Eclectic Worldly Flavors

Cuisine inspired by international artists who will appear at the Eclectic Orange Festival was served up Tuesday at a bash celebrating a new support group of the Philharmonic Society of Orange County.

Guests sampled bratwurst (a nod to the Berlin Philharmonic), dim sum (a salute to Oscar-winning "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" composer Tan Dun) and French pastries (evoked by Rameau's comic opera "Platee").

Dubbed Friends of the Festival, support group members pay a minimum $1,000 annually to help underwrite the fall festival staged at venues including the Orange County Performing Arts Center and the Irvine Barclay Theatre. Shala Shashani Lutz is chairwoman.

"We're planning to establish Friends' groups in Los Angeles, New York and London," philharmonic executive director Dean Corey said during the party at the Newport Coast home of Mary Kay and Louis VanderMolen. "A festival with international participants opens up worldwide possibilities."

On June 8, philharmonic supporters joined with boosters of the Boys & Girls Club of Capistrano Valley to view treasures ranging from Victorian-era cameos to chopping blocks from Cardiff at the benefit launch of the two-day Laguna Antiques & Garden Show. Sipping lemon drop martinis--a vodka, sweet and sour, lime juice combo garnished with a lemon candy--and sampling fare from local restaurants, about 500 people visited with antiques dealers who'd set up their wares on the garden-lined pathways of the Laguna Design Center.

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