On Monday, November 2nd, New York’s most charitable chefs joined forces with prominent television newscasters to present The 22nd Annual Feast, a food and wine tasting extravaganza benefiting the Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC).
All Feast photographs are courtesy of Rachel Elkind, Rachel Elkind Photography – www.rachelelkind.com.
Nearly 500 guests attended the festivities, which kicked off at 6pm at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers, with a sublime array of wines, an over-the-top food tasting, and a silent auction. The evening culminated later with a seated dessert, a program of compelling speakers, live auction, and fund-a-cause. Television broadcaster and New York institution Bill Ritter of Eyewitness News emceed with his usual flair and compassion.
This year’s program celebrated CHC’s acclaimed pediatric services which teach babies who are deaf and hard of hearing to hear, speak, and thrive in every way. Feast presenters included kids past and present from the children’s program, and a video – Hear the Difference – highlighted the impact CHC’s services have on the lives of families currently receiving services.
Six Highlights of a spectacular Feast!
1 – New York’s most talented chefs were out in full force creating and serving the most delectable dishes we can recall having at The Feast. Thank you to Chef Chair William Gallagher of Becco, Fortunato Nicotra of Felidia, Christophe Garnier of GLOO, Jason Avery of The Quarter, and too many others to name individually.
2 – The Feast’s first-ever Step and Repeat dialed up the glam quotient. Feast photographer, Rachel Elkind, captured the spirit and elegance of the evening in shots of newscasters, CHC Board members, guests, volunteers, and everyone game to step in front of the lens. It was such a success that you can start planning your poses for next year. No reason to be shy.
3 – Emcee, Bill Ritter, recruited an army of caring newscasters to participate as the evening’s sous chefs. Many thanks to Sade Baderinwa of Channel 7, Audrey Puente of Fox 5, David Ushery of Channel 4, Mike Woods of Fox 5 and many, many more. Our profound thanks to Bill Ritter who, each year, embraces his role as Feast emcee with gusto and heart.
4 – The evening’s littlest guest speaker had possibly the biggest impact on the crowd during the seated dessert. Rose, age six, is deaf, but with the aid of cochlear implants and auditory-oral therapy at CHC, speaks with poise and confidence. Her onstage interview with Bill Ritter was not only priceless, but conveyed what’s possible when children with hearing loss receive CHC’s expert hearing and communication services.
5 – Special guest speaker and attorney, Melissa Felder Zappala, is a former CHC kid who spoke powerfully on a personal and professional level. Along with her father, CHC President, Barry Felder, she presented the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award to Regal Entertainment Group for making movies accessible to people with hearing loss through closed-captioned glasses, now available in 6,000 Regal movie theaters.
6 – CHC Board member Don Itzkoff shared his experiences with hearing loss and the incredible difference CHC made in his family’s life. He then introduced auctioneer Nick Dawes of Antiques Roadshow who worked his magic during the live auction and fund-a-cause.
A special thank you to our Feast Chairs, Benefit Committee, and Sponsors who made The Feast not only a fabulous evening, but also a fundraising success!
Thank you to our caring chefs, some of whom have participated in The Feast for many years. Your thoughtfulness humbles us and means the world to our kids.
We’re grateful also to our longstanding Feast partner Wine Spectator.
Finally, we’d like to express our heartfelt appreciation to the Feast’s media sponsor, New York Observer, and to our generous corporate sponsors whose participation in The Feast demonstrates a shared commitment to CHC’s mission.