NEW YEAR'S FORECAST — Cafe Society is passe, as Restaurant Society rises to new heights. It's the year of the chefs and the chef groupies. Look at the busman's holiday crowd Sunday, when Acacia Winery and Trumps co-hosted their annual Gourmet Gala. About 40 chefs provided yummy takeout and turned up with dozens of waiters to sample the others' wares and drink Acacia's wines. 385 North's Roy Yamaguchi's Shui Mai caused the major rush . . . Maggie and attorney Howard Weitzman--he's busy during work hours saving important client's cookies--are one of L.A.'s Hot Young Couples and the special kind of restaurant fan Acacia's Jerry Goldstein included, along with spiffy perennials like Joan and Jack Quinn. "Why are you here?" investment maven Fred Roberts was asked. "I am a food person," he declared, making his way from one delicacy to another among the crush of other self-defining people . . . Trumps Michael Roberts, Chinois' Kazuto Matsusaka, Primi's Pierro Selvaggio and Morton's Pam Morton all talked shop, along with wine hotshot Steve Wallace, wearing pastel argyles and accompanied by steady Sissy MacDonald. Chef Wolfgang Puck was getting quizzed about rumors of a new restaurant, but that puckish piece of Austrian pastry insisted that he was opening a massage parlor instead. Restaurant publicist Joan Luther pointed out an older man across the crowd, murmuring that he'd crashed every event she'd done for the past 10 years. The gentleman then rushed to her side, saying, "Joan, Joan. I never see you around anymore." The chefs and waiters and foodies ate sausages and goat cheese and Rita Leinwand's Mont Blanc cheesecake and all had a good time. . . During the munchies, Jackie Applebaum let it leak that she, Liz Familian and Bruce Silverman are planning a new approach to controlling the social schedule--a business called the Master Planner allowing subscribers to make sure their big fete isn't on the same night as someone else's. Knowing Applebaum, we'll hear more. . . .
RECONCILIATION?--Jerry Weintraub, the new head of the new United Artists, is busy trying to permanently heal the rift between Filmex and its offspring, American Cinemateque, headed by former Filmex head Gary Essert. Weintraub, who chairs Filmex, has been calling around town, asking folks to kiss and make up. Of course, with the big Feb. 28 bash--the Moving Picture Ball, chaired by Lynn Wasserman and Jackie Applebaum--benefiting American Cinematheque, it would be a perfect time for Weintraub to announce the happy reconciliation. . . . Wasserman and Applebaum along with Lois Howard will be holding a sneak preview of the Moving Picture Ball at tea at Max Au Triangle on Jan. 15.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS--For Jan 24, when Roger Kozberg and his Fraternity of Friends get together for a cocktail buffet and a performance of "Legends" at the Music Center. . . . For Jan 25, when the Cedars-Sinai Service League presents a daylong "Focus on Women" seminar at the Century Plaza. A wide range of women's health problems will be covered.
NEW MOVES--Rumored: An upcoming TV movie about Operation California, the international relief organization with heavy Hollywood connections. Also rumored: John Ritter will play the sidekick of Operation California's Richard Walden (a part still uncast). Hey, isn't that sidekick in real life Lew Werner?
MORE NEW MOVES--In the fund-raising biz, new ideas are always welcome. Sometimes. Take the March of Dimes Gourmet Gala Jan. 27 kick-off and press reception. Kick-offs--usually a free lunch or a reception--are an incentive for patrons to buy tickets and sponsor tables. Surprising, then, that the letter from gala chairs--Joanne Kozberg, Andrea Van de Kamp and Nancy Vreeland--invites supporters to pay $60 for the partially underwritten kick-off dinner at Spago. (The press is still free.) That means people get the chance to spend $60 on the kick-off so they can pledge $250 for each ticket to the gala, set for later in the spring. Oh, what fun it is to give money away. . . .