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Insomniacs Get Sunrise Chef, Veuve Clicquot in Anti-Hunger Fest

Alexandre Cammas
Alexandre Cammas, founder of Le Grand Fooding New York event, a food tasting and fundraiser, poses in New York. This year, he organized a 52-hour pop-up restaurant with 13 chefs, and part of the ticket sale income will go to the New York branch of Action Against Hunger. Photographer: Patrick Cole/Bloomberg

In Manhattan’s Chelsea district, amid countless contemporary-art galleries, a mix of cuisine and charity will provide round-the-clock tastings starting Friday night.

At Honey Space about 9 p.m., chefs from New York’s Locanda Verde and the Dutch are serving langoustine. By 1 a.m., Belgium’s Kobe Desramaults offers Flemish salted beef. Bleary-eyed diners may be seen at 5 a.m. eating mackerel served by France’s Armand Arnal.

This is Le Grand Fooding New York, a 52-hour pop-up restaurant created by French culinary guide Le Fooding and its partner, Veuve Clicquot, while raising money for Action Against Hunger’s New York chapter. It’s the third year for the New York edition of the event, which was first held in Paris in 2000.

“In Paris the early-morning dinners absolutely were crowded,” said Alexandre Cammas, founder of Le Grand Fooding New York. “When you come from abroad, you say New York is a crazy city, people don’t sleep, and you discover that at 4 a.m. people do go to bed.”

Crowds were a problem last year in New York, when the sold-out event was billed as the battle between San Francisco and New York City chefs. On the first night some ticket buyers faced long lines and no food by the time they arrived at their favorite chef’s serving station.

“We were overwhelmed by its success,” Cammas said. “We had 1,500 people each night. It was not a good thing to be among the last 100 people.”

This year Cammas and his partners staged two events, starting last Saturday with an outdoor food tasting and live music at Manhattan’s Elizabeth Street Garden. It offered ticket buyers the option of a more intimate party.

‘Exquisite Corpse’

Working in shifts through midnight Sunday, 13 chefs will each make a multi-course meal including one dish that’s a variation of one served by a previous cook. The event is called “Exquisite Corpse,” from a French term referring to an ordered assemblage of words, or in this case dishes.

For instance, Slovenian chef Ana Ros’s Saturday 9 a.m. meal includes green ravioli in trout broth with deer tartare and cod. U.K. chef Sat Bains will follow with green fennel-flavored ravioli accompanied by pork belly and braised oxtail.

Above all, Cammas wants those attending to have a pleasant social experience while enjoying the meal.

“There is nothing more boring than to have a dinner with people who are food addicts,” Cammas said. “I like to have dinner with people who are happy and curious and interested in arts, movies and literature. That is what makes a nice dinner.”

(Tickets are still available for a limited number of dinners at Le Grand Fooding New York’s “Exquisite Corpse” Sept. 23-25. Information:

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