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Peggy's Category Archives: Event News

Women Presidents’ Organization – The 50 Fastest Award Ceremony

Women Presidents’ Organization – The 50 Fastest Award Ceremony

Peggy Sweeney-McDonald was honored to be invited by Diane Lyons, Owner of Access on Arrangements, to emcee the Women Presidents’ Organization’s 50 Fastest Growing Women Owned/Led Companies Award Ceremony at the New Orleans Sheraton on April 24, 2014. Working with Susan Johnson, Director of Communications of the WPO, Peggy brought a “Taste of New Orleans” to the inspiring award ceremony attended by over 800 attendees.

“Best-selling author and internet food talk show host Peggy Sweeney-McDonald enthusiastically stepped in at the last minute to emcee the Women Presidents’ Organization awards ceremony, honoring Fifty Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies Worldwide. A Louisiana native, she brought her local culinary star power and trademark ebullience to the stage for the 7th annual ranking of the 50 fastest.”  Susan Johnson, Director of Communications, Women Presidents’ Organization.

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2014 Passions of the Palate

2014 Passions of the Palate

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Peggy Sweeney-McDonald recently brought a taste of Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde… to the 2014 Passions of the Palate at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on April 14, 2014. This festive and beautiful event is the annual fundraiser for the University’s Hospitality & Hotel Management program.  This year was a New Orleans theme and Peggy was invited to emcee the event along with five New Orleans executive chefs from popular New Orleans restaurants. Three of the chefs were veterans of the Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde… live shows and featured in the Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde… Life Stories About Food coffee table/cookbook by Pelican Publishing. These include: Chef Michael Regua from Antoine’s Restaurant, Chef Matt Murphy of The Irish House and Chef Alan Ehrich of The Audubon Institute. The other Chefs participating were Chef Guy Reinbolt of Broussard’s Restaurant and Chef Austin Kirzner of Red Fish Grill.

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Open Mic Night, Chef-Style Sunday, Jan. 27 and Monday, Feb. 11.

Open Mic Night, Chef-Style Sunday, Jan. 27 and Monday, Feb. 11.

Foodies and chefs tell stories of their favorite suppers. And more. 

By Alysia Gray Painter

If you’ve lived in Los Angeles, or any city for any length of time, you’ve likely been to something like an open mic night, or something resembling that.

Gotta give anyone who gets up at a mic props, of course, regardless of how successful they are. It isn’t easy to tell jokes cold, or a hilariously painful story from junior high. It can sometimes be challenging to connect to the story being told.

What is easy to connect with, though? Stories of food. Stories of eating something lovely and special. Stories of a nice meal with friends. That’s a common experience for many people, and even if the storyteller is talking oysters and you don’t eat seafood, you can see the supper they describe.

Meanwhile, Back at Cafe du Monde, the traveling talk-about-food show (and now book) is all about short food tales told by chefs and other food professionals. Call it a very focused, very flavorful spin on open mic night. And, we should add, the speakers, who all will be speaking for 5 or so minutes, are all invited up to the mic.

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Brand New Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde…Shows at Tom Bergin’s Tavern in Los Angeles – January 27 & February 11, 2013

“Tasty and amazing stories about our favorite subject, FOOD!” –Emeril & Alden Lagasse

