Stormy weather couldn’t dampen the spirits of a glamorous crowd of almost 250 guests attending this year’s Jay Soirée themed The Delmonico Way. Inspired by the iconic Financial District landmark which just reopened this September to grand accolades, the dazzling fundraiser was hosted by author, historian, restaurateur, and Delmonico’s 3rd generation partner and global brand officer Max Tucci at the historic 1838 Jay Mansion in Rye, New York. The evening was co-chaired by Kim and Mitchell Berns, Suzanne and Rich Clary, Jenny and Chris Marinak, Lindsay Bello Martin and Tim Martin and Emily and Brian Wells. Proceeds from the night will benefit the award-winning non-profit Jay Heritage Center (JHC), stewards of the Jay Estate, a 23-acre National Historic Landmark site and public park.
Inspired by the star-studded list of celebrities’ and dignitaries who once frequented “The Restaurant That Made New York” – luminaries like Lana Turner, Princess Grace, Rock Hudson, Lena Horne and more – guests brought out the glitz and élan of yesteryear with gowns, gloves, and dinner jackets but all with a fresh, modern twist to honor Delmonico’s renaissance. The tables were styled in rose hues a la Delmonico’s iconic Palm Room and dressed with lush fall bouquets of hot pink dahlias and sweet pea vines designed by Rex Todd Rogers. Cocktails and dinner by Scarborough Fair caterers were inspired by the classic recipes of Max Tucci’s grandfather Oscar who successfully reinvented the fine dining establishment and turned it into a hotspot starting in 1926! Among the guests were legendary EGOT composer Alan Menken, racing star Travis Shumake who donated not one but two exceptional track experiences, legendary San Domenico’s Marisa May, and sports commentator Ian Rapoport. Auctioneer Lucas Hunt was assisted by Max Tucci who donated his own Boulder, Colorado cabin and a sought-after dinner and speakeasy tour of Delmonico’s to the live auction – they warmed up the audience for an even bigger moment. A spirited paddle-raise garnered over $100,000 from the crowd towards a magnanimous $500,000 challenge grant from the Wachenheim Foundation! Generous sponsors of the night included Variety Cruises whose bespoke tour of the Greek Isles was snapped up quickly, Andrea Martone, and Wathnes whose stunning teal umbrellas came in handy on the way home!
Photos by Cutty McGill and Kim Crichlow