Ayesha Nurdjaja

The Sylvia Center, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching young New Yorkers how to take control of their health through better food choices, will celebrate its fifteenth anniversary on Tuesday, Nov. 8 with its annual Autumn Feast. The evening will feature a four-course seasonal, plant-forward dinner curated by Ayesha Nurdjaja, herself a Brooklyn native, and executive chef and partner of Shuka and Shukette.

The dinner will consist of three savory courses showcasing the vibrant Eastern Mediterranean fare for which Nurdjaja has cultivated a reputation. The first course will be a beet moutabel, a dip of the vegetable blended with yogurt, and garnished with fried almonds and dill. The dip will be served with pan-fired lafa (aka “Iraqi pita”). Roasted Brussels sprouts with apple and pomegranate will follow. The main course will be a roasted fish with salsa verde, braised shelling beans, tomato, and kale.

The meal will be capped off by pies from Great Performances, the events and hospitality company whose founder and CEO, Liz Neumark, established The Sylvia Center in 2007 to address young people’s diet-related diseases in under-resourced neighborhoods.

“The Sylvia Center is an organization whose mission is aligned with my passions for mentoring, culinary training, seasonality, and educating people of all ages about the importance of eating well,” says Nurdjaja. “It is a great honor for me to partner with them on this amazing event. The menu is inspired by some of my favorite dishes, taking advantage of the bounty of the season, and just might inspire some creative additions to holiday tables.”

In addition to marking The Sylvia Center’s 15 years, during which it has served more than 35,000 participants, the Autumn Feast will honor 18-year-old Kesar Gaba, its 2022 FOODMatch Scholarship winner. Gaba is a 2021 graduate of The Sylvia Center’s Teen Culinary Appreciation program, which prepares youth to become peer advocates for health and nutrition in their communities.

The event will take place at the DeGustibus Cooking School from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets for the limited seating, which range from $1,500 to $15,000, can be purchased here.

De Gustibus Cooking School, 151 W. 34th Streeet, #8.