Michelin Star Kostow Taps Momofuku Chef for Charity Feast

For three years, Christopher Kostow has pestered Momofuku chef David Chang to join his “Twelve Days of Christmas” charity dinners.

“Every time I saw David, he would say, ‘I’ll come, I’ll come,’” Kostow said in an interview at Bloomberg world headquarters in New York.

Luckily for Kostow, Chang, this year’s co-winner of the James Beard Foundation’s award for Outstanding Chef in the U.S., had a break in his December schedule.

Each year Kostow turns over his kitchen at the Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa Valley, California, a recipient of three Michelin stars, to some of the world’s best chefs. They create meals keyed to the Christmas song and priced at $395 for the main dining room and $750 for the chef’s counter.

Chang will join Thai-food master Andy Ricker of Pok Pok Ny, Carlo Mirarchi of Brooklyn tasting room Blanca, and Rasmus Kofoed, the 2011 Bocuse d’Or competition winner from the two-Michelin-starred Geranium in Copenhagen.

“We like to invite people who have a culinary point of view,” said Kostow, this year’s winner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Western U.S. “We are not concerned at all about the price point of their restaurant or how refined or unrefined they are.”

“Twelve Days,” now in its sixth year, has become one of the hot charity dining experiences during the U.S. holiday season. Tickets go on sale today and they usually sell quickly. Enthusiasts in the past have signed up for as many as eight dinners during the two-week event.

Abused Women

Meadowood will donate 20 percent of the event’s proceeds to the Napa Emergency Women’s Services, which provides aid and shelter for victims of domestic violence, and the Holly Cranston Memorial Fund, which gives scholarships to those who want to serve people with disabilities.

“At its heart, ‘Twelve Days’ is a charitable event,” Kostow said. “People come without their egos, and we make sure that their needs in the kitchen are well covered.”

“The last night is very celebratory,” said Kostow, who is the featured chef that evening. “It’s both the end of the event and the end of the year, and it’s one of those dinners that last until the wee hours of the morning because no one leaves.”

Featured chefs are:
Dec. 6: Andy Ricker of Pok Pok Ny.
Dec. 7: Rodolfo Guzman from Santiago, Chile.
Dec. 10: Carlo Mirarchi of Blanca.
Dec. 11: Tim Cushman of Boston’s O Ya.
Dec. 12: Ashley Christensen of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Dec. 13: David Chang of Momofuku.
Dec. 14: Matthew Accarrino of San Francisco’s SPQR.
Dec. 17: Mark Ladner of Mario Batali’s Del Posto in New York.
Dec. 18: Rasmus Kofoed of Geranium.
Dec. 19: Nicolaus Balla of San Francisco’s Bar Tartine.
Dec. 20: David Kinch of Manresa in Los Gatos, California.
Dec. 21: Christopher Kostow.

(The “Twelve Days of Christmas” charity dinners are Dec. 6-21 at the Restaurant at Meadowood, 900 Meadowood Lane in St. Helena, California. Tickets go on sale today. Information and reservations: +1-707-967-1205 or reservations@therestaurantatmeadowood.com)

Muse highlights include Joe Mysak on books, Philip Boroff on theater.