The Valley Line: 'Pasadena to Paris' gets Three Waiters

October 12, 2011|By Jane Napier Neely
  • Debbie Sumner chats with Dan and Cheryl Foliart at the Pasadena Museum of History. (Photo by Jim Staub)
Debbie Sumner chats with Dan and Cheryl Foliart at the…

Sultan, the cat who adopted the staff at the Pasadena Museum of History, welcomed the formally-dressed guests to the museum’s “Pasadena to Paris” benefit, which raised $105,000 in support of the museum’s educational programs on Saturday, Sept. 24.

Sultan, who has tuxedo shirt-front markings, is always ready for a party. He has a devoted group of children who come to the museum just to visit him.

It was evident from the fashions of the elegantly gowned women and tuxedo-clad men that they were loving Paris, the city of light, and la joie de vivre of the French style. The guests carefully perused the silent-auction tables that offered beautiful treasures, enticing get-aways, fabulous restaurant certificates, notable wines, and not-to-be-missed sporting memorabilia and events.

Fran Shellgren created a French-inspired buzz with the clever necklace she created for herself from wine corks, ribbons, and beads. Her husband, Don, explained that the corks were from bottles of French wines, many of them excellent vintages they had consumed in the 1960’s. Fran and Don are committed museum patrons and Fran was part of the benefit committee that was chaired by Jim Watterson, who was last year’s honoree.


Also sharing her expertise with the party committee was La Cañadan Wendy Funkhouser, who is a museum trustee. Other La Cañadans dining at her table were Jim Williams, Case Cortese and Marijane Hebert.

In between bidding on silent-auction items, chatting with friends and sipping the evening’s signature cucumber martini drink, guests were having their photos taken with Commedia dell’Arte characters Pierrot and Harlequin, who delighted in posing them within a gilded and embellished frame.

When the dinner gong sounded, party-goers meandered down the wooded pathway that borders the museum’s Feynes estate to the dining area and tables, covered in iridescent, shimmering orange cloths and bouquets of white roses. Especially lovely were the delicately etched crystal glasses that reminded me of those I had once seen in an antique shop in the Île Saint Louis neighborhood in Paris.

Dinner was prepared by Chef Joachim Splichal of the Patina Restaurant Group. It began with a heritage tomato salad, progressed to the savory entrée of Short Rib Grand Mere and finished with a divine dessert of charlotte of fresh summer peaches with rosemary coulis.

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