Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Toast to New Orleans June 23-29: Lazarus Project 's 30th Anniversary and more.....


I hope you had a lovely Father's Day with your loved ones. I miss my father - Don Lorenzo Bergen, as he was called. He was a loving, generous, cultured father.  I lost him when I was 11 years old. I was the product of a May-December marriage. My mother was 30 when I was born and my father was 60. In his honor I invited my brother Lorenzo to a luncheon and we enjoyed reminiscing about our beloved Papa. May his soul rest in peace.

This past week was another incredible social whirl for me. I started my social week on Tuesday, when I went to a brief sojourn to the beautiful Houmas House Plantations and Garden where affable host, Kevin Kelly, extended his Southern hospitality to Duchess Chiquita Bergen and my guest speaker for the Round Table Luncheon, award winning writer-humorist, Verna Gates

I just LOVE this magical place! Waking up and seeing the beauty of nature and all its splendor was a real treat. The accommodations were superb, as well as the tasting of  nine different dishes for dinner and a yummy Southern breakfast that included grits, grillades and delicious fig preserves. After the well-deserved rest, I was ready to return home and get ready for the big 10th year anniversary of the Round Table Luncheon at Antoine's.
The 10th Anniversary Round Table Luncheon at Antoine's was a big success. I was expecting and set up for 80 people and over 100 showed up. As in the past, the entertaining by Becky Allen, Jim Walpole, Marshall Harris and Ms. Dorothy Parker (talented "Wit and Wrath" star "Miss Claudia" Baumgarten) and the guest speaker, award winner journalist Verna Gates made it a very enjoyable celebration. Verna was the guest speaker at my very first luncheon in August 2005 and she came all the way down from Birmingham to be there. The food was delicious, as well as the champagne that I provided, and the ambience of just being in historic and world-renowned Antoine’s added immensely to the festive occasion.
Please put in your calendar that the next one will be on Wednesday, July in honor of the Tales of the Cocktail at Antoine's s.  I am taking reservation at 504-495-9181. Cocktail to Toast a Tales of the Cocktail.

On Thursday, there was a myriad of social gatherings. The Consulate of Mexico in New Orleans presented in collaboration with the Photo Alliance of New Orleans the photographic exhibition “EL VIAJERO ” by my talented darling friend  Owen Murphy. I was invited to the opening of the lovely ALOFT New Orleans Downtown on Baronne Street. Immediately after, I attended the 2nd Annual King of Crawfish at the Chicory. It was presented by the Louisiana Restaurant Association. It was delicious and the libations and wines were superb.

On Friday, I did not miss the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the long-awaited Jefferson Performing Art Center. Congratulations to my darling friends, Dennis Assaf and Hannah Cunningham, on finally seeing their dream of a performance hall in Jefferson Parish coming to fruition.https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152791553725870.1073742479.581200869&type=1&l=d76d613ab8

On Saturday I attended the second annual Ogden Museum of Southern Art's Magnolia Ball and it was lovely. The culinary delights and the decadent libations added to the experience. The Magnolia Ball honored talented Candy Chang. This talented Taiwanese-American artist re-imagines the city and the role of the public realm to help us make sense of our communities and ourselves. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152795126490870.1073742480.581200869&type=1&l=2c8c498df1

Darlings, the reception for the wedding of Lauren Dellinger to Richard Bryant LaPoint at the Aquarium of the Americas was spectacular. I am sorry I had to miss the wedding at Trinity Episcopal Church but I heard it was beautiful. I have known Lauren since she was a young teenager and have seen her grow into a beautiful lady She looked beautiful as she entered her new life as Mrs. Lauren La Point. I am so proud of her! Her proud mother, my darling friend Gayle Dellinger, sporting a spectacular green dress, looked beautiful. Wedding of Lauren Dellinger to Richard Bryant LaPoint.https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152795196950870.1073742481.581200869&type=1&l=4bbf63d630

I have never been to a wedding at the Aquarium but it was a great venue. One of the highlights of my evening was seeing my darling old-time friend, Jon Teeuwissen, former director of the New Orleans Ballet Association. Congratulations to Terry Cambise who was the wedding coordinator.
I concluded my week by attending the performance of Derek and Julianne Hough, stars of “Dancing with the Stars,” at the beautiful Saenger Theater. Derek and Julianne's performance was spectacular. I loved it and it was refreshing to see the talents of the Hough sibling. I must confess that I was extremely disappointed that I did not get to meet Derek. It seems that there was, unknown to me, a ticketed "Meet and Greet" and I did not have a ticket.  Oh well; being in the press corps did not help me so I was very disappointed, but I took a lot of photos of their performance.

