Street Signs Mark Stations (and Menus) at Citymeals Fund-Raiser

Styled after a Parisian boulevard, the summer fund-raiser for Citymeals-on-Wheels featured street-sign-inspired signage that came in handy when a thunderstorm forced crowds under the cover of the tents.

By Anna Sekula June 18, 2008, 3:33 PM EDT

The crowded tent for Citymeal-on-Wheels

Photo: Jessica Torossian for BizBash

Cremè de la Cremè Citymeals-on-Wheels Fund-Raiser
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The Citymeals-on-Wheels Chef's Tribute benefit doesn't seem to have much luck with the weather. On Monday night—as at last year's incarnation—wet weather forced the event and guests indoors and under tents. Luckily, the signage for the stations became more than just a visual element: The tall signposts allowed guests to see the menu items and chefs' names over the crowds huddled under the tents at the Rockefeller Center rink.

The not-for-profit's annual summer event was dubbed “Crème de la Crème,” and took on the look of a Parisian boulevard with plants dotted about and street-sign-inspired signage. Planned by the organization's director of special events, Heather Gere, the fund-raiser honored renowned French chefs such as Georges Blanc, Paul Bocuse, Gaston LeNôtre, Pierre Gagnaire, and André Soltner. U.S.-based chefs cooking for the crowd from stations in the sunken rink-level space included Jean Joho of Everest in Chicago, Gotham Bar and Grill's Alfred Portale, and David Myers of Comme Ça in Los Angeles.

The Rockwell Group was once again brought in to create the decor scheme, an effective one that extended from the black-and-white illustrations on the invitations to the Pop Art-style banner across the cocktail bar. Even the logo used on the program had a whimsical twist—a fleur-de-lis with a whisk in the the middle. And with so much food to choose from, the signposts marked with the menu items and chefs' names helped guests find their way around.

More than 1,100 guests moved between 62 stations filling up their plastic food trays whilst juggling drinks. Among those in attendance were Kathleen Turner, Samantha Boardman, and John McDonald. The night was hosted by Nick Valenti and the Patina Group, and raised more than $900,000 for Citymeals-on-Wheels.

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