NEW YORK (AP) — A Chinese tycoon served up a fancy lunch Wednesday to hundreds of homeless New Yorkers at a Central Park restaurant.
Recycling magnate Chen Guangbiao selected a menu of sesame-seed-encrusted tuna, beef filet and berries with crème fraiche at the Boathouse restaurant. He also plans to regale his 250 guests by singing "We are the World." And he has promised $300 each to the attendees, who are all residents of a Manhattan shelter.
Chen says he wants to disprove the cliche image of rich Chinese spending money mostly on luxuries.
"I was not born into a rich family or a family of government officials. When I was 4 years old my brother and sister died of hunger, so I achieved my success through confidence, self-motivation and my hard work," Chen said in Chinese in an interview on "CBS This Morning."
He then launched into an a cappella rendition of "We are the World."
Chen is partnering on the event with the New York City Rescue Mission, the oldest shelter in the nation.
"Our thought was if someone wants to treat them to an amazing event — something they would never experience on their own, maybe even a kernel of hope that life could be different again, we're in for that reason. That's our motive," said the mission's executive director, Craig Mayes.
But Chen's American ambitions surpass philanthropy.
Earlier this year, the 46-year-old businessman wanted to buy The New York Times. Times chairman Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., said the newspaper was not for sale.
To announce the lunch, Chen placed ads in the Times and The Wall Street Journal.