I'm getting ready to go to the Food Bank for NYC's gala, the Can-Do Awards Dinner. It will be a star studded evening, complete with some after party action. Seems like a good opportunity to activate my mobile blogging powers on the iphone. So I'm going to give it a try, but be warned this is my first attempt. So if you see posts with crazy photos with typo-ridden captions later tonight, you'll understand why. I can always fix them or delete them in the morning.
2008 is 16 days away. Do you have a plan? Do you have a resolution? Snack has you covered on both counts.
Boqueria the hot downtown Spanish spot is throwing a tapas and Cava fueled fiesta to ring in the New Year. Perhaps you've always wanted to go? But have been daunted by the standing-room only waits for a table. This is a sure thing. Part of the ticket price will go to the Food Bank for NYC, meaning when you raise your glass to toast at midnight you will be able to cross off resolution #12: make a difference in the world by having cocktails.
Those looking to get their groove on should head to Suba. Also downtown, also hot, also benefiting the Food Bank, but with a DJ and dancing in the Skylight room. Hands in the air to bring an end to hunger.
Good times last
night on the James Beard pre-Award Chefs Night Out party circuit. While I only
got to hit three of the five parties on my dance card, it was a festive six-hour haul for a Sunday night. Hundreds were
in attendance and instead of listing out all the names here, just run through
the list of nominees and add in a couple publicists, some Top Chefs,
photographers and media.
spreading around my newest phrase, hoping it will catch on. Admittedly my attempt at bringing 'gastrodome' to the vernacular has been
less than successful.
I asked Sam
Mason/Francis Derby/Drew Nieporent/Paul Liebrant, "Are you pulling a Graydon Carter?"
To which they replied with slight confusion and a furrowed brow or two. "What do
you mean?" I explained, "You know,
opening a restaurant that never opens. Pulling a Graydon Carter." They smiled,
laughed, but ultimately demurred at going on record with any details (though Sam did note thatthe plywood is going up soon at
Carter himself will be in attendance next year at the Beard festivities, as he's somehow managed to snag a
dinner at the Beard House, in spite of the fact his restaurant is not
officially open. From the JBF
Fair Style – Host & Owner Graydon Carter and Chef John DeLucie, Waverly
Inn, NYC. Dinner on Monday June 18th.
Back in the day, the parties surrounding the James Beard Awards (both official and not) would kick off on Friday night, with the media
awards. There were brunches (notably Daniel Boulud's block party outside Café Boulud – which he should consider throwing
again. N'est-ce pas, Daniel? ) and cocktail
parties all throughout the weekend, through to the post-Awards parties and into
the wee hours of Tuesday morning.
Last year the media awards switched to Sunday night,
basically pushing all the festivities into a 48-hour period. The media awards
also changed venues this year. It is now at the Hudson Theatre in the
Millennium Broadway Hotel, with dinner and a show. They'll be the Golden Globes
to Monday night's Oscars, if you will.
The cornerstone of Sunday night's festivities has always
been Chef's Night Out. Last year I got many panicked emails, asking, "Where's
the party?" Seems they've doubled invite list, because this year my in-box
is filled with, "See you there!" Sources say the event is beyond
capacity at this point, necessitating a strict door policy. I've been told that
it will not be the usual free-for-all with people piling in, invitee plus
entourage of twelve-style. It's bound to be a big crazy event, with a touch of
ugly at the door.
So start your carb loading for the Sunday marathon. I'm
planning to take the Lionel Ritchie route (i.e.,all night long).
You may have read that it’s time for the James Beard Foundation Awards. While the official
ceremony happens on Monday night, there are typically a couple parties leading
up to the main event. There’s been a bit of a party drought for the past couple
of years but it seems that there’s now a
renewed spirit of festivities upon us.
Last night S.
Pellegrino, sponsors of the
Outstanding Restaurant award, hosted a soirée to fête nominee Terrance Brennan
at Picholine. (Note he’s also nominated for Best Chef NYC.) Dressed in a natty
blue suit, Terrance graciously accepted the nomination on behalf of his staff. He gave props to the restaurant’s chef, Craig Hopson whom Brennan said does
most of the cooking - a refreshingly candid stance for a top chef to take. Terrance
was presented with a giant bottle of S.Pellegrino, signed by all in attendance,
to which he said “I’ve never received a jeroboam of water before!” As we nibbled
on the house fromage and sipped champagne we wondered, what does one do with a
jeroboam of bubbly h2o? Cellar it for a special occasion? Pop it Monday night if
there’s victory? Turns out it was a show bottle, filled only with bonne chance.
