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.
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.
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).
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.
“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.
Here’s a look at the dinner party menu: