Photos By Armando Gallardo, Words By Julie Espinosa and Armando Gallardo
Staying warm and healthy might be a no-brainer during the winter months, but for the 12,000 homeless people in the nation’s capital, this is a harder task. It’s is one of the many reasons why for the 7th year in a row Martha’s Table has brought back ‘Sips & Suppers’, a two day event which brings together a socially conscious community to share some delicious food and drinks, while supporting two of the finest organizations serving the neediest individuals in the District.
Founder Alice Waters, saw Sips & Suppers as an opportunity to bring awareness to one of the district most prevalent issues. What started as a intimate gathering featuring 12 dinners, has now grown into an event with 32 dinners and 64 chefs. In fact, this year’s Saturday event at the Newseum sold out, as it did last year, and raised over $600,000. The $95 dollar ticket included drinks from some of DC’s top mixologists, food from a variety of restaurants, a very fun live band, and the opportunity to check out a one-of-a-kind museum. A deal and certainly one of the most coveted events of this past weekend.
Sips promptly started at 7:30 p.m., bringing a little bit over 1000 attendees who got to experience some of the most desired food and drinks from over 50 different artisans, restaurants, and mixologist including DBGB, Ghibelina, Jaleo, Pinea, Tico, Room 11, Cava, Amore Gelato, among others. A feast with so many options one had to take a breather every 30 minutes to get to experience it all.
Patty Stonesifer, Joan Nathan, Alice Waters, Mike Curtin and Jose Andres shared some of their past experiences and stories of how Sips & Suppers came together- beginning with a phone call made from Waters to Nathan.
“Hunger is wrong, and we are gonna put together behind us/You are raising your voice to say ‘We can run this world better’, hunger will be something of the past (sic)” said an elated and charged Jose Andres to a crowd that followed up with claps and general excitement throughout his speech.
Chef Andres also made an impromptu announcement where he stated that a few years from now he will call on all the participants to join him at a march where they will ask for Congress to eradicate hunger in America.
Among some of our favorite dishes were the ‘Chèvre and smoked Salmon, spread with red peppers and herb cousins on fresh cucumber slice from Firefly farms. DBGB’s Chauterrie display was the closest to having heaven in one’s mouth. Ocopa’s causas-tiny mashed potato balls mixed with Peruvian yellow chilli pepper, tuna, and a parsley leaf were was exquisite. We topped it off with Affogato, Stumptown coffee, frozen custard, and Baked and Wired shortbread cookies from Shake Shack. It was the perfect desert to end one’s culinary adventure.
Now, it wouldn’t be a Saturday night without drinks. Among our favorite cocktails were a 100 proof, 10-year Whistlepig’s Rye Whiskey with apple cider, housemade orgeat (infused with cinnamon), tiki bitters, and old spice drams from Jack Rose, a bar which has the largest whiskey collection in the Western Hemisphere. Room 11 carried another one of our favorite cocktails, made by Mixologist Dan Searing, which was inspired by a French concept of a cocktail but applied to an American drink- a Long Island iced tea made with Hendrick’s Gin mixed with China China, an orange bitters liquor that dries it out, and some lemon wedges for garnish. Additionally, the elevator was turned into a ‘country-themed bar’ in which France, Alaska, and Italy were represented with a variety of drinks given to all those who wanted to take a break from the crowd and head to the 6th floor, or as one of the ladies called it ‘The Caribbean’.
Sips & Suppers will not only go down in history as one of the best tickets in town for the month of January but also a cause worth supporting for years to come.