Pop-up dinner party guests raise $105,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
By KARI BARNETT
South Florida Sun Sentinel
Nov 21, 2019 | 10:08 AM
Chef Jason Smith and sommelier Fareida Rajkumar listen to chef Norman Van Aken during the St. Jude Pop Up Dinner Party presented by The Morgan Law Group at the W Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort & Spa. (Teekay Kountry / Courtesy)
Celebrity chef Norman Van Aken served up signature dishes and desserts — coffee-rubbed beef tenderloin and pecan chocolate caramel tarts — while sommelier Fareida Rajkumar selected premium wines for over 120 guests at the second annual St. Jude Popup Dinner Party for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Event chairpersons Julian and Tatiana Casanova hosted the evening at the W Fort Lauderdale, raising a record $105,000 for the hospital that serves children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
“My husband and I are honored to be involved with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other-life-threatening diseases,” Tatiana Casanova said in a statement. “Thanks to our generous guests, events like this help ensure families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.”
In addition to dinner by Van Aken, the only Florida chef included on the James Beard Foundation’s list of “Who’s Who in American Food and Beverage” and a 2016 Menu Masters Hall of Fame inductee, there was a cocktail reception, live and silent auctions, a St. Jude patient family speaker, dancing and the St. Jude ABC’s of Cancer display.