These are one of my favorite things to sell ever and every auction should have one. What I like about this item is that you don't have to be well connected to have this item. You don't even need to know a chef, you just need to have someone who is willing to host a dinner party for 6-10 people and cook food and provide wine. This could be hosted at a popular restaurant or even in someone's home.
Criteria For a Successful Meal/Dinner Party Item:
Hosted by a likable person. Not necessarily a famous person. Just someone that people enjoy being around. If you have a willing participant, but their personality is just a little choppy or hard to be around, no one will bid.
Multiple Courses. Hors d'oeuvres, salad, dinner and dessert would be enough, but if your chef can do other courses (soup, cheese, whatever else all those extra forks are for type courses) , that makes the meal stand out more.
Wine. Must I say more? Wine or beer pairings included are a must!
6-10 people. I have found that this is the sweet spot for number of people included in successfully selling an item of this type. 4 people is too few and 12 can be too difficult to coordinate with guests.
An Expiration Date. This is important so people actually claim their meal with the donor. Usually one year from the date of the event is a good expiration. This is also out of respect for the donor and their time.
- Chef's dinner at a highly anticipated new restaurant prior to the restaurant opening.
- Meal prepared by a chef featured on the Food Network (seriously, there is probably someone in your area featured on the food network)
- Meal prepared in YOUR home by the principal of the school.
- Meal in the home of a CEO of a fortune 100 company in your area with the CEO and spouse. Meal prepared by catering company.
- Authentic Italian dinner prepared by someone closely associated by the organization who grew up in Italy - secret family recipes.
- Dinner prepared by a well known local chef.
Again, these are all just examples, but the possibilities are endless here. Just start brain storming with your auction committee and pick whatever sounds most fun to you. Contact me if you want to my professional feedback. I will be honest, because I want your even to be as successful as possible.