by Michelle Kwan
Attendees raised their glasses, not to mention their forks, spoons and chopsticks, in support of healthcare and social services to the Asian community at the Project By Project annual Plate By Plate Tasting Benefit held October 1 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City. The Tasting Benefit featured over 40 participants from some of New York City’s finest restaurants and bakeries coming together to showcase their culinary skills with samplings of their signature creations, along with a host of wine and spirit purveyors, brewers, tea and coffee companies, all ready to do their part to keep the evening festive for the approximately 650 guests in attendance.
Five-time participant En Japanese Brasserie, serving modern Japanese cuisine, offered samples of their signature house-made soft tofu. Manager Takahiro Okada expressed how glad he was to lend time to the event each year, finding the initiatives at Project By Project to be worthy causes and appreciating the energy and dynamic atmosphere the event created.
Newcomers like Reserve, a Thai tapas and wine bar, which offered tastings of rosé and Pinot Noir that complement Thai flavors, were also glad to have the opportunity to do their part for the Asian community. They also found the event a great venue through which to showcase their cuisine to restaurant aficionados and foodies alike.
Macao Trading Co., featuring Pan-Asian Portuguese cuisine, tempted tasters’ palates with a tender braised pork belly with balsamic glaze and a gourmet version of halibut fish balls while Mexican American Bell Book & Candle whet attendees’ appetites with a spicy and zesty seafood ceviche.
The event proved to be a feast for all the senses, including a friendly live cook-off between Top Chef winner Hung Huynh and Ai Fiori executive chef Chris Jaeckle in a 20-minute Vietnamese pork sandwich competition, and a steady line-up of musicians ranging from jazz to alternative.
This year’s event proceeds benefit the Hamilton Madison House, a non-profit settlement house organization aimed at providing a wide range of social services to the Asian community throughout New York City.
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