‘Women Cook for Women’ Benefit Set for Mon., March 8

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Courtesy of my colleague and Women’s Project publicist Bruce Cohen:

Women Cook for Women

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Top Chef Lee Anne Wong
24 Prince’s Chef
Top Chef’s Nikki Cascone
Iron Chef America’s Alexandra Guarnaschelli,
Jo’s Pastry Chef Anne Kim
and
Back Forty’s Shanna Pacifico

cook for

Laurie Anderson, Joan Osborne, Suzanne Vega
and 196 others
to raise money for Women’s Project Theater

Mon., March 8
Concert at 7:00p
m, followed by dinner

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Top Chef Lee Anne Wong, 24 Prince’s Chef, Top Chef’s Nikki Cascone, Iron Chef America’s Alexandra Guarnaschelli, Jo’s Desert Chef Anne Kim and Back Forty’s Shanna Pacific will prepare a gala dinner for Laurie Anderson, Joan Osborne and Suzanne Vega and 196 others to benefit Women’s Project, the theater company that has been producing the work of female theater artists for 32 years, on Mon., March 8.

But before the internationally acclaimed trio of female singer/songwriters can sit down to dine and receive Women’s Project’s 2010 Women of Achievement Award, they will first have to share a stage and sing for their supper before the dinner prepared for them and 196 others is served.

“Female chefs in the kitchens of New York City’s gourmet restaurants are a rarer breed than female playwrights and directors on Broadway,” said Julie Crosby, Women’s Project’s Producing Artistic Director. “It’s ironic that when women want to get into the kitchen, they find the door just as barred as they did when, a few generations ago, women tried to burst out of the kitchen?”

This press release should also mention that Women’s Project Women of Achievement Awards benefit takes place on International Women’s Day, Mon., March 8. The 7pm concert at the Women’s Project’s home, the 199-seat Julia Miles Theater, 424 W. 55th St., will be followed by the dinner served at a large dance studio nearby.

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Tickets for the Women of Achievement Benefit Concert and dinner begin at $550. For details, contact Women’s Project at (212) 765-1706 or click www.womensproject.org.

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So, Who’s Cooking in the Kitchen for Laurie, Joan and Suzanne?
Lee Anne Wong is an American chef and was one of the last four contestants on the first season of Bravo’s reality show, Top Chef. She is currently the culinary producer for the fifth season of Top Chef.

Nikki Cascone operates 24 Prince as the Chef and co-owner. The first of her own restaurant group, 24 Prince has been in business for four years. A Culinary graduate, Ms Casone has trained for many years in back of the house and front of house operations with award winning chefs like Anne Quatrano, Cliff Harrison, Jean-Georges and Shaun Doty. In 2007 she was on Bravo’s Emmy nominated show Top Chef.

Alexandra Guarnaschelli started off in France and worked in some of the country’s top restaurants including that of Guy Savoy. She was sous chef at La Butte Chaillot. Stateside, she was sous chef for Daniel Boulud at restaurant Daniel. In 2003, she became the executive chef at Butter Restaurant, where she would create her own eclectic American and green market-inspired menu. She has appeared on Food Network’s Iron Chef America as both a challenger and a judge.

Anne Kim is the wizard behind the dessert menu at Jo’s in NoLita. She holds a Grand Diploma in Pastry Arts French Culinary Institute.

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Shanna Pacifico has been the chef at Back Forty since it opened in 2007 and is also a regular contributor on Heritage radio.

Background on the Performers
Laurie Anderson, who originally trained as a sculptor, is known throughout the world as the experimental performance artist and musician who plays violin and keyboards and sings in a variety of experimental music and art rock styles. She has 11 albums to her credit.

Joan Osborne has ten albums on her resume. She is best known for her song One of Us, and for her work with members of The Grateful Dead.

Suzanne Vega is a songwriter and singer known for her highly literate lyrics and eclectic folk-inspired music. She has seven albums to her name.

Background on the 25th Anniversary of Women of Achievement Award
This year’s Women of Achievement Award, co-chaired by Arlene Scanlan and Cassandra Del Viscio, marks the 25th anniversary of the award. Past recipients include Estelle Parsons, Toni Morrison, Beverly Sills, Diane Sawyer, Gloria Steinem, Donna Karan, Susan Sarandon, Barbara Walters, Rosie O’Donnell, Katie Couric, Lauren Bacall, Maya Angelou, Dame Judy Dench, Joan Didion, Eveyln Lauder, Whoopi Goldberg, Twyla Tharp, Susan Lucci, Eve Ensler and Kerry Washington, among many others. In 1999, the late Gerald Schoenfeld of the Shubert Organization became the first and only male recipient of the award.

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The 2009-10 three-play season of Women’s Project boasts of the widely-acclaimed Or, by Liz Duffy Adams; Smudge by Emmy-winner Rachel Axler, directed by Pam MacKinnon; and the upcoming Lascivious Something by Sheila Callaghan, directed by Daniella Topol.