Paparazzi from the Food Bank for NYC Can-Do Awards Gala on
April 23, 2007. Attended by Adam Roth, April Bloomfield, Bart Freundlich, Bill
Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, Christy Turlington, David Bowie, Denis Leary, Diana
Krall, The Edge, Edward Burns, Elvis Costello, Emeril Lagasse, Felicia Taylor, Francesco
Clemente, Helena Christensen, Iman, James Rousseau, Jeff Koons, Jim Courier, Jimmy
Fallon, John Sykes, John Ventimiglia, Josh Harnett, Judy McGrath, Julianne
Moore, Kate Bosworth, Ken Friedman, Lou Reed, Mario Batali,
Michael Stipe, Mike D, Mike Mills, Morleigh Steinberg, Patti Smith, Rachael Ray,
Stanley Tucci, Steve Bing, Steve Schirripa, Susan Cahn. The evening raised more
than 1.3 million dollars to fight hunger in New York City.
By the time Stanley Tucci introduced Mario Batali, we'd been well served and fed and serenaded by honoree Jimmy Fallon (his inspirational and original tune was called "Let's Have a Car Wash for Peace"). Mario took the podium and said, "Good evening ladies, gentlemen, esteemed members of the rock and roll hall of fame, and Mr. President." He gave a nod to table #32, where President Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, David Bowie and Iman, Elvis Costello and The Edge were seated.
I recalled five years ago at the first gala, when Ruth Reichl presented Mario with an orange (the Food Bank’s color of fighting hunger) plate as the first ever Food Bank honoree and we all thought - what a brilliant moment. This year President Clinton presented the orange plate to The Edge. It was simply spectacular. Mr. President said, "I hope the fact of all of us being here tonight helps elevate the cause of the Food Bank." Indeed. The Edge spoke of his love for New York City, the energy, the welcome to immigrants and the realization of the American dream. I was impressed with the words of all these worldly, famous men – in that they seemed genuinely touched by the cause and the recognition.
The last lot of the live auction was 'drinkin' wine spo-de-od-ee'. Joe Bastianich offered up a full barrel of his Calabrone Rosso wine from Italy, spectacularly packaged into eight mega-magnum 27-litre bottles, each labeled with an original work of art, painted on canvas by Bono. Emeril Lagasse and Dave Lieberman entered into a bidding war, and after 10 minutes, Emeril took the lot for $200,000. Seems the grass is quite green at the Food Network.
The gala raised funds for the Food Bank's mission to feed 250,000 hungry New Yorkers daily. The evening's take was more than 1.2 million dollars. It's corny and a cliché, but The President, The Edge, Michael Stipe and Stanley Tucci were all correct when they said, "One person can make a difference."
Denis Leary announced the final surprise of the evening: a performance by Elvis Costello. He took the stage with acoustic guitar in hand and sang "Where the Streets Have No Name", with a bit of "Blowin' in the Wind" mashed-up in the middle. Standing ovation.
You have exactly three weeks to get a ticket and get on
board for this year’s Can-Do Awards Gala, the Food Bank for NYC’s big, superstar party. Remember lastyear? The invitation promises celebrities and chefs galore. It should not be a question of whether are not you are going, but
simply the quandary of what to wear when you meet The Edge.
From the invite…
President Bill Clinton, The Edge, Jimmy Fallon, Mario Batali & Suzy Cahn, Stanley Tucci, Scott Feldman, Ted Allen, Dan Barber, Jo Bastianich, Lidia Bastianich, Marilyn & Armando Batali, April Bloomfield, Daniel Boulud, Michael Brodman & Nancy Klein, Miles & Lillian Cahn, Rebecca Charles, Helena Christensen, Tom Colicchio, Courtney Costello & Ned Benkert, David Burke & Donatella, Bertis & Katherine Downs, Ruth Eisenberg, Ken Friedman, Ian Ginsberg, Carla A. Harris, Coroline Hirsch, Michael Holtz, Abigail & Bob Kirsch, Dave Lieberman, The Litwin Foundation, Frances McDormand, Mike Mills, Maira Mileaf & Neil Patel, Chanty O’Sullivan, Julie Panebianco, Oliver Platt & Camilla Campbell, Dan Politzer & Katherine Lemire, Alfred Portale, Jane Prat, Marcia Raff, Eric Ripert, Jennifer Rubell, Don Scheier, Lois & Arthur Stainman, Michael Stipe, Phil Suarez, Ann Tenebaum & Thomas Lee, Christy Turlington & Ed Burns, Steven Valdez, and Lizz Winstead.
PS: What am I going to wear when I meet The Edge? Snack
desperately seeking fashion sponsor.