Chef Charges $850-a-Plate for Dinner, but BYOB
World-renowned chef Alain Ducasse is hosting an unusual dinner in New York next month.
It will feature specialties from the southwest of France, a black tie gala, 240 elite guests and a price of $850 per plate.
And Ducasse wants you to bring your own wine.
The BurdiGala, the Latin name for Bordeaux during the days of the Roman Empire, will honor the food and wine of the city in southwestern France. The money will go to charity – that charity being "scholarships for Master Sommelier and Master of Wine Programs. "
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The dinner is by no means the most expensive to hit the New York charity circuit. Dinners for $1,000 a plate or more are common along Park Avenue – even for non-political causes.
Yet it may be the most expensive charity dinners to feature a "bring your own wine" option.
The event starts with a $250 wine-tasting, featuring Bordeaux from Chateaux Clos Fourtet, Cos D'Estournel, d'Issan, Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, d'Yquem and others.
Later, guests who pay $850 get to go to a black-tie gala inside the historic St. Bartholomew's Church in Midtown Manhattan. The nearly 200-year-old church will remove its benches for the first time ever to make room for 250 guests.
"I want to make Bordeaux sexy again," says one of the founders of the event, Louis Kressmann of the famous Bordelais family.
Ducasse – the first chef to own three-star restaurants in three different countries, will be hosting the gala. The executive chef from his Bistro Benoit New York restaurant, Philippe Bertineau, will be preparing the meal, which will also be paired with wines.
But to honor an age-old ritual, guests are "encouraged to delve into their own Bordeaux collection and bring one of their best gems," to be served to attendees at dinner.
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Bernie Sun of Jean-Georges Restaurant Group will be managing "a whole army of sommeliers to take care of proper service of all these wines," according to a representative for the event.
About half the tickets to both shindigs have been sold, with most attendees buying a discounted dual ticket for $1,000.
So, probably not a good idea to show up with a bottle of Yellow Tail.