The Salonniere 100: 2016

The Salonniere 100

Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome.

Doll, you know we hate to gossip but, sometimes, we just have to make an exception. Come close and let me whisper in your ear the names of The Salonniere 100, the 100 best party hosts in the United States. These are the fête-fabulous folks who bend over backwards to entertain with such flair that you’d be wise to move a mountain or two to attend one of their soirées…that is, if you’re fortunate enough to be invited.

To compile The Salonniere 100, we asked more than 1,000 of the cognoscenti across all 50 states for the names of the party hosts in their city who entertain with unparalleled skill and grace. Among those queried were society reporters and other members of the media, social figures, philanthropists, dignitaries, arts, business and non-profit leaders, and other in-the-know influencers. Those nominated most often were then reviewed by an independent group of social authorities in the cities represented and members of The Salonniere’s editorial team.

Lela Rose is one of The Salonniere 100

New York’s Lela Rose prepares her suspended dining table for a dinner party

Among the well-known party givers on the list are Lela Rose, Muriel Brandolini and Dennis Basso in New York; Eva Chow, Lulu Powers and Alex Hitz in Los Angeles; Lynn Wyatt and Becca Cason Thrash in Houston; and, in Washington, D.C., President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, whose private and unofficial dinner parties are the White House invitations prized most.

Eva Chow is one of The Salonniere 100

Eva Chow at home in Los Angeles

Many on The Salonniere 100 – including Pamela Joyner (San Francisco), Cindy Rachofsky (Dallas), Alli Achtmeyer (Boston), and Jean and Steve Case (Washington, D.C.) – are also among the nation’s top fundraisers, adding tens of millions of dollars annually to the coffers of U.S. charities. We’re not surprised. Like the great salonnieres of the 17th and 18th century, skilled party hosts know how to leverage social gatherings to build meaningful connections, kick-start important conversations and effect change.

Michael Purdy and Jay Jeffers are among those on The Salonniere 100

San Francisco’s Michael Purdy, Jay Jeffers and Vanessa Getty with interior designer Jeffrey Alan Marks

Others on The Salonniere 100 include Allison Sarofim (New York), who hosts an annual Halloween bash with a guest list rivaled only by her attention to detail; Sheikha Rima al-Sabah (Washington, D.C.), the powerhouse wife of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the United States; Michael Purdy and Jay Jeffers (San Francisco), who are known for their wine country cocktail parties; and Patricia Barnstable Brown (Louisville), whose Kentucky Derby party has been called one of the ten best parties in the world. Bunky Cushing (Chicago), who passed away earlier this month and was known as the “Squire of Chicago,” earned a spot on The Salonniere 100 and remains on the list in memoriam.

Felicia and Herb Gray are on The Salonniere 100

Felicia and Herb Gray of Charlotte 

While The Salonniere 100 is diverse across a variety of factors, all on the list share a rare gift for creating warm, gracious and memorable experiences for others. Grab a glass of champagne and join us as we toast the nation’s crème de la crème in entertaining for the work they do to bring joy and opportunity to those lucky enough to be on their guest list.

The Salonniere 100

(In alphabetical order by city and, within each city, by name)


Leonard Lauder
Amy and John Phelan


Ginny Brewer
Anne Quatrano and Cliff Harrison
Annette Joseph
Danielle Rollins


Julie Blakeslee
John Hogg and David Garza
* Carla McDonald (The Salonniere‘s founder opted to relinquish her spot)


Alli Achtmeyer
Ashley Bernon
Elizabeth and Peter Georgantas


Sarah and Ozey Horton
Lee Manigault


Felicia and Herb Gray


Toni Canada
Bunky Cushing (in memoriam)
Inese and Richard Driehaus
Ikram Goldman


Gene Jones
Cindy Rachofsky
Nancy Rogers
Kimberly Schlegel Whitman


Paul Laurie
Christine Vazquez


Chuck Bennett
Van Conway
Linda Dresner
Nicole Eisenberg


Becca Cason Thrash
Phoebe Tudor
Lynn Wyatt

Los Angeles

Maria and Bill Bell
Eva Chow
Alex Hitz
Bridget Gless Keller
Lisa McRee
Lulu Powers
Stephanie Shafran
Sutton Stracke
Steve Tisch


Patricia Barnstable Brown
Babs and Lee Robinson


Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz
Darlene and Jorge Perez
Alina Shriver


Sylvia Roberts

New Orleans

Beverly Reese Church
Sara Ruffin Costello
Frances Gray Fayard
Julia Reed

New York

Dennis Basso
Muriel Brandolini
Athena Calderone
Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos
John Demsey
Lauren Santo Domingo
George Farias
Shirin von Wulffen Fekkai
Cornelia Guest
Mariska Hargitay
Ashley McDermott
Anne Hearst and Jay McInerney
Marcia and Richard Mishaan
Mary Kathryn Navab
Lela Rose
Daniel Benedict and Andrew Saffir
Allison Sarofim
Jamie Tisch


Pamela Fielder and David Ford
Bettie Bearden and Jonathan Pardee

Palm Beach

Annie Falk
Audrey Gruss
Kara Ross
Hilary Geary Ross
Tom Quick

San Antonio

Alice Carrington Foultz

San Francisco

Susan Mactavish Best
Ken Fulk
Vanessa Getty
Denise Hale
Pamela Joyner
Jillian Manus
Jay Jeffers and Michael Purdy
Charlotte Mailliard Shultz
Alexis Swanson Traina


Cassandra LaValle
JJ McKay

Washington, D.C.

Sheikha Rima Al-Sabah
Ambassador Gérard Araud
Katherine and David Bradley
Ashley Taylor Bronczek
Jean and Steve Case
Kay Kendall and Jack Davies
Robert Higdon and David Deckelbaum
April and John Delaney
Mary and Robert Haft
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama
Elizabeth and Jeffrey Powell
Susanna Quinn
Sir Peter and Lady Westmacott

For more information about The Salonniere 100, click here.

The Salonniere 100 Welcome Mashup

Photo: Eleanor Powell
Quote: Cabaret (1972)

Photo sources: Vogue, Neiman Marcus, The New York Times, SFLuxe, QCityBride

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