Last night, Susanna and I, together with Nils Norén - Vice President of Culinary Arts at the French Culinary Institute - put on a benefit to raise money for our friends at the Philoctetes Center. It was a fantastic event! We started off with a tour behind the scenes at the institute, allowing guests to see what goes on in the kitchens and the classrooms. Then Nils and Dave Arnold - the Director of Culinary Technology - demonstrated some high-tech cooking techniques, with hilarious commentary from olfactory neuroscientist Stuart Firestein. Guests were then served a delicious dinner cooked and served by students, and then we sat down for a panel discussion about taste and art with chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli of Butter, artist Philip Pearlstein, and nightlife impresario Serge Becker. Not only was it a fun and tasty evening, it was also a very successful fundraiser, and we were delighted to have raised a significant sum for the Philoctetes Center.
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