Food, Fashion and No New York Times at ABT Gala

abt salstein Food, Fashion and No New York Times at ABT Gala“Apparently, Alastair Macaulay”—The Times’ dance writer—”is not invited to these events, and that means we get to come back!” said Craig Salstein, an American Ballet Theatre soloist and co-host of the ABT’s annual fund-raiser.

The Culinary Pas de Deux was held Monday in the ballroom at Pier 60 in Chelsea Piers. Aside from live entertainment from American Ballet Theater dancers, guests received donated food from New York restaurants, served by the chefs themselves. Aldea’s George Mendes offered mussel soup with coconut chorizo and coriander in Dixie cups, while Vito Gnazzo of Il Gattopardo had  pizza rustica made from fresh ricotta and salami on white plastic plates.

The food proved a powerful draw for Project Runway’s Christian Siriano.

“Could we talk in like, ten minutes?” he told the Transom before disappearing into the crowd. “I need to eat something and then I’ll feel a lot better!”

A more eloquent fashion statement came from Stephanie French, former director of Phillip Morris’ corporate arts sponsorship. She sported a black Alexander McQueen dress with panels separated by chunky white stitching. She was accompanied by ABT ballet master Clinton Luckett and her friend Charles Klein, an architect. 

“We are dancers in fashion; we’re ballroom dancers,” said Ms. French, holding Mr. Klein’s arm.  A board member at the New Museum and the Miller Theater, among other art organizations, she is now the director and chief executive of the Byrd Hoffman Watermill Foundation.

Perhaps the evening’s most noticeable style belonged to Shari Siegal, a Manhattan lawyer who wore a Betsey Johnson dress made of layers of turquoise lace and white tulle.

She informed us that she’s a big fan of The Observer, because we “stick it to The New York Times,” and “tell them when they mess up.”