The Wolfsonian–Fiu Exclusive Dinner During Art Basel Miami Beach Featuring Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten 12/1/10

“The Arts Of Seduction”
The Wolfsonian–Fiu To Host An Exclusive Dinner During Art Basel| Miami Beach Featuring The Cuisine Of World-Renowned Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten And Exclusive Wines Flown In From Robert Mondavi Winery Honoring Filmmaker And Actress Isabella Rossellini, In Partnership With Bvlgari
Wednesday evening, December 1, 2010

The Wolfsonian–Florida International University announces an extraordinary evening where the art of film, food, wine, and design converge at a time when Miami is host to one of the most prestigious art and design fairs in the world. The museum will bring together world-renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Margrit Mondavi—along with rare wines from the Robert Mondavi Winery—to celebrate the work of Isabella Rossellini, who is collaborating with The Wolfsonian during Art Basel for a site-specific project titled Seduce Me. An auction will follow dinner, featuring large format bottles of Robert Mondavi Winery from a variety of vintages, a special bag designed by Rossellini for Bulgari and a Bulgari men’s watch. This multi-sensory experience will take place at the museum on Wednesday evening, December 1, 2010. Only 100 tickets will be available.

Seduce Me is a new installation commissioned by the museum, which takes its name from a series of short videos produced, directed, written, and performed by Rossellini, exploring the unconventional seduction rituals of creatures ranging from bugs to cuttlefish. Rossellini notes, “After my comical series, Green Porno, on how animals mate, I wanted to showcase a new series about how animals seduce each other with different, varied and incredible strategies…they might give us some new ideas about how to conquer our mates!” The videos feature Rossellini speaking directly to the camera about the creature at hand, and uses animation, paper cut-outs, and puppets made by Andy Byers and art directed by Rick Gilbert, to illustrate its particular, often peculiar, mating strategies. The Seduce Me installation will be presented in the lobby and the auditorium from Wednesday, December 1 through Sunday, December 5, 2010 at The Wolfsonian.

The gala benefit is being supported by Robert Mondavi Winery, which has a long tradition of enriching life by embracing wine, food, and the arts that was largely initiated by Margrit Mondavi when she joined Robert Mondavi in business back in 1967. Under her direction, Robert Mondavi Winery developed original cultural and culinary arts programs that are now benchmarks for the wine world. With the enthusiastic support of her late husband, she created a showplace for painters, sculptors, photographers, jazz and

classical musicians and the great chefs of the world, including Jean-Georges Vongerichten, with whom she developed a long-standing friendship. Jean-Georges is preparing an original menu to complement a selection of Robert Mondavi Winery selections, including the I-Block Fume Blanc, a limited production wine that is only available at the Winery, crafted from the oldest Sauvignon Blanc vines in the country within the esteemed To Kalon Vineyard. Another highlight will include a library vintage Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve in addition to the current 2007 vintage.

The Wolfsonian is delighted to partner with Bulgari, the Italian luxury brand known for its exceptional jewels, watches, accessories, fragrances and hotels. Isabella has commented, “My connection with Bulgari dates back to when I was a child and I’d accompany my mother to the historic shop in Via Condotti in Rome. She loved Bulgari jewels; I remember the ones she bought very clearly. Still today, when I’m traveling and I come across a Bulgari store, I feel a pleasant sense of familiarity that makes me feel close to the beauty and subtlety of Italian culture, of my own roots.” This year, Isabella collaborated with Bulgari to create the Rossellini Handbag, a handbag distinguished by simple, essential lines that reflects the beauty and rigor of its muse. Bulgari’s generous support of the Wolfsonian event honoring Rossellini further celebrates the brand’s connection to her.

Speaking of the very special occasion being planned for December 1, Cathy Leff, director of The Wolfsonian notes, “I am so thrilled and honored that the illustrious chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has accepted our invitation to prepare an extraordinary meal for the occasion and that Margrit Mondavi will attend to represent Robert Mondavi Winery—enabling the museum not only to celebrate our collaboration with Isabella Rossellini, but also to showcase the culinary arts and seduce the international crowd that will descend on Miami Beach this year. Further, our partnership with Bulgari enhances our relationship with Italian design and ensures a most stylish evening.”

