The 6th Annual Whole Foods “New Taste of the Upper West Side” is an exciting new event, Soirée in the Park on Wednesday, May 29th, at 7 p.m., in Theodore Roosevelt Park. Hosted by the Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District (BID), the festive fundraiser will feature champagne and hors d’oeuvres by chefs John Fraser (Dovetail), Maria Loi (Loi) and Cesare Casella (Salumeria Rosi Parmacotta).
All of the evening’s proceeds will go to the revitalization of Theodore Roosevelt Park, a treasured green oasis that surrounds the American Museum of Natural History. With 12 acres of parkland, not including the Museum’s footprint, this urban sanctuary extends from West 77th to West 81st Streets and from Columbus Avenue to Central Park West.
“Over the years, the BID has donated significant funds raised through our New Taste of the Upper West Side events to many deserving community-based organizations,” says Barbara Adler, Executive Director of the Columbus Avenue BID. “Soirée in the Park allows us the opportunity to raise funds for one of the crown jewels of the Upper West Side, Theodore Roosevelt Park.”
Organized by the Columbus Avenue BID, but inspired by the Friends of Theodore Roosevelt Park Working Group, chaired by Mel Wymore, tickets for Soirée in the Park are being sold online at www.newtasteuws.com, as well as through co-op boards for buildings fronting the park on West 77th and West 81st Streets.
Adds Mr. Wymore, “Fifteen years ago, this park was virtually resuscitated by a small group of neighbors who became the stewards for a great reclamation effort. Today, they are joined by many new neighbors and stakeholders committed to making this park a vital showcase again for the Upper West Side, including the BID, whose participation is a real game-changer.”
The other two events for this year’s 6th Annual Whole Foods New Taste of the Upper West Side, which are being held that same weekend, are Comfort Classics on Friday, May 31st, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., a high-energy celebration hosted by Travel Channel’s Adam Richman and featuring tastings from more than 40 local chefs; and Best of the West on Saturday, June 1 which begins at 6 p.m. for VIP ticket holders, followed by general admission from 7 p.m. through 9:30 p.m. Host Gail Simmons, Top Chef Judge and Food & Wine’s Special Project’s Director, will preside over 40-plus chefs and restaurateurs as they present sophisticated seasonal fare throughout a glamorous night of fine food, wine and spirits. The honorees this year are Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group and Randy Garutti, CEO of Shake Shack.
Beneficiaries for those two events include the Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District’s Sustainable Streetscape Project, as well as the Wellness in the Schools programs at the O’Shea School complex and PS 87, down the block. Detailed information for all events and ticket purchases are available at www.newtasteuws.com.