The 2023 Anne Saxelby Benefit Will Be A NYC Foodie Paradise

Guests showing up to the Anne Saxelby Legacy Fund Annual Benefit will want to make sure they come with empty stomachs, as there are currently over 100 chefs, artisans, and farmers scheduled to attend. The benefit, which is scheduled for September 13, 2023 from 6 to 10 pm, will take place at the Chelsea Market in New York City, and is meant to celebrate "the life of Anne Saxelby and future generations of farmers, chefs, and artisans."

The Anne Saxelby Legacy Fund, a nonprofit organization, provides paid apprenticeships in which young adults can work on and learn from sustainable farms — and the money raised from the event will go toward funding these ventures. At the benefit, guests will have the opportunity to try food and drinks from "Anne's favorite chefs and artisans," according to Chelsea Market, which will be closed down to the public for the occasion. There will also be a silent auction and raffle, as well as a celebration of the 2023 class of the nonprofit's apprentices. This is only the second year the benefit has been thrown, as the first occurrence was in September 2022.

The benefit celebrates Anne Saxelby's legacy

Before there was the Anne Saxelby Legacy Fund, which was founded in October 2021, there was Anne Saxelby — a champion of American cheese and the founder of Saxelby Cheesemongers. Her shop was the first in New York City to sell only American-made cheese, and it was built with a mission of supporting sustainable agricultural practices and helping rural economies. It originally opened in 2006 in the Lower East Side, but expanded in 2017 to a bigger space in Chelsea Market. Saxelby gained experience in the industry by first working at Murray's Cheese, and later traveling throughout the U.S. and France to learn from experienced cheese-makers.

She passed away from a heart condition in 2021, but left behind her legacy of a passion for American cheese and sustainable farming. As Elizabeth Chubbuck, Chief Strategy Officer of Murray's Cheese, told Cheese Professor, "Her dedication to the American artisan cheeses, and the people who make them, helped shape the landscape of our industry." Today, her legacy fund's mission to provide apprenticeships for young people aims to replicate the experiences Saxelby had learning from cheese farmers in her 20s.

What to expect

So who will be among the myriad of food and drink vendors at the Anne Saxelby Legacy Fund annual benefit? New York favorites like Black Seed Bagels, Gramercy Tavern, Manhattan Fruit Market, and Union Square Café will be there, along with high-profile chefs like Mario Carbone, Alice Waters from Chez Panisse, and Max Ng from Momofuku. Of course, Saxelby Cheesemongers will also have a station, with the owner Benoit Breal and manager Jill Tardiff manning the ship. Breal has a long history with Saxelby Cheesemongers, as he joined the shop shortly after it opened in 2006 and spent 15 years building the brand with Saxelby.

The event will feature a wide variety of cuisines — everything from French food at Pain D'Avignon, to Japanese-inspired Mexican food at Takumi Taco, to Korean comfort food at Kimbap Lab. The long roster of drink vendors that will be in attendance includes Red Hook Winery from Brooklyn, Corkbuzz from New York City, and Kumiko from Chicago. The owner of Taiwanese-American restaurant Win Son, Trigg Brown, will be serving pan-griddled pork buns with heritage pork shoulder and belly to honor his memories of how Saxelby helped him select the perfect cheese for his establishment's breakfast sandwiches. "She was such a galvanizing force and so generous," Brown told Saveur.    

If you're interested in attending the benefit, you can purchase tickets from $125 from Eventbrite.