Plate by Plate food benefit supports Manhattan’s Chinatown

Project by Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the Asian American community, ran its third and final Plate by Plate food tasting gala of the year in New York on Oct. 1.  Of the three chapters – the others are L.A. and San Francisco – New York has had the longest run, celebrating its 12th straight year of fine food, silent auctions, celebrity appearances and entertainment.  All the proceeds from the event benefited The Hamilton-Madison House, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of residents in Manhattan’s Chinatown and Lower East Side.

Plate by Plate VIP ticket holders were treated to an extra hour that, inexplicably, did not include food samples in most cases.  Instead, they witnessed a Verizon FIOS Quickfire Challenge inspired by Bravo’s “Top Chef” between Ai Fiori Executive Chef Chris Jaeckle and Hung Huynh, the winner of the first season of “Top Chef,” as they battled to make their own versions of Macanese pulled pork sandwiches.  (The winner, for the record, was Jaeckle.)  Celebrity guests, including actors Michelle Krusiec and Archie Kao, showed up to support the cause as well as make rotations to various tasting tables as sous-chefs.

Provisions and drinks flew into high octane when the rest of the crowd showed up for the main event at 7:30 p.m.  Food highlights included miniature cupcakes by Tawny Ong and an unusual combination of ingredients comprising a dessert by Aureole’s Jennifer Yee: a goat yogurt mousse with Concord grape gelee, pumpernickel and candied thyme.  “Concord grape is super-sweet, super-tart, and I think it balances well with the touch of savouriness from the goat yogurt,” Yee explained.

Although the event ran until 11 p.m., the food began to run out barely 90 minutes into the main event with the lone remaining option thankfully being a top-notch selection of sake and shochu thanks to master sommelier Chizuko Niikawa-Helton and her fine crew representing Sake Discoveries.  Guests also perused goods at the silent auction – ranging from restaurant gift certificates to Judith Ripka jewelry – and mingled to the tune of a wide variety of entertainment, the best of which by far was the Stone Forest Ensemble, a hip-hop meets classical meets self-described “Afro-beat” quartet who performed last in the evening.

Photos: 2010 Plate by Plate New York
all photos by Bibs Teh / Meniscus Magazine

Meniscus Magazine was a media partner of the 2010 Plate by Plate Tasting Gala in New York City.