Cassia co-owners Kim Luu-Ng and chef Bryant Ng host the second LA Chefs for Human Rights (LACHR) fundraising dinner, benefitting Program for Torture Victims (PTV), at their acclaimed Southeast Asian brasserie in Santa Monica on September 25. The exclusive event honors Chris Cornell, posthumously, for his original song "The Promise", recorded for the film of the same name about the Armenian Genocide, and for his philanthropic and humanitarian efforts on behalf of vulnerable children around the world. Vicky Cornell is accepting the award on behalf of her late husband, who was a Grammy award-winning and Golden Globe-nominated singer, songwriter, guitarist, and composer.
Founded by Kim Luu-Ng and chef Bryant Ng, LACHR is a human rights fundraising campaign to support PTV, which is the first rehabilitation program in the United States dedicated to treating torture survivors. The event unites the city's most celebrated chefs and bakers to cook an incredible multi-course dinner, with 100% of the proceeds benefitting PTV, which heals and rebuilds the lives of torture survivors from over seventy countries. Led by Cassia chef Bryant Ng, this year's lineup includes Rustic Canyon's Jeremy Fox, Sqirl's Jessica Koslow, Republique's Walter and Margarita Manzke, and Rustic Canyon Family of Restaurants co-owner and head baker Zoe Nathan.
"Last fall, LA Chefs for Human Rights raised $105,000 for our programs, helping our clients with psychological counseling, outpatient health care, legal support, advocacy, and so much more," says Trip Oldfield, Program for Torture Victims' executive director. "There are roughly 1.3 million torture survivors living in the United States, and this issue is closer to home than many of us think, with around 44% of refugees in the Los Angeles region having suffered from human rights abuses."
"We're deeply honored to celebrate the life-changing work Vicky and Chris have accomplished, and which she continues to carry on," says Kim Luu-Ng, a longtime human rights advocate, lawyer, and PTV board of directors member. "Their support of and dedication to Syrian refugee children languishing in refugee camps raises awareness for this ongoing, six-year crisis and provides hope to so many who have lost it."
Chris wrote and recorded "The Promise", a beautiful ballad for the 2016 film of the same name, which stars Oscar Isaac, Christian Bale and Charlotte Le Bon and depicts the Armenian Genocide. The song's inspirational lyrics are now embraced by human rights and refugee aid groups as a clarion call to people who care about the plight of refugees and victims of war. In April 2017, Vicky and Chris visited the Eleonas refugee camp in Greece, where they met with refugee children and their families to hear first-hand about their escape and suffering.
The evening's honorary guest speaker is Evgeny Afineevsky, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker behind the HBO documentary "Cries From Syria", which examines the Syrian Civil War, and how the ensuing violence and humanitarian crisis have ravaged the lives of the civilian victims of the war, particularly women and children. The evening will also feature PTV clients who will share their powerful and courageous stories of survival and healing, as well as a live musical performance by singer/songwriter Tiffany Brevard.
This year's sponsors for LA Chefs for Human Rights enable all event proceeds to go directly to PTV. The Mascot's Vintner Amanda Harlan and director Nikita Stone are pouring some of the first tastes of their Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 vintage, alongside the 2010 and 2011 vintages, all made from the younger, hillside vines of Napa Valley's esteemed Harlan Estate, BOND, and Promontory vineyards. Claude and Elisabeth Koeberle from Sonoma's Soliste Winery are generously donating their 2012 L'Age D'or Chardonnay, while The Source European Wine Imports is providing Cremant from Chateau de Brézé. Guests will be greeted with Ruinart's exquisite Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Champagne during the cocktail hour, and will raise glasses to celebrate the evening's honorees and guest speakers. Specialty cocktails featuring award-winning Japanese Kikori Whiskey, made from 100% rice and distilled and aged in Kumamoto on the island of Kyushu, will be served, courtesy of founder Ann Soh Woods and EJ Milken. Q Mixers is donating their premium, all-natural carbonated mixers and sodas, while celebrated local chocolatier Valerie Gordon of Valerie Confections is creating specialty chocolate bars for an event keepsake. Eat.Sleep.Work, a Los Angeles-based brand and design agency is donating their graphic design and web development expertise towards the event.