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Taste of Hope raises $170,000 and unites over 70 of NYC's most popular restaurants in the fight to end cancer

On May 10, over 800 guests packed New York's Metropolitan Pavilion for the 13th Annual Taste of Hope for the American Cancer Society. The Society honored Chef Antonio Prontelli, Executive Chef of Patina Restaurant Group's restaurants at Rockefeller Center and survivor of stage IV esophageal cancer, as Survivor Culinary Honoree; and Chef Sarabeth Levine, award-winning restaurateur, artisanal baker, jam maker, and cookbook author, as Culinary Honoree. The event raised over $170,000 for the American Cancer Society.

Taste of Hope emcee Chris Wragge (CBS New York) welcomed guests from the stage as attendees mingled and sampled food, desserts, and beverages from over 70 of New York City's most popular restaurants. A live auction hosted by comedienne Caroline Rhea sold tickets to Springsteen on Broadway, while a silent auction offered goods donated by SoulCycle, Marc Jacobs, Kate Spade, Rebecca Minkoff, Tommy Bahama, New York Yankees, Bravo TV, The Dinex Group (Daniel Boulud) and Beauty + Essex.

Funds raised from Taste of Hope will support the American Cancer Society's portfolio of research, programs and services that attack cancer from every angle. This includes the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Jerome L. Greene Family Center, a free lodging facility located in the heart of Manhattan for cancer patients who are traveling far from home to pursue lifesaving treatment in New York City. Since its inception, Taste of Hope has raised nearly $3 million to support the American Cancer Society's mission to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer.

Co-chaired by Mark D. Friedman (Halstead Property) and Jamie Koff (Fabric to Finish), this year's celebrity host committee included actor Harry Lennix (Superman), Richard Kind, Harry Carson (formerly with the NY Giants), Drew Nieporent (Myriad Restaurant Group),  Broadway stars Rebecca Luker and Danny Burstein, actor David Alan Basche, and actress Alysia Reiner (Orange is the New Black).  Additional VIP guests included Chef Todd English (Ca Va Brasserie, Todd English Food Hall), Chef Michael Ferraro (Delicatessen), and Chef Rob McCue (The Fat Monk).

Participating restaurants included Brasserie 8.5, Calle Ocho, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Jim Fong, Magnolia Bakery, Melt Bakery, Mochidoki, Parker and Quinn, Rock Center Café, Serendipity 3, Speedy Romeo, The Sea Grill, Toloache, Treat House, and Zen Taco.

Corporate support for this year's event has been provided by Eurostruct, Mozaik, Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP, UHY LLP, Vias Imports LTD, and Wine Spectator.

For more information about Taste of Hope, visit

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Photos: Large, from left to right: Taste of Hope 2018 Culinary Honoree Chef Sarabeth Levine, Taste of Hope emcee Chris Wragge, Taste of Hope co-chair Jamie Koff, Taste of Hope co-chair Mark D. Friedman, Taste of Hope Survivor Culinary Honoree Chef Antonio Prontelli. Small: Taste of Hope celebrity host committee member and actor Richard Kind and Taste of Hope auctioneer and comedienne Caroline Rhea.

About Chef Antonio Prontelli:

Born in the Bronx to Italian immigrants from Tuscany, Antonio Prontelli has always been passionate about all things culinary. Prontelli received his degree from The Culinary Institute of America in 1992, and began his career at Restaurant Associates' Mama Leone's, where he created their signature pasta dishes. He then took a position at the American Festival Café, now Rock Center Café, and quickly rose to Executive Chef. In 2014, Chef Prontelli became the Executive Chef of Patina Restaurant Group's Rockefeller Center Complex, overseeing Rock Center Café, The Sea Grill, and Cucina & Co.


Chef Prontelli was diagnosed with stage IV esophageal cancer in 2014. The cancer was spreading quickly and he began intensive chemo and radiation treatment immediately.  After treatment, Chef Prontelli needed surgery to remove some cancerous lymph nodes from his neck.  By December 2015, his cancer was in remission. Chef Prontelli is an active contributor to the Taste of Hope and Cycle for Survival.  He also gives an annual lecture at the Culinary Institute of America to students interested in culinary health services, speaking about serving people with dietary requirements and restrictions due to health conditions, providing his unique insight as both an accomplished chef and a cancer survivor.

About Chef Sarabeth Levine:

Sarabeth Levine is a multi–award winning restaurateur, artisanal baker and jam maker, cookbook author and winner of the prestigious James Beard Foundation's "Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year" award in 1989. She is co-founder and partner, with her husband, Bill Levine, of Sarabeth's Kitchen, Inc., the licensor of 21 Sarabeth's restaurants in the US and abroad.

Sarabeth created the award-winning "Sarabeth's" line of jams and preserves, which are sold nationally in Sarabeth restaurants, gourmet shops, specialty stores, upscale supermarkets, department stores, and hotels throughout the US and abroad. Her "Legendary Spreadable Fruit" and bakery products are also sold at her restaurants, in her artisanal bakery at the Chelsea Market, wholesale, and by mail order. She is President of Sarabeth's Bakery Ltd. and oversees the production, sale and distribution of her bakery products and desserts to both wholesale and retail channels. Sarabeth began her business in 1980 by making and selling her family's unique 200-year-old recipe for orange apricot marmalade at her apartment in New York City. 

The author of two highly-acclaimed cookbooks, "Sarabeth's Bakery – From My Hands to Yours" published in 2010 and the "Good Morning Cookbook", published in 2015, Sarabeth has appeared on numerous television and radio shows, including ABC-TV, Food Network and QVC, and has written for culinary magazines and trade journals.

She is a frequent participant in numerous charitable fundraisers, such as American Cancer Society, City Meals on Wheels, Share Our Strength, CCAP, and the James Beard Foundation. Sarabeth cannot do this all without the help of her partner and loving husband Bill Levine. Bill is the CEO of SBK Preserve, he is involved in the production of the preserves and administrative licensing of the restaurant brand. Sarabeth lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her husband Bill Levine.

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