St. Jude Gourmet Gala

Washingtonians gathered at one the District’s largest venues last week to celebrate an event that has become the go-to event for philanthropists and foodies alike at the St. Jude Gourmet Gala.

Held at the National Building Museum, this event, now in its 14th year, features Washington-area restaurants pit against each other in a bit of friendly competition. The format of St. Jude Gourmet Gala is different than most cocktail-attire events in the city; the main dinner event involves guests walking from station to station around the large ballroom trying foods from different chefs. Because this event was held on Mardi Gras, diners were given three strings of Fat Tuesday beads that they could distribute to their favorite chefs, as each restaurant station collected beads in a glass vase.

A reception kicked off the evening’s festivities, featuring signature cocktails like a whiskey punch from Passenger and a Hemingway daiquiri slushy “poptail” from Bar Pilar. Following the reception, guests were ushered into the dining area where a live auction was held. Once the dinner portion began, diners had the option to select from 47 different tables from restaurants like Graffiato, Harth, Proof, Hank’s Oyster Bar, Indique Heights, and Blue Duck Tavern.

Norah O’Donnell, the event’s hostess, awarded the Taster’s Choice award to BLT Steak chef Vicot Albisu for having the most beads. His reward? A swanky Breitling Superocean Heritage for a fantastic Kobe beef and lobster empanadas. Guests concluded the evening with a goodie bag from Georgetown cupcakes, including an adorable and appropriately fitting spatula customized with St. Jude’s logo.

All in all, the event raised $480,000, making this year’s St. Jude Gourmet Gala another huge success.

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