Fourth Annual Feastival

Michael Solomonov, Audrey Claire Taichman, the Rendells and acrobats highlighted this year’s FringeArts fundraiser.

Rain nor wind nor high humidity could keep 1,500 people from attending the fourth-annual Audi Feastival last night. This year’s event was held on the waterfront at Pier 9 under the shimmering lights of the Ben Franklin Bridge. When the rains came, however, the acrobats at the entrance of the Feastival were forced to abandon their poles and cease giving roses to the attendees. This year’s event featured live performances by critically acclaimed artists, a culinary feast from more than 75 of the city’s top restaurants and bars, and silent and live auctions. All proceeds will benefit FringeArts.

Feastival was founded by three culinary luminaries: Stephen Starr, Michael Solomonov and Audrey Claire Taichman. The event co-chairs were Denise Di Simone of PNC Bank; real estate attorney Tony Forte of Saul Ewing LLP, and Jesse and Beka Rendell. Nick Stuccio (below), producing director of Philadelphia Live Arts & Philly Fringe, greets the guests and introduces FringeArts board pesident Richard Vague (left) to begin the live auction. Highlights included:

  • Two ultimate dinner parties, each with six renowned Philadelphia chefs. Both sold at $15,000.
  • The ultimate Philly fan sports package—tickets to the Eagles, Sixers, Phillies and Flyers—was sold to event co-chair Tony Forte for $7,000.

Also on stage is former Governor Ed Rendell, who acted as the evening’s other auctioneer.


No one was happier to be at Feastival than (below) Suzanne Roberts, beaming with husband of 71 years, Ralph Roberts. Always great to see the philanthropic Robertses, who are very supportive of the arts.

The charming and vivacious mistress of ceremonies for the evening was Maria Papadakis (second from left) with (from left) now-former Philadelphia Union goalie Chris KonopkaBrent Ainley, Lauren Bertrando and Philadelphia Union players Zac MacMath, Matt Kassel and Amobi Okugo. It came over the wire that Konopka was traded to Toronto FC this morning.

Below: Doc Parghi and Kate Slattery, who are counting down the days to their upcoming nuptials. They tell me they will have a traditional Indian wedding a few days before they are married at the Union League.

Below, from left: Bethany Formica, Michael Haschak of Pure Design Philadelphia and Megan Mazarick.

Below, from left: Alexa Q Johnson, Matt Fein and chef Michael Solomonov of Percy Street BBQ, Zahav and Federal Donuts (which he was here representing). The night's donut flavor: raspberry and vanilla.

Robin Austin and Tony Bruno (below) enjoyed the Big Eyed Tuna Poke by Stephen Starr's Continental.

Below: Peter Madden and Celeste Madden. Peter, who is on the board of The Hamels Foundation, tells me The Hamels Foundation Pitching Clinic for kids is coming up Nov. 16 and 17.

Below, from left: Katie Cuvato-Boyle, Ashli Mizell and Dawn Mallin. Katie tells me she loved the foie gras peach and white and dark chocolate push pops from Marigold Kitchen

Below, from left: Ian Michael Crumm, Kristin Detterline, Christie Honigman, Sal D'Angelo, Ilana Waber and Corie Moskow of Gloss PR who did publicity for Feastival, and Katie English, who told me Morgan’s Pier's caramelized scallop crudo with strawberry, zucchini and avocado dust was delicious. The after party for Feastival was held at Morgan Pier.

Below, from left: Rachel Viscidy, Alex Tewfik, Amy Biuidi, Maureen Ferguson and Richard Vague. Richard, board president of the Fringe Arts Festival, was moved by the generosity of people who came out to support the event and festival.

Below, from left: Caitlin Goodman, rare book librarian at Free Library of Philadelphia, Emma Fried-Cassorla, communications manager at Delaware River Waterfront Corporation and founder and editor of Philly Love Notes, and Molly Eichel, Philly Daily News columnist.

The Parc crew, from left: Tiffany Knappenberger, Sylvester Sankara, Anthony Goodwin, general manager Carol Anne Serena and Greg Lloyd. Many of the vegetarians I chatted with at Feastival praised Parc's dishes. This past summer, the French-themed restaurant on Rittenhouse Square was honored as one of the best outdoor restaurants in America by Travel + Leisure magazine.

Below, Annette Reyes of KYW 1060 and Joe Costanzo, general manager of Audi Wilmington, enjoyed the Fringe artists who performed on an elevated stage in the middle of the room.