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Cooking for a Cause: Top chefs gather for Sips & Suppers benefit

Thursday - 1/24/2013, 5:01am  ET

The 5th annual Sips & Suppers fundraiser will take place in the D.C. area Jan. 26-27. Proceeds will go to Martha's Table and DC Central Kitchen and will feature dishes from local and internationally renown chefs. (Courtesy of Sips & Suppers)

Nycci Nellis, special to

WASHINGTON - Alice Waters, Jose Andres and Joan Nathan - the "Big Three" of the national foodie scene - are once again bringing the best and brightest chefs, mixologists and artisans to D.C. for the two-day, fine edibles and potables-fueled Sips & Suppers benefit, also known as Sips n Sups.

The annual bash, a joint fundraiser for nonprofits DC Central Kitchen and Martha's Table, takes place this Saturday and Sunday in the D.C. area. The event debuted in 2009 around the same time as President Barack Obama's first inaugural celebration.

A modest affair then (a couple of well-meaning foodies standing around sipping and then supping), Sips n Sups has grown to become one of the area's premier, charitably-inspired events. Wine and food professionals from across the nation and world come to demonstrate their culinary prowess, help raise big bucks for two beloved charities and, no doubt, please three of foodiedom's most prominent leading lights.

The Saturday evening Sips event, the less expensive of the two at $95 per person, delivers big bang for the buck and kicks off at the Newseum at 7 p.m. Stroll the museum's great halls while toe-tapping to live jazz from the J Kelly Ensemble and digging into sips and sample tastes.

On the drink side, you'll find the likes of mixologists Gina Chersevani (Buffalo & Bergen and Hank's Oyster Bar) and Dan Searing (Room 11) shaking up specialty cocktails, while Tuscan wine educator Filippo Bartolotta pours lusty, Italian wines.

Live cooking demos throughout the evening will offer samples of some of the region's finest tastes. Craig Rogers, shepherd of Border Springs Farms in Patrick Country, Va., and purveyor of superlative, pasture-raised lambs to many of D.C.'s top restaurants, will serve up his lamb curry.

The ladies behind local favorite Gordy's Pickle Jar, Sarah Gordon and Sheila Fain, will offer up bites of their hot chili spears, while fresh-as-they-come Rappahannock River Oysters will be shucked and ready for tasty dispatch.

Click here for a full list of participating chefs, artisans and mixologists. Purchase Sips tickets here.

Ready to really put your (charitable) money where your (hungry) mouth is? There still are a few tickets left at $550 per person for Sunday night's Sups. The evening will take place at 26 private homes across the District.

Local and internationally distinguished chefs, who are donating their time to the cause, will pair up to serve mind-blowing, multi-course dinners, many highlighting local products and fine wines. Suppers will include an Icelandic feast prepared by chefs Jeff Buben (Vidalia) and Siggi Hall of Siggi Hall Restaurant in Reykjavik, Iceland and chefs Erik Bruner Yang (Toki Underground) and Scott Drewno (The Source by Wolfgang Puck) have concocted a special menu celebrating the Chinese New Year.

The evening's activities also include discussions ranging from the importance of local food, to health, the economy and the environment led by representatives from DC Central Kitchen and Martha's Table.

Click here for a full list of participating chefs. Tickets for Sups are available here.

Nycci Nellis is the founder of and host of WTOP's Foodie and the Beast on Sunday mornings.

Follow @WTOPLiving and @NycciNellis on Twitter.

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