Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Foundation Rwanda's Food + Fotos Feeds & Inspires

Tonight I was fortunate enough to attend a fabulous food & photography benefit, hosted by Foundation Rwanda.  Having the opportunity to see what this was all about during their first event just two years ago, year three proved to be just as fruitful and inspiring.  I say inspiring because of its honorable cause of raising money and providing support to the women and children affected by the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Aside from all the delectable food, I'm about to describe, I must say a few words on behalf of why this charity was founded by Jules Shell and Jonathan Torgovnik.  Touched by the stories of the women of Rwanda, Torgovnik came to know while on a photography project, he was inspired to take action and help those women raped during the genocide and in turn, their children.  To date, the foundation has sponsored up to 830 children, providing them with education and a better quality of life.  I encourage you to find out more this honorable foundation, and to get involved.

But now on to the details of this fabulous benefit and of course the excellent food.  Boasting 12 elegant tasting tables, spanning from well-known tapas restaurants such as Tia Pol, to the artisanal Italian trio, 
L'artusi, dell'anima and Anfora, to the fresh Patron margarita tasting station, the event had it all.  I especially loved the fun mixology elements of the evening and got a kick out of the Patron juicer station, in which you can get your own lemon/lime juicer engraved with anything you wanted.  
Aside from all that fun, here are my food standouts:

Char No. 4's Chopped Pork Shoulder Sandwich - Being my favorite dish of the night, I went back for seconds.  Everything from the pillowy-light bun to the perfectly tender pork, flavored with mustard barbecue sauce, was spot on and worked beautifully together.  Although I wasn't familiar with this restaurant before, it sure piqued my interest to try it soon and test their other dishes.

dell'anima's Roasted Red Pepper Soup - Judging by the quickness with which they were replenishing their tasting plates, I gathered this was a popular dish.  It sure was an interesting way to go, as sometimes keeping it simple is the best way to work a tasting event.  The flavors in the soup were deeply developed - aside from its earthy contents, the accouterments on top, including almonds, yogurt and parmesan were just the icing on the proverbial cake.   Oh...I mean soup.

Fatty' Cue's East Coast Oysters - It was so exciting to me to see these giant, juicy looking oysters, packed with briny goodness.  What gave them that "Fatty" signature style was the smoked tomato sangrita, which was your cocktail sauce raised to the nth level.  Needless to say, I went back for seconds.

Gramercy Tavern's Chocolate Pecan and Coconut Cake - Remembering Chef Nancy Olson's bodacious monkey bread at Taste of the Nation, I was excited to try her take on German Chocolate Cake.  To say I wasn't disappointed would be an understatement, as each layer was thought out carefully, consisting of chocolate ganache, pecan and coconut cake.  It was gooey, rich and all things wonderful.  I just loved how the top maintained its chiseled look, giving it poise and elegance.

I'd love to thank the organizers of this event for inviting me out tonight.  It was an honor celebrating with you, and I hope this year leads to more good things for Foundation Rwanda.  Cheers to that!


  1. Wonderful post! This was such a classy well done event for a great cause!

  2. Agree - Foundation Rwanda knows how to throw a shin-dig, and it's all for an honorable cause. It was a priviledge to be a part of it.



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