National Pasta Month is October, which just happens to be when the Ultimate Italian Dinner takes place in San Francisco. The feast, taking place on Oct. 23 at Bimbo’s 365 Club, is part of the James Beard Foundation’s third annual Taste America: “Local Flavor from Coast To Coast,” a national epicurean tour that visits 10 cities this fall.
A Night of Culinary Stars, as the evening has been dubbed, is a celebration of Italian cuisine, emceed by Olympic Champion and star of Food Network’s “What Would Brian Boitano Make?” Brian Boitano and Marcia Gagliardi, founder and editor of tablehopper.com. The evening will begin with a reception filled with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from the city’s preeminent Italian cuisine chefs and restaurateurs, including Suzette Gresham (Acquerello), Chris Marchino (Cotogna), Rocky Maselli (A16), James Beard Award winner Craig Stoll (Delfina), Staffan Terje (Perbacco) and Sarah Rich (Rich Table). Guests will then be seated for an extraordinary dinner prepared by James Beard Award–winning chef and Taste America All-Star Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia, Chicago), in collaboration with San Francisco’s very own James Beard Award-winner Michael Tusk (Quince), who will come together to create an unforgettable one-night-only menu celebrating Italy’s culinary brilliance. Tickets are available now on jbftasteamerica.org.
Co-chairs are Gwyneth Borden (Executive Director, Golden Gate Restaurant Association), Andrew Freeman (President, Andrew Freeman & Co.), restaurateurs Leslie and Umberto Gibin (Owners Perbacco, barbacco, and the forthcoming Volta); Emily Luchetti (JBF Board of Trustees Chair and James Beard Award–winning pastry chef of the Bay Area’s Big Night Restaurant Group, which includes Marlowe and Park Tavern); Tim Stannard (Chef Owner, Bacchus Management Group) and Jeff Witt (Crenn Dining Group). Wine chairs for the event are Mark Bright (Saison), Kimberly Charles (Charles Communications) and Shelley Lindgren (James Beard Award winner and proprietor, A16 and SPQR).
The Italian celebration continues on Saturday, October 24 when free in-store consumer events will take place at Sur La Table, located at 2224 Union Street in the Marina/Cow Hollow area. Activities of the day will include cooking demos by Mantuano and Maselli, book signings, tastings from local producers and artisans, as well as product demos and tastings from national sponsors. Reservations for the free cooking demos will begin two weeks prior to each event at jbftasteamerica.org. Visit San Francisco’s event page for the full schedule and more details.