Dining for Darfur
On Aug. 21, wine enthusiasts will gather at the Puck Building to taste wines from around the world, all for a good cause. Dining for Darfur’s Wine Tasting Gala will raise funds for the International Rescue Committee aiding Darfur, Sudanese genocide victims and refugee camps in Chad.
The first such event was held in April to raise money and attention to the cause, raising nearly $30,000 from a charity dine-out, in which participating restaurants donated 5 percent of total sales towards humanitarian relief.
“They said they were having a wine tasting and why not have everyone stay for a wine party, to raise money for your cause,” said Andrea Strong, the event’s founder. Like April’s dine-out, last August’s wine gala raised $30,000. “Since I started this, a lot more people in the food community are aware they can contact their state officials and raise money. We can make a difference where there needs to be one made.”
This time around, T. Edward Wines, an importer of boutique wines from around the world will offer over 400 wines including Robert Sinskey, Vineyard 29, Delille Titus, Tenuta di Trinoro, Tensley, Highfield Estate, Domaine de Montvac, Sybille Kuntz and Valandraud. (“Come thirsty,” said Strong.) In addition, specialty dishes by Blue Ribbon, Cookshop and BBQ newcomer Hill County, will be served. There will also be a silent auction featuring such goodies as wine and food packages.
The IRC was founded in 1933 and started sending aid to Darfur shortly after war erupted in 2004 between government-backed militias, known as Janjaweed – whose goal is to wipe out African tribal farmer communities – and refugees. “I was astonished that our country would let something like that happen,” said Strong. The IRC operates clinics and hospitals, which also train community medical workers, in addition to providing water, sanitation, counseling and protection to woman who are hunted by sexual predators in savage gang rapes and brandings. With refugees fleeing for the border, the war has spread into Chad where refugee camps have been established.
Tickets for Dining for Darfur’s Wine Tasting Gala are $125 per person; 100 percent of proceeds will go directly to IRC. For more information visit diningfordarfur.org. — Nicole Tringali
Boulud Settles Suit
Chef Daniel Boulud has agreed to settle a discrimination lawsuit brought by Latino and Bangladeshi employees at his acclaimed restaurant, Daniel.
Daniel has agreed to pay a settlement of $80,000 in damages to the eight workers who sued. Boulud has also agreed to adopt an employment policy that will be overseen by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the state attorney general’s office to ensure employees will not be discriminated against with regard to promotions. Along with the new policy, busboys and runners will receive 8 percent raises and managers will get employment ethical training.
The lawsuit was brought by Latino and Bangladeshi busboys and runners who claim they were denied opportunities for advancement, since newly hired white employees with less experience and seniority were favored ahead of them. The Latino and Bangladeshi employees were also subjected to racial slurs by the restaurant’s management. — Gabriela Frias
No Mo’ Noho Liquor?
With the leash growing tighter on the number of liquor licenses allowed in the area between the Bowery and Broadway, Louis Salamone, an executive director looking to open a new theater at 45 Bleecker St., is another vendor with a dream of opening an establishment in Noho. The proposed location is within 500 feet of 1 Bleecker St., and residents are concerned the area is already swamped with noisy nightlife, sidewalk crowding and pollution; more food may add to more rodents and sanitation issues, they say. Salamone, eager to open in September, has compromised his vision by pledging to sell only wine and beer, adding a concession stand in lieu of a restaurant and roping off a sideway for its patrons, so the sidewalk will be more available. But more than 170 residents signed a petition in opposition to the license, though the neighborhood is favorable to the idea of a theater. The board endorsement is only advisory, but it holds a lot of weight with the State Liquor Authority.