Citymeals on Wheels threw its annual Power Lunch for Women on Friday at The Plaza Hotel. This year’s event — the 30th one Citymeals has thrown — honored the organization’s cofounder, restaurant critic and author Gael Greene.
“Every year, it’s a consuming passion, full-time obsession,” Greene said of the lunch. “Will they come back? How can we get more exciting women so the press will cover? Now they’re coming and bringing their daughters. That’s exciting ‘cause we need another generation. The people we’re feeding now, 18,000 homebound New Yorkers, the numbers are growing and the amount of money we need to raise is growing, so that’s good to see new faces. Every year, we want to get as many men to join us ‘cause we charge them $10,000 to come. And a lot of men love that idea and they pay $10,000 to come, and a lot pay $10,000 so they don’t have to come and that’s good too.”
As she’s known to do, Greene sported a hat — a captain’s hat that she said was 40 or 50 years old. “Big brim is more attractive, but it’s in the way,” she explained of the sartorial choice. “These are kind of easy to wear.”
Bobbi Brown, a sponsor, was headed to the Bahamas “just for the weekend” immediately following the lunch. “I’m on the board and I’ve supported this organization for years and years and years,” she said of her Citymeals involvement. “Who doesn’t love their grandma and grandpa? It’s amazing that for people that have so much, there are so many people that have nothing and it’s just nice to be able to give back. That’s all.”
Georgina Chapman had been invited by friend Patricia Wexler. She said she felt inspired to be surrounded by so many successful women. “Why wouldn’t I be in a room with a lot of successful women?” she asked. “There are a lot of successful women. I think we need to remember that. I don’t think it’s a unique thing to be a successful woman. Everyone is successful in their own right, whether it be as a mother, whether it be your career. I think we have great tasks ahead of us as women and we have to juggle many different things. I’m constantly amazed at the stories that I hear. It doesn’t always have to be career-related. It can be success in personal life, too. I’m forever proud of women that I meet and am always inspired.”
During her acceptance speech, Greene joked about the power of food. “Dinner is the most sensuous act two people can share with their clothes on,” she said. Perhaps it was a good thing it was only lunch.