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Chef Amy Brandwein Joins Diplomatic Culinary Partnership, Launches Chef Series

Chef Amy Brandwein

The force behind longtime Washington DC Italian standout Centrolina is now a United States culinary ambassador. Plus, details on her new guest chef series, "Chef's Table with Amy + Friends."

Amy Brandwein meets with a US official
Amy Brandwein joined the United States Diplomatic Culinary Partnership at a State Department event in February 2023.

Since opening Centrolina in 2015, Amy Brandwein has thrilled Washington DC diners with exquisite Italian dishes and wines. Her CityCenterDC flagship became so popular that it earned her multiple James Beard award nominations and allowed her to open Piccolina da Centrolina, an all-day cafe, across the alley from Centrolina in 2019.

Lately, Brandwein has been in-demand not only for her wood-fired entrees and fresh pasta dishes. This February, she was honored at a U.S. State Department event with other chefs asked to join the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership, The program, in partnership with the James Beard Foundation, “embraces and utilizes food, hospitality, and the dining experience as diplomatic tools to engage foreign dignitaries, bridge cultures, and strengthen relationships with civil society,” according to the State Department.

Brandwein tells Appetito via email, “Food is a universal need and pleasure. By sharing our cuisine with other countries and cultures, we can better understand each other and make the world a better place.  I am thrilled to be a culinary ambassador for the United States!”

pasta dish
A pasta dish from Amy Brandwein's Centrolina.

Now, Brandwein has announced that she and her team at Centrolina will host a series of guest chef dinners that aims to showcase diverse cultures and flavors from Washington DC’s top culinary stars. 

“Chef’s Table with Amy + Friends” will kick off this coming weekend with a biweekly lineup that will prepare 4-course prix-fixe menus for 26 guests in Centrolina’s private chef’s salon. Each menu will highlight a cuisine of the guest chef’s choosing. Tickets will cost $175 per person, excluding tax, tip, and alcoholic beverages, with part of the proceeds benefiting charities that are also of the guest chef’s choosing. 

The series is meant to be ongoing, and Brandwein’s team has shared the first list of guest chefs with Appetito below. It’s a strong lineup featuring chefs from Asian backgrounds, including Kevin Tien, another Culinary Corps member known for his contemporary Vietnamese cooking at Moon Rabbit, which sadly announced its closure last week. Brandwein will cook along with each of the following chefs in the intimate setting:

JUNE 6: Seg Luangrath (of Thip Khao

JUNE 14: Sunny Baweja (Lehja

JUNE 28: Pichet Ong (Chang Chang

JULY 13: Kevin Tien (Moon Rabbit)

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