The James Beard Foundation's First-Ever Chefs & Champagne(SM) Los Angeles Will Honor Tom Colicchio

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James Beard Foundation's First-Ever Chefs & Champagne(SM) Los Angeles Will Honor Tom Colicchio. Fundraiser Celebrates the Worlds of Cuisine and Fashion on Melrose Place on May 4. The For almost 20 years, the James Beard Foundation has hosted the celebrated Chefs & Champagne(SM) party in the Hamptons. This year, the Foundation is taking the annual fundraiser west to showcase the extraordinary and diverse culinary talents of Los Angeles. Set amid the exclusive, ivied-walks of Melrose Place, on Sunday, May 4 Chefs & Champagne(SM) Los Angeles will bring together innovators and tastemakers from the worlds of cuisine and fashion to honor Tom Colicchio, Chef/Owner of Craft Restaurants and 'wichcraft and Head Judge of Bravo's Top Chef.

For almost 20 years, the James Beard Foundation has hosted the celebrated Chefs & Champagne(SM) party in the Hamptons. This year, the Foundation is taking the annual fundraiser west to showcase the extraordinary and diverse culinary talents of Los Angeles. Set amid the exclusive, ivied-walks of Melrose Place, on Sunday, May 4 Chefs & Champagne(SM) Los Angeles will bring together innovators and tastemakers from the worlds of cuisine and fashion to honor Tom Colicchio, Chef/Owner of Craft Restaurants and 'wichcraft and Head Judge of Bravo's Top Chef.

"After a long history of celebrating culinary art and icons in the Hamptons, we are thrilled to expand our Chefs & Champagne fundraiser to the emerging luxury district of Melrose Place, featuring over 30 Los Angeles-area chefs" said Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation. "And we couldn't think of a more fitting guest of honor than Tom Colicchio, who is a multiple James Beard Award-winner and an icon within the culinary community."

In addition to tastings from local restaurants, California wineries, flowing Champagne and specialty cocktails, the event will feature a lavish silent auction, including items from Chefs & Champagne(SM) Los Angeles fashion partners Carolina Herrera New York, Diane von Furstenberg, Frédéric Fekkai, Lambertson Truex and Mulberry, among others.

"It's an honor for Diversified Luxury to take part in bringing this event to Los Angeles and to support the pivotal role the James Beard Foundation plays in our culinary heritage," said Kevin Mark Lodie, Founder of Diversified Luxury Marketing. "We are extremely pleased with the quality of talent and sponsors that have come together to debut Chefs & Champagne in L.A."

Chefs & Champagne(SM) Los Angeles participating chefs include: Matthew Accarrino, Craft Los Angeles; Gino Angelini, Angelini Osteria; Govind Armstrong, Table 8; Octavio Becerra, Palate Food and Wine; James Boyce, Studio at Montage Laguna Beach; Thomas Boyce, Spago Beverly Hills; Pastry Chef Kristy Choo, Jin Patisserie; Michael Cimarusti, Providence; Josiah Citrin, Mélisse; Neal Fraser, Grace Restaurant; Hiroyuki Fujita, Kumo; Eric Greenspan, The Foundry on Melrose; Zov Karamardian, Zov's Bistro; David LeFevre and Pastry Chef John Park, Water Grill; David Lentz, The Hungry Cat; Bruno Lopez, Hotel Bel-Air; Walter Manzke, Bastide; Dennis Mejia, Republic; David Myers, Sona; Pastry Chef Ramon Perez, Boule; Michel Richard, Citrus at Social; Kristi Ritchey, Murano; Steven A. Rojas and Pastry Chef Johnny Zepeda, Saddle Peak Lodge; Marin Santos, Dolce Enoteca e Ristorante; Bijan Shokatfard, Geoffrey's Malibu; Kerry Simon, Simon LA at Sofitel; Joachim Splichal, Paperfish; Mike Stern, Michael's; Jason Travi and Pastry Chef Miho Travi, Fraiche.

Chefs & Champagne(SM) Los Angeles will take place on Melrose Place on Sunday, May 4, 2008. A VIP champagne reception and silent auction preview will begin at 5:00 pm and will be followed by a promenade of chefs and Champagne from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Admission to the promenade is $195 for James Beard Foundation members and $275 for the general public. VIP premium admission is $325 for James Beard Foundation members and $400 for the general public. VIP tables of 10 are available for $3,250. In addition to all chef tastings, Champagne and wine, the VIP experience includes: VIP reception with tray-passed hors d'oeuvres, special Champagne, a photo opportunity with chefs, silent auction preview, reserved table seating, and additional VIP gift bag. Reservations can be made by calling (212) 627-2308. To reserve a VIP table for 10, please contact Yvon Moller at (212) 627-2090.

Champagne Sponsors include Nicolas Feuillatte. Event Sponsors include Au Bon Climat, Domaine de Canton; Evian; illy Caffè; Lambertson Truex; Los Angeles Confidential magazine; Mercedes-Benz of Beverly Hills; Sofitel LA; TurboChef. Cultural Partners are Geffen Playhouse; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art.

Chefs & Champagne(SM) New York
The 18th annual Chefs & Champagne(SM) New York will take place on Saturday, July 26, 2008 at the Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack, New York and honor James Beard Foundation Award-winner Wolfgang Puck.

About the James Beard Foundation
The James Beard Foundation is dedicated to celebrating, preserving, and nurturing America's culinary heritage and diversity in order to elevate the appreciation of our culinary excellence. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, James Beard, who died in 1985, was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts. Today, the Beard Foundation continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships to culinary schools, and publications, and by maintaining the historic James Beard House in New York City's Greenwich Village as a "performance space" for visiting chefs. For more information, please visit http://www.jamesbeard.org.

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