The Museum of Food and Drink, the years-in-the-works dream of food and cocktail wizard Dave Arnold and Heritage Foods' Patrick Martins, will move one step closer to reality on May 7 when the organizers throw their newest monster fundraising meal. Building off of the blueprint of their initial fundraiser lunch in 2011, the MOFAD team has enlisted eight major New York chefs to cook courses based on future exhibits. For example, cronut king Dominique Ansel will tackle "Food on the Battlefield," Amanda Cohen gets "Korea Before the Chili," and Sean Gray of Momofuku Ko will offer his take on Pennsylvania Dutch Food. The cost of admission: $600 a seat.
The dinner comes over three years after the very first fundraiser and 10 months after the group's successful $100,000 Kickstarter campaign to create a roving exhibition for their puffing cereal gun. But Peter Kim, the Executive Director of the museum, says that in the interim they've been planning next steps and that "a ton" of work is going on behind the scenes. "Fueled by the success [of the Kickstarter] we laid down a roadmap to get to a brick and mortar museum open by 2019," says Kim, "To set us up for a full fledged capital campaign, we're focusing on an exhibition for 2015 in an actual space." He calls the upcoming dinner a rallying cry for the museum.
After the success of the puffing gun, the MOFAD team focused its energy on adding board members, getting development and programming help, and deepening connections in the culinary industry. (Both Mario Batali and Harold McGee are on the Advisory Board.) They launched a debate series called the MOFAD Round Table—the next one, on GMOs, will take place at the Food Book Fair—and every other month plan on hosting cocktail party fundraisers that will be more accessible than the $600/head dinner. "We're looking for major donors but it's important for us to get support from the whole spectrum. That's why Kickstarter was a symbolic way for us to get a start," adds Kim.
The focus of their 2015 exhibition will be revealed at the dinner in May. Tickets for the meal, which will include courses from Dominique Ansel, Michael Anthony, Franklin Becker, Amanda Cohen, Wylie Dufresne, Sean Gray, Brooks Headley, and Nils Norén can be found here.
· 2014 MOFAD Spring Benefit Dinner [Official Site]
· Museum of Food and Drink [Official Site]
· All Coverage of the Museum of Food and Drink [~ENY~]