1/18/2013 02:08:00 PM

Party Report: Friends of James Beard Benefit at Spiaggia

Which truffle reigns supreme - the Italian or the Tennessee? It is a question pondered by the fortunate few at lasts night’s Friends of James Beard Benefit at Spiaggia. The evening pitted dishes prepared by chefs Tony Mantuano and Sarah Grueneberg of Spiaggia with the Tuscan truffles against those prepared by chef Joseph Lenn of Blackberry Farm with his farm-fresh truffles.

More than an extravagant battle, the elegant progression of six courses compared the earthy potency of the Italian truffle to the more subtle savory flavor of the American variety. Between course after course of elegant dishes, and a brief intermission for truffle shaving extravaganza courtesy of chefs Mantuano and Grueneberg, there was an auction benefiting the James Bears House. The live auction sold items such as a wine trip to Italy, hand-blown stemware and dinner for two at Sixteen.

Wine parings were selected by Spiaggia sommelier Jason Carlen and poured by an A-team of experts including Jason Wagner (The Gage, Henri), Rachael Lowe, Arthur Hon (Sepia) and Tona Palomino (Trenchermen).

Check out the photos of all the truffle-topped offerings below.

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