Food News Friday: "Top Chef" and "Chopped" Judges Cook In Verona To Raise Funds For Suicide Prevention

Celebrity chefs Floyd Cardoz, Ariane Duarte, Amanda Freitag and Carmen Quagliata are teaming up with Newman Cares, Inc., a Verona, NJ-based charitable organization whose mission is to bring communities and neighbors together for a variety of worthy causes, to raise funds and awareness for The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Specifically, the chefs will pool their culinary talents for the “Dine 4 a Difference” charity dinner at Ariane Kitchen & Bar in Verona on Thursday, November 9 beginning at 6:30 p.m.

An advocate for suicide prevention amongst young adults, celebrated Indian-American Chef Floyd Cardoz, winner of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters Season 3 and owner of casual-modern Indian restaurant, Paowalla – and a Verona resident, first developed the idea for the charity dinner, and enlisted the help of fellow friends and chefs. Ariane Duarte, whose restaurant, Ariane Kitchen & Bar, will serve as host of the dinner, Amanda Freitag of Chopped fame and Carmen Quagliata, Executive Chef of Union Square Café and Daily Provisions, have partnered with Newman Cares, Inc. to create the Dine 4 a Difference concept as part of Verona’s commitment to suicide prevention and promotion of mental health.

The ticketed event will begin with a cocktail hour at 6:30 p.m. followed by a four-course sit-down dinner featuring dishes prepared by each chef. Wine will be served with dinner, and a cash bar will be available. Guests will also have the opportunity to win various prizes throughout the evening, including dinner for eight at Ariane Kitchen & Bar, dinner for four at Paowalla, a complimentary dinner and show at Papermill Playhouse, autographed cookbooks from Thomas Keller and more.

The menu includes:

Anson Mills Polenta, Kale Pesto and Mushroom Trifolati
– prepared by Chef Carmen Quagliata

Slow Cooked Halibut, with Crispy Rice Flakes and Sun-Dried Ginger Broth
– prepared by Chef Floyd Cardoz

Braised Short Ribs with Parsnip Puree, Greens and Crispy Shallots
– prepared by Chef Ariane Duarte

Pumpkin Panna Cotta with Cranberry Compote
– prepared by Chef Amanda Freitag

Tickets to Dine 4 a Difference can be purchased online at, and cost $150.00 each for bar seating and $200 each for general admission seating at a table. Sponsorship packages, which include a meet and greet with the chefs, sponsorship listing on the website, exclusive wines and a signed cookbook, are also available for purchase through the website.

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