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Black Tie International Hosts
The James Beard Foundation

The James Beard Foundation
Honored Restaurateurs
Alex von Bidder & Julian Niccolini
of the Four Seasons Restaurant at
Chefs & Champagne® New York Fundraiser
and Tasting Gala
Photos by Lisa Tamburini


Alex von Bidder, Ambassador Carl Spielvogel, Barbara Lee Diamondstein Spielvogel and Julian Niccolini

Alex von Bidder, Ambassador Carl Spielvogel, Barbara Lee Diamondstein Spielvogel and Julian Niccolini


Chef Craig Hopson, Executive Chef of Le Cirque

Chef Craig Hopson, Executive Chef of Le Cirque


Andrea Wolffer and Marc Wolffer

Andrea and Marc Wolffer

Barbara Ferichs, Jennifer Harrison and Orume Hays

Barbara Ferichs, Jennifer Harrison and Orume Hays


Justice Michael Solomon, Sylvia Lehrer and Roman Roth

Justice Michael Solomon, Sylvia Lehrer and Roman Roth




On Saturday, July 25, the James Beard Foundation  honored restaurateurs Alex von Bidder and Julian Niccolini and celebrated the 50th anniversary of the legendary Four Seasons Restaurant at Chefs & Champagne® New York at the Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack, N.Y. This annual sumptuous tasting party and fundraiser featured flowing Champagne, the wines of Wölffer Estate Vineyard, select Belgian beers which included Stella Artois and culinary offerings from a select group of over 30 fine chefs, several from JBF Award-winning restaurants.

“In 1959 James Beard consulted on the menu for the opening of the groundbreaking Four Seasons, the first American restaurant to change its menu with the seasons,” said Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation. “Half a century later, the Four Seasons is still the benchmark against which the finest New York establishments are compared, an accomplishment due in no small part to charismatic owners Alex von Bidder and Julian Niccolini.”
“James Beard filled the role of a favorite uncle,” said Alex von Bidder and Julian Niccolini. “He was the consummate teacher and encouraged us to do our very best and to have a good time doing it. Jim, as we called him, was the Four Seasons patron saint, so it is perfectly natural to support the Foundation in perpetuating his teachings of enjoying life in a big way, always.”

Chefs & Champagne® New York is considered the East End’s premiere culinary event. Funds raised at the event will help to support the James Beard Foundation’s mission and programs. A silent auction which consisted of once-in-a-lifetime fine dining experiences, wines and spirits, cookware and culinary travel packages raised funds for the non-profit James Beard Foundation.

With a long tradition of supporting culinary education, the James Beard Foundation announced the recipient of the Christian Wölffer Scholarship at the event. Established in 2006, the scholarship fund supports students in their study of food and wine.

Participating chefs included:

Alain Allegretti, Allegretti, NYC

JBF Award Winner Paul Bartolotta, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, Las Vegas, NV

Dale Carty, Tasty's Restaurant and the Dune Preserve Restaurant, Anguilla

Rebecca Charles, Pearl Oyster Bar, NYC

Maneet Chauhan, At Vermilion, NYC

Jeremy Culver, Fulton, NYC

George Faison and Marc John Sarrazin,, NYC

Marc Forgione, Marc Forgione, NYC

Amanda Freitag, The Harrison, NYC

Pastry Chef Colleen Grapes, The Harrison and the Red Cat, NYC

Eric Hara, The Oak Room, NYC

Kerry Heffernan, South Gate, NYC

Craig Hopson, Le Cirque, NYC

JBF Award Winner Christopher Lee and Pastry Chef Jennifer Yee, Aureole, NYC

Susur Lee and Doron Wong, Shang, NYC

Eddy Leroux, Daniel, NYC

Pastry Chef Tiffany MacIsaac, Allen & Delancey, NYC

Waldy Malouf, Beacon Restaurant, NYC

Julian Medina, Toloache and Yerba Buena, NYC

Fred Mero, The Four Seasons Restaurant, NYC

Seamus Mullen, Boqueria, NYC

Akhtar Nawab, Elettaria, NYC

Damien O'Donnell, Harbor Bistro, East Hampton, NY

Pastry Chefs Sandra Palmer and Kiyomi Toda-Burke, Three Tarts, NYC

Missy Robbins and Pastry Chef Jennifer McCoy, A Voce, NYC

Jeff Rogers, Quail Lodge Resort & Golf Club, Carmel, CA

Michael Rozzi, Della Femina, East Hampton, NY
Champagne sponsors include La Caravelle, Lanson and Nicolas Feuillatte. Sponsors are DASANI Essence®; ForbesLife; Gold Peak®; Plum; Royal Cup Coffee; Stella Artois; Wölffer Estate Vineyard; WVVH-Hamptons TV®. Supporters include Chefwear;; Owen Brothers Landscape Development; Sag Harbor Florist; WLIU 88.3FM; Wüsthof. The V.I.P after party sponsors are Bell & Ross; Dean & Deluca; emerald monkey, eco luxe resort & residences; ForbesLife; Winston Churchill.
Chefs & Champagne® New York Benefit Committee Members: Ambassador Carl Spielvogel and Barbaralee Diamonstein; Christina Grdovic-Baltz and Phillip Baltz; Elizabeth Blau; Clarissa and Edgar Bronfman, Jr; Todd Buchanan; Emily Chen and Christopher J. Carrera; Steve Haweeli; Katie Lee Joel; Kim and Greg Lippmann; Tracy McSorley; Jeri and George Sape; Christine and Stephen Schwarzman; Frederic M. Seegal.

About the James Beard Foundation

Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation is dedicated to celebrating, preserving, and nurturing America’s culinary heritage and diversity in order to elevate the appreciation of our culinary excellence. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, James Beard, who died in 1985, was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts. Today, the Beard Foundation continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships to culinary schools, and publications, and by maintaining the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs. For more information, please visit
Find insights on food at the James Beard Foundation’s blog Delights & Prejudices. Join the James Beard Foundation on Facebook. Follow the James Beard Foundation on Twitter.

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