Dan’s Taste of Two Forks Has a Heart

You are cordially invited to the upcoming Dan’s Papers culinary fundraising event of the season: Dan’s Taste of Two Forks, taking place on Saturday, July 16.
This inaugural event will showcase many of the East End’s finest restaurants and wineries in their best light, as they all come together for a memorable night of gastronomic bliss. Guests will enjoy local food and wine from locations on both the North and the South Forks.
Renowned Chef Marcus Samuelsson, whose cooking influences come from areas around the world, will host this star-studded Saturday night event at Sayre Park in Bridgehampton. Rosanna Scotto, easily recognizable from her position as co-host on “Good Day New York,” and Dylan Lauren, founder of the delicious Dylan’s Candy Bar, will share the role of Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Additional star power is set to arrive in the form of Mark Feuerstein, protagonist on the USA summer series “Royal Pains,” as well as Alex McCord, of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New York.” [expand]
However, the scrumptious food and lovely people are not the only exciting parts of this event—a portion of the proceeds from the night will go to the local Have a Heart Community Trust, an important local charity. Founded by John and Rosemarie Dios in 1991, the Trust was established to provide food and other services to families and individuals in desperate need of emergency assistance on the East End. Have a Heart works with numerous institutions in order to best distribute their resources, in particular partnering with many local food pantries. The pantries serve over 1,000 families annually, and further provide those who attend with wholesale items to stock their kitchen shelves at home.
The one big thing that the food banks need right now is money, said Evelyn Ramunno, director of the Sag Harbor Food Pantry. Ramunno explained that they are very fortunate that local establishments donate their day-old breads and muffins to the food pantry, but that in order to buy items like fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products, the pantry needs ready-funds.
Surprisingly, despite the current financial situation, the Sag Harbor pantry has seen a decrease in the number of people that come in every Tuesday, from 80 people a week down to 65. However, Ramunno believes that it is pride that may be keeping them away, emphasizing that those who have ceased coming “are always welcome to come back.”
The director of the East Hampton Food Pantry, Gabrielle Scarpaci, has stated similar financial concerns. The number of people that the East Hampton pantry serves has quadrupled in the past two years, increasing from around 4,000 individuals to over 16,000. Shocking to most people, said Scarpaci, is that 1,000 of those who attend are children. Although her numbers go down in the summer due to seasonal work, once autumn returns Scarpaci sees the number of attendees skyrocket again.
Given these current funding issues, the Have a Heart Community Trust is “excited and honored” that Dan’s Papers is donating the proceeds from Dan’s Taste of Two Forks to them, said President William Wright. He emphasized that events such as the Taste of Two Forks are vital to furthering the main goal of the organization, to help the less fortunate.
Even though the organization isn’t that big, it is able to help a lot of residents because it has “a great support team,” says Wright, and it is 100% volunteer-based. In addition to aiding the local food pantries, Have a Heart also reaches out to local residents by way of local churches and GED programs. Dan’s Taste of Two Forks event will surely go a long way towards funding the Trust’s laudable efforts in the surrounding area, and making sure that they can continue their operations far into the future.
Who wouldn’t enjoy a charitable night of fine dining, wonderful people, and excellent wine? There really seems like no tastier way to give back to your community, so come out and join us on Saturday, July 16.
Dan’s Taste of Two Forks, Saturday, July 16, 7:30-10 p.m., VIP admission from 6:30 p.m. Visit www.danstasteoftwoforks.com for more information, or e-mail contact@danstasteoftwoforks.com [/expand]

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