Loading up at Evening with the Masters, rockin’ with Brandywine’s river rats, antiques galore, venerable Vicmead Hunt Club reopens and more.

Hello, dahlings! Fantastic food and bare summer dresses reign at the best parties—as do river rats, dragonflies and the famous Keno brothers. Read on.

- Advertisement -


Behold that mega-caloric marathon known as the Masterful Weekend, which sated even hard-core foodies and oenophiles.

- Partner Content -

Kicking things off: The 10th Annual Evening With the Masters, which might be called—with considerable understatement—the marathon’s appetizer course. Chateau country denizens Tory and Rich Diffenderffer munched on Long Island duck confit alongside Jeanne and Don Mell. (Don is treasurer of Meals on Wheels Delaware, the extravaganza’s beneficiary.) Wilmington Mayor Jim Baker was transfixed by Thierry Aujard’s elaborate swans at SUGARdesigns. “I just can’t imagine making that thing. I’d be breakin’ it or somethin’,” Hizzoner remarked. University of Delaware junior Andrea Burajas, accompanied by classmate Taylor Strong, singled out the crab dip and lobster as “amazing.” Another volunteer, Spark editor Matt Sullivan, was breaking a sweat introducing chefs at a cooking demo. “Whatever Ajit wants, Ajit gets,” Matt explained in a reference to the man behind the magic, Ajit Mathew George, events chair for Meals on Wheels Delaware. Alas, Ajit hangs it up this year, but says he’ll stay active within the cause. If only everyone would stop referring to him as Adg-it. It’s pronounced Ah-jeet.

Meanwhile, Lindsay Ann Shaw, 5, of Newark—daughter of Julie Shaw, director of sales and marketing at Sheraton Suites—swung her legs back and forth watching the creative garnishes that Craig Trostle, owner of The Greenery Caterers, carved from apples and veggies. Geese, penguins and peacocks, oh, my!

“Are you armless tonight?” Gerret Copeland, co-chair of A Masterful Dinner on Saturday night, asked Gabby. “I think he means harmless,” corrected Tatiana Copeland, the other co-chair and Gerret’s better half. Beware: Gabby is never completely off-the-record. Table-hopping between seven spectacular courses in The Green Room of the Hotel du Pont, we chatted up Coo and Jamie Murray, Su and Peter Horty, and the power-hitting foursome of Josh and Cynthia Primo Martin, Lynne Howard (a top aide to New Castle County Executive Chris Coons), and Sylvia Banks, manager of corporate contributions at DuPont. Julie Cawley of MBNA Foundation—whose hubby, Charles Cawley, calls “my first trophy wife”—was honored. Our table mates: Helen and Bill Stimson, the Hortys’ neighbors in Delaware Art Museum territory. Helen, who travels the globe as vice president and general manager of Agilent Technologies, regaled us with an account of offering to donate her frequent flyer miles to some live pigs that a Hawaiian chef was determined to fly to Delaware to make a Meals specialty several years ago. The chef was eventually persuaded that the Lancaster County brand would work just as well.

- Advertisement -

Soldiering on, the Celebrity Chefs’ Brunch at Bank of America headquarters was aimed at the elastic-waistband crowd. Martha Carper, pert in a pale lilac suit, liked the award-winning crab bisque from the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michael’s, Maryland. Mary du Pont of Wilmington praised chef Dan Butler’s Gorgonzola-stuffed short rib ragout concoction (a Gabby fave). “I’ve been told it’s my duty to eat everything here,” said Tatiana Copeland, ever the trooper in a fuchsia pantsuit and Hermes scarf. Then she zoomed in on the Baltic Buffet by chefs from Kalmar, Sweden. After all, Tania is the Kalmar Nyckel’s godmother.

Lisa Hobbs swiped an extra slice of Michele Mitchell’s cappuccino mousse cake for her husband, Sam Hobbs, of Twin Lakes Brewery. Francine Covelli is excited about taking over Tomm’s Produce in Hockessin. Lyn Doto and Bill Montgomery, Greer Firestone, Deborah Neff, Barbara du Pont

Our Best of Delaware Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!

Holiday flash sale ... subscribe and save 50%

Limited time offer. New subscribers only.