HONG KONG, CHINA - Media OutReach - November 11, 2019 - A significant event on Hong Kong's culinary calendar - the 20th edition of the Italian Alba White Truffle World Auction, was successfully held last night at the acclaimed 3-star-Michelin Italian restaurant 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana. The auction of the finest Alba white truffle species together with the charity dinner raised HKD3.56 million for the beneficiary Mother's Choice.
The 10-hand charity dinner was curated by Umberto Bombana (centre), Executive Chef of 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana Hong Kong, Antimo Maria Merone (2nd from the left), Executive Chef of 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana Macau, Riccardo La Perna (3rd from the right), Executive Chef of 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana Shanghai, Albert Au (2nd from the right) from China Club, and Keith Yam (1st from the right) from 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana Hong Kong.
High-res images: https://bit.ly/36ScykA
The highlight of the evening was the winning bid of the biggest single white truffle weighting 1kg and 5 grams, sold at HKD1.035 million to a guest from Hong Kong who triumphed over 19 rounds of intense bidding, marking the highest bid in the past 12 years. This year's splendid white truffle harvest has been rich and bountiful, courtesy of a warmer climate, and more hydrated soils.
The now 89-year-old International Alba White Truffle Fair in Alba, Piedmont is an annual international gastronomic celebration of the region's white truffle harvest. During the festival, the Alba White Truffle World Auction is held on the second Sunday of November at Castello di Grinzane Cavour, a historic 13th century castle located amidst a UNESCO heritage site. This year as usual, 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana - the only three Michelin-starred ristorante Italiano outside of Italy, also livestreamed the auction during the ristorante's charity dinner gala, and donated 100% of the proceeds to Mother's Choice for the people in need. The white truffle auction this year was also conducted live in Alba, Moscow, Singapore and Hong Kong.
To show appreciation to guests supporting the charity event, Executive Chef Umberto Bombana joined forces with 4 award-winning chefs to curate a 10-hand 5-course dinner pairing menu this year for the gala. Other celebrated chefs include Keith Yam (8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana Hong Kong), Antimo Maria Merone (8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana Macau), Riccardo La Perna (8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana Shanghai), and Albert Au (China Club).
Originated from Alba, Piedmont, Tuber Magnatum Pico is the most fragrant fungus among all varieties. Due to its unique, piquant and stimulating scents, Alba white truffle is often considered as a supreme and delectable ingredient internationally, and is famously crowned as "white diamond of the table". The rare white truffle cannot be cultivated, and can only be foraged in the wild from October to December. The precious ingredient's scarce and ephemeral qualities make it a rare luxury commodity, and a precious treasure for chefs to appeal epicureans all around the world.
The charity dinner menu is as follows:
ALBA WHITE TRUFFLE AUCTION DINNER
SUNDAY, 10TH NOVEMBER 2019
Cocchi, Totocorde Alta Langa Brut
SLICE OF PIZZA
Fontanafredda, Contessa Rosa Alta Langa Brut
FISH TRIPE AND CRAB
Sautéed with Egg
2016 Produttori del Barbaresco
SEA CUCUMBER AND LOBSTER
In Mushroom Jus
2014 Bruno Rocca, Barbaresco Rabaja
FAGOTTELLI OF CASTELMAGNO
Cooked in Winter Garden Broth, Mushroom Coulis
2015 Paolo Scavino, Barolo Cannubi
2013 Vietti, Barolo Lazzarito Castiglone Falletto
POULARDE FROM BRESSE
Spinach and Brioche Filling, Winter Mushroom Ragout, Confit Egg Yolk
2013 Oddero, Barolo Brunate La Morra
2019 Saracco, Moscato d'Asti
Shop 202, Landmark Alexandra, 18 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong
+852 2537 8859
Monday to Saturday
Lunch 12:00 -- 14:30; Dinner 18:30 -- 22:30
Bar opened from 12:00 noon until late
Closed on Sunday
About Mother’s Choice
Mother'sChoice is a local non-profit organization in Hong Kong with a mission to joinhands with the community to transform lives and give hope. Since 1987, it haspursued a vision of no girl or baby left alone by providing loving andnon-judgmental support to young girls facing crisis pregnancy, caring forchildren in need of a permanent home, and fighting for each to have a loving,stable, and permanent family to call his/her own. Today, Mother's Choicecontinues to impact the lives of thousands in Hong Kong through five services --all united by the goal of building stronger families in our community.
