Valley Chefs Demonstrate How Not to Saber a Champagne Bottle

Looks as if a few notable Valley chefs may have benefited from our post last week on sabrage, the name given to the practice of opening a champagne bottle with a sword.

Last month, during a benefit dinner at the home of Jamie Hormel (owner of the Wrigley Mansion, heir to the Hormel meat-packing empire, and girlfriend of chef Christopher Gross), five notable Valley chefs -- Christopher Gross (Christopher's Restaurant and Crush Lounge), Matt Carter (Zinc Bistro and The Mission), James Porter (Petite Maison and Big Earl's BBQ), restauranteur Aaron May, and celebu-chef Beau MacMillan (elements) -- attempted a bit of sabrage themselves, with highly amusing but less than stellar results.

Gross told me, "I've done this maybe a hundred times and never had a champagne blow up. Matt Carter's and mine blew. James [Porter] cheated and popped the cork by hand."

With the exception of a few bruised egos, no one was hurt during the sabrage.

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