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2201 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009

April 23, 2014

7:00 PM

PRICE: $200 per person inclusive

Exclusive Price for
Citi ® Hilton HHonors ™
Visa Signature ® Cardmembers

$100 per person inclusive

Note: Citi ® Hilton HHonors ™ Visa Signature ® cardmembers receive access to a 72-hour presale starting March 28th

HOST VENUE Kapnos by Mike Isabella

Chef Mike Isabella opened Kapnos along the Fourteenth Street Corridor in July 2013. Isabella draws inspiration from Northern Greece to create a menu of spreads, breads, vegetables and other small plates, including his signature wood-grilled octopus. Two wood-fire grills with rotating spits and a large oven for stone-baked flat breads service the 160-seat restaurant. Guests enjoy carvings from whole animals that have been spit-roasted all day, including lamb, goat, duck, chicken, and suckling pig.

RESTAURANT Zahav, Philadelphia PA

A 2011 James Beard Award winner for “Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic,” Chef Michael Solomonov is the executive chef at Zahav (237 St. James Place, 215-625-8800), Philadelphia’s renowned modern Israeli restaurant. Known for his extraordinary skill at transforming simple foods into artful culinary masterpieces, he is widely regarded as one of the city’s top young chefs and entrepreneurs. In addition to his duties at Zahav, of which is he co-owner, Chef Solomonov is a partner in Percy Street Barbecue (900 South Street, 215-625-8510), a Southern inspired barbecue restaurant and bar on South Street that has quickly become known as the best place in Philadelphia for smoked meats, and Federal Donuts (two locations: 1219 South 2nd Street and 1632 Sansom Street) a mostly take-out, donuts-and-fried-chicken shop serving exceptional coffee, cake donuts and fried chicken.

In 2012, Food & Wine magazine named Chef Solomonov among the country’s top “Empire Builders,” admiring his devotion “to reinventing overlooked cuisines.” Chef Solomonov was also the subject of a New York Times feature in 2011 that explored the genesis and continued success of Zahav, which praised his “simple food with layers of flavor.” That same year, Zahav was elevated to a coveted “Four Bells: Superior” rating from the Philadelphia Inquirer, one of only four restaurants citywide to attain that elite status. Both Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure named Zahav among the top restaurants in the nation in their May 2009 issues, and Esquire named Zahav among their “Best New Restaurants, 2008.” Zahav has also been featured in Bon Appetit, which selected the restaurant as one of their “Hot 10 Summer Blockbusters.” Philadelphia magazine named Zahav “Best New Restaurant, 2008” in their annual “Best of Philly” issue.

Before opening Zahav, which means “gold” in Hebrew, in 2008, Chef Solomonov was the executive chef at West Philadelphia’s Marigold Kitchen, which he and restaurateur Steven Cook co-owned until 2009. There, he was named “Rising Star Chef, 2007” by Restaurant Hospitality magazine, as well as “Best Chef, 2006” by Philadelphia magazine. Prior to joining Cook at Marigold Kitchen, Chef Solomonov worked under such top chefs as Marc Vetri at Vetri and Terence Feury at Striped Bass. He is a graduate of the Florida Culinary Institute in West Palm Beach, FL. Born in Israel, he grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and now calls Philadelphia home. He frequently travels back to Israel, including an epic 2008 trip with the entire opening team from Zahav to introduce them to the cuisine they would be preparing and serving.

RESTAURANT Coppa and Toro, in Boston MA

Even as a child, Bissonnette was drawn to the kitchen eschewing cartoons for cooking shows on the Discovery Channel. With this early start, he earned his Culinary Arts degree from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale by the young age of 19 and spent his early 20s eating and cooking his way through Paris, San Francisco, New York and Phoenix. These early experiences fed his culinary drive, teaching him expression through his daily-changing menus.