Tickets to this exclusive dinner are $1,000 per person; capacity is limited. For additional information, contact Michael Hughes at 305.535.2602 or

About Robert Mondavi Winery and Margrit Mondavi
Robert Mondavi’s pioneering vision stands on three pillars: putting California wines in the company of the great wines of the world; creating a wine culture that put a diverse range of California wines on every American table; and enriching life by embracing wine, food, and the arts as an integral part of gracious living. Founded in 1966, Robert Mondavi Winery is the shining symbol of Napa Valley. The first major winery built in Napa Valley in the three decades since the repeal of Prohibition (1933), Robert Mondavi Winery went on to establish the foundation for the modern-day California wine business. With the philosophy that great wines reflect their origins, Robert Mondavi Winery pursues the fullest expression of the terroir of its Napa Valley vineyards. For additional information about Robert Mondavi Winery visit

Margrit Biever Mondavi is Vice President of Cultural Affairs at Robert Mondavi Winery. A pioneering woman of the modern-day California wine industry, she joined the winery in 1967, pursuing a life-long interest in uniting wine with fine arts, music and culinary artistry. A native of Appenzell, Switzerland, Margrit was raised in her family home overlooking Lake Maggiore, in the canton of Ticino, nurtured by parents with a passion for opera and symphonic music, good wine and fine food. Married to Robert Mondavi from 1980 until his passing in 2008, Margrit traveled with him around the world, upholding the family’s philosophy that all the arts contribute to an enhanced quality of life.

For over a century, Bulgari has been synonymous with the finest Italian style. Outstanding jewels (in precious and semi precious materials), watches, a vast range of leather goods, silver gifts and perfumes are now coveted by a sophisticated clientele and are available in over 250 stores worldwide. Every Bulgari creation is permeated with a spirit of excellence, hence the attention to detail and the research for absolute quality. As an ultimate tribute to the world of luxury, Bulgari opened its first hotel in 2004, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts Milan followed by the opening of the Bulgari Hotels & Resorts Bali in October, 2006. Additional hotels will open across the world’s major travel destinations.

In the United States, Bulgari currently has stores in New York, Atlanta, Bal Harbour, Beverly Hills, Boca Raton, Chevy Chase, Chicago, Costa Mesa, Dallas, Honolulu, Houston, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Scottsdale, and Short Hills.

About Isabella Rossellini
Moving easily from early forays into comedy and television reporting to roles in movies, television, and stage productions and from an illustrious international modeling career (as the face of Lancôme for 14 years) and developing her own brand of cosmetics to writing and philanthropy, and after appearing in more than 40 films (Blue Velvet, Death Becomes Her, The Saddest Music in the World, Infamous) and 25 made-for-television movies/series (Alias, Discovery Atlas: Italy Revealed, Iconoclasts, 30 Rock), Isabella Rossellini turned her eye to film making. Her debut was her mischievous and witty film, My Dad is 100 Years Old, a pretend dialogue about the essence of film. In it, Rossellini appears as herself, speaks her father’s words, and also brilliantly portrays Fellini, Selznick, Hitchcock, Chaplin, and her own mother, notable actress Ingrid Bergman, whom she strikingly resembles.

Rossellini recently wrapped production on French director Julie Gavras’ romantic comedy Late Bloomers, opposite William Hurt, which is set for release in 2011. She also stars in the following films: Keyhole, directed by Guy Maddin; Chicken with Plums, directed by Marjane Satrapi; and The Solitude of Prime Numbers, directed by Saverio Costanzo.

In 2008 Robert Redford’s Sundance Channel commissioned Rossellini to make a series of short films to address the issues of the environment. She chose the mating habits of bugs and called her series Green Porno which has been celebrated in film festivals here and abroad. In 2009, she won the Webby Award for “Best Individual Performance” for Green Porno. She has once again been nominated this year for the same award. For the second series, which involves sea creatures, she took courses in biology at New York University. In addition to the shorts on the Sundance Channel, a book of Green Porno was released last fall which included all three seasons of the shorts:

On the heels of the great success of Green Porno, Rossellini has partnered up with Sundance again for a new series about animal courtship entitled Seduce Me. The first five short films became available on video on demand in the spring and the second five will be released in November 2010.

