Audi and James Beard Foundation champion chefs who 'Hold Nothing Back'

  • Audi to host four-part dinner series to celebrate launch of all-new Audi Q3
  • Limited number of reservations available for select consumers powered by OpenTable
  • James Beard Foundation chefs and graduates of the Women’s Leadership Program with founding support from Audi, to curate five-course meals

HERNDON, Va., July 23, 2019 – To celebrate and showcase the all-new Audi Q3, Audi of America is hosting a first-of-its-kind, four-city culinary experience featuring award winning chefs and restaurant owners, along with graduates of the Women’s Leadership Program, with founding support from Audi.

With less than six percent of all head chefs in the U.S. being women, Audi and the James Beard Foundation seek to highlight the conversation around opportunities for women in culinary by providing a platform for these chefs to showcase their artistry. Each of the featured chefs in the Audi Culinary Dinner series demonstrate a ‘Hold Nothing Back' mindset. They are entrepreneurs and restaurant owners who are making an impact in their communities and beyond and are using their platforms to inspire future chefs and culinary leaders.

In a similar way, the completely reimagined Audi Q3, holds nothing back when it comes to offering drivers design and technology in a premium package. With an all-new powertrain, standard quattro® all-wheel drive, bold new exterior design and improved interior with thoughtful functionality, the Q3 offers a strong entry to the Audi brand.

In each city, PROOF, the Audi Culinary Dinner series, will operate one seating per night, for four nights, beginning in Nashville, Tennessee from July 22-25. The remaining cities include Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from August 8-11, Minneapolis, Minnesota from August 22-25 and Seattle, Washington from September 10-13.

In collaboration with OpenTable, the world's leading provider of online restaurant reservations, a limited number of reservations are available for consumers in each of the four participating markets. Guests who make a reservation at PROOF will also have the opportunity to sign up for a test drive of the all-new Audi Q3 SUV.

Featured PROOF chefs include:

  • Ashley Christensen (Nashville) – In 2019, Christensen earned the James Beard Outstanding Chef Award, the Foundation’s highest individual honor. Christensen owns six restaurants in Raleigh, North Carolina, including Poole's Diner. She previously earned Eater’s Chef of the Year award in 2017.
  • Angie Mar (Pittsburgh) – Mar is a Seattle, Washington native and comes from a family of food lovers and restaurateurs. A James Beard Award nominee, she is also the owner and head chef of the Beatrice Inn in New York City and was a former Food & Wine Best New Chef.
  • Nina Compton (Minneapolis) – Compton, originally from St. Lucia, is a James Beard award winner and former Food & Wine Best New Chef. She owns Compere Lapin and Bywater American Bistro in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Daniela Soto-Innes (Seattle) – A Mexico City native and James Beard Award winner, Soto-Innes is the chef partner behind the internationally renowned Cosme and sister restaurant ATLA in New York City, and recently was named World’s Best Female Chef.



In each city, the featured pastry chef and the beverage director at PROOF are alumni of the JBF Women’s Leadership Program, with founding support from Audi. The WEL Program provides woman identifying culinary entrepreneurs with tools in finance, business strategy, branding, and investment. These alumni have each received one week of training on how to grow their network and business at Babson College.

Featured PROOF WEL fellows include:

  • Nashville –Ann Marshall (High Wire Distilling Company, Charleston, SC) & Joanne Canady-Brown (The Gingered Peach, Lawrenceville, NJ
  • Pittsburgh – Sandra Cordero (Gasolina Cafe, Los Angeles) and Ping Ho (Marrow & The Royce, Detroit)
  • Minneapolis – Katy Gerdes (Angel Food Bakery & Donut Bar, Minneapolis, MN) and Caitlin Corcoran (Ca Va, Kansas City, MO)
  • Seattle – Kelly Fields (Willa Jean, New Orleans) and Daniella Senior (Colada Shop, Bresca, Washington, DC)

For 2019, Audi has named North Carolina’s Katy Kindred (Kindred and Hello, Sailor) and Nashville’s Sarah Gavigan (Otaku Ramen, Bar Otaku) as the next two Audi WEL Fellows. The Audi Fellowship provides additional opportunities for entrepreneurs to grow by integrating the chefs into Audi activations and experiences.

“The James Beard Foundation is pleased to partner with Audi to inspire and support women to step into more positions of leadership in the culinary community. Investing in these women will make it easier for others to become executive chefs, own their own businesses and inspire generations to come,” said Katherine Miller, James Beard Foundation. 



As the brand visits the four cities during the Audi Culinary Dinner series, Audi and the James Beard Foundation will announce the creation of a new scholarship to be awarded to an aspiring woman from each city in the fall of 2020. The “Audi #DriveProgress Scholarship" will be open to any local woman identifying student enrolling or enrolled at a postsecondary institution that plans to pursue a career in the food industry.

The minimum amount of the scholarship will be $5,000, raised by both consumer donations and matching contributions from Audi of America. Guests at PROOF will have the opportunity to make an impact on their local community by donating to the scholarship fund during the OpenTable booking process or on-site. Additionally, OpenTable will match contributed funds to the foundation – up to $5,000 in each market. The James Beard Foundation will award the scholarship and applications will be taken from April 1 through May 15, 2020.

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Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands, delivering about 1.812 million vehicles globally in 2018. In the U.S., Audi of America sold nearly 224,000 vehicles in 2018. 2019 marks 50 years for the brand in the U.S. Visit or for more information regarding Audi vehicles and business topics.


The James Beard Foundation’s mission is to promote good food for good™. For more than 30 years, the James Beard Foundation has highlighted the centrality of food culture in our daily lives. Through the James Beard Awards, unique dining experiences at the James Beard House and around the country, scholarships, hands-on learning, and a variety of industry programs that educate and empower leaders in our community, the Foundation has built a platform for chefs and asserted the power of gastronomy to drive behavior, culture, and policy change around food. To that end, the Foundation has also created signature impact-oriented initiatives that include our Women’s Leadership Programs aimed at addressing the gender imbalance in the culinary industry; advocacy training through our Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change; and the James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards that shine a spotlight on successful change makers. The organization is committed to giving chefs and their colleagues a voice and the tools they need to make the world more sustainable, equitable, and delicious for everyone. For more information, please visit and follow @beardfoundation on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.


OpenTable, part of Booking Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), is the world's leading provider of online restaurant reservations, with more than 51,000 restaurants globally using its software to seat over 125 million diners monthly. OpenTable helps diners discover and book the perfect table and helps restaurants deliver personalized hospitality to keep guests coming back.


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