What do chefs Anne Burrell, Alex Guarnaschelli, Marc Murphy, Geoffrey Zakarian, and restaurateur Danny Meyer all have in common? Besides being purveyors of some of the most delicious food in the country, they all actively participated in the fight to end childhood hunger at the 28th annual Night Out for No Kid Hungry on April 27, held at the spacious 23 Wall Street.
Participants, from celebrity chefs to regular culinary enthusiasts, enjoyed some of the best food and drinks in New York at a walk-around tasting, or paid a for access to a separate, intimate seated VIP dinner honoring longtime supporters of the No Kid Hungry foundation, Food Network’s senior vice president of marketing and brand strategy Susie Fogelson and Kenbe Foundation’s Genevieve Lynch. Proceeds from both events went directly to No Kid Hungry, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the all-too-common plight of children who go to bed hungry or who do not have access to nutritious food.
Some of the culinary highlights of the walk-around tasting included octopus carpaccio from 21 Club, grilled beets with almond pumpkin seed granola over Greek yogurt from The Little Beet, a pork belly slider from Hill Country BBQ, and salted caramel taffy, stretched and produced live at the event by taffy makers, from Salty Road. Other chef participants included chef Anita Lo of Annisa, chef Bryce Shuman of Betony, and chef Enrique Olvera of Cosme. Some chefs, like Jesse Schenker, the executive chef of The Gander, themed their culinary contributions to be appropriate for the evening’s topic.
“I purposefully created a dish that’s very inexpensive and simple with ingredients that could be easily turned into something delicious,” said chef Schenker, presenting his cauliflower soup dish. “There are plenty of foods out there that will stretch a long way and don’t cost much to make. This is just cauliflower, milk, olive oil, and a salsa verde that I made with onions and fresh herbs. It’s very easy.”
Although many of the celebrity chefs were present at the event as guests, and were not cooking, the cause is near and dear to both their hearts and their chefs’ toques.
“It boggles my mind that there are kids hungry, especially in a city like New York where there is so much wealth,” said Food Network star Anne Burrell. “Just that anyone goes to bed without a full stomach, especially children... if they don’t have breakfast they can’t learn well in school, or on the weekends when they get home and there’s nothing to eat until they go back to school — it’s absolutely shameful.”