MEANWHILE, BACK AT CAFE DU MONDE… the popular, unique, and festive food monologue show and now a best seller coffee table/cookbook is coming back to Los Angeles for more live shows!  Partnering with Tom Bergin’s Tavern, the show will be produced on January 27th and February 11, 2013. Featured foodies sharing their stories will be Tom Bergen’s Executive Chef Brandon Boudet and Operating Manager — Kat Witt, Lisa Annitti  who inspired the shows with her now famous “Coconut Pie and a Bottle of Wine” story, writer/director – Diana Zollicoffer featured in the book “The Other Creole Girl”, Actor – Lance Spellerberg featured in the book “Miss New Orleans, Adam Milstein – owner of South Santa Monica and featured in the book “A Bit of SOUTH IN Santa Monica”, Johnnie Handel – Private Chef & co-owner of San Gennaro’s Restaurant, Brigitte Pailet – General Manager of Snookie’s, Theo Stephan — Founder of Global Gardens Olive Oil & Vinegar, Chef Das Smith, Founder/Director of Culinary Program at Beverly Hills High School, Actress/Producer/Blogger -Melanie Elliott and Peggy Sweeney-McDonald — creator/producer/editor of Meanwhile…. Susan IrbyThe Bikini Chef, the cookbook author,  host of KABC Bikini Lifestyle Radio will emcee the January show.  Chef Jamie Gwen, celebrity chef, 4 time cookbook author, certified sommelier and host of Cooking and Wine with Chef Jamie Gwen live radio show- KFWB News Talk 980 will emcee the February 11th Mardi Gras show.

Humorous and heartfelt, these personal food stories all have the common thread of food — our culture and relationships, personal life stories, restaurant experiences, past love affairs, and more. “We’ve all experienced the highs and lows of life, which mostly revolve around our food experiences,” says creator/producer Peggy Sweeney-McDonald, a former actress and veteran event producer (Superstar Events-LA) and 15-year resident of Los Angeles, CA. Everyone has their own “Cafe Du Monde” experience–the place where they know what they are ordering, they know it is delicious, and they know they are with good friends and family and for that hour, life is really wonderful!

The oldest Irish establishment in Los Angeles, Tom Bergin’s was founded in 1936 by Tom Bergin, a former lawyer turned publican. Since 1949, Tom Bergin’s Tavern has occupied a quaint Irish style cottage on Fairfax, and over the decades has been one of LA’s most popular watering holes. Known for the distinctive Horse Shoe bar, the inspiration behind the bar used in the celebrated sitcom Cheers, Tom Bergin’s is renowned not only for its Irish Coffee, but also for its camaraderie and warm neighborhood feel. In 1973, the tavern was sold to T.K. Vodrey, who kept the Bergin tradition alive and thriving. Today, Warner Ebbink and Brandon Boudet, known for their skill in revitalizing old school restaurants, have acquired the celebrated Irish tavern and have restored the iconic bar, cathedral-like ceilings and paneled wooden decor, while still maintaining the integrity of the historic institution. For more information, visit www.tombergins.com.

6PM doors open; 7:30PM show – Tickets $25 and include show, beignets, Irish Coffee, tax & gratuity. Cash Bar & Full Menu available. Tom Bergin’s Tavern is located at 840 S. Fairfax, Limited Seating – Reservations call: 323-936-7151

For more information on the book, please contact: Peggy Sweeney-McDonald 310-709-2851Email: peggy@superstareventsla.com websites: www.meanwhilebackatcafedumonde.com – www.superstareventsla.com

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“Meanwhile, Back at Cafe du Monde…” at Tom Bergin’s Tavern

“Meanwhile, Back at Cafe du Monde…” at Tom Bergin’s Tavern
Sit back, relax (with Irish coffee and beignets) and enjoy the show — a series of monologues that creator Peggy Sweeny-McDonald calls “life stories about food.” The cast features actors and local food-industry folk including Brandon Boudet and Kat Witt (Tom Bergin’s Tavern), Adam Milstein (South Santa Monica), Johnnie Handel (San Gennaro Cafe), Brigitte Pailet (Snookie’s) and Theo Stephan (Global Gardens Olive Oil & Vinegar). Sweeny-McDonald recently published a book based on the show, and will present it atSurfas Costa Mesa on Jan. 26 from 12-2 p.m.
WHAT: “Meanwhile, Back at Cafe du Monde…” at Tom Bergin’s Tavern
WHEN: Friday, Jan. 27, and Monday, Feb. 11, 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
WHERE: Tom Bergin’s Tavern, 840 S. Fairfax Ave., L.A.
COST: $25, including beignets, coffee, tax and gratuity. (Full menu available too.) Call 323-936-7151 for a reservation.

