Citymeals on Wheels: Food for thought

Nick Valenti, Beth Shapiro, and Robert S. Grimes with over 40 chefs who took part in the 34th Annual Chef’s Tribute to Citymeals on Wheels.

Catch-up. On June 10, 2019, 47 chefs came together for The 34th Annual Chefs’ Tribute to Citymeals on Wheels, The Butcher, The Baker, The Cocktail Shaker: Celebrating Culinary Collaborations. 100% of funds raised will support the preparation and delivery of meals for homebound elderly New Yorkers by Citymeals – the city’s only nonprofit providing home-delivered meals to the frail aged in all five boroughs. This year’s event raised nearly $800,000 to deliver over 108,000 meals.

Since its founding in 1981, Citymeals on Wheels has delivered nearly 60 million meals throughout the five boroughs. Each year, the organization prepares and delivers over 2 million weekend, holiday and emergency meals for over 18,000 homebound elderly New Yorkers. For our vulnerable neighbors, a Citymeals’ deliverer may be the only person they see on a regular basis.

Chefs Daniel Boulud and Dieter Samijn (Bar Boulud, New York, NY) prepared Moules à la Belge.

Chef Jared Braithwaite (Colonie, Brooklyn, NY) prepared Mushroom “Pâté” with Meyer Lemon and Shiso on Brioche.

The event, hosted by Patina Restaurant Group at Rockefeller Center, was attended by 900 guests – business leaders, culinary insiders, foodies, and young professionals – who enjoyed an 11-piece band, a folk artist playing the musical saw and other acts throughout the night, provided by Noah Bless Music.

Some of the evening’s stellar dishes included: Moules à la Belge from Chefs Daniel Boulud and Dieter Samijn; Blue Moon Ceviche with Tama’s Foraged Flavors & Lindsey’s Sourdough Crackers from Chef Marc Forgione; Beef Tartare with Marcona Almond Gremolata & Spanish Anchovy from Chef Angie Mar; Bietola & Burrata with Warm Walnut Vinaigrette & Crispy Shallots from Chef Karen Akunowicz; Hamachi Crudo with Citrus Olivada from Chefs Michael White and Cesar Guadarrama; 60 Day Cabernet-Aged Beef Tartare with Cherry from Chef Chris Cosentino; Pheasant Boudin Blanc with Crushed Zucchini from Chef Thomas Boemer; Sheep’s Milk Ricotta Tortellini with Morel Mushrooms, Spring Vegetables & Pecorino Toscano from Chef Alfred Portale; and Uruguayan Rustic Carpaccio with Fried Capers, Dijon, Sprouts & Grana Padano from Chef Lucía Soria.

Chef Joachim Splichal (Patina Restaurant Group, Los Angeles, CA) served Scallop Sashimi with Seaweed Dressing.

Chef Shea Gallante (Lincoln Ristorante, New York, NY) prepared Octopus Bomboloni with Whipped Lardo, Pepperonata & Fennel.

Chef Antonio Prontelli (Rock Center Café, New York, NY) prepared Grilled Baby Artichokes with House-made Goat’s Milk Ricotta, Wild Ramp Pesto & Grilled Pane de Campagna.

Co-Founders of the event, Chefs Jonathan Waxman (Jams, New York) and Larry Forgione (Restaurant Davide in New York, New York) participated, alongside notable chefs from across the country including: Alfred Portale (Gotham Bar & Grill, New York), Angie Mar (The Beatrice Inn, New York), Anthony Andiario (Andiario, West Chester, PA), Carolina Perego (Citarella Gourmet Markets, New York), Charlie Palmer and Christopher Engel (Aureole, New York), Chris Cosentino (Cockscomb, San Francisco), Christina N. Towers (Café Centro, New York), Daniel Boulud and Dieter Samijn (Bar Boulud, New York), David Buico and Antonio Prontelli (Rock Center Café, New York), Francis Guzmán (Vianda, San Juan), Jared Braithwaite (Colonie, Brooklyn), Jarett Appell and Silvana Vivoli (Stella 34, New York and Vivoli Gelateria, Florence, Italy), Jesse Schumann and Kit Schumann (Sea Wolf Bakers, Seattle), Joachim Splichal (Patina Restaurant Group, Los Angeles), Joe Gurrera(Citarella Gourmet Markets, New York), Jonah Miller (Huertas, New York), Karen Akunowicz (Fox & the Knife, Boston), Kate Williams (Lady of the House, Detroit),Kevin Fink (Emmer & Rye, Austin), Louis Bayla and Kevin Woods (Little Park, New York), Lucía Soria (Jacinto Restaurant, Montevideo, Uruguay), Marc Forgione(Restaurant Marc Forgione, New York), Matt Hoyle (Nobu Fifty Seven, New York), Mathew Woolf (Rainbow Room, New York), Michael Gabriel (The Sea Grill, New York), Michael Gallina (Vicia, St. Louis), Michael White and Cesar Guadarrama (Ristorante Morini, New York), Michelle Silberman (Snackadabra: Food Magic, Philadelphia), Morgan Jarrett (Yellow Magnolia Café, Brooklyn), Priscilla Yeh (STATE Grill, New York), Richard Capizzi and Shea Gallante (Lincoln Ristorante, New York), Thomas Boemer (In Bloom, St. Paul), Yuhi Fujinaga and Masaharu Morimoto (Morimoto Asia, Lake Buena Vista, Florida), and Zak Pelaccio and Kevin Pomplun (Fish & Game and BackBar, Hudson, New York).

