There is nothing quite like summer in our great city! And one of the joys is the traditional backyard BBQ! But the "backyard" party at the home of Sandy and Roger Deromedi was anything but traditional! They hosted close to 100 Joffrey friends, family and dancers at one of the best bashes of the summer! Their estate in Lake Forest is as close to heaven as you can get--from the koi pond to the hot tub grotto, it is all built on a very grand and gracious scale. And even though it's sizable, Sandy and Roger made everyone feel right at home. The dancers were tossing each other in the pool and the food from George Jewell was divine. There was a wide selection with numerous food stations that included BBQ, scallop fajitas, caprese salad, grilled vegetables with goat cheese, pork and beans, fresh creamed corn, cole slaw, mini burgers and much, much more. The desserts were decadent with custom hot fudge sundaes and a beautiful birthday cake. Sandy and Roger didn't miss a beat and had a surprise birthday cake for Joffrey artistic director Ashley Wheater's upcoming 50th birthday. Ashley introduced all of the dancers including some of our new artists (we have eight new dancers in all for the next season!) and 10-year veterans Valerie Robin and Mauro Villanueva. Dancer Abigail Simon led the crowd in singing birthday wishes and then the dancing continued to the sounds of Garrido Productions.Happy guests included Maureen and EB Smith, Helen Melchior, photographer Herbert Migdahl, Christine Ott, Sophie Bross, Liz and Lawrence Ryan, Bryan Johnson, Marci and Ron Holzer, Julie Johnson, Marybeth Brandabur, Marina and Arnie Tatar, Joyce Wippman, Debbie Beitler and her sister Nancy Bauer, Kathy Lidbury, Patti Gerber, Barbara and David Kipper, Kathleen Klaeser, Pierre Lockett, Christopher Clinton Conway, Harriet and Irwin Ross, Liz Sharp, Pam and Russ Strobel, Heidi and David Keeling, Mary Kay and John Burke, Dora Aalbregtse, Laurie Garwood, Nancy and Stephen Bauer and her sister Debbie, Cynthia and John Pacholick, Michael Anderson, Kate Benson and Dick Johnson among many others. Happy Birthday Ashley and many thanks Sandy and Roger!!! What a GREAT party! :) Photos from top right: Ashley Wheater being feted; Fabrice Calmels, Tian Shuai, Abigail Simon, Seth Hopkins, Jonathan Dummar, April Daley and Mauro Villanueva; me with Sandy and Roger Deromedi; Ashley Wheater, Maureen Smith and Fabrice Calmels; Christine Ott, Christopher Clinton Conway and Marybeth Brandabur; the lovely Deromedi home; Helen Melchior, April Daley and Mauro Villanueva; Pierre Lockett and Sandy Deromedi; Marina Tatar, Roger Deromedi and Ernie Tatar; Sophie Bross and Liz Ryan. Click here to enjoy more photos from this fantastic fete!
Hinckley Yachts and insurance giant Marsh co-hosted a party at the Chicago Yacht Club and over 100 guests showed up in their best boating attire. It was a perfect summer night in Chicago and the lake sparkled from the windows of the Commodore Room. Kate Gaynor, senior VP of Marsh Private Solutions, gave a wonderful introduction and introduced president and CEO of Hinckley, Jim McManus. He gave a terrific presentation on the history of the company and everyone could see how passionate he is about his product. There were a few people in the crowd on this evening with serious intents to buy so after cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, we all went down to play in the boats. They had three on display but my favorite was the T38R Convertible. This runabout functioned just like a car….at the push of a button, the top goes up and down. It was very cool to see. It was even more fun when Kate and Joe Scandariato, vice president of investments for Merrill Lynch and a proud Hinckley owner, offered me the chance to take some friends out on the water for a test ride. We went for an hour and a half cruise and the city never looks more beautiful than when it is viewed from the lake-- then you can see the panoramic skyline with the sun glinting off of all of those windows and it just takes your breath away. The lake was perfect for cruising and our captain took it up to 40 knots and we were flying! It was such a thrill. Guests on the boat included Christine Ott, Marisa Bryce, Sheryl Dyer, Christina Peters and a friend, Joey Majumdar and of course, Kate. Guests at the Yacht Club party included Vicky and Gary Holdren, Dr. Steven Stryker, Kimberly Gleeson, Cindy Burns, Laura Wallace, Ed and Alison Howlett, Josh Walters, Terrence and Tiffany Chappell, Nekesa Josey, Patrick Plante, Brenda Sexton and Ken Cook among others. Great pics are by Caitlin Saville. Photos from top right: Marisa Bryce, Laura Wallace, Christine Ott, me, Cindy Burns, Kimberly Gleeson and Maralyn Owen; Jim McManus and Joe Scandariato; Kate Gaynor, Joe Scandariato and Sheryl Dyerl Laura Wallace, Chuck and Cindy Burns; Ken Cook and Brenda Sexton; me with Jim McManus and Kate Gaynor; a Hinckley yacht; Tiffany and Terrence Chappell; Kimberly Gleeson, Dr. Steven Stryker and a friend; Hector Lopez and Heidi Milby. For more photos from this evening on the lake, click here!
