Two Staten Island chefs earn a spot at a lavish NYC tasting event

STATEN ISLAND, NY — A prestigious tasting event on June 13, hosted by Citymeals on Wheels, features 40 top chefs from New York City. The nonprofit selected two from Staten Island to be on the list — Joseph Settepani of Bruno’s NYC Bakery in Dongan Hills and Peter Botros, who represents the Stone House in Clove Lakes Park and Violette’s Cellar in Grant City.

The annual Chefs’ Tribute to Citymeals on Wheels is 35 years old. The lavish event converges in Cipriani South Street’s iconic Battery Maritime Building with acclaimed chefs. The money is used to buy food, prepare meals and deliver to homebound elderly New Yorkers. Veteran contestants include chefs Daniel Boulud, Charlie Palmer, Larry and Marc Forgione, Jonathan Waxman and other heavy hitters. This year’s lineup also includes Alex Guarnaschelli (Butter, Manhattan), Greg Baxtrom (Olmsted, Brooklyn), Cosme Aguilar (Casa Enrique, Queens).

Tickets start at $600 per guest and can be ordered at Citymeals.org/get-involved/events/chefs-tribute-citymeals. The evening starts at 7:30 PM. Wine and craft cocktails are part of the drinks menu. Guests are encouraged to wear festive attire and a live band will be part of the entertainment.

This year’s theme “Neighborhoods of New York” celebrates the city and its culinary community in the wake of two years of the country’s strictest COVID regulations on restaurants.

Joseph Settepani is known for his panettone. He will present a vanilla bean honey yogurt mousse with honey from Travis aculturist Igor Yakovled. (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri) Staff Shot

“I’m so excited to be a part of this event because it’s so important to me to give back to our community – especially over the past few years it’s really been a rollercoaster for so many,” said Settepani.

He added: “My family and I are so grateful for the support and love from our community that we will give back any opportunity we can.”

Every chef has to present a dish. Settepani said: “I will present a dish that represents a bit of the taste of summer – a mousse of vanilla bean honey yogurt with a compote of blackberries and cassis with a hazelnut-citrus crumble. I use honey from our own Beezy Beez of Staten Island.” The wholesale company, owned by South Shore resident and beekeeper Igor Yakovled, harvests honey from beehives in the region.

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Peter Botros said: “I am really looking forward to a great evening with both Chef Antonio Vazquez of the Stone House and Chef Luis Jimenez of Violette’s Cellar by my side as we prepare delicious food with some of the best chefs in the Big Apple.” (Courtesy of Peter Botros)

Representing the Dongan Hills and Grant City neighborhoods, Botros will perform two bites: Chicken Lollipops with Maple-Gochujang Glaze and Roasted Cashew Bechamel and a separate Fried Shrimp presentation featuring Truffle-Dambakly Aioli, Black Sesame-Cucumber Carpaccio.

Botros owns several restaurants on Staten Island: Sally’s Southern in West Brighton, Rustic Pizza in Grant City, Sofia’s Guac Bar at the Mall, Sofia’s Taqueria in Eltingville and Rosebank, and Upstate operations Binnekill Tavern and Tito Banditos. He said: “I am always honored to participate in so many events off the island and I always feel it is my responsibility to perform at the highest level to show everyone that we have really great food in the forgotten neighborhood. “

He continued: “This event is particularly special as it celebrates the 40th anniversary of Citymeals and raises money to feed the needy here in NYC. I am really looking forward to a wonderful evening with both Chef Antonio Vazquez of the Stone House and Chef Luis Jimenez of Violette’s Cellar by my side as we prepare delicious food with some of the best chefs in the Big Apple.”

Citymeals on Wheels was founded in 1981 by restaurant critic Gael Greene and the late cookbook author James Beard to deliver home meals to vulnerable New York seniors on weekends, holidays and emergencies. Since then, Citymeals has delivered more than 65 million meals. Since the start of the pandemic, Citymeals has delivered nearly 6 million meals to older New Yorkers.

The organization now serves nearly 20,000 meal recipients in the five boroughs and delivered more than 86,000 meals to recipients in Staten Island by 2021. Across the city, nearly 20,000 volunteers spent more than 82,000 hours on the Citymeals mission last year.

Pamela Silvestri is Advance Food Editor. She can be reached at silvestri@siaadvance.com

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