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April 29th, 2014

by Total Food Service

An Evening Of Practical Magic Honoring Eric Ripert & Benjamin Bram


Dominique Ansel Surprises Guests with his World Famous Cookie Shots to Kick-Off Live Auction


On Thursday, April 24th, City Harvest held its 20th annual gala, An Evening of Practical Magic, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City, and raised nearly $2.2 million to help feed hungry New Yorkers. During the event, Eric Ripert, Maguy Le Coze and the staff of Le Bernardin were honored with the Harry and Misook Doolittle Heart of the City Award, which is given to a City Harvest partner who has provided the organization with extraordinary services or has performed in an exceptional manner to impact hunger.  City Harvest Board Member Benjamin Bram and Managing Member, Watermill Institutional Trading LLC, was honored for his ongoing commitment to helping City Harvest feed New York’s hungry residents with the Star of the City Award.  Hosted by restaurateur and Food Network star Geoffrey Zakarian, the event attracted more than 600 guests.

Notable event attendees included:  Questlove; Miss USA Erin Brady; and renowned culinary experts: Geoffrey Zakarian; Eric Ripert; Tom Colicchio; Marcus Samuelsson; Ted Allen; Anthony Bourdain; Tom Valenti; Dominique Ansel; Donatella Arpaia; Ron Ben-Israel; Terrance Brennan; Anne Burrell; David Chang; Anita Lo; Marc Murphy; Ben Pollinger; Chris Santos; and Tracy Nieporent.  Also in attendance were gala co-chairs: Arthur F. Backal; Lise and Michael Evans; Carola and Robert Jain; Pamela and Andrew Kaufmann; Kristen and Patrick McMahon; Heather Mnuchin; Sandra and Eric Ripert; Chris Hikawa and David Windreich.

Nicholas D. Lowry, President of Swann Auction Galleries, served as auctioneer. Highlights from the live auction include:

  • DOMINIQUE ANSEL BAKERY’S COOKIE SHOTS: Eight of Dominique Ansel’s cookie shots made with chocolate-chip-cookie dough and filled with cold milk and a hint of Tahitian vanilla. Winning bid: $6,500
  • CHEF’S PRIZE: Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian preparing a four course meal for a party of eight with mixed cocktails prepared by Ted Allen.  Before the bid commenced, Geoffrey asked Marcus Samuelsson, Tom Colicchio, Tom Valenti, Terrance Brennan, and Anne Burrell to join.  Winning bid: $60,000
  • RIDE WITH A DRIVER: City Harvest Transportation Manager hosting a truck ride-along.  Two Winning Bids for $18,000 each, totaling: $36,000
  • FRENCH FEAST: Executive Chef of Le Bernardin Eric Ripert preparing a delicious French dinner for 20 guests in your home.  Winning Bid: $150,000, which sold twice.


An Evening of Practical Magic paid tribute to the efforts of individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond in their commitment to help City Harvest feed hungry New Yorkers at a time when demand for emergency food remains high.

Ticket prices for An Evening of Practical Magic ranged from $1,000 to $3,000 and tables from $10,000 to $100,000.  City Harvest is also grateful to Pernod Ricard, Groupon, Rodney Strong, Manhattan Lincoln, MKDA, Specialty Food Association, and all event sponsors.

About City Harvest
Now serving New York City for more than 30 years, City Harvest is the world's first food rescue organization, dedicated to feeding the city’s hungry men, women, and children. This year, City Harvest will collect more than 42 million pounds of excess food from all segments of the food industry, including restaurants, grocers, corporate cafeterias, manufacturers, and farms.  This food is then delivered free of charge to some 600 community food programs throughout New York City by a fleet of trucks and bikes.  City Harvest helps feed the more than one million New Yorkers that face hunger each year.

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