Host Al Roker goes green with the City Harvest bike-mobile
The stars came out last night to support City Harvest’s 16th-annual fund-raiser, dubbed “An Evening of Practical Magic.” Hosted by NBC’s Al Roker, the dinner and live auction at Cipriani Dolci drew biggie food celebs like Le Bernardin's Eric Ripert (who co-chaired the event), Rachael Ray, Donatella Arpaia and Francois Payard.
Between bites of wild mushroom tarts and melon-prosciutto hors d’oeuvres, chefs schmoozed with each other (“Oh! I just love your beautiful, colorful back!” cooed Rachael Ray to the heavily tattooed wife of Stanton Social’s Chris Santos) and discussed the importance of City Harvest’s anti-hunger campaign. “I’m here to give back, said the ever-suave Ripert. "There are people right here in this city who can’t afford to feed their family. City Harvest has a great mission and I’m glad to be a part of the organization,” he added, before disappearing to the bar for another Scotch.
Guests bid on auction prizes like private dinners at Colicchio & Sons, Nobu and Blue Hill, plus bottles of “Cult Wine Classics” from Quintessa. After a dinner of spinach cannelloni and rack of lamb, the mood was reflective. "Food is my life, but it's still sustenance," said Arpaia. "No one should be left hungry." And with a whopping $1.3 million raised at the event, City Harvest indeed proved its magic.
By Jamie Feldmar; photos by Natasha Ryan