"A party is more stressful than hosting a talk show," said Star Jones, a woman, with a talent for both, minutes before she welcomed Lela Rochon, chanteuse Diana Krall and Ed Bradley, among others, to a party in honor of Richard Geoffroy, chief wine-maker form Dom Pérignon. "The View is very contained. Tonight anything can happen!" But with the celebration taking place at Star’s luxe new East Hampton home, all the signs seemed positive. Jones had her closest friends – a fellow Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority member as well as current showbiz sisters Rochon, Barbara (aka B.) Smith and singer Marva Hicks–help her wine and dine (but mostly wine) Geoffroy, whom she met last year while on holiday in Paris. She even nipped fears of a downpour in the bud: Dinner was to be served under a billowy white tent roughly the size of Versailles.
"When I saw this tent I thought someone was getting married," joked Rochon. Indeed, the dining table was draped in gold brocade and topped with gilded candelabras, dozens of white Casablanca lilies in tall, elegant stands, flanked by bowls of roses in every hue. "Let the bubbly flow!" Jones commanded, encouraging guests to take a seat for dinner. As for Monsignor Geoffroy, he uncorked a different rare vintage for each of the evening’s four delectable courses. "It’s a champagne Disneyland," marveled Bradley. Only a live appearance by Diana Krall succeeded in tearing people away from the table and into Jones’s living room where, seated at an ebony baby grand, Krall performed the definitive paean to luxurious living, "Peel Me a Grape" ("Pop me a cork, chill me some wine, never outthink me—just mink me," she purred). Even Jones seemed amazed by the scene. "Can you believe my favorite singer is sitting at my piano singing in my home?" she exclaimed, and then announced that Krall’s new CD When I Look in Your Eyes, had just hit No. 1 on Billboard’s jazz chart—a fitting excuse for more Dom. And what did Richard Geoffroy, a seventh-generation wine-maker, think of all the opened bottles and refilled glasses? "Champagne is for celebration," he said. "I would not have missed this evening for the world!"
A welcome-to-America dinner party for Dom Pérignon's chief wine-maker, Richard Geoffroy
the host: The View's Star Jones
the setting: Jones's home in East Hampton, New York
Actress Lela Rochon, restaurateur Barbara Smith,
Ed Bradley, actress Vanessa Bell Calloway, Marva Hicks
Potatoes filled with caviar and crème fraîche; roulade of smoked salmon; roast rack of spring lamb with rosemary; peach tart with crushed almonds and homemade ginger ice cream
Four classic vintages of Dom Pérignon champagne
Jazz singer Diana Kroll performed selections from her new CD, When I Look In Your Eyes
*click photos to enlarge