Once again the James Beard Foundation’s Chefs & Champagne event drew an impressive crowd at this year’s gala. Award-winning chef, author and restaurateur John Besh was the honoree at the 26th annual gala. Chef John Besh joined the ranks of gastronomic giants such as Carla Hall, Martha Stewart, Thomas Keller, Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse, and Bobby Flay, who have all been fêted at prior events. Celebrated chef John Besh has dedicated his career to the culinary riches of southern Louisiana. More than 1,000 guests attended the sumptuous benefit at the Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack, New York. The Foundation’s tasting party and fundraiser featured flowing Champagne Barons de Rothschild, wines and ciders fromWölffer Estate Vineyard, and delicious tastings from a select group of more than 40 chefs. A silent auction consisting of fine-dining experiences, wines and spirits, cookware, and culinary travel packages raised over $75,000 to support the Foundation’s mission, educational and Impact Programs which include the annual Food Conference and Leadership Awards that help promote a better food system. Carrying on its long tradition of supporting culinary education, the James Beard Foundation was proud to announce Evelyn Q. Grant as the recipient of the 2016 Christian Wölffer Scholarship and the ICC Intensive Sommelier Course tuition waiver. Established in 2006, the Christian Wölffer Scholarship assists students in their study of food and wine. Also in attendance was multiple James Beard Foundation Scholarship recipient Christina Cassel. For more information, please visit jamesbeard.org. Get JBF news, recipes, and more at the James Beard Foundation’s blog. Join the James Beard Foundation on Facebook. Follow the James Beard Foundation on Twitter and Instagram.