The James Beard Foundation has partnered with Audi for a four-city dinner series featuring Angie Mar, Ashley Christensen, Nina Compton, and more award-winning chefs.

By Caroline Schnapp
Updated July 29, 2019
Jim Fets / Andi Whiskey Photography

In between dishes of tender North Carolina jumbo lump crab served over grits in a broth of grated tomato and cream sherry, steak served family-style with sweet corn, and three-cheese macaroni, Ashley Christensen described how rewarding it is to her as both a chef and business owner to create an environment that is inviting, comforting, and empowering.

Christensen was in Nashville last week cooking at PROOF, the Audi Culinary Dinner series that will hit four cities and feature chefs and graduates of the James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program (WEL), including beverage manager Ann Marshall and pastry chef Joanne Canady-Brown, who participated in the program in 2018.

Jim Fets / Andi Whiskey Photography

Earlier this year, WEL announced its 2019 fellows, a group of 20 women from across the U.S. chosen to take part in a five-day program focusing on mentorship, education, and leadership development. From this group of fellows, two Audi WEL Fellows are named each year to receive additional opportunities. This year's fellows were announced at PROOF’s kickoff in Nashville: Katy Kindred (Kindred and Hello, Sailor, North Carolina), a mentee of Christensen, who wrote her recommendation, and Sarah Gavigan (Otaku Ramen, Bar Otaku, Nashville).

Jim Fets / Andi Whiskey Photography

While PROOF’s Nashville series with Christensen has ended, the upcoming dinner schedule is worth getting excited about. Here's what's slated for the rest of the year:

Angie Mar (Beatrice Inn, New York City), Pittsburgh, August 8-11, with WEL fellows Sandra Cordero (Gasolina Cafe, Los Angeles) and Ping Ho (Marrow & The Royce, Detroit).

Nina Compton (Compere Lapin and Bywater American Bistro, New Orleans), Minneapolis, August 22-25, with WEL fellows Katy Gerdes (Angel Food Bakery & Donut Bar, Minneapolis, MN) and Caitlin Corcoran (Ca Va, Kansas City, MO).

Daniela Soto-Innes (Cosme and ATLA, New York City), Seattle, September 10-13, with WEL fellows Kelly Fields (Willa Jean, New Orleans) and Daniella Senior (Colada Shop, Bresca, Washington, DC).

A limited number of reservations are available for each night’s single-seating dinner via OpenTable, and in addition to the meal, guests will also have the opportunity to sign up for a test drive of Audi’s new Q3 SUV.