After traveling in Europe and across the United States, Bissonnette settled in Boston and began working in some of the city’s most notable kitchens. Following stints at a few highly regarded restaurants, Bissonnette opened Eastern Standard as executive chef in 2005. Two years later, he was recruited for the steakhouse KO Prime, winning praise for his modern take on this classic fare. That year in 2007, The Improper Bostonian named him “Rising Star Chef” and KO Prime “Best New Restaurant.” Shortly after in the fall of 2008, Bissonnette joined Ken Oringer as executive chef and partner of the acclaimed tapas restaurant Toro in Boston’s South End and then together in late 2009 they opened the innovative Italian enoteca Coppa. StarChefs awarded Bissonnette Rising Star Chef that same year, and directly following Coppa was awarded 3 Stars in a rave review from the Boston Globe and honorable mention in Esquire’s Best New Restaurants annual list.

Bissonnette is a local champion of nose-to-tail cuisine and is well-known locally and nationally for his exceptional charcuterie and passionate dedication to supporting local, sustainable purveyors. He was spokesperson for the Wisconsin Cheese Board in 2008, has been featured in The Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, Bon Appetit, and Edible Boston, among many others and in 2011 was awarded the prestigious honor of Food & Wine magazine’s first ever People Choice Best New Chef.

As chef and owner of Coppa and Toro in Boston, Bissonnette continues to helm the kitchens of both award-winning restaurants, and can be found at either (and often both) nightly overseeing his menus of innovative small plates and nose to tail cooking.

RESTAURANT Sbraga, Philadelphia PA

A graduate of Johnson & Wales’ prestigious College of Culinary Arts Chef Kevin Sbraga takes his no boundaries approach to cuisine to new heights at namesake restaurant Sbraga, an Esquire magazine “Best New Restaurant” and one of Philadelphia magazine’s “Best Restaurants of 2013,” and his new Southern inspired The Fat Ham, which opened in December 2013. Sbraga’s modern American menus at restaurant Sbraga focus on pairing the most flavorful ingredients available with the perfect beverages, delighting guests with an ever-changing array of flavorful courses. The Fat Ham’s pork-centric menu draws inspiration from Southern country cooking, ingredients, and culinary traditions. Chef Sbraga was the winner of Bravo’s seventh season of “Top Chef” and received the award for “Best Meat Presentation” in the 2008 Bocuse d’Or USA culinary competition.

RESTAURANT Wolfgang Puck’s The Source, Washington DC

Scott Drewno was raised in the heart of New York’s Finger Lakes wine region, a rural area known for its vineyards and its family owned farms. Watching his mother turn fresh, seasonal produce from local farm stands into bubbling pies and cobblers first piqued his interest in cooking and planted the seed for Drewno’s culinary ambition.

Drewno joined the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group in 1998. He started as a line cook at Chinois in Las Vegas, where he melded French cooking practices with Asian flavors and ingredients. After a series of rapid promotions, Drewno was named Executive Sous Chef at Spago, Wolfgang Puck’s celebrated Las Vegas restaurant known for its seasonal American cuisine and celebrity clientele.

In 2001, Drewno left Las Vegas and moved to New York to be closer to his family. He worked for six years furthering his Asian culinary knowledge, cooking first under Jean-Georges Vongerichten at Vong and then for restaurateur Stephen Hansen at Ruby Foo’s. While in New York, Drewno completed an Associate’s degree in Business Management at Borough of Manhattan Community College.

In January 2007, Drewno returned to the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group to serve as Executive Chef of The Source, the company’s first restaurant in the nation’s capital. Since opening, the restaurant has been honored with numerous accolades including three-star reviews from both The Washington Post and Washingtonian Magazine. The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) awarded The Source “New Restaurant of the Year” in 2008 and “Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year” in 2011 and Chef Drewno received the coveted “Chef of the Year” prize in 2010. In 2012, Drewno was a semi-finalist for the “Best Chef mid-Atlantic” James Beard Award.

During his career, Drewno has participated in numerous culinary events including the American Institute of Food and Wine's 5th annual "I Love Crab Cakes!" competition, Pig Out for Diabetes and DC Central Kitchen’s Capital Food Fight, emerging victorious in all three. In March 2011 and again in April 2012, Drewno won the DC leg of Cochon 555, a traveling culinary competition promoting sustainable farming of heritage breed pigs, and competed in the national competition, Grand Cochon, at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colorado.

Drewno credits his wife Allison Maggart Drewno, a graduate of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, for continuing to inspire his passion for food, wine and hospitality.

