New York food celebrities, from Food & Wine magazine editor Dana Cowin to television personality Anthony Bourdain, helped raise more than $200,000 to feed hungry children at the New York City Taste of the Nation event, held on Monday to benefit the nonprofit organization Share Our Strength.
About 1,000 people attended the fundraiser at 82 Mercer in Manhattan to sample the food and drink of more than 50 restaurants and cocktail bars. Dishes included steamed chawan-mushi egg custard from Brushstroke; house-made ricotta with sugar snap peas, fava beans, English peas and pine nut granola from Il Buco; and lobster Thermidor on zucchini tuiles from The Water Club.
“We make food every day for people who have a lot of money, while the majority of people don’t have access to basic needs” said Seamus Mullen, chef-owner of Tertulia in Manhattan. “To donate a little bit of my time is the very least I can do.”
Mullen served jamón Ibérico with marinated asparagus and smoked egg aïoli.
“People support us, therefore we should support people less fortunate than us,” said Justin Warner, chef-owner of Do or Dine restaurant in Brooklyn, as he served up foie gras doughnuts with strawberry-cumin jam. “This is a luxury tax I’m more than delighted to pay,” he added.
Food personalities conducting book signings during the event included cookbook author Melissa Clark, chefs April Bloomfield and Aaron Sanchez, and Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster Garrett Oliver.
“We sincerely thank our talented chefs, honorary chairs, national and local sponsors, and our volunteer committee without whose dedication, generosity and passion the event would not have been possible,” said Emily Huebner, senior manager for Northeast region culinary events for Share Our Strength. “With their continued support we are certain we can achieve the goal of Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign: to ensure all children have the access to the healthy food they need to live, learn, and play."
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She added, "We’re looking forward to continuously hosting successful Taste of the Nation events across the country for years to come.”
The Taste of the Nation event also included an auction, and bidding is still open for some of the items online at Share Our Strength's Charitybuzz website.