The United Nations African Mothers Association (UNAMA) has held this annual fundraiser since the mid-1980s. Proceeds, which in recent years have been devoted to refugees in Africa, this year benefited Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
As always (I'm told, since this was my first UNAMA luncheon), the food was prepared by wives of U.N. delegates and served buffet-style. The variety was overwhelming. I noted the names of 16 African nations at the buffet, though many labels were handwritten, some of them on the spur of the moment; it's very possible that the true count was higher.
Likewise, the buffet's identification of dishes was not rock-solid, and though some were close cousins to items I've come across in the five boroughs, others were less familiar. A working knowledge of culinary French and Portuguese would have clarified a few ingredients. To be sure, most everyone spoke English, too. The atmosphere was low-key, and the company, consistently welcoming and gracious.
For more photos, see my slideshow.
UNAMA Fundraising Buffet Luncheon
Church Center for the United Nations, 777 UN Plaza (44th St. at First Ave.), Manhattan
December (the 2012 luncheon was held on December 10)