October 24 I had the opportunity to attend and assist with the 2015 Farm
Sanctuary Gala at the Grand Ballroom of the Plaza Hotel. I was especially giddy
to attend because I had interned with Farm Sanctuary in Summer 2011 in college,
right after the organization had held its first ever New York City gala. What
an honor to reconnect with a group I have long admired through my work with
Great Performances. Farm Sanctuary seeks to combat farm animal cruelty, promote vegan living, and encourage change in the manner with which farm animals are viewed and treated.
The evening began with a VIP cocktail reception: tart gin cocktails balancing out decadent Gardein bites. Gorgeous, sunny videos profiled a number of animals that had been rescued by Farm Sanctuary, while vibrant portraits lay on the cocktail tables. I watched the celebrities file in on the green carpet: Jon and Tracey Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, Emily Deschanel, and Senator Corey Booker. Guests then moved into the sparkling ballroom around 7 PM, and I scurried into the kitchen to assist with the behind-the-scenes action. I was put to work wiping entrée plates, and was rewarded with a plate of my own of tandoori-spiced cauliflower steak over curried chickpeas finished with cilantro oil and crispy kale. I was able to catch the presentation of speeches and videos from elite vegan guests and Farm Sanctuary staff, then delighted in some of the live auction fervor. It was a fabulous, benevolent evening.
Great Performances and CPS Events created an all-vegan menu for the special event. For a better taste of what the critter-friendly evening had in store for its diners, the menu is below!