Ben Berg scoops up custom — and sustainable — caviar for his restaurants
A longstanding delicacy and luxury food staple, caviar has a certain mystique about it that may seem unapproachable to the average consumer. But restaurateur Ben Berg has had caviar on his radar for years. That idea has since become a reality.
Together with California Caviar Company, which is owned by "the Caviar Queen" Deborah Keane and is the first company in the country to only sell sustainably produced caviar, Berg is introducing a custom reserve Royal White Sturgeon caviar. Diners can taste it for themselves beginning July 17 at select Berg Hospitality restaurants, including B&B Butchers & Restaurant in Houston and Fort Worth, The Annie Café & Bar, and Turner's.
Berg and VP of concept development, Sean Mohammed, recently traveled to Idaho to personally harvest Berg Hospitality's first supply of the custom caviar.
They learned the harvesting process firsthand, even spending hours plucking out impurities with tweezers — "I would equate this process to picking out grains of sand from other grains of sand," says Mohammed — resulting in a unique batch of roe that excels in size, color, texture, and taste.
The custom Royal White Sturgeon caviar will now be offered permanently as part of Berg Hospitality's curated caviar service, and is also available in 1 oz. jars for $95. Each restaurant will offer a unique caviar presentation and pairing.
In celebration of the rollout and in conjunction with National Caviar Day on Sunday, July 18, Berg Hospitality is hosting the following special events.
First is The Annie's Ultimate High Tea & Caviar Soirée on Saturday, July 17, at 2 pm. Curated by The Annie's chef de cuisine, Jose Valencia, the high tea spread will be complemented by live music from Flashdrive, a string quartet accompanied by a DJ.
The first tier is $95 per person and the second tier is $145 per person, with both incorporating the Idaho caviar. Both tiers include a welcome cocktail, a glass of bubbles, tea, coffee, and bottled water, and exclude tax, gratuity, and any additional alcoholic beverages. Guests can also order additional a la carte drinks. There is only one seating, so space is limited.
A 48-hour cancelation notice is required, otherwise a fee of $50 per person will be charged.
Second is Turner's 6-Course Caviar & Wine Pairing Dinner on Sunday, July 18, at 5:30 pm. Also curated by Valencia, the lavish, six-course caviar and wine pairing dinner includes live piano music by Barry Sames and a special take-home gift.
The evening will begin with a cocktail reception, with the seated dinner to follow at 6 pm. The dinner is $395 per person, but excludes tax, gratuity, and any additional alcoholic beverages. There is only one seating, so space is limited to 40 guests.
A 48-hour cancelation notice is required, otherwise a fee of $150 per person will be charged.