What started out as a small bake sale idea to help Haiti has rumbled — with the speed and power of an earthquake — into an enormous Westport-wide effort. Plenty of people here are doing plenty of things to help the devastated nation — but next Saturday’s “Celebrity Cookbook Auction, Book Sale & Food Festival” could be 1 of the biggest, most important events in town all year.
Set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on January 30 at the Saugatuck Congregational Church, the festival features tons of innovative ideas:
- Over 40 cookbook authors and food personalities have donated items for auction. Included are signed copies of Julie & Julie from Julie Powell; food writer and cookbook author Molly O’Neill’s New York Cookbook and Mostly True; cookbooks from Rick Moonen of Top Chef Masters; a cookbook signed by its illustrator, New Yorker cartoonist Ed Koren, plus items from Mar Jennings, Ted Allen, Melissa Clark, Amanda Hesser, Gale Gad, Jeffrey Nathan, Monica Bhide, Sara Moulton, Cat Cora and others.
- Daisy Martinez of the Food Network’s “Daisy Cooks!” will emcee. She’ll also auction dinner for 4 with her, at Don Coqui restaurant in New Rochelle.
- Other auction items include dinner for up to 10 in the winner’s home, prepared by Iron Chef America sous chef Lorilynn Bauer; a $250 gift certificate to the Institute of Culinary Education in New York, and a family portrait sitting by Westport photographer David Land.
- Popular local musicians Jon-Paul Ruggieri and Lisa Heile will entertain.
- The United Haitian-American Society will staff an information table, and provide children’s activities.
- Children’s books (all from Scholastic Press) and t-shirts will be on sale.
- And — remember, this started as a bake sale — there will be lots of tasty treats, with tastings from Golden Krust Bakery, TK Haitian Restaurant, and Caribbean oyster shooters from Westport Aquaculture.
100% of the proceeds will go to the United Nations World Food Programme Fund for Haiti.
The event is hosted by Westport food writer, cookbook author and chef Ramin Ganeshram, along with the church and Saugatuck Nursery School — whose parents, led by director Ellen DeHuff, are working tirelessly to bring it to fruition.
(For more information or to volunteer, call 203-349-8647, or email info@food4Haiti.org)