Wined and Dined
The Emeril Lagasse Foundation had a triple salute: one weekend, two events, and 10 years. All to benefit the foundation, which “seeks to inspire, mentor and enable” young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances. Emeril Lagasse answers to board chairman and founder, while spouse Alden to co-founder, and Mark Stein to secretary-treasurer. Board members include Mario Batali, Anthony “Tony” Cruz (attending with wife Liz), Paul Frank, Robert Goldstein, Eric Linquest, (with Gigi) Mark Romig (with David Briggs), Gary N. Solomon (with wife Martha and Gary Jr., Sam Mickal, and Conway), and Michael C. Thompson.
On Friday evening of the chockablock weekend, Emeril Lagasse, Donald Link and 55 of the nation’s best chefs served to chair “Boudin, Bourbon & Beer” in Champions Square with, as featured winemaker, Jim Clendenen (Au Bon Climat) and music by Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns. Abita Beer and Buffalo Trace were the sponsors.
The following evening, the party paces moved nearby to the Hyatt Regency Hotel for the Carnivale du Vin gala dinner that enjoyed its first social sipping at the Champagne Reception (with champagne by Louis Roederer) and then at the Bacchus Reception featuring wine by the Honorary Bacchus Winemakers of the last decade. Out-of-town chefs Jimmy Bannos Sr. and Jr., Michelle Bernstein, and Roy Choi prepared tastings.
Dinner then beckoned, framed as four courses, with wine pairings from Patz & Hall, Merry Edwards, Post Parade, and Broadbent. All the while, Ty Pennington regaled the crowd of 650 as master of ceremonies, and Michael Cavanaugh set the music to the merriment.
Stunning decorations added more sensory pleasures with a blue entrance carpet, the Roederer display of a crystal curtain that reflected light from the champagne, and the verdant entrance to the Empire Ballroom. White hydrangeas and orchids added floral representation.
The main dining tables were adorned in navy and gold pintuck linen, floral centerpieces were mostly low and circular, and four Waterford crystal glasses — one for each Krewe du Vin course — indicated libations to come. Those top toques were Emeril and his chefs de cuisine, and Jacques Torres. Chef Amy Lemon, Emeril’s Delmonico, was tapped for the Cheese and Condiments finale.
Always a highlight, the silent and live auctions filled the Carnivale coffer$. In the silent selection, 179 items (composed of more than 80 wine lots and 90 luxury goods) lured the legions, while the live portion, with Ursula Hermancinski cast as auctioneer, featured 17 extraordinary lots. The top one, a feast at NOCCA hosted by chef Emeril and Suzanne Bryan of Pride Mountain Vineyards, went for $200,000.
Assembled to revel in the “Vin” vitality (many came in from away) were Emeril and Alden Lagasse, Mayor Mitch and Cheryl Landrieu, Jimmy Buffet, Grace Potter and Matt Burr, Rusty Staub, Bill Goldring, Beverly Bedsole Key and husband Joey, Cherry and Kent Lovelace, Shirelle and Joel Vilmenay, Chris and Amy Wilson, Stuart and Suzanne Pride Bryan, Heather and Bob Cabral, Allison and Dan Kosta, Amy Marks, Fred Schrader, Glenn Armantrout of Café Reconcile, and Emeril Lagasse Foundation President Brian and Nicole Kish.
Gifts for each guest included a commemorative pin for the 10th Carnivale du Vin anniversary, along with lots of other coveted items, all of which reminded the throng of the benevolent purpose of the bash, which, with “Boudin, raised $2.25 million.
Longue Vue Views
Another two-fold festivity was bannered “2014 Essence of Style Design Symposium” and benefited Longue Vue House and Gardens. On Thursday of the symposium, 10 a.m. was the call to rally and coffee and initial perusing of the silent auction were ready attractions. An hour later, the welcome and introductions were extended by LV board President Lynne Rothschild Stern, executive director Tony Chauveaux, and symposium Co-Chairmen Louis J. Aubert and Elesha Kelleher. The presentation, titled “One Man’s Folly: The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood and the Inspiration Behind Them,” was led by journalist and author Julia Reed and acclaimed interior designer and author Bunny Williams and her husband, John Rosselli, an antiques dealer. Gatewood, a nonagenarian, was not in attendance, although his design spirit certainly was.
