Alain Ducasse turns St. Bartholomew’s Church into the city’s grandest dining hall for one night only.
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It’s hard to improve on a black-tie dinner accompanied by some of the world’s greatest Bordeaux wines, but try this: On February 22, chef Alain Ducasse will host the first annual BurdiGala, a nonprofit event in honor of the food and wine of Bordeaux, at St. Bartholomew’s church on Park Avenue. For the event, the church will move out the pews for the first time in 200 years and set a grand formal dinner for 240 guests ($850 per person). The menu, planned by Ducasse himself with Philippe Bertineau, the executive chef at Ducasse’s bistro Benoit New York, will be based on specialties from the southwest of France and paired with wines from 12 of the region’s producers, who are flying in for the event.
BurdiGala will begin with a three-hour walk-around tasting for 200 guests ($250 per person) on St. Bart’s restaurant Inside Park at noon. Think of it as the world’s most refined tailgate party: Owners of the Bordeaux wineries, which include Châteaux Clos Fourtet, d’Yquem, Gruaud Larose, and Smith Haut Lafitte, will be pouring their top wines for guests. The evening event kicks off at 6:30 with a cocktail reception, also on the terrace, followed by course after course prepared by Ducasse and executive chef Philippe Bertineau, from Ducasse’s Bistro Benoit New York. Wine pairings for the meal will be set by sommelier Bernard Sun, of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant group, and André Compeyre, from Alain Ducasse.
That’s a lot of wine excellence in one place, to be sure, but the organizers decided to take things a step further. To pay homage to the old Bordeaux tradition of sharing wine, each guest will be asked to bring a bottle of Bordeaux from his own cellar—to share, of course.
Burdigala: St. Barthomolmew’s Church, 325 Park Avenue Call 212.481.0322 for more information. All proceeds from the dinner will fund scholarships for sommelier and wine education programs.