Celebrating the launch of the 2022 #BlackVisionaries program with Instagram and The Brooklyn Museum

By Great Performances

For the third year in a row, Instagram is partnering with the Brooklyn Museum and the curator Antwaun Sargent to invest in emerging creative communities. Building on the 2021 #BlackDesignVisionaries grant program, the 2022 program aims to uplift, center and invest in Black voices and organizations working across both art and design.

Instagram, Antwaun and the Brooklyn Museum believe that impactful ideas happen at the intersection of art and design. This year, with the support of Meta Open Arts, they are opening up their grants to visual artists, as well. The new name, #BlackVisionaries, reflects this expansion. #BlackVisionaries aims to deepen the impact of the grant program, which means expanding access to more Black creative communities. For more information about the #BlackVisionaries program visit this link.

Our team recently had the pleasure of hosting a luncheon party at the Brooklyn Museum to share the announcement of the program with emerging artists and designers. We loved the footage so much that we wanted to share it with you.


By Great Performances


“I think food, culture, people and landscape are all absolutely inseparable.”

-Anthony Bourdain


One of the ways we experience, enjoy and learn about another culture is through food. Travel guides and lists often highlight monuments, museums and cultural institutions and invariably will have a section dedicated to food. Enjoying a local meal is one of the ways that we feel we’ve truly experienced another country or culture. Recently, it’s become even more popular to be able to experience this in our own backyards. But more than just visiting the local Japanese restaurant for Omakase or digging into bayenetu at an Ethiopian restaurant, it’s experiencing other aspects of culture including history, music and art.

Within our cafes and restaurants at cultural institutions, we’re careful to develop more than just menus, but experiences that reflect current exhibits and provide guests with an immersive journey.

Enjoying French Cuisine at The Norm at Brooklyn Museum

Buttery Chili Prawns
Le Costumier
Marquise de Chocolate
Spinach Socca with Avocado
Branzino en Papillote

For Brooklyn Museum’s exhibit, Pierre Cardin: Future of Fashion, we transformed The Norm into an homage to Pierre Cardin’s restaurant, Maxim’s de Paris. The menu features classic dishes from the Maxim’s de Paris cookbook and seasonal dishes inspired by the iconic restaurant. The menu has evolved since its launch in June, moving from the fresh Mediterranean influences of southern French cuisine in the summer towards the more comforting warm and robust flavors of northern and central France as we head into winter.

French chef and restaurateur Eric Ripert, famous for his flagship restaurant Le Bernardin, recently visited ordering Salade aux Poires et Roquefort, Carpaccio d’Aubergines, Branzino en Papillote and Onglet Grillé . He complimented Chef Andy Mejias remarking that the “flavors were so good!”


An Elevated Southern Experience at Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center

Recently, Chef Corey Samuel hosted a tasting experience at Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Chef Samuel took guests on a delectable journey, exploring the foods of his childhood prepared using classic techniques and drawing on modern influences.

Firmly rooted in southern tradition and anchored with ingredients associated with southern cuisine, international flavors, varied cooking methods and unique pairings elevated each dish. Chef Samuel shared stories from his youth as he presented each dish, engaging the guests in conversations about food, culture and tradition.

Following the meal, guests enjoyed dessert along with a set at Dizzy’s Club, celebrating the natural synergy between soul food and Jazz.



By The Sylvia Center

Photo Credit: ©Eric Vitale


It’s almost for the 11th Annual Latke Festival, where guests indulge in a wide variety of creative and delectable latkes from eateries and restaurants all across New York City. Students from The Sylvia Center will create latkes that are representative of their community and use the skills they learned in the kitchen, while adding a healthy twist.

The potato latke is incredibly versatile and fun to experiment with simply by adding different ingredients for taste and texture. Creating a latke that could win the best and most creative is a challenge the students are thrilled to participate in to showcase their skills and celebrate diversity.

All proceeds from the Latke Festival help fund The Sylvia Center programs in New York City, which teach young people real skills in the kitchen that they can use to make healthy choices.

The ultimate celebration of latke takes place on Monday, December 16th, 2019 from 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm at The Brooklyn Museum. The latkes—sweet or savory, healthy or indulgent, classic or innovative—will be enjoyed by more than 700 food enthusiasts, including a curated panel of celebrity judges, partners and press, at one of the most delicious events of the year.


