Nearly fifty legendary chefs gathered on Monday, June 8, 2015 for a remarkable milestone –
Cheftopia: The 30th Annual Chefs’ Tribute to Citymeals-on-Wheels
For this landmark anniversary, Citymeals honored the event’s founding chefs Larry Forgione and Jonathan Waxman who, 30 years ago, conceptualized the inaugural Chefs’ Tribute event as a birthday celebration for chef and Citymeals Co-Founder James Beard. Tonight, chefs celebrated the past while looking to the future as they created dishes inspired by tomorrow’s food trends at tasting stations throughout the Rockefeller Center Plaza. The highly anticipated event raised more than $880,000 to support the preparation and delivery of nutritious meals, hand-delivered to homebound elderly New Yorkers.
Rockefeller Center was transformed into a culinary paradise by renowned architect and Citymeals Board Member David Rockwell. More than 1,200 business leaders, gourmet enthusiasts, food industry trendsetters, socialites, young professionals, chefs and restaurateurs were in attendance for live music, dancing and spectacular cuisine.
Nick Valenti, CEO of Patina Restaurant Group, was the evening’s Grand Host. The event was chaired by Ninah & Michael Lynne; Laura & John Pomerantz; Randi & Dennis Riese; and Lizzie & Jonathan Tisch. 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.
Beth Shapiro, Executive Director of Citymeals-on-Wheels, explained, “When this event was conceived by Chefs Forgione and Waxman, I’m not sure anyone thought we would be standing here three decades later – having raised more than $19,480,000. This annual event is a tribute to James Beard as well as the lifeline he and Co-Founder & Board Chair Gael Greene created for hundreds of thousands of homebound elderly throughout the city. But it’s also a testament to the culinary community and the chefs who have committed themselves to Citymeals over the years. Thank you to all of the chefs here tonight and all those who have cooked at this event in the past and made our most vulnerable neighbors a priority. Tonight, we celebrate you.”
Special guests in attendance included Greene; Alice Waters; Drew Nieporent; Aliyyah Baylor; Aaron & Stephanie Goldman; Alison Lohrfink Zimmel; Roxann & Roger Taylor; Randy & Jay Fishman; Sara Gore; John Harper; Sandy & Cori Goldfarb; and Marcia & Myron Stein.