Chefs Michael White and Cesar Guadarrama (Ristorante Morini, New York, NY) served Hamachi Crudo with Citrus Olivada.

Blue Moon Ceviche with Tama’s Foraged Flavors & Lindsey’s Sourdough Crackers from Chef Marc Forgione (Restaurant Marc Forgione, New York, NY).

With the help of Beverage Chairs Audrey Saunders (Owner, Pegu Club) and Daniel Johnnes (Wine Director, The Dinex Group), fine wines and artisanal cocktails were poured by leading sommeliers and mixologists to accompany the lavish tasting.

The evening’s Grand Host was Nick Valenti, CEO of Patina Restaurant Group, and the event was co-chaired by Sabrina and Byron AthansBeverly and Dan BartfeldAlison Lohrfink BloodJoseph M. CohenLaura and John Pomerantz, and Randi and Dennis Riese.

Event guests included Board Co-President Robert S. Grimes, as well as Derek Blasberg and Nick BrownSamantha Boardman, M.D.Randy FishmanColleen GogginsYusi GurreraSuri Kasirer and Bruce TeitelbaumLiz NeumarkDrew NieporentLisa RosenblumDanielle and Randy SmithGalia and Axel StawskiKathleen TurnerTeri Volpert, and Dasha Zhukova.

Polenta “Crostini” with Tonjes Farm Mozarella, Heirloom Strawberries, Sweet Peas, Prosciutto Crisp & Mosto Cotto from Chef Larry Forgione (Restaurant Davide, New York, NY).

Savory Carrot Tart with Spicy Dates & Cumin Yogurt from Chef Francis Guzmán (Vianda, San Juan, PR).

Event sponsors included Citymeals’ Official Airline American Airlines, Official Water FIJI Water and First Republic Bank. Beverage sponsors included Belvedere Vodka, Courvoisier Cognac, Plantation Rum, Seedlip Drinks and Sipsmith Gin.

Citymeals on Wheels ( provides a continuous lifeline of nourishing meals and vital companionship to New York City’s homebound elderly. Working in partnership with community-based organizations and senior centers, Citymeals prepares and delivers over 2 million weekend, holiday and emergency meals for more than 18,000 of our frail aged neighbors each year. Last year, nearly 25,000 individuals volunteered over 80,000 hours of their time to Citymeals’ mission.

Citymeals Executive Director Beth Shapiro with Board Members Suri Kasirer and Lisa Rosenblum.

Chef Jonathan Waxman with Citymeals Board Co-President Robert S. Grimes.

Chefs Jarett Appell & Silvana Vivoli (Stella 34 & Vivoli Gelateria, New York, NY & Florence, Italy) served Campanelle alla Puttanesca and Gelato di Risotto ai Pinoli.

Chefs Joachim Splichal (Patina Restaurant Group, Los Angeles, CA) and Masaharu Morimoto (Morimoto Asia, Lake Buena Vista, FL).

Event Co-Chairs Sabrina and Byron Athans.

Citymeals Board Co-President Daniel Boulud and Citymeals Board Member Kathleen Turner.

Event Beverage Chair Daniel Johnnes (Wine Director, The Dinex Group), Katherine Boulud, and Anne Bisbano.

Citymeals Board Member Samantha Boardman, M.D.

L. to r.: Chefs Ginger Pierce and Jonathan Waxman (Jams, New York, NY) served Roasted Duck Lettuce Cup; Chef Larry Forgione (Restaurant Davide, New York, NY) prepared Polenta “Crostini” with Tonjes Farm Mozarella, Heirloom Strawberries, Sweet Peas, Prosciutto.

Chef Karen Akunowicz (Fox & the Knife, Boston, MA) served Bietola & Burrata with Warm Walnut Vinaigrette & Crispy Shallots.

Chef Morgan Jarrett (Yellow Magnolia Café, Brooklyn, NY) served BBG Lily Pond Salad with Charred Onion & Kelp Soubise, Spruce Tips, Nasturtium, Pitaya Fox Nuts & Enoki Mushroom Sticks.

Chefs Louis Bayla and Kevin Woods (Little Park, New York, NY) served Oysters & Market Crudité, Oysters with a Mushroom Mignonette, Roasted Oysters with Ramp & Bacon Butter.

Chef Lucía Soria (Jacinto Restaurant, Montevideo, Uruguay) prepared Uruguayan Rustic Tenderloin Carpaccio with Fried Capers, Dijon, Sprouts & Grana Padano.

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