A Tale of entertaining some of Hollywood’s elite families in my home.
A night with the Stars ✨✨✨✨
Gregory Peck’s daughter Cecilia Peck Voll, her husband Daniel Voll and her daughter Ondine Peck Voll visited Ireland in 2014 to present The Dingle International Film Festival (DIFF) Gregory Peck Award to Actress Laura Dern. Laura was accompanied by her two children.
The Gregory Peck Award for Excellence in the Art of Film is designed and created by Brian de Staic, Ireland’s Leading Goldsmith http://www.briandestaic.com
Many of Brian’s designs are based on Megalithic Standing Stones.
His design of The Gregory Peck Award is based on The Aglish Pillar. The Aglish Pillar comes from Minard in Dingle. It was also the home of Gregory Peck’s Grandmother Catherine Ashe.
Photo Credit : DIFF
“Gregory Peck wrote himself into our lives with his talent, his magnetism, his subtlety, his force, his intelligence, and thanks to his movies, he will continue to write himself into the lives of people all over the world for years to come.” Martin Scorsese
The distinguished guests had a simple request. They wished to dine in an Irish family home.
“Chateau Choráile avec Chef Máiréad” – my beautiful husband offered to host The Peck Family, Laura Dern & children, Board members & friends of DIFF, my family & more in our humble abode!!!
Table is ready let’s get cooking. What do you cook for The Peck & The Dern families?
Both families are Hollywood legends.
Academy Award winner Gregory Peck worked in films for more than fifty years and reached a singular stature in the motion picture industry. It was his classic portrayal of the Lincolnesque Southern lawyer in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ that won him the Academy Award for Best Performance by an actor in 1962. Previously, he had received four Best Actor Oscar nominations for ‘The Keys of the Kingdom’, ‘the Yearling’, ‘Gentleman’s Agreement’ and ‘Twelve O’clock High’.
His numerous screen credits provide a cross-section of Hollywood’s finest cinematic contributions. These include Duel in the Sun, The Gunfighter, Roman Holiday Spellbound, Moby Dick and The Guns of Navarone.
Cecilia Peck Voll is an American film producer, director and actress. She is the only daughter of actor Gregory Peck and his wife Veronique Passani.
Cecilia produced and directed Brave Miss World
A woman tries to turn a personal tragedy into global awareness.
“Weeks before winning the 1998 Miss World pageant, Moroccan-Israeli teen Linor Abargil was held captive and raped by her travel agent while heading home from an Italian modeling assignment. Ten years later, she resolved to confront her past and reach out to other rape survivors. An inspiring story about courage and the universal struggle to stop rampant sexual violence against women.” Brave Miss World
Laura Dern, is the daughter of actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd.
Photo Credit: Los Angeles Times.
The Dern acting dynasty honored during a ceremony along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, marking it first time three stars were dedicated to family members at the same time.
Mother and daughter appeared together in Rambling Rose as well as Wild at Heart directed by David Lynch.
Laura Dern has worked with some of the greatest directors of our time including Steven Spielberg, David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, Alexander Payne and many more.
She was nominated for an Oscar for Rambling Rose & Wild.
She has won 5 Golden Globes : Enlightened, Recount, Afterburn, Miss Golden Globe & Big Little Lies.
Nominated 6 times for an Emmy Award, winning in 2017 for Big Little Lies
Photo Credit : Purewow.com
As I said earlier, the table is set, what to cook for my special Stars ✨✨✨✨
Champagne Reception, live music by Eoin Duignan, Uileann Piper.
Starter – Buffet on the patio.
Wild Atlantic Seafood : Crab Claws, Crab Mayonnaise, Dingle Bay Prawns, Smoked Salmon. Green Olives Tapenade and Sun dried Tomato Tapenade. Garlic Bread & Homemade Brown Bread.
West Kerry Rack of Lamb from the Blasket Islands. Home grown organic vegetables and Minard New Potatoes served with homemade mint sauce & gravy.
Shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur, Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream, Strawberry Gateau, Petit Fours.
Our friend and talented Uileann Piper Eoin Duignan started the night with a flourish. The music was magical, the guests could hear the music as they arrived.