RESTAURANT Doi Moi, Estadio and Proof, Washington DC

Haidar Karoum is the Executive Chef/Partner of Doi Moi, Estadio and Proof, all located in Washington, DC. From Southeast Asian cuisine at Doi Moi, to contemporary Spanish small plates at Estadio and wine-centric modern American flavors at Proof, Karoum’s menus at his restaurants reflect his culinary curiosity and remarkable mastery over a wide range of cuisines.

Karoum attended the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in New York, completing an extended externship at Michel Richard Citronelle in DC before graduating in 1995 with his associate’s degree in culinary arts. After serving as a line cook at Gerard’s Place in DC, Karoum returned to the CIA pursue his bachelor’s degree in culinary management.

In 1998, Karoum came back to his hometown of Washington, DC, to join Restaurant Nora as Sous Chef for restaurateur Nora Poullion. A pioneer in local sourcing, Poullion’s dedication to seasonal and organic produce was inspirational to Karoum and he began developing strong personal relationships with farmer suppliers in the mid-Atlantic region.

After a two-year stint at Restaurant Nora, Karoum was asked to head the kitchen at sister restaurant, Asia Nora. As Executive Chef, Karoum immersed himself in Eastern flavor profiles, learning to meld Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Indian and Japanese influences into his seasonal, organic menu.

In January 2007, Karoum left Asia Nora to become Executive Chef of Proof, bringing with him the passion for locally grown and organically raised produce. Karoum’s menu at Proof features clean, balanced dishes dependent on fresh, seasonal ingredients, farm-raised meats, and Mediterranean and Asian influences to complement the restaurant’s 1,200+ bottle wine list. In 2009, Karoum was named a James Beard semi-finalist in the “Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic” category for his cuisine at Proof.

In July 2010, Karoum assumed the role of Executive Chef at Estadio, with a menu that showcases his interpretations of classic Spanish dishes. In its first year of operation, Estadio earned a two-and-a-half star review from The Washington Post, a three-star review from the Washingtonian, and was included as a semi-finalist for The James Beard “Best New Restaurant” award. In 2011, the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington awarded Estadio “Best New Restaurant of the Year.” Karoum has also been nominated multiple years in a row for “Chef of the Year” by the restaurant association.

In August 2013, Karoum opened Doi Moi as Executive Chef and Partner, a move that marks his third restaurant collaboration with Proof and Estadio owner Mark Kuller. At Doi Moi, Karoum’s strong affinity for Asian flavors take center stage on a menu that’s a mix of traditional and contemporary interpretations of the Southeast Asian street food encountered during his travels across Vietnam and Thailand.

RESTAURANT Bouchon Bakery, Los Angeles CA

A Florida native, Chris Ford graduated from the Le Cordon Bleu Program at the Orlando Culinary Academy in 2005. Norman Van Aken then offered him his first job at Norman’s at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando where he learned the fundamentals of a fine dining kitchen. Ford worked there for two years before Chef Chika Tillman hired Ford as the Sous Chef of New York’s acclaimed dessert bar ChikaLicious, where New Yorkers are known to wait in line for hours to sample the sweets. Recognized for his ingredient-centric and innovative style, Ford focused on creating nuanced desserts by layering delicate flavors.

In 2009, Ford re-connected with Chef Clayton Miller, former Executive Chef at Norman’s, who was opening Trummer’s on Main at the Clifton Hotel in Virginia. With Ford as Pastry Chef, the restaurant received great critical acclaim, from publications such as Food & Wine and Ford himself was named one of StarChef’s “Rising Stars” in the DC Area. The team behind the restaurant was credited for giving the historical destination a culinary revival.

Ford enjoys not only being a member of Michael Mina’s reputable team but also being a part of the burgeoning Harbor East neighborhood in Baltimore. When he is not cooking at Wit & Wisdom, a Tavern by Michael Mina, Chris is an avid photographer both in the kitchen and out.

Most recently, Ford received Food & Wine’s “People’s Best New Pastry Chef of 2012” Award selected by the dining public in an online poll presented by GODIVA.

RESTAURANT Taco Bamba, Falls Church VA | Del Campo Restaurant, Washington DC

With more than a decade of experience in fine dining and upscale French, American and Latin American restaurants, Chef Victor Albisu is combining his culinary education with his Latin American heritage to bring a unique style of cuisine to his restaurant concepts.

