The American Cancer Society hosted its 11th annual Taste of Hope event on Wednesday, May 25th, 2016 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City. The prominent culinary, wine, and spirits event featured some of New York’s most popular restaurants, chefs and beverage vendors. Guests enjoyed a walk-around tasting where they had the chance to sample trademark dishes, premier wines and spirits, and inventive cocktails.
Participating restaurants and chefs included cancer survivors Eric LeVine of Morris Tap & Grill and Chef Antonio Prontelli of Rock Center Café. Dishes served ranged from savory delicacies such as Fish Tacos from Almond, Mini Pulled Pork Sliders from Dinosaur Bar-B-QUE and Watermelon Gazpacho with Lobster Salad from La Fonda Del Sol to the sweet Southern Style Cupcakes from Doc’s Cake Shop and Banana Pudding from Magnolia Bakery.
Restaurant and beverage participants included: AG Kitchen, Alidoro, Almond, BLT Prime, Calle Ocho, Fresco By Scotto, La Fonda Del Sol, Luke’s Lobster, Magnolia Bakery, Nobu New York, Rock Center Café, STK Downtown, Todd English, Triomphe, Voilà Chocolat and many more. Approximately 50 participating restaurants and beverage sponsors were represented at the event.
Now in its 11th year, the event is presented annually by the American Cancer Society and the Taste of Hope volunteer committee and has raised over $1.5 Million to support the American Cancer Society’s mission and goal of eliminating cancer as a major health problem. The Society is currently investing more than $450 million in over 50 types of cancer research, with 103 new extramural grants that will go into effect this July. Like previous years, the event gathered over 800 affluent epicureans and philanthropists from the New York Metro area. This year’s event was hosted by event chairs Mark D. Friedman & Jamie Koff and the 2016 Taste of Hope Volunteer Committee. The event raised over $200,000. American Cancer Society are still accepting donations via their website www.tasteofhopenyc.org.
An hour into the event, event chairs Mark D. Friedman & Jamie Koff took to the stage to introduce the 2016 event host Chris Wragge as well as this year’s honorees David Burke, Drew Nieporent and Jean Shafiroff. Friedman thanked the guests and honorees for coming and for their generous donations to the American Cancer Society and its work. Koff continued on to thank the event committee for all their hard work and dedication to the ACS mission.
The next person to take the microphone was CBS news anchor Chris Wragge and actor Richard Kind. Wragge started off mentioning the event’s great food, great drinks and great desserts, before asking who in the room had been affected by cancer in some way. Many hands were raised – showing just how all-affecting cancer is. Wragge encouraged everyone to help raise money for a cure, and mentioned that it was his fifth appearance at this important annual event.
Next, a video of the three honorees was displayed, following which the first honoree, David Burke, took to the stage. Culinary Honoree and award-winning celebrity chef David Burke, thanked guests and volunteers for making this event possible and the committee for being chosen as an honoree. Actor Richard Kind then stepped on to hand Burke an all clad sauté pan, inscribed with the Taste of Hope logo, jokingly noting that “you may not want to get panned, but tonight you will”, placing the pan on top of Burke’s head.
The next honoree to make an announcement was Corporate Honoree and Owner of Myriad Restaurant Group Drew Nieporent, who as Burke, thanked everyone for attending the event and mentioned how close to his heart the cause is, having lost his mother to cancer in 2000. Also Nieporent received a sauté pan from Kind, before introducing Jean Shafiroff.
Philanthropic Honoree and Author Jean Shafiroff thanked her fellow honorees, the American Cancer Society and all the volunteers who helped make the event possible. She pointed out the tremendous difference the ACS Hope Lodge makes in recovering cancer patients’ lives and how vital funding is to allow more research and resources for people struggling with cancer.
Concluding the announcements, Wragge and Kind took to the stage again to challenge the guests to donate $5,000 in 5 minutes. The live fundraising raised $8,000 in the next five minutes – contributing to the American Cancer Society’s mission to beat and treat cancer.
The event also featured a silent auction where guests bid on selected items exclusively offered to Taste of Hope. Highlights from the silent auction included: an exclusive Hamilton theater package, a Fiddler on the Roof theatre package, a Martha Stewart cooking kit, a Knicks pre-game ballkid experience and a golf tutorial by a PGA Tour superstar instructor.
Corporate sponsors of the event were Allstate, Don Q Rum, Eurostruct Inc, Freshdirect, Gentle Giant, Halstead Property, Sabert, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, UHY LLP, Umenoyado, Vinitaly International and Wine Spectator.
Photo Credit: Patrick McMullan/Lenny Stucker (see individual images)
About Honoree David Burke:
Blurring the lines between chef, artist, entrepreneur and inventor, world-renowned chef David Burke is one of the leading pioneers in American cooking today. His fascination with ingredients and the art of the meal has fueled a thirty-year career marked by creativity, critical acclaim and the introduction of revolutionary products and cooking techniques.
