Thursday, January 24, 2008

Go Green Cookbook Launch Party

Last night I met up with my publicist, Mary Moore at the Museum of The City of New York on Fifth Avenue for the launch party for "The Go Green East Harlem" Cookbook. It was a beautiful affair and was packed to the rafters with politicians, community activists, make up artists, restauranteurs, chef, name the profession and I bet you they were in that room last night!

The Go Green East Harlem Cookbook¸ is a compilation of healthy recipes contributed by East Harlem restauranteurs and community residents. The cookbook is part of the Borough President’s Go Green East Harlem health initiative.

The bilingual four-color cookbook, which features healthy recipes for appetizers, soups, salads, entrees and – yes – desserts, will be available in bookstores and online, and will be given out free of charge to many residents of East Harlem.

Other “Go Green” initiatives to date include a new asthma center, the planting of hundreds of street trees in East Harlem, a new farmers’ market on 106th Street, and a “green building” conference for developers, planners and community advocates that Stringer hosted in October. Go Green East Harlem is led by a steering committee of neighborhood residents, civic, environmental and business leaders, public health advocates and elected officials.Each recipe featured in the book was reviewed by experts from the Integrative Nutrition Institute, a leading nutrition school, and is coded with helpful information such as “dairy free,” “sugar free,” and “whole grains.” Among more than 65 people who contributed recipes are Mt. Sinai Hospital President Dr. Burton Drayer (Golden Gazpacho); Ginger Executive Chef Wei Ziong Hu (Fish and Watercress Soup with Glass Noodles); Hilda Candy Vasquez and Sandra Vives-Ramos of the 116th Street Block Association (Spanish Stew Soup); Harlem Tea Room owner Patrice Clayton (Tea Time Salad); Community Board 11 Chair Robert Rodriguez (Honey Baked Chicken); Wagner Tenants’ Association President Katie Harris (Cream of Fruited Chicken); Community Board 11 Vice Chair Debbie Quinones (Limbel del el Caribe); and Settepani Bakery owners Leah Abraham and Nino Settepani (Sicilian Fava Bean Stew).

Borough President Stringer, who does not cook, contributed tips for choosing healthy takeout. Kysha Harris, of the cooking consultant firm Schop!, contributed a section on setting up a kitchen.

The cookbook includes color photos of contributors and East Harlem locations taken by volunteer photographers from the International Center of Photography.

Proceeds from the sale of the Go Green East Harlem Cookbook will go to the Community Fund for Manhattan, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization established by the Office of the Manhattan Borough President to support public/private partnerships that benefit residents of Manhattan and the City of New York.

The Go Green East Harlem Cookbook is available online at Barnes and Noble

I think that they are putting the final touches on the building so the exterior entrance to the museum was "tented" and that gave it an extra fabulous touch in my opinion. The interior was absolutely gorgeous!!! I simply loved the candle lit winding staircase. They had a three piece band playing and a beautiful gallery at the end of the room that showcased enlarged photographs of all of the contributors to the cookbook. I found the exhibit to be quite interesting.

I got a chance to walk around and survey my surroundings for over an hour because Hillary Clinton was in NJ, traffic was rerouted and that made Mary REALLY While walking around I ran into the always gracious Melba Wilson, proprietor of my favorite Harlem restaurant Melba's....she was kind enough to introduce me to Drew Nieporent, the famous restauranteur and owner of Nobu (Great Sushi...I hear...can't quite afford to eat there & Tribeca Grill (Co Owned by Robert DeNiro...LOVE HIM!!!). He was a sweetie but was in mid run to the men's room...he promised he'd come back to talk and to my surprise...he did! I also met the owner of a new boutique in Harlem (2312 Seventh Ave @ 136th St)called "Montgomery"...I definitely gotta check it out...Home girl custom makes clothing!!!

I spotted Deputy Borough President Rosemonde Pierre-Louis at the front door catching all the celebs & (the who's who in the politics of Harlem) as they entered and getting them to stop and pose for a photograph with a copy of the book! Umm...she didn't ask The Runway Diva! to take a photo but the photographer thought that I was beautiful enough and insisted that I take some photos holding the book. I will be honest...I was slightly miffed that the DBP gave me a strange look and was reluctant to give me the book when I asked her for the book to pose with....(I am a Harlemite and I grew up in East Harlem) she didn't ask me who I was nor did bother to find out either....not good politics in my book. Perhaps that's just me being "salty" lol...

My girl Yvette Hayward, creator of the African American Literary Awards, showed up a few minutes later...(thanks for the invite Yvette!). I also ran into Chef Jorge and his brother, who I met last week at the Food Network's Throwdown taping. Mary Moore arrived right before Deputy Mayor Scott Stringer took the stage to thank everyone for coming and to explain what the "Go Green" initiative is all about.

Also on hand were, Style Guru Lloyd Boston; Renee Elise Goldberry (The Color Purple & One Life To Live)...Miss Renee was rocking a pair of Lizard pumps that I simply HAD to take a picture of! Hairstylist Terry Mathis & Titusz C. Bankuti (owner of another of my Fave Harlem restaurants...Ginger on 116th St), I made a LOT of friends this evening and I enjoyed myself immensely! There was a delicious sampling of foods from many of the contributors to the cookbook....the food was off the chain ya'll...and at the bar they were serving a champagne based lager that was actually not bad at all. I clocked the lines for the food tastings (ridiculously long) as the event began winding down. I was glad I sampled the menu

People!!! There are some really great restaurants in Harlem...You all should really take a moment check them out!!!

“Fear less, hope more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Hate less, love more; And all good things are yours.”

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