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Food Allergy Group Fetes Daniel Boulud

December 10, 2002, 12:00 AM EST

Food Allergy Initiative benefit The Plaza Tuesday, 12.03.02, 7 PM onward
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Four-star chef and busy party boy Daniel Boulud was honored by the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI) at their annual benefit gala at the Plaza. The nonprofit, which raises money to find a cure for people with life-threatening food allergies, has honored a high-profile chef or restaurateur; past recipients include Alex von Bidder, Sirio Maccioni, Julian Niccolini and Drew Nieporent.

Organized by FAI co-founder Sharyn Mann, the event took over the Plaza's Terrace Room for cocktails and the second floor Grand Ballroom for dinner. Simone Martel and Meredith McCarthy of Martel Productions managed the event, which hosted 600 guests for dinner and included a performance by Patti LuPone (booked by Steven Scott Productions).

Guests were greeted by violinists in pseudo-French outfits—baggy white shirts emblazoned with the FAI logo, red neck scarves and black berets, and flag-bearers in chef whites.

Inside the ballroom, Antony Todd's decor included black and white silk taffeta sashes draped from the center of the ceiling to the corners of the ballroom, and spherical green topiaries of lemon leaf on birch trunks dotted the perimeter of the seating area. Todd placed delicate pink peonies in single-stem vases on the tables, and each place setting was decorated with paper chef toques. P&V Enterprises provided the technical direction for the event and producednd tribute videos.

The dinner menu was devised to exclude most common allergic-reaction causing foods (such as nuts, shellfish and dairy products), and the ingredient list of the entire meal was prominently displayed outside the dining room for allergy-suffering attendees.

Suzanne Ito

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