Art of Cooking 2016 — An Amazing Success

By November 16, 2016Blog, Events, In the City

At this year’s Art of Cooking benefit dinner on November 2nd, over 240 supporters of The Sylvia Center gathered together at Bohemian National Hall in NYC for a lively evening of delicious food, generosity, and celebration. Over the course of the night, we honored and celebrated our students, program partners, and leading supporters, for all they are doing to advance our mission of inspiring young people to become healthy eaters and advocates for good food in their own communities.

The evening began with guests sipping cocktails, milling around tables, and browsing silent auction items ranging from exclusive coffee packages and dining destinations to priceless experiences. Around the perimeter of the room, our students enthusiastically worked together to assemble and serve hors d’oeuvres inspired by family recipes that they developed with the help of Chef Sam Pagan, our NYC Program Manager. Each dish, from Quesadillas de Finca with Cauliflower and Kale to Jeera Purses with Seasonal Vegetables and Duck, capitalized on the complex flavors of tradition, in bite-sized portions. Their creativity and enthusiasm for trying and sharing new flavors was impossible to miss and a joy to see.  

After cocktail hour, guests made their way to dinner in the grand ballroom, a lofty yet warm space decorated with ornate ironwork and artful centerpieces featuring dark hued flowers and autumnal foliage. Liz Neumark, founder of The Sylvia Center, shared her thoughts about growing a community of healthy eaters.

Family honorees, Barbara Marcus and Michael Pollack, spoke movingly about their commitment to philanthropy and giving back to communities as a family tradition, spanning four generations — from Barbara’s grandfather and Michael and Barbara’s parents, to their daughters Ava and Lucy (Co-Chair of the Farm Team, TSC’s young professionals council). Andrea Mata of the New York City Housing Authority was honored for her longstanding contributions to TSC’s Cooks for Health program, which is now active in ten New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) community centers serving all five boroughs of NYC.

sc_aoc_adg_photography_11_16-296Chef Michael White designed a delicious menu for all the guests to enjoy, and then he stepped onstage with auctioneer Eliza Osborne to auction off a Dinner for Eight that he will cook personally in the winner’s home -— and in the end we sold the dinner twice!

Guests listened attentively while Henry Ruiz, graduate of TSC’s Teen Culinary Apprenticeship program and a senior at the Bushwick Leaders High School for Academic Excellence, reflected on his adventures in the kitchen and in the classroom — from learning how to braise and make spicy samosas with carrots and kale, to teaching healthy cooking to younger, energetic kids in his own community. He also shared his new motto, gained during his own apprenticeship: “Try and experience new things; you never know where they’ll take you.”

Every year, with the generous support of so many, we raise more money and bring the joy of healthy cooking and eating to an increasing number of youth, teens, and families in New York City and Columbia County. This year, we raised over $500,000, exceeding our financial goals and setting the stage for an exciting new phase of impact for our programs in 2017.

We send heartfelt thanks to our co-chairs, benefit committee, board, corporate and individual sponsors, attendees, and especially our hard-working students, for making this lively and delicious evening a tremendous success. Please enjoy the many photos of the event below, and our new video, which debuted at the gala, “Now We’re Cooking”. Click here to view the gala program. 

2016 SPONSORS

aoc-sponsor-banner

Altamarea Group
Brooklyn Roasting Company
Great Performances
Penguin Random House
Random House Children’s Books
S’well

2016 CO-CHAIRS
Cindy & David Edelson
Nina P. Freedman & Michael Rosenbaum
Trudy Elbaum Gottesman & Robert Gottesman
Amy Todd Middleton & Curt Middleton
Liz Neumark & Chaim Wachsberger

