“This is the first project I’ve ever done that is useful,” joked Anthony Bourdain. “This is about something that I actually feel strongly about, largely because I spent my entire life as a cook. We were all taught ‘don’t waste stuff.’ Seems like a simple thing.”
Unfiltered caught this Bourdain sighting at an advance screening of Wasted!, a feature documentary about battling food waste that the chef/TV star/author/advocate produced with Mission Chinese impresario Danny Bowien. The film will be released in select theaters and on demand tomorrow, Oct. 13.
Each year, 1.3 billion tons of food are thrown out, sending methane into the atmosphere, which speeds up global warming—even as many parts of the world face extreme food shortages. So there's no such thing as too many chefs in the kitchen to cook up solutions to food waste: Enter a parade of on-screen appearances from Dan Barber, Massimo Bottura and Mario Batali, among others. Bottura reminisces about his Italian nonna as he creates a food kitchen for the homeless, while Barber serves often-discarded parts of vegetables at his Wine Spectator Grand Award–winning restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and Batali encourages the embrace of traditionally unloved “trash fish” in everyday cooking.
“When we first started our research for Wasted!, we were surprised to learn that there were so many amazing solutions to fighting food waste already happening,” directors Anna Chai and Nari Kye told Unfiltered via email. “Food waste experts are not just world-famous chefs, but they are [also] brewmasters, entrepreneurs, engineers, farmers, foodies, gardeners, teachers, even kindergartners … Fighting food waste can be fun and delicious, and potentially profitable!”
“I wanted to better educate myself and gain a new perspective regarding food waste,” Bowien told Unfiltered via email. “The statistics are staggering, but what is important to understand is that this problem has a solution. I walked away from the experience with a ton of knowledge and a better understanding of the problem.”
Last Friday, Unfiltered joined costume-clad New York Comic Con attendees at the Heroes After Dark party, where industry insiders and small-screen stars risked exposing their secret identities for snacks and a glass of vino. Ravage Wines played host at the party's VIP lounge, where Walking Dead star Norman Reedus held court with a glass of Ravage red in hand. While his character Daryl Dixon may be distant (and deadly) on the show, Reedus was spotted goofing off in the Ravage photo booth and praising Ravage winemaker Bryce Willingham for her work on her California Cabernet and red blend.
Also walking the red carpet was Teen Wolf and Jane the Virgin star Tyler Posey, who posted up at the party's instant ramen bar, where cups were dispensed with all the toppings a noodle fanboy or girl could desire. Not all heroes wear capes.
The 23rd annual Livermore Valley Wine Auction, held at Wente Vineyards on Sept. 23, raised $450,000—a $125,000 increase over last year—for disadvantaged local children. The auction, a partnership between the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Foundation and the Wente Foundation for Arts Education, has raised over $5 million to date, and this year beneficiaries included Camp Phoenix, George Mark Children’s House, Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center and SonRise Equestrian Foundation.
Eighteen Livermore winemakers showed up to help gavel off 21 live-auction lots. At $50,000, the top lot of the night was a package including four season tickets to the Concerts at Wente Vineyards series next summer, VIP tickets to the Front Porch Music Festival at Wente Vineyards, and a double-magnum of Wente Vineyards Charles Wetmore Cabernet Sauvignon. Another top-selling wine lot was “Best of the Livermore Valley,” which included 48 bottles from the region, fetching $4,500. “We’re thrilled with the success of the Livermore Valley Wine Auction and we appreciate the generous participation of our Livermore Valley wineries, guests, donors, and sponsors,” auction chair Christine Wente said in a press release. Next year’s event is scheduled for Sept. 29, 2018.
On Nov. 17–19, sommeliers Dustin Wilson and Thomas Pastuszak, the latter of Best of Award of Excellence winner the NoMad, will bring their longstanding love of the Northern Rhône to an inaugural New York City charity event featuring seminars, tastings, dinners and an auction to benefit the anti-hunger nonprofit No Kid Hungry. “Thomas and I have worked with them for the last few years, usually in just a wine capacity and helping them with their events, but this is the first one that we’ve created ourselves and had them as the beneficiary, so we are really excited,” Wilson told Unfiltered. The duo thought of the idea for Reboule du Rhône—named after the celebratory meal tradition after the year’s harvest in the region—on one of their many trips to the area.
After the Friday night kick-off with a Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage dinner by chef Ryan Hardy of Manhattan restaurants Charlie Bird and Pasquale Jones, Saturday will launch into a walk-around tasting of 75 wines. Dynamo Rhône winemakers like Jean Gonon, Jean-Pierre Monier, Guillaume Clusel and Chave will be in attendance. The climax of the weekend is the La Reboule dinner, where attendees will dig into a six-course meal prepared by several of the city’s top chefs, including Daniel Humm from Grand Award winner Eleven Madison Park, Abram Bissel of Grand Award winner the Modern, and Markus Glocker from Best of Award of Excellence honoree Bâtard. Tickets to the festivities start at $75.
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