Gala Celebration: Taste of the Tenement

Virtual and In Person | June 1, 2022

For our gala celebration this year, we’re inviting everyone to the table for a “taste” of the tenement! We’re honoring Hulu’s Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi. Whether you join us through a virtual gala film premiere inspired by the show or join Padma at our in-person celebration for an evening of festivities, we’ll highlight the stunning variety of Lower East Side foods.

We have two different ways to be a part of our biggest fundraising event of the year! Register for our free/donation optional virtual gala film premiere inspired by Hulu’s Taste the Nation or purchase tickets to our in-person gala celebration at the iconic Essex Market with special guests Padma Lakshmi and culinary historian and author Michael W. Twitty!


Virtual Gala Film Premiere

June 1, 8:30 – 9:15 pm ET | Free Registration, Donation Optional

There’s no one taste or flavor to define a neighborhood, especially one like the Lower East Side. No one knows that better than us… well, us and Padma Lakshmi. In November 2021, Padma visited the Tenement Museum for a special holiday edition of Taste the Nation. In the episode, viewers got a small taste of the many stories of food traditions born out of tenement life and the role of food in the cultural evolution of the Lower East Side.

The premiere of our new gala film on June 1st will lead viewers from Padma’s visit last year onto a culinary journey of tenement food traditions. The film will use cooking demos of historic and archival recipes, oral histories, scholarly interviews, and special guests Padma Lakshmi and Michael W. Twitty, author and culinary historian, to create a full course meal of the American experience through the lens of food. What do you get when you mix together local history, a side of family stories, a dash of cooking, and set to bake for 45 minutes? A deliciously tenement experience.

In-Person Gala Celebration

June 1, 6:00 – 8:30pm ET | Ticketed Event, starting at $1,000

Eat your way through the history of the Lower East Side! On June 1st, the Tenement Museum will host an in-person celebration at Essex Market, the iconic Lower East Side food destination.

Attendees will enjoy a taste of the eclectic food from local neighborhood restaurants and an array of curated experiences including live musical performances, food tastings, live cooking demonstrations, interactive guided tours of the historic market, and more!

Special guests at the event will include Padma Lakshmi, host of Hulu’s critically-acclaimed Taste the Nation, and culinary historian Michael W. Twitty, author of James Beard award-winning The Cooking Gene.

New Trailer! Taste of the Tenement 

Glimpse into what awaits in the newest trailer for our upcoming 45-minute food documentary, premiering at this year’s free virtual gala!

Behind the Gala

Catch a special look into our segment on Hulu’s Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi, the inspiration behind it all. And check out some great bonus content as we count down to the premiere!

From Padma’s Cookbook

Watch Padma in a special sneak peek as she shares the cultural significance of kichidi, a classic yet simple Indian dish of rice and lentils. Recreate a recipe that holds personal meaning and a tradition she hopes to pass down to her daughter.


Taste the Neighborhood

As part of our in-person celebration at Essex Market, New York City’s most historic public market, we’re partnering with a healthy spread of local eats! A mix of Lower East Side staples will be serving guests their delicious food and a bit of history – with Joyva as our special dessert sponsor.

Gala FAQs

Both experiences will take place on June 1, but at different times. The in-person event at Essex Market begins at 6:00pm ET. The online film premiere begins at 8:30pm ET.

Yes! All are welcome to watch the gala film premiere. A donation of any amount is encouraged—but not required—during your registration. Special perks are available to those who contribute $250 or more with their registration. Register online here.

Yes! There are levels to register to watch the gala film that come with special perks such as Russ & Daughters gift baskets and Tenement Museum merchandise. We are grateful to those who consider becoming a lead gala supporter this year.

All sponsors and ticket buyers are invited to the in-person gala party at Essex Market and also receive special deliveries filled with Russ & Daughters delectables and Tenement Museum merchandise. Sponsors receive multiple tickets to the event and can send multiple baskets to gift to friends, family, etc. The number of baskets is dependent on the level of sponsorship.

All those who register with a donation of $250 or more receive special Tenement Museum swag! Those who register with a $500 donation will also receive special delivery of Russ & Daughters sweets.

A special link will be sent to all registrants prior to the Gala date. Make sure you register before June 1!

Yes! You will be able to turn on closed captioning during the event.

Yes! All those who register will receive a link 24 hours before the event begins. If you register but are unable to watch the live broadcast beginning at 8:30pm ET, you will be able to watch it in its entirety beginning at 9:30pm ET on June 1.

Donations of $250 or more come with certain perks that have value. If you would like to make your gift fully deductible, you can opt out of receiving these items.

Absolutely. Please reach out to inform Ian Patrick of your commitment at [email protected]