NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Every year, Warren Buffett auctions off a lunch date in his favorite New York City steakhouse to raise money for charity. The meet-and-greet-and-munch with Buffett is a very minor, albeit public, piece of the Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.B) chief's significant charitable giving philosophy. Buffett was actually caught on video this week by Forbes at the charitable lunching spot, as part of a larger discussion of Buffett's philanthropic legacy on the same week that Forbes released its much perused annual list of global billionaires. Buffett finished number two in the ranking of global billionaires in 2009 -- though it was noted by Forbes that Buffett would have finished ahead of this year No. 1 billionaire, Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim, if Buffett would only cease giving so much money to charity. The amount that charitable investors have been willing to pay for a lunch with Buffett has been considerable. In 2009, the winning bid in the lunch-with-Buffett charity sweepstakes was near $1.7 million. In 2008, the winning bidder donated $2.1 million for the pleasure of Warren Buffett's company over filets. In 2007, the winning bid from two hedge fund managers had been $615,000. So at least one thing is clear: even amid tough market conditions, Buffett still knows how to grow assets in more ways than one. TheStreet audience exhibits some pretty strong preferences about the companies and personalities in which it is most interested. Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway always earn high marks, bordering on the faithful flock following the good shepherd of the markets. Berkshire Hathaway noted in its most recent 2009 executive compensation filing that Berkshire Hathaway spending on personal and home security services for Buffett increased in 2009. Still, it is hard to find anyone with anything negative to say -- at least publicly -- about the Oracle of Omaha. Yet it's not just $123,000 shares like Berkshire Hathaway's vaunted A shares that attention from our readership.