Four Fun Conversations on Fame, Food & Fashion

Dave Lawrence, President & CEO of the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County recently announced the 17th annual season of one of its most popular series, but with a new name, new focus, and new location:

The New
At The Ben
January – April 2022

“After a year of all-virtual conversations, the Cultural Council is proud to be presenting four all-live events featuring some of the most exciting personalities in the world of politics and photography, high class fashion, tasty cuisine, and award-winning music—all at our beautiful new venue, The Ben, in the rooftop ballroom overlooking the waterfront in West Palm Beach,” says Lawrence.

All four CULTURE & COCKTAILS will be held in The Ben’s gorgeous Blue Heron Ballroom, downtown’s only rooftop venue with outdoor terrace and stunning water views, overlooking the intracoastal packed with pleasure boats and yachts.

The Ben is located at 251 N. Narcissus Avenue in West Palm Beach. Free valet parking will be provided for each of the CULTURE & COCKTAILS conversations, running from 5 to 7 pm.

January 10:

A Revealing Conversation with

Bonnie Lautenberg, an esteemed photographer, writer, philanthropist and businesswoman. She is the widow of former U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (Dem., NJ), who got to know many of the nation’s leaders from Clinton to Biden, and her photograph of the signing of the 1993 Israeli-Palestinian Peace Accord ran worldwide. Her portrait series How They Changed Our Lives: Senators as Working People is in the Library of Congress archives, and her work is featured in the Eli Broad Collection and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History. She is currently co-producing a musical based on the life of pop icon Andy Warhol, along with music manager Steve Leber, director Trevor Nunn, and writer/composer Rupert Holmes.

Moderator: Carol Rose, Editor of The Palm Beach Daily News

February 7:

A Tasty Conversation with

+ Chef Lindsay Autry, co-partner and founder of The Regional Kitchen & Public House in West Palm Beach. She has held positions in restaurants on the East Coast and in Mexico, made headlines as a finalist on Bravo’s ninth season of Top Chef, and was a three-time James Beard nominee (2018, 2019, 2020) for Best Chef: South. Autry describes her cuisine as soulful, embracing Mediterranean flavors with a blend of her Southern roots.

+ Chef Pushkar Marathe, Executive Chef at Stage Kitchen & Bar in Palm Beach Gardens. Born in India, his culinary roots originate in the rich tapestry of flavors from his homeland. His early culinary training was in Switzerland and has held cooking positions in restaurants in the Caribbean, the Middle East and around the United States.

+ Chef Lisabet “LB” Summa, Executive Chefat Elisabetta’s Ristorante in Delray Beach and West Palm Beach. After working in restaurants in Chicago and South Florida, she became the culinary catalyst for the 18 restaurants of the Big Time Restaurant Group. Summa is one of the few women in the U.S. restaurant industry who is both a senior culinary operations executive and owner.

Moderator: Libby Volgyes, Award-winning Food & Restaurant Photographer

March 7:

A Stylish Conversation with

Mark Badgley and James Mischka, whohave been hailed by Vogue as one of the “Top 10 American Designers” and as the darlings of the Hollywood set. The design duo made their mark over the past two decades with glamorous, stylish and wearable evening wear and accessories. Since launching Badgley Mischka in 1988, fashionable clients include Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Sharon Stone, Jennifer Garner, Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet, Sarah Jessica Parker, Helen Mirren, and Ashley Judd. Badgley Mischka is sold in the most prestigious stores in the world, including Bergdorf Goodman, Nieman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue, in addition to the designers’ flagship boutiques in Los Angeles and Palm Beach.

Moderator: Roe Green, Arts Patron, Activist and CEO of The Roe Green Foundation

April 11:

A Musical Conversation with

+ Deborah Silver, #1 Billboard jazz vocalist, 2020 Broadway World Best Commercial Recording Award Winner, whose best-selling albums include Glitter and Grits, The Gold Standards and Pure Silver. Hailed by Quincy Jones for her “strong and sultry vocals (that) are seductive and soul soothing,” she has headlined concerts at Birdland Jazz Club in NYC, Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., The Kravis Center, and The Colony Hotel’s Royal Room. This year, she was the powerhouse behind the star-packed recording of COVID-19 BLUES that raised much-needed money for The Actors Fund and Jazz Foundation of America, and recently released a duet of You’re Nobody ’Til Somebody Loves You with Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers, as well as a new EP, Sunny Side.

+ Dennis Lambert, the 12-time GRAMMY nominated songwriter who has helmed hit records for legendary recording artists such as The Four Tops, The Grass Roots, Dusty Springfield, Glen Campbell, Richard Harris, The Righteous Brothers, Natalie Cole, Dave Koz, Dionne Warwick, and more. In 2021, he co-wrote COVID-19 BLUES with Deborah Silver.

Moderator: Copeland Davis, Emmy-Nominated Pianist, Tonight Show Performer Inducted into the Las Vegas Entertainers Hall of Fame in 2014

Note: Admission to each of this season’s CULTURE & COCKTAILS At The Ben is $75 per person in advance; $85 at the door, $125 for VIP Seating, and FREE for Supporter, Contributor, Patron and Business Arts Partner level members of the Cultural Council. RSVP to Debbie Calabria at 561.472.3330 (or visit

The 2021-2022 season of CULTURE & COCKTAILS is generously sponsored so far by The Roe Green Foundation, Roe Green, Founder; Donald M. Ephraim Family Foundation; Milton and Tamar Maltz; PNC Bank; Jean Sharf; Scott Teich, Teich Wealth Management of Raymond James; The Gardens Mall; Palm Beach Media Group; Piano Distributors; Palm Beach Daily News; Legends Radio; and PR-BS, a Boca-based public relations firm. Additional sponsorship opportunities are still available.

Please Note: All proceeds from CULTURE & COCKTAILS go to support the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County’s mission to champion, engage, and grow the arts in Palm Beach County. For membership information, please contact Debbie Calabria at 561.472.3330.

Also: Topics and speakers are subject to change depending upon the availability of scheduled participants.