Guests of the 4th annual Moet Hennessy Financial Times Club dinner in San Francisco got the unique honor of dining at The Battery, the new private club founded by Michael and Xochi Birch, weeks before its highly anticipated opening.
One could almost say the paint was still drying as the 85 guests, including Gavin Newsom, Zachary Bogue, Ruzwana Bashir, Trevor Traina, Roger Barnett, Willie Brown, and Denise Hale, arrived for a special dinner conversation featuring Richard DeVaul, who’s in charge of Google’s team to discover the “next big thing” that will change the world.
You’ve likely not heard of DeVaul, but you’re undoubtedly familiar with some of the exciting projects coming out of his group, like Google’s high-altitude balloons designed to provide internet access to the most remote regions of the world, and most notably Google Glass, which was demonstrated before dinner.
Co-hosted by John Ridding, CEO of Financial Times Group, and Jim Clerkin, CEO of Moet Hennessy USA, the evening opened with a cocktail reception featuring Dom Perignon 2003, Belvedere cocktails and wine from the Moet Hennessy Portfolio.
The highlight of the evening was the special dinner menu, created by Michelin-starred chef Jason Arbusto. Arbusto, who spent eight years working with the legendary Alain Ducasse (at Le Louis XV in Monaco, the Hotel Crillon in Paris, and elsewhere), is going to be a major name in San Francisco’s culinary world as Executive Chef of 717B, The Battery’s restaurant.
Arbusto’s premiere dinner at The Battery was paired with Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage Rose 2004, Veuve Clicquot Demi-Sec, Hennessy Paradis Imperial, coffee from San Francisco’s beloved Sightglass, and tea from Samovar.
Ken Fulk and Xochi Birch, Willie Brown and Trevor Traina
The Moet Hennessy Financial Times Club is in its tenth year and annually holds a series of dinners in Paris, London, New York, Shanghai and San Francisco. In its three previous years in San Francisco, the guests of honor included Carol Bartz (2010, at Quince), Sheryl Sandberg (2011, at Michael Mina), and Dick Costolo (2012 at Prospect).
717B at The Battery, Lizzie Ridding, Darcy Keller
Xochi Birch, Zachary Bogue – Ken Fulk, Denise Hale, Michael Birch
Willie Brown and Sonya Molodetskaya – Ron Huddleston, Shyla Hendrickson, Doug Hendrickson (Octagon Sports Agency)
Gavin Newsom, Joanna Rees, John Hamm – Andrew Sollinger, Jessica Steel
Chris O’Rourke, Richard Irving (Pond Ventures) – Deanna Smith, Bob Smith
Martin Dickson, Rich DeVaul – Georgina Green, Elaine Simmons
Additional guests other than those shown here included film director Charles Ferguson, Stephen Hoover, (CEO of PARC), Jason Johnson (CEO of August), The Honorable Hydra Mendoza, Jill Reber (Chairman and CEO of Primitive Logic), Chris Tsakalakis (President of StubHub), Alex Wilcox (CEO of Jet Suite), UC Berkeley anthropologist Laura Nader, and others.