The Gold Coast Arts Center will be hosting a fundraising event on Thursday, May 4, at Lola Restaurant featuring Jacques Pépin, a renowned chef who has published 28 cookbooks and 13 PBS-TV series. During the fundraiser, more than a dozen of Pépin’s most noted recipes will be prepared by James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Ginor of Lola.
“Chef Pépin is a true artist,” said Regina Gil, executive director of the Gold Coast Arts Center. “It is our true honor to bring him to Great Neck and spotlight his tremendous career.”
After the tasting, a film screening and a question-and-answer session will be held with Pépin. The film, American Masters: Jacques Pépin—The Art of Craft, details Pépin’s journey towards achieving recognition for his books, recipes, New York Times articles and television programs. Directly after the screening, guests will be treated to a complimentary dessert prepared by Ginor and his kitchen staff. A number of auction items will also be available, including signed chef coats.
“It is our mission to bring the best of the arts to our region and to remind the public that the arts are not a solitary occupation,” Gil said. “The culinary arts, art of film, art of conversation all together and layered with a socializing opportunity where people of like mind meet to enjoy all of the above. What could be better?”
Over the years, Pépin has won awards in all branches of the culinary world, from articles to television programs to leadership abilities. Pépin has won 16 James Beard Foundation Awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. The chef has published countless articles in Food & Wine Magazine and was the recipient of honorary doctorate degrees from five American universities. Pépin has also won La Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest civilian honor, the Julia Child Award and an Emmy Award for the PBS series Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home with Julia Child. Pépin has also served as a personal chef for three French heads of state, including Charles de Gaulle.
Chef Ginor has been honored by the James Beard Foundation for his work at both Lola and La Verdad Mexican Restaurant in Boston. He received the American Master Taster Award from the American Tasting Institute, as well as a nomination by Food & Wine Magazine as the People’s Choice for Top Ten Chefs in New York. Lola has received the top rating from The New York Times, and Newsday, described as a “brilliant, volatile…shooting star.”
As part of the Gold Coast International Film Festival, this fundraiser looks to showcase the work of exceptional filmmakers and provide the public with an insider’s view of the film industry. In addition to hosting and praising Pépin, the Gold Coast Arts Center has also featured Grammy-winning musician Vince Giordano, Broadway stars and Tony winners/nominees Melissa Errico, Savion Glover and Kelli O’Hara and four-time Oscar winner for production and costume design Catherine Martin.
The Gold Coast Arts Center looks to use the funds collected from the event to support year-round programs, including School for the Arts as well as its scholarship program and Arts-in-Education Community Outreach Programs that provide arts and education opportunities for students and teachers throughout Long Island and Queens in their own schools.
“Much preparation went into this event but putting together these kinds of events is what we are all about and what we love to do,” Gil said. “We make art to be enjoyed by and with others. A musician who plays for himself? A chef who only cooks for himself? So much more meaningful and fun when the public is present to ‘talk back.’”