Mariska Hargitay shows off photos of new baby Amaya Josephine to longtime pal Mario Batali during the Food Bank For NYC’s Can-Do Awards Gala held Thursday at Abigail Kirsch’s Pier Sixty.
“Isn’t she adorable?” the actress, 47, says.
She continues beaming as she makes her way down the orange carpet. How’s the little one she adopted last week?
“Dreamy!” she says, giving a thumbs up.
Amaya joins a family that includes Mariska’s son August, 4, and hubby Peter Hermann, 43, whom she wed in 2004.
“She’s a perfect mom,” Mario says. “August, her first son, is a spectacularly brilliant little kid. Her husband, Peter, is delightful. You can tell when people have happy kids. They’re smart, they’re creative, they’re thoughtful, they’re curious. They cry, too.”
While the adoption announcement may have been a surprise to the public, Law and Order: SVU co-star Chris Meloni knew all about it in advance.
“I saw her before [she got her], and she was a little stressy-stressy, but it all worked out, so it was a happy ending,” he says.
Although he has no plans to meet little Amaya right now, he looks forward to getting to know her daughter.
“I just hope I don’t meet her while I’m trying to take a nap in my dressing room,” he laughs.
When it comes to a present for the baby, Chris says he’s still mulling the gift.
“You want to make it unique and not a cliché,” he tells me.
According to Chris, balancing a career, motherhood and charity work with her Joyful Heart Foundation comes easy for Mariska.
“Having 42 assistants helps,” he jokes. “She’s going to be great. She’s a woman, a person, who possesses a lot of love. She’s extraordinarily intelligent. I think she understands human behavior. She has endless patience.”
And if she ever needs any additional help, Mario will be there in a second. (She recently cooked for him – a “delicious” steak with asparagus.)
“I want to move in with her,” he jokes. “I’ll help her with the baby, too. But she’s got a great husband.”
Mariska heads inside the event for ten minutes, where she enjoys a drink, and heads back home to be with her expanded family.
Food Bank For New York City recognizes 28 years as the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs. As the city’s hub for integrated food poverty assistance, the Food Bank tackles the hunger issue on three fronts — food distribution, income support and nutrition education — all strategically guided by its research. Through its network of approximately 1,000 community-based member programs citywide, the Food Bank helps provide 400,000 free meals a day for New Yorkers in need. 94% of donations go directly toward food distribution, acquisition and programs in all five boroughs of New York City. Food Bank For New York City‘s Can-Do Awards Gala raises $1.4 million to feed the hungry.