Fifteen of LA’s most celebrated chef’s gathered recently at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills for An Evening of Food and Foto’s to benefit Foundation Rwanda.
Event Sponsors 901 Silver Tequlia and La Brea Bakery partnered with Foundation Rwanda to unite fellow restaurateurs and the community in support of this humanitarian effort.
Sidney Poitier, Oscar winner, screen legend, activist and humanitarian, attended the event. Visibly moved by the stories and photos he graciously lent his time, reach and support to this global cause.
The Paley Center for the Media, located on posh Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, transformed the lower level of the three-story building into sampling stations serving savory selections of culinary creations by some of LA’s top chef’s including Dhalia Narvaez from Osteria and Pizzeria Mozza, Suzanne Goin of AOC, Lucques, Tavern and Hungry Cat; Zoe Nathan of Huckleberry Café & Bakery; Evan Funke of Rustic Canyon; Suzanne Tracht owner of Jar; Justin Mi from The Lobsta Truck; Robert Luna of Malo/Mas Malo; Armando Robles from Porta Via, Jerry Baker Tinga and Susan Finegar of Street.
Additionally, The Gelato Bar, Silverback Coffee of Rwanda, Beckmen Vineyards, Rosenthal The Malibu Estate and Surfrider Wines, Samuel Adams and Smart Water served up top shelf and softer selections as well as sweet treats to end the evening.
The event also included both a Live and Silent auction. Dr. Martin Gammon of Butterfields & Bonhams brought the evenings attendees into a bidding frenzy for items ranging from late night Television tickets and green room access to week long stays in exotic locals and a silent auction of luxury, culinary, sports and entertainment experiences hosted by Gilt City LA.
Additional sponsors for the evening included, Bonhams Auctioneers and Appraisers, Getty Images, The Rose Group, PhotoBoothless, Beck Media & Marketing, The Friedman Group, Town & Country Distinctive Rentals, The Lippin Group, SYNC, Rodale, MOP LA, Transformation, Robert Leslie and Très L.A.
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; to silence.
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.
Foundation Rwanda presented, at Food & Foto’s LA, INTENDED CONSEQUENCES, a multi-media presentation directed by Newsweek photojournalist, Jonathan Torgovnik. The description of the Rwandan Genocide that left 800,000 Tutsi dead was jarring.
Ten thousand sought refuge in a local church, after three days the Hutu’s broke through the doors and began a killing spree using machetes. They cut a swath through the bodies four deep until they found females alive, hiding, under the dead and dying, hoping to survive. Can your mind grasp that horror?
Then the rapes; the horrors of War, the trauma of watching your family murdered, as if it were not enough the belief that the violence will silence any voice that would bring justice.
Rape is not comical. Silence equals violence. Rape cannot be covered up. Silence equals violence.
If we, as a society, silence the cries for justice we align ourselves with the attackers. The crimes committed against women in our modern, contemporary, information saturation society, the graphic, brutal violence is often trivialized and hold no sorrow except for the victims.
The purpose of Foundation Rwanda is to offer financial support for schooling including all the tools necessary from school books, supplies, uniforms and clothing and to assist their mothers in receiving the much needed post traumatic stress, psychological and medical counseling and attention. The international community fell silent then and short of their duty: we need to listen and help now.
The Charity event, billed as An Evening of Food & Foto’s LA, 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 chefs.
Special Thanks to Stephanie Fray of Conundrum Marketing: http://www.conundrummarketing.com/
For more information on Foundation Rwanda: www.foundationrwanda.org
For more information on any of the Restaurants:
All others by Janet Walker courtesy of Haute-Lifestyle.com: www.haute-lifestyle.com