The event, which benefits ongoing humanitarian projects in nine African countries and is now in its fourth year, is expected to attract over 600 guests, including notables from entertainment, fashion and sports. Samuelsson who was born in Ethiopia and raised in Sweden before coming to the U.S. is being honored with the organization's first Spirit of Africa award. According to a release from SHA, the award "honors Africa's champions" recognizing the continent's "unique reservoir of talent, drive and entrepreneurship." In addition to receiving acclaim as head chef at the Midtown Swedish restaurant Aquavit and opening the Swedish / Soul Food fusion concept Red Rooster in Harlem, Samuelsson is an author and a television personality, regularly appearing on cooking contest shows like "Chopped."
In addition to the honoree, guests at the black-tie soiree will enjoy a gourmet meal, a live band and a silent auction which has raised over $1.2 million so far. Chef Nils Noren, a former instructor at the International Culinary Institute and now works for the Marcus Samuelsson Group will again provide a $100 signature cocktail (this year partnering with longtime NYC bartender Joann Spiegel), sold to raise additional monies for the international organization. This year, the $100 cocktail is the Harlem Apple, featuring vodka, apple juice and a syrup crafted using Ambessa Earl of Harlem tea, coriander and ginger.
Self Help Africa's programs include developing small buisnesses and providing additional support and training to existing businesses, all with the goal of creating sustainable communities and bringing people out of poverty on a permanent basis.
The Fourth Annual Change-Maker's Ball takes place Friday, October 25 at Pier Sixty on Chelsea Piers. For more information, visit www.selfhelpafrica.org.
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FTC Disclaimer: The author sometimes receives product samples for review, which carry no cash value and cannot be re-sold, and sometimes attends press events such as lunches or cocktail parties, designed to promote a given product. The author is not paid by any alcohol manufacturer, retailer or distributor, or provided compensation apart from revenue from an assigning publishing company for editorial publication. Opinions are the author's own. By the way, you should be 21 or older to read this page. Author received no comps or samples in relation to this article, but he's hoping Marcus Samuelsson will some day judge his cooking.