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There are a hundred reasons I was thrilled to be at Manhattan's Momofuku Milk Bar last night for their inaugural vintner charity dinner (this one benefiting Food Bank for New York City and City Harvest). Of course the meal featured pork and a lot of it. Here are just a few of my hundred reasons:
*Dinner in the Momofuku private dining room (aka the Milk Bar with a "closed" sign outside of it).
*Larry Turley bringing the supersonic wines (including a 2000 Turley Hayne Vineyard Petite Syrah)! Bev Eggleston‚ whose luscious pork gets namechecked almost as much as Allan Benton's, bringing the amazing pig (a 200-pound Ibérico)!
*Chef Tien Ho serving everything from pork-filled tortellini with pickled bean sprouts to a humongous smoked pork chop to a slow-roasted pork shoulder that was his play on Momofuku's signature roast pork butt bo ssäm. This was pork two dozen ways—six before dinner even started (here's just a few of the hors d'oeuvres: Vietnamese mortadella; crispy trotters; pâté with foie gras and chanterelles).
*The awesome awesome pairing of fried egg with last-minute bacon (Ho made it in about two days), pancake cake and maple syrup with 2003 Turley Duarte Zinfandel. Cory Lane, Momofuku's excellent beverage director, called it a "breakfast wine" because it was so jammy—perfect with my new favorite thing, pancake cake .
*Dave Chang, there in his role as supporting chef, sporting a very cute longish hair style (among my favorite predictions for 2009 was one that Chang was going to have a Susur Lee-style ponytail by the end of the year; he promises that's not true).
*Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes camping out right next door at Ssäm Bar, with my heros writer Peter Meehan and Frankies Spuntino's Frank Falcinelli. How cool is it to talk to him about the parallels between food and music?? Very very cool.
*Martha Stewart as the dinner's best, most active event chronicler. She was all over the room taking pictures—so much so that Eater's Lockhart Steele told her she was going to put bloggers out of business. Her reply: I am a blogger. (Don't believe it? Check out the money shot on Eater.)