Burke’s innovations and revolutionizing techniques appear on menus all over the world, including Pastrami Salmon (now available through Acme Smoked Fish), flavored oils and tuna tartare, GourmetPops, ready-to-serve cheesecake lollipops. Additionally, Burke is actively involved with culinology, an approach to food that blends the culinary arts and food technology. In 2011, Burke received the ultimate honor presented to inventors: a United States patent. It was awarded to him for the unique process by which he uses pink Himalayan salt to dry-age his steaks for up to 100 days and led to the citing of David Burke’s Primehouse in Chicago as the number one steakhouse in Chicago and the United States.
Over the years, Chef Burke has become one of the most recognized chefs on television, including appearances on two seasons of Top Chef Masters, a guest spot on the Every Day with Rachael Ray show, NBC’s TODAY Show, Bloomberg’s small-business television series The Mentor, and more. In addition, Burke has published two cookbooks, Cooking With David Burke (1999) and David Burke’s New American Classics (2006) co-written by Judith Choate.
About Honoree Drew Nieporent:
Drew Nieporent is the founder of the famed Myriad Restaurant Group. Over the last 30 years, he has opened 36 acclaimed restaurants, including Tribeca Grill, Nobu New York, Nobu Fifty Seven, Nobu London, Nobu Next Door, Citi Field’s Acela Club and Madison Square Garden’s Daily Burger, as well as Crush Wine & Spirits. His latest restaurant, Bâtard, earned three-star ratings from The New York Times and New York Magazine, a coveted Michelin star (2014 and 2015), and the James Beard Foundation award for Best New Restaurant.
Drew has received James Beard awards for Outstanding Restaurateur (2009) and Humanitarian of the Year (2000). He is involved with dozens of charities including Citymeals on Wheels, Garden of Dreams, Food Allergy Research & Education and DIFFA.
About Honoree Jean Shafiroff:
Jean Shafiroff, philanthropist and humanitarian, is considered to be at the vanguard of a new movement of modern philanthropists. Jean’s philanthropy goes beyond financial contributions and includes the gifts of extensive time and knowledge. Through her work she encourages and seeks to empower all individuals to become philanthropists so that they can build the fulfillment of giving into their lives. Jean Shafiroff is the author of Successful Philanthropy: How To Make a Life by What You Give, a practical guide to modern giving that redefines philanthropy for today’s era.
A volunteer fundraiser, leader and spokesperson for several charitable causes, the spectrum of Jean’s philanthropic work includes improving the lives of underserved populations, women’s rights and well-being, health care, animal welfare and resources for children in need, in addition to other causes. Jean serves on the boards of New York City Mission Society, New York Women’s Foundation, French Heritage Society, Couture Council (Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology), Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services (20+ years), Southampton Animal Shelter Honorary Board, and Southampton Bath & Tennis Club’s Charitable Foundation. Widely recognized for her philanthropic work, Jean has been recognized and featured in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Gotham Magazine, The New York Times, New York Social Diary, Avenue, Hamptons Magazine, and The Huffington Post, among others.
Jean works closely with the multiple causes she supports. Each year she chairs numerous galas and hosts events benefiting numerous not-for-profit organizations. She is particularly well-known for her leadership in raising money for many charities, including the Southampton Hospital, New York City Mission Society, New York Women’s Foundation and Southampton Animal Shelter. Jean has been honored by several organizations including the New York City Mission Society, Youth Counseling League, Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, Surgeons of Hope, the Ellen Hermanson Foundation, Pet Philanthropy Circle, and Animal Zone International.
Jean holds an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University and a BS in physical therapy from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She has worked both in public finance and private partnerships on Wall Street. Prior to that, she was a physical therapist at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York City. Jean is married to Martin Shafiroff, an investment advisor, and together they have two daughters, Jacqueline and Elizabeth, who share their mother’s interest in charitable causes. Jean and her family reside in both New York City and Southampton, NY.
Successful Philanthropy [Hatherleigh Press/Penguin Random House] is available to order in Hardcover and E-Reader on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Indiebound. The book is also available for purchase wherever books are sold.
About Taste of Hope and The American Cancer Society:
Taste of Hope, American Cancer Society’s signature culinary, wine and spirit tasting soirée continues to shine as one of Spring’s top events in New York. Since inception, Taste of Hope has raised more than $1.5 million to support the American Cancer Society’s mission and goal of eliminating cancer as a major health problem. On the evening of Wednesday, May 25th, 2016 the 11th annual Taste of Hope will take place at Metropolitan Pavilion (125 West 18th Street), the evening will be filled with bites from more than 50 restaurants and sips from leading winemakers and spirit brands. VIP tickets with early entry at 6:00pm are $275 and tickets for general admission at 7:00pm are $200 – on sale now at www.tasteofhopenyc.org
For over 100 years, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has worked relentlessly to save lives and create a world with less cancer. Together with millions of their supporters worldwide, ACS help people stay well and get well, find cures, and fight back against cancer. The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, the ACS has regional and local offices throughout the country that support 11 geographical Divisions to ensure they have a presence in every community. For more information about American Cancer Society, visit http://www.cancer.org/