a dinner not to be believed..

We were the lucky winners of one of the items on the block at the big auction of our children's school. We, along with a group of couples, won the opportunity for Mario Batali to come and cater a dinner party at one of our homes. Lucky for me, he cooked out of my house.

Everything came mostly prepped otherwise they would have needed all day plus more. He brought in food from his restaurants. Two people make pasta for one of his restaurants all day. That is their only job. So, for instance he brought some ravioli already prepared, tomato sauce prepared etc.

The 8 course meal was paired with a different wine at every course. The wine makes the food taste even more delicious. The white truffles he brought, and we ate, are like a drug. There is something about the smell. Once you smell a fresh truffle like that, you simply want to smell it again.

Mario is impressive. He is not only an incredibly smart but a great guy to hang with. He loves life. He loves rock and roll. He is passionate about his food. He really taught us about where the food comes from and why he pairs food with certain wines. Also, how food is prepped. He's a great teacher.

We began with coppa which is an italian salami - made at his restaurant. Next, we had a warm buffalo mozzarella layered with eggplant and tomatoes and served with a warm tomato sauce and cheese crisps. Unbelievable! We had 2 pastas. One being a pumpkin ravioli. The other pasta was served with a buttered sage sauce. The next course was beef braised in a barolo wine served with shaved white truffles. Rich is an understatement. Then, there was an incredible 3 cream goat cheese served with a tomato chutney. Last but certainly not least was individual apple quince tastes with a brown sugar type topping served with cinnamon carmel gelato. Top! There were appetizers and extra cookies at the end too. One thing that I learned from the entire experience and seeing the leftovers gel up in my refrigerator. Butter is abundant.

Everyone had a great time. But, the best part was really getting to see Mario in action. He rocks!

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Joanne Wilson Joanne Wilson loves food, books, and music. She lives in New York City. Her husband Fred and children Jessica, Emily, and Josh are bloggers too. More »

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