The Culinary Trust

Today’s Special — One Night Only

February 8, 2012
in News and Events

ENTER TO WIN a copy of Today’s Special on DVD!  Buy a ticket and then leave a comment below, 4 lucky winners selected at random will receive a copy of the DVD, delivered at the dinner.


On April 1, Join Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi and cookbook author and actress Madhur Jaffrey at a pop-up restaurant featuring food inspired by the film written and starring  - Today’s Special.  Proceeds benefit The Culinary Trust.

The Culinary Trust is dedicated to preserving culinary heritage, and our newest program, Stories About Food, funded generously through a grant from KitchenAid, reaches across generations to share personal food memories and experiences.  This year, our annual fundraiser partners with the film Today’s Special, to capture food stories both real and imagined.

IACP members who attended the 2010 Annual Conference in Portland may remember that we were treated to a preview of the award-winning film Today’s Special. Starring and co-written by Aasif Mandvi of The Daily Show, it tells the story of Samir, a sous chef who dreams of becoming the head chef at an upscale Manhattan restaurant. When he is passed over for a promotion, he impulsively quits with the intention of going to Paris to  apprentice under a master French chef. Dreams must be put aside though after his father Hakim has a heart attack and Samir is forced to take over Tandoori Palace, the nearly bankrupt family restaurant in Jackson Heights.

Samir’s relationship with his parents and his heritage is immediately put to the test. He has been estranged from his father since the death of his older brother, and his mother Farrida, played by legendary cookbook writer and actress Madhur Jaffrey, is consumed with finding a wife for her remaining son. While Samir is being forced to forsake his dreams, he is desperately trying to master Indian cooking to salvage the family business.

Luckily, he crosses paths with Akbar, a taxi driver, passionate chef, and worldly raconteur (portrayed by Naseeruddin Shah, star of Monsoon Wedding). Akbar inspires Samir and teaches him to trust his senses more than recipes; to stop measuring his life and to start truly living it. With Akbar’s guidance, Samir has a chance to rediscover his heritage and his passion for life through the enchanting art of cooking Indian food.

If you missed the screening in Portland and didn’t catch the movie in theaters, it’s not too late. Today’s Special was just released on demand and on DVD. Or you can watch the trailer here.   And now you can get 20% off the film here by entering the promo code FOODIE20.

And if you want to directly experience the spirit of Jackson Heights, with a menu by Madhur Jaffrey, and humor by Aasif Mandvi, for one night only, on April 1, L’Ecole in New York City will be transformed into Tandoori Palace.

Join The Culinary Trust as we connect food and community across generations and share a taste of New York City.

Event Details

Sunday, April 1, 2012
Early seating: 5:30 - 8:00 pm; late seating: 8:30 - 10:30 pm
L’Ecole, 462 Broadway at Grand, New York

Tickets are $150 USD and available here. Proceeds benefit TCT’s many philanthropic programs, including scholarships and grants for students and professionals, cookbook preservation and restoration, continuing education, and grants for hunger alleviation. For more information about IACP, visit

Watch the trailer here:

This dinner and The Culinary Trust programs are made possible with generous support.

Presenting Sponsor

Supporting Sponsor 

In honor of Howard Deshong

New Zealand Lamb generously donated by The Lamb Cooperative Inc.

For information email

Produce generously provided by 

Spices generously provided by

 The event venue has been generously donated by


Wine and Spirits have been generously donated by


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