Society Confidential: Young Guns ride again

Susan Whitall and Chuck Bennett

It looks like Chef James Rigato has a huge hit on his hands with his “Young Guns” series of traveling, collaborative gourmet dinners. The sixth edition was held at Bacco Ristorante in Southfield on Sunday with a national cast of celebrated young chefs. “It was like a dream,” said Bacco owner Luciano DelSignore. “The chefs enjoyed the camaraderie as much as the guests enjoyed the fare.”

Just how much do the guests enjoy themselves? When it was announced that the $250 tickets would go on sale in November for Sunday’s dinner, all 180 seats sold out in four minutes. The dinner included craft cocktails, wine and a dish from each of eight chefs, including Luciano, who prepared the amuse-bouche, cotechino and lentils. Rigato, who is the chef at Root Restaurant in White Lake Township and also a contestant on Bravo TV’s “Top Chef” season 12, was joined by three of his fellow “Top Chef” contestants: New York’s Adam Harvey; Melissa King from San Francisco; and Mei Lin (originally from Dearborn, now in Los Angeles, and still in the running on “Top Chef”). The chefs were in town for four days, and DelSignore cooked for them at his home after the main event. “Before that, we made sure they got a real taste of Detroit,” he said. They rented a party bus and took the chefs to several local restaurants where they tried one course at each. Among the stops: the upscale Torino in Ferndale and funky Lafayette Coney Island downtown. Fans of the “Young Gun” series insist this was the best yet, which means Rigato will have to outdo himself for “Young Guns 7.” Stay tuned.

Mr. Grey will see you now

Bloomfield Hills PR maven Jessie Beld Elliott, along with Emagine Entertainment, is hosting a sexy “ladies only” evening Feb. 13 at the Emagine Theater in Royal Oak to benefit the American Heart Association. It will include a private screening of the film “Fifty Shades of Grey” (based upon the infamous, erotic book). The event costs $75 to attend, with proceeds going to the AHA. “It will be fun and elegant, and maybe a little naughty,” Beld Elliott said. “There will be things like aphrodisiac-inspired hors d’oeuvres and desserts, such as oysters on the half shell and sinful chocolate truffles. And did I mention gorgeous gentlemen in tight white T-shirts and ripped jeans who will be serving us?” The evening also includes a Q&A session with a team of health experts. Tickets can be purchased at


Chatting about his new film, “Black or White” (opening today), Birmingham Seaholm’s own Mike Binder (Class of ’76) revealed his favorite teacher in high school: creative writing teacher Mrs. Crenshaw, the mother of rocker Marshall Crenshaw. Binder knows about as many Metro Detroiters as we do, but many may not realize they know his mom, Judy — she ran the hip Birmingham boutique Rialto in the ’70s, where we sighed over many a cool thing or two.

Whitey Morgan, a honky-tonkin,’ “outlaw country” act out of Flint, will open for Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band on March 26 at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Go to or for ticket details.