British chef Ben Spalding is offering one family the Christmas dinner of a lifetime — but only if they can stomach the price.
Spalding’s “Ultimate Christmas Dinner” runs £125,000 for four people, or roughly $50,000 per head. The London-based chef, who has cooked at Per Se, the Fat Duck and Gordon Ramsay’s Royal Hospital Road, is offering the meal on the outrageous luxury site VeryFirstTo.com [registration required], better known for retailing such extravagances as space flights and sapphire rings. If it’s not the most expensive Christmas dinner in the world, it has to be close.
The booze alone costs $82,500. Spalding promises diamond-sand-filtered vodka, four very aged wines at $1,500 to $8,600 each and a 105-year-old bottle of Piper Heidsieck champagne that could probably finance a small house in Cleveland. (More than $59,000 a bottle and served in diamond flutes.)
On top of that, he’s serving Almas caviar, 150-year-old balsamic vinegar, one of the world’s most expensive melons and, for the main course, a “decadent makeover” of the traditional Christmas turkey, with Wagyu beef filet and heart, wrapped in edible gold leaf. Want dessert? Somehow, it’ll include whipped Kopi Luwak, a zany coffee bean excreted by civet cats, served on gold Ugandan vanilla plates.
One has to wonder when Spalding, who’s in his early 20s and currently cooks at an upscale (but reasonably priced) pub, has had the chance to work with these far-flung ingredients. In fact, one has to wonder who would drop $50,000 on a meal cooked by a young, unknown chef when you could just spend a few hundred for nine courses at Per Se.
But let’s be real — a $50,000 meal is not only about the food. While Thomas Keller’s signature “oysters and pearls”dish at Per Se may be delicious, it does not come with the dubious bragging rights of being the most expensive Christmas dinner in the land. Plus, the proceeds for this pricey holiday meal go to charity. I’ll raise a glass of 1905 Piper Heidsieck to that.