Tuesday, February 25, 2014



Photo: Past Krewe of Cork Queen Margarita Bergen #mardigras #kreweofcork

Carnival Time is upon us and as such we celebrate. And, for me, last week - the first week before the huge parades begin - is my Mardi Gras!

The Royal Sonesta's Round Table Luncheon that I had the pleasure of hosting was indeed a very festive one. It was dedicated to the Carnival season 2014, and featured as entertainers were comedian/actress Becky Allen, Al "Carnival Time" Johnson and talented Jim Walpole on the piano. It was fabulous. The speakers were Entertainer/Entrepreneur Carl Mack; Sandy Simpson of the new Krewe of Nyx; Mary Katherine Lonatro-Tusa, former Captain of the Krewe of Shangri-La; and Chad Crespo with the Krewe of Barkus. They made the luncheon a lot of fun. The food and the wines were delicious. Chef John Folse of John Folse Culinary Institute
soid=1109091349211&aid=PN3Vl6ubkPQ. (see menu at the end of the blog)

Our next Round Table Luncheon  will be on March 12, see below at the calendar for some details.  I will keep you posted. It is going to be a very exciting one. Round Table Luncheon Salutes Mardi Gras 2014 (19 photos)https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151855428900870.1073742186.581200869&type=1&l=7b769f8214

Al “Carnival Time” Johnson, Becky Allen, Carl Mack, Mary Katherine Lonatro-Tusa, Chad Crespo, Sandy Simpson, Jim Walpole, Janice Guido, and hostess Margarita Bergen 
Photo: Darlings, wanted to share this lovely photo of Entertainers and Speakers at  the February Royal Sonesta Hotel New Orleans' Round Table Luncheon saluting Mardi Gras 2014 Al “Carnival Time” Johnson, Becky Allen, Carl Mack, Mary Katherine Lonatro-Tusa, Chad Crespo, Sandy Simpson, Jim Walpole, Janice Guido, and hostess Margarita Bergen

That evening, I was looking forward to attending the annual Historic New Orleans Collection's free concert with the LPO at the historic St. Louis Cathedral:

Postcards from Paris with the LPO (11 photos)

The HNOC's “Postcards from Paris” with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra at St 
Louis Cathedral was superb. This was the eighth installment of “Musical Louisiana: America’s Cultural Heritage” at the Cathedral. Selections for this year’s concert explored the rich cultural and musical connections between France and Louisiana, including compositions by Ernest Guiraud, Frédéric Chopin and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In addition, a trio featuring Dr. Michael White performed his arrangement of Sidney Bechet’s “Petite Fleur,” and the orchestra closed the concert with George Gershwin’s “An American in Paris.” Nicholas Carter, resident conductor of the Hamburg State Opera, was the conductor.
Photo: Janet Daley Duval narrating the program

On Thursday, it was time for me to attend the annual "Meet and Greet Party, at the Hotel Mazarin, for the Krewe of Cork. This year’s Grand Marshal was my darling friend George Sandeman of Sandeman Port and the 2014 Queen was Amy Borrell

The following morning it was time for the annual Krewe of  Cork to play  Past Queen II and X. Mother Nature blessed us with the most glorious weather for the 2014 Krewe of Cork parade throughout the French Quarter. As Queen II and X, my day started early by attending the delicious Queen's Royal Champagne Breakfast hosted by Queen of Cork 2014, Amy Carol Borrell at Vacherie Restaurant at 827 Toulouse. Carrying Duchess Chiquita was made easier when I hired and decorated a pedicab. Grand Marshal George Sandeman and Queen Amy, the perennial King Patrick van Hoorebeek , the Captain, the Royal Coordinator and the officers lined up with the krewe in front of Court of Two Sisters on Royal Street and paraded through the French Quarter. Members paraded in wine- and grape-related costumes during an all-day affair that includes lunch, a brass band, an evening party and plenty of wine and my case of champagne.
My King, our Queen and our Royal Coordinator Gillian Pierce
Krewe of Cork King Patrick van Hoorebeek 

I was toasted at the end of the day and did not make it to the annual Krewe of Barkus Parade Party at the Windsor Court. 

