Thursday, April 23, 2009

First City Harvest, then narcissism

April 23

Yesterday was my birthday, so it seems like a good moment to be briefly narcissistic. I would have been narcissistic last night, but instead I attended a fundraiser for City Harvest, a very nice organization that tries to feed New York's growing ranks of hungry people. Since I am the opposite of hungry, navel-gazing was simply out of the question.
My boss, Pam Parseghian, and I were last-minute guests at the American Express table. Some people find it undignified to be invited to events at the last minute, but as American Express' restaurant liaison, the always dapper Hans Lindh, pointed out, NRN and American Express have a good relationship.
Besides, it’s not exactly a hardship to sit with good company (Hans, a couple of editors from Food & Wine — which as you might know is owned by American Express — and other good people, including perhaps the greatest publicist on earth, Daniel Boulud’s own Georgette Farkas) and be moved by speeches and videos about feeding hungry people.
In the picture above and on the right, which Pam took, are (left to right) Food & Wine editor-in-chief Dana Cowin with Hans and Georgette.
New York is in the grips of the worst recession in memory, but the attendees of the dinner seemed to be doing all right. One of them bid $45,000 for a dinner for 26 people to be cooked by Eric Ripert in their home. When auctioneer George McNeely and the recently crowned Miss USA, Kristen Dalton from North Carolina, asked people to raise a hand if they wanted to give $500 to City Harvest’s Drivers Fund, for the people who deliver the food, 55 people raised their hands. That was more than 10 percent of the audience, and of course it means they raised $27,500, just like that. Those are the drivers, above and to the left. Pam took that picture, too.
here’s a link to some more pictures of the event.
Here’s another link,
and here’s a third one.

Okay, and now a little narcissism, in the form of my next poll.
Food Writer’s Diary readers were not too excited about my last poll, asking them what the biggest trend was in Spanish cuisine in the United States, but the results were conclusive:

Ingredients from Spain 0 (0%)
Peasant cooking 1 (9%)
Molecular gastronomy (Ferran Adrià and others) 0 (0%)
Tapas 9 (81%)
Traditional dishes 1 (9%

So let’s talk about me, or more accurately, my blog. My next question is, which type of Food Writer’s Diary entries do you prefer most?
Obviously, comments are welcome below as well.


Recipes For Restaurateurs said...

Happy Birthday Brett!

My best-Linda Duke

Shane Curcuru said...

Happy Birthday! Please, feel free to narcissize away; you're still a good writer so it's fun to read.

I saw this item in your old home-town paper you might be interested in. Apparently Tufts has some researchers doing hands-on "ethnographic" research about the economy in the coffeeshops of Davis.