About 8½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA
8½Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA is the first and only three Michelin-starred Italianrestaurant outside of Italy, and for eight consecutive years it has retainedthis prestigious accolade. Last year, it topped Gamero Rosso's list of the"Top Intalian Restaurants in Hong Kong" and made the list among thetop 50 Restaurants in the world. Its Chef BOMBANA Umberto is known as the"King of White Truffle" and is regularly ranked among "Asia's Best Chef".Currently, Bombana's name is attached to fine dining restaurants in Hong Kong,Macau, Beijing and Shanghai. He also opened Hong Kong's first refined Italiantrattoria franchise, CIAK, as well as a boutique private kitchen Octavium inCentral. He was honored with the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants Diner's Club®Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. Last September, Chef Bombana was alsobestowed the Order of Merit from the Italian Republic (OMRI, Ordine al Meritodella Repubblica Italiana). It is the country's highest ranking award.
About Umberto Bombana
Hailedas "The King of White Truffles", Chef BOMBANA Umberto's food is rooted inrespect for honest cooking, great produce and attention to customers. At thesame time, he is committed to push traditional Italian cuisine forward with innovativeand boundless creativity. His success is reflected in his threeMichelin-starred Italian fine dining restaurant 8½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA, whichis now recognized as a must-go dining institution for Epicurean connoisseursthe world over.
Anative of Bergamo in Northern Italy, Chef BOMBANA trained at Centro diFormazione Alberghiera and apprenticed under acclaimed Chef Ezio Santin atAntica Osteria del Ponte, a Michelin-starred restaurant outside Milan. ChefBOMBANA's talent and skills soon took him around the world. In 1983, he joinedthe famous Rex II Ristorante in Los Angeles, where he was lauded for his simpleyet refined regional cooking.
ChefBOMBANA arrived in Hong Kong in 1993 to manage Toscana at The Ritz-CarltonHotel, which became an iconic fine dining destination. He was awarded "BestItalian Chef in Asia" by the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners (ICIF)in 2002. He was declared a "Worldwide Ambassador of the White Truffle" in 2006by the Piedmontese Regional Enoteca Cavour in Italy.
Heopened 8½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA in 2010. After only 11 months the restaurant wasawarded two Michelin stars. The following year, it was elevated to 3 Michelinstars, the first and only Italian restaurant outside Italy to receive such highrecognition. Since then, it has managed to maintain the honour.
Expandinginto China, Chef BOMBANA opened 8½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA Shanghai in 2012 andOpera BOMBANA in Beijing in 2013. In December 2013, he opened Hong Kong's firstrefined Italian trattoria, CIAK -- In The Kitchen in the Landmark Atrium,Central. In June 2015, a branch of Chef BOMBANA's flagship 8½ Otto e MezzoBOMBANA Galaxy Macau opened serving seasonal ingredients and refined Italianfare. In June 2016, CIAK -- All Day Italian, a second branch of his Michelinstar trattoria reached Taikoo Shing. An even more personal boutique restaurantand kitchen laboratory Octavium was launched in Hong Kong in 2018. It alreadyowns one Michelin star.
Overhis career, BOMBANA has been bestowed with many awards. He is the recipient ofAsia's 50 Best Restaurants Diner's Club® Lifetime Achievement Award 2017. In2017, he also received the Order of Merit from the Italian Republic (OMRI,Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana), the country's highest-ranking award.
In2018, BOMBANA was given the Award Italia a Tavola. 8½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANAreceived three forks while Octavium gained two forks from the Gambero Rossoguide.