Laurie David hosts an intimate dinner party with the 'Think Pink, Live Green' agenda
Hollywood heavyweights and environmental power players gathered for an intimate dinner party Saturday night at the home of -- who else -- Laurie David, a woman who’s been firmly planted at the intersection of celebrity activism and the healthy living movement for years.
Typically David, who co-produced "An Inconvenient Truth," mobilizes around issues of global warming. Saturday she spoke out about the warming of something else: dinner.
Specifically: how eating healthfully and organically can help prevent breast cancer.
"Every single issue I care about crosses the dinner plate” said David, who in November published "The Family Dinner," a collection of essays and recipes.
"If we can all get back to the table again and start eating healthy, we'll be a much more healthy society."
Toward that end, the Pacific Palisades dinner party was in honor of Dr. Marisa Weiss, president of breastcancer.org, which just published a booklet of new research on prevention: "Think Pink, Live Green: A Step-By Step Guide to Reducing Your Risk of Breast Cancer."
The other guest of honor was Gary Hirshberg, president and chief exec of Stonyfield Farm and a leader in the organic food movement. Weiss and Hirshberg have just partnered to kick into high gear what they call "a political mobilization effort." Hence, heading to Laurie David's house.
Among the 40-some dinner guests, some braved the 405 to get there, but others had flown in from places including Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C., for the glamorous powwow.
Christina Norman, chief exec of Oprah Winfrey's OWN, was there with husband Charles Hunt, a sound mixer on shows including "Law & Order: Los Angeles." Documentary filmmaker Robert Kenner ("Food, Inc.") was there, as was Fox Television’s Shelley Reid, Universal Chief Executive Ron Meyer's wife Kelly Meyer, Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook, Meatless Mondays program director Chris Elam and actress Sharon Lawrence, a Women in Film chair who, yes, did play Andy Sipowicz's wife on "NYPD Blue."
Guest Chan Luu, a fashion designer, said she plans to make a line of wrap bracelets for breastcancer.org, with proceeds going to the organization. "It will be sterling silver and probably leather, and have pink and green precious stones," she said.
The dinner menu was, appropriately, vegetarian -- a bounty of organic produce had been prepared by David’s personal chef, Kirsten Uhrenholdt. Among the dishes: a fresh garden salad, kabocha squash, quinoa patties and artichokes dressed with lemon wedges and onion flowers.
Before dinner was served, there was a cocktail hour overlooking a sweeping view of the Pacific Ocean. Then guests hunkered down in David’s Tudor-style living room, around a candle-lit red brick fireplace, for an earnest discussion about topics including the effects of pesticides and chemicals in plastics on breast cancer as well as steps toward activating personal and political change. With the room's low ceiling, hardwood floors and comfy, overstuffed couches, the mood was intimate and earnest; but the unspoken media power and potential for imminent change was palpable.
"It's going to take a movement, and we call that 'Think Pink, Live Green,'" Weiss urged.
"We've got to take our government back, we've got to take our country back, we've got to take our planet back," added Hirshberg. "Now is the time."
-- Deborah Vankin
Photos (from top): Laurie David, Dr. Marisa Weiss and fashion designer Chan Luu; "Food, Inc." filmmaker Robert Kenner and actress/Women in Film Chair Sharon Lawrence; OWN Chief Exec Christina Norman and her husband Charles Hunt; garden salad and dinner spreads. Credits: Deborah Vankin / Los Angeles Times