Three hot-summer events rounded up Orleanians for Cure, college and compliance, Shakespearean style.
• 12th annual Summer Cure Chefs Wine Dinner of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure New Orleans
Headlining this hobnobbing was the 12th annual Summer Cure Chefs Wine Dinner of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure New Orleans, and, as it has been for years, was housed most hospitably in the Windsor Court Hotel. Accolades were many for the host hotel and general manager, the in-attendance David Teich, whose wife, Jordan, figured as an event co-chairwoman along with New Orleans affiliate co-founder Pat Denechaud, Kristi Post and Dottie Reese. Last year, in a surprise salute, Pat was honored. Then, and most recently, husband Charles I. “Dene” Denechaud III gave her a fine ovation.
Still others made Summer Cure a success. Take a bow, event committee members Liz Bodet, Lisa Crinel, Regan Forrester, Tracie Garner, Holley Haag, Marbury Little and Elizabeth Williams. Add to that roster, event coordinators Joe Briand and Sara Kavanaugh, master of ceremonies Mark Romig, auctioneer Greg Reggio, and affiliate executive director Lisa W. Plunkett and coordinator Carin Evans. The promise — and hope — of the organization is “to save lives and end breast cancer forever.”
Now for the top toques! Five notable chefs not only prepared the menu attractions, but also gave “dinners for eight” at their establishments to the live auction. Ryan Prewitt of Peche Seafood Grill provided the prandial prelude with marinated shrimp with a corn vinaigrette and butterbean puree; Isaac Toups of Toups Meatery offered a luxardo cherry and hazelnut foie gras torchon with brioche; Phillip Lopez of Root did duck corazon and peach “anticuchoe”; John Currence of City Grocery (in Oxford, Miss.) prepared, as the fourth course, the alliterative butter-braised beef blade roast; and Shun Li of the hosting Windsor Court capped the gastronomy with a take on everyone’s favorite: “s’mores.” Dulce de leche cream was added to the familiar chocolate (in this case, mousse), marshmallow and graham cracker combination.
In between the courses, all of which were announced along with their wine pairings, folks scooted to bid at the silent auction for such enticements as a movie party package, jewelry, hotel staycations, “The Charleston Experience” (in Charleston, S.C.) and vino galore. Then it was back to the dining room for the very lively live auction with Greg Reggio to the fore. In the excitement of (quite friendly) culinary competition, each chef added to his auction package. John Currence tacked on Ole Miss football tickets, more eating activity and lodging.
Within the sold-out crowd were John’s brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Mathilde Currence (a former queen of Carnival), who had logged estival hours in Cashiers, N.C. The Denechauds discovered the seasonal delights of Ketchum, Idaho. Comings and goings over the past months were roundly discussed.
All the while, chatter during dinner concerned the Oct. 26 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in City Park, the 17th. The race’s honorary chairwoman is Rita Benson LeBlanc, and Tiffany Carter and Mollie Copeland hold the chairing titles. True to Crescent City format, there will be a social contingent. On Sept. 23, Kick-Off for Komen will unfold at 5 p.m. at the Heritage Grill in Metairie with Saints punter Thomas Morstead scheduled as the special guest.
• Rhodes College send-off
Send-off is the next shoulder-rubbing, and Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., was the subject. At the event, which was held at the University Section home of Skye McLeod and Rash Brown, parents of Hallie, class of 2016, new Rhodes College students and their parents were the mastheaders. In fact, more than 60 current and former Rhodes students, along with their moms and dads, were present to mark the start of the new school year. There are 23 incoming freshmen from New Orleans and 95 total students from the area matriculating at Rhodes. The college’s president and his wife, Bill and Carole Troutt, have such an affection for our town that they own a home here.
Befitting the college’s chromatics, the Brown house was bedecked with red, white and black balloons. Food was plentiful and guests strolled through the spacious premises and out into the side yard. Later, during the program, students addressed the assembly.
Notable guests included George and Sarah Young, immediate past chaircouple of the Rhodes Parent Council and parents of 2013 graduate Charlotte Young (who’s now in Austin for graduate school); Wendy and Dane Ciolino, who played host for the send-off months ago, and son Price; Linda and Peter Tufton, with daughter Meredith, the fifth of the five Tufton siblings — all of whom attended Rhodes; and Aimee and Michael Bell, parents of student Bristol, who was away at camp.
Also, Jack McClesky with mom Monique (dad Bob was off fly fishing), Blakely Ramirez with mother Michelle, and new students KK Slatten, Claire Adams, Peter Baricev, Zac Lange, Meredith Graf, Allie Baldassaro, Nick Beachy, Alexandra Howell and Dane Bourgeois. Their parents accompanied them.
Current students on the Rhodes roster were Katie Casadaban, Hillary Connell, Caroline Reed, Stephanie Veech, and Robert Semmes, whose sister, Mathilde, is an alumna and brother Joe is in his last year. Robert has recently returned from college studies in Belgium. Milling, too, were alums Brad Romig, Helen Meaher, Ellie Connick, Anne Doussan, Carolyn Baker, Beth Robinson and Rachel Robinson. All agreed, parting was such sweet partying.
• Shakespeare Festival’s Taming of the Shrew at Tulane
On the campus of Tulane University, the 20th anniversary season of the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane presented the final attraction of the summer: Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.” It was put on by the Gavin Mahlie All Things Shakespeare training program for young actors. Rebecca Frank and Artemis Preeshi co-directed.
Applause on opening night was hearty for the cast that included Tyler Johnson as the “shrew” Katharina; Knox Van Horn, as her “tamer” and love interest Petruchio; and Natalie Rine and Jimmeraz Johnson, who enact the wooing Bianca and Lucentio. Also, Fisher Alexander, Lynda Cortez, Stevie Cavalier, Eli Marks, Maddie McLain and Jesse Young. Special thanks tapped Charlie Eliot, Chaney Tullos, Clare Moncrief, David Raphael, Marty Sachs and Duncan Becker.
Post performance, mini-muffalettas, soft drinks and other treats, such as celebratory cake, awaited the enthusiastic cast members, who were greeted by Knox’s grandparents, Kay and Tim Favrot, uncle James Favrot with fiancée Sheila Kuebel (and their respective daughters Celeste Favrot and Elizabeth Bartosic), parents Kathleen and Charlie Van Horn, Monty and Julie Burlingame, Louise “Lou” Hoffman, Murray Pitts and Harry Blumenthal, A.J. and Eileen Capritto, Cassie Worley, Mamie Gasperecz, and a slew of teenagers, including Logan Young (of Palo Alto, Calif.) and brothers Gabie and Timothy Dupuy.
Nell Nolan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.