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February 19, 2016

In 1981, restaurant critic Gael Greene and chef and cookbook author James Beard founded Citymeals on Wheels after reading a New York Times article about their homebound elderly having nothing to eat on weekends and holidays. They rallied their friends in the food world, raising $35,000 to provide meals for their frail aged neighbors that Christmas.

Citymeals has remained deeply rooted in and supported by the chef community since then. With that in mind, Citymeals Board Co-President Chef Daniel Boulud, Board Member Chef Charlie Palmer, Board Member and restaurateur Drew Nieporent and Board Co-President Robert S. Grimes conceived the Citymeals Culinary Circle – a program to engage the next generation of charitable "foodies" with our mission.

The Citymeals Culinary Circle is comprised of New York chefs, restaurateurs, food writers, editors and culinary industry influencers. In addition to strengthening their support of isolated older New Yorkers, members of the group are encouraged to mentor one another.

Beth Shapiro, Executive Director of Citymeals on Wheels, commented, "For nearly 35 years Citymeals has been supported by some of the most talented members of the culinary community. As we look ahead, we are thrilled that Daniel, Robert, Drew and Charlie are sharing their time and talent to foster relationships between a new generation of generous gourmands and Citymeals. Members of the Citymeals Culinary Circle understand that Citymeals serves as a safety net to thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers. And, of course, none of this would be possible without our co-founder, Gael Greene, who will lend her invaluable voice to this new initiative."

Earlier this week, members of the Citymeals Culinary Circle gathered for the first time to talk about the initiative and enjoy a delectable lunch at Hometown Bar-B-Que in Brooklyn. Chef Charlie Palmer explained, "We’re here today to introduce a new generation of chefs and restaurateurs to Citymeals and share some of our experiences. It’s a great fit because food professionals are always asked to give back and to help in many different ways. I think there’s nothing more important in the world than feeding people."

Citymeals Culinary Circle members include:

Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern
Franco Barrio, Bespoke Kitchen
Kyle Beechum, Bespoke Kitchen
Christine Berni-Silverstein, Culinary Director, Urbani Truffle Lab NYC
Jamie Bissonnette, Toro
Lauren Bloomberg, Food Writer, Restaurant Critic & Culinary Consultant
Rebecca Brooks, The Brooks Group PR
Nicolas Bustamente, Founder, Owner & Public Relations, Bespoke Kitchen
Cesare Casella, Chef, Restaurateur & Author
Frank Castronovo, Frankies Spuntino
Francine Cohen, Editor in Chief/Consultant, Inside F&B
Leah Cohen, Pig & Khao
Rebecca Dengrove, Creator, Brewla Bars
Luca Di Pietro, Founder, Tarallucci E Vino
Andrew Dornenberg, Author, Photographer
Florence Fabricant, Columnist, The New York Times
Frank Falcinelli, Frankies Spuntino
Elizabeth Falkner, Chef, Author
Julianne Feder, Founder, The Gastronerd; Chef
Marc Forgione, Marc Forgione, American Cut
Markus Glocker, Bâtard
Ben Grossman, Chef & Co-owner, Marietta, Smoke Joint, Peaches
Josh Henner, CEO, Tell
JJ Johnson, The Cecil
Peter Kaminski, Journalist, Author & Television Producer
James Kent, The NoMad Hotel
Kristine Ku, Director of Marketing & Communications, Epicurean Group
Adin Langille, David Burke fabric
Levina Li, IDE Group
Shane Lyons, Distilled
Jo-Ann Makovitzky, CEO, One Five Hospitality
Dean Martinus, President, Great Performances
Douglas Matthews, C. V. Starr & Co
Marco Moreira, One Five Hospitality
Tai Muhammed, Chef
Elizabeth Murray, Community Outreach, Gramercy Tavern
Robert Nieporent, Director of Restaurant Systems, Epicurean Group
Michael “Buzzy” O’Keeffe, Owner, River Café
Karen Page, Author
Michael Rabasco, General Manager, Bespoke Kitchen
Ruth Reichl, Chef, Writer & Producer
Alex Reyes, Brand Executive Chef, Fifth Dining at Saks Fifth Avenue
Ali Rosen, Podcaster, Writer, & Television Personality
Craig Samuel, Chef & Co-Owner, Marietta, Smoke Joint, Peaches
Audrey Saunders, Owner, Pegu Club
Jesse Schenker, The Gander
Andrew Schnipper, Founder, Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen
Jonathan Schnipper, Founder, Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen
Bryce Shuman, Betony
Bill Telepan, Telepan
Cédric Vongerichten, Perry St
Marcus Ware, Aureole
Jeff Zalaznick, Co-Founder, Major Food Group

Gael Greene, Co-Founder and Board Chair, Citymeals on Wheels