Later on Saturday at the urging of my friends, I decided that just because I was stressed out, Duchess Chiquita Linda needed to continue her tradition of being a Duchess in the Mystic Krewe of Barkus. Thanks to my darling friend, Gregory Curtis, President of Barkus and the Windsor Court for sponsoring her and for the words of encouragement from my darling friend Matt Rinard, the official artist of the Krewe of Barkus, I found the strength and the inspiration to parade as a Swamp Goddess along with Duchess Chiquita all dressed up as a “Dogzilla.” 
“DOGZILLA – Barkus Licks the Crescent City”


Rain did not stop our fun. We sure got wet but thanks to the pedicab that I hired to protect our feathers and my big hair, we had a ball as seen in the photo byEliot Kamenitz of The New Orleans Advocate  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151861435310870.1073742191.581200869&type=1&l=2806489d3f

Darlings,congratulations are in order: the Krewe of Muses announced that Julia Reed, contributing editor at Elle Decor and Garden & Gun magazine, will serve as the Krewe's Honorary Muse. Reed also contributes to The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, and The New York Times, as well as to the websites Taigan.com and wowOwow.com. She is a frequent guest on MSNBC.

Congratulations as well :he Jefferson Performing Arts Society floored the judges at the National Performing Arts Festival in Orlando over the weekend with their pitch-perfect performance of "Shrek the Musical," winning the Judges' Choice award and earning the chance to perform for the Disney public at large Sunday evening.
With about 80 fans from their home state of Louisiana in attendance, the middle-school stars brought home a trove of awards from Disney World, including Best Choreography, five Outstanding Performance Awards and the Judge's Choice. As a result, they were awarded the chance to perform their number "What's Up Duloc?" for a crowd of thousands on a stage in the Magic Kingdom.

As you know, all the big parades will be rolling, starting this week, including Wednesday with Krewe of Nyx, on Thursday the Krewe of Muses among others.

On the Friday before Mardi Gras, February 28, at 10:00 a.m., the Royal Sonesta Hotel officially kicks off the big Carnival weekend in the French Quarter with the 44th Annual “Greasing of the Poles.” This year’s celebrity-studded event features dazzling performers, a spirited dance group, Carnival royalty, a jazz band and, of course, a whole lot of petroleum jelly. All the action takes place street-side in front of the Royal Sonesta Hotel’s main entrance at 300 Bourbon Street.
The 'Greasing of the Poles' ceremony embraces the free spirit of the Mardi Gras season. The annual spectacle unfolds street side before hundreds of cheering revelers that converge upon world- famous Bourbon Street. The Royal Sonesta Hotel originated this long-standing carnival tradition of greasing the support poles as a practical means to deter over-zealous revelers from shimmying up to the coveted balcony space above. Forty-four years later, this practice has
evolved into a unique star-studded event that has even spawned its very own international fan club that hails from Switzerland for the event each year. Greasing of the Poles is a celebration that kicks off the final big carnival weekend in New Orleans and it's a party that should simply not be missed. For prime viewing, revelers should plan to arrive early! See calendar below for all the details. 

Have a wonderful Carnival Season 2014!

Tuesday, February 25
Octavia Books presents author Lincoln Paine- signing and reading  SEA & CIVILIZATION
A Maritime History of the World

A monumental retelling of world history through the lens of maritime enterprise, revealing in breathtaking depth how people first came into contact with one another by ocean and river, lake and stream, and how goods, languages, religions, and entire cultures spread across and along the world's waterways, bringing together civilizations and defining what makes us most human. 6 P.M.
He is a New Orleans native living in Portland, Maine, with his wife, Allison. Their daughters happen to be named for ships.
 Octavia Books,513 Octavia Street,504-899-READ (7323);octaviabooks.com


Feb. 26. Krewe of Ancient Druids. Uptown, New Orleans.
Feb. 26. Krewe of Nyx. Uptown, New Orleans
Feb. 27. Knights of Babylon. Uptown, New Orleans.
Feb. 27. Krewe of Muses. Uptown, New Orleans.
Feb. 27. Knights of Chaos. Uptown, New Orleans.
Feb. 28. Krewe of Hermes. Uptown, New Orleans.
Feb. 28. Krewe d'Etat. Uptown, New Orleans.
Feb. 28. Krewe of Selene. Slidell.
Feb. 28. Krewe of Centurions. Metairie.
Feb. 28. Krewe of Lyra. Covington.
Feb. 28. Krewe of Morpheus. Uptown, New Orleans.