2016 BENEFIT COMMITTEE
Courtney Archer-Buckmire
Jody and John Arnhold
Virginia Bayer and Robert Hirt
Amy Berkower and Dan Weiss
Ronnie Davis
Amy and Roger Faxon
Karen Freedman and Roger Weisberg
Susan Freedman and Richard Jacobs
Deborah and Ralph Gardner
Tara and Joseph Gendelman
Janet and Howard Ginsburg
Eve Goldberg and Neil Wallin
Catherine Rocco Goodwin
Molly Middleton Green and Frank Green
Lara and Doug Holtz
Jenny Sharfstein Kane and Andrew Kane
Lois Kohn-Claar and Gary Claar
Jennifer Kurland and Tom Bussey
Stacey and Curtis Lane
Frances Winston Levy and Jack Levy
Dodi Meyer, MD
Scott Millstein and Jae Lee
Janet and Tom Montag
Lori and David Moore
Abigail Pogrebin and David Shapiro
Anne F. Pollack
Heidi and Richard Rieger
Rebecca and Arthur Samberg
Mindy Schneider and Michael Lesser
Ewi and Jake Shafran
Emily and Steven Steinman
Peggy and David Tanner
Erica and Steven Tishman
Pierre Weber
Lise and Jeffrey Wilks
Katie Workman and Gary Freilich

FARM TEAM CO-CHAIRS
Courtney Archer-Buckmire
Lucy Pollack

SAGE SPONSOR
Trudy Elbaum Gottesman and Robert Gottesman

ROSEMARY SPONSOR
Nancy and Fred Poses

THYME SPONSOR
Bloomberg Philanthropies
Brooklyn Roasting Company
Cindy and David Edelson
FOODMatch
Karen Freedman and Roger Weisberg
Nina Freedman and Michael Rosenbaum
Susan Freedman and Richard Jacobs
Tara and Joseph Gendelman
Barbara Marcus and Michael Pollack
Liz Neumark and Chaim Wachsberger
Penguin Random House
Anne F. Pollack
Random House Children’s Books
Joanne and Fred Wilson  

FRUIT TICKET
Citi
Frances Winston Levy and Jack Levy
Abigail Pogrebin and David Shapiro
Tracy Chutorian Semler and Eric Semler
Peggy and David Tanner
Pierre Weber

FLOWER TICKET
Ulrika and Joel Citron
John Flippen and Christopher Swope
Lois Kohn-Claar and Gary Claar
Jenny Sharfstein Kane and Andrew Kane
David Kramer
Jennifer Kurland and and Tom Bussey
Stacey and Curtis Lane
Valery and Joseph Levy
Janet and Tom Montag
Lori and David Moore
Jill and Mark Rachesky
Heidi and Richard Rieger
Mindy Schneider and Michael Lesser
Emily and Steven Steinman
Erica and Steven Tishman
Lise and Jeffrey Wilks
Vivian and Jim Zelter

DONORS
Anonymous
Jody and John Arnhold
Carole Balin and Michael Gertzman
Lori and Harley Bassman
Virginia Bayer and Robert Hirt
BNY Mellon
Susan Cahn and Mario Batali
Clyde Frazier’s Wine and Dine/Ark Corp.
Eve Goldberg and Neil Wallin
Dorian Goldman and Marvin Israelow
Katja Goldman
Cheryl L. Henson
Yonatan Israel and Ronit Muszkatblit
Stacey and Curtis Lane
Frances Winston Levy and Jack Levy
Kevin and Lynnette McCollum
Seth Merrin
Pierre’s of Bridgehampton
The Purjes Foundation
Rebecca and Arthur Samberg
Connie and John Sargent
Shawn Warren

AUCTION DONORS
Altamarea Group
Brooklyn Academy of Music
Brooklyn Museum
Brooklyn Roasting Company
CPS Events at the Plaza
Delaware North
Domenico Valentino Selections
Cindy and David Edelson
FOODMatch
Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival
Nina Freedman
Ralph Gardner
goop/Jean Godfrey-June
Great Performances
Harlem Jazz Enterprises
Jazz at Lincoln Center
Joto Sake
Katchkie Farm
Kings County Wines
Kristi King
Chef Dan Kluger/Loring Place
Loews Hotels and Resorts
Barbara Marcus
Maiyet
Murray’s Cheese
NBC Entertainment
Penguin Random House
PERLA Cafe
Michael Pollack
Quality House Wines & Spirits
Restaurant Agern
SoulCycle
Tory Burch
Charles Grantham Walster
Scott Wiener
William Goldberg Diamond
Workman Publishing

SPECIAL THANKS
Amador Acosta
Danica Andler
Bastille Flowers
Eliza Osborne
Great Performances
Terri Lee
Leyla Moore
Juliette Lys Shulman
Party Rental
Chef Mark Russell
Emily Schreiber
S’well Bottles
Kaitlin Walsh
The Great Performances Culinary, Design and Event Teams