Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

GMHC Announces Celebrity Chef Lineup For 5th Annual SAVOR Benefit Dinner Hosted By Cynthia Nixon

Thu, March 21, 2013 5:37pm EDT by Russ Weakland Add first Comment
Cynthia Nixon

Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), the nation’s oldest AIDS service organization, announced the chef lineup for SAVOR, their annual fundraiser dinner, hosted by Cynthia Nixon and it was held at Cipriani 42nd Street, on Thursday, March 21, 2013. It was a great success!

Guests joined honorees, film producer Joy Tomchin (Academy Award-nominated “How to Survive a Plague”) and the Keith Haring Foundation, for a lavish four-course dinner, prepared by acclaimed Chefs Alex Guarnaschelli, Colleen Grapes, Silvano Fiorindo and Justin Warner.

The evening is one of GMHC’s most elegant events, bringing together hundreds of New York’s most influential business-leaders, philanthropists and culinary experts. Established in 1982, GMHC is the world’s first provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy. In addition to the wide array of programs that provide counseling and care for those living with HIV/AIDS, GMHC also strives to address many other HIV-related social issues that often go unnoticed, such as hunger and malnutrition.

“We started SAVOR four years ago in order to bring attention to and raise critical funds for our important food programs,” said Marjorie J. Hill, PhD, GMHC’s Chief Executive Officer. “While GMHC annually serves close to 90,000 hot, nutritious meals, access to food remains a daily struggle for thousands of HIV-positive people throughout NYC and the United States.”

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, hunger has become an even more critical issue for many New Yorkers, not the least of which are those living with HIV/AIDS. As part of its Meals Program, GMHC provides nutritional information, as well as prepared meals and
bags of groceries to some of New York City’s most vulnerable residents (from GMHC’s Keith Haring Food Pantry Program).

SAVOR’s culinary dream team presented a meal created to showcase their signature restaurant styles, and provided guests with a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience. Originally known for her role on Food Network’s “Iron Chef,” Guarnaschelli is a guest
judge on the show “Chopped,” as well as the Executive Chef at New York City’s Butter and The Darby. Pastry Chef Colleen Grapes is known for running the sweet side of the kitchens at New York’s The Red Cat and The Harrison. Chef Silvano Fiorindo has been in the Cipriani family for many years and is currently the Exectuive Chef at Cipriani Wall Street. A self-taught chef, Justin Warner is known for being the Season 8 winner of Food Network’s “Food Network Star.”

During the event, two honorees were recognized with the Judith Peabody Award, named after a dedicated volunteer and life-long supporter of GMHC. The Keith Haring Foundation, established by the legendary pop artist and social activist, was honored
for its tireless efforts to fund AIDS service organizations, as well as programs aimed at providing assistance and opportunities for impoverished youth. Keith Haring died of AIDS-related complications in 1990.

Joy Tomchin was saluted for her longstanding philanthropy to GMHC and for producing the Academy Award-nominated documentary feature, “How to Survive a Plague.” The documentary, which was acquired by IFC/Sundance Selects, provides never-before-seen footage of the early efforts of AIDS-activists in New York City and the medical community throughout the United States. Ms. Tomchin was Chair of GMHC’s Board of Directors from 1989 to 1991.


GMHC is a not-for-profit, volunteer-supported and community-based organization committed to leading the fight against AIDS on a national platform. They provide prevention and care services to men, women and families that are living with, or affected by HIV/AIDS in New York City. They also advocate scientific, evidence-based public health solutions for hundreds of thousands worldwide. Our mission: GMHC fights to end the AIDS epidemic and uplifts the lives of all affected. For more information, visit


The mission of the Keith Haring Foundation is to sustain, expand, and protect the legacy of Keith Haring, his art, and his ideals. The Foundation supports not-for-profit organizations that assist children, as well as organizations involved in education, research and care related to AIDS.

Keith Haring (1958-1990) generously contributed his talents and resources to numerous causes. He conducted art workshops with children, created logos and posters for public service agencies, and produced murals, sculptures, and paintings to benefit health centers and disadvantaged communities. In 1989, Keith established a foundation to ensure that his philanthropic legacy would continue indefinitely.

The Keith Haring Foundation makes grants to not-for-profit groups that engage in charitable and educational activities. In accordance with Keith’s wishes, the Foundation concentrates its giving in two areas: The support of organizations which provide educational opportunities to underprivileged children and the support of organizations which engage in education, prevention and care with respect to AIDS and HIV infection. Keith Haring additionally charged the Foundation with maintaining and protecting his artistic legacy after his death. The Foundation maintains a collection of art along with archives that facilitate historical research about the artist and the times and places in which he lived and worked. The Foundation supports arts and educational institutions by funding exhibitions, educational programs, acquisitions and publications that serve to contextualize and illuminate the artist’s work and philosophy.


“How to Survive a Plague” is nominated for a 2013 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. The documentary feature follows a group of young, predominately HIV-positive men and women, as they infiltrate the pharmaceutical industry and demand recognition from Capitol Hill. Directed by David France, written by T. Woody Richman and Tyler Walker, and produced by Joy Tomchin and Dan Cogan,the film features never-before-seen documentary footage of the formation of two vital coalitions, ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) and TAG (Treatment Action Group). The film was acquired by IFC/Sundance Selects and released on September 21, 2012. The DVD release of the film is slated for February 26, 2013.

Russ Weakland