13th Annual Blue Jeans Ball

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Event Info

Marriott Marquis Washington, DC
901 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
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Hotel valet parking for a fee (self-parking unavailable). Click here for additional parking details.
Date and Time
Sunday, March 13, 2016
6 PM – 9 PM
Ticket Information
Tickets will be available at the door for $200.

Come out and join the Capital Area Food Bank for D.C.’s tasting gala, the Blue Jeans Ball. We’ll be back at the fabulous Marriott Marquis Hotel – in downtown Washington, DC. This historically sold-out event is “blue jeans” fashionable and will feature over 40 savory, spicy and sweet tasting stations, fabulous auction items as well as live music.

We are excited to welcome Chef Chairs Jeff Buben, Sherry Yard and Ruth Gresser and announce there will be new and exciting surprises making this year a real – BASH!

So get ready to rock your favorite denim while helping take hunger off the map.

Entertainment provided by DJ’s John Jazz and Miss H.E.R.

New This Year

Our participating restaurants and suppliers will create dishes in the spirit of wellness, in recognition of the CAFB’s commitment to offering a nutritious menu of ingredients to the 540,000 neighbors it serves.

Chef Chairs


Chef Jeffrey Buben | @JeffBuben
Winner of the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef Mid-Atlantic 1999”, Jeffrey Buben is the chef and owner of three restaurants in Washington, D.C., Vidalia, Bistro Bis and Woodward Table/Woodward Takeout Food.

Buben is a 1978 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America. With over 35 years in the industry, he worked as a young chef in such notable restaurants as The Sign of the Dove, Le Cygne and Le Chantilly in New York and at several distinguished hotels including The Four Seasons, The Mayflower and The Hotel Pierre.


Chef Ruth Gresser | @eatyourpizza
Owner and Chef Ruth Gresser cooked her way through college before entering the professional food scene in San Francisco at the early stages of the modern American food movement. In 1987, after graduating summa cum laude from Madeleine Kamman’s Classical and Modern French Cooking School, and cooking professionally in French, American, and Italian restaurants across the country, she moved to Washington, DC.

In 1991, she turned her attention to pizza, opening Pizzeria Paradiso to critical acclaim. Now considered the matriarch of pizza in the District, Gresser has been instrumental in the opening of six popular Washington restaurants. Gresser is the President of the Board of Directors of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs and has been profiled in The Washington Post Magazine and The Washington Business Journal, and has appeared on numerous local TV and radio stations, and industry panels.


Chef Sherry Yard | @SherryYard
A Brooklyn native, Sherry Yard began her culinary career at the venerable Rainbow Room. Wolfgang Puck summoned her to Los Angeles, where she became the executive pastry chef and partner for his worldwide operations. For 20 years her innovative dishes and desserts were a staple at the Academy Awards Governor’s Ball, the Grammy Awards and the Emmy Awards. Working with Wolfgang, she produced segments for his Emmy Award-winning cooking show, and later she was tapped by Magical Elves Production Company for the role of executive culinary producer for Top Chef: Just Desserts.

In 2014 she brought her first concept restaurant, City Perch Kitchen + Bar — a seasonal American dining room — to Bethesda, Md. Throughout her career, Sherry has earned the praise of her critics and peers with multiple accolades, including three James Beard Awards for the Foundation’s prestigious hall of fame, Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year and Best Baking Book.

Host Committee

  • Mark Bittman, American food journalist, author, and columnist for The New York Times
  • Michael Belle, Allen Chapel AME Church
  • Michelle Brown, Teaism
  • Denise Dombay, Marriott International/CAFB Board Member
  • Stefan Hankin, Lincoln Park Strategies
  • David Harrington, Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce
  • John P Hynes Jr., Engility Corp./CAFB Board Member
  • Beth Johnson, RP3
  • Sharon Kessler, C Fox Communications
  • Rachel Kronowitz, Gilbert LLP
  • RB Seem, Wells Fargo
  • Jonas Singer, Union Kitchen

Event Co-Chairs:
Valerie Ploumpis
Catherine Townsend


Do you have a taste for change? Click here (PDF) to become a sponsor of the 2016 Blue Jeans Ball. Complete the form and return it to events@capitalareafoodbank.org or via fax at 202-529-1253.

Tables are limited. Get yours now while they are still available.

Thank you to our 2016 Blue Jeans Ball sponsors! 

Designer – $25,000
Engility LogoCustom Fit – $10,000
DLA Piper (US) LLP
Giant Food
Marriott Foundation
Marriott International, Inc.
Michael Beriss & Jean Carlson

In-Kind Donations
Beer Institute
LMO Advertising
Marriott Marquis Hotel
Republic National Distributing Company

Custom Fit Plus
Harris Teeter

Dark Blue – $5,000
Abt Associates
Aim NationaLease
Altamirano Consulting
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
Constellation, an Exelon Company
CrossCountry Consulting
Marla and Peter Schnall
Maryland Live! Casino
MedStar Health
Ratner Companies
Sherry and Martin Franks
Shoppers Food & Pharmacy
Southern Company
Wells Fargo

Auction Items

As part of the Blue Jeans Ball, we hold a live and silent auction featuring unique items and experiences. Click here to donate (PDF) an item to the Live or Silent Auction.

Restaurants & Food Purveyors

Click here (PDF) to participate as a restaurant or vendor. Complete the writeable form and return it to events@capitalareafoodbank.org or via fax at 202-529-1767.

Thank you to our 2016 restaurant and food sponsors!


  • Café du Parc
  • Café DuPont
  • Chaplins
  • City Perch Kitchen + Bar
  • Congressional Seafood
  • Del Campo
  • Del Frisco’s Grille
  • DGS Delicatessen
  • Fig and Olive DC
  • Ghibellina
  • Gravitas
  • Kapnos
  • Lavagna
  • Marriott Marquis Hotel
  • Occidental Grill + Seafood
  • Oyamel Cocina Mexicana
  • Penn Commons
  • Pinch
  • Pizzeria Paradiso
  • Pub and the People
  • Range
  • Rebellion
  • Restaurant Eve
  • Ristorante Tosca
  • Sonoma Restaurant & Wine Bar
  • Sotto
  • Stanton & Greene
  • Sweet Pearlz Cheesecakes
  • The Fourth Estate at the National Press Club
  • The Melting Pot
  • The Palm Restaurant
  • Thrive DC (CAFB Food Assistance Partner!)
  • Vidalia/Bistro Bis/Woodward Table
  • Zeke’s Coffee of DC

Food Purveyors

  • Bread Furst
  • Cabot Creamery Cooperative
  • Captain Cookie & the Milkman
  • Ice Cream Jubilee
  • MeatCrafters
  • O Earth Creamery + Bakehouse
  • Ruby Scoops Ice Cream & Sweets
  • Sodexo – Howard University
  • Stonyman Gourmet Farmer
  • The Shameless Chef
  • Two Acre Farm
  • Union Kitchen

Media Sponsors

abc7 logo

Master of Ceremonies


Scott Thuman | @ScottThuman
Scott Thuman is the Emmy-award winning, Senior Political Reporter covering the White House and Capitol Hill for ABC7 News and News Channel 8.

He is the only local television broadcaster to land exclusive and successive interviews with President Obama during the 2012 campaign.

His coverage of the primaries, caucuses, conventions and debates garnered international attention and earned ABC7 the prestigious Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism.