March 30, 2011
Raising Money for Japan at EN Japanese Brasserie
One week ago, I attended a sold-out gathering at EN Japanese Brasserie, a fabulous restaurant located at 435 Hudson Street in Manhattan. Dubbed Love For Japan, it was a fundraiser for the Japan Society’s Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, put together by the restaurant’s owner, Reika Yo Alexander. There were several speakers, including myself. I spoke about how I feel so compelled to do my part because of how the Japanese people have treated me during my many visits to that country – with such hospitality and with such good will and good nature. Wonderful sake, beer, and hors d’oeuvres inspired by the most affected prefectures; Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima, were served. And the legendary jazzman, Wynton Marsalis and his band performed for the crowd. I’m told that more than $100,000 was raised that evening with 100% of the proceeds donated to Japan Society’s Japan Earthquake Relief Fund and the Japanese Red Cross.
1 Here I am with Jesse Alexander - Partner of En Japanese Brasserie.
2 Donated auction item - A gown by award-winning costume designer - Patricia Field
3 Auction item - A hand bay by Threeasfour
4 Auction item - Childrens' clothing by Makié
5 Auction item - Sake donations from various vendors
6 Auction items - Donations by various artists
7 More donations by various artists
8 There was delicious food - Snow crab tempura rolls and fried shrimp tartar rolls
9 Onigiri (rice balls and the best miso soup
10 Ika (squid) tosa age and soba from Tohoku
11 Buri (yellow tail) carpaccio
12 Kakuni (pork belly) and fried chicken
13 Raw oysters on the half-shell
14 These are En's plates.
15 Napkins with En's Japanese Brasserie's logo
16 Wasabi (Japanese horseradish)
17 Gari (pickled ginger)
18 En's freshly made tofu - so very delicious!
19 The kitchen put together an really great vegetable arrangement.
20 Wynton Marsalis's band setting up
21 This is Hiroki Abe, the executive chef.
22 En's kitchen preparing for the event
23 The audience patiently waiting
24 This is the band, including Wynton (wearing blue) having dinner before the performance.
25 The chef serving rice pot
26 We were seated in a private dining area.
27 This was a salmon rice pot.
28 Posing with Motoatsu Sakurai - president of Japan Society
29 And posing with Chef Abe
30 Adorable little girls
31 Here I am with Reika Yo Alexander
32 Bobby Friedman
33 Wynton's daughter, Oni and her mother, Bernice Tsai
34 Love those red shoes!
35 Reika Yo Alexander gave a very touching speech before introducing me.
36 I spoke about how much Japan means to me on a personal and professional level.
37 Wynton Marsalis spoke passionately about Japan.
38 Michelle Harper wearing a Pierce Atkinson headdress.
39 A better look at the headdress
40 Terence Koh - artist - donated a black-ink drawing to a silent auction.