Mark your calendars and get your tickets today!


By Great Performances

the Sylvia Center

12th Annual Farm Dinner: Where Cooking Grows

Saturday, July 13, 2019


In the fields of Katchkie Farm, The Sylvia Center hosted its 12th annual Farm Dinner: Where Cooking Grows that shares the fresh and local ingredients of the summer’s bounty. New and old friends enjoyed delectable hor d’oeuvres, refreshing cocktails and a stunning dinner curated by Great Performances. During cocktail hour, The Sylvia Center’s teens from Philmont Cooperative presented their bruschetta recipes in the Learning Garden. The bruschetta recipes, made by the teens, highlighted their culinary and nutrition skills from the 12-week program that explored various ingredients and cooking methods.

Zoë Jansen, a teen student from the Sylvia Center, took the stage and spoke about her experience with the program. The classes not only offered nutrition and healthy eating lessons, but they also explored activities and topics beyond cooking. She was able to learn about important topics such as food access and food security, teach a sample class with her peers and create recipes for the event. She spoke about her change in attitude for food preparation and how inspirational it is to try new dishes, techniques and ingredients.

Farm Dinner is a wonderful summer event that supports nutrition education and youth development for children, teenagers and families in Columbia County so that they can be inspired and inspire others to eat healthily and lead positive lives.

Brooklyn Museum

Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion

July 20, 2019 – January 5, 2020

In July, The Norm at Brooklyn Museum unveiled its newest experience, Maxim’s at The Norm, as part of the Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion exhibit. The menu, designed by executive chef and Michelin-star recipient Saul Bolton and chef de cuisine Andy Mejias, features seasonal dishes inspired by the food at Maxim’s de Paris, Pierre Cardin’s restaurant in Paris. Guests can also enjoy a 3-course prix fixe meal featuring modern interpretations of French classics from the Maxim’s de Paris cookbook.

Custom hand-crafted cocktails designed by Loriana Sanabria take their inspiration from the art of Pierre Cardin and pay homage to different stages of Pierre Cardin’s life, from his time as a tailor at House of Dior with Tailor’s White Sangria, to his work designing for NASA with the non-alcoholic Fashionable Astronaut.

The restaurant, which has been redecorated in the style of Maxim’s de Paris with deep burgundy and gold, opened to positive reviews by the press.

Photo Credits: ©Georgi Richardson, ©Chip Klose

By Sarah Prawl

With the official arrival of summer, The Council of Fashion Designers of America and Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts pulled out all the stops to create memorable experiences for their guests.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America

2019 CFDA Fashion Awards

Monday, June 3, 2019

The night started with an indoor/outdoor cocktail party where guests enjoyed Goat Cheese Bon Bons and Toasted Tomato Tarts. Once inside, they enjoyed a delicious dinner featuring Salad Shirazi with Cucumber, Beet-Pickled Red Onion, Mint, Parsley and Lemon Vinaigrette; Eggplant Chermoula with Agave Roasted Eggplant, Cauliflower Couscous, Cherry Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives and Crispy Chickpeas. During the award ceremony, guests enjoyed Champagne Truffles, Raspberry Hibiscus Cheesecake and Lemon Drop Bretons for dessert.


Caramoor Opening Night Gala 2019

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Caramoor celebrated the start of their 2019 season with gorgeous weather, delicious food and amazing entertainment. The Gala’s 400 guests were greeted with “Loopy Doopy” Ice Pop cocktails and delicious food stations, which include our Growing Season Vegetable Crudité and Cheese for the Growing Season stations. After the reception, Susan and Peter Gottsegen were honored for their long time dedication and contributions to Caramoor’s programs, followed by a delicious three-course dinner. The meal featured Spinach and Pink Lentil Salad with Radish and Whole Grain Mustard Vinaigrette; Grilled Branzino with Cured Tomato Relish and Tuscan Olive Oil; and a Chocolate Caramelia Parfait with Chocolate Crunch, Dark Chocolate Mousse and Caramelia Soft Ganache.

After dinner, guests made their way to the Venetian theater for a premium concert, featuring the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, followed by an After Dark post-performance party, and dancing under the stars.

Check out their calendar and enjoy the magic of Caramoor with their incredible line up of music, festivals and events.

