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Celebrating the Gastronomic Life


Jack Hennessy always comes up with an opener for the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin white-tie dinner. This year, le grand senechal said, "Bless this dinner in which we share a delectable cuisine beyond compare." He also implored, "May the bubbles, the whites and burgundy reds enliven our hearts, not lighten our heads."

Jerry Magnin, owner of Ralph Lauren in Beverly Hills, chaired the festivities at the Beverly Wilshire, home of the late hotelier Hernando Courtright, a Chevaliers founder. Before dinner, Magnin and William L. Martin II ( l'officier cellier of Chevaliers ) inspected the wines to be served. Grand Connetable Louis-Marc Chevignard flew in from France for the occasion to oversee with Thomas W. Trainer ( la commanderie d'Amerique ) and John H. Hadley and Hubert F. Laugharn Jr. ( la sous commanderie le Los Angeles ) the grand inductions of les candidats Robert C. Boffa, Lee Danielson, Peter J. Doumani, Clifford A. Miller, Peter W. Mullin and Nelson C. Rising. They swore "to lead a good gastronomic life."

For the night, cares were shrugged off in favor of the grape vine. Having a jolly time in La-La Land were many, including Hadley and his wife Barbara, honored for 33 years of leadership in the group. Cheering him--Roger and Billie Converse, Z. Wayne and Cynthia Griffin (down from Sun Valley) and Chevaliers Jon Masterson, John Maher, Henry Singleton, Donald Crowell, Stephen Griffith, Desmond Hinds and Daniel Ridder.

MILE HIGH: Bill Shoemaker stood a mile high for the tributes Santa Anita Park bestowed the night before "The Legend's Last Ride." Santa Anita chairman Robert Strub called the evening "a once-in-a-lifetime occasion" and spent a pretty penny to honor the Shoe.

What made it nice were all the tender kisses wife Cindy bestowed on her husband and the quips from Amanda, their 9-year-old daughter, who was one of the stars on the Ralph Edwards' "This Is Your Life" production put on at the affair for Shoemaker. Amanda appeared on stage in racing colors and broke up the audience when she commented, "When my mother and I go shopping for my dad, she always tells them he's 4 feet, 11 inches, but he's well-built in the shoulders."

Friends of Robert and Betty Strub and some greats of racing--trainer Charlie Whittingham, jockey Johnny Longden, Dr. Robert Kerlan--sparked the night along with videos of the great scenes of racing. Applauding were Frank and Margarita Kanne, and Felix and Barbara McGinnis, among others.

VITAL NEEDS: Many of the city's most prominent Catholic families turned out for Archbishop Roger M. Mahony's award dinner at the Regent Beverly Wilshire.

Anne Kenney chaired the award committee and Pamela Mullin the dinner. Honored were long-time philanthropists Sir Daniel Donohue, Mrs. G. Allan (Marian) Hancock, William Hayden, Mrs. Thomas (Dorothy) Leavey and Cyril Nigg. Hancock and Hayden were unable to attend.

Proceeds from the affair will go to DARE (the LAPD's Drug Abuse Resistance Education) in Catholic Schools and for aid to archdiocesan homeless shelters--the Long Beach Family Shelter, the Good Shepherd Center for Homeless Women and the St. Vincent de Paul Men's Center.

It was a night that called for the Los Angeles Police Department Honor Guard, the Pledge of Allegiance by L.A. Chief of Police Daryl F. Gates and songs by Vikki Carr.

KICKOFFS: Parties have been abundant to kick off major fund raising. National Medical Enterprises' chairman and CEO Richard K. Eamer were hosts of the reception at the Regency Club this week to rally support for the Senior Health & Peer Counseling Center dinner-dance in April. Eamer is chairman of the Santa Monica center's $6-million development campaign . . . .

Jimmy Stewart and Robert Wagner, who wasn't there because he was playing in the Pebble Beach golf tournament, were hosts of the celebrity cocktail party at the Hotel Bel-Air to kick off the 1990 Jimmy Stewart Relay Marathon for Saint John's Hospital and Health Center. Linda Hartwick, Jim and Mary Hesburgh, and Charles G. Cale were in the crowd . . . .

Director Franco Zeffirelli, a patron of Italian culture, has the nod to be honored by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra's Italian Renaissance Ball March 8, says co-chair Carolyn Wagner.

PAST PERFECT: The Vienna Culture Club's (and club president Robert Propst's) opera ball at the Regent Beverly Wilshire with Mayor of Vienna Dr. Helmut Zilk and his operetta-singing wife Dagmar Koller the star attractions. The night before Consul Gen. of Austria Dr. Franz Cede and his wife Anna-Maria hosted a reception at the Beverly Hills Hotel in their honor . . . .

Patrick and Geraldine Frawley's dinner with the trustees of Action on Smoking and Health at the Regent Beverly Wilshire . . . .

Bill and Eileen Zimmerman's "favorite people" open house in Pasadena.

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