Guests at the Citymeals-on-Wheels fund-raiser on Monday, June 16 will be saved the trouble of choosing a restaurant. Instead, 35 of the country's greatest chefs will gather in Rockefeller Center to cook dinner for them.
Expected to raise $1 million in support of the organization, which funds meal deliveries to homebound elderly, the event will feature a live band, dancing, and most important, unbelievable French-inspired food.
The event's theme this year is "Crème de la Crème," a celebration of French chefs and their legacies. The honorees include a bevy of legends from all over France and the United States: Jean Banchet, Georges Blanc, Paul Bocuse, André Daguin, Pierre Gagnaire, Gaston LeNôtre's son Alain LeNôtre, Jacques Maximin, Marc Meneau, Louis Outhier, Jean Jacques Rachou, André Soltner, and Pierre Troisgros's son Claude Troisgros.
The ones making dinner, however, will be their American protégés, including Daniel Boulud, Tom Colicchio, Todd English, Charlie Palmer, Alfred Portale, Nancy Silverton, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Each of the 35 chefs will cook two dishes—one original recipe and one classic recipe from the chef with whom he or she trained.
[After the jump, enter to win two tickets to the Citymeals-on-Wheels fund-raiser.]
The evening will thus provide not just a thrilling array of dishes but also ample schmoozing opportunities. "Unlike other tastings, these chefs are the ones cooking and the ones serving you," said Citymeals-on-Wheels marketing director Beth Shapiro in a phone interview.
This will be the 23rd annual Citymeals-on-Wheels fund-raiser, a tradition that began as co-founder Gael Greene's tribute to the late James Beard. <!-- Last year's event, which featured cooks who work closely with farmers, was called "Chefs Gone Wild!" -->
At $600 per person for regular admission, the fund-raiser is a significant investment. But for a good cause, it may well be worth it—and not necessarily just for the food. "There’s something really kind of magical about the setting, about being outside in the heart of New York City and having what is essentially a tourist landmark transformed into this amazing festival," Shapiro said.
Tickets will not be sold at the door but can be purchased through Friday, June 13.
Win Two Tickets to Citymeals-on-Wheels
Thanks to the good folks at Citymeals-on-Wheels, we have two tickets to give away to the event, for one lucky reader. Just create a haiku that evokes the aura of French cuisine and leave it in the comments here. The best haiku, as chosen by the Serious Eats staff, wins. One entry per Serious Eats community member, please.
Comments will be open until 12 p.m. ET on July 13. The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.