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Brooks Uncorked

Disco Ball

Story by Suzanne Thompson Cozza | Photos by Don Perry

About 400 guests had a ball at Brooks Uncorked, part of the Memphis Food + Wine series, the largest annual fundraiser for Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, this year celebrating its 25th anniversary. Guests entered “A Disco Ball” to a warm welcome at the door, and then stopped to pick up special tasting glasses. The etched glasses were surrounded by cards filled with stick-on decorations, so guests could decorate their glasses with bedazzling beads.

Some attendees went all out for the disco theme, dressing in polyester prints that were as loud as the music deejays pumped through the museum. Some ladies wore bell bottom jeans, jumpsuits in psychedelic colors or paisley dresses and platform shoes. Not to let the ladies have all the fashion fun, men got into the act wearing plaid polyester pants, shiny shirts and sports coats with wide, pointed lapels.

As guests enjoyed wine, they perused silent auction items including services from Jill Hertz Interior Design and Ashley Long Party Planning, Ballet Memphis Nutcracker tickets, jewelry, restaurant gift certificates, wine packages and of course, art.

The event, chaired by Mark and Annabeth Parker along with Suzanne and Jon Scharff, featured wine stations set up around the rotunda, as well as in the Terrace Room. Wines were provided by Buster’s Liquors, Justin and Landmark, Robert Turner, Terra Valentine, and Priest Ranch. Beer on tap from Blackberry Farm Brewery was also available, and Artist Vodka had specialty cocktails in the Café. Bistro Tables covered with silver sequined tablecloths were scattered around the rotunda, and seating was available in the Terrace Room.

Naturally, there were plenty of good eats as well, as popular local eateries dished out individual servings of their fare. Capital Grille served beef medallions topped with butter-poached lobster, Babalou offered chicken skewers served with Caribbean rice and beans. South of Beale doled out servings of pork tenderloin served with a deep-fried macaroni and cheese ball. The Peabody’s table featured three dishes, English pea soup, cauliflower panna cotta and a berry dessert parfait. Chef Julio from Maximo’s on Broad prepared lamb sate with chickpeas and Brussel sprouts. Other participating restaurants included Mulan Asian Bistro, Interim, Rizzo’s, Half Shell and Zaka Bowl.

Funds raised through this event allow access to the arts for children and adults throughout the Mid-South. The Food + Wine series has generated about $4 million in net revenue for the Brooks, supporting educational programming and community outreach. Some outreach programs include free school tours, home school programs, teacher workshops and community days and free family events which are held four times a year and feature art, music and dance.


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