Rounds of Revelry
The Disco Ball and All
The Cannery was the site for the sparkly night when Jesuit High School held its annual gala and auction and billed it “Celebration at the Disco Ball.” Entergy (Disco Inferno, the major category) and Frischhertz Electric and Whitney Bank (both Bohemian Rhapsody) were top sponsors. For attire, folks rummaged up bell bottoms and boogie shoes.
The décor immediately wowed the crowd with the obligatory suspended disco ball, colored lights draping the walls, and table-top glass cylinders lit with suspended mini disco balls. “Club J” dubbed the VIP room that sported a beaded-curtain entrance and a photo booth with disco props.
More than 30 generous local restaurants purveyed and "The Travolta" labeled the specialty drink. All the while, the silent auction of 250 choice items beckoned. For the live portion, which was led by Tom Fitzmorris and the Rev. John Brown, SJ, several of the “winners” were Beau and Stephanie Laborde (a trip given by the Elliott Carpenters), Howard and Bebe Maestri, Ryan and Sara Gootee, and Jeremy and Yvonne Mancheski (a parking spot on campus).
Luminaries were Celebration Co-Chairwomen Lori Frischhertz and Stacey LaCour with husbands Kevin and Dr. Jay; auction Co-Chairwomen Mary Meyer Toups and Wanda Montalbano with Tony and Ron; decorations Chairwoman Missy Martin (with Tom); and sponsorship Chairwoman Karen DeBlieux (with Dr. Peter). Also, JHS President the Rev. Christopher Fronk, SJ, Kelly and Sid Candies, Cindy and Rob Wooderson, Wendy and Chip LoCoco, Jessica and Roland Waguespack, Mandy and Clint Romig, Julie and Patrick Calhoun, Libby and Bill Tittle, and Maura and Todd Owens. To name a festive few.
As for the music, the Jason Giaccone-led Blue Jay Jazz band greeted patrons at the door with disco sounds, and inside, DJ Pat Barbaro spun hits from the '70s. “You Should Be Dancing” was the musical mantra.
The Ritz-Carlton and all its elegant trappings housed the “Moonlight Magic” hobnobbing for the French Quarter Citizens. At 6:30 p.m., harpist Sarah Burke’s strumming welcomed guests to the patron party, where cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were the fare. A brace of honorees — Coleman E. Adler II, 2017 honorary chairman, and president of Adler’s Jewelry, and Peter Trapolin, 2017 honoree, and founding principal of Trapolin-Peer Architects — were hailed as important preservationists and philanthropists, especially with regards to the Quarter.
As the socializing continued, the private salon opened to the Grand Ballroom, where patrons joined other guests. Embellishment came from romantic centerpieces of red roses and votives; a number of generous music clubs, restaurants and pastry shops fed the flock; and Ruthie Winston starred as the auctioneer. Tops in the art-inspired live auction were works by George Dureau (a photograph) and Frederick Guess (original oil painting), while those by Clementine Hunter and David Harouni generated big bidding in the silent section.
Headliners were gala Chairman Rodney Villareal with Charles Garber Jr., Co-Chairmen Cathy Esperan, Christopher Fransen and Joe Rochelle, and City Councilwoman-elect Kristin Gisleson Palmer, Judge Franz Zibilich (a De La Salle schoolmate of Peter Trapolin and also attendee Rene Fransen, joined by Edward Bonin), FQC President Susan Guillot with Albin, Alvin Albee and Virginia Boulet, Craig Guidry, Gary Wheat, Michael DeZura, Chad Pellerin, Frank and Paulette Stewart, John and Bev Muraglia, Nina Tramuta, Earline Torres with Joey Defatto, Sharon Singleton, Angie Bowlin, Tim and Juliet Laughlin, and FQC executive director Jodi Poretto.
Noted, too, were the “police who protect and serve in the French Quarter”: Commander Nicholas Gernon, 8th District New Orleans Police Department, and from the Louisiana State Police, Capt. Darren Naquin, Sergeant Chad Guidry, and Lt. Jody Hasselbeck.
To cap off all the social magic of “Moonlight," The Yat Pack stepped in to get the guests’ feet moving and grooving.
No Place Like (Poydras) Home!
The Poydras Home Bicentennial Gala Juried Art Show and Sale was launched with an on-site, 350-person patron party and chaired by siblings Marion Eagan and Charlie Van Horn. The artist Chairwomen were Delia Hardy and Dolores Hall. Further notables were PH board President Wendy Beron, Vice President Katie Crosby (also board Chairwoman of Fidelity Bank, a gala sponsor) and Howell, Katherine and Robbie Saer, Liz Hefler (of gala sponsor Whitney Bank) and Henry, and a Bright trio in Manny, Elinor and Ashley. They and dozens more responded to the koi-fish invitation that set the party theme.
Also, Jordana and Robert Richmond (of sponsor RR Richmond Investments LLL), Ella Flower, Donna Flower, Lilla Kearney, Nell Lanier and son Price, Dr. Robert and Diana Jones, Susan and Jimmy Gundlach, Andy and Cathy Burka, Anne and Frank Buescher, Dr. Michael Cary, Cindy and Stan Ellington, and Kris Wenschuh, first-place art winner. Glinda Schafer and Mark J. Sindler, received honorable mentions (one and two) and the judges were Ruthie Winston and John Abajian.
Lots of good food and libations, such as “Cocktail Chicks” and “Bird of Paradise” delighted the Poydras pack, who welcomed, once again, Deacon John and The Ivories for the tuneful tout.
A 10th Tribute
“Join us … for Contemporary Issues in Food & Drink Lecture presented by Domino Foods, Inc. & SoFAB’s 10th Anniversary Kick-Off Party” rallied festive foodies. The keynote address was by Dickie Brennan, SoFab’s first chairman, and Emmy winner Nancylee Myatt and Butler Burdine were featured as special guests. She spoke about the relocation of the unique museum to Central City, and Burdine, current board chairman, talked about the future of the National Food & Beverage Foundation, SOFAB’s parent organization. Everyone first assembled at the New Orleans Jazz Market for the lecture and then crossed the street to the Southern Food & Beverage Museum (SoFAB) for the reception.
D.S. Steen Cane Syrup Mill, Domino Sugar Chalmette Refinery, Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, Luzianne Coffee and Tea, Rouses Markets, and Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse and Restaurant were inducted into the National Culinary Heritage Register. Fittingly, SOFAB culinary director Jyl Benson prepared tasty bites featuring products of those honorees.
Top names to know were Liz Williams, SoFAB president and director, as well as Maria Machita, emcee Mark Romig, Jimmy and Carole Steen, Jarred Zeringue, Sheila Crye, Marty Cosgrove, and Dominic Massa.
Some of their conversation also touched on the recent third annual Cirque de Cuisine French Quarter Kitchen Tour to benefit SoFAB and the 10 beautiful homes on the tour. Patrick Van Hoorebeek of Patrick’s Bar Vin was slated to pour bubbly on the front porch of Melrose Mansion and various chefs provided small taste treats.
Yet another chatty topic was the opening of Modernist Cuisine Gallery on Royal Street (in the former location of the Mann Gallery) and its Monday night reception. It was opened by Nathan Myrvhold, “one of the founders of Microsoft with Bill Gates.” Myrvhold is known for his extraordinary project of both food and photography. Click, click!