One of the most important events on Hong Kong’s culinary calendar is the 20th edition of the Italian Alba White Truffle World Auction. While the debate about charitable collaboration continues to be debated in the business scene, the highly-distinguished three-star-Michelin Italian restaurant 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana has recently executed the auction of the finest Alba white truffle species with great success. The prestigious affair together with the charity dinner raised a staggering HKD $3.56 million for the beneficiary Mother’s Choice.
Chef Bombana is a long-time supporter of Mother’s Choice and much loved and respected not only in Hong Kong but also in Macau. 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana Macau has long been considered a culinary jewel nestled in the heart of Galaxy Macau. Shining in elegant decor and stunning colors that have made it one of the must-visit dining destinations in the city, it’s also home to a striking bar decorated with exquisite Murano glassware.
The overwhelming generosity of the evening radiated among the guests with the winning bid of the biggest single white truffle weighing one kg and 5 grams, sold at HKD $1.035 million to a guest from Hong Kong who triumphed over 19 rounds of intense bidding. The evening marked the highest bid in the past 12 years making the occasion a memorable event.
THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF WHITE TRUFFLE
Truffles are extremely rare and the white ones even more precious because of its limited availability for a couple of months each year. It is almost exclusively found in a certain part of Italy and this coveted delicacy is expensive for a good reason. From its unique aroma to the exquisite flavor that takes the palate through an unforgettable sensory journey, the fact remains that it’s one of the most interesting ingredients of all time.
The Alba white truffle is often referred to as the supreme ingredient internationally, and is famously crowned as the “white diamond of the table”. These precious pieces appeal to chefs and epicureans all around the world. This year’s splendid white truffle harvest has been rich and bountiful, courtesy of a warmer climate, and more hydrated soils. The renowned 89-year-old International Alba White Truffle Fair in Alba, Piedmont, was held recently at Castello di Grinzane Cavour, a historic 13th-century castle located amidst a UNESCO heritage site. The annual international gastronomic celebration of the region’s white truffle harvest was also met with enthusiasm all over the world having been conducted live in Alba, Moscow, Singapore, and Hong Kong. This year, 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana–the only three Michelin-starred Italian ristorante outside of Italy, also live-streamed the auction during their charity dinner gala and donated 100% of the proceeds to Mother’s Choice for the people in need.
DINING FOR A DIFFERENCE
Guests with a close connection to the cause experienced a distinctively unique dining experience. Executive Chef Umberto Bombana joined forces with four award-winning chefs to curate a 10-hand five-course dinner pairing menu this year for the gala. Other celebrated chefs include Keith Yam (8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana Hong Kong), Antimo Maria Merone (8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana Macau), Riccardo La Perna (8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana Shanghai), and Albert Au (China Club). The charity dinner menu included masterpiece dishes such as the sea cucumber and lobster in mushroom jus, fish tripe and crab with sauteed egg and Fagotelli of Castelmagno cooked in winter broth, mushroom coulis amongst the stellar menu. Let’s not forget the hazelnut parfait with roasted apple and the fine wine pairings that made for an unforgettable evening of dining for a cause.
For more information on Mother’s Choice check their website