MOFAD Kicks off Brick-and-Mortar Fundraising Effort With a Star-Studded Benefit


When we checked in with Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) executive director Peter Kim last summer, he and his team were getting ready to debut the project’s very first pop-up exhibition, a working cereal puffing gun that helped illustrate the history of industrialized food in this country. That launched a series of events and add-on projects like Roundtable, which brings together influential thinkers in the food industry to discuss controversial topics.

Nine months later, MOFAD is kicking into higher gear — the organization, which is the brainchild of Booker and Dax’s Dave Arnold, has set a goal to open a brick-and-mortar location by 2019.

“The reason we’re doing [these events] is to open a brick and mortar museum,” says Kim. “So Dave and the board decided to set the goal of opening by 2019. That set a lot of things in motion — we have to move rapidly to do that.”

And that means doing some ambitious fundraising with events like the upcoming May 7 benefit dinner, when some of the city’s top toques will cook dishes inspired by future MOFAD exhibits. Dominique Ansel, for example, will tackle food on the battlefield — “He used to be a cook for the French military,” Kim explains — while Dirt Candy’s Amanda Cohen takes on Korean before the chili. “It’s an interesting approach to the meal,” says Kim. “The thought process behind the dishes was amazing to watch.

The chef line-up also includes Michael Anthony, Franklin Becker, Wylie Dufresne, Sean Gray, Brooks Headley, and Nils Norén, and tickets for the eight-course meal start at a spendy $600 (you can also book a sponsor’s table for a cool ten grand).

In addition to what promises to be an unforgettable meal, though, you’ll also learn the topic of MOFAD’s very first full exhibition, which will be announced the night of the benefit. That exhibition will roll out next year, and Kim says it’s meant to give people a preview of the museum while helping them envision what MOFAD will look like in its own space.

In the meantime, look for more puffing gun stops this summer as wells as another Rountable event on GMOs, which descends on the Wythe Hotel on April 27 as part of the Food Book Fair. Tickets for that event are $15.