The Women’s Board of Lyric Opera Aligns with Esteemed Chef for First Time in Wine Auction History
CHICAGO, Ill. (January 28, 2015) – On February 7, 2015, the Women’s Board of Lyric Opera of Chicago is pleased to welcome Executive Chef Thomas Lents of Sixteenrestaurant as the special guest chef for Wine Auction 2015, its hallmark celebration of operatic grandeur, fine wine, gastronomy and philanthropy.
For the first time in Wine Auction history, the Women’s Board has aligned with an esteemed chef to curate the evening’s culinary experience. Chef Lents will present exquisite reception and dinner menus showcasing the modern American cuisine that has earned Sixteen two coveted Michelin stars – one of three restaurants in Chicago with this rare distinction. His menus will be paired with remarkable wine selections from Château Gruaud Larose and expertly executed in collaboration with Lyric Opera of Chicago’s in-house catering partner, Calihan Catering.
“We are honored to have Chef Lents as the first guest chef of Wine Auction and are looking forward to delighting our guests with a menu created by one of the country’s great culinary talents,” says Suzette Bulley, Menu Chair for Wine Auction 2015. “For the 2015 event, we wanted to recognize Chicago’s rising reputation as one of the top culinary cities in the country and provide an elevated dining experience for our guests.”
The evening’s silent auction and cocktail reception will feature an array of passed hors d’oeuvres, including:
Wagyu Beef Tartare with Egg Jam and Horseradish
King Crab with Avocado and Bergamot
Foie Gras with Pine and Sea Buckthorn
Mini Lobster Roll with Lemon Caper Aioli
Coconut and Cauliflower Bon Bon with Tobiko
Mission Fig Leather with Blue Cheese Mousse
Dulce de Leche
The elegant dinner will serve nearly 500 guests on the stage of the iconic Ardis Krainik Theatre and feature the following selections:
Cold Smoked Pave of Sea Trout
Fennel Puree, Citron with Roe and Oyster Leaf
Fallow Venison with Truffle
Celeriac, Quince and Juniper Sauce
Sea Bass with Salsify
Chestnut, Mustard Greens and Black Trumpets
Red Wine Fume
Manjari Chocolate Cake with Mango
Coconut Chantilly and Cashe
The triennial auction – the eleventh since its 1988 inception – makes a profound impact on Lyric Opera’s ability to present grand opera of the highest quality to audiences in Chicago and beyond. Wine Auction 2012 netted a record breaking $1.7 million and was named one of the “Top Ten Charity Wine Auctions” of 2012 by Wine Spectator magazine.
As a partner of Lyric Opera’s Wine Auction 2015, Trump International Hotel & Tower® Chicago is offering special overnight packages and rates for guests of Wine Auction 2015. Guests may reference Lyric Opera of Chicago Wine Auction 2015 when making a reservation and are kindly asked to reserve as soon as possible.
About Chef Thomas Lents
Thomas Lents was appointed executive chef of Sixteen in January 2012 after working in the world’s most celebrated fine-dining establishments. In his position at the acclaimed restaurant on the sixteenth floor of Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, Chef Lents presents a personal interpretation of modern American cuisine that marries the details and qualities of traditional fine dining with modern style and culinary perspective.
Chef Lents began his career as executive sous chef of Chicago’s four-star restaurant Everest, under the direction of Chefs Jean Joho and Thierry Tritsch. After a five-year tenure, he chose to broaden his culinary perspective by moving to Dublin, Ireland, where he worked as a sous chef in charge of the wild game and seafood departments at the Michelin two star-rated Thornton Restaurant inside the Fitzwilliam Hotel. During his time abroad, Chef Lents took advantage of his proximity to England and staged in several acclaimed kitchens, including the Michelin three star-rated Waterside Inn in Bray and Le Manoir Aux Quatres Saisons in Great Milton.
Upon returning to the United States in 2007, Chef Lents accepted a position at the Michelin three-star-rated, five-diamond Joel Rubochon at The Mansion inside Las Vegas’ MGM Grand, where he was quickly promoted from sous chef of the meat and fish stations to executive sous chef. In 2008, he moved north to San Francisco to take the chef de cuisine position at the Michelin-rated Quince Restaurant, before Chef Robuchon reached out and offered him the opportunity to be the first American to serve as chef de cuisine of his namesake restaurant – a position Lents graciously accepted.
Since taking the helm at Sixteen, Chef Lents has earned the restaurant countless accolades, including two coveted Michelin stars and the prestigious Forbes Five Diamond designation. A Michigan native, he holds an advanced placement culinary art degree from the New England Culinary Institute, where he studied under founding Chef Michel LeBorgne, as well as a B.A. in philosophy from Wabash College in Indiana.
About Lyric Opera of Chicago Wine Auction
Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Wine Auction, whose 2012 affair was named among “Top Ten Charity Wine Auctions” by Wine Spectator, has netted nearly $7 million since its 1988 inception. The proceeds go directly to Lyric’s annual campaign, which supports the world-renowned opera company’s activities. For more information, visit www.lyricopera.org/wineauction2015, call (312) 827-5682 or visit the auction’s Facebook page.