Monday, July 23, 2018

The Foodie Event of the Season Happens This Saturday: James Beard Foundation's Chefs & Champagne


Get ready for this weekend’s much-anticipated foodie event, the James Beard Foundation’s annual Chefs & Champagne tasting. The delicious event is held in support of the James Beard Foundation’s programs which celebrate, nurture and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage. 


On Saturday July 28, 36 chefs – many of them James Beard Award winners -- from restaurants in New York, Florida, Missouri, California, Oregon, Colorado, and Washington DC will dish up their best under the beautiful tent at Wölffer Estate Vineyard. The 2018 Guest of Honor is Padma Lakshmi, host of Bravo’s James Beard Award-winning Top Chef. 

The menu features craveworthy, seasonal dishes like Stephen Bogardsus’s corn soup with truffles (The North Fork Table & Inn, Southold); Georgette Farkas’s tarte pissaladière (Rotisserie Georgette, New York); Mina Newman’s Nikkei ceviche with sockeye salmon (Sen Sakana, New York City); and Nick Stefanelli’s burrata with beluga caviar (Masseria, Washington, DC) that show why summer is the best culinary season. All is to be washed down by constantly flowing Champagne Boizel, Tito’s vodka and a variety of Wölffer Estate wines.


The evening begins at 5pm with a VIP reception. The main event, from 6-8:30pm, is followed by an after-party for VIP guests until 10pm. All guests receive a goodie-filled swag bag and can also take part in an extravagant silent auction with the chance to win a vacation getaway, a delicious dining experience, a watch, cookware and more. Bidding is open online through July 25 and will continue as a silent auction throughout the evening of the event. Take a look here

Proceeds from the auction and the dinner will support JBF’s initiatives including the Impact Programs in areas of seafood sustainability, food waste, chef advocacy and childhood nutrition; the Women’s Leadership Programs and numerous scholarship programs. For tickets, including VIP tickets to the after-party dining extravaganza, click here. 

Wölffer Estate Vineyard, Sagg Road, Sagaponack, New York; 212-627-2308, www.jamesbeard.org/chefsandchampagne








Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Support Dance for a Good Cause at This Weekend's "Dancers For Good" Benefit with Superstar Performances and Honorees

Here’s a “good” reason to travel to the Hamptons this weekend: the 2018 dance benefit brought to you by Dancers For Good at Guild Hall in East Hampton, New York.

Thanks to producers Eric Gunhus and Michael Apuzzo, you’ll want to put on your own dancing shoes after watching Friday’s amazing line-up of dance luminaries. Starting at 7pm, a program of modern dance, contemporary dance and ballet featuring eight companies and 40 performers will take the stage in support of The Actors Fund.


The evening of dance celebrates dancers who have devoted their lives to the wonder of movement and supports an important organization in the arts community, The Actors Fund. Headed by President and CEO Joseph Benincasa, The Actors Fund provides support and services for those in the performing arts and entertainment fields.  The Actors Fund encompasses programs like The Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative and more.  All net proceeds from the evening’s event will go to The Actors Fund.


Honorees for the evening are noted dancers and actresses Chita Rivera (Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Bye Bye Birdie, West Side Story, The Visit, Nine) and Bebe Neuwirth (Chicago, Dancin’, Sweet Charity).  Performances scheduled include a special tribute by Broadway star Stephanie Pope (Chicago, Sweet Charity, Pippin) also the host for the evening, who will perform “All That Jazz” from Chicago, recognizing the roles played by Rivera (Velma) and Neuwirth (Velma, Roxie)  in the musical.  Dance companies on the program are Martha Graham Dance Company, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Rock the Ballet, Amy Marshall Dance Company, Carolyn Dorfman Dance, Eryc Taylor Dance and Pam Tanowitz Dance.  VIP level ticketholders are invited to attend the post-performance cocktail reception and mingle with the stars.


Gunhus, a former Broadway performer, created the first Dancers For Good event in 2016 along with dancer Michael Apuzzo of the Paul Taylor Dance Company as a showcase for some of the most prestigious companies and individuals in the dance world.  Why East Hampton?  “East Hampton was a natural choice with a beautiful theater like Guild Hall,” Gunhus replied. “And we felt The Hamptons was craving a unique event of this nature.  Where else out East can you see a world-class showcase of dance with celebrity hosts and guests and endless cocktails at a charity event to support a vital organization?”  It’s a beautiful setting for a beautiful evening of artistry.  Amen, Eric. I couldn’t agree more.

Guild Hall, 158 Main Street, East Hampton.  Tickets are $150 and $250 (VIP) and can be purchased here.





Thursday, July 12, 2018

Celebrate Bastille Day and the World Cup Final in New York City This Weekend


The Fourth of July is over but we can celebrate another Independence Day with some great restaurant  and entertainment choices in Manhattan. Even better, you can celebrate this “day” for an extended period while partying or dining out a la francaise. 

Bastille Day, July 14, commemorates the fall of the French monarchy and celebrates the storming of the Bastille in Paris in 1789.  

An annual celebration is the fête populaire thrown by the French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF), the largest public celebration of France’s Independence Day in New York France’s historic friendship with the United States. 

The festival, a three-block all-day affair, is popular among New Yorkers of all ages, with French cuisine, music, dance and other family-friendly attractions. 

The Bastille Day celebration takes place on July 15, 2018 on East 60th Street from 5th Avenue to Lexington Avenue, and is a block party extraordinaire. Starting at 11am, there will be a live screening of the World Cup Final, following by a “Summer in the South of France” tasting starting at noon, along with a French-themed market, kids’ corner and musical performances. At 1:30 and 3:30pm, you can toast to everything French with a Champagne and jazz party.  And, if you’re feeling especially lucky, enter to with trips to Paris and Martinique with a prize drawing to be held at 5pm. 

If you’re still hungry, several of the city’s French restaurants including Bar Boulud (with live music, can can dancers and a caricature artist), Claudette and Bar Tabac offer special Bastille Day menus.

Another of my favorites, Paname French Restaurant, is in easy walking distance from the FIAF fete. Paname French Restaurant’s Bastille Day Menu features a three-course prix fixe selection for only $43 per person.  The restaurant, helmed by owner/chef Bernard Ros, is mostly bistro in sensibility, but with a modern eclectic flair.  Here you’ll enjoy an appetizer, a main and dessert with such typically French dishes as escargots, potages de legumes, boudin noir, and steak bordelaise.

Additionally, on July 15 from 10am-8pm, Bar Tabac joins other establishments on Smith Street in Brooklyn for their annual Petanque Tournament and Smith Street Provence Festival. 









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