Wednesday, June 21, 2017

National Geographic's Celebration of Exploration

On June 17th explorers from all over the world came together in downtown D.C. on the yellow carpet! National Geographic’s first annual four-day Explorers Festival celebrated innovative scientists, conservationists, chefs, storytellers, and many other explorers!

On Saturday the #NatGeoFest hosted a Celebration of Exploration, with a beautiful outside culinary expedition at the George Washington University courtyard and afterwards held their annual award ceremony at the Lisner Auditorium next door.

The evening began with live performances and music, an open bar, and delicious food at every corner of the event. The occasion celebrated cuisines from all over the world. After walking on the yellow carpet, guests were led into a large courtyard with decorative food stations throughout.

Celebrated D.C. chefs in attendance included Amy Brandwein of the restaurant Centrolina, Victor Albisu of Del Campo, Todd Grey of Equinox, Jose Andres ThinkFoodGroup, and Erik Bruner Yang of Maketto, and Mike Isabella of Isabella Eatery and Arroz. Giant cheese platters, spreads, breads, salads, and snacks were arranged in the center of the event around the open bar while individual stations serving Spanish, American, Mediterranean, Asian, and many others lined the perimeters of the courtyard.

Servers also carried around trays of champagne, cocktails, and assorted desserts. I tried spicy empanadas, savory mushroom rolls, crab sliders, mini ice-cream sandwiches, caramel cupcakes with popcorn, Spanish paella, fried cheese, lamb bites, and so much more! After circling back and savoring all the flavors a second time, I was stuffed and ready for the award ceremony.
The award ceremony was held in a large, beautiful auditorium and was hosted by writer and comedian Mo Rocca. James Cameron, Jason Silva, Sam Harris, and Indie Arie were special guests that helped to entertain during the ceremony. The explorer awardees comprised of:

Neil deGrasse Tyson
2017 Recipient of The Hubbard Medal
Brian Skerry
2017 Recipient of Rolex National Geographic Explorer of the Year
Dr. Olivier Nsengimana
2017 Recipient of National Geographic/Buffett Awards
Rosamira Guillen
2017 Recipient of National Geographic/Buffett Awards
Dr. Bertrand Piccard for Solar Impulse
2017 Recipient of Further Award
André Borschberg for Solar Impulse
2017 Recipient of Further Award

This Celebration of Exploration was more than a night to remember. It was an event that was filled with awe-inspiring individuals coming together to motivate more people to become explorers of the world!

For more information on the entire National Geographic Explorers Festival, visit: #NatGeoFest

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