Photos by Ricardo Garcia
Duck hot dogs, are they crazy? Obviously not and what an idea! Especially if they are garnished with foie gras (goose, ironically) and balsamic vinegar! These were by far the tastiest plates provided by D’Artagnan (although the jerk chicken was good, but too spicy). Located on the 36th floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Columbus Circle, my colleague Dominique-Arabella Lomas and I were forced to sample the delights of the evening. Stumbling upon what seemed to be an endless food and wine frenzy, for a lazy Sunday afternoon, one would have recognized that this was not any ordinary gathering of chefs nor a typical fundraiser.
This was 150 of the world’s top chef’s gathering together (The Great Gathering of Chefs) to help raise money for Action Against Hunger, “an organization dedicated to helping severely malnourished children in 40 countries around the world.” A bit strange when one thinks about it as guests were paying up to $375 ($250 for the first part of the afternoon and $125 for the second) to eat, drink and mingle for an organization that basically will be providing similar assistance in the form of food and water to people. The organization assists malnourished and starving individuals in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo, as an example. These places have real starvation opposed to my fake starvation; skipping breakfast for instance, so one could indulge in a glamorous event like the one we attended.
But later in the evening, I thought perhaps I should have tried to mail a bottle of wine or something to someone who is somewhere perhaps more in need than I (if that is possible.) Essentially, guests were fawning over duck, pork, lobster and a variety of wine for a good cause. Go figure…. It’s hard to make any smart-ass comments on a charity, especially one that is for a good cause and that centers around one my favorite past, present and future leisure activities, eating. My thanks to the event (especially The Odeon for their chocolate ice cream… think I had 3 servings) and Todd Shapiro Associates Public Relations, who invited us to cover the fifth annual gathering. If you would like to donate a bottle of wine, you can email me and I will handle it for you. However, if you would like to donate something more to Action Against Hunger, please email [email protected] or call toll free 1 877 777 1420. I know these people are real and need everyone’s support. (I’m serious about the wine still….)