The Crowd:

Barons’ Ball proceeds go to fight against cancer

September 29, 2007|By B.W. Cook

Carol and Kent Wilken of Newport Beach, co-chairs of the upcoming 2007 O.C. Barons' Ball, welcomed 60 generous patrons in support of a world without cancer to a late-afternoon garden reception at Five Crowns restaurant in Corona del Mar.

The Wilkens joined Donna Bianchi, president of the O.C. Barons' League, a support wing of the American Cancer Society, in welcoming the crowd. The crowd included Harbor Island's Debbie Simon; Debbie and Gary Douglas, former co-chairs of the Barons' Ball and residents of Newport Coast; Kerry Reynolds, also of Newport Coast; David Williams of Laguna Beach; Sharon Esterley;Ron Rubino; Daniel Avidan; the philanthropic Barbara and Jim Glabman, and Jim and Kay Burra.

Five Crowns set up a charming buffet on their garden patio while wine was poured and music was provided by the talented guitarist and singer Ray Jordan, who donated his services.


Richard R. Frank, president and CEO of Lawry's restaurants and the owner of Five Crowns, joined general manager Chris Szechenyl and executive chef Dennis Brask in greeting the arriving underwriting guests for the American Cancer Society gala.

They also supervised Five Crowns staff as waiters passed hors d'oeuvres — including Five Crowns' signature prime beef with organic horseradish prepared in mini-Yorkshire puffs.

This year's Barons' Ball is set for Oct. 20 at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort.

The massive undertaking, which expects to attract 1,000 guests and raise up to or possibly surpass $500,000 for the fight against cancer in Orange County, will have the theme "World Cruise—Passport to Life."

Tickets are still available, please contact Monica McDade at the American Cancer Society at (949) 261-9446, extension 622, or go to

The Art Institute of California was the setting for a spectacular luncheon prepared and served by Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar.

Executive chef Russell Skall, who represents Fleming's on a national basis, was invited to be the guest chef in the state-of-the-art kitchen in the restaurant known as 50 Forks.

Skall joined Art Institute students to conduct a prime beef cooking and tasting demonstration for invited local guests and dignitaries.

As a bit of back story, 50 Forks is a California bistro within the Art Institute that is a culinary school and experimental training ground that is designed to educate students in the world of cuisine and dining service.

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