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Chef Mario Batali Raises $39,000 for the Food Bank For New York City as Host of First Annual International Auction of 'Tartufo di Toscana'

December 3, 2004 (New York, NY) A 900 gram truffle was sold for a world record $52,000 at the first annual International Auction of the "Tartufo di Toscana," the week before Thanksgiving at internationally renowned Italian Wine Merchants in Manhattan. Chef Mario Batali played host to the auction in New York City which raised $39,000 for his charity of choice — the Food Bank For New York City. The $39,000 raised helps provide an additional 260,000 meals to New Yorkers in need of food assistance.

Food Bank For New York City is the city's major supplier of food for the hungry and provides food for more than 240,000 free meals served each day by over 1,200 nonprofit community food programs in the five boroughs. The Food Bank distributes more than 67 million pounds of food a year and was recognized as Member of the Year by America's Second Harvest, The Nation's Food Bank Network.

The auction, led by Samir Sharma, Vice President of Business Development at Christies, was televised by satellite around the world with audiences in New York City, London and Florence. In total the International Auction of the "Tartufo di Toscana" raised $129,000 for charities around the globe. Guests bid on truffles of all sizes from the Tuscan region of Italy. All proceeds from the auction went to charity. Chefs Mario Batali and Cesare Casella helped raise additional money in New York by preparing an elaborate four-course truffle lunch complemented by Tuscan Wines served by Sergio Esposito. The auction was viewed as a tremendous success for foodies, truffle-lovers and those wishing to help incredibly worthy charities like the Food Bank For New York City during the holiday season.

Victoria Mondesire

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