Crème de la Crème

French master chefs and American top chefs gathered to celebrate French cuisine at the Citymeals-on-Wheels annual Chefs Tribute event in Rockefeller Center.
“Unmatched elegance, style, sophistication, grand French dining” ... were the words used to describe Citymeals-on-Wheels annual “Chefs’ Tribute” gala fundraiser which took place at the outdoor plaza of Rockefeller Center which was transformed for the occasion into a Parisian boulevard by architect and set designer David Rockwell and his team. Live music and dancing. The bar area, dubbed “The Ooh La La” was decorated with a “Can-Can” theme.

A dozen of France’s gastronomic legends were flown to New York for the Citymeals’ gala where the American superstar chefs they once mentored paid them tribute by each preparing two exquisite dishes – one of the masters’ classics and a signature dish of their own. More than 1,100 leaders of business, industry, fashion, entertainment, media, government and the food world then feasted on the culinary creations in the outdoor plaza.

French master chefs Jean Banchet, Georges Blanc, Paul Bocuse’s son Jerome, André Daguin, Pierre Gagnaire, Gaston Lenôtre’s son Alain, Jacques Maximin, Louis Outhier, Jean Jacques Rachou, André Soltner, and Pierre Triosgros’s son Claude flew in from France to watch their protégées prepare mouth-watering masterpieces. Unable to attend were Chefs Gérard Boyer, Michel Guerard, Fredy Girardet, Marc Meneau, Alain Senderens, and Roger Vergé. Chef Paul Haeberlin was also honored in memoriam.
Honored French chefs Georges Blanc and Andre Soltner; Gael Greene, Co-Founder, Citymeals-on-Wheels; Jacques Torres, chef, Jacques Torres Chocolates; and Daniel Boulud, chef, Daniel
The legendary André Soltner cooked with his protégé, Bill Peet and Jacques Maximin with his protégé, Joachim Splichal. Among the special dishes they created for the evening were smoked Louisiana wild prawns, roasted tomato and mango vinaigrettes, and baby herb salad prepared by André Soltner and Mousse de saumon fumé et saumon mariné concombres aigre-doux (smoked salmon mousse with marinated salmon and sweet and sour cucumbers) prepared by Bill Peet. Jacques Maximin served braised Kobe beef short ribs in fresh morel cream with chive essence and Joachim Splichal served gratin de homard aux macaronis à la parmigiane (macaroni and lobster gratin.)

Bottom line and more important than all the specialities and gourmand delicacies in the world: The event raised more than $900,000 for Citymeals, a non-profit organization that provides home-delivered, nutritious meals to frail, homebound elderly in New York City.
Arlene Ocontrillio, Drew Nieporent, Marcia Stein, Kathleen Turner, and award-winning chef Paul Liebrandt
Crème de la Crème was chaired by Susie and Kevin Davis, Ninah and Michael Lynne, and Laura and John Pomerantz. Audrey Saunders of the Pegu Club served as the event’s beverage chair.

Nick Valenti / Patina Restaurant Group was the evening’s Grand Host. The evening’s co-sponsor was MF Global. Media Sponsor was Gourmet; Associate Sponsors: The M.O. & M.E. Hoffman Foundation; and Ninah and Michael Lynne. Other sponsors included American Airlines; FIJI Water; MasterCard; Nespresso; and Affinia Hotels. Pro bono sponsors included BPI; Party Rental Ltd.; Rockwell Group; and Tana Seybert. Extraordinary patrons included Bedell Cellars; D’Artagnan; Saks; and Taittinger.

Cooking in celebration of their beloved masters were:

