Soirée de Charité à Noël

Missives from the jet set

Rabih R. Jaber, Jacques Pépin and Dean J. Lynch at Soirée de Charité à Noël.

Food, Glorious Food

Being part of a social organization dating back to 1248 has a certain historical appeal, but when its raison d’etre is the enjoyment of superb food and wine, it takes on an undeniable sex appeal.

The Boston chapter (or “bailliage”) of the international Chaîne de Rotîsseurs—a gastronomic society originally founded as a guild of goose roasters to King Louis IX—held its Soirée de Charité à Noël to raise money for the Greater Boston Food Bank and to honor legendary chef Jacques Pépin.

The evening, held at the Omni Parker House, began with some formalities that included an induction ceremony, the conferring of lots of shiny medals and fancy-sounding titles and the attendant photographs, which were blessedly leavened by ample Champagne and delicious little nibbly things.

Ron Savenor, Amanda Savenor and Marshall Berenson at Soirée de Charité à Noël.

Tracy Chang, Gerard Tice and Lydia Shire at Soirée de Charité à Noël.

During the reception that followed, a few guests nipped downstairs to the bar for a martini or two, one of them saying, “I need vodka to be my best self,” while a particularly handsome gent manning the raw bar prompted one guest to say, “Who’s the hot shucker?” To which the response was, “I don’t know, but I’d shuck him.”

Next came the main event: a sumptuous seated dinner prepared by chefs Lydia Shire, Tracy Chang and Gerard Tice. Spotted tying on the feed bag: grand pooh-bah Marshall Berenson and his stunning other half, Kathy, broadcasting legend Oedipus with his flawless wife, Amy Hyson, Boston’s answer to Martha Stewart, Liz Georgantas, and her lucky duck, Peter, Beacon Hellions Bruce and Chessy Wheeler, real estate scion Todd Saunders, Taj general manager Carlos Bueno, honoree and legendary restaurateur Charles Doulos, junior socialite Jennifer Poveromo and epicurean purveyor Ron Savenor, to whom someone said, “I love your big, beautiful meat.”

One couple who were leaving from the dinner to fly directly to Europe on a private jet seemed to be dawdling a bit and, when someone asked if it wasn’t rude to keep the plane waiting, the wife said, “I’ll tell you what’s rude. Eating Mexican food before an 8-hour flight.”

However, the evening’s funniest comment was: “I go to Zurich sometimes, just to pet my money.” ◆

Avez-vous dish? Dirt? A spectacular social occasion? Call J.S. at 617-859-1400, ext. 303, or send an email to

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