October 11 Benefit?
- lynn a Sep 25, 2001 06:21 PM
I read in the LA Times that some LA restaurant owners were trying to organize a co-ordinated contribution effort to the 9-11 funds from sales/dinners on October 11th. Does anyone have any more information on this? Such an effort was separate from the tasting benefits over the weekend.
There are two types of benefits in the works that I know of as told to me by a woman named Linda at the Culinary Historical Society:
NEW INFORMATION. Many, many cooks and kitchen staff perished on September 11, from Windows on the World on the 107th floor to short order cooks in little shops in the buildings. Les Dames d'Escoffier International, a
non-profit organization of culinary professional women, has set up a fund for the families of these people. To contribute, please make your check out to: LDEI/LA KITCHEN FUND. Mail to: 20863 Bentron St., Woodland Hills, CA 91384. All monies will be donated to The Window of Hope Family Relief Fund, c/o Beacon Restaurant, 25 West 56th Street, New York, NY 10019, Attn: David Emil. Beacon is the sister restaurant of Window on the World. We were told to send everything to
New York, to Beacon Restaurant.. Les Dames is also in the process of planning fundraising "Diners d'Epicure," to establish a permanent scholarship or award in the name of Windows on the World, so people don't forget. These dinners, where the same menu was served simultaneously throughout restaurants in Europe, were begun by the great, magnanimous French chef Escoffier.
Escoffier, who cooked pot-au-feu de cheval for the general staff during a siege in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, was no stranger to war or disaster. When the Titanic went down in 1912, the press made much of the rich and famous on board -- Astor, Rothschild, etc. -- and even though the restaurants and the excellent quality of the food were big drawing points, no one except Escoffier remembered the kitchen staff. Most of the survivors on the Titanic were first-class passengers; with a couple of exceptions, the kitchen staff never made it to the lifeboats. Escoffier tracked down the names of as many as he could and wrote their obituaries, with pictures. A few years later, in
World War I, Escoffier set up a fund for the families of the cooks who were killed, even though one of his own sons had been killed.
There is a special place in my heart for Windows on the World. I am looking at a recipe I have had for more than 20 years, and which I got when a colleague of mine ate at the restaurant and came back raving about a dessert. I called the restaurant and the pastry chef then, Nick Malgieri, sent me his recipe for Frozen Amaretto Soufflé (which has now become an Amaretto
Semi-freddo to be safer with the eggs).
I am looking at that soufflé-spattered recipe now. It lists the restaurants that were in existence when Windows first opened at the top of the World
Trade Center: "The Restaurant," "The Cellar in the Sky," "The City Lights Bar," "Hors D'Oeuvrerie," and "The Statue of Liberty Lounge." Now, of course, there is--there were --"Windows on the World," "Wild Blue," the "Greatest Bar on Earth," all award-winning and all gone. Fortunately, gifted, personable Executive Chef Michael Lomonaco is still with us. The special on
Tuesday at Wild Blue would have been Crisp Sweetbread Salad; at Windows on the World, it would have been Roast Suckling Pig. Gone are the Soft-Hearted Devil's Food Cupcakes and the Lady Libertini, their unique martini. Gone are the private dining and catering rooms that served 2 to 2000: the Ballroom, where I attended the wedding of two Vassar classmates; The Hudson, Manhattan,
and Pinnacle Suites, the Cellar in the Sky, and the Liberty Suites -- gone. The Wine School, under Kevin Zraly -- gone.
The view from the 107th floor was indeed spectacular. As you looked down into the harbor, the Statue of Liberty raised her torch up toward you. Zagat says Windows on the World "put diners close to heaven." Let's band together and, like Escoffier, help their survivors here on earth.
re: Carolyn Tillie
. . .Mr. Lomonaco is here only because he went downstairs to have his glasses fixed at that awful moment.
What l really wanted to say is thank you, Carolyn for the information and for the great read.
People posting here are never dissapointing, very articulate,urbane,eloquent,inspiring and so terribly bright.What a pleasure.
A large number of restaurants are participating in the following program:
Dine at a participating restaurant on October Eleventh and you will have the option of adding a 10% donation to the relief effort. If you do, the restaurant will match it. The money will go to the New York Restaurant Employees Disaster Fund.
Participants in the South Bay are are The Admiral Risty, Aimee's, Aioli, The Bottle Inn, Breadstix, Chez Allez, Chez Melange, Coyote Cantina, The Depot, Gina Lee's Bistro, H.T. Grill, all three locations of Hennessey's Tavern, La Rive Gauche, Michi, New York Food Company, Restaurant Christine, Sixth Street Bistro, Too'Chez, and the Torrance Bakery.
I am actually working on a program in which restaurants will offer discounts to people who show a current Red Cross or other blood donor card. Over thirty places in the South Bay have expressed interest so far, with Reed's and Beluga among the places that are volunteering twenty per cent discounts. Other participants include Waterman's Grill, The Depot, Splash, and all the Melange Group restaurants. I have coordinators in other cities who are making inquiries there, and it is my hope that the idea will catch on. Rather than focus on one particular day and hit up people for donations, we want to reward people who give their time and life-blood 365 days a year... It's a different focus than the October Eleventh event, but both are valid. I have a website reserved and will be listing participating places. Posters will be displayed in the restaurants and at blood donation sites.
Anyway, I'll let the Chowhound Board know more about this when I have the website up.
re: Richard Foss
Regarding some of the South Bay restaurants... If they participating, they might want to get on the official website.
I am organizing a dinner that night but am considering La Cachette since they are listed and most of these others are not.
Anybody interesting in joining me at La Cachette?
re: Richard Foss
Thanks for the information, Richard. Some of us are unable to donate blood, but your idea is a terrific one and I will pass the word around. The donations at or in connection with the dinners are intriguing to folks I've spoken to becuase they allow you to make a contribution, be with friends enjoying their company which we hopefully value a little more since 9/11 and support our local restaurants since we don't want to see any more layoffs.