Foundation for the National Archives, ThinkFoodGroup Win Award for America Eats Tavern

Jan 25, 2012, 11:26 ET from Foundation for the National Archives

DowntownDC Business Improvement District Honors Restaurant Partnership Supporting National Archives' "What's Cooking?" Exhibition

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Foundation for the National Archives and its partners at Chef Jose Andres' ThinkFoodGroup have received a 2011 Momentum Award for their unique collaboration in the America Eats Tavern, a restaurant supporting the National Archives Experience exhibition "What's Cooking, Uncle Sam?"

The award from the DowntownDC Business Improvement District was presented during a ceremony at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center Monday night. America Eats was the winner of the "Downtown Experience" category, recognizing an "event, entity or idea that involved people in or exposed them to a positive Downtown experience, thus enhancing their enjoyment while visiting the area."

"We congratulate our friends at America Eats Tavern and the Foundation for the National Archives for this wonderful honor," said Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero. "This unique collaboration not only helped to promote our exhibition and welcome new visitors to the National Archives, but also added an exciting new restaurant to our neighborhood that continues to explore our rich culinary history."

As the National Archives' private-sector partner, the Foundation for the National Archives partnered with Chef Andres and the team at ThinkFoodGroup, which opened America Eats Tavern on July 4, 2011. The temporary restaurant, which will remain open until July 4, 2012, was created as a culinary destination and an extension of the National Archives Experience's 2011 exhibition "What's Cooking, Uncle Sam? The Government's Effect on the American Diet."

Just steps away from the National Archives Building, at the site of the former Cafe Atlantico, Andres and partner Rob Wilder opened America Eats with a menu inspired by the exhibit and the history of American cooking. Proceeds from the restaurant are to be donated to the Foundation.

Andres, named America's Outstanding Chef by the James Beard Foundation in 2011, served as Chief Culinary Advisor to the "What's Cooking?" exhibition, contributed to the exhibit catalog and the Eating with Uncle Sam recipe book, and collaborated with the National Archives on a series of public programs focusing on the role of Government in our daily diet.

Accepting the award for the Foundation, Executive Director Thora Colot thanked the National Archives Experience exhibition team, including "What's Cooking?" curator Alice Kamps, and the team at ThinkFoodGroup.

"Their incredible enthusiasm, dedication, energy, and generosity made all the difference in taking an exciting idea and creating such a positive outcome for the National Archives, for the Penn Quarter neighborhood, and for our city," Colot said. "This wonderful restaurant has served as a great marketing tool for us in promoting the exhibit. But more than that, it has become a dining destination where museum visitors can continue their exploration with a taste of America's unique cuisine. I hope our experience will encourage other non-profits and local businesses to look to their neighborhood partners to find similar opportunities for collaboration."

Accepting the award for ThinkFoodGroup were Brian Zaslavsky, general manager of America Eats, Paul Yeck, head chef, and Ann McCarthy, marketing director. The awards ceremony, which included remarks by DC Council Chairman Kwame Brown, drew about 150 people to a cocktail reception with live music.

Other Momentum Award winners included: DC Council Member Tommy Wells, named "Downtown Person of the Year" for his advocating of new transit options to create a livable and walkable city;  the Woodward & Lothrop Building for its new facade on G Street, now home to Forever 21; the District Department of Transportation, Arlington County, and Alta Bicycle Share, for developing CapitalBikeshare; PepsiCo and the District Department of Public Works for placing hundreds of recycling bins in downtown DC; LivingSocial, for creating 600 jobs in less than two years and "contributing to the economic, cultural and social wellbeing" of downtown DC; and 733 10th Street, an $85 million, mixed-use building including a church, offices, and retail space. The BID also presented its DowntownDC BID Vision Award to Jo-Ann Neuhaus, an advocate for the Penn Quarter community for more than 20 years.

Richard H. Bradley, executive director of the DowntownDC BID, said each of the "innovators recognizes the importance of continuing to raise standards in Downtown, and contributed in some way to the remarkable urban experience that people have when they visit Downtown every day."

For more information about the Momentum Awards, visit

About the Foundation for the National Archives

The Foundation for the National Archives is an independent nonprofit that serves as the National Archives' private-sector partner in the creation of and ongoing support of the National Archives Experience, which includes permanent exhibits, educational programs, traveling exhibits, special events and film screenings, and historical/records-related products, publications, and media. The Foundation helps the public understand the importance of the holdings of the National Archives by presenting the depth and diversity of the records through award-winning, interactive educational exhibits and programs. It generates financial and creative support for the National Archives Experience from individuals, foundations, and corporations who share a belief in the importance of innovative civics education.

About the National Archives Experience

The National Archives Experience, created by the National Archives in partnership with the Foundation for the National Archives, has transformed the visitor experience at the National Archives' Washington, DC building, and includes a renovated Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, the award-winning Public Vaults permanent interactive exhibition, the William G. McGowan Theater, the Lawrence F. O'Brien Gallery for special exhibits, and the Boeing Learning Center. In addition, the Foundation has taken the Archives nationwide through online initiatives such as the Digital Vaults online exhibit and DocsTeach, a web-based educational resource. These components make the rich resources of the National Archives accessible to Americans nationwide.

SOURCE Foundation for the National Archives