An Evening of Food and Foto’s for Foundation Rwanda

Thirty of New York’s most celebrated chef’s recently gathered at Bonhams Auction House on Manhattan's exclusive Upper East Side for one evening to benefit Foundation Rwanda.

Sweet glazed puff pastry deserts piled high in towering designs along side celebrity photographs at Bonhams Auction House.

The event An Evening of Food and Foto's transformed the lower level, of the famous Bonhams Auction House, one of the world's oldest and most celebrated institutions, into sampling stations serving savory selections of culinary creations.

Hermaphrodites by, legendary celeb photographer the late, Herb Ritts.

Silent auctions items hung throughout the gallery from world renowned photographers including Herb Ritts, Robert Mapplethorpe, Lorenzo AguisSteve Pyke, Alistar Morrison and included the iconic images of the world’s most celebrated including Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, John Lennon, Keith Richards, Madonna, Jack Nicolson, Tom Cruise and Willie Nelson along with many others.

The late John Lennon of The Beatles and his wife, Yoko Ono.

Also included in the silent auction were five star Culinary and Sommelier experience gifts that brought the Master Chef into the kitchen of the highest bidder for a “Taste Of” opportunity that included culinary creations central to several major cities along the eastern seaboard.

Marilyn Monroe.

Alongside the famous photos were appetizers, fruit and Brie Cheese wrapped in puff pastry, delicious, sweet glazed puff pastry deserts, piled high in towering designs,  filled with chocolate and vanilla crème with chocolate dipping sauce as well as bags of assorted nuts roasted and gift wrapped.

One of the first Hollywood bad boys the late James Dean.

Chef Niles Noren and Dave Aronld of L’ECole, The Restaurant of The French Culinary Institute were in attendance treating the guests to delicious drinks specials from the event’s sponsor 901 Silver Tequila and savory samples of Smoked Ocean Trout with Pickled Rhubarb served on spoons.

David Retter from Camp serving a Duck Crostini on Peasant bread (R) and Dave Arnold of L'ECole serving drink specials from the event sponsor 901 Tequila.

Alain Allegretti of Allegretti’s, Mike Price of Market Table and Corwin Kave of Fatty Crab were among the Chef’s who participated in offering a sampling of their most exotic cuisine. From Tuna Tartare in crispy Lavender Taco to Pea with Crab Gazpacho and Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce the tastings were the crème de la crème of culinary magic.

Alain Allegretti served Tuna Tartare in crispy Lavender Taco.

Other participants included, Chef Timothy Steele of Tia Pol, serving a Tortilla Espanola with Guindilla Peppers, Matt Greco of Char. No 4 served smoked Lamb Pastrami on Caraway Toast, Silvano Marchetto of DaSilvano serving a delicious Crab Fritter, Chef King Phojanakong of Kuma Inn and Umi Nom offered samples of a traditional Adobo and Atchara or Pork Belly braised in soy.

Pork Belly braised in Soy by Chef King Phojanakong (R) and Olive Oil Cake with Crème Fraiche Mousse by Chef Katherine Thompson.

Chef Gabe Thompson of Anfora served Lamb Ragu Sliders and sister restaurants, Johnny Utah’s with Chef Marlon Manty served Smoked Chorizo with Five Onion Mustard and Pickled Okra on a Jalapeno Cheddar biscuit and from Chef Katherine Thompson of L’Artusi, a luscious Olive Oil cake with Crème Fraiche Mousse and Raisin Marmellata.

Anfora and, sister restaurant, Johnny Utah's.

Jean Georges Vongerichten, whose season with your senses belief, was represented by his son Cedric Vongerichten of Perry Street served a delectable Rice Cracker Crusted Tuna; a delicious twist on the standard rice wrapped Tuna Roll.

Cedric Vongerichten, the son of Jean-George, of Perry Street.

Other Chef’s serving scrumptious samples from their menu’s included Justine Pringle and Andy Laird from Nunu Chocolates serving salty chocolates, a delicious squared all natural chocolate fused with salt for a salt chocolate. David Retter from Camp serving a Duck Crostini, Fava Bean's Ricotta Cheese and Peasant bread and Chef Wesley Genovart of Degustation Wine and Tasting Bar served chilled Almond Soup with Muscat Grapes and Crispy Cod Skin.

Ragu Lamb Sliders from Chef Gabe Thompson.

The event, a benefit for children of Rape Victims in Rwanda had many powerful images and impacting stories from the atrocities that brought these barbaric crimes to international attention. The weapons of war never change. Rape is a weapon of war meant to destroy women and families.  In war, rape is a predecessor of genocides. It happened in Rwanda, it happened in Kosovo; it happened in Nazi Germany. Rape is meant to destroy; to kill.

The forgotten ones: A woman and her children born from war.

Over 20,000 children were born as a result of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. These mothers are left, usually ostracized from their families, to raise their children without assistance or let them die after birth. Their stories all begin the same: the men came into our homes.  Some of the women heard the murders of their husbands and hid; others had no chance and were face-to-face with the rapist as they told the victims were going to rape them. Only, according to victim, Josette, “they used the word marry.” The force of this one word in certain cultures dooms the female to a living death sentence.

Innocent victims of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide.

The purpose of Foundation Rwanda is to offer financial support to assist in all the tools necessary from school books, supplies, uniforms, clothing and to assist their mothers in receiving the much need post traumatic stress, psychological and medical counseling and attention they need. The world listened then; it needs to listen now.

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce by Chef Corwin Kave of Fatty Crab.

The Charity event was designed to raise monies and awareness for Foundation Rwanda. It was a great success and a delicious opportunity to enjoy food for the soul and savory samples of culinary creations from the world’s most celebrated chef’s.

Tortilla Espanola with Guindilla Peppers by Chef Timothy Steele.

Special Thanks to Stephanie Fray of Conundrum Marketing:

Bonham's Auction House lower level.

For more information on Foundation Rwanda:

All photos by Janet Walker courtesy of Pulse Point Productions, Inc. For more information on Pulse Point Productions, Inc:


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