$203K Christmas dinner has no takers

A British chef has had to defend himself on Twitter against outrage at the extravagance of the proposed meal.

By MSN Money Partner Dec 21, 2012 12:59PM

This post comes from Jodi Gralnick at partner site CNBC.


CNBC logoHere's a Christmas dinner that may be too rich -- even for the rich.


Image: Wealthy couple (© Digital Vision/Getty Images)A British chef has been offering what is being billed as the world's most expensive Christmas dinner -- at $203,250. It's a one-of-a-kind four-course meal for four people, cooked by Ben Spalding (formerly of Per Se, now head chef at John Salt in London), and features $4,000 melons and a $60,000 bottle of Champagne.


Fully 80% of the proceeds will go to charity.


But in Britain, where class warfare and government austerity have led to a backlash against excess, the dinner has stirred controversy. And so far, there are no takers.


While some people "have salivated over the prospect, these are budget-conscious times, and no one has yet committed," said Marcel Knobil, the founder of VeryFirstTo, the website offering this so-called Ultimate Christmas Dinner.


And, in fact, Spalding has had to defend himself on Twitter against some outrage at the extravagance of the meal. While acknowledging it's a "hideous amount of money" and "anything costing that much is nuts," he tweeted "charity/ies will benefit from this massively if this sells. Only way I would agree to it, plus great fun."


The menu, of course, includes caviar and truffles. There's $10,000 worth of edible gold leaf, and that $60,000 bottle of Piper Heidsieck 1907 Champagne is to be served in diamond-studded champagne flutes.

Among the other ingredients:

  • Akbari pistachios ($8,100).
  • Wagyu beef ($7,300).
  • Kopi Luwak -- coffee beans that have been excreted by the Asian palm civet ($4,900).
  • Yubari King melon from China ($4,100).
  • Densuke watermelon, grown only on the island of Hokkaido, Japan ($4,100).
  • Diva vodka, described by its manufacturer as "diamond-sand-filtered." It's served in a bottle filled with Swarovski crystals. ($3,200).
  • 150-year-old balsamic vinegar ($1,675).

Next to all that, the rare-breed turkey looks like a bargain at about $800.


If he doesn't get any takers, Spalding tweeted that he'd "spend the day with my young family and two babies."


More on CNBC and MSN Money:





Dec 21, 2012 2:25PM
I could go for 202k, but 203k does seem a bit extravagant!!!!
Dec 21, 2012 2:52PM

With a few menu changes he could have gotten most of the ingredients at Walmart or Aldi and sold it to the Pentagon for 400k. They would have never known the difference.

Dec 21, 2012 5:05PM
I had a girl friend once with $4000 melons.
Dec 21, 2012 2:00PM

No matter what the country, no matter what the state of an economy, there will always be "the rich." And among their number there will always be the cheapjack who, in exhibitionist ("Trump") fashion, wish to let those they hope will be envious observe their "good fortune."


Funny how "the rich" drop dead about the same time as everyone else.

Dec 21, 2012 5:27PM
Give me a good grass-fed burger, a cold glass of diet Cherry Pepsi and some crispy home cut fries or onion rings. At around $20 per meal, I could enjoy 10,162.5 of these meals and still feel good about spending the money.
Dec 21, 2012 4:43PM
Dec 21, 2012 4:15PM
he forgot a louisiana eight-headed shrimp marinated in british petroleum discharges and other british excrements.. he may have run out of money for that.. lol
Dec 21, 2012 2:44PM
80% is  going to charity--- so I like this idea based on this fact alone.
Dec 21, 2012 3:19PM
It like purchasing anything. Not that one is soo much better then the other, its all about showing that you can!
Dec 21, 2012 6:47PM
Can I just have the Doggie bag for 100K, Please?
Dec 21, 2012 7:57PM

In these times when people are starving to death, this is absolutely ludicrous.  Anyone who would pay that much for a meal has some serious mental problems.  There is no food on this earth that is worth that price.

Dec 24, 2012 12:44PM
Helluva lot of money only to be crapped out in the tiolet the next morning.
Dec 24, 2012 4:27AM
My melons were $6000,bet there sweeter!
Dec 23, 2012 3:17AM
What? No soup and salad and what about Breyers ice cream for dessert, with some pecan pie .
Dec 21, 2012 7:30PM



Have you seen the sheep up there

Dec 25, 2012 11:22AM
I heard Michelle was on her way with 3 airforce ones, 239 assistants and a bunch of worthless US dollars?
Dec 21, 2012 3:52PM
$60,000 bottle of Piper Heidsieck 1907 Champagne ??? THAT'S  Pee water.. And the rest of the menu sucks. He must not have herd of some good ole Sardines and White Bread with a dab of Texas Pete.  What a fleaking rip off to whom pays for that meal...
Dec 21, 2012 6:21PM
The woman in the photograph looks old enough to be that guy's mother...
Dec 21, 2012 2:59PM
F all the envious poor losers out there...sick of envy warfare - if you don't like what wealthy people do with their own money then go shoot yourself.
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