HughE Dillon: 5th Anniversary of Philly Chit Chat

Guests have a blast celebrating the local blog and donating to a good cause.

Last night in Old City, Reserve Steakhouse and Cashman & Associates hosted a party in my honor for the fifth anniversary of my blog,, which chronicles the lives of Philadelphians. Many of the people who appear on the site, as well as in my Philly Post column, came out to celebrate with me and support my charity, Gilda’s Club of SJ. Returning to Philadelphia to co-host the event was pastry chef Monica Glass, here with her dad, Dan Glass. Monica’s mom, Kathleen Glass, passed away from ovarian cancer. Monica has partnered with Éclat Chocolate and created the chocolate bar “Kathy’s Gift” to raise awareness of ovarian cancer. The coffee, pecan and caramel bar can be order from Éclat’s website.

It was so nice to see so many friends, many met over the past five years, people who allowed me to photograph them and trusted me with their stories. Below: Michael Chobert and Barbara Katz Chobert. Barb’s drinking a Teal-Tini made with Ciroc Vodka, Blue Curacao, pineapple juice and a splash of fresh lime juice. If you purchase a Teal-Tini at Reserve during the month of September, which is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, Reserve will donate the proceeds to Gilda’s Club of SJ. Also I want to thank Southern Wine & Spirits for providing the liquor for the event.

Below: Actors George Bruno and John Mitchell (check him out in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire next week), Pilates expert, author and historian Stacey Redfield, and Larry Guiffra, of Replica Creative. All of these folks appear in Silver Linings Playbook, filmed in the Philadelphia area and premiering November 21, 2012.

Below: Marilyn Sukonick-Zeff, of Professional Tarot Presentations, reads the cards of Jim Werner, GPTMC, and Mike Sheridan, Hotel Monaco Philadelphia (opening Fall 2012).

Below: Ian Michael Crumm, Sharon Phillips Waxman and Trish Maurer were filling me in on all the details regarding the 19th Annual Phasion Phest at the Shops at Liberty Place to be held on September 19th as part of the Philadelphia Collection. Tickets are only $50 in advance.

Below: I found Reggie Berry, Kristyn Aldrich and Adrienne Diaz in line at the Cool Pix Photo Booth. Be warned, people: I will be getting a CD of all the photos taken last night and will be posting them on next week. I can’t wait!

Below: The glowing Alison Frick and soon-to-be daddy to twins, NBC 10’s Dave Warren stopped by to say hi. The babies are due in January.

Below: Carie Brescia, who’s working on a new revolutionary makeup brush, Ray Pennacchia, senior VP at NovaCare Rehabilitation, and Carrie Simon.

Below: Thanks to Laura Burkhardt, The Lab, for all her help with the business side of throwing a party of this magnitude; she’s here with Jennifer Carroll. What a joy it was to cover her career in Philly while she was at Eric Ripert’s 10 Arts, and also trying to launch a restaurant in Philadelphia. It’s our loss that now she’s heading to NYC to open her dream restaurant in just a few more weeks. Check out her new reality show Life After Top Chef, debuting on Bravo on October 3rd.

Below: I would have liked to have been at this “Algonquin Round Table” with Carol J. Cirucci, Mark A. Tarasiewicz, associate executive director of the Philadelphia Bar Association, columnist Bonnie Squires, Harriet Lessey, a former columnist who’s now in PR, and blogger Dan Cirucci.

Below: Craft & Claw is the clever name for the new restaurant that is taking over the space from Mad River on Chestnut Street, and opening September 22nd. Zach Seidman is the GM. He tells me they’re bringing locally sourced seafood and a wide selection of American craft beer to the new place. Nick Fabian, formerly of Anastaci Seafood, is the executive chef. Also: Stacey Kracher, marketing director of Zarwin Baum, Waylon Nelson, GM of G Lounge, and Ryan Dorsey, owner of Recess Lounge.

Below: The Sporting Club crew was there, Amy Stratton, GM, Ariel Bronstein, Steve Hoffman (my trainer who is helping me loose 100 pounds by my next anniversary) and Mary Cieslak, salon and spa director. BTW, Steve also trained Josh Holloway while he was in town filming Paranoia. Sometimes they’d be working out right before my session. Holloway is an animal, not unlike his character on Lost.

Below: She said Yes!! Congratulations to Dani Gonzalez and Caitlyn Joyce on their engagement over the weekend at her family’s home in Cape Cod. The duo has been dating for more than three years, having met at Brandywine Polo in the spring of 2009. They’re planning a 2013 summer wedding.

Below: Jennifer Schloder and famed cheesesteak king Tony Luke Jr., with Julie and Jon Dorenbos. Tony’s original family eatery is at 30 East Oregon Avenue, and their franchise has grown to eight locations, from Atlantic City in New Jersey to Bahrain in the Middle East. After conquring the cheesesteak world, Tony is now venturing into selling his own brand of knives—to cut those cheesesteaks in half, now that he is dieting and only eating half of his portions.

Below: Jim Donovan, CBS 3, Diane Johnson and Christian DiCicco. Former Geek of the Week, CBS 3’s Nicole Brewer was there too, but I never got a photo of her. Speaking of Geekadelphians thanks to Eric Smith, Britt Miller, Mikey Il and Allie Harcharek for stopping by, as well as Street Gazing’s Big Rube, Patty Jackson, Tina Elmer, Megan Smith, Mike Hirata, Phyllis Halpern, Mariska Bogle, Jackiem Wright, Jen Groover, Lisa Moreno, Danielle Triplett, Renee Reese, Bobbie Booker, Chris Gabello, Zander Taketomo, Christian LeCornu, David and Jenine Neff, James and Alycia Zeleniak (who are expecting a baby too), Sherri Gurich, Chuck Peruto, Lynsie and Evan Solomon, Phila Andrews and so many others. Thank you so much.

Below: Happy birthday, Justin Pizzi, who stopped in to celebrate my anniversary, with Jillian Mele, NBC 10, her brother Tom Mele, and friend Stephanie Hayden. Thanks to CTO’s DJ Bizz and Yau Riquierdo with his electronic violin, which really set the tone for a fun night.

Below: Mary K. Dougherty, owner of Nicole Miller stores in Philadelphia, Carol Drumstas, Brown Forman, and Buffy Morgan, Chorus Communications were looking forward to Fashion Night Out in Philadelphia. Mary tells me she has more than 100 RSVP’s for the event at Nicole Miller at The Bellevue. Carol is headed over to Joan Shepp. I’ll be hitting those two, plus stopping by Al For’s “Random Red Carpet,” which will be set up in various Rittenhouse Square locations before I hit the Knit Wit and Jason Matthews fashion shows at 1729 Chestnut Street.