Life in the big city, and everything in between.

Taste of the Nation: No Kid Hungry

In Food on May 25, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation  is a culinary benefit, bringing top chefs and mixologists together to donate their time, talent and passion to end childhood hunger in America. This year’s NYC event featured dishes from an incredible line up of over 40 top New York and Brooklyn restaurants. The night was full of the who’s who of the culinary world, celebrity chefs, and master mixologists.

Restaurants such as Telepan, Landmarc, Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, and Union Square Cafe just to name a few, were in attendance.  There were also a number of new restaurants including ABC Kitchen, Hill Country Chicken, Kin Shop, Artisans, and of course my favorite Porsena!

Mixologists from Macao Trading Company, Pegu Club, and my new favorite spot Painkiller, had the room flowing with booze all night.

There was even a book signing from chefs and food personalities like Melissa Clark, Sara Jenkins, Sandra Lee, and Marcus Samuelsson.

But the real goal of the night was to make sure no kid grows up hungry. That is what Taste of the Nation is about. Since 1988 they have raised more than $73 million dollars to support hunger relief organizations. Anyone can participate by volunteering or even making a donation. I was definitely happy that I could be a part of this event even though I only played a small role in helping out.

Here are some highlight’s from Monday night’s event:

It was an honor to work alongside Chef Sara Jenkins and represent Porsena restaurant.

Chef Harold Dieterle of Perilla and Kin Shop Restaurant.

Chef Harold Dieterle, from Perilla and Kin Shop, was so nice! Sometimes you never know how people will be once they are on t.v. or have made a name for themselves but Dieterle is a really down to earth person. The scallop dish he served was amazing!

The scallop dish was one of my favorites of the evening.

I must have had a dozen baccala crostinis that night. It was made with fresh and salted cod and mixed with potato then drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and parsley. Delicious!

Baccala crostini from Porsena

I am so glad I do not live anywhere near Pies ‘N’ Thighs because I would have a spare tire on me! The name alone says it all. If you haven’t had it please go. Their chicken is so moist and seasoned with hot sauce and slapped between two buttery biscuits. It’s suck your fingers and lick your plate good.

Holy shit the chicken biscuit is good.

It was great to run into an old friend, Chef John DeLucie of The Lion.

Marc Forgione, winner of the Iron Chef on Food Network.

I couldn't resist The Modern table at the event. Delicious assortment of macarons, pineapple lollipops, chocolate and cookies.

Guests also had the opportunity to purchase cookbooks and have them signed by the authors.  Among the popular food writers was Chef Sara Jenkins signing her New York Times bestseller “Olives and Oranges”.

Sara Jenkins signing her bestseller cookbook "Olives and Oranges".

Amar’e Stoudemire made an appearance at Monday night’s event to support his personal chef Maxcel Hardy. He stayed pretty much until the very end and was nice enough to take pictures with just about everyone. So of course I had to snap a picture with him too.

Amar'e Stoudemire of the New York Knicks

My favorite and most popular drink of the night had to be the Hendricks Gin “Jimm’s Cup”. No it’s not a Pimm’s. It is just Hendrick’s gin, strawberries, Angostura, citrus, simple syrup, and a delicious cucumber foam. Check out the short video below of the Hendrick’s Gin bartenders making the perfect summer cocktail.
And if you want to make this at home I have included the recipe below:

1½ ounces Hendrick’s gin
¾ ounce fresh-squeezed orange juice
½ ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
¼ ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
¾ ounce simple syrup
3 small strawberries, hulled and chopped
1 thumbnail ginger root
4 dashes Angostura bitters

In a mixing glass, muddle ginger, strawberries, simple syrup and bitters. Add remaining ingredients and ice. Shake well and strain into an iced short glass. Top with cucumber foam* and garnish with a sprig of mint.

*For cucumber foam, place a whole seedless cucumber into a juice extractor and capture the juice in a coverable container. Shake the container to excite the foam and spoon onto the top of the cocktail.

It is crazy to think that nearly 17 million kids suffer from hunger in this country. If you take a look at the statistics it will shock you. For example, on average, families that experience hunger in the U.S. struggle with it seven months of the year. At times, these families go a whole day without food. And two-thirds of teachers across the U.S. say they have children in their classrooms who regularly come to school too hungry to learn because they are not getting enough to eat at home. That is heartbreaking. I am fortunate that I was a part of this event because it wasn’t about eating my way through the night, but bringing awareness to the real issue.

Learn more about Share Our Strength
  1. yay! event looks amazing. of course, helya looks beautiful as always 😀

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