On Wednesday August 24th, Betony will host a dinner cooked up by a lineup of world-class chefs and beverage pros to benefit No Kid Hungry, a Share Our Strength campaign to end childhood hunger. 

By Deanna Gonnella
Updated May 24, 2017
© Ashley Sears

In 2014, Betony chef Bryce Shuman and General Manager Eamon Rockey hosted the first annual Produce Playoff, an East Coast vs. West Coast competition that pitted Shuman against the culinary talents of then LA-based David Nayfeld, the proceeds for which went to No Kid Hungry. By the next year, the event had evolved into a large-scale collaboration that included heavyweights Daniel Humm (Eleven Madison Park), Eli Kaimeh (Per Se), James Kent (The NoMad), Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske (Contra) and Rebecca Isbell (Betony).

This year's lineup is similarly spectacular—it includes Bo Bech (Geist), Daniel Burns (Luksus), Flynn McGarry (Eureka) and Enrique Olvera (Cosme)—and the action kicks off next week. On August 17th, the chefs will meet at New York's Union Square Greenmarket for a "draft" of seasonal produce picks. Then they'll have one week to formulate a game plan that will highlight their star ingredients at the multi-course meal.

Expect cocktails from Rockey (who has home bar advantage), Major Food Group’s Thomas Waugh (who’s been known to serve chili-infused tequila libations straight out of a pepper) and The NoMad’s Leo Robitschek (who has a tomato water aperitif in his wheelhouse, amongst other seasonal concoctions).

The roster of beverage professionals tasked with pairings for each dish includes Betony wine director Dean Fuerth, Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels head sommelier Caleb Ganzer, Rosemary Gray of Flatiron Wine & Spirits, and CEO/importer Michael Skurnik of Skurnik Wines—who will also pick base ingredients from their Greenmarket findings. And Ridgewood, NY-based Finback Brewery, whose archived ales have incorporated produce such as cherries, nectarines, jalapenos, habanero peppers, and plums, will be pouring one of their brews. Currently being served in their taproom is an American Sour brewed with cranberries called the Red Shift, but who knows what other delicious curveballs they might have in store?

Tickets are on sale now! And if you won't be joining, at least follow along by watching the #produceplayoff hashtag.