Chef Rich Torrisi And Major Food Group Team Up With Robin Hood, New York City’s Largest Poverty-Fighting Philanthropy

Food & Drink

Ever since opening in Lower Manhattan last December, Torrisi Bar & Restaurant has enjoyed status as the hardest reservation in town. A multitude of articles and social media posts are dedicated to helping hack your way to a table inside. Now chef Rich Torrisi and his co-owners from Major Food Group are leveraging that popularity for philanthropic purposes. Today they announce a lasting partnership with Robin Hood, a New York City-based charity that has invested nearly $3 billion in poverty relief over the past 35 years.

It’s part of an initiative known as Major Good, which initially debuted back in 2015. This relaunch is being branded as Major Good 2.0. And here’s how it works…

Chef Torrisi has volunteered his time and talent to personally cook curated meals for anyone who donates more than $30,000 to the nonprofit foundation. The first such dinner will kick off tonight, with 100% of the money raised going directly to New Yorkers experiencing food hardship. If you’ve got deep enough pockets and you’ve been curious to see what all the fuss was about with Torrisi, you now have an opportunity to find out, while benefiting some of your least fortunate neighbors.

And don’t expect these extravagant experiences to be your garden variety Italian family feasts—as if such a thing even exists at Torrisi. The dinners will be held in a private dining room with its own kitchen, where you’ll receive individual care, attention, and bespoke menus from the eponymous chef.

“As a proud New Yorker, Torrisi Bar and Restaurant was an opportunity for me to recommit myself to my home city that I love and I am equally proud to relaunch Major Good and our partnership with Robin Hood,” says Torrisi. “The foundation profoundly resonates with me personally because I get to use my talent and passion through food. These are the best things that I can bring to the table in the name of good. Through these dinners we will help provide resources to the amazing people on the ground that run these incredible food insecurity-focused Robin Hood programs.”

Those programs include—but are not limited to—City Harvest, Food Bank for New York City, New York Common Pantry and St. John’s Bread & Life Program. Last year, the foundation worked with over 300 community partners to create, according to a press release, “pathways to opportunities out of poverty for more than 325,000 New Yorkers.”

Robin Hood is faced with daunting challenges these days, as it is estimated that one in three New Yorkers were impacted by food hardship throughout the pandemic. Runaway inflation has worsened the ongoing crisis; the cost of food increased 10.4% year over year between 2022 and 2023. And so Torrisi’s renewed involvement comes at a particularly important time.

“The funds from the dinners will go directly to Robin Hood’s community partners that are focused on addressing critical food insecurity issues in New York City,” confirms Robin Hood CEO, Richard R. Buery, Jr., “Chef Torrisi and the team at Major Food Group are inherently philanthropic and care deeply about doing what they can to elevate our fellow New Yorkers out of poverty. Chef Torrisi’s vision and execution of Torrisi Bar and Restaurant, as well as the way in which the history of New York and the neighborhood are honored, deeply inspire us.”

If you’re wondering whether or not his cooking chops are inspiring well-heeled diners to throw down $30,000 on a bespoke meal at Torrisi…Don’t. The chef claims he’s already had requests from some to secure multiple dinners in the private space, located within the landmarked Puck Building. If you’re looking to join the exclusive party, reservations and inquiries can be made here.

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