This coming week is going to be an exciting one but before I share the upcoming events, I want to express my deepest sympathies to the families of two pillars of the Artist/Cultural Community who departed from us this past week.

The talents we lost were those of Harold Battiste in music and Harold Baquet in photography. Harold Battiste, who was 83,spent more than 50 years in the music industry as a performer, composer, arranger, producer, educator, and jazz ambassador. He flourished in the jazz, blues, R&B and pop scenes and was the creative force behind 10 Gold Records, including Sam Cooke's "You Send Me," Barbara George's "I Know (You Don't Love Me No More)" and Joe Jones' "You Talk Too Much." He also helped launch the careers of Sonny & Cher, for whom he served as music director on their TV show. His biography, “Unfinished Blues: Memories of a New Orleans Music Man,” was published by the Historic New Orleans Collection in 2010.
Harold Baquet, 56, was one of New Orleans’ most prolific photographers with an archive of hundreds of thousands of images visually documenting life in New Orleans through its people and culture. He was the official photographer for Mayors Dutch Morial and Sidney Barthelemy and for Loyola University from 1989 through last year. His photos appeared in dozens of local, national and international publications, including a famous picture he shot of Wynton Marsalis meeting Miles Davis for the first time. Along with his wife, noted local publicist and political campaign advisor, Cheron Brylski, Harold published a collection of his photos of Hurricane Katrina destruction from ten years ago titled “In the Blink of an Eye: Photographic Memories of a New Orleans No More.” As a person Harold was humble, affable and well-loved by all who knew him.
Harold Baquet’s funeral will be held on Wednesday, June 24 at noon in the Holy Name of Jesus Church on the Loyola University campus. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to noon. A reception will be held on campus following the service, to which the public is invited.
A service in Harold Battiste's memory is scheduled for Thursday, June 25, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Christian Unity Baptist Church, 1700 Conti Street. 
New Orleans is going to miss these two great men. Condolences go out to all members of their families.
Among the many  social events that I am looking forward to attending this week,  I hope I will be able to attend, on Wednesday, June 24, the 4th annual Gold Medal Chefs Gala that benefits the  Louisiana Hospitality Foundation at the  Hilton New Orleans Riverside. The annual event features a five-course dinner by Louisiana celebrity chefs and an awards ceremony to honor those in the industry who have made a significant impact on the lives of others. The Louisiana Hospitality Foundation works to improve the hospitality industry through education, health and social welfare of children in the community.

On Thursday, June 25, The Project Lazarus’ 30-Year Anniversary Gala is one soiree that I do not like to miss. The Project Lazarus Annual Guardian Angel Award Gala is a special opportunity to celebrate the contributions of the Project’s most incredible friends and supporters. The spectacular event features a cocktail hour, an elegant three-course meal, an awards ceremony and a high-end live auction.
This year, Project Lazarus celebrates the three decade milestone with the 30-Year Anniversary Gala, which will be held in place of the Annual Guardian Angel Award Gala. The Archdiocese of New Orleans will be honored for their efforts in opening the Project’s doors and sustaining their work. Contact Steve Rivera for more information, srivera@projectlazarus.net or (504) 949-3609 x505.
On Sunday, June 28, Jefferson Performing Arts Society is presenting a recital by pianist Peter Collins at 3 p.m. at St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church (State Street and St. Charles Avenue). Peter, a longtime music professor at Missouri State University, is a New Orleans native who often returns to the city he still calls home and presents wonderful concerts. The recital is free and he will play selected works by Mozart, Debussy and Chopin.
And, finally, I must put in a pitch for my darling friend, Jose Torres Tama, who is presenting the third installment of his six-part series, “Teatro Sin Fronteras” (Theatre Without Borders), on Tuesday, June 30. Jose, as master of ceremonies, will perform solo pieces that emphasize the plight of recent Hispanic immigrants to our city. Other talented Hispanic performers and visual artists will be sharing the stage as well.
The performance will be at the Old Marquer Theatre, St. Claude and St. Roch avenues, and is free and open to the public. You can read more about it in this Thursday’s New Orleans Advocate’s BEAUCOUP arts and entertainment magazine, which is also posted online Wednesday evening.
Darlings, have a wonderful week and save some energy for next week when we will celebrate the 4th of July.

I just received this article published in today BizNewOrleans. by Bonnie warren. I am honored . Nice article, Margarita Bergen!
And her somewhat movie star style


Chamber After 5 is One Week Away!

