On Saturday, August 25, Top Chef and restaurateur Tom Colicchio and his wife filmmaker Lori Silverbush, rocker Jon Bon Jovi his wife Dorothea Hurley, Susan Burden, and philanthropist Avis Richards and Marathon hedge fund co-founder Bruce Richards hosted the 2nd annual “What’s on the Table?”, an event to benefit the anti-hunger programs of the United Way of New York City.
Over $200,000 was raised to benefit UWNYC’s work to reduce hunger and provide more nutritious food for struggling children, families and seniors.
In addition to Colicchio and Bon Jovi, guests included chef Katie Lee, supermodel Hilary Rhoda, CNN anchor Alina Cho, Estee Lauder head John Demsey, Dan Abrams, actress Natasha Bell, Royal Pains actor Rupak Ginn, Bloomberg TV host Matt Miller, Dayssi and Paul Olarte de Kanavos, Duane Hampton, Louise Grunwald, Esther Newberg, Charmaine and Carter Burden, and Stephanie Hirsch. United Way of New York City’s Jennifer Jones Austin, Senior Vice-President for Community Investment and Kevin Taylor, Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement were also in attendance.
Held at the Southampton home of Avis and Bruce Richards, “What’s on the Table?” emphasized the need not only to help the hungry in New York City access to food in times of emergency but to ensure that food they receive is fresh and nutritious. In keeping with the theme, guests dined on culinary delights from five of Tom Colicchio’s restaurants. Chefs from Colicchio and Sons, Craft, Riverpark, Craftsteak and Topping Rose each offered two dishes featuring a local, in-season ingredient. These included zucchini (ricotta stuffed and fried zucchini blossoms), corn (corn chowder), and raspberries (raspberry cobbler), among others.
In their speeches, Colicchio, Bon Jovi, both Richards, and Ms. Silverbush – director of the forthcoming documentary about hunger titled “A Place at the Table” – stressed the critical nature of the issue hunger in America. One startling statistic revealed is that 1 in 5 children go hungry daily in the United States. Guests were encouraged to call their Congressional representatives to protect funding in the Farm Bill for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which puts healthy food on the table for 46 million Americans each month.
100% of the evening’s net proceeds went to the United Way’s campaign to significantly reduce hunger in New York City. A portion of the funds raised came from an exciting auction presided over by Cate Smit, who sold a surprise item: a private dinner cooked by Tom Colicchio with a performance by Jon Bon Jovi at the bidder’s home. It went for $40,000.