Charity Gala to Mark Inn's 30th Anniversary
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Chef Patrick O'Connell is known for many things. Restraint is not one of them. For the launch of his first cookbook, he showed up at DAR Constitution Hall in a zebra-stripe Versace wool suit. Dinner for two at his Inn at Little Washington for its 25-year anniversary was a 10-course meal priced at $1,978. (Almost $1,500 of that went to charity.)
To celebrate the inn's 30th anniversary, O'Connell is hosting a black-tie gala at the Mellon Auditorium in the District. The April 9 event includes a champagne reception with living tableaux by members of the Washington Ballet, a seven-course dinner and a screening of an inn-produced documentary about the emergence of American cuisine.
Though the inn will be the focus of attention, the gala also will honor 30 culinary pioneers living and dead who, O'Connell says, have played an instrumental role in the evolution of regional food. "This isn't a list of 30 cronies," he says. "It's a group of people who influenced me and the inn and who encouraged us by their own developments and actions." The diverse list includes Thomas Jefferson, Julia Child, New York Times food writer Craig Claiborne, French Laundry chef Thomas Keller, former Washington Post food editor and critic Phyllis Richman and Chez Panisse's Alice Waters.
Ticket prices are $575, $1,000 and $2,500. Proceeds from the gala and auction will benefit Five & Alive, a charitable program that helps prevent and treat illnesses and malnutrition in children age 5 and younger.