Share our Strength,, Taste of the Nation

Share Our Strength, a national organization, not only has a great mission which is working to end childhood hunger in America, they put on a fantastic event every year.  Amy Becker, who I know, was the co-chair of the New York event again this year and she really did a wonderful job of making it a pretty seamless event.

Fifty-five restaurants participate in the event.  Each have a table, generally their chef is there and they give out small tastings from their restaurant.  The event took place at Roseland Ballroom on West 52nd street vs. Metropolitan Pavilion (last year).  Last year all the food was on china with silverware and by the end of the evening the place looked like an over flowing dishwasher.  This year everyone used the same white plastic plates with silver plastic utensils.  Elegant for plastic. Each station had a large bin next to them for garbage.  It worked beautifully.

I took Josh and Jessica because Emily and Fred were out on a date night.  They did Sushi Yasuda and Spring Awakening, we did Share Our Strength.  I promised Emily we’d go again next year and she would come along.

The restaurants that participated were Abboccato, Aquavit, Artie’s Deli, Asia De Cuba, August, Blaue Gans, Blue Hill, Blue Smoke, Borough Food & Drink, Les Halles, Buddakan, Butter, Capital Grille, China Grill, Craftsteak, Cru, Dani, Dawat, DB Bistro, District, 11 Madison, Falai, Felidia, Fleur de Sel, Grammercy Tavern, Hudson Cafeteria, Jean-Georges, Kobe Club, Landmarc, The Little Owl, Marseille, Mermaid Inn, The Modern, Molyvos, Morimoto, Oceana, Ono, Porter House, Pure Food and Wine, Rickshaw Dumpling Bar, Riingo, Sapa, Savoy, Stand, Stanton Social, Suba, Sushi Samba, Tabla, Tamarind, Tribeca Grill, Union Square Cafe, Vermont Buter & Cheese, Vong, Wallse and Wild Salmon.  A serious list of restaurants.

I kid you not, we almost tasted everything.  At one point, Josh looked at me and said we must go home because I am going to puke.  You really must pace ourself at these events.  Jessica and Josh described each dish in detail to Emily this morning which was quite impressive.  I can’t remember what today is so I am just giving the highlights.

Stanton Social (one of my favorite places) served a whipped potato goat cheese empanada.  Delicious.  Budakkan took an eggroll covering but very thin and made a long thin tube  with 1/4 inch opening and about 3 inches long.  Stuffed that with chopped raw tuna and jalapenos.  It was fantastic.  There are very few sweets at this event.  I’d say about 85% savory and 15% sweets.  Wallse was the most creative.  They served a chocolate lollipop.  A small beignet filled with chocolate cream and then dipped in a white chocolate.  Chocolates
Just pop it in your mouth off the stick.  The chocolate oozes down your throat.  This is the one place where we went back for more.

The other highlight was meeting Anita Lo.  She was at her Rickshaw Dumpling Stand handing out dumplings.  Jessica recognized her immediately.  "Are you Anita Lo"?  "Omigod, you beat Mario on Iron Chef and nobody does that". The people behind her counter clapped.  Jessica and Josh couldn’t have been more excited.

Great event.  By the look of the crowd, they raised a lot of money for
hunger and a whole new crop of patrons for the participating