If you weren't one of the lucky ones to snag season tickets to Next, you can still get a table to experience the elBulli menu, and feel really good about doing it. Last night, Next launched their charity auction website to raise money for the University of Chicago's Center for Cancer Research. Given the significance of the elBulli menu and knowing that there would be more demand than supply, the team at Next found this to be the perfect opportunity to raise money and awareness for the University of Chicago Cancer Center, where chef Grant Achatz underwent life-saving treatment for tongue cancer.
The auction is a Dutch one, meaning that the price reduces from the starting price (in this case tables started at $5,000 for tables further out or $4,000 for those sooner) by $100 each day it remains unsold. So far 48 tables have sold in less than 24 hours (and we are sure that will continue to rapidly change), leaving one table left in February, seven in March, eight in April and five in May.
The total amount raised for the University of Chicago Cancer center so far is an impressive $224,800 and it wouldn't be surprising to see all of the tables sold out by the weekend. It's up to you if you want to wait for the price to drop, but at this point, spending the extra $100 or so may be the only way you'll snag a table and support such a great cause.