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Celebrity Cook-Off Gets Naked (Juices)

June 25, 2002, 12:00 AM EDT

Naked Juice and Waterkeeper Alliance Celebrity Cook-Off American Park at the Battery Thursday, 06.20.02, 10:30 AM to 2 PM
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Where there's a Kennedy, there are more celebrities, and juice company Naked Juice worked this fact to full effect to launch its Naked Organic juice line at American Park at the Battery. The New Jersey-based juice company teamed up with environmental nonprofit the Waterkeeper Alliance and its president Robert Kennedy Jr. for a star-studded launch event and cooking contest that teamed celebs with chefs to create dishes made with the new juices.

M. Young Communications brought its food and restaurant industry expertise to the event by pairing chefs with celebrities: designer Nicole Miller with Anita Lo of Annisa; comedian Al Franken with Peter Hoffman of Savoy; Sopranos star Lorraine Bracco with Don Pintabona of Tribeca Grill; Kennedy with Frederic Kieffer of Man Ray; and Kennedy's wife Mary Richardson with Michel Nischan of Heartbeat. The event's M.C. was ex-MTV veejay and Revlon spokeswoman Karen Duffy. The crowd of mostly press mingled with the contest judges and celebs, and sipped juice handed out by Naked Juice employees dressed in silly apple, orange and carrot costumes representing the available flavors of organic juices. (The costumes are part of Naked Juice's guerilla marketing campaign, and are usually worn by folks handing out samples on the street.)

The panel of judges, which included Peter Elliot of Bloomberg Radio and Bill Boggs of the Food Network, named Bracco and Pintabona the winners for their dish of grilled prawns with orange braised endive, Organic Naked carrot balsamico and Organic Naked orange juice vinaigrette. A sit-down buffet luncheon—which featured tables decorated with centerpieces of flowers and apples, carrots and oranges from Oppizzi Designs—followed the contest.

Suzanne Ito

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