RSVIP: How Green Was My Gala
But granola in the gift bag and a local farm-fresh menu didn't mean that guests wore Birkenstocks. In fact, Miller had opalescent strips on her not exactly homespun dress. "I was so happy," said the designer, "because they go with my necklace by Jacqui Toboroff that I have never had a chance to wear."
The Green Gala took place at the Wolffer Estate, a sprawling vineyard in Sagaponack, New York . . . Hamptons heartland. Amidst aligned rows of grapevines, a Wolffer Estate tasting center abuts Route 27. Turning west, past an Italianate villa structure, some 400 guests, including James Lipton of "The Actors Studio," drove across flaxen fields where they parked their Mercedes SUVs, and hopefully a few hybrid vehicles.
The local farm-fresh menu served in a breezy tent included gravlax and organic beets on baby lettuce from Early Girl Farm (the Moriches). A Wolffer verjus beurre blanc accompanied the sea bass, as well as a salad of vegetables from Cutchogue's Satur Farms. Chef Brian Fishman of Sweet Karma whipped up a local goat-cheese cake marinated in Wolffer's late harvest Chardonnay. "It was the best food I have ever had at an event . . . ever," said Miller.
Silent auction items also said green. Lot 304 included "Martha Stewart clean, effective, responsible, safe laundry detergent." Lot 108 was an Ella Vickers recycled sailcloth bag. For a suggested value of $320, bidders could receive a year of organic dairy products from Organic Valley. And for $500 per tree, they could plant the 20-foot birch trees decorating the event at their homes. Instant tree-lined driveway. A 13-day African eco-safari for two which starts at the Ngong Treehouses in Nairobi went for $18,000 in the live auction. Heady total raised by auction: $130,000.
April Trigg of Eventologie, who planned the event, said she was wearing a recycled organic dress from H&M's Garden collection. The former Los Angeles talent agent told Luxist that she replanted herself in Atlanta "to create parties that I feel good about."
So how green was this gala? "Pretty green," answered Trigg. "We used chefs acquainted with local farms and fisheries. Two separate dumpsters were employed, one to recycle and one for food compost. And all of the power generated for the tent came from Green Now biodiesel generators."
Leftover food went to local food banks. And, as expected, centerpieces were particularly green. "We did green leaves and succulents that came from the East End [of Long Island]; horsetails represented the East End marshlands," said Trigg. "They were potted, so after the event, guests could take them home to use on their tables and replant in their gardens."
Proceeds, $600,000 in all, will be dedicated to education, advocacy, and community action. The big issue, according to Bob DeLuca, president of Group for the East End: "To protect the farms, beaches, and natural environment that make the East End such a special place.