by Lourdes Castro
The James Beard Foundation’s Annual Holiday Auction and Dinner Celebrates the World’s Most Expensive Ingredient Funds Will Support the Non-Profit’s Mission and Programs
In a city obsessed with the biggest and the best, it’s fitting that the world’s most expensive ingredient, the truffle, was celebrated in New York City at a multi-course dinner for 250 guests on November 14 at Guastavino’s. The regional cuisine of Italy’s truffle region, Piemonte, was showcased, while funds were raised for the James Beard Foundation.
Twenty pounds of truffles were imported by Appennino Funghi e Tartufi for the dinner aptly titled Le Citta del Tartufo (The Truffle Towns of Italy). Chefs from three of Italy’s most celebrated truffle towns — Alberto Bettini and Denis Lenzi from Amerigo 1934 in Savigno, Bruno Cingolani from Dulcis Vitis Ristorante in Alba, and Flavio Faedi from Granaro del Monte in Norcia — prepared a menu highlighting the intensity, complexity, and diversity of truffles.
|Three chefs from the New York-based B&B Hospitality Group — William Gallagher from Becco, Fortunato Nicotra from Felidia, and David Pasternack from Esca — prepared truffle-themed hors d’oeuvres for the cocktail and silent auction reception.
Notable guests included Stanley Tucci, Christine Baranski, Drew Nieporent and VIP table hosts Lorraine Bracco, Steve Schirripa, Joe Bastianich, Bill Buford, the Pellegrino family of Rao’s, Sirio Maccioni, and Julian Niccolini.
Guests enjoyed themselves by bidding on once in a lifetime auction packages such as dinner for 20 by Chef Eric Ripert in Le Bernardin’s private dining room, 1 kilogram of osetra caviar, and an Akoya cultured pearl necklace with loops of graduated-color blue sapphires set in 18K white gold from Mikimoto’s Elements of Life: Ocean Collection which sold for $28,000.