Luncheon followed, as did the conclusion of the bidding. Friends of Longue Vue Committee Chairwoman Mary Ellen Miller then issued closing remarks, while Julia and Bunny were available for book signings and conversation. Guests could also purchase the centerpieces.
On the eve of the luncheon levity, Jennifer and Kenny Rabalais of Jade and The Plant Gallery opened their showplace Metairie residence for the Designer Reception. The couple supervised the stunning home décor and floral arrangements, while event partners Commander’s Palace and Barcadia purveyed (complemented by sweets prepared by the Symposium Committee) and Harry Hardin supplied the musical menu.
Headliners included the host couple; the above symposium speakers Julia Reed and Bunny Williams with husbands John Pearce and John Rosselli; Co-Chairmen Aubert and Kelleher with husband Albert; and Clifford Miller with the above Friends Chairwoman Mary Ellen.
Noted, too were Chairwomen Carol Hall (auction) with John, Marian Gibbs (reception) and JoAnn Christopher (reception) with Jozsef Toth; Tony Chauveaux; Lynne Stern; Beverly and Douglass Lore; Kay McArdle; Lucie Whitley; Dottie and Maurice Hebert; and Dianna and Pat McCurnin. Style was the salute.
“Soup, soap and salvation,” an early slogan used by the Salvation Army and its goal of feeding and housing the needy and rehabilitation of those in need, got a social replay at the first Souper Bowl fundraiser. It unfolded in the National World War II Museum with proceeds directed to the Center of Hope, which provides emergency and transitional shelter for homeless and indigent men, women and children. Two of the Salvation Army staffers, Alice Hebert and Kristine Dvorak, greeted “Bowl” guests and served soup.
Activity occurred over a three-hour period, starting with the patron party and then segueing into the main event from 7 until 9 p.m. Dressy casual was the suggested attire. WDSU co-anchor Sula Kim was the mistress of ceremonies, and Kermit Ruffins and The Barbecue Swingers, The Nayo Jones Experience, and Neshia Ruffins & The Young Franchise, the entertainers. According to a principal “Bowl”-goer, who described all the music as “extraordinary,” Neshia, Kermit’s daughter, “captivated the audience.”
Further features of the evening were the ceramic bowls — some given to attendees, some auctioned off — created by students from five schools; the playing by the Salvation Army Band; a Christmas tree decorated with for-sale ornaments; the manning of the signature Salvation Army kettles by members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars; and the recognition of eight armed services veterans. They were Bert Stolier, Don Cantor, Ross Gamble, and Art Arceneaux, all U.S. Marine Corps, as well as Mel Bouboulis, Henry A. “Hy” McEnery III, Richard B. McConnell Jr., and John M. Key. All answered to impressive titles.
Food for the festivity came from both The Salvation Army’s noted kitchen and the museum’s American Sector Catering.
From the Salvation Army came Area Commander Captains David and Dawn Worthy, recently located here with their three children; advisory board Chairman Ed Bush with Cindy: the above John Key (from presenting sponsor Kencoil) with Brandon, Shelby, Whitney, Katie and John Key; Dick Piner (sponsor, Versabar) with Dot and their many guests; and Center of Hope director Karen Jackson.
Also, Paulette and Frank Stewart, Blesseys three in Manny and Christian and Karen, Bris Campbell and Adriane Spencer, Susan Glennon, Bill and Kathy Hornsby, Tom and Debbie Fierke, Pat and Cat Howard, Bobby Coyle, Mark and Laure Starring (spotted the opening night of “Phantom of the Opera”), Scott and Jennifer Hardie, Skye and Matt Fantaci, Phil Nizialek, Ellen and Jim Fantaci, David Gooch with son Bradley, Robbie Walsh, state Sen. and Mrs. Conrad Appel, and a trio of pals in Julie Breitmeyer, Marilyn Rusovich and Susie Hoskins.