Greeting the Governor

“Please join us for Dinner honoring Governor-elect John Bel Edwards,” read the invitation extended by Dathel and John Georges, owners of The Advocate, and The Advocate team. The venue was Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak and the format, cocktails and dinner.

Advocate cartoonist Walt Handelsman (joined by wife Jodi) did the invitation’s cover design, which gently chided the now-Gov. Edwards saying that henceforward he could be the subject of cartoons. From The Advocate team came publisher Dan Shea with wife Stephanie Stokes, editor Peter Kovacs with Ruth, several writers and columnists, administrative staff, and members of the advisory board. During the 6:30 p.m. round of cocktails, they mingled with Mayor Mitch and Cheryl Landrieu, as well as a slew of bold names.

Noted, and all with impressive titles, were John Breaux, the Walt Legers III, Helena Moreno, Leon Cannizzaro Jr. and Norma, Kyle France, Marlin and Renee Gusman, David Kerstein, Bob and Sheryl Duplantis Merrick, Darryl and Louellen Berger, Doug and Denise Thornton, Calvin Johnson and Deidre Hayes, Wayne and Arkesha Baquet, Greg and Sarah Feirn, Ben Hales, Russell and Beverly Honore, Michael Fitts, Victor Ukpolo and Gloria Moultrie, Anne and King Milling, Larry and Diana Hollier, Walter Kimbrough, Daryl Byrd and Kara Van de Carr, Barry and Tina Kern, and Rick and Mary Ann Haase. To mention a few who did some hearty networking.

Guests then moved to the dining room, where Dan Shea greeted the assembly and the Rev. Kevin Wildes, S.J., delivered the invocation. Host John Georges next stepped forward to say a few words, which were followed by the singing of Jennifer Mouledous of Kehoe-France on the north shore. “Auld Lang Syne” and “God Bless America” were the first and last numbers.

For the prandial pleasures, a salad maison was the opener. Then came a demi tasse of turtle soup, a petit filet Bearnaise and gulf fish meuniere amandine, and to close, banana bread pudding. Exchanging news at a certain table were Reynold Verret, Mark and Kimberly Peters, Stephen and Cameron Perry, Ralph Johnson, and Charles Rice Jr.

“We are going to turn this around,” said John Bel Edwards in his initial words to the high-profile pack. Then he paid tribute to his wife, Donna; talked about his two-year campaign; praised his staff; and related thanks for the opportunity to be present. Looking ahead, he expressed a strong desire to help the state’s children and, as young adults, to keep them here. He concluded with, “I’m optimistic about the future of our great state of Louisiana.”

Waiting Rounds

“Be our guest! Be our guest! Put our service to the test!”

So announced the invitation extended by the Louisiana Museum Foundation for Le Grand Musee Gastronomique featuring historic menus of New Orleans’ culinary past. Then-Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, attending with Cathy, was honored for his years of service.

Features of the gala evening in the Royal Sonesta Hotel were manifold, starting with cocktails with a nostalgic nod to Pontchartrain Beach’s Bali Hai and a chance to view the exhibition of menus from the manuscripts collection of the Louisiana State Museum Historical Center.

Guests learned about the museum’s plans for a “new” New Orleans Jazz Museum, slated for the Old U.S. Mint in late 2017. The Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra played and a small auction of high-end items, along with the ceremony to honor Dardenne, added excitement.

So did the presence of the waiters, whose service was put to the test. All in good fun, but with an eye for tips to support the foundation’s work on behalf of the LSM. Scurrying about in those serving roles were LMF President Gary H. Brewster — whose executive committee has as officers E. Tiffany Adler, F. Rivers Lelong Jr., Melissa Douglass Steiner, Julie F. Breitmeyer, Anne F. Redd, and Philip Woollam — along with Jimmy Baldwin, Dorothy Clyne (Most Creative approach), Gay Cunningham, Michael Davis, Ben Dupuy, Juli Miller Hart, Elizabeth Hefler, Sandra Herman (who raised the most tips), Angelena Jones, Marvin McGraw, Ken Pickering, Tia and Jimmy Roddy, Arthur Smith, Ben Tiller, Mark Tullos and the above Anne Redd and Melissa Steiner.

Le Grand Diner certainly delivered. Each of the six courses was inspired by a menu item of a once-renowned restaurant of the past.

Latkes with a Twist

Bellocq in The Hotel Modern housed the evening of live music, drink specials, and tasty food presented by Jewish Children’s Regional Service for the communitywide Hanukkah event, a fundraiser, that thanked six sponsors. Chef Daniel Esses of Three Muses and the Dryades Public Market came up with three different styles of latkes; Neal Bodenheimer and Kirk Estopinal created the drinks; and Israeli soul singer Eleanor Tallie and her band arrived from Memphis to entertain.

Spotted within the crowd of 175 were JCRS President Marc Beerman with Angela, Vice Presidents Tracey Dodd and Neil Kohlman with Mike and Hannah, board members Margo Moss and Keith Adler with Stephanie, development director Mark Rubin, former Orleanian Marci Dell (now of Austin) and brother Dr. Rodney Steiner, Alan and Diane Franco, Lee and Tamie Bressler, Tim and Anamaria Lupin, Brian and Lisa Katz, Josh and Mara Force, Morgan Ford, Adrian Shulman and Chris Waddington, Tim and Sheila Gold, and Sanford Goldstein.

Around and About

Wrapping up the holidays were folks at the Windsor Court Hotel Tree Lighting; the Sustainer Holiday Party of the Junior League of New Orleans at the home of Barbara Bush; the Tulane University Women’s Association Holiday Party at Ira and Susan Solomon’s home; and Our Lady of Holy Cross President’s Christmas Jazz Brunch at the Pavilion of the Two Sisters given by President David “Buck” Landry.