Georgie Anne Geyer's newest book is certainly a change of pace for the hard-driving foreign correspondent Gergio Anne. It is a feline compendium titled “When Cats Reigned Like Kings: On the trail of the Sacred Cats,” and cats were everywhere when GiGi was feted recently at Esther Coopersmith's house. Over a dozen cat statues and carvings, ranging from a sleek Egyptian Bastet to cartoon-like Japanese good luck ceramic kitties holding an upraised paw.
The guitarist wore a tall feathered lion mask, and one of the waiters sported a cat-faced beanie on his head. A furry, 2-foot-high toy cat was petted and tumbled by the younger set, who wouldn't have been any less charmed if Gigi's book had been about dragons.
One of the youthful cat fanciers, 16 month-old Maria Ducaru, came with her grandmother and her mother, Carmen Ducaru, wife of the Romanian ambassador. Others on hand were Hafizah and Ishaq Shahryar, who is the former ambassador of Afghanistan; Alice and Bill Sessions; journalist Muriel Dobbins; John McMeel, founder and president of the book's publisher, AndrewsMcMeel Universal; the ambassadors of Thailand, Singapore and Jordan; Nermin Fahmy, the wife of the Egyptian ambassador; the former Rep. Charlie Wilson; Mark and Allie Russell; Norm Ornstein; Willie and Finlay Lewis; Phil Merrill, now the president of the Import-Export Bank; and Wayne Pacelle, head of the Humane Society of America.
TREADING THE RED CARPET: Crowds flocked to the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring for the Washington area's only official Oscar Award Night party. An all-evening cocktail reception sponsored by Boru Vodka, Austin Grill, Jackies, Golden Flame, Lebanese Taverna, Oceanair Seafood Restaurant, Occasions Caterers and Whole Foods kept guests wandering from hors d'oeuvres to the bar during pauses in the screening, while Silver Spring's Cubano restaurant dished up platefuls of roasted pork and tender fried yucca with desserts on the sideboard. Washington Post movie critic Desson Thomson emceed the program, which included a silent auction, a Predict-the-Winners contest and an art exhibit. If you're wondering at the coincidence that two of the Post's film critics—Desson Howe and Desson Thomson—seem to have the same rather unusual first name, this will clear it up: it's the same critic. He just changed his name after getting to know his real father. Multitalented, international Desson also founded Cairo Fred, a cool band you can catch around town. The evening, complete with red-striped boxes of popcorn, was presided over by Dan Glickman, who took over at the American Film Institute after Jack Valenti retired.
ALL A-BUZZ: To celebrate the launch of Karen Feld's gossipy column“Buzz” in The DC Examiner, Washington's newest daily newspaper, publisher James McDonald, editor- in-chief John Wilpers and Café Milano's Franco Nuschese co-hosted a party for 250 at the restaurant. Among those dressed to the nines was Karen's tiny, hide-in-a-handbag poodle Campari, resplendent in a blue feather boa.
Seen: Charles and Evelyn DiBona, Susan Blumenthal, John McLaughlin, Ann and Lloyd Hand, Diana and Richard McLellan, Cal Thomas, Josette Shiner, former House minority leader Bob Michel, Mel Estrin, Alla Rogers, Carol Laxalt and D.C. politicos Harold Brazil and Jack Evans, Marty Tolchin, Rep. Phil and Arlene Crane, Harriett Kassman and former Senator Larry Pressler.
TURKISH DELIGHT: “Turkish delight” is the name of the small, chewy squares of lokum candy, that was passed with the coffee at a recent luncheon at the Embassy of Turkey, but the term applies also to the luncheon itself, and to Mimi Logoglu, the delightful wife of Turkey's ambassador to the U.S. Mimi assembled a spirited set of guests, all active women on the Washington scene. Among them were Shamin Jawad, wife of the ambassador of Afghanistan; Ina Ginsburg; Renee Robinson; Sheilah Katz; Sandra Maddock-Schatz; soprano Jackie Neimat; Evelyn Moore, past president of THIS, the group that welcomes diplomatic families to Washington; and Fay Rockne.
The Logoglus are temporarily housed nearby while their embassy at 23rd and Massachusetts Avenue, N.W. is being renovated and then redecorated (by Aniko Gaal Schott, who has beautified several of Washington's diplomatic residences).
SECRETS: Delectable secrets, in this case, when ubiquitous Charlie Adler, the guiding light of D.C. Taste organized another of his food and wine receptions, this one under the aegis of the Embassy of Colombia. Making its debut at the party was Patricia McCausland-Gallo's book, “Secrets of Colombian Cooking.” Patricia, a native of Colombia, traveled throughout her country to gather the most authentic regional dishes from the wide spectrum of Colombian cuisine and the recipes are as varied and fascinating as the geography of that colorful country. Selections came from Los Arrieros Restaurant, in Silver Spring, and followed her recipes for nine dishes, accompanied by Passion Fruit Kir, Hot Firewater tea, wines, and of course—Colombian coffee.
Patricia is a pretty, vivacious slip of a girl, mother of three young daughters, a nutritionist, pastry chef and teacher who was born in the Caribbean town of Baranquilla and began her culinary hegira at age 12 in her family's bakery. She tore herself away to attend Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, then studied at the American Institute of Baking in Kansas, as well as the Ecole Ecole Lenotre in Paris, a pinnacle in the pastry world. She now owns two bakeries in Colombia, and travels the world teaching and lecturing.
“Secrets of Colombian Cooking” is published by New York's Hippocrene, whose long list of published cookbooks ranges geographically and alphabetically from Afghan to Uzbek.
UPCOMING: Sally Quinn and Ben Bradlee will be the roastees at the American Women's Club Gala on April 14. Dynamic Ginny Daley and organizer-extraordinaire Paula Lettice are cochairs, and among the roasters will be Judy Woodruff and her husband Al Hunt, Kathleen and Chris Matthews, and George Stephanopoulos and his wife Alexandra Wentworth… ….Washington poet and publisher Karren Aliener's jazz opera with composer William Banfield, “Gertrude Stein Invents a Jump Early On,” will soon have its Broadway world premiere. There will be two evening performances and a Saturday matinee June 15-18 at Manhattan's Thalia Theatre. At the same New York theater on May 17, and 19, excerpts from the work will be given within a four-company opera show entitled “On the Edge.” Karren's take on the perils of creativity is interesting, “Hubris, vanity, rejection. In an artist's life, these stations along the road called ambition loom larger than the witches Macbeth met on a Scottish heath.”
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