The Buzz: Hunter+Harp’s latest venture is Recess nightclub
Welcome to The Buzz, Tallahassee Magazine’s column created to share who’s where and what they’re doing. While we try to flit around with all of Tallahassee’s social butterflies, the Buzz can’t be everywhere. Send the skinny on your next soiree to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the fall, the fields have been reaped, and it’s time to store meat for the winter to come. Which is why, in October, the full moon is known as the Hunter’s Moon.
A select group of 30 were invited to harken back to the past at The Hunter’s Moon Dinner, an outdoor feast at The Old Willis Dairy. Hosted by the venue’s owners, Frank and Peper Willis, and hospitality power couple Marc and Pam Bauer, guests were treated to a multi-course gourmet dinner under the site’s massive oak tree. The long table was perfectly situated and the meal perfectly timed for the group to enjoy the moonrise as the meal, created by The Front Porch Executive Chef Chris Leynes, was served family style.
From the social hour’s smoked mullet dip and pickled watermelon rind, to the pie made from Orchard Pond’s Seminole Squash for dessert, “locally sourced” was the theme of the night. The fish course included Gulf shrimp, Apalachicola oysters and the season’s first stone crab claws. A ham made from a wild boar caught in the area was served along with sausages from Bradley’s and local maker Joey Moore. Accompaniments included roasted sugar beet. and arugula salad, cornbread made with datil peppers from the Willis Dairy garden and slathered with orange blossom honey butter, stuffed baked apples with a homemade bourbon blend glaze and au gratin potatoes flavored with truffle oil.
The night was a take on “Outstanding in the Field” dinners popular in other locales. Bryan Desloge floated the idea but wasn’t at the inaugural event because he was traveling in Greece.
Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner was there, as well as Bill Raynor and Ginny Chandler Weeks, Jim Roche and Alexa Kleinbard, Tracey and Jonathon Van Hook, Crawford and Teresa Atkins, Lloyd and Rosanne Dunkelberger, Steve Adams and JoAnne Suggs, Steve and Dorothy Leukanech, Mark and Karyn Tarmey, Autumn Calder and Chris Clark.
The hosts are planning to repeat the repast with a larger group next year. And because the Hunter’s Moon dictates the date, it’s already been set — Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014.
Friends of The Foundation for Leon County Schools celebrated 27 years of success at the Harvest Moon Soiree, held Oct. 10. Executive Director Shelia Costigan was posted outside the Goodwood Carriage House greeting board members as they arrived. Among those enjoying the hors d’oeuvres were event chair Sue and Jay Newman, Lucy and Fred Harris, presenting sponsor Envision’s Darryl Worrell, Mary Estes, Ben Graybar, Dean and Gloria Pugh, Sherell Ash, Albert Wollerman, Kelly and Laurie Dozier, Patrick Keating and Adam Corey. School board members were on hand, as well as several elected officials, including Jackie Pons. A fishing trip with the Leon County Schools superintendent was one of the 70-plus items auctioned off during the event.
Several teachers, who benefit from the event’s proceeds, volunteered at the Soiree. Entertainment was provided by vocalist Avis Berry, a fifth-grade teacher at Gilchrest Elementary in her day job. Board Chairman David Vincent told the assembled crowd that the event set records for attendance and money raised.
The space next to Midtown Filling Station in the Manor@Midtown has seen restaurants come and go, but Taco Republik looks like it will have staying power. This is the first foray into restaurants for entrepreneurial brothers A.J. and Alex Patel, but they have partnered with the culinary team from the popular Mobi food truck to create unique, gourmet-style, reasonably priced ($3 and $4 each) tacos made with fresh ingredients. The Patels’ family, including spouses Sonia and Niral, were there for the grand opening, along with a crowd that included Lee and Terry Daniel, Angelo Crowell, Patrick Bilyk, Lance Lozano and Justin Kawar.
It’ s a playground, all right, but the Recess you’ll find on the rooftop of CollegeTown is definitely reserved for the grownups. About 200 people mixed and mingled at a VIP party Oct. 8 to get a preview of Hunter+Harp’s latest venture, a nightclub that channels the vibe of Vegas and South Beach, with cabanas and LED lights as well as the venue’s main attraction — a (way) above-ground swimming pool.
H+H’s A-team (including JT Burnett, Chad Kittrell, Marc and Pam Bauer and Steve Adams) was on hand to welcome guests who sipped wine and champagne served by waitresses in bra-tops and the shortest of short shorts — let’s just say they were “cheeky” — and enjoying finger foods provided by downstairs neighbor Madison Social restaurant.
DeVoe Moore was enjoying the view — of Doak Campbell Stadium — as well as Chris and Kellie Craft, Brian Rowland, Kimberly and Angelo Crowell, Joe and Stephanie Borras, Eric Kemp, Liz Maryanski, Dean Minardi, Randy Elkins, Gordon Oakley, Jim Rudnick, Kevin Thomasso and Gary Lehman. Others on hand enjoying the evening as the sun set were Sue Dick, Eddie Knowles, Charles Nutwell, Julia Casseaux, Charles Musgrove, Jason Naumann, Lee Meadows, Patrick McKee and Doug Blackburn.
