Eye Candy: American Icons Gala Auction and Dinner

We're wrapping up the week with another helping of photos from Wednesday's American Icons gala auction and dinner at the Four Seasons Restaurant. Scroll down for shots of the fabulous crowd and stunning space. (For yesterday's batch, click here.)

JBF president Susan Ungaro and Charlie PalmerJBF president Susan Ungaro and Charlie Palmer pose for a photo during the VIP reception

silent auctionGuests mingle during the silent auction

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Food Matters: James Beard–Themed Dining in Hawaii

When one of our board members mentioned that they had gotten wind of a yearly James Beard–themed dinner in Hawaii, we knew we had to investigate. We eventually tracked down Hilo resident Mike Middleworth, a member of a group called Wine Connection that stages wine and culinary events throughout the year. "I have always enjoyed James Beard's recipes, so it seemed very logical to produce a dinner with a menu of his dishes that call for a wine as an ingredient," Middleworth explained. "We then drink the same wine for the pairing."

This is the fourth year that Middleworth has hosted the dinner, which is attended by anywhere from 30 to 50 people, and it's always a huge success. "Beard's recipes, of course, are richer than today's healthy cooking, but you can't beat the results," says Middleworth.

The menu for the event, which was held last weekend, is below. We're charmed to see that the spirit of the dean of American cookery is alive and well in the 50th state.

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Jobs We Love: Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk Gary Vaynerchuk, host of Wine Library TV, wants to help you improve your wine self-esteem. Find out more about his career as a video blogger and how he developed his palate as a kid.

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On the Menu: The Cult Super Tuscans of Le Macchiole

Wine Want to get in on an exclusive tasting of cult Italian wines, eat some great food from the boot, and help JBF? Our friends at Italian Wine Merchants are hosting an event with Le Macchiole's Cinzia Merli on Monday, October 5. A luminary winemaker, Merli is the woman behind Messorio, a bottle that pushes Italian Merlot to another level. She will be pouring the incomparable 2006 vintage, and will also bring Le Macchiole's Scrio (a limited production Syrah) and numerous vintages of Paleo Rosso (said to give first-growth Bordeaux a run for its money). Regional Italian cheeses, cured meats, a primo, a secondo, and dessert will all be paired with the outstanding wines. Tickets are a steal at $175, and $75 of each purchase will go toward supporting the James Beard Foundation. To purchase tickets and read more about the wines,

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