March 1. Krewe of NOMTOC. West Bank, New Orleans.
March 1. Krewe of Iris. Uptown, New Orleans.
March 1. Krewe of Tucks. Uptown, New Orleans.
March 1. Krewe of Endymion. Mid-City, New Orleans.
March 1. Krewe of Isis. Metairie.
March 2. Krewe of Okeanos. Uptown, New Orleans.
March 2. Krewe of Mid-City. Uptown, New Orleans.
March 2. Krewe of Thoth. Uptown, New Orleans.
March 2. Krewe of Bacchus. Uptown, New Orleans.
March 2. Krewe of Napoleon. Metairie.
March 3. Krewe of Proteus. Uptown, New Orleans.
March 3. Krewe of Orpheus. Uptown, New Orleans.
March 3. Krewe of Hera. Metairie.
March 3. Krewe of Zeus. Metairie.
March 4. Krewe of Zulu. Uptown, New Orleans.
March 4. Krewe of Rex. Uptown, New Orleans.
March 4. Krewe of Grela. West Bank.
March 4. Krewe of Argus. Metairie.
March 4. Krewe of Elks Orleans. Uptown, New Orleans.
March 4. Krewe of Crescent City. Uptown, New Orleans.
March 4. Krewe of Elks Jefferson. Metairie.
March 4. Krewe of Jefferson. Metairie.
March 4. Societe de Ste. Anne. French Quarter, New Orleans
March 4. Krewe de Lune. French Quarter, New Orleans.
March 4. Mondo Cayo. French Quarter, New Orleans.

February 27
Gentilly Records is pleased to release Tim Laughlin's latest CD,

                      "The Trio Collection, Vol 1"
 Tim laughlin
Thursday, Feb 27  The Palm Court Jazz Café 8-11pm -1204 Decatur St. 
For a complete schedule, visit www.timlaughlin.com
 The Glambeaux and the Krewe of Muses 
Announce Debut March Of First Ever 
All-Female Flambeaux Troupe
"These Girls Are on Fire"

New Orleans, LA.... The Glambeaux and the Krewe of Muses are proud to announce the debut march of the first ever all-female flambeaux troupe. The Glambeaux will parade with Muses on Thursday, February 27th, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. 

Unlike any other torch bearers, the 24-member all-lady group, ranging in age from 25-to 43-years-old, will be fully costumed in fire colors and wielding their torches to a choreographed soundtrack. 

Glambeaux Captain Dani Johnson came up with the idea of an all-female flambeaux troupe while watching last year's Krewe of Muses parade.  "I was inspired by the Muses, the costumed marching groups, the beautiful floats, the artistry and authenticity of the parade. One of the flambeaux carriers was stopped in front of where I was standing, and I asked if he had ever paraded with a woman and did he think that women could physically carry and handle a flambeaux. His answer was yes, and that was the beginning of the Glambeaux," said Johnson.

Muses Captain Staci Rosenberg said, "Glambeaux Captain Dani Johnson reached out to me and shared her idea for a new marching group and I knew immediately it would be a perfect fit for the Muses. The Glambeaux are going to be another Muse parade goer favorite. Muses is thrilled to have this creative, committed, and community-minded group of ladies join us."    

All tips that the Glambeaux receive along the route from parade goers will be donated to a non-profit organization. The Glambeaux have selected Women with a Vision as their 2014 non-profit recipient.  The mission of Women with a Vision is to improve the lives of marginalized women, their families, and the community, by addressing the social conditions that hinder their health and well-being. 

Beginning February 14th and running through Mardi Gras, two local restaurants will feature a signature cocktail commemorating the group's inaugural year. The "Glambeaux Punch," created by Glambeaux members Christine Jeanine Nielsen and Kimberly Patton-Bragg, will be on the menus at Lucky Rooster and Tivoli and Lee.  One dollar from the sale of each cocktail will benefit Women with a Vision. The Glambeaux are hosting a happy hour at Lucky Rooster on February 19th from 3:00-6:00pm, and the Glambeaux Punch will be sold by Tivoli and Lee outdoors on the parade route at Lee Circle throughout the Mardi Gras season.

