Chew on This

A dinner party of do-gooders doesn’t begin to do justice to the annual blowout that is the Food for Thought Dinner to benefit the Grow Clinic at Boston Medical Center. Held at the Mandarin Oriental, the fund-raiser ensures the clinic’s motto of “exceptional care, without exception.” The über-elegant evening began with cocktails and continued with a superb dinner and a short but sweet speaking program that never failed to tug at the heartstrings.

Front and center: fitness model Tom Potter and his adoring husband, Dan Mathieu, broker to the stars Michael Winter with his beautiful balabusta Deb Goldberg, the stunning mother/daughter duo of Joan and Amy Belkin with mack daddy Steve, newlyweds Wes and Ashley Karger and his twin, Paul (sans fiancée Pamela Vargas), banking bigshot Jeff Swartz, the delectable Randi Cutler and her adoring other half, Joel, stunning brunette Amy Fisher, the ethereal Mary Wolfson, yummy mummies Joan Rosenberg, Rachael Goldfarb and Wendy Pierce, the soignée Susan Schechter and her handsome other half, Bob, and one woman who said, “I just got back from Myanmar.”

When a friend asked if she’d bought any rubies, she answered, “No. But I did buy a bracelet made out of watermelon seeds.”

The centerpieces, meanwhile, were made from produce that will help stock the BMC’s Preventive Food Pantry, and best of all, emcee Heather Unruh promised to have everyone home in time for the 11 o’clock news, given that she had to anchor it.

The evening’s funniest exchange:

“You went to Cambridge Culinary School?”

“Only for one day.”

“Then I’m only coming over for one dinner.”

Who You Callin’ a Sugar Plum Fairy?

It was pretty much nonstop applause from the moment the curtain went up on Opening Night of Boston Ballet’s brand spanking new Nutcracker at the Opera House. One of Boston’s most beloved holiday traditions got a $3 million makeover and you could see every penny, from the jaw-dropping sets to the gem-encrusted costumes.

There to take it all in were such arts patrons and balletomanes as artistic director Mikko Nissinen and his band of merry elves (Charles Heightchew, Liz Olds, Anthony Randazzo and Shannon Parsley, to name a few), brunette bombshell Eve Rounds and her handsome husband, Jonathan, tall drink of water John Osbon and the magnificent Andrea, delectable tongue twister Pixley Schiciano and her husband, Ken, the super-suave Cedric Tonello with the delightful Tanh, party pair Stephanie Schonmetzler Loeber and the dashing Greg, Bond girl Tatiana Webb, the ubiquitous Doris Yaffe, and pretty much everybody who’s anybody, including one man who said, “The Nutcracker is really the most convoluted story ever. E.T.A. Hoffman must’ve been smoking the good s***.”

Following the performance, a raucous party was held at The Ritz-Carlton, where guests rubbed elbows (and who knows what other body parts) with members of the company, while toasting the rousing success. 

Overheard by the bar: one of the dancers joking about her costume: “It’s 3,000 Swarovski crystals so it weighs a ton, but you don’t have to wear underwear.”

Chicken Cutlets Need Not Apply

The party people and the preppy set were out in full force for the Grand Gala at the Boston Harbor Hotel’s Wharf Room.  

A fund-raiser for the newly formed Ally Institute at Rand (named after Alexandra Zapp and aimed at preventing sexual violence), the party attracted the likes of the naturally carbonated Connie Brown, attorney-at-large Caesar Belbel, the babe-a-licious Mary Chiochios, yachtsman Gregg Nourjian, all-around connoisseur Conrado Bondoc squiring the alarmingly beautiful Kim Snell, North Shore bootlegger Nelse Clark, the hale and hearty John Smiroldo with his gorgeous bride, Susane, incorrigible scamp Bill Deacon with the smoking hot Sarina Poel, custom clothier to the stars Alan Rouleau, Cheers gajillionaire Tom Kershaw, broadcasting bigmouth Jim Braude and his partner in crime Margery Eagan, and so on and so forth down the list of Boston’s biggest scenesters.

The buffet and silent auctions were amazing, the bartenders were wonderfully attentive, and the speeches were mercifully brief.

Meanwhile, it was a toss-up for the most amusing remark, between the woman who said, “If I pass out, just take off my Spanx, and the circulation should come back,” and another woman who responded to a compliment on her dress by saying, “It’s pink, and yes, my breasts are real.”