The talented Laura Dern meets Uileann Piper Eoin Duignan and host Máiréad.
Ellery & Jaya Walker ( Laura’s children) and Ondine Peck Voll are running up the fields. The excitement is electric. They are loving the Irish countryside, country living & the freedom it brings. The lambs are prancing in the fields, the wild primroses are in full bloom.
DIFF Artistic Director Maurice Galway teaches the children how to make a grass whistle. The shrieking sound emitted by the grass whistle is scary at first but the children soon get the idea. Magical moments 😍😍😍
The guests continue to arrive. Champagne is flowing 🥂🥂🥂 Guests are mingling. The buffet starter is ideal, people are getting to know each other.
Fuchsia from the garden adds colour to the Seafood Starter Buffet.
My sister June and my daughter in law Megan mingling with the Stars ⭐️⭐️
Cecilia and Laura are beautiful people. They are genuine and down to earth.
The atmosphere is friendly & relaxed. Everything is organized. My team Seán, Megan, Cian & June are ready to help me plate up 26 meals when the guests are ready.
People always ask: “ Who does the catering?”
The answer is : “Me”
I love having family & friends for dinner parties 🎉 🎉 🎉
The secret: prepare everything you can beforehand.
The theme for the night – A night with the stars ✨✨✨✨
Even the butter joins in the fun 🤣🤣🤣
Congratulations & Welcome Cecilia & Laura. A lovely framed photo of Gregory Peck with his cousin.
The children are happy to eat in the sitting room. I tell them to let me know if they want to watch TV. I have another TV upstairs.
Did I mention preparing everything you can beforehand? All set ready to plate up. Plate up team lined up like an assembly line. Ready, steady go ……….. yay 😁
A stranger (a friend of Cecilia’s) arrives in the kitchen.
“Is there a vegetarian option?”
The racks of lamb are literally kicking their way out of the oven at this stage! We all stare at each other, Gobsmacked 😶
I never thought of it, my son Dara is a vegetarian. Botún Mór – Big Blunder.
“No bother, do you eat pasta ?”
The kettle is put on, I slice vegetables at the speed of light. I calmly walk into the dining room – like the proverbial duck paddling like the devil beneath the surface.
“Any vegetarians ?” I ask very confidently.
Three guests answer the call! Chop more vegetables 🌶🌽🍅 I whipped up the fastest vegetarian pasta in history. Thanks to Dara for the years of practice.
Meanwhile back to the assembly line. We serve the vegetarians first and manage to plate up a Blasket Island Rack of Lamb, beautifully presented with edible wild flowers 😜
Sorry too busy hosting to take photos of the main course 🤣
Dinner is over, everyone is happy & appreciative. Brian doing his favorite job, pouring wine for everyone 🍷🍷🍷
My sister June being June entertaining the guests✨✨✨ Cecilia’s husband David Voll is loving the fun.
My son Cian and Pat enjoying the ambience.
Dessert is served. Everyone is enjoying the craic.
The sing-song starts. Pat Burke sings “Nellie Bly” and brings down the house as always. A great start.
Brian, not to be outdone gives a terrific rendition of “My Lagan Love”
The guests are loving the sing – song.
Cecilia beautifully recites “ The Lake Isle of Innisfree” My brother Patrick recites it too, he learnt it for Brian. It’s Brian’s favorite poem, I tell Cecilia this when she finishes the recitation. She’s delighted , how appropriate!
I light the cake and the atmosphere is electric.
The night was an outstanding success. The stars loved the dinner in our Irish Home. We loved hosting Cecilia, Daniel, Ondine, their friends & relations. It was a pleasure to welcome Laura & her children also. My family & our DIFF friends had a wonderful evening. Magical memories and friendships made.
Next day Laura Dern received the Gregory Peck Award from Film Director Jim Sheridan. The presentation of all the films Laura has starred in was amazing 😉
Enjoy the photos of the presentation.
Cecilia Peck Voll and Laura Dern in the Brian de Staic Jewelry Showroom & workshop on the shores of Dingle Bay.
Laura Dern with The Gregory Peck Award designed and created by Brian de Staic
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