Friday February 28th - 10:00 a.m. Sharp 
Royal Sonesta Hotel New Orleans
44th Annual Greasing of the Poles Friday February 28th - 10:00 a.m. Sharp
 300 Bourbon Street
 44th Annual “Greasing of the Poles.” This year’s celebrity-studded event features dazzling performers, a spirited dance group, Carnival royalty, a jazz band and, of course, a whole lot of petroleum jelly. All the action takes place street-side in front of the Royal Sonesta Hotel’s main entrance at 300 Bourbon Street.
Burlesque vixen Trixie Minx and three members of her Fleur de Tease ensemble will vie for the title of “Best Greasing Performance of 2014” before a panel of celebrity judges “Dancing with the Stars” style. The winner gains bragging rights for an entire year and a trophy for the “Best Greasing Performance.” The audience also has a voice and a chance to cast their vote for their favorite performance and the winner walks away with the “People’s Choice Award.”
This year’s celebrity panel of judges may give “American Idol” a run for their money. Restaurant R’evolution’s Executive Chef John Folse, a Louisiana treasure who wrote The Encyclopedia of Cajun and Creole Cuisine, certainly knows a thing or two about heating things up. A national touring comedian and talented creative writer, local funny girl Jodi Borrello will have the audience in stitches. Finally, Malcolm Jenkins, #26 for the New Orleans Saints and Founder and Chairman of the Malcolm Jenkins Foundation, will look dapper sporting a bowtie from his own line, Rock Avenue Bow Ties. These three notables will have one tough job selecting which “Greaser” takes home the gold!
Award-winning actor, author and New Orleans native Bryan Batt will attempt to tame all of the chaos as this year’s Celebrity Master of Ceremonies. Best known for his recurring role in the popular AMC series “Mad Men,” Bryan has held numerous starring roles both on the stage, as well as in film and television. He and his partner Tom Cianfichi live in New Orleans and own Hazelnut, a stylish home décor and furnishings boutique along the hip Magazine Street corridor. With Batt at the helm, Broadway comes to Bourbon.
The legendary jazz-trumpeter and prominent figure on the New Orleans music scene, Leroy Jones will lead his Original Hurricane Brass Band to kick things up a notch with music that captures the Mardi Gras spirit. Always a crowd favorite, Jones and his band have performed in every major US city and internationally on virtually every continent. Locally, his music may be enjoyed at the legendary Preservation Hall and occasionally gracing the stage at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse. He is a popular attraction at the annual French Quarter Festival and a fixture at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Everyone’s favorite all-female marching group, the Pussyfooters of New Orleans, will make a special appearance when they open the show with a brand new choreographed number for this year’s Greasing. Members of the New Orleans Saintsations along with mascots Sir Saint and Gumbo will join in the fun to cheer our Greasing competitors on to victory!
Bowing to a royal greasing tradition, the Royal Sonesta’s President and General Manager Alfred Groos will play host to the 2014 King of Zulu, Garren Mims Sr. and his beautiful Queen Georgette Mims. The royal couple and their entourage will be honored with a formal champagne toast that kicks off the greasing presentation. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to view Zulu Royalty up close before they parade through the streets of New Orleans on Mardi Gras day.

Friday, February 28

10am - 6pm

Decatur & Dumaine
Find handmade masks by artisans from around the country who converge at the French Market for this annual event.  It's the perfect place to GET YOUR MARDI GRAS ON!
Dantes Masquerade
Deesquise from N'wallins
Fantasy Technicians
Feathers for Pleasure
Horns a Plenty
Kabuki Designs
Liz Blaz Masks
Masque Man
Mask Parade by Vincent Ur
Mr. Hide Leather by Richard Thompson
New Orleans Masks
Royal Rags
Semmerling & Schaefer Mask Studios
SLS Masks
The Trapp Sisters
Wendy Drolma Masks
Stage at Dutch Alley Performance Pavilion at St. Phillip Street/Decatur

Saturday, March 1
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.                The Wild Tchoupitoulas and the Uptown Rulers
2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.                 101 Runners (Mardi Gras Indian Funk)
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.                  Royal Rounders featuring Jerry Jumonville & Freddie Staehle
Sunday, March 2
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.             The Daddy-O Brothers featuring Al (Carnival Time) Johnson
1:00 p.m. -2:00 p.m.                    Navy Band New Orleans - Crescent City Krewe
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.                 Gina Brown
Monday, March 3
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.                 Hot 8 Brass Band
2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.                  MoJEAUX
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.                  The Wiseguys