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The Faulkner Society’s Words & Music

The Faulkner Society’s Words & Music

The Faulkner Society’s Words & Music – November 29, 2012
Each year, the The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society sets aside a portion of the Words & Music program to explore work about New Orleans and it’s state, and new work by Louisianians. This segment of the program is called, New Orleans Mon Amour.  Peggy Sweeney-McDonald was invited to bring the Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde… Life Stories About Food as a breakfast presentation complete with beignets by Cafe Du Monde.  The event was held at the beautiful Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter on Thursday, November 29th at 8:30-9:30 AM.

Peggy opened the “Meanwhile…” session with her journey from inspiration to live shows to book.  Joining her on stage and sharing their life food about food from the book was Margarita Bergen (Cafe Society Columnist), John Gray (Jazz Artist & Educator), Elizabeth Pearce (Cocktail Historian) and Karen Benrud an owner of Cafe Du Monde who shared her foreword of the book about growing up in the Cafe Du Monde family.

It was an honor to be among the distinguished authors, literary agents and publishers.  The Words and Music Program showcased literary master Ernest J. Gaines, actress Cecily Tyson and Grammy winner Irwin Mayfield.

WORDS & MUSIC: A Literary Feast in New Orleans

November 28 – December 2, 2012

New and established writers join dedicated readers in a unique multi-arts festival sponsored by the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, Inc., created in 1990 on William Faulkner’s birthday by men and women dedicated to good books and their authors, including Nobel Laureate William Faulkner, who wrote his first novel, Soldiers’ Pay, in New Orleans, LA.

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A Festive Week – Hollydays & The Louisiana Book Festival

A Festive Week – Hollydays & The Louisiana Book Festival

Peggy has an exciting and festive week planned. Peggy will be joining Whitney Vann on 2une In – WBRZ Channel 2 in Baton Rouge early Wednesday morning live (sometime between 5:30am – 6:30am) from the Junior League Hollydays stage with Chef Don Bergeron of Mid-City Market discussing the Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde…Life Stories About Food coffee table book and the Hollydays’ events. Peggy is partnering with LD Linens & Decor and will be signing books at their book from the Hollydays Opening Night Gala on Wednesday, October 24th through Saturday, October 27th until noon. The 2012 Louisiana Book Festival kicks off on Saturday and Peggy will be signing books at the Pelican Publishing booth at 1:00PM followed by a don’t miss performance of Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde…at 2:30PM on the festival stage with Paul Arrigo, Missy Crews, Sandy Davis, John Gray, Jerry Leggio and Jim Urdiales. Following the performance, Peggy and the storytellers will be signing books at the Barnes and Noble tent. Join us at one or all of the events! The books are The Holiday Gift Item so shop early and get your family and friends a signed copy by Peggy and the other storytellers.

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Chef Ryan Rondeno’s Cuisine Adds a Bit of Louisiana “Lagniappe” at Nancystree.org Garden Party

Watch “Meanwhile,Back At Cafe Du Monde…” one of the most popular food channels on Livestream.com



Chef Ryan Rondeno’s Adds A Bit of  

Louisiana “Lagniappe”

 to NancysTree.org Garden Party

A few months ago, Ryan Rondeno, a private chef in Los Angeles reached out to me.  Another “foodie” friend, Chef Melinda Curtis, who I had met at 2011 Tasty Awards, referred Ryan to me.  He’s a New Orleans native who lives in Los Angeles and is a private chef to the stars!  Ryan has cooked for Will and Jada Smith, Tyrese Gibson and Sugar Ray Leonard.  Ryan and I became FB friend and I told him I would keep him in mind for the next Los Angeles show of “Meanwhile, Back At Cafe Du Monde…”. Ryan has worked at the best New Orleans restaurants, including Commander’s Palace and Emeril’s and has been in Los Angeles for three years. A few months later, I needed to get a caterer for the VIP Suite for the fundraiser I was producing and I immediately reached out to him.

