Sweeten the bowl
The Sugar Bowl President’s Dinner brought fans together two nights before the big game at Caesars Superdome. Teamed up to face off the Baylor Bears against the Ole Miss Rebels. The former players came out on top (21-7) in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, but a sense of “winning” permeated the competitive spirit.
“Roaring Twenties” was themed around dinner that took place on two levels of the Orpheum Theater (everyone was vaccinated). In the basement, nicknamed The Double Dealer, the thematic atmosphere imposed itself from the start. Guests raised glasses of joy looking at the retro environment. In a room reminiscent of the speakeasy, New Orleans jazz artists The ReidPool Trio played. The familiar lyrics, “Let’s fly down, let’s fly down to New Orleans.” This town is pretty with historic scenes,” became a musical complement to the visuals. As for the appeal of the taste buds, the Ralph Brenan The Catering & Events aperitifs were enjoyed with the fried oysters that flew from the waiters’ trays.
Around 7:30 p.m., the movement was upstairs toward the Orpheum’s biggest embrace, where the chairman of the Sugar Bowl committee Ralph Capitelli (joined by spouse Linda) welcomed guests from both universities, as well as those from the Southeastern and Big 12 conferences. From the stage, he thanked them for coming to Crescent City and congratulated the universities on the successes of their respective teams. He further mentioned that the Allstate Sugar Bowl game was “the first major tourist event since the pandemic began in the spring of 2020.” His closing remarks were of a safe and happy time and “spectacular play between Baylor and Ole Miss”.
The Roaring Twenties crowd rejoiced at Ralph Brennan’s Catering with a menu that began with seared crabcake over leaf lettuce, continued with braised ribs with Gulf shrimp and concluded with sliced dobergen and lemon glazed pies . The Reid Poole Trio continued to deliver a jazzy note.
Besides the Capitellis, the most well-known names and presence to watch were those of the CEO of Allstate Sugar Bowl. Jeff Hundley with Janine, Chairman-elect of the Sugar Bowl Committee Lloyd Frischhertz with Marcelle, committee secretary Dottie Reese with judge Kern Reese, President of the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) Glenn Boyce with Emily, President of Baylor University, Dr. Linda Livingston, Commissioner of the Big 12 Conference Bob Bowlsby and Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey with Kathy. Noted, too, were Peggy and Jack Laborde, Patricia and Vernon Brinson, Mark Romig and David Briggs, Oscar and Yvonne Gwin, and Andree and Jay Batt. All enjoyed the pre-match predictions – the final scores were Baylor 21 and Ole Miss 7 – and partying.
And all this jazz museum
Described and praised as a “multi-faceted event,” the recent Jazz Museum Improv Gala was a festival of music, art, exhibits, food and drink, all taking place in a historic building from Esplanade Avenue. A dazzling sound collage transformed the site into a playground of light, art and music. Outside, in the Decatur courtyard, a 30-foot lighted windmill pays homage to Paris’ iconic Moulin Rouge.
As the nearly 1,000 revelers bustled about, they enjoyed hors d’oeuvres handcrafted by 12 Seasons Catering and various libations: Beam Suntory craft cocktails, Beattie’s martini bar and Frèrejean-Taittinger champagne. The musical excitement came from a stellar collection of New Orleans performers on five stages, including corey henry and the Treme Funktet, Charmaine Neville, Gabrielle Cavassa, George Porter Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners, Gregg Stafford with Herlin Riley, Mahmoud Chouki, Detroit Brooks and others. An exclusive balcony performance featured Trumpet Mafia, accompanied by the Baby Dolls N’Awlins D’Awlins and Wild Tchoupitoulas Indians led by Big Queen. Mary K. Stevenson.
More features were the live auction led by Marc Romig and Valerie M. Grubb; lots of food from local favorites; the gala presidency of Pamela Davis Friedler and Eduardo E. Rodriguez; and the presence of the honorary co-president Randy Fertel, which landed the Clearvision fishing charter at the auction. (The honorary co-chairs could not be present Herb Alpert, Jon Batiste, Wynton Marsalis and Lieutenant Governor. Billy Nungesser.)
Other big names were the executive director of NOJM Greg Lambousy and spouse Sarah-Elizabeth Gundlach Lambousy, Shelby Russ with his wife Susanna and son Trip; Ryan Adkerson and Richard Adkerson; Rodolphe Frerejean-Taittinger with Jean-Francois Bonnete and Beatrice Germaine; and Pamela Pipes and Alton Ochsner Davis, buyer of the auction’s Viking cruise. As well, Alexa Georges and Jerry Armatis, Parker Roy, Tammy O’Shea, Scott and Janet Wilson, Nathan “Nate” and Priscilla H. Gordon, Robert and Chi-Chi Millman, Stephanie and Ryan Burks, Mark and Cheryl Hilzim, Wendy and Hank Barts, Chip Blondeau, John Pope, Chris Granger and Susan Langenhennig, Stephanie Grace, Walt Handelsman, and Pierre Boylan with David Piscola and Lisa Ramsay. Jazz was their joy.
Held at The Cannery, “Celebrating the Stars” was billed at the fundraising gala for The Good Shepherd School, which honored its graduates and the dancers and choreographers of Dancing with The Stars, a popular feature for years of the event. The customers gathered first for an hour.
The chef teamed up to curate the menu Joaquin Rodas of Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits; Chef Aaron Sanchez and cooks Miles Landrem and James Haldeman by Johnny Sanchez; and cook Dook Chase from the Dooky Chase Restaurant. Kermit Ruffins and Amanda Shaw entertainment raves rated.
The live auction generated additional excitement with attractions such as a NOLA stay (Four Seasons, National WWII Museum, Saints tickets) and a Good Shepherd School Dancing with The Stars slot machine, as well as Silent Auction attractions.
Embracing GSS’s mission to give children (many at risk or in need) everything they need from an educational perspective, the school’s President/CEO thomas moran, main Kelli Ramon, President of the council Johnny Fitzpatrick with Kristy, schools Nuria Arias and Melissa Ursin Aucoin, sheriff of the parish of Orléans Marlin Gusman, and the Rev. Ajani Gibson.
As well, Jerry and Mary Beth Lobrano, Ron and Cindy Paulin, Alphonse Smith, Ryan and Theresa Truxillo, Harry and Claire Stahel, Tim Bennett, Gary and Carolyn Lorio, Guy and Gina Iserman, Stephen and Keenan Romig, John and Deborah Blancher, Craig and Danna The cousins, the Rev. Colm Cahill, Jason and Vanessa Schneider, Tania Hahn, Denise Redmann and Bill Hoffman, and Richard and Anna Thompson. Their surname recalls that of the late Reverend Harry Tompson, SJ, the founder and inspirer of the school.