For a second year, the Leon County Humane Society gave a great big “thank you” to its most loyal supporters in October with a “Celebration of Compassion.” More than 200 people enjoyed shrimp and grits and sipped “Barkarita” and “Purricane” cocktails at the Louisiana coastal-themed event, held under the stars at The Old Willis Dairy.
Special guest for the evening was Barbara Boswell Brunner, author of “Dog-ma: The Zen of Slobber,” accompanied by her husband and Parson Russell Terrier, Izzy.
Enjoying the beautifully decorated outdoor venue were Hella and Michael Spellman, Gerry and Tim Phipps, Jennifer Jackson, Chuck and Patty Mitchell, Rosemary Bryant, Sam and Judy Lamb, Margo and Armando Garcia, Sondra Brown DVM, Marleen Ahearn, Cindy Owen Briley, Rick Kearney and Theo Proctor Jr. and Martha Ann Proctor.
WCTV’s Gina Pitisci served as the night’s emcee and new LCHS Executive Director Abby Ouimet talked about the group’s 53-year history in our area. A special recognition went to longtime volunteer and former president Audrey Bevan.
The program concluded with a “dog’s-eye view” video about Honey, one of the 800 or so animals rescued by the LCHS this year. The 8-year-old English bulldog had a temperament to match her sweet name, but also came with seriously infected ears that required long-term treatment and left her deaf.
While Honey’s video showed a happy ending, there was an even happier coda. Turns out LCHS supporter Sonya DeMarco saw Honey at the event, was moved by her story and told her daughter — who was considering adding a bulldog to her life. You can guess the rest; two weeks later, Honey found her forever home.
On Nov. 7, Tallahassee’s elite experienced a night of fine food and great wine in honor of an important cause at the annual Signature Chefs Auction. Hosted by the March of Dimes at Mission San Luis, this event saw the likes of Kevin McCarty, Sen. Bill Montford, City Commissioner Gil and Gail Ziffer and Alan Keese guest starring as “celebrity sous chefs.” The (real) chefs at 101, The Front Porch, Japanica, Real Paella, Georgio’s and many others created a variety of delectable finger foods, ranging from the divinely elegant to the casually delicious. Arranged into serving stations around Mission San Luis’ winding corridors, menu items included an array of sushi, artichoke dip, caprese salad on a skewer, smoked salmon and jambalaya. After the hors d’oeuvres were devoured and the sparkling beverages swilled, auctioneers, Sen. Aaron Bean and WCTV’s Executive Producer Shonda Knight, lead the night’s charitable festivities.
Barbara Corcoran, successful real estate entrepreneur and one of the tycoons on the television show “Shark Tank,” wowed a crowd of Tallahassee’s business elite during the inaugural speech of the Power Forward series. Petite and plainspoken, Corcoran shared her unique brand of business savvy that built a $5 billion business.
Leon County Administrator Vince Long warmed up the crowd with a humorous Shark Tank-like pitch for a hands-free (and bedazzled) wine glass. Introducing Corcoran were representatives from the event’s lead sponsors, First Commerce Credit Union CEO Cecilia Homison and FSU College of Business Dean Caryn Beck-Dudley.
Also on hand to take advantage of Corcoran’s business savvy were Carla De Baldo, Mike Campbell, Martin and Theo Proctor, DeVoe and Shirley Moore, County Commissioner Kristin Dozier, Tallahassee Chamber President/CEO Sue Dick, Karen Moore and many students from FSU’s School of Business. Her talk was followed by a networking reception where introductions were made and business cards passed around. Among those pressing the flesh were Johanna Money, Heidi Otway, Jason Naumann, Brian Webb, Michael Davino, Jeff Doxsee, Doctors Russ and Cheryl Rainey, Dan Parisi and Kenzie Burleigh. Perhaps the luckiest duck of the day was Daryl Green, who was able to spend two hours of one-on-one time with Corcoran as he drove to Tallahassee after picking her up at the Jacksonville airport.
There’s nothing better than a little Southern hospitality, especially when it incorporates a smooth taste of bourbon and the smoky flavor of bacon. First Commerce Credit Union hosted A Taste of Bourbon & Bacon — the perfect Southern gathering — at Madison Social in CollegeTown Oct. 22. This unique and flavorful event was part of First Commerce’s latest Champions for Charity campaign, which benefited the FSU Student Veterans Center. Among those partaking of the bourbon and bacon were Kristin Richardson, who concepted the event, Kim Howes, Cecilia and Lee Homison, Carla De Baldo, Mary Estes, Jan Sheffield, Brian and Cherie Rowland, Billy Francis, Ryan Taylor, Matt Thompson, Daryl Green, Park Broome, John and Cassandra Grayson, and many more. Watch for this event to reappear next fall!