Jöel Antunes, Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel (New York)
Paul Bartolotta, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare (Wynn Las Vegas)
David Bouley, Bouley (New York)
Daniel Boulud, Daniel (New York)
Terrance Brennan, Artisanal Fromagerie & Bistro/ Picholine
(New York)
Ed Brown, eighty one (New York)
David Burke, davidburke & donatella (New York)
Jawn Chasteen & Michael Gabriel, The Sea Grill (New York)
Vincent Guerithault, Vincent on Camelback (Phoenix)
Hubert Keller, Fleur de Lys (San Francisco)
Jean Joho, Everest (Chicago)
Henry Meer, City Hall (New York)
David Myers, Sona/Comme Ça (Los Angeles)
Charlie Palmer, Aureole (New York)
Roland Passot, La Folie/Left Bank (San Francisco)
Bill Peet, Patroon (New York)
Alfred Portale, Gotham Bar & Grill (New York)
Antonio Prontelli & Juan Branez, Rock Center Café / Cucina & Co. (New York)
Citymeals-on-Wheels Chefs Tribute 2008 Crème de la Crème honored masters of French Cuisine.
Tom Colicchio, Craft (New York)
Franck Deletrain, Café Centro (New York)
Christian Delouvrier, La Goulue Christian Delouvrier/ Brasserie
Ruhlmann (Bal Harbour, FL/Chicago)
Traci Des Jardins, Jardinière (San Francisco)
Luc Dimnet, Brasserie (New York)
Todd English, Olive Restaurant Group (Boston, MA)
Tony Esnault, Adour at The St. Regis Hotel (New York)
Larry Forgione, An American Place (Wynn Las Vegas/
St. Louis)
Michel Richard, Michel Richard Citronelle/Central (Washington
D.C.)
Nancy Silverton, Pizzeria Mozza/ Osteria Mozza (Los Angeles)
Joachim Splichal & Theo Schoenegger, Patina Restaurant Group/ Patina Restaurant (Los Angeles)
Jacques Torres, Jacques Torres Chocolates (New York)
Laurent Tourondel, BLT Restaurants
Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jean Georges (New York)
Bob Waggoner, Charleston Grill (Charleston, SC)
Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto (New York)
Marcia Stein, Executive Director of Citymeals-on-Wheels; John Pomerantz, Co-Chair of “Crème de la Crème”; and award-winning actress Kathleen Turner
Henry Meer, chef, City Hall
Paul Bartolotta, Jean Georges Vongerichten, chef, Jean Georges; Alfred Portale, chef, Gotham Bar & Grill; Joaquim Splichal, chef, Patina Restaurant Group/ Patina Restaurant
Tom Colicchio, chef, Craft and Paul Bartolotta
Guests sample French cuisine at the “Crème de la Crème
David Colston, Terrance Brennan, chef, Artisanal Fromagerie & Bistro/Picholine, and Richard Farnabe
The Southampton Fresh Air Home’s 21st annual American Picnic took place on Friday, July 4th, 2008 at a private home on the ocean in Southampton. Following a great picnic dinner, when the sun went down and the clouds miraculously cleared away, Caroline Harding sang “The Star Spangled Banner” to launch the celebration. Southampton Mayor Mark Epley once again led a countdown with the crowd for a spectacular Grucci Fireworks display, set to patriotic music, burst in air over Shinnecock Bay to the awe and wonder of the party guests and the Southampton Fresh Air Home campers.

The sold out event, including guests of all ages dressed in red, white and blue, gathered in the carnival setting – with games and prizes --- that was the perfect backdrop for the Fourth of July celebration. Carts filled with popcorn, cotton candy, ice cream, hamburgers and hot dogs, pulled pork, corn on the cob and other picnic favorites were served by Robbins Wolfe Eventeurs who created every imaginable picnic delight, a spectacle in itself.

For those who were not able to attend the sold-out event, hundreds flocked to Coopers Beach where they were able to enjoy the Grucci fireworks. The Southampton Fresh Air Home is grateful for the generosity of everyone who reached into their pockets to make donations to help underwrite the fireworks and support the camp.

The Event Chairmen were Brenda Earl De Paola, Michaela and Stephan Keszler,
Patricia and George Kraus, Barbara and Jack Kugler,
and Christl and Ken Meszkat. Others who joined the celebration with family and friends were SFAH Chairman Emeritus Catherine Di Montezemolo; SFAH Chairman Emeritus Claire Mulholland who along with her husband, Jim Mulholland, hosted the Camper Party at their home; Honorary Chairman of the SFAH Barbara Smith and her husband Randall; SFAH Co-President Susan Nappa Cocke and her husband Philip; and SFHA Co-President Pamela Rollins Comacho and her husband Alex; the Bill Michaelcheck family, Ann Grimm, Jack Grimm, Mildred Brinn, Dianne DiMenna, Joe DiMenna, Dennis Basso, Danielle and David Ganek, Courtney and Wayne Page, Kelsey Grammer and Grammer, Barbara and Alan Glatt, Katie Shah and Shah, Kim White, Kurt Wolfgruber, Kristina and Arthur Ward, Kirsten Solsvig Galef, Lisa Arnold, Maryann Epley, Monica Belag-Forman, Joel Forman, Melanie and John Wambold, Kelly and Scott Johnston, Nancy O’Sullivan, Fiona and Jeffrey Slonim, Nicole Brewer, Gary Crain, James Alan Smith, Jean and Martin Shafiroff, Debra Schuster Tanger, Sheila and Joe Fuchs, Alex McCord, Simon van Kempen, Heather and Steve Mnuchin, Tia Walker, Webb Egerton, Lee Robinson, Christine Smith Gray, Jim Gray, and hundreds more.
The Southampton Fresh Air Home, a 501(C)(3) charitable organization, is a residential summer camp with a specialized recreation program for physically challenged youth from the tri-state area.  Record proceeds from this event represent approximately 40% of the annual operating budget of the camp that has been built with love, by summer and the year-round Hamptons community for 107 years.