By Sylvia Center Executive Director, Jennifer John

The 10th Annual Latke Festival Celebrated The Many Joys Of The Potato Pancake On Monday, December 3rd.

Hosted in the beautiful pavilion of the Brooklyn Museum and benefitting The Sylvia Center, the tasting event featured 26 different restaurants and chefs, each with their own take on the best latke for 2018.

Over 500 guests and 14 celebrity judges tasted latkes that ranged from the traditional to the edgy. Everyone ate, drank, and grooved to DJed beats. Each guest received a wooden token to vote for the “People’s Choice” winner, while the judges decided “Best Creative Latke,” “Best Traditional Latke,” and “Best Overall Latke.” Guests had different strategies for tasting, with breaks for drinks or salad or doughnuts, depending on their mood.

The announcement of the winners was kicked off with a proclamation from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office, presented by Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, Alicia Glen, declaring it “Latke Day” in the city. Then, New York legend Veselka took home “Best Traditional” and “People’s Choice” titles for their “Dima’s Sweet and Savory Short Rib Latke.” Three-time winner Benchmark won “Best Overall” for their “Hoppin’ John Latke,” and “Best Creative Latke” went to the “Falatke,” a falafel-inspired take from Kalushkat.

Net proceeds from the event will power programs that teach young New Yorkers how to enjoy, prepare and speak up for healthy food. In fact, The Sylvia Center brought a group of their ‘Cooks for Health’ students from the Williamsburg Community Center to compete with their “Latke-purria.” Their recipe was a take on the Puerto Rican snack, the alcapurria, which is traditionally made with yucca, plantains and taro. The students’ entry was stuffed with savory black beans and topped with greens, compliments of Aerofarms. While Sylvia Center students didn’t win a title for their delicious vegan recipe, they loved the opportunity to show off their cooking skills next to seasoned professionals.


AeroFarms/Sylvia Center
BAM Cafe
Benchmark Restaurant
Big Daddy’s Smokehouse
Bricolage / Pearl Street Caviar
BRINS Jam & Marmalade
Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola
Feisty Flavors Catering
Garden Court Cafe
Jacob’s Pickles
Little Red Kitchen Bakeshop
Mama O’s
Mae Mae Cafe
Mike’s Hot Honey
The Norm at Brooklyn Museum
Patina Restaurant Group
Riss’ Knishes
White Tiger
Rise Flour
Burger and Lobster
Dutch Boy Burger
Shelsky’s of Brooklyn
Daddy O’s




Potato Pancakes:

  • 5 large Idaho Potatoes
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Onion
  • ¼ cup All-Purpose Flour
  • Salt/Pepper

Short Ribs with Prunes topping:

  • 4lbs boneless Short Ribs
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Onion
  • ½ cup Honey
  • ½ Red Wine
  • Bay Leaves
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 1 cup Dried Prunes

Prune Reduction:

  • 2lb dried Prunes
  • 4 sticks Cinnamon
  • ½ cup Honey
  • ½ Red Wine
  • Salt/Pepper
  • ¼ Balsamic Vinegar


  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon achiote (annatto)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper


  1. Shred or grate 4 Idaho potatoes and one onion in a food processor.

  2. Place in mixing bowl, add eggs, salt and pepper, mix well.

  3. Spoon potato mixture into a sauté pan containing about !/2 inch of oil at 350 degrees.

  4. Fry until golden brown on bottom, turn over and continuing frying until golden and remove to drain on paper towels. Set aside.

Shredded Short Ribs

  1. Place ribs in a roasting pan  with a coarsely chopped carrot and onion and roast at 450 degrees until browned. Add water, red wine, honey and salt and pepper, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for three hours until meat begins falling off the bone.

  2. Allow meat to cool then pull apart with two forks. Add some of the cooking liquid back to the meat to obtain the desired consistency. Add finely chopped prunes.

Prune Reduction

  1. Add 2 cups prunes,  two cups water, cinnamon sticks and balsamic vinegar  to a sauce pan and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove pits if necessary. Put through blender or food processor and liquify.


