FB_Gardein_Image_715x600Just a few weeks ago, the New York Farm Sanctuary celebrated their 29th Anniversary at the iconic Plaza Hotel, and gardein was there to fête the organization and its work!  Jon Stewart, former host of the Daily Show, and his wife Tracey were the belles of the ball, receiving special recognition, as well as making an exciting announcement of their own!

The gala was a huge success, with celebs such as Scandal’s Bellamy Young, Bones star Emily Deschanel, and The Social Network’s Jesse Eisenberg strutting the green carpet and showing their support for Farm Sanctuary with over 300 Farm Sanctuary supporters. Guests dined on irresistible meat-free hors d’oeuvres, created in a collaboration between the event’s culinary team and gardein Executive Chef Jason Stefanko. Small bites included crabless crabcakes with a tangy remoulade drizzle, empanadas with Italian sausage crumbles and chipotle aioli, fishless filet mini tacos, and mini beef wellingtons made with decadent mushroom duxelle and  beefless tips.

The evening also included a four-course vegan dinner (for those who had room left),an awards ceremony, and a charity auction which raised a whopping $300,000 dollars! Farm Sanctuary founder, Gene Baur, inspired with his story of the organization’s humble beginnings selling veggie dogs at Grateful Dead concerts to raise money for farm animals, nearly 3 decades before.

The evening’s guests of honor, Jon and Tracey Stewart received the “Gift of Life Award” for their efforts in promoting compassion for farm animals, including their recent purchase of a farm in New Jersey. Tracey dropped a bombshell during the acceptance speech and announced their new farm would become the New Jersey branch of Farm Sanctuary!

The evening was finished off with an unforgettable after party that went to the wee hours of the night. A great night for gardein, Farm Sanctuary, and most importantly, farm animals!