On Saturday night, November 8, Chef
Francois Payard was presented with the 9th Annual Pride of New
York (PONY) Award at a benefit for the Maryhaven Center of Hope, one of
Long Island’s largest programs for the developmentally disabled.
Each year this award is given to a
master chef who represents the best that New York City has to offer.
Previous recipients include Mario Batali, Jacques Pépin, Lidia Bastianich,
Cesare Casella and Bobby Flay.
The award was presented at Chef
Payard’s acclaimed restaurant on upper east side of Manhattan. At the
sold-out, $500-a-plate invitation-only award celebration, organized by
celebrity party planner Pamela Morgan, guests were feted with Payard’s
signature dishes. Colleen and Gary Rein were the Honorary Chairpersons.
In attendance were Jill and Bobby
Zarin, Deborah and Gregg Wasser, Sydelle and Henry Ostberg, Elaine Sargeant,
Candice and Steven Stark and many more.
François Payard is a third generation
French Pastry Chef born in Nice. François cultivated his passion for the
art of Pastry as a child in his grandfather's acclaimed shop, Au Nid des
Friandises on the Riviera. He grew up surrounded by the delicious classic
French pastry in the tradition carried on by his parents and grandparents
for over fifty years. François' desire to travel and discover a new culture
brought him to New York in 1990. His first position in New York as Pastry
Chef at Le Bernardin (****NY Times) and moved on in 1993 to join Chef Daniel
Boulud for the opening of Restaurant Daniel (****NY Times).
Francois Payard’s awards include:
In 1995 The James Beard
Association named François "Pastry Chef of the Year" in recognition of his
accent on flavor combined with a unique sense of pastry design.
. In 1998 he was
acknowledged for this by being awarded "Pastry Chef of the Year" by the Bon
Appétit Food & Entertainment Awards and again in 2001 by the International
Pastry Competition Committee-Beaver Creek.
. In July of 2004
François was honored with the prestigious Ordre du Mérite Agricole, Medal of
Honor by the French Government.
And most recently, he
received Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence 2005 for having one of the
most outstanding wine lists in the world as well as being selected by Relais
Desserts 2006-2007 as one of 85 of the Best Pastry Chefs in the World.
In August of 1997 François' childhood
dream of opening his
own Pâtisserie and Bistro became a reality. Since Payard's conception,
François has continued to strive to innovate,
perfect, educate and contribute his
ideas and passion to the field of pastry. François is also the author of the
popular cookbooks Simply Sensational Desserts", "Bite Size: Elegant Recipes
for Entertaining" and most recently, “Chocolate Epiphany, Exceptional
Cookies, Cakes, and Confections for Everyone”.
All proceeds of the Pride of New
York party were donated to the Maryhaven Center of Hope, a local charity
that helps developmentally disabled children of every race, religion and
creed from the New York area. Congratulations to Chef Payard and Maryhaven!
For more information, please
contact Pamela Morgan,