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Celeb Chefs Party the Naples Way

While in town for the wine fest in January, James Beard winners and Michelin honorees met up for a late-night shindig at Bar Tulia.



Cutting-edge chefs including Evan Funke, John Tesar, Mark Kiffin and Paul Bartolotta packed Bar Tulia for the private after-hours event while they were in town for the Naples Winter Wine Festival.

 

If anywhere would make an ideal place to entertain renowned chefs from beyond our shores, Bar Tulia would be it—a crucible of young and fun flannel-clad bartenders at the top of their game. And since chefs are known for their camaraderie, no matter if they’ve just met or are lifelong friends, it’s no surprise Vincenzo Betulia, the gastropub’s owner and someone who wears his dedication to his craft (and his ambition) on his sleeve, spearheaded an effort to invite all of the Naples Winter Wine Festival’s 18 chefs for some after-hours revelry.

Top Chef Masters alum Jonathan Waxman with party host Vincenzo Betulia

The culinary stars—15 of whom have James Beard Awards and eight of whom have Michelin stars—were in town to cook their hearts out for a series of dinners on Friday, Jan. 26, in an event that benefits Collier County children’s charities, so Betulia opened his doors when the last plates were washed to host them along with their teams. As they sipped his killer cocktails and sampled favorite munchies (such as the bucket o’ fried chicken, a pancetta- and ricotta-dotted pizza, and lamb sausage tagliatelle), everyone was able to talk shop and recharge for the festival’s live auction the next day—and get a taste of what a night on the town in Naples is really like. 

The culinary world is known for its brother(and sister)hood-like quality; here, the chefs shared glasses of wine and stories of the festival that brought them to Naples.

James Beard-winning chef Linton Hopkins of Atlanta grabbed a seat at the bar; his NWWF online auction lot featuring a dinner at his Restaurant Eugene went for $2,500. 

 

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