On Wednesday, May 31, the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids hosted their fifth annual All-Star Tasting at Chef Tom Colicchio’s Riverpark, one of Manhattan’s premier waterfront dining locations. The night celebrated the work of the Partnership in support of helping families struggling with teen substance abuse.
The Partnership was founded by a group of advertising professionals in the 1980’s when America was in the midst of a drug epidemic. The organization was created solely with drug prevention in mind but has adjusted to respond to the changing landscape since. Today, the Partnership additionally provides support for families and help for teens and young adults who already struggle with drugs or drinking.
The charity event kicked off with a VIP reception featuring Chef Jesse Schenker, owner of The Gander in New York City. Schenker, aside from being an executive chef, is also the author of “All or Nothing: One Chef's Appetite for the Extreme.” He provided a special cooking demonstration during a private meet and greet with notable guests, such as the athletes from the New York Knicks, NBA Legends, WNBA players, and the New York Red Bulls, along with other celebrities.
Soon after, the remaining supporters were invited to take part in the main event--a lineup of samplings from some New York’s most prestigious restaurants and celebrity chefs. Stations included Atlantic Social, BLVD Bistro, Bona Bona Ice Cream, Craft, The Red Cat/Four J Foods, Fowler & Wells, Harlem Burger Co., Insomnia Cookies, Legends at Yankee Stadium, and macbar. Between tastings, guests enjoyed participating in a bid for luxury auction items. Specialists from Oasis Day Spa were also in attendance to provide guests with shoulder or hand massages.
The Partnership highlighted several guests of honor during the event. Chef Kyung Up Lim and Steve Millington were presented with the Culinary Spotlight award for their outstanding work at Michael’s New York, which serves classic American fare and features a beautiful sculpture garden. The Athlete Spotlight award was given as a tribute to the late NBA legend, Darryl “Chocolate Thunder” Dawkins. Dawkins was a long-time supporter of the Partnership who was passionate about the mission of keeping children off the wrong path. The award was presented to his wife, Janice Hoderman, who graciously accepted.
The memorable night came to a wrap with some friendly competition--a sushi rolling contest between the Major League Soccer and WNBA players, sponsored by Haru Sushi. In the affair that saw incredible fare, worthy cause, and amazing vibes in a gorgeous setting, the All-Star Tasting was the perfect summer night out.