Chef Ryan Rondeno
NancysTree.org was created earlier this year to raise funds to help Nancy and Jay Westbrook cover their medical and living expenses as Nancy struggles with Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer.  Nancy was diagnosed on her birthday in December.  Jay is a hospice care nurse who was laid off last year.  Their friends were devastated and decided to take action and produce a Garden Party to raise funds and to celebrate Nancy’s life.   I didn’t know Jay and Nancy, but jumped in to be of service.  Last September, I had produced the Premiere Oncology Foundation’s Truth Be Told event and the night before the event, my beloved Mother-in-Law passed away of lung cancer.  Everyone has been touched by cancer.  I saw how much Nancy and Jay meant to my friends and how passionate they were to make a difference so I was thrilled to be on board for this event.  In the last month, I have been able to get to know Jay and Nancy and am inspired by their journey and how they are walking through this with grace and dignity.

Jay and Nancy Westbrook
The Garden Party event was be held at Miauhaus Studios, a cool photography studio in Hollywood on Sunday, April 29, 2012 from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm.  The event included a silent auction, food/refreshments and a comedy show and celebrity appearances by Russell Brand, Ant Comic, Tammy Pescatelli,Janice Dickinson, Sarge, Aileen Quinn and more. Activate Drinks, Illy Issimo Coffee and Sokenbicha Tea sponsored this amazing event.  Ryan was excited to be on board as a sponsor for the event to create appetizers in the VIP Suite.  He then sent me a delicious menu of passed appetizers.  Russell Brand is vegan so Ryan tweaked the menu a bit. The vegan selections included golden beet salad with lemon-walnut emulsion and Babaganoush served with crispy pita chips.  The rest of the guests enjoyed smoked Mozzarella and sundried tomato salad, with Serrano ham, and melon compote on a crostini — simply delicious!

The highlight was my Louisiana favorite, crawfish and corn macque choux (pronounced “Mock Shoe”) with fennel-onion jam!  Macque Choux is stewed corn and tomatoes and divine.  Add crawfish and it is double divine!  (See Chef Ryan’s Recipe below)

Crawfish Maque Choux

I can’t begin to tell you how much of a hit these appetizers were.  My friend, Adriana Bate, who I met in New Orleans years ago and now lives in Los Angeles, came to volunteer with the registration.  When she arrived, I told her we had a New Orleans chef making crawfish corn macque choux in the kitchen, she said, “That is my all-time favorite dish at Commander’s Palace and go get some for me NOW!”  We all kept running to the kitchen throughout the afternoon to get another passed appetizer sized portion off the tray as Ryan patiently kept replenishing the tray for the waiter to pass in the VIP Suite.

Peggy & Chef Ryan Rondeno on the Red Carpet

Can I just say, there is nothing like a Louisiana chef to spice up a party menu!  It was such a treat to have Ryan on board and his personality, great smile and energy were “Lagniappe” as we say in Louisiana.  For those of you who aren’t familiar – Lagniappe (pronounced “Lan-yap”) means “a little bit extra” and saying it is almost as fun as experiencing it.  It always makes me smile!


Russell Brand & Tammy Pescatelli


Jimmy McDonald, Peggy, Actress – Aileen Quinn, 
& Travis McDowell – Activate Drink Sponsor


Ant Comic, Peggy & comedian,  Tammy Pescatelli

For donations or more information about NancysTree.org, please check out the website.


