"Baaa!" the lamb bleated. What started six years ago with 12 people in the Cathedral Hill neighborhod as a party for Chuck Kanski's Solo Vino employees, has grown to LambFest 6.0 for 200-plus guests at the home of Jason Ross and Julie Duckstad. The guests' pedigrees all seemed to be of the foodie variety, with many wearing the title of chef or sommelier. Chef Matt McArthur, Mr. "Cheeky Monkey" himself, was wielding knives around like a ginsu master with onlookers admiring the five roasted lambs. Every inch of the 5,000-square-foot, 1885 Victorian home was transformed into a feeding station, and the garage was packed with wine tables making Total Wine's inventory look like a roadside bottle shop. Guests signed up in advance to bring an item to share, creating a food frenzy for culinary critics. The challenge for someone like me, who avoided turning on my oven in 2014, is deciding what to bring—or where to hide what you bring. Turns out, my king-sized container of Costco orange cheese balls made a beautiful centerpiece. IF you want a slice of "Mary's Little Lamb 2015," watch for an announcement—the group is planning to move the location and open the event to the public.
She took it like a champ, like a Broadway babe, or better yet, like Eva Peron! "Don't cry for me, Minneapolis! I'm here to raise money and sell seats!" was the rally cry at Seven Ultra Lounge for Hennepin Theatre trust's Roast of Cassidy Turley real estate executive Andrea Christenson. HTT is never short on creative ways to raise a little cash in support of the nonprofit that brings Broadway to Hennepin Avenue. This time, the cocktail party included a gloves-off roast of one of their own: red lipstick-wearing board member Miss Christenson. With a caricature backdrop and invitation boasting oversized red lips in the likeness of Hello Dolly's Carol Channing, paying guests arrived to listen to Andrea's friends (more likely, former friends) share tales of the Queen of the Minneapolis barstool scene. Thankfully for Andrea there was no second act or encore.
See you on the scene!
Entertainment reporter Todd Walker covers the gala and social circuit for Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. Look for him at events and weekly on FOX 9 News.