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Here's Mario Batali's Super Limited Charity Cookbook

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[Photos: Lunchbox Fund]

Here is a very fancy limited edition cookbook by Mario Batali and artist Jim Dine, currently on auction on eBay benefiting the Lunchbox Fund. There are only 100 copies of the book, which contains recipes from Rome and Napoli and points in between, accompanied by linocuts printed directly onto the pages. Also, the typography was handset and the binding was done by hand as well. All of this fanciness will cost you a pretty penny — bidding starts at $1,200 a copy — but it goes to a good cause. According to the press release below, "The Lunchbox Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a daily meal for impoverished and at-risk students in South African township high schools." Bidding continues through March 31.

THE LUNCHBOX FUND HOSTS ITS FIRST BOOKFAIR TO AUCTION OFF UNIQUE HANDMADE BOOKS BY CELEBRATED ARTISTS One of a kind handmade art books created by Sir Ben Kingsley, Chuck Close, Deepak Chopra, Archbishop Desmond Tutu with South African artist Paul Du Toit, Hugh Masekela, Mario Batali with Jim Dine, Tony and Kelsey Bennett, rock photographer Bob Gruen with Yoko Ono, Michael Stipe, Phillip Glass, Salman Rushdie with Francisco Clemente, Mick Rock and Shepard Fairey and Sting; Auction held at Del Posto March 21st with online bidding continuing thru March 31st; Lead Event Sponsor was Certified Dermatologist and noted Nutritionist Dr. Nicholas Perricone; Additional sponsors include Belvedere Vodka, Moét & Chandon, Pure Bar and Tribal DDB Worldwide

NEW YORK, NY (March 22, 2012) — Last night, The Lunchbox Fund (, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a daily meal for impoverished and at-risk students in South African township high schools, held its inaugural bookfair fundraiser, auctioning off unique, one-of-a-kind books, prints and book objects, hand created by a collection of artists, celebrities and newsmakers at Del Posto Ristorante in New York City. The auction will continue online at through March 31st. Three works were auctioned live and netted more than $140,000.

Event lead sponsor was Dr. Nicholas Perricone, world-renowned healthy aging expert and one of the country’s leading dermatologists and nutritionists. In attendance at Del Posto were event co-hosts Michael Stipe and Salman Rushdie, as well as Maggie Betts, Jennifer Carpenter, David Chang, Helena Christensen, Chuck Close, Alan Cumming, Mike D and Tamra Davis, John Demsey, Todd Diciurcio, Ann Dexter-Jones, Paul Du Toit, Philip Glass, Bob Gruen, Zani Gugelman, Paul Haggis, Jay McInerney, Anouk Lepere, Courtney Love, Piper Perabo, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, Parker Posey, Rain Phoenix, Mick Rock, Mickey Sumner and more.

Alan Cumming graced the crowd with a short set with help from his musical director Lance Horne on the piano. Additional event sponsors included Belvedere Vodka, Moét & Chandon, vegan snack Pure Bar, and global advertising agency Tribal DDB.

Lunchbox Fund founder, Topaz Page-Green brought together more than a dozen well-known artists and individuals to create the handmade books and book objects for the first of its kind auction, which it hopes to continue annually.

Each book is unique in terms of its format, size, structure and content. Contributors and collaborators include:

Sir Ben Kingsley
Photographer Bob Gruen and Yoko Ono
Chuck Close
Deepak Chopra
Archbishop Desmond Tutu illustrated by Paul Du Toit
Hugh Masekela
Mario Batali with linocuts by Jim Dine
Michael Stipe
Dr. Nicholas Perricone, M.D.
An original score by Philip Glass
Salman Rushdie short story with illustrations by Francesco Clemente
Tony and Kelsey Bennett
Photographer Mick Rock and Shepard Fairey

*For a detailed description of each work, see attached fact sheet.

The books, prints and book objects, combine various forms of mixed media. In every case, each book or book object was created from scratch with the artist collaborating with Ruth Lingen, noted print and book maker and a veteran of Pace Prints ( at her studio in Brooklyn.

The books include: a limited edition cookbook with recipes by Chef Mario Batali and
linocuts created by artist Jim Dine; a photo album of prints of John Lennon and Yoko Ono by rock photographer Bob Gruen, handpicked and individually inscribed by Ono; an original short story by Salman Rushdie with illustrations by Francesco Clemente; an original photo series by Chuck Close; a collection of his favorite film quotes by Sir Ben Kingsley; a handwritten score by composer Philip Glass; handwritten text and drawings from Hugh Masekela; handwritten meditations by Deepak Chopra, handwritten quotes from Archbishop Desmond Tutu illustrated by South African artist Paul Du Toit; a series of photos and prints of David Bowie, Joey Ramone and Joan Jett by photographer Mick Rock and artist Shepard Fairey and a vellum cylinder with hand inscribed lyrics by Sting; a photo box created by Tony and Kelsey Bennett and more.

“The books are great, The Lunchbox Fund is great, the people are great, the artists are great,” said event co-host Michael Stipe. “This is mind-blowing to see all of these great talents collaborate for such a great cause.”

"I ‘m grateful for the time, energy, creativity and effort each artist has brought to the project to further the mission of The Lunchbox Fund,” said Topaz Page-Green, Director and Founder of The Lunchbox Fund. “It has been so wonderful to work with each creator as they all understand that they are truly making a difference in each of these children's lives, and for the students to know that they can aspire to be one of the next leading artist, musician or chef.”

“It was an honor for me to be a part of this event and to be among so many esteemed and talented colleagues, who have taken time out of their busy lives to support this extraordinary outreach. I would also like to congratulate Topaz for her outstanding commitment and success with The Lunchbox Fund. Both are living proof that one inspired and dedicated person can sow the seeds of change and help an increasingly hungry world,” said Dr. Nicholas Perricone, Board Certified Dermatologist and Certified Nutrition Specialist.

Three books were a part of last night’s live auction directed by noted auctioneer Lydia Fenet of Christies. The Chuck Close book fetched $110,000. The original short by Salman Rushdie with illustrations by Francesco Clemente netted $20,000 and the book by Archbishop Desmond Tutu with illustrations by South African artist Paul Du Toit sold for $11,000. The Bookfair auction will continue up to and including March 31st online at Kraig Jarrett Johnson and Julie Panebianco are credited for the concept of the bookfair.

Proceeds from the auction will go towards providing daily meals for school children in South Africa with the help of Pure Bar, a brand passionate about creating delicious products made with simple and, wholesome ingredients. Many of these children are AIDS orphans running child-headed households, who have to make a choice to either eat or go to school. Often, this is their only meal of the day. Founded in 2005 by South African native Topaz Page-Green, The Lunchbox Fund is committed to providing students with access to nutrition, and is passionate about what food can do to lift people out of poverty, while keeping a keen eye on sustainability and a green environment.


Fostering education via nutrition, The Lunchbox Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a daily meal for impoverished and at-risk students in South African township high schools. Founded in 2005 The Lunchbox Fund has already garnered the support of a myriad of world-leaders, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Bill Clinton. The simple gift of providing each child with a nutritious meal makes a significant difference in school performance and attendance rates, which in turn reduces the risk of HIV infection, abuse and/or unwanted pregnancy. With a keen eye on sustainability, The Lunchbox Fund now initiates organic food gardens into their sites. Vegetables incorporated into school meals help to boost children’s nutrition, stamina and immune systems.

· All Mario Batali Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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