For more information about Peggy Sweeney-McDonald & Superstar Events-LA go to www.superstareventsla.com
or call 310-709-2851


Chef Ryan Rondeno is available for events or private catering. He can be reached at  678-763-6627


www.facebook.com/chefryanrondeno and www.twitter.com/chefryanrondeno 




Chef Ryan’s Crawfish Corn Macque Choux with Fennel Marmalade

Ingredients

4 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onions, small diced
1 large green bell pepper, small diced
1 red bell pepper, small diced
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 cups fresh corn kernels
2 Tbsp creole seasoning
16 oz Louisiana crawfish tails
1 ½ cups of heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions:
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onions and the bell peppers. Cook until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute.  Add the corn and two Tbsp of creole seasoning.  Cook and stir until soft, about 5 minutes.  On medium-high, add the heavy cream. Cook and stir until the heavy cream thickens about 4-5 minutes. Add the crawfish.  Cook just to heat the crawfish through.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Fennel-Onion Marmalade
Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, small diced
1 large fennel, small diced
1 cup sugar
1 cup of white balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Note: Use fennel frawns for garnishing the crawfish corn macque choux.
Instructions:

In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion, cook until soft for two minutes. Add fennel and cook another two minutes. Add sugar and vinegar.  Cook for 20 minutes or until marmalade thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
DELICIOUS! 
Can substitute crawfish with shrimp or chicken.

Note: Ryan buys his crawfish in Los Angeles at the New Orleans Fish Market on Vernon.


Meanwhile, Back at Cafe’ Du Monde…
The festive and unique monlogue event about the
2nd Universal Language – FOOD and how our lives
revolve around the satisfaction of it!
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Request for Monologues for MEANWHILE, BACK AT CAFE DU MONDE…

“Meanwhile, Back At Cafe Du Monde…” a unique and festive monologue event about the 2nd Universal Language — FOOD — and how our lives revolve around the satisfaction of it. The show is created around a collection of FOOD monologues – stories about food, relationships around food, experiences in our lives that revolve around food, including love affairs, break-ups, careers, the highs and lows of our lives. The common thread is FOOD —an important part of our lives, our culture, and our personal stories! The event is a little bit of theatre, a lot about cuisine and a true cultural celebration.

The event begins with a festive cocktail party with a fabulous buffet of great food followed by local personalities as “headliners” sharing their personal life stories around food. Headliners have included The Food Network personalities, chefs, restaurant and business owners, actors, writers, musicians, singers, TV anchors and more.

The show premiered May 16, 2010, at The Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana and has gone on to sold out performances at restaurants in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Los Angeles and Santa Monica. A coffee table book of the monologues with pictures and recipes is in the works with Pelican Publishing and a TV pilot has been recently shot.

Monologues should be approximately 5-7 minutes. These monologues would not necessarily need to be memorized; however, you should be very familiar with your story. The show will include 8 monologues and would run approximately one hour and 15 minutes. These events will begin with a dinner before the show. All headliners get to bring a guest with them. There are no rehearsals. We arrive one hour before the doors open to go over the logistics and to take pictures. We look forward to hearing from you! For more information, please check out our website at http://www.meanwhilebackatcafedumonde.com. Please let us know asap if you are interested in participating in upcoming dates. If you have any questions or need further information, please contact the producers, Peggy Sweeney-McDonald at (310) 709-2851 or Jay Basist (225) 733-4016

Watch “Meanwhile,Back At Cafe Du Monde…” one of the most popular food channels on Livestream.com
Meanwhile, Back at Cafe’ Du Monde…
The festive and unique monlogue event about the
2nd Universal Language – FOOD and how our lives
revolve around the satisfaction of it!
Read more

Beth Schnitzer – San Francisco local joins cast!

Beth Schnitzer
Hailing from the East Coast, Beth has had a successful 20+ year career in the hospitality, sports, and entertainment sectors. Beth is Co-Founder and Partner of Spritz Marketing, an interactive marketing company that specializes in brand strategy and digital marketing solutions. Beth also oversees Partnership Marketing for PIER 39, Northern California’s most visited Tourist Attraction. Beth is actively involved in the San Francisco Community through various Non-Profit Boards and fundraising events and is also a Foodie and Wine lover. And her brothers have restaurants in Cape Cod, MA and South Beach FL. Beth received her business degree from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and resides in San Francisco.

Meanwhile, Back at Cafe’ Du Monde…
The festive and unique monlogue event about the
2nd Universal Language – FOOD and how our lives
revolve around the satisfaction of it!
Read more