You might think that people buying Next tables for thousands of dollars over the market price, knowing that it would all be going to cancer research, would be something everyone would applaud as a way for the well-heeled to spend their money. If so, you might be underestimating the ability of people on Facebook to kvetch. But here's a story that even they should just zip it about. A page was started on Facebook to solicit donations buy one of the tables in the auction and give it to someone being treated for cancer by Grant Achatz's doctors, to attend the dinner with a friend or loved one. Before it was over, 150 people had contributed enough to purchase four tables out of the 73 available. One pair of guests went in late February, and two more will have gone by this weekend. Here's one of them, Lucrezia Lamorgese, with the restaurant review of the year.
Extreme generous thanks to Chef Beran & Achatz and his amazing team at the Next. Blessed thanks to Charles and Sarah Hetzel and their team of generous donors for making this happen for my husband and I. For 4 hours we were treated like VIP in the most exquisite restaurant in the world. We are so blessed to have the Next in Chicago and Dr.Vokes' team at UofC!! From the start of our dining experience Chef Beran created at our table side, a Lime Nitro Sorbet with Tarragon that got our taste buds dancing. Each course we experienced the most unique meal we ever had. We have never experienced anything like this before. We felt like we were in Spain and the experience was so amazing. 29 courses and all 9,000 taste buds danced all night long. The food was so beautiful and tasted even better. The flavor that poured out of each morsel was so unexpected and amazing. The wine that was served with each course was so exquisite. I was so impressed with the selection of wine and how it was a synergistic complement to each course. The service was impeccable and respectful. They were all so excited to inform us of the details and history of each dish. The flow of the restaurant was so impressive. Complements to the Chefs for creating the most memorable dining experience we ever had. My husband and I are so grateful and blessed to experience the elBulli ultimate dining experience. Thanks for giving us the gift to celebrate the NOW:)