Chefs Unite for SHARE's Second Helping of Life
In the midst of the scary and often isolating world that is cancer diagnoses and treatments, SHARE, a nonprofit organization based in New York City, aims to shed light and foster a compassionate community with the help of volunteers who staff phone lines and offer individualized support for women battling breast and ovarian cancers. The friendly, reassuring voices answering calls from patients, families and friends are often those of survivors themselves, which makes them keenly experienced in navigating the uncertainty that lies ahead. Each year, female chefs from around the city gather to raise money to further SHARE's mission of care at A Second Helping of Life, a walk-around tasting event showcasing their deliciously inspired eats and drinks.
This year marks the tenth anniversary of A Second Helping of Life, and to celebrate this milestone, Chopped judge and Next Iron Chef: Redemption runner-up Amanda Freitag spearheaded the event as the executive chef. "I'm just supporting this amazing organization like I do every year … I just find it to be one of the best organizations for women who are going through this," Amanda told FN Dish on Monday night at Manhattan's Pier Sixty. When she wasn't chatting with guests or graciously posing with fans for photos, Amanda worked alongside her culinary team to plate individual corn flans, creamy yet light bites served alongside a watercress salad with crumbled ricotta salata. "I wanted to capture the little bits of summer that we had left in the corn," she explained of the inspiration behind her dish.
Along with Amanda, nearly five dozen guest and sous chefs, plus executive chefs emeritae, dished up signature offerings to more than 1,000 attendees. Daisy Martinez, host of Food Network's Viva Daisy!, prepared one of the most popular dishes, Grilled Quail on Seeded Toast with Warm Parsley Vinaigrette (pictured left). No sooner could she serve her salty-spicy bite than partygoers would snatch it up; more than once Daisy found herself awaiting refills of forks and plates, as word quickly spread that this tender, juicy meat was a must-try of the night.
Food Network's newest Iron Chef, Alex Guarnaschelli, prepared bite-sized crostini featuring cool ricotta cheese, meaty mushrooms and grilled radicchio, while Sara Jenkins of Porchetta and Porsena offered succulent pork on crusty bread (pictured right).
For Amanda Cook from Cookshop and Sarabeth Levine from Sarabeth's, sweeter treats reigned supreme, as they prepared richly decadent Black Bottom Fluffer Nutter Parfaits and Apple-Pear Crisps with Vanilla Bean Sauce (pictured left), respectively.