Tribute Dinner honoring Marcus Samuelsson
and Jim Clerkinhosted by Masters of Ceremonies Andrew Zimmern
and Melba Wilson
presented by Capital One®
part of The NYT Cooking Dinner Series


Saturday, February 22
7:00 pm - 11:00 PM

Important Info

Business Attire Indoor Seated Wines 21 years of age and older


The Festival is honored to pay tribute to the outstanding accomplishments of the culinary community’s beloved Chef Marcus Samuelsson and beverage industry’s revered leader Jim Clerkin. This year’s Tribute Dinner will be as vibrant as the careers of these two hospitality pioneers, with Masters of Ceremonies Andrew Zimmern and Melba Wilson guiding guests through a night of exceptional wine, food and live music. The Eclectic Circus will perform as they transform their dynamic and modern sounds into soulful traditional jazz melodies. The dinner itself will include distinct touches designed to recognize the life and accomplishments of the late Leah Chase, legendary chef known as the Queen of Creole Cuisine from New Orleans, LA. The evening will also pay special homage to Florida International University professor, the late Chip Cassidy, whose commitment to beverage education was the driving force behind the establishment of the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center at the School, with the expansion of the Chip Cassidy Endowment Fund.

An unparalleled roster of highly decorated chefs have come together to curate a menu designed to celebrate these two esteemed personalities, including:

  • Michelle Bernstein
  • Daniel Boulud
  • Scott Conant
  • Frederic Delaire
  • Edouardo Jordan

Following the dinner, join Samuelsson and his all-star friends – the exceedingly charming Ted Allen, Scott Conant, Amanda Freitag, Alex Guarnaschelli, Marc Murphy, and Geoffrey Zakarian from Food Network's Chopped - for a late-night Dessert Lounge. Life doesn’t get any sweeter as DJ Jarobi White - founding member of A Tribe Called Quest – spins his beats while guests savor sweet bites and sips and dance the night away! Indulge guiltlessly in the vivacious company of Samuelsson and his bon-vivant cast of friends to end the night on a sweet note.

Among the evening’s highlights will be a LIVE AUCTION and interactive fundraising experience benefiting the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University.

Samuelsson is a highly-acclaimed chef and international restaurateur, with over 30 restaurant locations spanning the United States, England, Sweden, Norway, and Bermuda. The popular culinary television personality is also the winner of multiple James Beard Foundation awards and author of several bestselling cookbooks. Samuelsson was the youngest chef to receive a three-star review from The New York Times.  He is a committed cultural explorer and philanthropist, serving as a co-producer of the annual Harlem EatUp! festival and inspiring others to celebrate life through food in their own communities and beyond.

Clerkin currently serves as president and CEO of Moët Hennessy North America and will transition to a new role as president of Moët Hennessy strategic development, focused on the company’s global distribution network and playing a key role in executing the company’s mergers and acquisitions strategy, effective January 1, 2020. He also continues to lead the Woodinville Whiskey board of directors, bringing with him more than 35 years of experience in the wine and spirits industry. He began his career in Ireland, a cultural heritage that has carried over to his current home across the pond as chairman of Co-operation Ireland in the United States, a not-for-profit organization promoting peace and reconciliation. Clerkin is also part of the Global Executive Team of Moët Hennessy, the leading luxury wines, spirits and champagne company in the world, and serves as the chairman of the Distilled Spirits Council of America.

Guests will be assigned seating prior to this event. We can only guarantee guests who purchased tickets together will be seated together. If you would like to be seated with another guest(s), please send your request via email to