Dish: Opening Weekend Parties Await the Well-Heeled Patrons of the Green Music Center, starting with lots of cork popping at Prelude, the GMC’s new restaurant
I normally don’t get too social but, seriously, who isn’t curious about the goodies and special parties awaiting select patrons of the beautiful Green Music Center this weekend? Here’s the low-down on Saturday night’s pre Lang Lang soiree for 600 and the exclusive post-performance feast. The events are co-chaired by Marne Olson and Joan Weill. Marne Olson is very active in the Santa Rosa Symphony and is the wife of Sonoma State University President Ruben Armiñana. Joan Weill is the patron saint of the Joan and Sanford I Weill Hall, who, along with her husband Sandy, donated the $12 million necessary to nearly complete the GMC’s state of the art concert hall.
BEFORE: While many of us will be scrambling for parking outside the center, 600 generous patrons have been invited to an opening night pre-concert champagne reception in Prelude, the GMC’s elegant restaurant and bar, which will be open to the general public on October 6, 2012. In a community partnership, the talented young people of Santa Rosa Junior College, which has an exceptional culinary arts and catering program, will provide hors d’oeuvres for the festive pre-concert champagne reception.
AFTER: Award-winning Napa celeb chef Michael Chiarello (chef at Yountville’s Bottega, vintner, TV host, sustainable farmer, James Beard Award Finalist in 2012 and he overhauled Delta Airlines the first-class menu) has designed a magnificent menu for the post concert fundraising dinner—price of entry $10,000 to $30,000 per table. The menu includes local delectables such as heirloom tomatoes, rack of lamb, and a special Chocolate Budino for dessert. Chef Chiarello is supported by the renowned wine-country based Elaine Bell Catering. And even though SSU’s nick-name from way back when is “Granola U,” and there are boundless fabulous gourmet versions of granola to be found, it’s just NOT on the menu. Event and floral designer Thierry Chantrel of La Follia, San Francisco, known for his FABULOUS wedding bouquets, has planned an enchanting décor for the dinner tent, complete with more than 60 individually designed “still life tablescapes” unique to each table, beautiful linens from La Tavola, and local and seasonal flowers.
A rare, 2007 “Year of the Dragon” Chinese Cuvée (75 percent Pinot Noir, 25 percent Chardonnay) has been contributed by the Sterling Family of Iron Horse Vineyards for a champagne toast as guests arrive. Additional wines contributed for the dinner include a 2011 Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc from Casablanca Valley, Chile, provided by Agustin and Valeria Huneeus; a 2010 Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, provided by Anne Moses and James Hall; and a 2009 Bedrock Wine Co., Lachryma Montis Late-Harvest Semillon from Monte Rosso Vineyard, provided by Morgan Twain-Peterson.
The Grand Opening Weekend itself sponsored by Bank of America. Additional sponsors include the Koret Foundation, Alexsis de Raadt St. James, the Sterling Family of Iron Horse Vineyards, On Campus Presents, Rudolph and Sletten, Bedrock Wine Co., Patz & Hall, Kosta Brown, Sonoma State Enterprises, and Santa Rosa Junior College.
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