The dinner party was named “A Castlewood Caper” but was more like a Castlewood Dream when renowned interior designer, John Regas, opened his home for guests last week. The house was drop dead gorgeous—as all of his homes are and have been. The sleek grandeur and attention to detail is John’s hallmark….even when climbing the custom winding staircase. As soon as you step onto the first step, the pin lights come on as if by magic to light your way. The guests were instructed to wear “summer chic” attire but the evening didn’t cooperate as there was a definite chill in the air. Not to worry: John, being the ultimate host, even had matching throws to cover most of the ladies’ dresses! The floral décor by Daniel’s Discriminating Floriculture of the Palmer House, was all pale pinks and whites with big balls of flowers hanging on every pathway light. There were gorgeous pink roses encased in crystal everywhere you looked and even in the legs of a Lucite table that held the buffet! As John said, his home is a vertical one and not for anyone with a fear of stairs. There are four floors with each staircase opening up onto incredibly designed rooms with a glamorous Art Deco inspired rooftop deck. Glamorous guests included Jean Antoniou, Sheryl Dyer, Paul Iacono, Jim Smith, Hazel Barr and Warren Barr, Lynn and John McMahan, Betty and Dean Pappas, Nancy and Tim Okal, David Myers, Leslie and Scott Hodes, Greg Malinowski, Pat Benett, Rhonda Sanderson, Samantha Amato, Missy Vitale, Ken Norgan, Paul Rehder, Nicole Jacobs, Maria Pappas, Peter Kamberos, Kathy Stratton, Camille and Ed Pearl, Senya and Paul Kolpacke, Jayme Shenk, Christine and Ernie Cochanis, Susan Gohl, Kent Ottwell, Renee and Herb Schneider, Cookie Cohen, Don Poder, Pat Lauderdale and Greg Hyder among others. Photos from top right: Paul Iacono, John Regas, me and Greg Hyder; Maria Pappas, Ken Norgan and friends; Jean Antoniou, Hazel Barr and Sheryl Dyer; Paul Iacono and Rhonda Sanderson; flowers by Daniel; me with Paul Rehder and Nicole Jacob; John and Lynn McMahan; Cookie Cohen and Stuart; Christine Cochanis and Kathy Stratton with a friend; Pat Lauderdale and Don Poder. Click here for more photos from this magical evening!
Fifty fabulous women and their guests were treated to breathtaking views, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the newly opened Terrace on 16 at Trump Tower. The event was to celebrate the launch of Margot Berwin’s new summer read, Hot House Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire. This is a tale of mystery, adventure and romance surrounding the obsession of advertising executive, Lila Nova, to obtain the mysterious nine plants of desire. Her quest takes her to the rain forests of the Yucatan. Margot has already sold the film rights to Sony who has cast Julia Roberts in the leading role. Guests included Vicki and Bill Hood, Christie Hefner and Billy Marovitz, Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mickey Norton, Robin Berger, Suzanne LeMignot, Linda Johnson Rice, Susanna Negovan and Robin Robinson. This was another fantastic party produced by Brenda Sexton of Chicago Link Productions with great pics by Mitchell Canoff. Photos from top right: author Margot Berwin; Gary Gordon, Mickey Norton, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Michael Sampson; Linda Johnson Rice and Robin Berger; Susanna Negovan and Bridget Brennan. For more photos, click here!
Don’t forget these fun parties coming up! Wednesday, July 29th, please join me at the Kick-Off Party for Couture & Cocktails at Neiman Marcus. The event will be in the Zodiac Room from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and designer Pamella Roland will be there. There will be informal modeling, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. All you have to do is RSVP to Julia at 312-386-8921 and we will see you there!!! Photo: Couture & Cocktails.
Monday, August 3rd, is the annual “Day on the Terrace” fashion show and luncheon benefitting the Service Club of Chicago. It begins with cocktails on the terrace of the Peninsula at 11 a.m. followed by a fashion show in the ballroom at noon. The show will showcase 15 prestigious retailers and tickets are $150. For info, call Maria at (312) 664-8471. Photo: modeling Dismero at last year's Day on the Terrace.
CONGRATS to our own Chef Art Smith on winning the first round of Bravo’s "Top Chef Masters!" He said that cooking on this show was like “losing every ounce of my religion over worrying about dishes, time and the judges.” He competed against chefs Roy Yamaguchi, Michael Cimarusti and Jonathan Waxman. He thanked his Chicago family who “rooted him along to victory.” He had a “big” fried chicken dinner in Beverly Hills to celebrate with the CEO of Magical Elves (the producer of “Top Chef,” “Top Chef Masters,” “Project Runway” and “Top Design”) along with other great chefs. If he wins the finals, he will bring home $100,000 for his worthy charity, Common Threads!!! GOOD LUCK ART!! We’ll be watching!!! Photo: Jonathan Waxman, Roy Yamaguchi, Art Smith and Michael Cimarusti.
President Obama flew in Thursday night for some fundraising duties and even though he closed the expressway and created traffic havoc, it was a very majestic and patriotic sight to see those massive helicopters landing in the soccer field off of North Avenue. There were even secret service people in my stepson’s building at 1660 N. LaSalle! Cynthia Olsen took this pic and said the helicopter was so close, it almost skimmed the petunias on her patio! Photo: Obama's chopper.
As always, I hope you have a wonderful week and are enjoying your summer to the fullest!!!
P.S. Man-about-the-world, Patrick Plante, attended Walter Cronkite’s funeral and was seated at the luncheon following with Nancy Cronkite, Dick Cavett, Jerry Stiller and Ann Meara. I don’t think there is anyone Patrick doesn’t know!!!!