It was a time of jazz music and Satchmo, the Charleston, the first publication of A.A. Milne’s "Winnie the Pooh" (1926) and of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s "The Great Gatsby" (1925).
The Roaring 20s—as they were aptly known—were recreated Saturday at the Gatsby Garden Party for the Pelham Art Center. The annual spring benefit was a step back into the charm, finesse and elegance of yesteryear.
“Everyone’s in the mood to shrug off winter and have some fun,” said Executive Director of the center Lynn Honeysett. “It’s nice to know that Pelham’s loyalty to the Art Center will be rewarded with a spectacular evening.”
One of the event committee chairs Robin Bratone offered to hold the event at her home. She and her co-chair of the event, Leslie Berkery, said it was a perfect fit.
“It was built in the 1920s, and I always wanted to decorate it with lanterns,” Berkery said. “Members were pushing for the Gatsby theme, and the house has a garden, so it’s a great alliteration.”
Garden croquet and delectable gourmet fare, dancing to Golden Age tunes and betting on the Preakness in the “Gin Room” added to the Roaring 20s theme.
“Their offer to host the party was an amazing offer. It’s a special house, perfect for an indoor and outdoor party,” Berkery said.
Prepared specially by Rollin’ Bistro caterers in Pelham, a three entrée dinner was served from separate stations so guests were not committed to a specific table.
“This offers more of a flow for the guests,” Berkery said
A feast for the eyes as well as the stomach were canapés of crab cakes, pate, cheese gougeres and others; appetizers of basil, mossarella and tomato pops; and an antipasti platter, grilled vegetables and crudités, followed by individual stations of filet of beef, a paella station and poached salmon; and finally, a dessert station.
“All of the food is made in our kitchen by Bistro Rollin chefs,” Bratone said. “We’ll also have a specialty cocktail, the South Side, made with gin and mint and lemon juice.”
Open about six months, the catering venture’s name comes from Rue Rollin, “the street where my husband and I lived in Paris,” Barbara Bratone said.
Silent auction items include a private tour of the Brant Art Foundation in Greenwich, Conn., select art pieces, CNBC and Art in America internships, as well as stays in private homes in Budapest, Ireland and Bar Harbor and the Robins Art + Giving Fund.
Guests had the opportunity to make contributions to directly fund free art workshops, class scholarships, bus transportation for visiting school children, free gallery tours, and artists-in-residence opportunities for at-risk youth.