Studio 525 Hosts Sold-Out Fundraiser ‘Eating Stories’

The event raised funds in support of independent restaurants and combating food insecurity

It’s no secret that New York City’s small businesses and independent restaurants have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. Though many have since financially recovered, The New York Times reported that nearly 2,800 businesses in the city have unfortunately shuttered their doors. That’s why City Harvest and the James Beard Foundation banned together to combat food insecurity and help restaurants with the interactive, one-of-a-kind fundraiser ‘Eating Stories.’

Photography by Edith Ann Claudio

Held just steps away from the Highline at the event space Studio 525, the night was hosted by celebrity caterer and TV personality Mary Giuliani and featured several figures in the entertainment and culinary spheres: celebrity chef Rachel Ray, author Dana Cowin, pastry chef Auzerais Bellamy, and writer and restaurant critic Adam Platt.

With over 100 guests in attendance, panelists offered thoughts and personal memories on subjects ranging from international cuisine to spearheading successful businesses. Giulani told onlookers of her admiration for Fran Lebowitz, Ray spoke of her childhood memories in Manhattan, Platt recalled an intricate squid dish in Japan, Cowin spoke on her journey battling cancer, and Bellamy charted her rise from chef to entrepreneur. Too, selections of bites and refreshments crafted by Giulani’s team that related to each speaker’s story were offered to the audience.

Rounding out the evening were the words of Josh Victor Rothstein who, along with his partner Blake Swerdloff, created Dinner Roll Campaign: an initiative focused on raising funds and resources for independent restaurants and combatting food insecurity. Rothstein unveiled a new digital project, the Dinner Roll Dance NFT: a video mosaic of 68 NYC chefs, citizens, and restuarnteurs all offering interpretations of the ‘Dinner Roll Dance.’ 

And of course, the audience tried out the dance, too. See more from the event below.


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