On Monday, April 28, 75 of the city’s best chefs and bartenders will be cooking up a school-day themed, pro-bono feast at 82 Mercer in an effort to end childhood hunger.
Co-chaired by Food & Wine editrix Dana Cowin and chefs John Delucie and Danny Meyer, the 26th annual “Taste of the Nation” chef spectacular will benefit hungry kids via nonprofit Share Our Strength’s “No Kid Hungry” campaign, which connects under-served families with free meals, cooking classes, and other school-year and summer nutrition programs.
“It’s become this huge event that raises a lot of money and a lot of awareness about hunger,” says Bill Telepan, who has participated frequently over the past two decades. This year, he’s joined by Einat Admony, Scott Conant, Michael Chernow, Marc Forgione, Ellie Krieger, and Anita Lo, among dozens of others. “We all get to go and see our friends cooking,” Telepan says. “It’s always fun.”
But behind all the fun, nearly a quarter of New York City’s children lack predictable access to meals, a figure that’s fairly constant around the country. “It’s a crazy statistic how many people in this nation go hungry every night,” Telepan says. “In this great country. There’s so many hidden things that; how can we consider ourselves this great nation if we’re turning our backs on people?”
For his part, Telepan was will be flipping apple flapjacks drizzled with foie gras maple syrup. Each chef was assigned a category — learn (breakfast, since morning meals impact a child’s learning ability throughout the day), live (after-school snacks), or play (summer-oriented meals like picnics and barbecue), to play into Share Our Strength’s focus, and on Monday, Telepan’s on breakfast duty.
Anyone in particular he’s excited to see? We can’t help but ask, but chef’s not picking favorites: “There’s too many good ones! There’s no way to pick anyone out, they’re all so excellent…It’s New York City, the best restaurant city in the world!”
Taste of the Nation: April 28, 2014 7-10 pm, 82 Mercer Street. Tickets, $225-$425, are available online.
Click to the next page for a few photos from last year’s event.