With thanks and gratitude to all of the people who came together at the Fourth of July celebration, over 150 campers, most of whom receive scholarships, will once again be able to swim, golf, sail and play other team sports. Most of all, they will be able to have a wonderful camping experience and build summer memories with their friends that will last for a lifetime, while their families enjoy a well-deserved rest. To meet our campers and learn more about this extraordinary cedar-shingled camp set on beautifully landscaped lawns just down the winding road from Shinnecock Golf Club, please go to www.sfah.org.
Michaela Keszler and Phil Cocke
Danielle Ganek, Harry Ganek, and Barbra Smith
Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen
Darleen Marone, Tatiana Platt, Campion Platt, and Jeremy Platt
Alexa Barrett and Darya Schiavetta
Brad Marx, Tatiana Byron, Jeffrey Dread, and Salma Fonseca
Curtis Erickson and Jennifer Joyce
Johan van Kempen, Simon van Kempen, Francois van Kempen, and Alex McCord
Caroline Hearting and Johny Walker
Kim White, Michaela Keszler, Susan Nappa Cocke, and Christle Meszkate
Pamela Rollins Camacho, Susan Nappa Cocke, and Carol Guest
Charlotte Bocly, Emilie Ghiloga, and Victoria Ghiloga
Brenda and Mike Depaola
Charlotte Kirsten and Julia Dean
Dennis Basso
Catherine Murray and Deborah Landou
Carole Reed and Kelly Davis
Francesca and Chris Beale
Alan Glatt, Cortney Page, Wayne Page, and Barbera Glatt with friends and family
Jeffrey Dread and Salma Fonseca
Dandridge Myles, Jeff Myles, and Esther Myles
Cathy Di Montezemolo
Elizabeth Ponce, Lauren Hickey, and Emilie Westhoff
David, Rome Arnold, Rome Arnold, and Dhiren Shah
Katy Kugler, Kim White, Susan Nappa Cocke, and Rick Shumway
Don Sullivan and Mildred Brinn
Douglas Fiolla
Fiona Moore and Jeff Slonim
Joe Fuchs, Sheila Fuchs, Kim White, and Kurt Wolfgruber
Joy Corsin and Carolee Youvinco
Nicole B. Brewer with friends and family
Michael and Allison Dalewitz
Donna and Kenneth Macwhinnie
Melanie and John Wambold
Claire Mulholland and Kathleen Minder
Jennifer Bargmann, Harry Bargmann, Bonnie Ryan, Mike Ryan, John Holahan, Jenniffer Holahan, and Linda Beck with friends and family
Regina Pozvolska, Stephan Roux, Kathleen Ryan, Brent Nicklas, and Laura Pozvolska
Alex van Hoek, Debra Schuster Tanger, and Schuster Tanger
Katie Shah, Lisa Arnold, and Kirsten Galef
Donna Younis and fam
Mike Weissman, Maura Weissman, and Sean L'Raurke
Ann Schneider, Patty Kraus, and Steve Schneider with fam
Mayor Mark Epley
Dr. Marianna Rozinov and Pascal Levy with kiddies
Nina Mullan, Lilly Galef, and Sara Reed
Nicole B. Brewer and kiddies
Diane Dimenna and kiddies
Peter and Connie Kuntz
Orla O'Conner and Andrew Yew
Patty and George Kraus
Jack Kugler, Barbra Kugler, Katy Kugler, and kiddies
The Harland family
Tim and Carole Reed and fam
The Mnuchin family
Susan Havdesven, Jay Flagg, and Carole Nobbs
Robert Kligerman, Kurt Wolfgruber, Kim White, Susan Nappa Cocke, Phil Cocke, Barbra Kugler, Katy Kugler
Robin Katz and Mike Depaola
Kate Roger and kiddies
Peter Cardel and kiddies
Richard Wooster and Kirsten Galef with kiddies
Jerry Jones and kiddies
Thalita Oliveira, Christos Economou, Naddy Ismailos, Angela Ismailos, Fernando Santos, Annette McEvoy, Harold Bronheim, and Cynthia Pires

Photographs by ©PatrickMcMullan.com (SH Fresh Air Home).

Click here
for NYSD Contents