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Inside the Museum of Food and Drink's Epic Fundraiser Lunch

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Mark Ladner's ostrich carcass
Mark Ladner's ostrich carcass
[Krieger, 3/27/11]

Yesterday afternoon, some of the city's best chefs, deep pocketed food lovers, and general food world celebs gathered at Del Posto for a epic lunch and kickoff fundraiser for the Museum of Food and Drink, a major undertaking that is now in its nascent stages. To publicize the idea of a museum that would celebrate food throughout the ages, chefs like Mark Ladner and David Chang were each assigned a different theme—cave man food for Wylie Dufresne, Fad Diets for Nils Noren—and each came up with a dish inspired by it. Chang went so far as to consult historians and source especially large one year-old oysters to create his dish evoking American food in 1491 (oysters with acorns and berries). Dufresne's cave man plate looked like a couple of bones found on the dirty and twiggy forest floor. And to pay homage to the ostentatious food presentation of Ancient Rome, Ladner paraded a ostrich carcass covered in fake feathers like a cheap showgirl through Del Posto's private dining room.

As a bonus, cocktail pros like Damon Boelte and Audrey Saunders paired them all with equally historical beverage.

So, yes the lunch was cool and kind of badass (and included a very successful and boisterous auction). But what is probably more interesting is what this museum will actually be. Arnold told the group yesterday that he wants it to have as broad a scope at the Met, as the Museum of Natural History, conceding that there is much work to be done in terms of fund-raising. When it does kick off, it will offer the following:

· Exhibitions: There will be rotating exhibitions, many with tasting elements, focusing on areas like the street food of different cultures; in depth looks at specific products over time and geography (American country ham, heirloom tomatoes, etc.); the history of American coffee; cereal and a live demonstration of how it's made; eating on the battlefield; 1950's Food; Soda from the 17th century to today; how space food has changed the restaurant industry; and what we can learn about famine from the lessons of the Dust Bowl.

· Classes: Classes, workshops, guided tastings, lecture series with food scholars, chefs, and writers, instruction for elementary and high school teachers.

· Retail: Foods, cookbooks, tools, gifts.

Of course, the realization of all this is way off. But it's never too early to get excited.
· Museum of Food and Drink [Official Site]

Del Posto

85 10th Avenue, Manhattan, NY 10011 (212) 497-8090 Visit Website

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