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The French Institute's Trophee des Arts Gala - Tuesday, 1/3/2012 3:24 PM

Descending the staircase into a sea of French bluebloods and Francophiles, chatting in French and English, who had gathered to honor businessman Paul Desmarais Jr. and sublime chef Alain Ducasse, I spotted Sirio Maccioni, Michele Gerber Klein, Daniel Boloud and Stanley Tucci with his friend and fellow-actor Patricia Clarkson. They were all enjoying a champagne and foie gras canapé reception.

During dinner, the glittering crowd enthusiastically bid on trips to France, Morocco and the Dominican Republic. The lucky winners are packing as I write.

Michelle Gerber Klein, photo by Rose Hartman

Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson, photo by Rose Hartman