“My mother once calculated that in a five year time period she served over 3,400 people at seated formal dinners. As a child I was mesmerized by these grand evenings, which sparkled. They influence everything I do with food.”
– Agostino von Hassell
Agostino von Hassell’s appreciation for the social, familial and community-building benefits of entertaining began while growing up in a European diplomatic family that continually hosted events in Brussels, Rome and New York.
That appreciation for entertaining has remained constant through his life. Hassell has produced many notable banquets, private dinners and soirees, all made memorable by menus inspired by historical, regional or exotic dishes. He has recorded the history behind his meals in the articles and books he has authored about food.
Hassell often conceptualizes, creates and promotes fund-raising events to assist charitable and political organizations realize their financial goals. The most recent of these was “New York City Mess Night,” held June 20, 2008, by the NYC Marine Corps Council to benefit the Bob Woodruff Family Fund. The event raised more than $100,000.
He has also produced menus and cooking events as diverse as an elegant dinner celebrating the very best foods of New York City to support Judge Leslie Snyder Crocker’s campaign to be Manhattan District Attorney, and a recreation of a military meal to benefit the ancient watermill in Millwood, Virginia.
Hassell has designed meals and events for some of the most influential people in government and business. He is a trusted resource relied on to create intimate and festive dinners alike in the homes of powerful D.C. insiders. The Washington Commanderie of the Chevaliers du Tastevin recently enjoyed his arrangement of cheese courses to match a selection of Burgundy wines.
Among his most memorable concepts was a fancy dinner with the La Confrérie Lusitanienne de Cuisine (The Association of Portuguese Cuisine) intended for about 100 Swiss and Portuguese business leaders at a grand, remote castle. It recreated the experience of medieval dining. Hassell constructed the menu entirely with local ingredients, and planned to prepare them in the castle’s utterly medieval kitchen.
To contact Agostino von Hassell about arranging a charitable benefit or a special elegant dinner for a specific occasion, click here.