Chef's Best Dinner & Auction

June 10th, 2019

2018 Platinum Sponsor

2018 Gold Sponsors

Event Details

Monday, June 10th, 2019

Marriott Marquis Washington, DC
901 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20001

President’s Reception at 5:30pm
Main Doors open at 6:30pm

Join us for a festive evening celebrating community and cuisine. Enjoy innovative tastings from the region’s hottest chefs and bid on amazing silent and live auction items—all this while supporting the critical work of Food & Friends.


We recommend taking Metro to Mount Vernon Square Station. Valet parking is available at the Marriott Marquis for $35.


Business attire is requested.

Want to learn more?

Contact Amanda Nover at 202-269-6883.
Learn about Chef’s Best sponsorship opportunities HERE.


Chef Chair

Ari Gejdenson

Chef Ari Gejdenson is Chef-Owner of Mindful Restaurants Group. A professional soccer player whose career in the sport has spanned three continents, Ari’s career in the restaurant industry began at age 22 in Florence, Italy when Ari began to explore other business opportunities. At a time when Happy Days was still widely broadcast in Florence, he opened Ari’s Diner, an American-style diner. Later, Ari trained under Chef Stefano Innocenti at Florence’s wildly popular Acqua al 2. Ari retired from soccer at age 26 and opened the American arm of Acqua al 2 in Washington, DC, just a few blocks from where he grew up.

In 2010, Ari and his wife, Stacy, founded Mindful Restaurants Group. They were pioneers on the changing 14th Street Corridor when they opened Ghibellina. Growth continued with Denson Liquor Bar in Penn Quarter and Sotto, underneath Ghibellina on 14th Street.

Ari brings energy and opportunity to less-served areas of the city and has become one of the first to bring full service dining to Ward 5 with Ari’s Diner, Dock FC and La Puerta Verde in Ivy City.

Leadership Committee


Jennifer Trock

Baker & McKenzie LLP

Stefan & Anna Bailey

Prime Policy Group | Sunstone Counseling

Jill & Bruce Baldwin

Marriott International, Inc.

Paul Cunningham & Peter Kazon

Jennifer & Aaron Cutler

DCI Group LLC | Cocoon, Inc.

Page & David Dekker

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Fernando Garcia

MetroNando with RLAH

Peter and Denise Glassman

Friendship Hospital for Animals

Rob Hall

Entergy Corporation

Leslie A. Harris & Peter Basch

Harris Strategy Group, LLC | MedStar Health

Erik Hower & Cara McFadden Hower

AT&T | PricewaterhouseCoopers

Jessica & Drew Jacoby Lemos

The Kraft Heinz Company

Thomas Paese & Charles Porvaznik

Tony & Kim Russo

T-Mobile USA, Inc. | George Washington University Hospital

John Scofield

S-3 Group

Rick Stamberger

SmartBrief, Inc.

2018 Platinum Sponsor

2018 Gold Sponsors

Additional 2018 Sponsors

About Us

“Food is medicine for the body. I feel like a valuable person and that I can battle this cancer with your help. You don’t know how grateful I am to receive this food.”

Chef’s Best raises critically needed funds to support Food & Friends. Our home-delivered meals and nutrition counseling serve adults, children and families living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses throughout the Washington, D.C. area. For more than 30 years, we have been building a community of support with and for our neighbors, delivering hope and health, one meal at a time. Your support during Chef’s Best and throughout the year ensures we can continue providing life-sustaining nourishment to our neighbors in need.