So Long, Sweet Summer

Tatiana and Serge Sorokko hosted a “farewell to summer” dinner at Napa Valley Reserve in St. Helena on the last Saturday of August. Today, from “guest diarist” David Nash, with photos by Drew Altizer, we get an inside peek into the private, super chic affair.

The Reserve, set at the foot of Meadowood, was a picturesque backdrop for the evening’s festivities. Chef Todd Humphries, owner of Martini House, prepared the exquisite menu, paired with wines from the Sorokko’s private cellar, and served alfresco.

Upon arrival, guests sipped champagne and Tatiana’s signature Peach Bellini while delighting in mounds of caviar and foie gras , as the sounds of a jazz band played in the background. Seven stunning tables arranged along a stone patio above the manicured lawn and vineyards provided everyone the most spectacular vantage point from which to watch the moon slowly rise in the clear evening’s sky.

James Galanos, Wolfgang Puck, Gelila Assefa-Puck, Wilkes Bashford, Tatiana Sorokko

Among the seventy chic guests: Wolfgang Puck and his wife, Gelila Assefa-Puck, who flew in for the night (it should be noted that neither even so much as looked at the foie gras ), joined fellow Angelinos James Galanos (just back from visiting his 95-year-old aunt in Greece), Susan and Alan Casden (Hermes has named a Birkin after Susan, who designed a new model for H.O.P.), C Magazine Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Smith-Hale along with her husband Nicholas, Patrick Herning and Cameron Silver.


Cameron Silver

Locals who helped say goodbye to our warmer season included: Norah and Norman Stone, Stefanie and Peter Coyote (who has a role in the recently released Resurrecting the Champ), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and husband Paul, Wilkes Bashford, Willie Brown, Shannon Bavaro, Christine and Patrick Suppes, Lucy and John Buchanan, Pam and Dick Kramlich, Helen and Stanley Cheng, Deborah and Bill Harlan, Doreen and James Ho, Penny and Ron Mallen, Maria Manetti Farrow, Julie Chaiken and Denise Hale.


Jennifer Smith Hale and Nicholas Hale

Former Socialist, Nelson Mui, flew in from New York for the fete, with his charming partner, Alan Aschenbrenner. Mui recently left his post at Travel + Leisure to work with David Chu International, as director of marketing and brand communications. Aschenbrenner happens to be the new VP of men’s sales at Isaac Mizrahi.


Tatiana and Serge Sorokko, with Paul and Nancy Pelosi

Overheard: Peter Coyote and James Schneider discussing the benefits of bio-fuel. James Galanos telling Shannon Bavaro how beautiful she looked in her form-fitting white dress. Wolfgang Puck noting how wonderful the menu was, and how the 1993 Chateau Y’quem went perfectly with Humphries’ panna cotta dessert.


Thomas Peterson, Denise Hale, Gelila Assefa-Puck, Wolfgang Puck, Serge Sorokko

Wolfgang Puck, Gelila Assefa-Puck and Tatiana Sorokko; David Nash and James Galanos
Wilkes Bashford and Peter Coyote

James Schneider, Barbara Brookins Schneider

Shannon Bavaro, Patrick Herning

Willie Brown, Sonia Molodetskaya

Tatiana Sorokko, Norah Stone

John and Lucy Buchanan

Serge Sorokko, Susan Casden and Stanley Cheng

Keith and Claudia Ross

Nelson Mui and Alan Aschenbrenner

Stanley and Helen Cheng

Patrick and Christine Suppes

Stefanie Coyote and Tatiana Sorokko