His first full-service restaurant, Del Campo, is an upscale South American grill in the Penn Quarter neighborhood of Washington, D.C. It was named a Best New Restaurant of 2013 by Esquire magazine.

Taco Bamba, a takeout taqueria that reflects his Cuban and Peruvian roots, opened next to Plaza Latina in Falls Church, Virginia, a Latin market owned by Albisu’s mother.

Before pursing independent ventures, Albisu served as executive chef of BLT Steak in downtown Washington, D.C. for more than four years. While at the helm, Albisu cooked for President and Mrs. Obama and led the restaurant to earn several accolades, including Power Spot of the Year in 2012, as awarded by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington.

Albisu’s other accolades include the Taster’s Choice Award at both the 2010 and 2012 St. Jude’s Annual Gourmet Galas, the People’s Choice Award at the 2011 Lamb Jam and the People’s Choice Award at the 2011 annual Brainfood Grill-Off.

Albisu is a graduate of the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu School in Paris, where he received basic, intermediate and superior diplomas in cuisine, pastry and wine. His professional culinary journey included Michelin three-star restaurant L’Arpege in Paris, as well as contemporary Latin American restaurant, Ceiba; Belgian-influenced, French restaurant, Marcel’s; and contemporary American bistro and bar, Ardeo and Bardeo, all in Washington, D.C.

Outside the kitchen, Albisu is a member of the American Chef Corps, a network of chefs from across the United States who serve as resources to the Department of State. Albisu also serves on the Chef Council for Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation annual D.C. fundraiser, and he supports The First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative to end childhood hunger and improve food quality in schools across the United States. In 2011, Albisu also appeared as a guest judge on the FOX TV Series, “Hell’s Kitchen".

Albisu is fluent in English, Spanish and French, and he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and International Relations from George Mason University. He resides in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons.

RESTAURANT G, Graffiato, Kapnos, and Kapnos Taverna, Washington DC

Mike Isabella is a Washington, D.C. based chef and restaurateur; owner of Italian-inspired small plates restaurant, Graffiato, Northern Greek concept, Kapnos, and G, an Italian sandwich shop by Day with a tasting menu by night. This spring, he plans to open a second location of Graffiato in Richmond, VA and in late summer he will open Kapnos Taverna in Arlington, VA. Mike Isabella’s Crazy Good Italian is his first cookbook.

In 2012, Chef Isabella was named FOOD & WINE magazine’s The People’s Best New Chef Mid-Atlantic.

Outside the kitchen, Chef Isabella appeared on Season Six of Top Chef and he was the runner-up on Top Chef All-Stars. He is also a member of the American Chef Corps, a network of chefs from across the United States who serve as resources to the Department of State.

Before opening Graffiato, Chef Isabella was the executive chef of José Andrés’ Zaytinya. During his three-year tenure, Chef Isabella generated accolades and national attention for Washington, D.C.’s Mediterranean powerhouse restaurant.

Chef Isabella’s formal training began at The Restaurant School in New York, taking classes and cooking his way through some of New York City’s finest establishments. After honing his skills in the Big Apple, he travelled down the coast to Philadelphia, first as a sous chef for James Beard Award winner Douglas Rodriguez at Alma de Cuba, then at a host of other Stephen Starr restaurants. At El Vez, Chef Isabella learned the true craft of Latin cuisine under the direction of Jose Garces, and as Executive Sous Chef of Marcus Samuelsson’s Washington Square, he educated himself on the strenuous yet exciting task of opening a fine dining establishment.

While Philadelphia proved to be an incredible learning experience and launching ground, Chef Isabella still needed to find his niche. That niche came when he moved to Atlanta and joined Buckhead Life Group’s top-notch Greek restaurant, Kyma. As Chef de Cuisine of the seafood-inspired menu, Chef Isabella learned the slight flavors and techniques of Greek cooking and immersed himself in the traditions of one of the oldest cuisines in the world. While traveling through Greece and parts of the Middle East, Chef Isabella learned the nuances of these cuisines. Talking to locals and sifting through the daily markets gave Chef Isabella a chance to truly understand these foods and helped to form a base for his culinary imagination..