From a citrus-themed Christmas party to a unique gift for a celebrity choreographer, we've got the inside scoop on the Sarasota social scene this week.
Pique Nique makes a much-anticipated return
One of the black tie scene’s most beloved events, Pique Nique Sur La Baie, will return this spring in a new partnership between Florida Winefest & Auction and New College of Florida.
The event, which was sponsored by the New College Foundation for 33 years, took a hiatus last year — much to the dismay of most scenesters. In 2018, Pique Nique will return on April 6 on the south lawn of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center.
Florida Winefest will now organize and manage Pique Nique, but New College remains a partner in the event and will assist in planning. Several past committee members and a past honorary chair will be involved in the event for a smooth transition, says Sandy Loevner, president of the Florida Winefest & Auction Board.
Montana and Irwin Taplinger enjoyed a quick pre-baby Las Vegas getaway Nov. 30-Dec. 2 before their third child — a girl — is due in early February. “We ate our way through Las Vegas, where the food is as good as it gets. A pregnant woman's dream come true,” Montana says. The soon-to-be mom of three says it was nice having a few days of relaxation with her husband before the due date gets closer and it will be harder for them to travel, let alone get some time to themselves. The couple stayed at the Wynn Las Vegas and enjoyed so many great meals that they say their favorite is a total toss up. From the Japanese and sushi to the branzino and homemade pasta, they enjoyed it all — and the only thing missing was the wine!
Long live Beethoven
Sarasota Ballet celebrated the opening night of its latest production, “Metropolitan,” on Dec. 1 at FSU Center for the Performing Arts. Between the food, drinks and general opening festivities, there was a certain liveliness in the air — which was perfectly juxtaposed by the gift that Director Iain Webb, Assistant Director Margaret Barbieri and Executive Director Joe Volpe presented to guest choreographer Marcelo Gomes, principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre. Gomes’ piece he choreographed on Sarasota Ballet, “Dear Life,” is about a dying man’s final reflection on his happy life and the gratitude he feels looking back on the pleasant memories. The piece is set to Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, so the company decided to thank him with a cast of Beethoven’s death mask.
Christmas on Citrus
Sarasota real estate lawyer Erin Christy and her husband, Doug, hosted their annual Christmas party Dec. 2 at their home in Sarasota’s Hudson Bayou neighborhood. This year’s theme, appropriately, was Christmas on Citrus (the couple lives on Citrus Avenue). Tying the theme together was the (center)piece de resistance, a tiered citrus, holly and poinsettia tree made with more than 75 fresh lemons, limes and oranges. A handmade “Christmas on Citrus” sign created at The Makers Market greeted guests as they arrived. The bar decor continued the citrus theme by featuring signs reading “Orange you glad it’s Christmas” and “Lime dreaming of white Christmas.” Guests were asked to adhere to a dress code of Christmas or citrus-colored attire, and Erin says they happily complied. Some men arrived in head-to-toe lemon yellow, women in orange frocks and a mix of lime and Christmas greens, gold sparkle and classic Christmas red. Hostess Erin made an outfit change mid evening from a yellow cocktail dress to a lemon-printed jumpsuit.
Welcome (back) to our house...Child Protection Center’s annual celebration of everything male, Men, Whiskey and Watches (which now has “& Wheels” tacked onto the end of the event name), will be returning Dec. 15 to Edson Keith Mansion at Phillippi Estate Park. The event was originally scheduled to take place at the airport hangar, but CPC is excited for the change in plans back to the event’s traditional home along Phillippi Creek. Comedic relief...Chairing an event requires a great deal of public speaking, which few people handle as gracefully — and comedically — as Gerri Aaron. Gerri served as co-chairwomen for the Pines of Sarasota Foundation Wit and Wisdom of Aging Luncheon Nov. 29 at Michael’s On East, and she got the whole room laughing when she returned to the microphone a couple minutes after her initial introduction and said “Hi...I’m still Gerri Aaron.”