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Compliments to the Chef

September 13, 2017
We’ve mentioned before – a few times – our love of traveling for the sake of the palate. Getting gumbo in New Orleans, going on a deli tour of New York, taking a cooking class in an Italian villa: Travel and food makes for a perfect pairing.

Many of our destinations are closely associated with a certain cuisine, be it Creole in New Orleans or all the different variations of pasta on offer in Italy. But some of these locales are also linked to famous chefs, some who stick to one specialty and others who offer variations on foods from around the world.

If you’d like to offer your donors a chance to visit the home restaurant of one of their favorite chefs with one of our non-profit fundraising auction travel packages, we’ve got plenty of options.

Emeril Lagasse: BAM! The chef, television star and spokesperson is worldwide, of course, but New Orleans is certainly his spiritual home. He gained much of his fame heading up the kitchen at Commander’s Palace, a Crescent City institution (and, we’d note, a dining option on our “Discover New Orleans’ Celebrated Downtown” package), and now has four restaurants in New Orleans.

Roy Choi: Not all great chefs work in white tablecloth joints. Choi is the first star of the food truck era in Los Angeles; his Kogi trucks combine Korean and Mexican cuisine into an addictive mix, one that helped launch Choi to stardom. Now, his menus and ideas can be found at six different restaurants in the L.A. area.

Jose Andres: The Spanish-American small-plate chef owns restaurants across the country, but it is Washington, D.C. where he may shine the brightest; his minibar by Jose Andres seats just six diners at a time, only operates on a prix fixe basis and is a Michelin star winner. He’s also earned plaudits for bringing high-end food to moderate budgets at outlets like Jaleo and China Chilcano.

Alain Ducasse:
To be known as one of the great chefs of Paris is to be called an all-star of all-stars; any sort of recognition in one of the fine dining capitals of the world is special. For Ducasse, that recognition comes from a staggering 15 restaurants in France alone, including El Jules Verne, located on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower.

Seemingly Everyone Else: Don’t look now, but Las Vegas might have the highest concentration of restaurants from famous chefs in the world. Want to be yelled at by Gordon Ramsay? You’ve got five choices. How about Giada De Laurentiis’ first-ever restaurant? And Lagasse, Andres and Ducasse each have options here, too, meaning that “gluttony” is moving right up the sin rankings in Sin City.