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Perri Peltz Ruttenberg, Patricia Duff,
Lisa Jackson, Debbie Bancroft,
Mireille Guiliano

One Grand Dame

Story by Roger Webster
Photos by Patrick Mcmullan

EBBIE BANCROFT was the guest of honor at La Grande Dame Dinner hosted by Mireille Guiliano, resident and CEO of Clicquot, Inc. This annual champagne dinner by Clicquot salutes the significant achievements of exemplary women. Previous honorees include The Lion King’s Julie Taymor, choreographer Trisha Brown, and Nicole Miller.

As a hard working board member of the Ronald McDonald Associates, the Drama League and New Yorkers For Children, a committee member for The Wildlife Conservation Society’s successful Penguins And Pearls gala, a co-chair, two years running, of the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (ARF) summer galas, and a trustee of Southampton’s Parrish Art Museum, Debbie certainly qualifies as a Grande Dame.

And to those of us who know her as a mother, wife, friend and just one of the nicest people in town, let’s rephrase Rogers & Hammerstein: There is nothing like a Debbie!

Anne Hearst and Patricia Duff 

The party was held in the Bancrofts’ Southampton home, where tables were set up in the garden under trees that had been up-lit by lighting maestro Bentley Meeker. He topped off the all-white decor with hanging ivory-colored Chinese lanterns.

Christopher Robbins from Robbins Wolfe Eventeurs personally supervised the cuisine and his staff of handsome cavaliers who were prepared to parry with the rain.

They started off with seared yellow fin tuna tartare, Asian green curry crab cakes and pissaldiere nicoise washed down with a delightful Champagne Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut. Then there was a timbale of Maine lobster served with confetti vegetables, avocado and a garnish of sturgeon caviar and chive cream complemented by Champagne La Grande Dame 1995. That was followed by a noisette of lamb loin with a classic bordelaise sauce, golden corn pudding, and summer vegetables, this time with a La Grand Dame Rose 1990. Dessert was a local peach and fresh mango tart with red berry, mango coulis coupled with an absolutely divine Veuve Clicquot Demi Sec.

Julia Koch and Dana Hammond

Lucky guests included Eric Fischl and April Gornik, Gigi Mortimer, David and Julia Koch, Etta Froio, Chris and Tory Burch, Dana Hammond, Patricia Duff, Chappy Morris, Anne Hearst, Edward Guiliano, Anne Barish, Nathan and Katharina Otto, Tiffany Dubin, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Nicole Miller and Kim Taipale, Donald and Lisa Jackson, Richard and Marcia Mishaan, Perri Peltz and Eric Ruttenberg, Bettina Zilkha, Dr. Howard Sobel, Chappy Morris and Melissa Stanley,  Ivana Lowell, Duane Hampton, Bob Feldman, Marty and Patty Raynes, and Douglas Hannant, who designed Debbie’s sequined pants and white satin top.

Mireille led everybody in a toast to Debbie’s famous million dollar day. The previous week she co-chaired a benefit at the Mercedes Benz Polo Challenge opening that raised $200,000 for New Yorkers For Children in the afternoon and, in the evening, she co-chaired the Midsummer Gala with Beth DeWoody that raised $800,000 for the Parrish.

There is nothing you can name that is anything like that Debbie!

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