Cookies for Kids' Cancer's 3rd Annual Chefs for Kids' Cancer, NYC

Bobby Flay & Paul Rudd Attend the 3rd Annual Chefs for Kids' Cancer | Photo: ©Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan

Affair: Cookies for Kids' Cancer's 3rd Annual Chefs for Kids' Cancer

When: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 @ 5:30PM

Hot Spot: Metropolitan West, NYC

Deets: Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, an organization dedicated to funding research for pediatric cancer treatments, hosted its third annual benefit, “Chefs for Kids’ Cancer,” on February 23rd, 2016, at Metropolitan West (639 West 46th Street), with all proceeds benefitting research for childhood cancer. This year's benefit raised more than $1 million and still counting!
Chefs Dan Kluger, James Kent, Marc Murphy, and Marc Forgione served as Culinary Co-Chairs and Christina Tosi served as Dessert Chair. All five chefs were crucial to last year’s event and are friends of Gretchen and Larry Witt, parents of Liam Witt who is the inspiration behind this magical evening and organization. Nine years ago, Liam’s courageous journey with the disease began, and his dreams of someday becoming a chef were tragically cut short in 2011 after a four-year battle with cancer. Last year’s gala was an incredible success, raising more than $1.1 million, which has already funded research to find better treatments against the #1 disease killer of children in the U.S.

This year’s event brought together 27 award-winning chefs and NYC’s top mixologists to support this important cause. Each chef prepared a special multi-course dinner for individual tables, followed by a dessert party extravaganza with sweets from 16 of the city’s top dessert chefs. This year's chefs included 11 James Beard Award nominees/winners and 11 chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants.

Chef Mario Batali, who was a dear friend of Liam and a big supporter of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, hosted the evening. The night began with a cocktail reception on the main floor, featuring beverages from some of NYC’s finest mixologists such as Julie Reiner (Flatiron Lounge, Clover Club) and Michael Neff (Ward III and The Rum House), and hors d’oeuvres from chefs Ivan Orkin (Ivan Ramen), Josh Capon (Lure Fishbar, Bowery Meat Co), and others. All spirits are sourced from small-batch distilleries across New York State and graciously donated by Brian Facquet (Prohibition Distillery), and the majority of wines are arranged by Skurnik Wines. There was a state-of-the-art photo booth throughout the evening, donated by The Bosco. After, guests proceeded upstairs to an intimate dinner at tables flanking the chef cooking area powered by full size Samsung ranges — no table less than 15 feet from a chef. Co-chairs Dan Kluger(opening a new restaurant in 2016, formerly ABC Kitchen/Cocina), James Kent (The NoMad), Marc Murphy(Landmarc, Ditch Plains), and Marc Forgione (Restaurant Marc Forgione, American Cut, Lobster Press, Khe-Yo) put together a roster of the city’s best chefs, each of whom prepared a four-course meal for two tables of 10 guests each. For select tables, acting sommelier Thomas Pastuszak (Wine Director at The NoMad) chose and served wines paired with each dish.

After dinner, Dessert Chair Christina Tosi (Milk Bar) served two signature sweets from Milk Bar. Guests were then invited back downstairs for an epic dessert after-party with stations featuring Dominique Ansel (Dominique Ansel Bakery)’s cookie shots; Karlie Kloss (Klossies)’s brand-new Rice and Spice Cookie, and Eleven Madison Park’s signature granola. An additional station was manned by the brigade of dessert chefs who contributed a special cookie for the ultimate take-home cookie jar (see full list below). Musical entertainment was provided throughout the evening by 12-year-old DJ Fulano as well as a special performance by musician and actress Jill Hennessy (Law & Order, Crossing Jordan) during the dessert after-party.

Also in attendance were actor Paul Rudd and radio show host Elvis Duran, Princess Beatrice, actress/musician Jill Hennessy, NYSE President Tom Farley, Olympic skier K.C. Oakley, plus several of the best doctors in the world of pediatric cancer, including Dr. Michael La Quaglia (Chief of Pediatric Surgical Services, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center) who gave remarks.

A live auction led by Lydia Fenet of Christie’s was held.

About Cookies for Kids’ Cancer

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer was founded in 2008 by New Jersey residents Gretchen and Larry Witt after their young son Liam was diagnosed with cancer. The couple, inspired by their sons own battle with the disease, decided to take action and bake 96,000 cookies as a larger-than-life fundraiser to help fund a treatment in development. This extraordinary bake sale raised more than $420,000 and helped to fund a treatment children are receiving today. After four years, Liam’s battle ended but the foundation that he inspired has gone on to raise more than $12 million for childhood cancer research. Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease of children in the U.S. but receives very little federal funding. Gretchen and Larry Witt are on a crusade to change that statistic.

Through the concept of local events and online cookie sales, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has granted more than $9 million to date, funding six dozen research projects, including 26 that are now treatments available for children battling cancer today. The organization inspires individuals, organizations, and businesses to join in the fight against pediatric cancer by raising funds for new and improved and less toxic treatments. Since Cookies for Kids’ Cancer launched in 2008, there have been more than 6,500 events in all 50 states and 16 countries. Grants are peer reviewed by a scientific advisory board of esteemed pediatric cancer oncologists, with funds going directly to the leading pediatric cancer institutions in the country including: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Dana Farber, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Texas Children’s Cancer Center. In addition, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is the largest single donor to the Children’s Oncology Group Phase I Consortium project. Their donation is twice the amount that the Federal Government allocates per child enrolled. The organization has been profiled in the The Wall Street Journal, TODAY Show, Good Morning America, NY Daily News, Family Circle Magazine and dozens of other local and national media outlets. In addition, the organization has received several national awards for its work. For more information, visit

Spotted: Christina Tosi, Dessert Chair; Dan Kluger, Event Co-chair; James Kent, Event Co-Chair; Marc Murphy, Event Co-Chair, Marc Forgione, Event Co-Chair; Dan Kluger, Event Co-Chair; Mario Batali; Julie Reiner; Michael Neff; Ivan Orkin; Josh Capon; Brian Facquet; Thomas Pastuszak; Karlie Kloss; Paul Rudd; Elvis Duran; Dr. Michael La Quaglia; and Lydia Fenet. Also in attendance: Bobby Flay, Marc Murphy, James Kent, Dan Kluger, Justin Smillie, Paul Rudd, Princess Beatrice, Elvis Duran, Jill Hennessy, Tom Farley and K.C. Oakley.

Hint For The Average Socialite: Individual tickets started at $1,500 and tables started at $15,000. For info contact:

Get Involved: Those who wish to support Cookies for Kids’ Cancer can do so by making a donation, purchasing cookies online or hosting an event in their area.

Read about the Cookies for Kids' Cancer Family Fun Day!

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