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Anna Delvey pictured in her NYC apartment in front of a “Happy Fucking Birthday” neon sign.
Anna Delvey’s “Happy Fucking Birthday” party was held in her NYC walk-up last month.
Jade Greene

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A D.C. Chef Cooked a Lavish Birthday Dinner for an Ankle Bracelet-Wearing Anna Delvey

Citizens & Culture’s Ryan Hackney teased his new Silver Spring menu at the society scammer’s East Village apartment

Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Infamous fraudster Anna “Delvey” Sorokin kicked off a previously announced dinner series out of her NYC walk-up on Thursday, January 26, and the occasion was her 32nd birthday. The surprise guest chef was D.C. culinary vet Ryan Hackney, who did a five-course test run of the same dishes he plans to serve at downtown Silver Spring’s chic new cafe Citizens & Culture this spring.

The Russian-born convicted con artist, who defrauded New York socialites and financial institutions out of a combined $275,000 by posing as a wealthy German heiress from 2013 to 2017, has remained under house arrest since being freed from an Orange County detention facility last fall. Her new one-bedroom living situation in the Big Apple is listed at $4,250 per month, per Page Six.

Soon after Delvey’s release, Eater learned about her invite-only dinner idea via a publicist’s email soliciting “table settings, general table decor, alcohol, items for gifting” and other donations from food and beverage brands. Vogue-endorsed Profanity Paraffins supplied “Happy Fucking Birthday”-branded candles for her debut dinner party, and Unrated Wines provided pairings for the five-course fete. Hackney, who is acquainted with Delvey’s D.C.-based publicist, said in a statement that he was excited to debut upcoming dishes for the restaurant during the gig.

Birthday guests packed into Delvey’s small fifth-floor apartment.
Jade Greene
The dinner party kicked off with passed “Bagel ‘n Luxe” bites.
Jade Greene

A cross-section of NYC’s well-dressed social set in attendance included professional ballet dancers, models, DJs, and fashion designers. All of the birthday dinner courses, in some form or fashion, will reappear on Hackney’s forthcoming Silver Spring menu (8113 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland). Chief chef consultant Jessica Shields (Citizens & Culture, Kaldi’s Social House) helped design the dishes.

Anna Delvey’s private residence doubles as “Club House Arrest.”
Jade Greene
Citizens & Culture’s executive chef Ryan Hackney.
Jade Greene

For starters, the group ate “Bagel ‘n Luxe” (everything bagel toast points, whipped cream cheese, smoked trout roe, micro herbs, and espelette pepper), followed by crudo sourced from NYC’s Fulton Fish Market, barbecue squash salad, and creamy asparagus bisque. A Godfather-inspired “Luca Brasi Sleeps With the Fishes” dish featured pan-seared Atlantic salmon, fire-roasted butternut squash puree, and roasted squash, and the main event—dubbed “The Delvey”—involved braised short rib, maple bourbon-glazed carrots, and edible flowers (with a 72-hour marinated mushroom cap as the vegetarian option).

Braised short rib and carrots.
Jade Greene
Creamy asparagus bisque.
Jade Greene
Each installment of Delvey’s dinner series welcomes “10 - 12 VIP attendees including well-known founders, influencers, media, and celebrity talent friends,” according to a publicist’s email.
Jade Greene
Crudo with citrus aioli and fried shallots.
Jade Greene

Citizens & Culture comes from Tsega Haile, who also owns Silver Spring and Clarendon coffee shop Kaldi’s Social House. The sleek new Silver Spring bar and restaurant is outfitted with large flat screen TVs, working fireplaces, and a lofted stage up top equipped with a state-of-the-art sound system for DJs and shows. Hackney’s decade-long D.C. culinary career has included stints at Macon Bistro & Larder, Charlie Palmer Steak, Nonna’s Kitchen, 701, Bibiana, the Bird, and most recently Valor Brewpub. He also competed on Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay in 2018.

Citizens & Culture’s retractable glass rooftop leads to a scenic terrace.
Citizens & Culture/rendering

“Chef Ryan Hackney’s tasting menu was the perfect way to debut my Delvey Dining Club series and celebrate my birthday back in the city,” says Delvey, in a statement.

Each installment of her dinner series plans to center around different conversation topics about “social good movements” and “collective experiences across industries,” per her publicist. The subject of the scripted 2022 Netflix series, Inventing Anna, plans to showcase her house-arrest dinner parties on a new reality TV show dubbed Delvey’s Dinner Club.

Scenes from Anna Delvey’s birthday dinner.
Jade Greene
DJ and entrepreneur Timo Weiland with Anna Delvey.
Jade Greene
Friends helped Anna Delvey celebrate her birthday on January 26.
Jade Greene
The Delvey dinner turned into a listed afterparty with a long line outside her fifth-floor walk-up apartment.
Jade Greene

Here’s a look at the dinner party menu:

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