Tomato Crush and Trick or Treat for UNICEF

Caryl M. Stern, Mindy Grossman, Hilary Gumbel and Donna D’Cruz

Passion for food and music connects us like nothing else. We need not speak the same language to resonate with the conversation of rhythm, spice and the unique kinship this brings. UNICHEF:Top Chefs Unite in Support of The World’s Children (Glitterati) just launched with the support of Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSN, Caryl M. Stern, US Fund for UNCHEF President CEO, Bryant Gumbel, Matt Lauer and Regis Philbin.

UNICHEF is the amazing collaboration of 40 world-class chefs to benefit the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, assembled by Hilary Gumbel. UNICHEF’s famed contributors are brought together to create an international culinary travelogue for the whole family to enjoy. Distinctive recipes are just part of the narrative as each chef in an accompanying text shares his or her personal relationship to food in formative years and the genesis of their life’s work. Marcus Samuelsson, David Chang, Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse, Sandra Lee, Cat Cora, Jamie Oliver, Giada De Laurentiis, and Mario Batali are just some of the talents included in this exceptional collection.

There is still more to UNICHEF than the recipes, personal photographs, and remembrances; the author has chosen to donate 100% of her royalties directly to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in 190 countries and territories worldwide to save and improve children’s lives by providing health care and immunizations, clean water, sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. This information rich cookbook will appeal to both foodies and families alike, while at the same time providing every reader the opportunity to join all of the chefs in their effort to support the world’s most vulnerable children.

UniChef cookbook

Matt Lauer

HSN Cares Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF PrimeTime Special 10 p.m. EST September 26.

Carrying forward the tradition of Food and Music, Tom Silverman, the enigmatic Founder of Tommy Boy Music, Entertainment (and some say the founder of Hip-Hop for his discovery and collaboration with AfrikaBaambaata “Planet Rock”) honors the tradition of his Italian mum and grandparents with the Bianelle of “The Great Tomato Crush”. Old school, old-fashioned kinship and with the intention of creating the best tomato sauce (EVER!) we visited Arthur Ave. in the Bronx to gather food, conversation (well, actually the fully-expressed Bronx opinions on everything from the best peaches, to best baker to best tomatoes…you get the idea, Hey, I wouldn’t lie to you Buddy.) Thank you, Biono Bros for the 700lbs of ravishing NJ tomatoes; Tietel Bros for the glorious fare — Calabrian cheeses riddled with truffles, plump Sicilian green olives that marry perfectly with sharp freshly sliced Parmigiano-Reggiano (Tietel also supplies the finest NYC restaurants); David Greco, Mike’s Deli for the great Basilico and unique olive oil infusion. EGidio for the crunchiest, yummiest cannoli this side of the Tiber (and my beautiful layered Casata Birthday cake. The Great Tomato Crush is a true feast “Abondanza” (abundance, gratitude for the plentiful fare, and the joy of the feasting) celebrating the traditional harvest and way of days gone by so that we might be reminded that often, the simplest things are what binds us to our memories and what binds us to each other.

So you can drool a little more, here are some details of 2014 Crush.

Ira Levy (Levy Lighting, NY Festival of Light) and Helene Safdie, thank you for your generous collaboration and the incredible, magical and artistically lit property.



donna5 donna6Tom Silverman and Donna D’Cruz

donna7 Squashing the tomatoes (not really how it’s done but so cute!)




Mario Lanza


Dean Martin

The Harptones

Diona and TheBelmonts

De La Soul



The GodFather soundtrack (of course)



(Organic greens and gluten-free pasta wherever possible):-

Insalate Caprese (Burrata) with heirloom tomatoes and Union Sq. Market Basil

Arugula and kale salads with white balsamic, Danish blue cheese and cranberries

Pasta vongole with Razor clams

Rigatoni arribiata with cherry tomatoes and fresh anchovies

Spaghetti Pesto with Baby Potatoes and Beans

Penne Siciliana with fresh tomato sauce, slow roasted garlic and eggplants.

Guilt free garlic bread baked to perfection in the pizza oven.

Donna D’Cruz, Rasa Living, consults businesses and individuals on Spirit, Senses, and Style. She is a DJ/Performer, Designer and leads regular Meditation events, “DIP INTO BLISS” (R).” 

Follow Donna on Twitter and Instagram 

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