Gazebo Café - Bloody Mary's and Beer
Joe T's Café - Rib  or Chicken Plates w/ Bake Macaroni & Peas, Sausage on Bun (Green Onion, Polish and Smoked Sausage) and Bread Pudding
Fil-Asian Kitchen - Chicken or Shrimp on a Stick, Shrimp Po-Boy, Seafood Pistolletes and Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
John's Place - Okra Seafood Gumbo, Chicken & Andouille Sausage Gumbo, Crawfish Etouffee, Alligator Sausage Stew and Shrimp Creole 
Tuesday, March 4 - HAPPY MARDI GRAS 2014

TUESDAY,  MARCH 11 -2014
Mad Hatter's Luncheon and Fashion Show
March 11 @ 10:30 am - 2:00 pm | $85 Reserved Seating / $100 Premium Seating / $1000 Premium Table of Ten
The Women's Guild of the New Orleans Opera Association invites you to celebrate"Alice's 30th Un-Birthday Party"Mad Hatter's Luncheon 
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Down the Rabbit Hole to the New Orleans Hilton Riverside
Saks Fifth Avenue presents
The Best Men and Women's Collection for Spring 2014

10:30 am - Doors Open to Alice's World
11:00 am - Hat Contest and Judging by Local Celebrities
12:00 pm - Fashions by Saks Fifth Avenue
Luncheon to follow
Wonderland Board / Silent and Hat Auctions
Benefiting the New Orleans Opera Association & its Youth Education Program.
Bonnie Warren -"New Orleans Historic Homes" - published by Pelican Publishing Company - is truly a unique collection of 41 historic homes from throughout New Orleans. It includes grand mansion in the Garden District and charming single shotgun homes in the Marigny and Pigeon Town neighborhoods. Cheryl Gerber's beautiful photographs make the book a visual treat. As a writer about homes in New Orleans for over forty years, the book mirrors my love of our treasured historic homes. Tony Chauveaux ,Executive Director.of Longue Vue Gardens
Entertainment by Conductor Paul Mauffrey  who will perform excepts from - 120-YEAR-OLD LOST OPERA  Tabasco.  Conductor Paul Mauffray to Revive Historic "Tabasco" Opera for One Night Only -- On Saturday, March 15th - for the
 first time in nearly 120 years - excerpts from the "Tabasco" opera, a lighthearted comedic operetta last performed on a nationwide tour in
 1894, will be revived by native son and conductor Paul Mauffray at Trinity Church at 6 p.m. More details will follow regarding speakers. 
The luncheon is $50 inclusive with advance reservations or $55 at the door. Parking in the Royal Sonesta garage will be validated. For reservations call Noel Scallan at 504-553-2220 or email her at nscallan@sonesta.com.

The Chef John Folse Culinary Institute
Presents Its Inaugural
Dinner of the Century
President James Madison and Mrs. Dolley Madison
request the pleasure of your company
at a dinner in celebration of 
the 200th anniversary of
"Defence of Fort McHenry"
a poem by
Francis Scott Key
Sunday March 23rd 2014
Six o'clock in the evening
The Grand Ballroom
Royal Sonesta Hotel
300 Bourbon Street
New Orleans

Formal Attire
Click here for Ticket Information
Mrs. Madison's "Squeeze" Reception 
Hors d'oeuvres
presented by chefs Brian Landry, Borgne; Tenney Flynn, GW Fins; Stephen Stryjewski, Cochon; Slade and Allison Rushing, MiLa; Michael Gulotta, MoPho and faculty and students of the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute

Bisque of Turtle with Madeira
presented by Chef Tory McPhail, Commander's Palace

Field Greens, Corn and Almonds with Cranberry Vinaigrette
presented by Chef Frank Brigtsen, Brigtsen's Restaurant
Lamb Parcel, Potato and Parsnip Purée with Sauce Périgueux
presented by Chef Chris Lusk, Restaurant R'evolution
Traditional Cap Loaf
presented by Chef Susan Spicer, Bayona
Spiced Rum Peach Cobbler with Vanilla Ice Cream
presented by Chef David Harris, Chef John Folse & Company
After Dinner Treats
presented by the faculty and students of the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute
Tickets$200 Per Patron (Tables seat 10)
For your convenience, hotel rooms at The Royal Sonestawill be available for event guests at a special "Dinner of the Century" rate of $149.  Please contact Daniel at 
504-553-2238 to make arrangements.  Onsite parking available for $10 at the Conti Street entrance.

You are eligible for a $125 tax deductible 
donation with the purchase of a ticket.

For additional information, call the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at 985-449-7114, or send an email toveronica.veillion@nicholls.edu.