HughE Dillon: Top Chef reunion

Plus the scene at the 80th Radnor Hunt Races

Once a year, on a Saturday in May, the well-groomed and impeccably dressed flock to Malvern’s Radnor Hunt Club to indulge in a little horse play wearing their finest threads, high-fashion millinery or most outrageous apparel—all in the spirit of this most charitable event. All proceeds from this past Saturday’s 80th Radnor Hunt Races benefit the land and water preservation programs of the Brandywine Conservancy in Chadds Ford.

It was my first time at the races, and I didn’t know what to expect. (I knew that I’d better get a new outfit because my normal “paparazzi black” just wouldn’t do; I summered in Stone Harbor during my childhood and into my 20s, so I can do preppy.) What I found was a huge party, with people who really got into the spirit of the day, large tented parties with generous spreads, themed tailgate parties, laughter and beautiful sunshine. The centerpiece was a large oval racetrack where I occasionally looked beyond my camera lens and saw serious horse racing, with crowds cheering.   On one side of the race course are the sponsor tents. They’re private, invite-only, but being press is the key to many of the fancier parties. (So many sponsors were very generous to me and my two dates for the day, Maria Papadakis and Michelle Miller, so thanks.) On the other side of the race track was the Radnor Hunt Clubhouse, the main sponsor tent of BNY Mellon Wealth Management, and several other sponsors. It is here you would also find many of the tailgating parties, and race-goers sitting in field chairs. This year’s tailgate competition theme was “Kings, Queens & Emperors.” I came across a few other themes too that were fun. Victoria and Lee McCue (below) got into their tailgate party bug theme. Later I saw a bumble bee with a tutu.

Six exciting steeplechase races featured horses galloping over hurdles and timber fences for purses totaling $215,000.

Below: Ashley Vanett, Maria Papadakis, Carol Tamburino, Sabrina Tamburino Thorne, Avra Gross, Michelle Miller and Lesley Kozloff

Milica Stojancic, Radnor Hunt Jr. committee, won first prize for her beautiful and awkward Gainsborough hat; with her is mom Gordana Loncar and Hacina Saadi.

Kerry O’Connor—from Magee Hospital marketing dept., but playing Irish Edition reporter, and a little bummed because both Irish jockeys dropped out at the last minute—and Dr. Adriana Torres seemed relaxed. But that may not be the case shortly as they prepare for their October wedding. I love that cigar box purse.

Lily and Holly Clinger, Marie Fritz, Brian Cawley, Kelly Forwood and Natasha Halenda, in front of their first prize-winning entry “On Queen Cunard,” for Best Group Picnic.

For the 13th time, Alessandra Nicolas and Christopher Glover enjoyed the races.

John Westrum, Hacina Saadi, Melanie Martin and Allison Binder.

Sophia Stogiannis, Water Works Restaurant and Lounge, with Linda Swain and guest.

Leslie Padilla, camera-shy Mac and mom Karen Hepp, Reina Sofia and Fox29’s John Bolaris.

Dana Spain, below with Michael Piszek, says mark your calendar for the Chefs’ Dinner for Philadelphia Animal Welfare Shelter on Monday June 28th at The Union League. Also every Thursday at Meritage restaurant, 10% of the food bill goes to PAWS when you dine with your dog.

Also sighted Saturday: Nicole Cashman, Michele Malin Seidman, Lesley van Arsdale, Kelly Boyd, Heather Shanahan, John Colabelli, Tempe Berish, Eric Robbins, Gale & Bruce Gillespie, George and Loraine Rubin, Justin Wineburgh & his two brothers, Lauren O’Dorisio, Lauren Nelson, Pat Meehan (the Republican candidate for the 7th Congressional District), and Jen Utley. See more pics on PhillyChitChat today.


Last night three former Chef’testants of Bravo’s Top Chef program stopped by to see former Top Chef contestant Jennifer Carroll at her restaurant, 10 Arts in the Ritz-Carlton. L-R: Jennifer Carroll, Ariane Duarte, Jamie Lauren and Nikki Cascone. The chefs are in town for Top Chef: The Tour, which Bravo sent out on the road a few weeks ago. Today at 10:30 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m., they will be putting on a show, signing autographs and posing for pictures on Dilworth Plaza (the west side of City Hall).


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