Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Aussie Chefs Gearing Up For 'Aussie Week'

Craig Hopson of NYC's Le Cirque (left) and Frank Brunacci of Sixteen. (Photos: Le Cirque, 312DD)

Let's just pretend for one fabulous moment that we're in Australia. It's summertime there right now, you know?!

And since we cannot get away anytime soon, thank God the folks at the Trump Hotel are bringing it straight to us with the third-annual Australia Week.

The six-day event—kicking off Jan. 21 and culminating on what is officially known as Australia Day (Jan. 26)—is spearheaded by Sixteen Executive Chef Frank Brunacci, who just happens to be a native of Melbourne.

What's new this year is that he's gotten Craig Hopson of the acclaimed NYC resto Le Cirque to participate in the multi-course, opening-night dinner. Hopson, who's originally from Perth, Australia, worked as Brunacci's sous chef at the now-shuttered Victor's in New Orleans.

Maybe we'll get to meet this cuddly koala at the third-annual "Australia Week" at Trump Chicago.

They'll collaborate on a menu highlighting indigenous ingredients and Aussie wine pairings for the dinner taking place Jan. 21. It's $125 per person, but diners will also be able to take advantage of the special menu Jan. 22-26 for $105 per person ($155 with wine pairings).

For an even more well-rounded Australian experience, guests should check out the Escape the Winter: Experience Australia marketplace 1-5pm Jan. 23. Last year the event raised more than $20,000 for Chicago's Mercy Home Home for Boys & Girls, and this year Brunacci expects to double that amount.

For $45, guests will get to sample more than 30 wines from Wine Australia, suds from Coopers Beer, cheese from Fonterra as well as a number of the region's top vendors. And chefs Hopson and Brunacci will have several food stations showcasing local fare situated throughout the sixteenth floor. There will even be travel vendors available, so if you're so inclined, they'll be happy to book you right there on the spot.

But hey, if you really want to go all out that weekend, consider doing the $675 staycation for two that includes a one-night stay at the hotel, the Aussie dinner for two on Jan. 22, and two tickets to the marketplace event.

No comments: