This article was written by Carla McDonald and originally posted on The Salonniere on October 28, 2015.
Download the press release announcing the honor here.

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

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

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, Jay Jeffers, Vanessa Getty, Jeffrey Alan Marks

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

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

1.    Leonard Lauder
2.    Amy and John Phelan

3.    Ginny Brewer
4.    Anne Quatrano and Cliff Harrison
5.    Annette Joseph
6.    Danielle Rollins

7.    Julie Blakeslee
8.    John Hogg and David Garza

9.    Alli Achtmeyer
10.  Ashley Bernon
11.  Elizabeth and Peter Georgantas

12.  Sarah and Ozey Horton
13.  Lee Manigault

14.   Felicia and Herb Gray

15.   Toni Canada
16.   Bunky Cushing (in memoriam)
17.   Inese and Richard Driehaus
18.   Ikram Goldman

19.   Gene Jones
20.   Cindy Rachofsky
21.   Nancy Rogers
22.   Kimberly Schlegel Whitman

23.   Paul Laurie
24.   Christine Vazquez

25.   Chuck Bennett
26.   Van Conway
27.   Linda Dresner
28.   Nicole Eisenberg

29.   Becca Cason Thrash
30.   Phoebe Tudor
31.   Lynn Wyatt

Los Angeles
32.   Maria and Bill Bell
33.   Eva Chow
34.   Alex Hitz
35.   Bridget Gless Keller
36.   Lisa McRee
37.   Lulu Powers
38.   Stephanie Shafran
39.   Sutton Stracke
40.   Steve Tisch

41.   Patricia Barnstable Brown
42.   Babs and Lee Robinson

43.   Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz
44.   Darlene and Jorge Perez
45.   Alina Shriver

46.   Sylvia Roberts

New York
47.   Dennis Basso
48.   Muriel Brandolini
49.   Athena Calderone
50.   Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos
51.   John Demsey
52.   Lauren Santo Domingo
53.   George Farias
54.   Shirin von Wulffen Fekkai
55.   Cornelia Guest
56.   Mariska Hargitay
57.   Ashley McDermott
58.   Anne Hearst and Jay McInerney
59.   Marcia and Richard Mishaan
60.   Mary Kathryn Navab
61.   Lela Rose
62.   Daniel Benedict and Andrew Saffir
63.   Allison Sarofim
64.   Jamie Tisch

New Orleans
65.   Beverly Reese Church
66.   Sara Ruffin Costello
67.   Frances Gray Fayard
68.   Julia Reed

69.   Pamela Fielder and David Ford
70.   Bettie Bearden and Jonathan Pardee

Palm Beach
71.   Annie Falk
72.   Audrey Gruss
73.   Kara Ross
74.   Hilary Geary Ross
75.   Tom Quick

San Antonio
76.   Alice Carrington Foultz

San Francisco
77.   Susan Mactavish Best
78.   Ken Fulk
79.   Vanessa Getty
80.   Denise Hale
81.   Pamela Joyner
82.   Jillian Manus
83.   Jay Jeffers and Michael Purdy
84.   Charlotte Mailliard Shultz
85.   Alexis Swanson Traina

86.   Cassandra LaValle
87.   JJ McKay

Washington, D.C.
88.   Sheikha Rima al-Sabah
89.   Ambassador Gérard Araud
90.   Katherine and David Bradley
91.   Ashley Taylor Bronczek
92.   Jean and Steve Case
93.   Kay Kendall and Jack Davies
94.   Robert Higdon and David Deckelbaum
95.   April and John Delaney
96.   Mary and Robert Haft
97.   President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama
98.   Elizabeth and Jeffrey Powell
99.   Susanna Quinn
100. Sir Peter and Lady Westmacott

* Austin’s Carla McDonald, founder of The Salonniere, is honored to have earned a spot on The Salonniere 100 but has opted to relinquish her place and welcome another party host to the list.