On September 24, the art auction house Sotheby’s in New York auctioned off heirloom vegetables and associated items for charity, http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/24/vegetables-bring-in-100000-at-sothebys/?ref=dining. The auction included heirloom poultry: a pair of Blue Slate Turkeys, such as this one of Mike Walters', and a pair of Dewlap Toulouse Geese, a trio of Barred Plymouth Rocks and a trio of Aylesbury Ducks. The 10 birds were sold as a group, bidding up to $4,300.
P. Allen Smith’s Heritage Poultry Conservancy, http://www.heritagepoultry.org/, donated the birds to the auction. The Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm which teaches city school children about farming and cooking, was one of the beneficiaries. The farm is run by Great Performances, Sotheby’s in-house caterer. A new program, the New Farmers Development Project at GrowNYC, which works with immigrant farmers, shared the proceeds. More than $100,000 was raised.
Other items auctioned off were dinners, Greenmarket tours and visits to a beekeeper. Guests paid $1,000 a plate for dinner: a splendid tomato first course from Dan Kluger of ABC Kitchen; caramelized Hubbard squash, by Jeff Gimmel of Swoon Kitchenbar, that was able to mimic a sea scallop; and a vegetable lasagna, the vegetarian choice from Great Performances, that outshone Andaz Fifth Avenue’s Roberto Alicia’s roasted pork shoulder with kale, the other main course option.
Guests were also asked to donate $20 a bag for vegetables, bringing the total raised by the event to over $250,000. Not small potatoes!