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Taste America!

Washington DC The Scene
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We went to the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America at the Mandarin Oriental. The night of culinary stars began with bites prepared and served by top local chefs. We snapped the host, Mandarin chef Didier Pouzier, with DBGB chef Ed Scarpone, Ripple and Roofers’ Union chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley, Daikaya chef Katsuya Fukushima, Iron Gate chef Anthony Chittum, and Vidalia chef Jeffrey Buben.

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The evening concluded with an elaborate seated dinner by James Beard award-winning chefs, San Francisco’s Slanted Door chef Charles Phan (yummy pork and shrimp tapioca dumplings) and Rasika chef Vikram Sunderam (delish black cod marinated with honey, chili, dill, star anise, cream and cheese). Here, Marta Pilla, the State Dept’s Jessica Zielke and Lauren Bernstein, and White House executive chef Christeta Comerford.

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James Beard Foundation's mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor America's diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire, and the night certainly did. Here, Arabella’s Eric Kessler, his wife artist Sharapat Kessler, National Journal’s Johanna Derlega, Lily Mae Designs’ Lisa Puchala, Corporate Executive Board’s John Derlega, and Food Network star Mary Beth Albright.

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The Taste America Tour stops in 10 cities over six weeks bringing local flavor from coast to coast. Guests bid on a silent auction and sipped specialty cocktails. Here, musician Matt O'Connell, The History Channel’s Libby O'Connell, Cox Communications’ Kathryn Falk, and West Wing Reports’ Paul Brandus.

Merjan Bubernack, Liz Ovits, Alfredo Flores, and Libba McKinsey contributed to this issue.