Dinner for a Better New York 2023 – That’s a Wrap!

Photos: S:US

On June 7, 2023, Emmy-winning and four-time James Beard Award-winning chef Andrew Zimmern curated the Dinner for a Better New York, a culinary celebration to benefit Services for the UnderServed (S:US), a nonprofit organization founded in 1978, that is transforming the lives of New Yorkers with disabilities, people in poverty, and people facing homelessness. Zimmern, who also serves as a member of the S:US board, was joined by 14 of the city’s top chefs for a night celebrating S:US’ life-changing work to build a better New York where opportunities are available to all.

The evening raised more than $1.2 million to benefit New Yorkers in need of housing, shelter, treatment and rehabilitative services, employment and skills-building, therapeutic horticulture, and crisis services.

Chefs who prepared the evening’s world-class menu included:

  • Daniel Boulud and Shaun Velez of Daniel
  • Esther Choi of Mokbar
  • Leah Cohen of Pig & Khao
  • Josh Capon and Conor Hanlon of Flyfish Club
  • Marc Forgione of Forgione 
  • Alex Guarnaschelli and Michael Jenkins of Butter
  • Nobuyuki Matsuhisa of Nobu
  • Stefano Secchi of Rezdôra
  • David Shim of Cote
  • Michael Solomonov of K’Far Brooklyn
  • Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto

Guests enjoyed tasting stations, each presented by a chef in-person, and a multi-course menu curated by Zimmern. The Dinner for a Better New York also honored Joshua Lamberg, CEO & Founder, Lamb Insurance Services; and Marie Isabelle Palacios Hardy, General Counsel & CCO, Firmament, and Member, Board of Directors, S:US

“The core of what we do here at S:US is ensuring that we are continuously advancing measures for social justice and creating opportunities for the most vulnerable among us. Our model is rooted in investing in the communities we live and work in and serves as the foundation of everything we do,” said Perry Perlmutter, Interim President & CEO, Services for the UnderServed. “We are at a critical point in the history of this city where a growing number of people are facing homelessness, food insecurity, and mental health crises more now than ever before. We are so grateful for all of our wonderful partners and supporters who gather together to help us advance the important work we do.”

The 2023 Andrew Zimmern Award, which recognizes individuals who exemplify the values and characteristics that Zimmern lives by, was awarded to Heidi Waithe. Waithe, who immigrated to Brooklyn from Trinidad as a child, survived sexual trauma and multiple suicide attempts in her youth. Today, she is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist at S:US’ Wellness Works Clinic in Brooklyn where she provides a unique perspective on healing and recovery. 

“Working at S:US’ Clinic has given me an extended family.  I don’t yet see it in myself fully, but the staff at the clinic and others at S:US see my strengths, and that has given me confidence,” said Heidi Waithe, accepting her award. “I believe in what I do. I believe in how we help each other. I believe that I can and will keep going and keep growing. I want to give a huge thank you to S:US and Andrew Zimmern for having demonstrated care, concern, compassion, action, and change. I will take this in for myself.  I am a courageous, strong, resilient woman. For myself, my family, my participants, and my community.”

In addition to being a mother of four, Heidi is the Corresponding Secretary of the 75th Precinct Council Board in East New York, Brooklyn; is Chaplain and Evangelist in her community; and she is pursuing her certificate as a Family Peer Advocate. She is a proud member of S:US’ Brooklyn Clubhouse, where she participates in member-driven comprehensive recovery and treatment services while developing a community with fellow members in recovery. Heidi presents at S:US’ New Hire Orientation on a regular basis where she imparts her knowledge to peer specialists.

The Dinner for a Better New York took place at Tribeca 360.

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