A La Carte

Bonhams Best in Show

February 8, 2015

A Westie harpsichord player by Thierry Poncelet (Photo by: bonhams.com) A Westie harpsichord player by Thierry Poncelet

It was a party for 'Friends of Bonhams With Dogs' Sunday and a preview of 25 paintings from Dogs in Show & Field, an auction of fine art dedicated to dogs.

Nick and Holly Ruffin with Mac and Henry (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Nick and Holly Ruffin with Mac and Henry

In advance of the February 18th auction at Bonhams New York (timed to coincide with the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show), Managing Director for Bonhams Auctioneers in Washington DC, Dr. Martin Gammon welcomed canines and their art savvy owners for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres.

"We thought it would be fun to bring a few paintings here," said Gammon as he navigated with Bear through the floors of his Georgetown townhouse/gallery to mingle with guests.  "This special pet-friendly auction preview (also held in New York) benefits the American Kennel Club Humane Fund, which provides grants to domestic violence shelters and breed rescue organizations throughout the country.

The sale will feature works for collectors at all levels and from a variety of media, including paintings, prints, bronzes, ceramics, and 'Dogiania,' such as collars, jewelry, books and other related ephemera.

Buddy (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Buddy

Works by noted dog and sporting artists from the UK and from the US include dogs from all of the American Kennel Club acknowledged groups: Sporting, Herding, Working, Terrier, Hounds, Toys, and Non-Sporting.

Martin and Bear with Mary Blanton and Scout (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Martin and Bear with Mary Blanton and Scout

The auction will preview at the Madison Avenue galleries of Bonhams New York, 14-17 February. A complete catalog for the sale is available online here.


Steady by Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Steady by Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait

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Thank You, Heidi For The Dandelion Patch

January 28, 2015

When the former president of the Northern Virginia Chapter of  The Junior League found herself “writing a lot of thank you notes” and not finding a selection she liked in her local stationery store, she bought the business. Heidi Kallett purchased The Dandelion Patch in Vienna, Virginia in 2005, and has since turned that store and one in Georgetown, into thriving and oh so friendly boutiques filled with delightfully elegant stationery and gifts for life’s most special occasions, and for every day a ‘thank you’ is in order.

Foil wedding stationery (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Foil wedding stationery

This Texas native still says 'y’all’ and has always taken southern hospitality and entertaining seriously. Stocking her shelves with an eclectic designer assortment of note cards including Vera Wang, Kate Spade and Lilly Pulitzer soon turned into “all about the wedding” because her loyal coterie of clients kept coming back, sharing the milestones of their lives.

With everything from save-the-date cards to party favor tags, The Dandelion Patch with all things paper was now a one-stop-personalized style haven for marriages and mitzvahs.

Much of her focus is on business strategy and trends, and Kallett loves interacting with creative people who put their passion to work. “People in the event industry are natural born problem solvers,” she says.

Valentine's Day cards and gifts (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Valentine's Day cards and gifts

And what’s hot in the wedding world now? “Blending technology into the weddings,” explains Kallett requires a bit of finesse.“We recommend that cell phones be turned off during the service, but suggest providing guests with #hashtags for capturing casual shots at the party.” And yes, there’s The Dandelion Patch solution for that: paper signage at receptions on how to tag photos.

From letterpress and foil printing to watercolored and luxe papers, hand-lettering fonts and ombre effects, 2015 weddings are chock full of tradition and innovation.

Erin Wright and Leah Detrick with Heidi (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Erin Wright and Leah Detrick with Heidi

And after the cereminy? “We wanted to be part of their lives,” says Kallett about clients-turned-friends who sometimes spend months planning for that perfect day. “That’s why you see all the gifts for babies mixed in with Valentine’s Day and all those thank you notes."

And when life doesn't always turn out the way we plan? A smiling Kallett has the answer. "New beginnings should start with the entourage of a divorcée ... but not as many people do the mattress-burning party as they should."

The Dandelion Patch is located at 1633 Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown. Tel: 202.338.8803

Heidi Kallett outside The Dandelion Patch (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Heidi Kallett outside The Dandelion Patch

Note cards (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Note cards

Wedding Stationery (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Wedding Stationery

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Savannah Cupcake Owner Debuts Cookbook

January 21, 2015

The owner of the gourmet cupcake company, Savannah Cupcake has launched her first cookbook. When Bambi Frazier, Savannah, Georgia reporter and television news anchor turned business owner and Better Bites author sat down with The Georgetown Dish, she explained why a cookbook and why now.

The idea for the cookbook came from my husband who learned early on that I loved to bake. One evening, I decided to whip up some banana bread. Chan watched me in absolute awe and kept saying, ‘You're just making it?  And then he'd laugh a little. ‘I can't believe you're just making it!’

“No one in his family had ever baked from scratch ... there was a lot of cooking, but not baking,” she said. “My family was the opposite. We might have a simple dinner, but you better believe there was a pan of homemade something somewhere to be found. We were living in Savannah and there was so much great, rich, and delicious southern food there, inspiration was easy."

(Photo by: Bambi Frazier)

A natural passion for baking and an overwhelming response from family and friends led Frazier to create a cupcake company fondly named after her favorite city. Savannah Cupcake is now available locally exclusively at Ben’s Chili Bowl and directly online.

But still no cookbook, “Then, life happened, literally. We got married, had our first child and that cookbook got shelved. Fast forward. Two more kids, a move to DC, all three children in school, and now that cookbook is done.”

A testament to how much she loves to cook, Better Bites recipes are also a window into Frazier’s family life. From Aunt Romaine’s potato salad that includes a tip from sister-in-law Tiffany, “to grate the onions. This way, she says, you get the flavor without biting into crunchy pieces.” … to how Chan captured her heart, “This man can fry a mean piece of fish.” The recipe, as good the next day for breakfast “paired with some creamy grits and a dab of hot sauce …”

Ever served asparagus too tough to eat? A tip before roasting: “Simply hold a piece with each hand on either end. Bend the asparagus and when it breaks, discard the tough end and use the edible portion as a measuring stick to determine where to cut the other pieces.”

Then there’s sautéed cabbage children love. ”When I grew up, the only way we ever ate cabbage was from a slow cooker. I wasn’t a big fan of it so I came up with my own way to make cabbage. It’s fast, healthy and so good, my daughters even eat it!”

And yes, the book contains some of Frazier’s signature desserts and a never-before shared cake recipe that can be turned into cupcakes!

From breakfast to dessert, Better Bites has fast, simple and delicious meals passed down from generation to generation and made with love.

Better Bites is available here.

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