Excess is Exhilarating

Mon. May 23, 2011 12:00 AM
by Terrence Chappell

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"Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit."
- W. Somerset Maugham

I couldn't agree more Mr. Maugham! Ain't nothing wrong with a little excess here and there, especially when cocktails and openings are involved. Although William Somerset Maugham is one of England's greatest writers, if he were around today, he'd say, "Pass the tea and crumpets, I'm going to Chicago"

The Joffrey Ballet's Annual Spring Gala welcomed Chicago's jet set to an evening of dance, extravagant auctions, and fine dining – not to mention delish. Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University before the ballet performance. A huge congrats and two thumbs up to all the Joffrey dancers on a fantastic performance. Now, I'm not showing favoritism, but it must be said, and I'm sure I'm not the first to say it, but the Joffrey's lead dancer Fabrice Calmels is hot, and very talented - and actually from France! Gotta love the French. Fabrice exemplified grace and strength on stage. And I'm sure Fabrice's time on stage was one of those times where even Maugham would agree that a little exhilarating excess is in order! Guests were then whisked away in trolleys to Chicago's famous Palmer House for dinner, cocktails, and a plethora of desert platters that would even have the Pillsburry Dough Boy saying, "No more." If that wasn't enough, guests could continue the night at CS Magazine's afterparty at Mercat inside the Blackstone Hotel. Although I do appreciate and enjoy all of the work, garnishes, and special features of the Joffrey Sping gala, my absolute fave part next to the food (always a big girl at heart) are when people are on their probably sixteenth cocktail, they lose their inhibitions and image-conscious habits, and just have fun with it! Always makes for a fun time, and I always walk away with new friends.

Former Chicago Bears football player Jerry Azumah hosted his third annual signature fundraiser at Lucky Strikes to support his organization the ASAP Foundation, which provides scholarships for disadvantaged students in Massachusetts, Illinois and beyond. The evening featured celebrity bowlers including Fox Chicago's Robin Robinson, Minnesota Viking's Fred Evans,'s Kelli Zink, and a host of other notables. Per usual, Azumah's event was well attended by a number of down-to-earth tastemakers in the sports, media, and business communities. Congrats to Mr. Azumah and his wonderful staff of ladies on another successful fundraising event.

Chefs and the City is here - well at least the kick-off event was here! Chefs and The City is a big girl's ultimate utopia and its all for a good cause – Vital Bridges. Honorary chairs Candace Jordan, Amanda Puck, and Rich Varnes and chef chair Ryan Pitts of RL Restaurant welcomed some of the city's movers and shakers and their appetites to River North's newest kid on the block Tzar Ultra Lounge (215 W. Ontario ) for the event. Vital Bridges' junior committee member Lauren Stewart feels that the event was a great prelude to the main event on July 15."It is fantastic to see people supporting others no matter their situation. The generous donations made it clear that our guests believe in Vital Bridge's mission to change lives for the better." said Lauren. With an impressive specialty cocktail menu, Ford Models modeling some hot, new trends, and lights bites, this was a great place, of course to give to a worthy cause, but to also find a husband! Ryan is straight and already taken but to have a chef as a husband combined with my big girl appetite and eating habits – it would be a match made in Heaven! Be sure to mark your calendars for the main Chefs and The City event on July 15, which will feature world-renowned chefs and their best dishes to benefit Vital Bridges, which works to provide food, nutrition, housing, and other support to those affected by HIV/AIDS.

Also, be sure to mark your calendars for P.Y.G.'s next event with Equality Illinois on June 23. We have a lot of exciting things planned for the evening and you won't want to miss it!

As always, As always amusez-vous, prendre soin les uns des autres, et si vous me voyez, dire salut – bon voyage!