Oceana Logo web 

Thursday, June 25, 2015
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Oceana Grill
739 Conti St.
(click address for map)
Event will be on 2nd Floor 

Join the New Orleans Chamber members and non members for an evening of networking with
Complimentary Hors d'oeuvres &
Complimentary beer, wine & soft drinks
FREE for Chamber Members
$10 for Future Members

Parking Options:
Premium Parking Lot P249: 520 Chartres St. Up to 3 hours $20.00
Street and meter parking also available, please abide by all posted parking and posted signs.
Click here to register
 or members can email events@neworleanschamber.org to register. 

Pre-registration for this event is highly encouraged before 12:00 noon on



The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, a non-profit that has been working to restore and protect Coastal Louisiana for over 25 years.

CRCL is hosting a Party for the Coast on June 25, 2015 at Generations Hall in New Orleans. General admission tickets will be $30. VIP tickets are $50 each or 2 for $85. Complimentary beer and food will be provided while it lasts. We are excited to announce that the Brass-A-Holics will headline the Party.

Artful Palate: Summer Cooking Demo Series!
with Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group Chefs 
at 6:30 PM inside Cafe NOMA

Café NOMA's 2015 "The Artful Palate" summer cooking series will feature 7 artfully inspired cooking demonstrations from Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group chefs. 

With the launch of the exhibition, A Louisiana Parlor: Antebellum Taste And Context 
This exhibition is in celebration of the acquisition of a superb Rococo Revival parlor from the Butler-Greenwood Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana. The inspiration for our Cooking Demo series is Creole inspired dishes & traditions. Our chef's will incorporate a local guest chef or purveyor in their demos. 

Every other Friday night at 6:30pm from June 26 to September 18, chefs from Café NOMA, Ralph's on the Park, Red Fish Grill, Brennan's, Heritage Grill, Napoleon House and café b will be demonstrating distinctive culinary favorites from around the world, highlighting a different aspect of the exhibition. From classic Creole cooking techniques to globally inspired gourmet eats, the chefs will embrace their own heritage or their culinary passion with each presentation. 

Art You Can Eat is free of charge and open on a first come, first served basis. Come early for an evening of delicious, and instructive fun for all! 

June 26th 
Cooking Creole 101: The origins & fundamentals of authentic New Orleans Cuisine 
Chef Chris Montero, Cafe NOMA and Napoleon House with Guest Chef Kevin Belton, New Orleans Cooking School 

July 10th 
Living Off the Land 
Chef Austin Kirzner, Red Fish Grill with Grady Seale from Covey Rise Farm & Chappapeela Farm 

July 24th 
It's all About the Roux 
Chef Michael Uddo, café b 

August 7th 
Baaah-ck Roads Culinary Traditions 
Chef Chip Flanagan, Ralph's on the Park with Andy Davidson from Two Run Farms 

August 21st 
Down Home Cooking 
Chef Slade Rushing, Brennan's with guest Chef Allison Vines-Rushing 

September 4th 
Boudin Basics & Beyond 
Chef Steven Marsella, Ralph Brennan Catering & Events / Heritage Grill with Guest from TBD 

September 18th 
Creole Tailgating Traditions 
Chef Chris Montero, Cafe NOMA and Napoleon House 

LIMITED SEATING - Arrive Early for Dinner & Stay for the Show! / Demos are free


St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church
Sunday, June 28, 2015
3:00 pm
Works by Mozart, Debussy and Chopin
Admission: free!

 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of JPAC
Last week photos: 
Darlings, i did not missed the ribbon cutting ceremony for the long waited Jefferson Perfoming Art Center
 — with John Young and 3 others atJefferson Performing Arts Center.
Margarita Bergen's photo.
The Magnolia Ball honored talented Candy Chang. Taiwanese-American artist Candy Chang reimagines the city and the role of the public realm to help us make sense of our communities and ourselves. Renowned for interactive public installations that provoke civic engagement and emotional introspection, her work has examined issues from criminal justice and the future of vacant buildings to personal aspirations and anxieties.
 — at Ogden Museum of Southern Art.
beautiful black and white photography exhibit by talented Owens Murphy at the Consulate of Mexico's Gallery.

    News Feed


     the opening of the lovely ALOFT New Orleans Downtown on Baronne Street.LUXLEY and his performed.
     — with Bryan Drude and Rebecca Conwell.
    I also attended the 2nd Annual King of Crawfish at the Chicory. It was presented but the Louisiana Restaurant Association> It was delicious and the libations and wines were superb
     — with Tony Abadie and 5 others atThe Chicory.