To Market We Go!

For the second year (and now with plans to be annual), the French Market held its on-premises Summer Harvest Gala. Feast and fête fused.

A cocktail reception launched the event, which combined the comfort of a covered site, aglow with lighting, with cooled ventilation. The dress was casual chic. Cane & Table provided the cocktails (sponsored by Cathead Vodka) that included Jackson Tropicalia and Becnel’s Bounty, while beer sponsor Abita Brewing Company offered Seersucker Summer Pils/Lemon Wheat. Chef Kristen Essig of Meauxbar purveyed the hors d’oeuvres trio.

An hour later, Family Style Dinner beckoned and people took their seats at hyper-long tables, where conviviality and cuisine set the tone. So did catering by chefs Vishwesh Bhatt (Snack Bar; Oxford, Mississippi), Rebecca Wilcomb (Herbsaint), Justin Devillier (La Petite Grocery and Balise), and Slade Rushing (Brennan’s), whose fine fare reflected fresh local, seasonal food. Appropriately with all the focus on food, the music makers were the Creole String Beans.

Enjoying all the evening’s excitement in the historic market, as well as the pleasures of the grape (chardonnay and rosé), were City Councilwomen Susan Guidry and LaToya Cantrell, Jon and Lori Smith, Demetric Mercadel, Scott Hutcheson, Sandra Herman, Mark and Susan Tullos, Errol and Peggy Scott Laborde, Meg Lousteau, Paul Maassen, Kathryn Parker, Loretta and Gary Krasnow, and the French Market Corporation’s Amy A. Kirk Duvoisin and Jeremy D. Smith. Jon Smith answers to FMC executive director. A fundraiser, the gala benefitted New Farmers Markets at the French Market.

Event Rentals did the lighting and décor and Mitch’s Flowers, the arrangements. Smaller Mason jars held some of the decorative posies, while larger ones were just right for the profusions of roses, daisies and additional flowers.

Breaking bread, too, were FMC interim deputy director Robert Gurtner IV, Derrin Duplissey, Derek Larson, Drew Davenport, Kathleen and Gary McCulla, and Zack Miller and bride Elisa Munoz Miller. They had just swapped vows near Jackson Square and held their reception at Dutch Alley on N. Peters Street.

Earlier happenings (by a week or so) in the Vieux Carre occurred at the Bourbon House when the board of commissioners of the French Quarter Management District held a reception to introduce Emily Remington as the district’s executive director. Board members – most were present – include Darryl Berger, Jeremy DeBlieux, Brian Furness, Al Groos, Lary Hesdorffer, Anthony Marino, Mia Matassa, Jim Oliver, Steve Pettus, Sal Sunseri, Kimberly Rosenberg, Robert Watters and Theodore Young.

Welcoming words were extended to Emily Remington by the many guests, among whom was Barbara Krieger of Dickie Brennan & Company. Said Barbara about Emily, “It is our hope that she will be the key contact for all things concerning the French Quarter.” Handshakes abounded.

Producers, All!

Saying YES to WYES and its Producers Circle were a slew of notables, who enjoyed the hospitality of Circle Chaircouple Arlene and Alan Philipson at their Uptown home on Jefferson Avenue. Due to construction on the avenue, valet parking was provided as a convenience to the guests, who heeded the invitation’s heading of “Neither rain, heat, street nor drainage construction will stop the party…”

Tucker Fitz-Hugh Jr. was the caterer (providing such gustatory delights as New Zealand lamb lollipops, prosciutto-wrapped shrimp, and honey and goat cheese tartlets) and Steve Baker at Ambrose Garden did the flowers. Arrangements of peonies of various colors and orchids caught every eye.

Mingling were the Philipsons, WYES President and general manager (another Mr. A.P.) in Allan Pizzato, Paulette and Frank Stewart, Chuck Lapeyre, Cleland Powell and Claudia Carrere, Randy and Dr. Madelaine Feldman, Laura Byrd, Jimmy Reiss, Laura and Sonny Shields, Lanier Hosford, Dr. John Ochsner, Karen and Jim Ward, Sharon Perlis and Kevin Belton, host of a new national cooking series at WYES that will debut in 2016. The title? “New Orleans Cooking with Kevin Belton.”

The reception honors the television station’s major donors and hails the achievements of WYES throughout the year. During a choice moment, President Allan Pizzato presented the Philipsons with a gift in appreciation of their chairing the Producers Circle. At that point, Tommy Westervelt was announced as the incoming Circle chairman.

More meeting and greeting (and queries about summer plans) tapped David Perlis, Elaine and Douglas Grundmeyer, Larry Katz, Winnie Brown, Hunter Hill, Sandy Villere, Jimmy Fitzmorris, Claire and Harry Stahel, Susan Talley, Fawn and Victor Ukpolo, Anne and Edmund Redd and others who channeled a good time.

Festive Foundation

The Grand Ballroom of the Westin Canal Place was beautifully decorated with seasonal flowers for the bounty of a Sunday brunch when the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana staged its 2015 Annual Event. Awards were presented to Beverly and Lester Wainer (The Tzedakah, JEF’s highest honor), David Kushner and Mark Stein (The Young Family Award for Professional Excellence), Dr. Michael Wasserman (The JFNA Endowment Achievement) and Sharon Pollin (The Helen A. Mervis Jewish Community Professional). A special commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the musical, “Fiddler on the Roof,” starred Cantor Joel Colman and cantorial soloist Victoria May. Along with the full program was the kosher-style dairy brunch.

Thanks were many: the event was underwritten in part by the Whitney Bank, Francis L. Fraenkel, the Jean and Saul A. Mintz Family Supporting Foundation, and Postlethwaite & Netterville. Further gratitude extended to event Chairwoman/JEF Vice President Andi Lestelle, who was joined by husband Terry; Rabbi Robert Loewy of Congregation Gates of Prayer for the invocation; and JEF President Richard Cahn with wife Vivian, their son David, and in-laws Cathy and Morris Bart. Hertha Bart, the mother of Vivian and Morris, was also present.

Assembled, as well, were the nearest and dearest of the honorees. With the Wainers were son and daughter-in-law Bruce and Ellie Wainer and daughter and son-in-law Teri and Rian Tanenbaum, and grandchildren Courtney Wainer, Zack Tanenbaum and Ali Tanenbaum. The above David Kushner was accompanied by wife Carole and children Megan and Scott, while co-honoree Mark Stein similarly included spouse Amy and children Melissa and Greg.

Lynne Wasserman joined her honored husband, Dr. Mike, as did their daughter and son-in-law Julie and Mike Green. Then there were JEF’s immediate past President, Carol Wise (a past Tzedajah honoree as are several of the others cited), with daughter Ginny Wise Wilkins and sons-in-law Kevin Wilkins and Marshall Oreck, along with Kim Austin, Jeff Charrier, Jim Runge, and Melinda and Morris Mintz.

Making their rounds as JEF past presidents were Max Nathan Jr., Joel Mendler with Toby, Leon Rittenberg Jr. with Cindy, Sandy Maslansky with Barbara, Joe Pasternack Jr. with Sarah, Ellen Yellin with Marc, Carole Cukell Neff with Dick, and Charles A. “Rusty” Levy III.

Then there were JEF executive director Sandy Levy, Hugo and Lis Kahn, Anne Lowenburg with son Tom, John and Amy Gainsburgh Haspel, Morton and Carole Katz, and Joan and Dr. Gerald Berenson who, the following Saturday, enjoyed blueberry picking at Abba Orchard, the Poplarville, Mississippi, home of Ann and Bob Anderson.