Bronx Academy of Letters Benefit 2013 | Events

A whiskey-based cocktail made by Please Don’t Tell at the Bronx Letters 10th Anniversary Benefit.

If you can attend only one charity event throughout the entire year (and are also prepared to eat a lot of meat), you should make it the Bronx Academy of Letters Benefit. Tickets aren’t inexpensive, but the range of good food from so many good restaurants is staggering.

The benefit got me eating things I don’t even like, and taking chances on others. I ate roe, and I haven’t touched it since I left Japan in 2008. I gobbled down most of a piece of pizza from Roberta’s… and I’m lactose intolerant. Interestingly I was fine, meaning their mozzarella is made seriously right. Wasn’t about to try my luck with any of the dishes made with ricotta, though.  

“…without those language skills, we are lost.” -Anthony Bourdain, host of this year’s benefit.

Students from Bronx Letters spoke about how much the school has empowered them and changed their lives for the better. Additionally, they mingled with guests throughout the evening, introducing themselves and sharing information about their school.

First dish of the evening: bo ssäm from momofuku. I topped mine with kimchi. And went back for a second. That fork? Didn’t get used.

Danny Bowien (chef at Mission Chinese) gives bunny ears to his unsuspecting fellow photo subjects. This tartine from involved pesto, roe, and many other things I don’t remember. Too busy eating to type details into Evernote!

Tacos made by Julian Medina (of Toloache, Yerba Buena, and Coppelia). I’m not sure if everyone at the benefit was aware, but chefs from almost every restaurant were present and accessible. They were all busy preparing food or I would have been tempted to ask for quick interviews.

Gabrielle Hamilton (center), chef at Prune. This restaurant has been on my list for almost a year now. Prune doesn’t take reservations for brunch, so one day I’ll just have to stick out the wait.

Melt in your mouth brisket from BrisketTown. Still regretting not going back for a second plate.

Erin McKenna of BabyCakes. I didn’t get a cake pop, but that cake was seriously good.

Chex Mix and apricot sorbet from Del Posto. Brilliant. Perfect last plate of the evening.

I attended this year’s benefit on a media invite but was not compensated for any event coverage. I did bid (and think I was outbid at the last possible moment) on a great silent auction item. Well, there’s always next year.