Medical issues are rarely black and white, but the super-chic party to build a new California Pacific Medical Center in 2020 was a gorgeous exception. With Chanel generously sponsoring CPMC2020 Gala in a transformed Pier 35, the evening was a visual and literal feast for the senses. Dressed-to-the-No. 19s guests were welcomed through an allee of green boxwood hedges to the enormous space, surrounded in black cloth and illuminated with globes of white light. White banquettes ringed the room, and long tables were set with white cloths and china, with candles and silver julep cups of white roses providing a flattering glow. Waiters passed hors d'oeuvres made to the exact specification of Quince chef Michael Tusk, and the champagne and cocktails flowed as if it were a Parisian soiree at the Ritz, where Coco Chanel once entertained. There was much colorful meeting and greeting among the soigne crowd, who hailed from the worlds of tech, finance, medicine and good old-fashioned philanthropy.
Once seated, diners were welcomed by Foundation Co-Chair Sloan Barnett and CEO Dr. Warren Browner, who feted pediatric allergy expert Dr. Kari Nadeau and music expert Sean Parker, the honorary chair of the evening. Guests' enthusiasm for the honorees and the cause was evident; there was a definite buzz in the room. Equal enthusiasm was offered up for Tusk's indulgent menu, which began with Osetra Caviar on horseradish panna cotta served in individual tins, roast chicken with Perigord black truffle and herb dumplings and roasted vegetables, accompanied by William Febre Chablis and Chateau Rauzan-Segla Margaux. Following Coco Chanel's mandate that "elegance is refusal," dessert was a plate of freshly baked oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies, with a dessert bar for those who wanted a final flourish. Chicago entertainer Johnny P got the joint jumping onto the dance floor with a series of bluesy standards; working off some of that caviar allowed the ladies to show off their Chanel, much of which had been expressly acquired for the occasion. Even this crowd, who know their way around a party, could sense a special something in the room. Fortunately, that special something was the $2.5 million raised to support clinical trials for food allergies along with the two new CPMC hospitals under construction. And that is a prescription that is highly effective.
Amongst the camellias and pearls: The pulchritudinous posse of Gala Co Chairs Sloan Barnett, Carol Bonnie, Dr. Carolyn Chang, Jacqueline Sacks, and Allison Speer ensured that every detail was comme il faut, and recruited their spouses and tables of friends to sup and toast. Amongst them: Ali Pincus, Alexis and Trevor Traina, Katie and Todd Traina, Sako and Bill Fisher, Vanessa Getty, Victoire Reynal, Ken Fulk, Denise Hale, Yurie and Carl Pascarella. Chanteuse Alexandra Lenas was there to support her husband Sean Parker. Chanel's Erica Kassel personally welcomed guests with warmth and elan. Also showing solidarity: Lynne and Marc Benioff, Jean-Pierre Conte and Hillary Thomas, Gail and Harvey Glasser, Angelique and Troy Griepp, Marissa Mayer and Zack Bogue, Jessica and Jason Moment, Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem, Dana and Dr. James Tananbaum, Athena and Timothy Blackburn, Jean-Charles Boisset, Stacey Case and Dave Evans, Celine and Alastair MacTaggart, Gina and Stuart Peterson, Ingrid Tauber, Anne and Paul Wattis, Ashley and Minott Wessinger, Omid and Gisselle Kordestani, Kelsey and David Lamond, Becca and Daniel Lurie, Anne Sophie and Paul Deneve, Lisa Goldman, Lindsay Tusk, Bob and Theresa Tomasello, Haig and Connie Mardikian, Joan Chen and Peter Hui, Ted and Pamala Deikel, Bruno and Urania Ristow, Jeanne Lawrence, OJ Shansby, Jennifer and Stephen Walske, David and Mary Beth Shimmon, Leigh Matthes, Dick and Pam Kramlich, Larry and Pam Baer, Juliet de Baubigny, Adam Clammer, Stephanie Harbin, Riccardo Benevides, Michael Harrington and Amanda Michael, Anita and Ron Wornick, Dr. Krista Ramonas and Gordon Rubenstein, and many more can clearly see with 2020 vision.