Citymeals-on-Wheels’ Delicious Celebration Of Its 30th Annual Chefs’ Tribute at Rockefeller Center

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Top left: Citymeals’ Board Co-President Daniel Boulud, Andrew Dornenburg, Karen Page, and Jacques Torres; Top right: Aaron Bludorn and his Cafe Boulud teammates Lindsay and Mary; Bottom left: Karen Page and Tom Valenti; Bottom right: Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s irresistible vegetable risotto


Rockefeller Center’s Prometheus proved to be an avid photo bomber, jumping into countless shots at last night’s Chefs’ Tribute


Left: Emcee Sara Gore introduces Citymeals’ co-founder Gael Greene; Right: Hasty Torres, Daniel Boulud, Karen Page, Jacques Torres, and Citymeals’ Executive Director Beth Shapiro


Top left: Black truffles shaved with abandon on passed hors d’oeuvres; Top right: Alfred Portale of Gotham Bar & Grill; Center: Paper plate art renditions of Morimoto and Payard; Bottom left: Fernanda Capobianco and Francois Payard; Bottom right: Andrew Dornenburg and BATARD’s Markus Glocker


Top left: Karen Page and Jacques Torres; Top right: Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton and Greg Denton of OX in Portland; Bottom left: Andrew Dornenburg with Maximum Wines’ Fred Price; Bottom right: Morimoto’s spicy cold ramen noodles


Top left: Chefs line up for their annual group photo; Top right: Karen Page and Bill Telepan; Center: Lovely greeters were a welcoming presence; Bottom left: Philadelphia’s Fork Restaurant’s Sunflower Seed Risotto; Bottom right: Barbuto’s Spring Vegetable Salad this way


Top left: Karen Page, Marcia Stein, and Myron Stein; Upper right: Beth Shapiro and Karen Page; Bottom left: Andrew Dornenburg and Hasty Torres; Bottom right: Bill Telepan’s Carrot Pasta with Brown Butter and Sunflower Seeds


Top left: Karen Page with Audrey Saunders; Top right: Markus Glocker and Karen Page; Center: Beth Shapiro and Karen Page; Bottom left: Octavio Becerra of STATE Grill & Bar; Bottom right: Alfred Portale’s deliciousness

Talk about a win-win:  Our attending one of the most delicious (and deliciously fun!) parties of the year last night helped to raise more than $870,000 to prepare and deliver nutritious meals to New York’s homebound elderly.

Dozens of renowned chefs gathered at Rockefeller Center for the 30th Annual Chefs’ Tribute to Citymeals-on-Wheels. Dubbed #Cheftopia, this landmark Big 3-0 anniversary honored founding chefs Larry Forgione and Jonathan Waxman, who first conceived of the event as a birthday party for James Beard.  With their fellow celebrated chefs, the pair toasted the past while anticipating the future by creating dishes inspired by tomorrow’s food trends — with a notable and warmly welcomed offering of many delicious, sustainable, plant-based dishes.

This year’s participating chefs included a range of old timers and new faces, many of whom we relished speaking with throughout the course of the evening:  Matthew Accarrino, Jarett Appell & Stefanie Morgado, Sebastien Archambault, Jimmy Bannos, Jr. (of Chicago’s Purple Pig, and who was last month named the 2015 James Beard Rising Star Chef), Eric Basulto, Octavio Becerra (of NYC’s STATE Grill & Bar, whose Early Summer Tartine featured some of the first garlic snapes of the year from yesterday morning’s Union Square Greenmarket), Matteo Bergamini, Daniel Boulud & Aaron Bludorn (of NYC’s Cafe Boulud), Antonio Prontelli & Juan Branez, Jonathan Benno & Richard Capizzi, Scott Conant, Greg Denton & Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton (of Portland’s Ox, which served another of our favorite dishes of the night: eggplant “sausage”), Richard Diamonte, Larry Forgione, Marc Forgione, Yuhi Fujinaga & Michael Gabriel, Markus Glocker (of NYC’s Batard, which last month won the 2015 James Beard Foundation Award for Best New Restaurant), Craig Koketsu, Eli Kulp (of Philadelphia’s Fork, which wowed us with its Sunflower Risotto with Shaved Button Mushrooms), Barbara Lynch, Nobu Matsuhisa, Masaharu Morimoto (whose Morimoto team couldn’t have been nicer about our request for his wonderful cold spicy ramen noodles without pork), Rob Newton, Nancy Oakes, Charlie Palmer, Daniel Patterson (of San Francisco’s Coi, who last month created our favorite dish at the 2015 James Beard Awards), Francois Payard (of NYC’s Payard Patisserie, who thrilled the macaron fans in attendance), Alfred Portale (who served an exquisite Organic Heirloom Vegetable Ceviche), Stephan Pyles, Thomas Raquel, Jimmy Schmidt, Joachim Splichal, Cara Stadler, Bill Telepan (of NYC’s Telepan, who served us our first great taste of the night: Carrot Pasta with Brown Butter and Sunflower Seeds), Jacques Torres (who thrilled the chocolate fans in attendance), Silvana Vivoli, Jean-Georges Vongerichten (who won our, and many others’, votes for best dish of the night with his fresh pea risotto), Jonathan Waxman, and Bill Yosses (the former White House pastry chef).

Beverage chair Audrey Saunders (who owns the Pegu Club) and wine chair Daniel Johnnes (wine director of Daniel Boulud’s Dinex Group) arranged for an array of cocktails and wine to complement the chefs’ dishes, not to mention toast the end of a wonderful evening, as we were happy to have the great pleasure of doing with Audrey Saunders (aka Mrs. Robert Hess) herself shortly before making our way home.


Citymeals-on-Wheels is at 355 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10017.  Phone:  212.687.1234.  Website:

Please consider donating today — and know that 100% of your donation is used for the preparation and delivery of meals to the homebound elderly.  Just $39 will provide six weekend meals for a senior shut-in, and it only takes a couple of minutes to donate online here.

#Cheftopia Sponsors:


Bringing the Creative Process to Light

During the event, we spoke briefly with Chef Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton of Portland (OR)’s Ox Restaurant, asking how they came up with the delicious eggplant chorizo dish they served at Citymeals’ 30th Annual Chefs’ Tribute:

Gabrielle’s husband Chef Greg Denton of Portland (OR)’s Ox Restaurant told us that THE FLAVOR BIBLE was an invaluable reference in their kitchen:

Categorized: New York City