Signature chefs

Someone’s in the kitchen with Justin, someone’s in the kitchen with Justin….

And, in addition to chef Justin Kennedy, include Andrea Apuzzo, Rene Bajeux, Mike Brewer, Vincent Catalanotto, Eric Damidot, Rachel DeFelice, Jonathan Ebberman, Austin Faucheaux, Bryan Gilmore, Linda Green, Duke LoCicero, Norman Love, Bradley McGehee, Chris Montero, Matt Murphy, Chad Penedo, Kristen Preau, Mark Quitney, Jared Ralls, Michael Regua, Ronnie Seaton Sr. (who answers to Sir Master Chef and, who, during the Vietnam War, was a prisoner of war for 21 days), Sara Toth, and Sarah Wood. That was the culinary lineup, either program-wise or actual, for the Signature Chefs Auction of the March of Dimes at The Cannery, and Justin Kennedy of Parkway Bakery and Tavern garnered thanks (as did the other toques) as the chef chairman.

Held in almost 200 cities across the country, Signature Chefs Auction raises money to “improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.”

Headliners within the crowd of 300-plus were SCA Chairman Stephen Rue (of Stephen Rue and Associates), board Chairwoman Karen Villavaso, and additional board members Chris Shirer, Juli Sholar, Michelle Burtch, Ashley Brulet, Charlotte Burnell, Matt Burnell, Ned Bergin, Lisa Futrell, Lauren Mastio, Bart Kelly, Chalon Dominick, and Drs. Geoffrey Gillen, Geoffrey Fraiche, Juan Gershanik and Jane Miller. Karen Olivard is the SCA Greater New Orleans Division director.

The above Ashley, Michelle, Jane and Karen served on the event committee, as did Linda Brulet, Nicole Buuck, Melinda Clements, Alice Cryer-Sumler, KaTrina Griffin, Janine McKown, Megan McKown, Nicole Surcouf and Leonetta Terrell.

They, and a host of others, relished the excitement of the auction, both silent and live; music by The Yat Pack; the purpose of the party; and the food – glorious food.

Sipping with Santa

Eight beautifully decorated Christmas trees embellished the Chateau Golf and Country Club, where Sipping with Santa unfolded to benefit the Kenner Food Bank. (Last year, $50,000 was raised and 500 guests showed their “Sipping” spirit.)

Features of the 2014 event, which also numbered about 500 attendees, were the fine wares of 10 vendors (to help with holiday shopping), imaginative eats and drinks (such as cotton candy martinis), more than five dozen prizes, and the co-hosting of Mike and Michelle Yenni and Steve and Karen Caraway. Adding their presence were Mike and Angela Glaser, Janice Watsky, Donna Hahn, John Young Jr., Ben Zahn, David and Sheila Seawright, Ronnie Mains, Dan and Teresa Kelly, Pam Swanner and mom Gail Ford, Cindy and Steve Roth, Barry and Michele Orillion, Kurt and Jennifer Evans, and Billy Nungesser. All sport a title or two and all gave “Santa” their support.

Veterans of Foreign Wars

The New Orleans Veterans of Foreign Wars assembled at the Uptown home of Kay and Robert “Bobby and Bob” Kerrigan to raise money for the renovation of VFW Post 8973’s Lyons Street headquarters. With the funds, the hall can provide not only functional meeting space for veterans, but also a community venue for the neighborhood.

Within the context of the purposeful partying, guests enjoyed the silent auction, tasty treats from chef John Besh and hostess Kay, the presence of many American flags, Kay’s personal and acquired art, and inspired words from James Reiss (with wife Erika), Marshall Hevron, Tom Fierke (with Debbie) and William “Bill” Ryan, who made a very generous donation toward the renovation through his company, Trimark Constructors. Gabby and Chris Cannon, the Fierkes, the Reisses, and Marshall Hevron teamed as event co-hosts.

Joining them among the 100 present were Terry and Henrietta “Henri” Hall, Kathleen and Terry White, Doug Johnson, Doug Howard, Paul Viguerie, Lynne and Hugh Uhalt, Peggy and Jack Laborde, Mary Margaret and Dr. John Hevron, Audrey Voelker and Ben Thibodeaux, the Rev. Henry Hudson, and Will Hales, as well as Major Gen. David Mize, USMC, Ret.; Brigadier Gen. Thomas Beron, U.S. Army, Ret; Post Architect Jesse (Marine) and Mary Cannon; and Post Service Officer (Marine) Larry Jones.

When all was said and socialized at the Veterans Day event, more than $100,000 was raised for the Post’s renovation.

A 60th salute

“Luncheon” was the billing on the invitation extended by the New Orleans Geological Auxiliary, which celebrated the organization’s six decades at Ralph’s on the Park. With help from Ed Picou, a constantly running slide show traced the years.

Noted were the pretty centerpieces of white roses on mirrors done by Judy Sabate, a fine three-course lunch, music by The Profiles trio, pralines with the organization’s logo as favors, and roses presented to each lady who was announced. Leading the group were charter member/60-year member Ruth Bussey, and 59-year members Carol Andrews, Peggy Campbell and Mary Collier.

Gathered, as well, were guests Mary Lou Main (charter member) and Madeleine Blessey, who, as a young girl, played the piano at the organization’s initial meeting. Adding to the assembly were 17 past presidents; current President Mary Walther (with Roy) and officers Mary Ellis Hasseltine (with George), Peggy Rogers (with Frank), Judy Lemarie (with Louis) and Jean Jones; Trudy Corona and Charley; Debra Fein and Mike; Elizabeth Furlong with Bill; and Alma Dunlap, Pat Williamson and the above Judy Sabate, who chaired the “60” socializing.

Around and About

Marching down the aisle, figurative or otherwise, recently have been Martine Alford and Miles Lewis III; Mimi Robinson and Jerry Rose; Mollie Carbine Candler and Jack Rodgers; Megan Renee Peck and Kyle Francis Walther; Meredith Margaret Maxwell and Minor Stanfield Penzel Strachan; and, on the celebrity side, Solange Knowles (sister of Beyonce) and Alan Ferguson. Best wishes and congratulations!

Hailing anniversaries with fetes, family and friends were Gayle and Tom Benson, a decade; and Dannie and George Hero, 60 years.