Jean Shafiroff

Matt Leone With Stephanie Leone & Mark D Friedman

The American Cancer Society hosted the 14th Annual Taste of Hope recently at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City. The event raised over $250,000 in support of the organization’s goal to eliminate cancer.

Notable attendees included: Jean Shafiroff, Otto Cedeno, Chef Ralph Scamardella, Dana Cowin, Chef Michael Lomonaco, Mark D Friedman, Jamie Koff, Chris Wragge, Geraldine Hughes, Chef Todd English, Sarabeth Levine, Chef Antonio Prontelli, Fabiana Dwyer, Matthew Dwyer, Guy Tomlinson, Hazel Koch, Pearl Koch, Matt Leone, Stephanie Leone, Danny Burstein, Rebecca Luker and David Pogrebin.

This years’ Volunteer Host Committee included Alysia Reiner, Danny Burstein, Harry Carson, David Alan Basche, Rebecca Luker and Clarke Thorell.

Event Co-Chairs Mark D. Friedman and Jamie Koff volunteered year-round to produce this signature culinary, wine, and spirits event that provided the 900+ guests the opportunity to enjoy bites from New York City’s top restaurants and philanthropic chefs, and sips from leading winemakers and spirit brands.

This year’s celebration recognized Culinary Honoree Michael Lomonaco, Chef & Partner of Porter House Bar and Grill; Culinary Honoree Ralph Scamardella, Chef & Partner of TAO Group Restaurants; Corporate Honoree Otto Cedeno, Founder of Otto’s Tacos; and Survivor Honoree Dana Cowin, former Editor-in-chief of Food & Wine Magazine. CBS News’ Chris Wragge was back to Emcee.

Mark D Friedman With Otto Cedeno, Ralph Scarmardella,
Dana Cowin, Michael Lomonaco & Jamie Ko

Taste of Hope is the American Cancer Society’s signature culinary, wine, and spirits event, featuring some of New York’s most popular restaurants and beverage vendors. Guests enjoy a walk-around tasting where they can sample signature dishes, premier wines and spirits, and inventive cocktails. Now in its 14th year, the event is hosted annually by the Taste of Hope volunteer committee and has raised over $2 Million to support the American Cancer Society’s mission and goal of eliminating cancer as a major health problem.


More than 90 restaurants participated, including: Baby Brasa, Barbounia, Ben & Jacks Steakhouse, Benjamin Prime, Bonsai Kakigori, Boulud Sud, Calle Ocho, Hunt & Fish Club, Jing Fong, Jora, L'adresse, LAVO, Loi Estiatorio, Magnolia Bakery, Motel Morris, Mr. Crabby's Craft Kitchen + Bar, Nick's Lobster House, Nobu Fifty Seven, Ortzi NYC, Otto’s Tacos, Parkway Bakery & Tavern, Patina Restaurant Group, Sarabeth's, Serendipity 3, STK Steakhouse, Surfish Bistro, Sweetcatch Poke, TAO, The Algonquin Hotel, The Kati Roll Company, The Sea Fire Grill, The Smith, Toloache Restaurant, Tommy Bahama, and XYST.

Attendees also had the opportunity to bid on silent auction prizes donated from leading organizations, including: Tory Burch, Intersect by Lexus, Levain Bakery, Wine Spectator, Nautilus Hotel, New York Health and Racquet Club, Rebecca Minkoff, Balenciaga, Google, and SoulCycle. Corporate support for this year’s event has been received from the following: Murray River Salt – All Access Lounge Sponsor, Eurostruct – Silver Sponsor, Olshan – Silver Sponsor, Glassman Walters Associate – Merrill – Silver Sponsor, UHY Advisors – Silver Sponsor, Citi Quiet – Silver Sponsor, American Freedom Distillery – Silver Sponsor, Gentle Giant Moving Company – Moving Sponsor, Sabert Mozaik – Tabletop Sponsor, Cloud Shop Studios - Website Sponsor, KGI Design Group – Design Sponsor, DJ Spin Diesel – Entertainment Sponsor, Total Food Service – Media Sponsor, 1-800-Bartend – Bar Sponsor, and The Freidman Rosenthal Team at Halstead – Photo Booth Sponsor.

This year’s Benefit Committee included: Drew Blumenthal, Jennifer Cayetano, Jill Davison, Gail Eissenstat, Nicole Filingeri, Gayle Greenberg, Melanie Greene, Wayne Margolin, Jeanine Marino, Melanie McManus, Kara Mignone, Lucy Miller, Sari Pollack, Christine Poopatana, Kim Poulos, Scott Sheehy, Melissa Siegel, Brittany Stevenson, Maresca Visone, Dialecti Voudouris, and Rachel Waynberg.

About Taste of Hope:

Taste of Hope® was founded in 2005 by the American Cancer Society as a way to celebrate New York dining while raising funds to support the Society’s mission to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. From breakthrough research, to free lodging near treatment, a 24/7/365 live helpline, free rides to treatment, and convening powerful activists to create awareness and impact, the Society is attacking cancer from every angle.

For more information, visit:

Photos Courtesy Of Lawlor Media GP / Hideki Aono