Weekend Roundup in Boston and Other Haute Happenings

The “funniest fundraiser in town” was held Friday night at the House of Blues. Banned in Boston‘s comedy and music revue raised money for Urban Improv‘s youth empowerment programs. This year’s event featured some of the biggest political names in Boston (think Governor Charlie Baker and Mayor Marty Walsh), who poked fun at themselves on stage for a great cause.

Warby Parker opened its second location in Boston at the Prudential Center (the first is located on Newbury Street). This haute property features grey and white terrazzo-tiled flooring, leather seating, colorful displays of books and a full collection of eyeglasses and sunglasses on walnut shelving. We checked in with Dave Gilboa, co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker to find out why they love Boston. “Boston has always been one of our favorite cities since we first visited in 2013 as part of the Warby Parker Class Trip to when we opened our second-ever retail location on Newbury Street. We’re looking forward to planting additional roots here!”

This weekend, Winston Flowers began hosting “Spring Saturday” workshops that run through the month of April at their Newton location. The haute events, which kicked off this weekend with a spring entertaining centerpiece demonstration, offer guests the opportunity to learn how to create centerpieces for their at-home spring holiday celebrations.

On Saturday, Boston Harbor Hotel hosted a Terroir Master Class led by Wine Director and Sommelier Nicholas Daddona. Attendees enjoyed wine samplings from the Grand Cru vineyards of France, Classified Bordeaux, and Napa Valley while learning tasting notes on how the soil, climates, and landscapes of the regions affect each.  After the class, Chef Daniel Bruce served up a specialty tasting menu complete, of course, with wine pairings.

MeritagePhoto Credit: Boston Harbor Hotel

Also in town this weekend were The Illusionists, who brought their show to the Opera House featuring Andrew Basso, who holds his breath for more than four stressful minutes while the audience watches him attempt to escape his underwater cell.

The 9th Annual Cochon 555 was held this weekend at the SOWA Power Station. The culinary festival celebrates heritage breed pork through cask-to-cocktail tastings with Glenfiddich single malt whisky, sensory demonstrations, and new product introductions. The event also featured chef-crafted recipes using more than 1,500 pounds of heritage breed pork for a great cause (a portion of all sales benefit the Piggy Bank Charity).

This morning at 11:30 a.m., enVision Hotel Boston Everett (an Ascend Hotel Collection member) near Logan Airport hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil the hotel’s latest member of the collection. Mayor Carlo DeMaria, Gautam Sharma, president of Global Vision Hotels and Dana Depelteau, the hotel’s general manager will be on hand for the kickoff event that transformed the former shoe and garment factory to the haute hotel that is now open to the public.

If you have always wanted to meet New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick, tomorrow night is your chance. Along with Bill Belichick Foundation’s Executive Director, Linda Holliday, Coach Belichick will host the second annual Team Belichick 26.2 Party at West End Johnnies to celebrate the six athletes (Will DiTullio, Amy Royal, James Baker, Jimmy Olson, Molly Swain and Anthony Fucillo), who will be running in this year’s 121st Boston Marathon for Team Belichick. Boston-based folk-rock band Brothers McCann will perform. Proceeds from the benefit will support student athletes and athlete organizations in need through the Foundation’s 2017 grant and scholarship program.

On Thursday night, Vanity Fair and Saks Fifth Avenue will be celebrating the 2017 International Best Dressed List with Vanity Fair’s Amy Fine Collins. The event to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on level two of Saks Fifth Avenue at the Prudential Center.

Some Boston chefs are taking on a three-day, 300-mile bike ride challenge next month to benefit No Kid Hungry. Last year, there were 124 participants in the Chefs Cycle, who raised $1 million; this year, there are 280 riders, who have signed up with a goal of raising $2 million. The spring 2017 ride will take place May 16-18 in Santa Rosa, CA and some Boston chefs are already gearing up for this year’s challenge, including Andy Husbands of Tremont 647 and The Smoke Shop, Christopher Myers of Myers + Chang, Michael Serpa of SELECT Oyster Bar and Matthew Jennings of Townsman.

We caught up recently with Jennings to find out why he decided to participate in such a competitive ride. “This year, I have decided to change my life. I completely altered my diet, started exercising like crazy and have lost over 120 pounds to date since last June. Ending childhood hunger and most specifically, partnering with No Kid Hungry, part of Share Our Strength, has always been a passion for me. When the chance arose to represent my restaurant as a place that places childhood hunger as a priority, especially being able to do so via a bike ride such as this, I was hooked on the idea. The best part? Anyone can help the cause by donating. I’ve been training pretty hard. Have worked my way from a five-mile ride up to a 75 mile ride. Haven’t done a century yet. Also, have been doing lots of boxing, circuit training, and focusing on making sure I really get my cardio. I’m most excited to connect with other chefs, to form long lasting relationships that are built on the shared desire to give back. At the end of the day, all we have is each other and much like the Chefs Cycle ride itself, if we can rely on each other to bring about change, then the goal becomes shared.”