Drag queens, a rainbow of multi-tier, Instagram-ready cakes, and the best chefs and mixologists in D.C. were the highlights at the sixth annual Chefs for Equality 2017, which raises money for the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s educational work for LGBTQ equality. The must-attend event at Dock 5 at Union Market last night was a magnificent celebration of epic proportions.
Guests began the evening in the outside tent with a multitude of bites and beverages. Torrence Swain of Bourbon Steak mixed up autumn accented cinnamon whiskey mai tais, while Federalist Pig served barbecued spaghetti squash sliders and RASA offered up a lamb kebob with roasted eggplant lavished with a rich cashew sesame sauce. Nearby, Whaley’s hosted a rosé garden, a welcome respite from the warm evening. Additionally, there were counters for rounds of speed dining, which were handled by pairs of chefs, including Russell Smith of The Source with Gravitas’ Matt Baker, and Kyle Bailey of The Salt Line with Chloe’s Haidar Karoum.
When the party moved inside, VIPs sat at centerpiece tables presided over by the likes of Bryan Voltaggio of Volt, Succotash’s Edward Lee, Amy Brandwein of Centrolina, Ris Lacoste of Ris, Equinox’s Todd Gray, Jeff Buben of Bistro Bis, and Del Campo’s Victor Albisu, who is very passionate about the cause. “I’m honored to be an activist for the Human Rights Campaign and fight for the equal rights of all people regardless of gender, identity, or race,” he says. “I believe wholeheartedly that the issue of equality lies with those who choose to marginalize and degrade others out of fear and insecurity. Our work will not be done until the oppressed have the same rights as the privileged.”
Everyone had access to the dozens of stations set up around the room. Top nibbles of the night included the sweet ‘n’ savory foie gras-filled macarons from Le Diplomate, mini pan con lechon sandwiches by Colada Shop, a play on elote from Duke’s Grocery, foie-stuffed kumquats from Plume, and tiny sweet potato biscuits with ham and pickled peaches from Mason Dixie Biscuit Company.
After the savory stations had their time in the spotlight, guests headed back outside to the tent, which had been transformed into a wonderland of desserts. Highlights included individually boxed cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake, charming “pops” – including chocolate enrobed passion fruit caramel – by Naomi Gallego of Buzz Bakery, a wall of doughnuts from Astro, rainbow white chocolate covered “Oreos” from Buttercream Bakeshop, and an array of petite Parisian pastries by Je Ne Sais Quoi. A sugar high was guaranteed.
As guests left the swinging soiree, they picked up a swag bag packed with goodies and canned espresso bevvies by La Colombe Coffee – then stopped for one last selfie in front of the wall of hearts on the side of Union Market.
Photo courtesy of Chefs for Equality.