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Diplomats Of Dining

Diplomats of Dining Chefs Chip Flanagan, David Guas, Chris Jakubiec, and Robert Wiedmaier honored by The U.S. Department of State’s new Diplomatic Culinary Partnership Initiative Napoleon famously said that an army marches on its stomach. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, more interested in peace than war, has discovered that the unifying power of a shared meal holds true at the diplomatic table, as it does at any dinner table. Clinton’s innovative vision of “smart power” diplomacy includes food, hospitality, and the dining experience as important tools in conducting formal diplomacy. The State Department has formalized this concept by creating The Diplomatic Culinary Partnership Initiative, in cooperation with The James Beard Foundation. Its goal is to cultivate cultural understanding, elevate formal diplomacy, and strengthen bilateral relationships through the shared experience of food. Clinton’s department has enlisted twenty-five noted American chefs to help lead the way – four of them are represented by simoneink, llc: Chip Flanagan, executive chef of Ralph’s on the Park [New Orleans, LA;] David Guas, chef/owner of Bayou Bakery [Arlington, VA;] Chris Jakubiec, executive chef of Plume at The Jefferson, DC [Washington, DC;] and Robert Wiedmaier, chef/owner of Marcel’s, Brasserie Beck [Washington, DC,] Brabo [Alexandria, VA,] Mussel Bar [Bethesda, MD and Atlantic City, NJ.] The respected American chefs selected for The Diplomatic Culinary Partnership will be participating in one of two key programs. The American Chef Corps is a network of chefs nationwide who will be involved in official U.S. government programs that use food as a foundation for public diplomacy efforts at home and abroad, including International Information Programs, Foreign Agriculture Service, and the State Department’s Education and Cultural Affairs bureau. State Chefs are an elite group of professionals enlisted to collaborate on high-profile State Department events and create special meals for historic occasions. The Diplomatic Culinary Partnership initiative is being launched at a reception hosted by the State Department’s Chief of Protocol, Capricia Penavic Marshall, and the President of The James Beard Foundation, Susan Ungaro, in the State Department’s celebrated Benjamin Franklin Room on Friday, September 7, 2012. We all look to these chefs to be leaders of great food here in America. Next step: World Peace! For more information: Simone Rathlé – 703.534.8100

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