Two new chiral calixarene derivatives containing tartaric acid ester moieties were synthesized. The chiral calixarenes are in a 'cone' conformation according to NMR spectroscopy. The chiral recognition capabilities of 1-4 toward the guests, 1,2-propanediol and serine methyl ester hydrochloride (SerOMe), were investigated (H-1 NMR spectroscopy). The extraction properties of compounds 1 and 2 toward selected alpha-amino acid methyl esters were also studied. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.