Handsome Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra conductor Alexander Mickelthwate is becoming a model -- for the Greased Lightning King Cabernet Event on Saturday night. The '50s/'60s dance party and rockabetty fashion show happens 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Juss Jazz, 240 Portage Ave. Says his designing wife, Abigail: "I did get confirmation from 'The Maestro' this week that he's willing to do whatever we need at the event, including walking the runway as a model." A playful sort, she adds, "Glad he agreed... or the next week would have been very silent for him... just joking! He said it would be fun."
Abigail took Alexander down to the Rockabetty store in Osmaborne Village -- where she sells her upscale retro clothing -- to try on some wild threads. Abigail says she loves his new retro look and he should wear it all the time.
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GOODBYE SPUNTINO CAFÉ: "Bittersweet." That's how Roy Huntrods and Fanny (Santorelli) Everett felt after closing the doors to the Spuntino restaurant on Stafford Street and Grosvenor Avenue on Wednesday night. The two chefs had just cooked for the public for the last time, after 17 years on the busy corner. Owner Huntrods, 51, has simply "had enough" of 12-hour days in the kitchen. He's going to be a working carpenter next, joining his brother at J&K Homes.
How are the regulars taking it? "They're sad, very sad!" says Everett. Some of the regulars were so devoted "they came two to three times a week." One couple came right into the kitchen to say goodbye. "Their son was one year old when they first brought him, and now he's 16," says Huntrods.
Now here's the Winnipeg factor: Huntrods and Everett (who have worked together for 10 years) both came from Mamma Mia's, where they also worked with Giacomo Appice. Now Giac is co-owner with John Smook of Tre Visi, an upscale Italian restaurant in the East Exchange at 173 McDermot Ave. that's popular with celebrities. Appice even helped Huntrods find the location for Spuntino (meaning little dishes). Now Appice will be moving into the Spuntino location to create a Tre Visi Café, opening later this fall, in addition to the more formal restaurant downtown.
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100 MILES OF TASTY: The second annual 100 Mile Dinner, put on by the Boys and Girls Club, in no way resembled last year's casual community-club party. This was a sophisticated gala with 288 guests arriving early to a foyer reception at the Caboto Centre. Rockalypso played reggae in the background, and student servers from Red River College served appetizers. The chefs sharing the kitchen were Luc Jean (Red River College), Alexander Svenne (Bistro 71/4), Mandel Hitzer (deer+almond), Tristan Foucault (Peasant Cookery), Ben Kramer (Elements), Michael Schafer (Sydney's and Rudy's), Adam Donnelly (Segovia), Norm Pastorin (the Grove) and Ben Kramer (Diversity Foods).
CBC's Terry MacLeod was the MC and taught the crowd how to say "quinoa" properly (keen-oh-ah not keen-wa). Politicos Andrew Swan, Kerri Irvin-Ross and Jeff Browaty shook hands. Head honcho Ron Brown and events guru Heather Black scanned the happy crowd. Just before dessert, Grade 12 student Sappfyre McLeod touched the crowd with a speech about what Boys and Girls Club has meant to her since she was nine years old. Tissue time! Kerri Latimer and a group of Boys and Girls Club entertainers sang original songs (including a great one on bullying). Six club managers sat proudly at the tables.
Rockalypso's Glen Williams also happens to be the Victor Mager club leader; he sat for dinner with Lana Marshall of the Sister MacNamara Club, Glen Terris from Freight House, Jamie Vann from Norquay, Tolu Ilelaboye of the Ryerson Club and Stephen Currie of the Gilbert Park Club.
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