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Jackie Fishman, APR is a freelance writer and independent public relations professional with a specialty in medical and health care media relations. She also writes about charitable causes,food, and travel. She has a MA from American University and is an accredited public relations professional (APR) with the Public Relations Society of America. She explores the new and unique and loves to travel and discover out-of-way places and people with unusual vocations and interests.

Recap: Sips And Suppers Raises Funds for Martha’s Table and DC Central Kitchen

Raymond Offenheiser, Oxfam, and Alice Waters, chef and activist

Raymond Offenheiser, Oxfam (left), and Alice Waters, chef and activist (center) unite in their efforts to end childhood hunger in Washington, DC (Photo: J Fishman)

On Saturday, January 26 at the Newseum, Joan Nathan,  award-winning American cookbook author and Alice Waters, chef, restaurateur, activist, and author, celebrated the fourth year in a row that the cocktail reception Sips was added to Saturday Suppers, the fundraising gastronomic experience in private homes commanding a  $500 per person fee.

“Sips” was born four years ago to complement “Suppers” and is a more informal gathering complementing the original fundraiser for Martha’s Table and DC Central Kitchen. Sips features DC’s top chefs and mixologists and celebrates the most innovative food in DC while supporting these two charities.

Dan Searing , American Still Life, pours his distinctive gin (Photo: J Fishman)

Dan Searing , American Still Life, pours his distinctive gin (Photo: J Fishman)

This concept exploded with a sold-out crowd at the Newseum where participants united in their love of creative food and drink delivered by the areas’s most gifted chefs and visionary mixologists. Offerings spanned the range of culinary delights from barbequed pork and jalapeno grits to raw oysters, cured meats and Spanish ham right off the bone to cupcakes, macaroons, and vegan tootsie rolls.

Alec Niles, Ken Mobley, Mary Niles, Sam Taylor and Yost Conner enjoy the variety of tastes at Sips (Photo: J Fishman)

Alec Niles, Ken Mobley, Mary Niles, Sam Taylor and Yost Conner enjoy the variety of tastes at Sips (Photo: J Fishman)

The crowds moved from station to station roving from savory to sweet inbetween sips of wine and spirits. Alice Waters brought the attention back to the main reason for the gathering. She reminded the crowd that the whole is “greater than the sum of its parts.” She noted that the last “democratic institution is the schools.” She pointed out that schools are the primary targets in addressing the problem of hunger in the United States and urged Capitol Hill legislators to offer school children free school lunches comprised of locally grown, slow food. She pointed out that not only is this a key way to end hunger in this country, but it would encourage better nutrition and help students develop healthier eating habits.

Chef Jeff Kelly of Cure Bar & Bistro offers a taste of his Iberico de Belleta ham (Photo: J Fishman)

Chef Jeff Kelly of Cure Bar & Bistro offers a taste of his Iberico de Belleta ham (Photo: J Fishman)

Raymond C. Offenheiser, president, Oxfam America, joined Alice on the podium pointing out that “one in every seven DC students go to bed hungry.” He continued, “food justice needs to be on the top of the local as well as the national agenda and small, local farms are an essential part of that commitment.”

Joan Nathan welcomes the Sips crowd at the Newseum  during Sips and Suppers (Photo: J Fishman)

Joan Nathan welcomes the Sips crowd at the Newseum during Sips and Suppers (Photo: J Fishman)

Applause greeted these words and the audience moved back to enjoying the tastes and treats that celebrated the small farm and slow food movement characterizing the event. Feeding the impoverished is important, but for the Sips and Suppers crowd, a key part of this effort must include appreciation and education about nutrition and supporting the small farms and culinary entrepreneurs who work to reintroduce the health and environmental benefits of small farms and food production.

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