Oh, to have pockets lined with gold. And an extra-large bib. Because there are a couple of food events coming up that, though extremely pricey, would tempt even the most abstemious.
First, Piero Selvaggio is going all in for truffles at Valentino in Santa Monica. White truffles from Alba have always been a hallmark of the restaurant -- its 40th birthday party last year was memorably celebrated with truffles and Barolo wine.
There once were days when truffles were still priced within the range of mortals (foolish mortals, perhaps). These days, they're priced through the stratosphere. Getting some shaved over your fagottino di sfoglia al formaggio (a kind of cheese puff) will cost an extra $60. Getting more over your raviolo d'uovo will cost an extra $110.
To ease the pain, Selvaggio is offering a special BYOT (bring your own truffle) program. You bring the truffle, his staff will shave it for you for only $30. If you've got oaks or poplars in your backyard, it might be worth a check. Otherwise Selvaggio recommends buying from Robert Saracino of Liaison West Distribution. He'll hook you up.
If you're unwilling to commit quite that far, there is a truffle tasting menu available for only $195 per person for "three shavings."
Meadowood, the resort where the flagship restaurant was once again awarded three Michelin stars, is headed by Christopher Kostow. Starting Dec. 6, he'll be joined in the kitchen by a who's who of chefs, including Andy Ricker from Pok Pok, David Chang from Momofuku, Matthew Accarrino from SPQR, Mark Ladner and Brooks Headley from Del Posto and David Kinch from Manresa.
The only rub? "Pricing begins at $1,315 for weekday events and $1,390 for weekend events." Yow. Of course, that does include dinner for two and an overnight stay. Each night a guest chef participates, $2,000 will go to charity, along with 20% of every dinner check.