By Jenny Berg Posted June 29, 2011, 12:00 PM EDT
CHICAGO On Saturday night, the Chicago Botanic Garden's Summer Dance took place on the institution's flowery grounds. John and Neville Bryan and Jim and Louise Glasser—both couples from the North Shore—led the planning committee, which devised the “Night in Napa” theme. According to the co-chairs, the benefit's vibe was inspired by a trip the garden's president's circle took last year.
Bill Heffernan of Heffernan Morgan Ronsley took a contemporary approach to bringing the grape-filled valley to life on the garden grounds. The look, he said, was “fresh, clean, and very California.” Inside the dinner tent, pavilions of stainless steel and white fabric surrounded country-style tables piled with grapes and candles. Trees lined the back of the stage where the Ken Arlen Orchestra performed, and Frost's lighting cast leafy vine patterns onto the walls and the white dance floor.
Jewell Events Catering's menu followed thematic suit with contemporary California-inspired cuisine. Passed appetizers included Bosc pear and Stilton cheese wrapped in arugula leaves and tied with scallion ribbons, and fresh figs and Gorgonzola wrapped in prosciutto. The main course included medallions of veal filet and spinach crepes filled with artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, and hollandaise sauce.
The event drew more than 475 guests and raised $475,000 for the garden's conservation, education, and research programs.