Celebrity Chef Andrew Zimmern And Other Top NYC Chefs Join S:US to Raise more than $1.4 Million for New Yorkers in Need
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Emmy-winning and four-time James Beard Award-winning TV personality, chef, writer and social justice advocate Andrew Zimmern curated the June 8, 2022 Dinner for a Better New York, a culinary celebration benefitting Services for the UnderServed (S:US), a nonprofit organization that is doing life-changing work to build a better New York where opportunities are available to all. The Dinner was a smashing success, raising more than $1.4 million, to benefit New Yorkers in need of housing, shelter, treatment and rehabilitative services, employment and skills-building, therapeutic horticulture, and crisis programming.
Zimmern, who is also a member of the S:US board, was joined by 10 of the city’s top chefs who prepared the evening’s world-class menu:
- Daniel Boulud and Sébastien Rouxel of DANIEL
- PJ Calapa of SCAMPI
- Esther Choi of Mokbar
- Leah Cohen of Pig & Khao
- Rocco DiSpirito and Andrew Zimmern Collaboration
- Marc Forgione of Marc Forgione and Peasant
- Nobuyuki Matsuhisa of Nobu
- Stefano Secchi of Rezdôra
- Michael White of Lido Restaurant at the Surf Club
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 former S:US President and CEO Donna Colonna and S:US Board Member Peter H. Friedland.
“Each year, S:US provides services and supports to 37,000 individuals and families, those most impacted by systemic societal imbalances and deep-seated racial and health inequities. What we do and how we position S:US in light of the many changes happening all around us has never been more important or more relevant. This is truly a time when our services are critically needed and I am committed to build on our 44 years of providing services to support our city’s most vulnerable individuals and families, and partnering with them on their journey to live their lives to their fullest potential. Our supporters truly make a huge difference – transforming lives, improving neighborhoods, and helping to break the cycle of poverty for current and future generations of New Yorkers,” said Dr. Jorge R. Petit, S:US President and CEO.
In a heartfelt speech, Zimmern recalled his own past struggles. “Many of you know that at one point in my life I was homeless and struggled with addiction. My lowest point came when I tried to end my own life. The truth is, the main difference between me and many of my fellow New Yorkers who are currently experiencing challenges like homelessness and addiction is that, when things were the hardest and I thought I was alone, I found the support of experts and people who treated me with dignity and respect. That is exactly what S:US does for tens of thousands of people every year. I tell my story to demonstrate how resilient human beings can be, and that even the most difficult circumstances can be overcome with the right supports.”
One of the highlights of the evening came during the bestowal of the 2022 Andrew Zimmern Award, which honors the resilience, optimism, and loving heart of an individual served by S:US. This year’s winner was Kristin Streznetcky. Previously, Kristin struggled with a substance use disorder, domestic violence and homelessness, and was living in a shelter with a baby. Kristin’s resilience, hard work, perseverance, and optimism, along with personalized support from S:US, have guided her toward a life of independence, which had been her lifelong goal. Since 2019, Kristin and her family have been living in S:US supportive housing. During this time, Kristin has made enormous progress towards reaching her goals. Kristin has been substance-free since 2014, and credits the services she’s receiving through supportive housing as a big part of why she has been able to maintain her life goals. She is now preparing to graduate from John Jay School of Criminal Justice in the fall and will attend law school immediately following her graduation.
The Dinner for a Better New York took place at Tribeca 360 in Manhattan.
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