It will take promptness and $1,000 to be guaranteed your first choice for Art of the Palate '96. "First come, first choice," says Adrienne Horwitch, chairman.
But even laggers won't lose. Last week at the kickoff for the event at Eclipse Restaurant on Melrose, the intricacy and spectacular aspects of this delicious fund-raiser for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art were revealed. Such a dilemma. Fifty private dinners to choose from on the evenings of Sept. 26-27.
Some, like Virginia Carpenter, the museum trustee liaison for the benefit, and her husband Bud, have opted for two nights. They're signing for the Mayor Richard Riordan and Nancy Daly feast at Riordan's home (cooked up by Wolfgang Puck), as well as "Delightfully Disney," and already wondering if their dinner partners will be Mickey or Goofy.
At Eclipse, the 50 dinner hosts were in the spotlight--with major competition. Harry Winston Inc. had sent over a 43-carat diamond and three guards to illustrate how glittery this affair will be. New bride, Betty Hayman, on the arm of husband Fred Hayman was chosen to wear the bauble for the cocktail party before it was hustled back to Winston in a limo.
Who's hosting? Ginny and David Sydorick at their Bel-Air home, with a Saks Fifth Avenue fashion show and a Ferrari exhibition (David collects). Mexico's Consul Gen. Pescador Oscuna, a "Floating Fiesta" sea cruise on Bobbie Pauley Pagen's yacht. Carole and Ted Slavin at their award-winning Malibu home filled with Warhols, Grahams and Stellas. Marna and Rockwell Schnabel with "architecture on the menu" at their Frank Gehry home.
Carol and Jerry Katzman will host in their Southwest "hacienda" with choreographer Bella Lewitzky. For Argentine Ambassador Luis M. Riccheri and his wife Beatrice, it will be "A Starry Night in Buenos Aires" with tangos. Others: Judi and Gordon Davidson, "Curtain Up!" and a feast by chef Peter St. John of the Music Center. Carole and Barry Kaye, dinner and a tour of the Kaye Museum of Miniatures. More hosting are Andrea Van de Kamp, Teddy Orgell, Vikie and Ted Hariton, Joanne and Ira Kirshbaum, Sandy and Jack Terner, Barbara and William Belzberg, Peggy and Walter Grauman, Lydia and Chuck Levy, Diane and Harold Keith, Caroline Leonetti Ahmanson, Neiman Marcus with Rosemarie and Robert Stack, Diana Ho and Ted Tanaka, Harriet Chia Lin Moore and Eddie Albert, Dona and Dwight Kendall, Mary Ann and Ron Davis, Vikie and Ted Hariton, Veronica Pastel and Robert Egelston and on and on.
For the Harry Winston on Rodeo Drive black-tie affair, 20 guests will stop by the boutique to be outfitted with fabulous jewelry. It will be theirs for the night as they are driven down the street by limo and guard to Fred Hayman for a glittery dinner. Just a $500 fantasy-come-true.
Summer Romance: Nothing has been quite so romantic socially this summer as the 35th anniversary party hosted by dear hearts Joni and Clark Smith at the California Club last week. It was just like a wedding. Garlands of white flowers from Dan Klemuk on the stairway, giant bouquets of white roses on the tables. Lots of wonderful old songs--"As Time Goes By" and "Puttin' On the Ritz."
Their "I love yous" were contagious. Twirling couples paused to quiz one another on how long they had been married--Clarice and Ed Ellis, 43 years; Donna and Mike Mellenthin, 41 years.
More romantics congratulating the Smiths were Robin and Jerry Parsky, Lynn and Hugh Evans, Joan and Jack Mackey, Jane and Steve Ackerman, Linda and Don Pennell, Peggy and Walter Grauman, Audree and Stan Penton, Dorothy and John Shea, and Debbie and Terry Lanni. Among the crowd, too, were the Smiths' adult children--Stacy, Stefanie and Greg Smith.
Love in the Air: Polly and Stender Sweeney, and Pat and Bill Bedford celebrated the coming marriage of their nephew Ed Schnieders and Cheryl Congiu atop the Bedford terrace with a perfect twilight view of the San Gabriel Mountains. Ed's parents, Martha and Ed Schnieders, were among friends and family. More guests were Olin and Ann Barrett, and Nancy Jo and Clay Lindus, now of Montecito, who had some happy news too. Their daughter Stephanie Lindus, formerly of Pasadena, and now of San Francisco, is engaged.
Frani and Dan Ridder of Long Beach spread colorful tables for a picnic to celebrate the engagement of her son Jay Ackerman and Elizabeth Jefferson, both of New York. Among the many extending congratulations were Sarah and Bill York, the Ellises, Joan Gerstell, Carol and John Richards, Nancy and Arden Day, Marsha Hobbs, George and Marion Scharffenberger and Fred Gerstell.
Kudos: To the Concern Foundation and Concern II for raising nearly $700,000 for cancer research at its 22nd annual block party held at Paramount Studios' New York Street back lot. Honoree was Allen E. Paulson, breeder and owner of Cigar, the 1995 Horse of the Year. Some 2,000 partied at $300 a ticket.
Elsewhere on the Social Circuit
Plaudits: To the Wellness Community angel gala that raised $65,000 . . . To the festivities surrounding the Queen Mary's 60th Diamond Jubilee and her 1936 maiden voyage. More than $55,000 was netted for restoration of Piccadilly Circus, the ship's original first-class shopping arcade . . . To the Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center, receiving $25,000 from the Culver City Guidance Clinic Guild.
* And more: To George and Reva Graziadio, pledging $15 million to Pepperdine University's School of Business and Management. The school has been renamed the George L. Graziadio School of Business and Management. The goal is to raise an additional $10 million, making a $25-million endowment, and to form a 100-member Board of Visitors to advance the school's mission.
* Patricia Kennedy received the Gerald Arpino Angel Award after the Joffrey's final ballet at the Music Center.
* Mary Lou Loper's column is published Sundays.