  1. Spoon some of the short rib mixture onto a latke, spoon on some of the prune reduction




  • 1 medium Tomato, diced
  • 1 Cucumber, diced
  • 1 small Red Onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh Mint
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh Cilantro
  • 1 Lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 tsp Lemon Verbena Oil
  • ¾ cup Vegan Mayo
  • 2 cups Matzah Meal
  • ¼ cup Corn Starch
  • 1 cup shredded Beets
  • 1 cup shredded Yukon Gold Potatoes (squeeze out excess liquid)
  • 2 tbsp grated White Onion
  • 1 tbsp grated Garlic
  1. Mix vegan mayo with chives and lemon verbena oil. Cover and set aside

  2. Combine tomato, cucumber, red onion, mint, cilantro, lime juice, and

    chopped lime zest- season with salt and pepper to taste

  3. Combine the grated beets, Yukon gold potatoes, onions, garlic, matzah

    meal, and cornstarch. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  4. Let sit for 10 minutes to let the mixture absorb

  5. Heat Canola oil in a sauté pan over medium heat

  6. Add walnut-sized balls of the mixture into the pan- flatten into disks

    with a spatula. Cook until crispy on first side then flip and crisp the other side. Drain on paper towel. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.




  • 5 very green plantanos, peeled
  • 1 pound taro root, peeled down to white flesh
  • 1 pound yucca, peeled down to flesh
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sazon (see recipe below)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For The Filling

  • 1 large spanish onion, small dice
  • 2 peppers, red and green, small dice
  • 1 16-oz can black beans, rinsed & dried
  • 2 teaspoons sazon
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt to taste (1 teaspoon or less)
  • 2 tablespoons capers or green onions, minced


  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon achiote (annatto)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  1. Using the shredding blade on a food processor, shred platanos, taro, and yucca*. The platanos is what will be binding mix and should be crumbled and somewhat moist. Transfer starches to a bowl.
  2. Add the sazon and olive oil, folding to incorporate into the dough, working with the hands if needed.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge while you make the filling. This dough can be made up to 48 hours in advance as long as it is chilled and kept away from air.
  4. Rinse and dry the black beans. Crumble them either by hand or in a food processor– careful not to puree! It should be dry and chunky.
  5. In a saute pan, add olive oil and sweat the onions until translucent. Add peppers and cook until tender. Add black beans, sazon, oregano, and garlic. Cook for about 2 mins and add the capers or olives. Remove from heat.
  6. To form latkes, take a heaping tablespoon of the dough and flatten into the palm of your hand, or on an oiled surface such as plastic wrap. Place a heaping teaspoon of the filling in the center and using your fingertips, roll the dough towards the center to cover filling. You may need to add some extra dough if you are struggling to connect the outside pieces. Once the filling is covered, flatten into a disc. Continue until dough is gone.

Assembled latkes should sit in the fridge to firm up before pan frying.

* leaving some shredded yucca or taro visible gives this recipe the latke look the students achieved in class.

Add all ingredients to a spice grinder or coffee grinder and pulse until a fine consistency appears.




  • 1 medium Onion, chopped
  • 4 Russet Potatoes, peeled and shredded by hand or food processor
  • 3 tbsp Flour or Potato Starch
  • 3 Eggs
  • Salt and Pepper

Ingredients For the Toppings:

  • Applesauce (store-bought or homemade) or Sour Cream
  1. Sauté the onion in about 2 tbsp of olive oil till soft but not browned. Set aside to cool.
  2. Mix the grated potatoes, onions, flour and eggs together in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Then turn them into a colander set over a large bowl. Drape a damp dishcloth over the colander. When it seems that very little liquid is draining off the potatoes, after about 15 minutes, carefully pour off the water leaving the starch that has collected at the bottom of the bowl. Mix the starch back into the potatoes – this will help hold the latkes together as they cook.
  3. Place a large skillet over a medium heat and pour in equal amounts of olive and canola oil to a depth of about 1 inch. The oil is hot enough when a tiny bit of the latke mixture sizzles when you drop it in.
  4. I make small latkes, 3-4 inches across, scooping up a large tablespoon of batter into my palm and flattening it out before sliding it into the pan. The edges of the latke are very ragged and make me think of multi-clawed crabs! It takes only a few minutes for the latkes to brown. Then I gently flip them. As they come out of the pan, I move them onto a cookie sheet lined with paper towels.

Guideline for Yield: One potato will make about 2-3 latkes. One person will eat 3 latkes, depending on the size.

Photo Credit: ©Eric Vitale