Share Our Strength’s A Tasteful Pursuit Dinner in New York

When I got the call last Monday at around noon from Foodbuzz informing me that they had selected me as their correspondent to attend the Share Our Strength‘s A Tasteful Pursuit Dinner in Manhattan, I was thrilled. I also had to get to Manhattan by 6 o’clock that night.

Since I am about two hours out of Manhattan, couldn’t remember the last time I had a manicure and had no idea what I was going to wear, I was a little panicked to say the least. But, by four o’clock, I had lined up my ride, slapped on some polish, dressed and was on my way into the city with all of my study material on Share Our Strength in hand.

Share Our Strength was founded by Bill Shore and his sister Debbie with a $2000 cash advance on Bill’s credit card in 1984. Their mission was to help end global hunger and poverty. They started by sending letters to restaurants across the country asking for donations. When Alice Waters sent in their first check, they knew they could make SOS a reality. Since that time Share Our Strength has raised more than$245 million and provided support to more than 1,000 nonprofits around the world who are working to end hunger.

A large part of their fundraising efforts rely on A Tasteful Pursuit Benefit dinners that take place all over the country. I was fortunate enough to attend this year’s kickoff event at Lever House on Park Avenue. Lever House’s Executive Chef, Bradford Thompson is also the National Spokeperson of the A Tasteful Pursuit dinner series. Chef Thompson along with fellow New York chefs, Alain Allegretti of Allegretti, Terrance Brennan of Artisanal and Picholine, Michael Laiskonis of Le Bernardin, Anita Lo of Annisa and Bar Q, Marc Murphy of Landmarc, Joe Ng of Chinatown Brasserie and Jacques Torres of Jacques Torres Chocolates prepared a seven course masterpiece for 120 eager guests.

The evening began with a cocktail reception and silent auction. On the menu for starters: Crab and Shrimp Dumplings, Fresh corn and Snow Leaf Potstickers and Beef with Lotus Root Pastry, Champaign and Kettle Citron Ginger Martinis.

After cocktails and the delicious hors d’oeuvres we were ushered into Lever House’s gorgeous dining room.

Our meal began with Salsify Panna Cotta: Taylor Bay Scallops, Crispy Oyster Root, and Ruby Grapefruit. Sadly, I am allergic to scallops, so this was the one dish I could not try. But, it was gorgeous, as you can see here. Sparkling wine with this dish was Reoderer Estate, “Brut.”

Next, Cobia Sashimi with Radishes and Spicy Cod Roe served with Domaines Schlumberger Riesling Grand Cru “Saering” 2006. (Sashimi pictured in slide show)

The final fish dish was a Steamed Black Sea Bass with Celeriac, Grape Chutney, Black Truffle, and Celery Tempura served with Domaine Laroche, Chablis 2007. (pictured in slide show)

One of my favorite dishes of the night and the heartiest dish was next, Chicken Liver, Sweet Onion and Bacon Cavatelli served with a lovely Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir 2006.

The entree courses ended with a fabulous Milk Fed Veal Rumsteak with Sweetbread and Taleggio Cheese Purse Prosciutto Wrapped Salsify, Tomato Marmalade served with a delicious French Bordeaux, Chateau Preuillac 2003.

Our desert courses started with Lemon Parfait, Pistachio Pain de Genes, Caramalized White Chocolate, Vanilla Sorbet and was served with Inniskillin “Vidal” Ice Wine 2006.

Our magical meal ended with an Assortment of Bon Bons, Chocolates and Petit Fours from Jacques Torres Chocolates.

What an evening.

A Tasteful Pursuit is just one initiative of many for Share Our Strength,
for more information about the organization and details on how you can get
involved, please visit involved/. You can buy
a ticket to one of Share Our Strength’s culinary events, volunteer for a
role on a event planning committee or host a bake sale for the organization.