June 6, 2016: The 3rd Annual Welcome Conference, Followed by the 31st Annual Citymeals-on-Wheels’ Chefs Tribute
When you’re heading into the final throes of finishing a book like KITCHEN CREATIVITY (Little, Brown; 2017), mayhem ensues. With our heads down at our computers around the clock, we’re finding ourselves apologizing a lot more frequently for missed email communications and the like. (And we apologize if we haven’t apologized yet for missing yours.)
So when you’re on book deadline AND faced with two not-to-be-missed industry events taking place on the same day (one of which asks you to refrain from cellphone use that day), mayhem really ensues. But on June 6th, we found it the most enjoyable kind of mayhem.
On Monday, we attended the third annual Welcome Conference hosted by Will Guidara (of Eleven Madison Park and NoMad) and Anthony Rudolf (of Journee). Having attended both the inaugural conference in 2014 as well as last year’s conference, we knew there was no way we were missing this year’s, and managed to snag two of just a few hundred tickets made available in late April before selling out in a matter of minutes. (Luckily for everyone else, the talks are available online via LiveStream — we’d especially recommend checking out chef Marcus Samuelsson‘s presentation and pastry chef Christina Tosi‘s tour-de-force.)
This year’s Welcome Conference theme was “Being Present,” which encompassed:
1. Being present as individuals — giving ourselves the time and grace to contemplate life rather than rush through it;
2. Being present with each other — putting aside all of our to-dos and distractions and truly, deliberately connecting with those around you; and
3. Being present at work — allowing ourselves to engage deeply in one thing at a time, and questioning whether multitasking is always the most efficient approach to take.
We didn’t check email the day of the conference, leading us to learn we’d accumulated more than 300 emails during that 24-hour period. No wonder we’re still apologizing….
We dashed over from the Welcome Conference at the Times Center to Rockefeller Center for Citymeals-on-Wheels’ 31st Annual Chefs Tribute, which brought together dozens of chefs from around the globe to raise more than $900,000 to feed the homebound elderly.
It was a great pleasure to catch up with participating chefs and attendees alike, both at the event and at an impromptu mini-afterparty at Aldo Sohm Wine Bar near Le Bernardin — not to mention, given the event theme of “Que Rico: Celebrating Latino Cuisine & Culture,” get a jump on our research for the next next book THE FLAVOR ATLAS (Little, Brown; 2018).
Citymeals’ ¡Qué rico! Raises $900,000+
Nearly sixty culinary stars from across the globe gathered on Monday for ¡Qué rico! Celebrating Latino Cuisine & Culture: The 31st Annual Chefs’ Tribute to Citymeals on Wheels. These legendary chefs celebrated the rich flavors of Latino cooking as they created dishes for more than 1,000 guests at tasting stations throughout the Rockefeller Center Plaza. The event raised more than $900,000 for Citymeals to prepare and deliver nutritious meals for homebound elderly New Yorkers.
Chefs Juan Manuel Barrientos (Colombia), Carolina Bazán (Chile), Jose Enrique (Puerto Rico), Carlos Cristóbal Márquez Valdés (Cuba), Adrianne Calvo (Miami), Nina Compton (New Orleans), Susie Jimenez (Aspen), Martin Juan Rios (Santa Fe), Douglas Rodriguez (Philadelphia), and Josefina Santacruz (Mexico) flew in to cook alongside hometown favorites Chefs Eric Basulto, Franco Barrio, Jose Luis Flores, Ernesto Hernandez, Mario Hernandez, Julian Medina, Marco Moreira, Roberto Santibañez, Ivy Stark, and Alex Stupak – all known for their exceptional Latino cuisine.
The evening’s dazzling team also included founding chefs Larry Forgione, Alfred Portale, Wolfgang Puck, Stephan Pyles, and Jimmy Schmidt and celebrated chefs Robert Aikens, Jarett Appell, Jonathan Benno, Aaron Bludorn, Hugo Bolanos, Daniel Boulud, Richard Capizzi, Scott Conant, Franck D. Deletrain, Marc Forgione, Sean Forgione, Andre Fowles, Michael Gabriel, Markus Glocker, Chris Lee, Danielle and Salvatore LoBuglio, Ryan Lory, Masaharu Morimoto, Charlie Palmer, Carolina Perego, Antonio Prontelli, Jon Rohland, Joachim Splichal, Bradley Stellings, Jacques Torres, Silvana Vivoli, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten who presented their own interpretations of Latino fare.
Citymeals Executive Director Beth Shapiro explained, “The influence of the Latino world on New York is undeniable. This rich heritage permeates every aspect of city life including our art, music, literature, film, fashion and, oh yes, the food! ¡Qué rico! celebrates this wonderful culture as well as the thousands of chefs and restaurateurs who have committed themselves to Citymeals over the years. Their continued support has helped us create a lifeline of meals and companionship for vulnerable older New Yorkers.”
Nick Valenti, CEO of Patina Restaurant Group, was the evening’s Grand Host. The event was chaired by Beverly and Dan Bartfeld, Ninah and Michael Lynne, Laura and John Pomerantz, Randi and Dennis Riese, and Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch. Event guests included Alison Lohrfink Blood, Samantha Boardman, Katherine Boulud, David Burke, Leon Cooperman, Marjorie Doniger, Colleen Goggins, Aaron and Stephanie Goldman, Gael Greene, Robert S. Grimes, Suri Kasirer, Jill Lohrfink, Zarela Martinez, Margo MacNabb Nederlander and Jimmy Nederlander, Liz Neumark, Bradley Ogden, John Shapiro, Marcia Stein, Bruce Teitelbaum, and Kathleen Turner, among others.
Entertainment was provided by Latin Grammy nominee Mariachi Flor de Toloache, Gregorio Uribe Trio, Noah Bless Music and Latin Explosion All Stars. With the help of beverage chair Audrey Saunders (Owner, The Pegu Club) and wine chair Daniel Johnnes (Wine Director, The Dinex Group), the event also featured signature cocktails from top spirit sponsors and stellar wines from notable wineries.
Official sponsors of Citymeals on Wheels are American Airlines and FIJI Water. Event sponsors included Patina Restaurant Group, The Riese Organization, The M.O. & M.E. Hoffman Foundation, Bedell Cellars, VerTerra, Belvedere Vodka, Citadelle Gin, Courvoisier, El Tesoro, Novo Fogo, Zacapa Rum, ARC Document Solutions, Luxury Worldwide Transportation, Room Mate Grace, Unimac Graphics, and Rockwell Group. Additional support was provided by Brewla Bars, La Newyorkina and the Trade Commission of Peru in New York.
–courtesy of Citymeals