Society Confidential: Chef Nahra heading to the Oscars

Chuck Bennett

Chef Nahra is heading to the Oscars

Chef Robert Nahra, owner/chef of Lakeland Banquets & Centre in St. Clair Shores, is going to the Oscars. No, not to accept an award. Not even as a guest. But the role he’s scheduled to play is really pretty cool. In conjunction with Baron Chocolatier Chocolates, Nahra will craft handmade truffles onsite at several of the A-list festivities surrounding this year’s Academy Awards ceremony at the end of the month in Los Angeles. The organic, gourmet candies constructed by Nahra will also be included in the coveted Oscar swag bags. “We’ll serve up some of our new flavors for the stars, like spicy pumpkin seed, brownie and caramel, coconut and almond, and even one with a little kick made with jalapenos,” he says. Chef Bobby also was excited to talk about a couple other ventures he’s got going with Baron Chocolatier, including plans to open a chocolate shop very soon in Eastern Market, as well as a national partnership with tennis star Maria Sharapova to produce her collection of healthy chocolate snacks called Sugarpova.

Detroit PAL celebrates $13 million benchmark

While the true purpose of the gathering Tuesday morning in the sun-drenched atrium of DTE Energy was to hear announcements about Detroit PAL, for some, it was quite the social scene. With a bevy of who’s who from the D’s corporate and philanthropic circles, WJR’s Paul W. Smith led the impressive program that included former U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, Mayor Mike Duggan, DPD Chief James Craig and PAL CEO Tim Richie. In the audience, there was a cross section of influencers and donors that only an initiative for children could attract — Dave Egner (Wilson Foundation), Laura Trudeau (Kresge Foundation), Tiffany Douglas (Bank of America) and Faye Nelson (DTE), among them. The short of the announcement is that Detroit PAL has reached a benchmark of $13 million for their Kids on the Corner campaign, the redevelopment project for the old Tiger Stadium site. Also, PAL’s 2016 MVP Awards, at $150 per person, are coming up on Feb. 24 at the Detroit Marriott. Call (313) 833-1600, ext. 206, for information.

Engage Detroit engages next-gen philanthropists

Rick and Nicole Van House have come up with a revolutionary way to contribute to Detroit philanthropy with their initiative, “ is a Van House Foundation initiative whose main purpose is to help the younger generation learn about giving and volunteering,” Rick says. For the past three years, they’ve hosted a signature event called Engage Detroit, a 400-plus person party that gives the next generation a chance to interact with peers and engage with nonprofits. We can’t help but love their decidedly upscale approach. Last week, during a pre-party at the so-chic Sabrage in Royal Oak, they announced the organization’s 2016 nonprofit partners for Engage Detroit (Arts & Scraps, Beyond Basics, Camp Casey, Downtown Youth Boxing Gym, Kadima, Corrections2Community, YMCA of Detroit Swim Program and Live the Music Foundation). And amidst the announcements, there were bottles of Moet flowing, club music beating and party lights glowing off the glasses of guests’ drinks. Engage Detroit (with sponsors like Know Advertising, Quicken Loans, Belle Tire, Detroit Venture Partners and Silver Tax Group) will take place on April 8 at the Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit.

Trumpet Awards honor GM senior veep

Every year, the Trumpet Awards recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of African Americans who have succeeded against great odds and inspired success in others. This year, GM’s Alicia Boler-Davis, senior vice president, Global Connected Customer Experience, was named the 2016 Corporate Executive of the Year during the 24th Annual Trumpet Awards held Jan. 23 in Atlanta. Individuals such as R&B singer-songwriter Ne-Yo, global humanitarian and advocate Princess Basmah Bint Saud of Saudi Arabia and comedian George Wallace also were recognized during the awards ceremony. Congrats, Alicia!

Chuck Bennett is the creator of The Social Metro. See