The Department Of State Launches The American Chef Corps

Today at 6 p.m., the U.S. Department of State will announce a new diplomatic culinary partnership that will call on chefs from around the country to help cook at official events, among other semi-official duties. The event in Washington will feature Rick Bayless, Jose Andrés, Marc Murphy, Tony Mantuano and others. We'll have much more on this next week, but for now, here's what the State Dept. is saying about tonight's announcement.

From the release:

"United States Chief of Protocol Capricia Penavic Marshall will launch the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership at the U.S. Department of State on Friday, September 7 at 6:00 pm. This new initiative will elevate the role of culinary engagement in America's formal and public diplomacy efforts. As part of this endeavor, chefs from across the country will serve as resources to the Department in preparing meals for foreign leaders, and will participate in public diplomacy programs that engage foreign audiences abroad as well as those visiting the United States.

This will be the first gathering of the newly-created American Chef Corps, which is a network of chefs from across the United States who have agreed to serve as resources to the Department of State. Speakers at the event will highlight the ways in which these individuals can contribute their time and unique talents through collaboration with the Office of the Chief of Protocol, the Bureau of International Information Programs, and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The speaking program will include a taped video address from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as well as remarks by Ambassador Marshall, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine, and President of the James Beard Foundation Susan Ungaro, who is also a co-host for the event.

The event will include a signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that formalizes the partnership between the offices of Ambassador Marshall, Under Secretary Sonenshine, and the James Beard Foundation.

More than 50 prominent chefs and culinary leaders are expected to attend, including:

Jose Andrés, Rick Bayless, Amanda Freitag, Duff Goldman, Tony Mantuano, Mary Sue Milliken, Rick Moonen, Marc Murphy, Art Smith, Bryan Voltaggio, and Cathy Whims, among many others."