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February 27, 2004

Too many cooks in the kitchen...Never! As historic elegance meets culinary greatness in Williamsburg

Can you really ever have too many cooks in the kitchen? The Williamsburg Inn doesn’t think so, especially when the cooks are 40 of the nation’s top chefs, gathered in the town that inspired America, to celebrate the James Beard Centennial with two of the nation’s favorite pastimes—dining and golf—for a weekend of elegance and friendly competition.

Forks and four-irons, knives and nine irons are expected to go toe-to-toe as great dining and great golf take center stage during the first James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Golf Invitational and Culinary Weekend, April 1-4.

The exclusive, tickets-only event features many of America’s most famous and respected celebrity chefs walking in the historic footsteps of such 18th-century Williamsburg luminaries as Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and America’s “First Hostess,” Martha Washington. The festivities take place at Colonial Williamsburg’s world-class Williamsburg Inn, Regency Room, 18th-century Providence Hall plantation house, award-winning Golden Horseshoe Golf Club and other properties adjacent to Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area, the restored 18th-century capital of Virginia.

Extraordinary American Tribute
“With reverence to the important American history that took place in 18th-century Williamsburg, Colonial Williamsburg is honored to partner with The James Beard Foundation to salute the ‘dean of American cooking, James Beard’ and the efforts of The James Beard Foundation,” said John Hallowell, president of the Colonial Williamsburg Company-Hospitality Group. “We feel the elegance of the Williamsburg Inn, the culinary excellence of the Regency Room and the world championship fairways and greens of the Golden Horseshoe golf courses provide a perfect setting for this extraordinary American tribute.”

The honorary event chair is avid golfer, Mario Batali, chef-owner Babbo, Lupa, Esca, Otto and Casa Mono located in New York City, and also featured on Food Network’s “Molto Mario”, “Mario Eats Italy” and “Ciao America.” Hans Schadler, Colonial Williamsburg executive chef and director of culinary operations, and Gile Haskins, chef de cuisine for the Williamsburg Inn, will serve as host chefs.

Southern Hospitality Welcome Party
As a gracious Southern welcome to Colonial Williamsburg, the Williamsburg Inn will host guests and 15 celebrity chefs on Friday, April 2, 2004, 6:00 p.m. Guests will gather under a large, white tent set on the lawn behind the Williamsburg Inn for a lavish tasting party featuring a variety of culinary offerings prepared by select fine chefs and Robert Mondavi wines.

The price is $95 per person for those who are not purchasing a Gold Golfer or Non-Golfer Package.

Three nights of fine dining
Teams of some of the best chefs in the United States will dazzle guests with a host of culinary creations paired with Robert Mondavi Wines on three special nights. Each “Beard House on Tour Dinner” will be held at 7 p.m. at historic Providence Hall adjacent to the Williamsburg Inn.

  • Thursday, April 1. Chefs include: Peter Rudolph, Navio at the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, Ca.; Marc Vetri, Vetri, Philadelphia; John Villa, Dominic, New York City; Robert Wiedmaier, Marcel’s, Washington, D.C.; and Stephen Window, Roppongi, La Jolla, Ca.

  • Friday, April 2. A quintet of fine chefs—Brian Bistrong, Citarella The Restaurant; Dante Boccuzzi, Aureole; Anita Lo, Annisa; Waldy Malouf, Beacon -- all of New York City; and Bernard Guillas, The Marine Room, La Jolla, Ca.

  • Sunday, April 4. Stefano Cordova, Restaurant Associates Sports Division, New York City; Michael Estrada, J&T Steakhouse, Palm Springs, Ca.; Todd Gray, Equinox, Washington, D.C.; Tim McLaughlin, Central Catering Restaurant Associates, New York City and Victor Scargle, Julia’s Kitchen at Copia, Napa, Ca., will pool their talents to serve a splendid meal.

    A limited number of seats are available to the public for $175 in the Providence Hall main dining room and $2,000 for a table of 14 in the Board Room. To purchase seats, please call 800-261-9530.

    Williamsburg Inn James Beard Centennial Gala Celebration and Dinner
    The premier dining event for the weekend will be an exquisite, black-tie optional dinner, 7 p.m. Saturday, April 3 at the Regency Room of Williamsburg Inn marking the 100th birthday of legendary chef James Beard. Hans Schadler and Gile Haskins will be the featured host chefs for the event, along with James Beard Foundation Award-winning chefs Tom Colicchio, Gramercy Tavern and Craft, New York; Christopher Gross of Christopher’s Fermier Brasserie and Paola’s Wine Bar, Phoenix; and Nancy Silverton, Campanile, Los Angeles. Robert Mondavi Wines will be paired with each sumptuous course.

    A limited number of seats will be open to the public at a cost of $300 each. To purchase seats, please call 800-261-9530.

    College Basketball Championship Telecast and Family Pizza Party at Huzzah!
    As a kid-friendly alternative to the James Beard Centennial Dinner, chef Mario Batali will host a no-holds-barred pizza party at Colonial Williamsburg’s new Huzzah! family restaurant starting at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, April 3. Families and children of all ages will enjoy mouth-watering pizza, prepared under the masterful eye of chef Batali himself. The cost for this event is $50 per person.

    Package Information
    Guests are invited to purchase one of two packages to enjoy and pamper themselves for the weekend. The Gold Golfer Package is $1,500 per golfer and includes a Southern Hospitality Welcome Party, Golf Invitational Breakfast, golf in a foursome along with a Celebrity Chef Golfer, Awards Luncheon, Sunday brunch and complimentary admission to all Colonial Williamsburg historic sites and museums. As a supplement to the Gold Golfer package, participants may choose to attend any of the optional culinary events at The James Beard Foundation member price.

    The Non-Golfer Package is $200 per person and includes a Southern Hospitality Welcome Party, Golf Invitational Breakfast, Awards Luncheon, Sunday brunch and complimentary admission to Colonial Williamsburg historic sites and museums. As a supplement to the non-golfer package, participants may choose to attend any of the optional culinary events at The James Beard Foundation member price.

    The brunch and complimentary admission to Colonial Williamsburg sites only are available to guests staying at a Colonial Williamsburg property. To purchase a package, call 888-636-7296. Hotel accommodations can be purchased through Colonial Williamsburg for the following rates: Williamsburg Inn, $420; Colonial Houses, two-bedroom suite, $490, or a bed with a sitting room, $325; Providence Hall Wings, $270; and Williamsburg Lodge, $190. For more information, contact Dianne Jenkins or Patsy Yarrington at 800-261-9530.

    As an added benefit, $1,200 of the Gold Golfer Package can be taken as a tax-deductible charitable donation. All proceeds will go toward preservation of the historic James Beard House in New York City.

    Media Contact:
    Carol Godwin
    (757) 220-7120

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