Saturday, November 28, 2015

Great Chefs: Dinner at Vetri, served by guys in tutus?

Organizers expect to see at least $1 million, benefiting Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation and the Vetri Foundation.

Great Chefs: Dinner at Vetri, served by guys in tutus?

Chef Marc Vetri, in a particularly ebullient moment.
Chef Marc Vetri, in a particularly ebullient moment. MICHAEL KLEIN /

Auctioneer Billy Harris likes to go the extra mile while selling items for the live auction at the annual Great Chefs Event, the big-ticket benefit for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation and the Vetri Foundation for Children.

Last night, for the ninth annual benefit at Urban Outfitters HQ, Harris was running up the bidding for a dinner in Vetri's new private dining room, with Bobby Flay as the special guest.

Harris suggested that the meal would be served by Vetri Family chefs and event emcee Marc Summers while wearing tutus.

"I'll do it if we can get the others to agree," Summers told me. "Alex's and the Vetri charities are special to me, but I guess I will need shoes and a bag to match."

"We definitely can't promise that, but it's an interesting idea," said a Vetri rep.

That dinner sold for $10,000.

Two other dinners - with Vetri and Jose Garces cooking together at Garces' Volver - also sold for 10 grand each. 

Great Chefs drew 1,200 patrons and 43 chefs. Questlove spun at the after-party, held at Alla Spina. .

The live auction alone raised $80,000.

The checkbooks also opened for:

  • A private Night Market party with Big Gay Ice Cream and Alla Spina sold to two different bidders each for $9,000.
  • A food trip to Italy with Rocco Whalen, chef Jeff Michaud and Jeff Benjamin sold for $24,000.
  • A food cruise from Miami sold for $8,000.

In the silent auction, which raised almost $100,000:

Vetri chefs Brad Spence and Jeff Michaud renewed their friendly rivalry for a second consecutive year with each of them offering an in-home dining experience. Spence is now 2-0, as his Beast of Amis dinner sold for $6,500 - just edging out Michaud's in-home cooking class and dinner.

Also selling for thousands were a review in progress with Inquirer critic Craig LaBan, lunch for eight at Nick Elmi's Laurel featuring meats from DeBragga, and dining packages in New York and New Orleans.

One of this biggest prizes of the night is still available: a Fender Telecaster electric guitar autographed by the Rolling Stones is available in an on-line auction here through 1 p.m. June 24

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About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

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