City Harvest: A Night of Practical Magic
With table reservations boasting names like renowned French chef Eric Ripert, celebrity chef Tom Colicchio and iron chef/restaurateur Geoffrey Zakarian, it was a culinary dream inside of New York’s Cipriani restaurant on Tuesday 17th April. City Harvest hosted their 19th annual Evening of Practical Magic which pays tribute to the efforts of individuals who have exceeded expectations in their attempts to help feed hungry men, women and children in New York. This year acclaimed chef and restaurant owner Marc Murphy, who is currently a regular judge on The Food Network’s hit show Chopped, joined the list of City Harvest honorees who have committed to feeding the city’s hungry population.
Murphy was all smiles and the first to walk the red carpet frequently greeting his friends and contemporaries in the food industry. Cookbook author and host of the evening Ted Allen excitedly shook Murphy’s hand offering congratulations then eagerly smiled for the cameras. One of the world’s leading culinary figures Geoffrey Zakarian also happily joined the flashes of light as well as City Harvest Executive Director Jilly Stephens and Eddie Ayala who is at the forefront of rescuing food as a driver for City Harvest.
From an intimate in-home concert by John Legend, to private dinners with this years’ honoree and other celebrity chefs, to the auctioning of a painting by Spanish contemporary artist Domingo Zapata, the night was filled with exciting ways to raise money to continue the fight against hunger. Before the festivities got underway The Upcoming had a chance to speak with Murphy. When asked how he felt to be honored he excitedly stated: “It’s exciting. I had no idea. It’s so nice to see so many of my colleagues I have worked with come out to honor me and the efforts of this organization.”
Although the hearts of New Yorkers were still filled with an all too familiar feeling of shock, anxiety and sadness in the days following the Boston bombing tragedies, the elaborately decorated room with warm décor and lively colors of fresh vegetables used as centerpieces helped to raise the overall spirit in the room. The live band maintained the cheery atmosphere making this a truly delightful occasion. As singer John Legend stated: “If you live in fear your whole life you won’t be able to live.” Presumably other attendees such as actor Richard Gere, Legend’s fiancée Chrissy Teigen, Miss Universe Olivia Culpo, Miss USA Nana Meriwether and NY Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez shared a similar sentiment and momentarily cast fears aside for a greater cause and a night of magic.
Words and photos: Kamilah Dunbar
For further information on City Harvest visit here.