By Anne Vorrasi
Jun 03, 2016 @ 3:00 pm
Noam Galai/Getty

Last night a handful of the country’s most celebrated chefs including Mario Batali, Anthony Bourdain, Nancy Silverton, and Dominique Ansel, put their culinary brains together and created an epic multi-course menu to kick off the Eat (RED) Save Lives Campaign. You’re probably already familiar with the RED program, which was founded by U2 frontman Bono a decade ago and has raised over $350 million toward the fight against AIDS through donations, products, and special events. But the Eats Campaign may be our favorite one yet.  

Noam Galai/Getty

So what exactly does this program entail? Throughout the month of June, there will be over 100 culinary events taking place at various restaurants across the world. Batali, who is leading the charge, has enlisted several of his colleagues including Silverton, David Burke, Amanda Cohen, and Alice Waters, just to name a few, to participate by offering special menus at their restaurants specifically created to benefit this worthwhile cause (check out the full list of events here).

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If there was ever a time to splurge on that meal at Batali’s Babbo in N.Y.C., where celebs like Emily Blunt and Beyoncé like to dine, or go carbo-crazy at chef Silverton’s La Pizzeria Mozza in L.A., that time is now. 

In the meantime, here’s the recipe to the dreamy feather-light pavlova with strawberries that chef Dominique Ansel ended last night’s epic meal with to hold you over. 

(RED) Strawberry Pavlova with Mascarpone Cream

Makes 8 pavlovas


For the Mascarpone Cream:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1/2 cup mascarpone
1/4 cup sugar

For the Meringue
3 egg whites
2/3 cups sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch, sifted
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1 tsp water
2/3 tsp vinegar

For the Strawberries:
2 lb fresh strawberries, chopped
1/4 cup sugar

To Assemble:
Fresh marjoram leaves
Strawberry jam
Balsamic glaze 

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For the Mascarpone Cream:
1. In a bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks form. Fold in sugar, vanilla seeds and mascarpone until evenly combined. Chill in fridge until ready to use.  

For the Meringue
1. Preheat oven to 325° F.  
2. In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on medium until frothy. Slowly incorporate sugar in two additions until stiff peaks form. Turn mixer to low speed, add cornstarch and vanilla until combined. Add water and vinegar last, mix for a few seconds.
3. Spoon dollops of meringue that are 2-inches in diameter onto a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Space the dollops 4 inches apart, as the meringues will expand when baked. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the meringue forms a firm crust and the outside is just barely colored. The outside of the meringue should be crunchy, and the inside soft and tender. 

For the Strawberries:
1. In a bowl, toss strawberries with sugar. Set aside in the fridge until ready to serve. 

To Assemble
1. On each meringue base, spread strawberry jam, then top with a large spoonful of mascarpone cream, strawberries, a few drops of balsamic glaze and garnish with marjoram leaves to finish. Serve immediately. 

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(Pro Tip: If you can’t find balsamic glaze, heat 1 cup of balsamic vinegar in a saucepan over medium heat until reduced by half and let cool)