchen develops programs targeting the cycle of hunger and poverty, including culinary training to jobless adults, turning wasted food into wholesome meals for shelters and nonprofits, expanding access to healthy food and providing healthy, made-from-scratch meals in low-income schools.

Those endeavors have been recognized nationally with several awards, including The Golden Carrot, the leading national award for healthy school food innovation; the Washington Business Journal’s Green Business Award for Innovation; and the DC Chamber of Commerce’s Community Impact Award.

Martha’s Table has worked to support strong children, families and communities for nearly four decades by increasing access to quality education programs, healthy food and family supports.

“We believe that every child deserves the opportunity for their brightest future and a deeply engaged family and community committed to their success,” Jackson said.

Sips & Suppers takes place from Jan. 26-28. Tickets for the “Private Residence Experience” and select venues for the “DC Night Out Experience” at www.sipsandsuppers.org.

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