Rossellini is also a wildlife activist and dedicated trainer of Labrador puppies for the blind. She was recently honored by The Audubon Society for her work. She has written three books: Some of Me, Looking at Me, and In the Name of the Father, the Daughter and the Holy Spirits: Remembering Roberto Rossellini. Between movie and film making projects, she lectures at performing arts centers throughout the United States and Canada.

About Jean-Georges Vongerichten
Jean Georges Vongerichten, one of the world’s most famous chefs, is a savvy businessman and restaurateur and responsible for the operation and success of a constellation of three- and four-star restaurants worldwide.

Born and raised on the outskirts of Strasbourg in Alsace, France, Jean-Georges’ earliest family memories are about food. He trained in a work-study program at the Auberge de l’Ill and as an apprentice to Chef Paul Haeberlin. He went on to work under Paul Bocuse and Master Chef Louis Outhier at L’Oasis in southern France. With this impressive three-star Michelin training, Jean-Georges traveled to Asia and took positions at the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, the Meridien Hotel in Singapore, and the Mandarin Hotel in Hong Kong.

It was during this time spent working and traveling throughout Asia that Jean-Georges developed his love for the exotic and aromatic flavors of the East. His signature cuisine abandons the traditional use of meat stocks and creams and instead features the intense flavors and textures from vegetable juices, fruit essences, light broths, and herbal vinaigrettes. Jean-Georges’ culinary vision has redefined industry standards and revolutionized the way we eat.

Jean-Georges has published several cookbooks reflecting his influential style of cooking, including Simple Cuisine (Wiley, 1990); Cooking at Home with a Four Star Chef (Broadway Books, 1998), for which he won the Best Cookbook Award from the James Beard Foundation in 1999; and Simple to Spectacular (Broadway Books, 2000). In October 2007, he released Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges, featuring beloved recipes from his restaurants Spice Market, Vong, and 66.

Involved in every aspect of his restaurants, from concept, to menu, to architectural design, staff selection and all the finishing touches, Jean-Georges and partner Phil Suarez have worked together for over seventeen years to create restaurants that are both timely and enduring. Inspired by his travels, Jean-Georges is constantly developing fresh concepts and evolving as a chef and restaurateur, both adapting to and impacting the global culinary landscape.

2009 was a whirlwind for Chef Vongerichten and his seasoned team. They opened 7 restaurants in cities across the United States, and one in Vancouver, Canada. Today, Jean-Georges is working on two projects in New York—the Mark by Jean-Georges, at the Mark Hotel, and ABC Kitchen, at ABC Carpet & Home. The latter is another pioneering step for Chef Vongerichten, where he will be cooking local, sustainable food in an equally local and sustainable space.

Jean-Georges is the Master Cook for Food & Wine magazine. He has appeared on Live! With Regis and Kelly, the Today Show, Good Morning America, The Martha Stewart Show, The Early Show on CBS, Top Chef, the Food Network, and in the 1995 PBS series In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs.

Jean-Georges has made culinary history and developed a reputation as remarkable as his food by tapping his deep understanding of the restaurant world and pairing it with his forward-thinking vision. Yet, after years of success, Jean-Georges’ favorite retreat is still the kitchen and his favorite meals dished from a street cart in Thailand.

About The Wolfsonian–Florida International University
The Wolfsonian is a museum, library, and research center that uses objects to illustrate the persuasive power of art and design, to explore what it means to be modern, and to tell the story of social, historical, and technological changes that have transformed our world. The collections comprise approximately 120,000 objects from the period of 1885 to 1945—the height of the Industrial Revolution to the end of the Second World War—in a variety of media including furniture; industrial-design objects; works in glass, ceramics, and metal; rare books; periodicals; ephemera; works on paper; paintings; textiles; and medals.

The Wolfsonian is located at 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL. Admission is $7 for adults; $5 for seniors, students, and children age 6 -12; and free for Wolfsonian members, State University System of Florida staff and students with ID, and children under six. The Wolfsonian, presently on a Summer Schedule through September 15, 2010, is open Thursday from noon-6pm; Friday from noon-9m; Saturday and Sunday from noon-6pm; and is closed Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Contact us at 305.531.1001
or visit us online at for further information.