2018 Gala Live & Super Silent Auction Experiences

At our 2018 Fundraising Gala, guests who are passionate about travel, art, wine, and gastronomy can bid on exclusive and unique experiences!

100% of the proceeds from our auctions benefit Alliance Française Mpls/St Paul


Maserati for a Weekend

Turn heads when you’re behind the wheel of a sleek Maserati sports car. For a weekend, you will hold the keys. Countryside drive in Wisconsin? Downtown dinner in style? This car will transport you to a weekend of luxury! Constructed with the utmost attention to detail, every Maserati is a true masterpiece of Italian design… and for the weekend, it’s all yours.

Un grand merci à Morrie’s Luxury Auto


“French Soul, Oregon Soil”: A Wine Dinner featuring the wines of Domaine Drouhin Oregon, with Nico Giraud of Spoon and Stable and Bellecour

Six lucky diners will convene at the home of Karen Zentner Bacig and Ed Bacig (Arden Hills) for an evening with Nico Giraud to experience and learn about the Domaine Drouhin Oregon wines. Domaine Drouhin Oregon wines were recently poured at the first White House State Dinner with President Trump and President Macron!

The Drouhin Family has been making wine in Burgundy for over a century and they have been making some of the best wines in the Willamette Valley for almost 30 years. The evening meal will feature a number of Domaine Drouhin Oregon reds and whites. Karen and Ed will provide a French-inspired meal perfectly paired with your wines. You won’t want to miss this experience!!

Un grand merci à Nicolas Giraud, Karen Zentner Bacig, and Ed Bacig 


“Tropical Escape to your Ocean View Suite”: A 6-Night Stay at the Blue Tang Inn in Belize

Captain Jacques Cousteau knew a good thing when he discovered the Blue Hole in the Atolls of Belize in the 1960s. Make your own discoveries from the Blue Tang Inn, found on Ambergris Caye, just off of Belize Mainland, south of Mexico. The Caribbean Sea is just outside your door!

The Blue Tang Inn boasts a picturesque beachfront, just two quiet blocks north of downtown San Pedro, where you’ll encounter Belize’s warm, friendly people and find great shops and restaurants. Relax by the beach, by the private pool, or on the third floor sundeck. Your stay also includes a half-day kayak rental for two! Inquire about their sailboat- the Sirena Azul, to experience an inspiring sunset sail or snorkel tour. Scuba Diving and Inland Tours are also available.

Un grand merci à Lisa and Bruce Paradis


“Un voyage culinaire dans le temps”

Travel back to 2006/2007. Vincent A Restaurant: A young Nicolas Giraud greets you at the door and escorts you to your table. A young Vincent Francoual works nimbly in the kitchen. He has prepared an exquisite five-course tasting menu for you… scallops with leeks, potatoes and orange sauce, beet carpaccio with goat cheese fondant…

Nicolas has selected the perfect wine pairings for your meal- a dynamic mix of French and Domestic treasures, and serves them with sophistication.

Snap your fingers: it is 2018. Vincent is the culinary director for Cara Irish Pub (Coopers, the Local, the Liffey and Kieran’s) and Nico is the wine director for Bellecour in Wayzata. You are with five friends, in the comfort of your own dining room. This is a once in a lifetime experience.

This in-home 5-course tasting menu for six, includes wine pairings and service. Dinner to be determined on a mutually conducive date.

Un grand merci à Vincent Francoual, Nicolas Giraud and Cara Irish Pubs


“View from the Top”: A 2 Hour Airplane Ride 

You and another passenger can soar for two hours in a Cirrus SR22! Prepare for takeoff and please make sure your seat belt is securely fastened; this aircraft has a cruising speed of 185 mph!

Your pilot and guide for the day will be Scott Stangeland, AFMSP Board of Directors. With over 25 years of flying experience and a Commercial Pilot Certificate, Scott considers flight safety and passenger comfort his highest priorities. You’ll meet Scott at the Anoka County Airport to learn more about the plane and your headsets before boarding. Then it’s up, up and away! You’ll see Minnesota Lake Country from a whole new perspective as you cruise towards Brainerd. Upon landing, Scott will treat you to breakfast at his favorite little diner.

On this flight you will learn about the aircraft and some basics of piloting an airplane. He might even let you try your hand at the controls!

Un grand merci à Scott Stangeland


A Feast for the Senses: An In-Home Traditional Spanish Paella Dinner for Eight 

Take a culinary journey through Spain without even leaving your home! AFMSP Board Member Pam Pappas Stanoch and her husband Joe Stanoch will prepare a traditional 5-course Spanish dinner chez vous. Paella is always an excuse for a party! You and seven friends and family will start the festivities sipping a traditional sangria. Then begin your feast with elegant salmon and asparagus tapas and Andalusian gazpacho. Be transported to Valencia with Joe’s seafood paella, followed by a delicate spinach and orange salad. End the evening with Pam’s Flan de Naranjas (Moorish Orange-scented Flan). Best of all, when you’re ready for a siesta, Pam and Joe will have the kitchen cleaned up and help with the dishes!

You invite the guests and set the table, Pam and Joe will take care of everything else! Menu is flexible based on the preferences of the hosts.

Un grand merci à Pam Pappas Stanoch, Joe Stanoch, and Athena Group International 


Experience Bordeaux:  Two-Night B&B Stay, Rail Passes, Vineyard Tours, and Foie Gras Tasting

Julien and Megan would like to welcome you to their B&B for a weekend getaway among the Graves vineyards. Rouge Bordeaux B&B is an authentic Gironde manor and former parsonage dating back to the late 18th century. Renovating the manor was a Franco-Américain labor of love. The house is located in the French countryside just outside of Bordeaux. Julien and Megan will offer you a two-night stay any time during the week or weekend, which includes round-trip transport to and from the airport or train station. They would also like to offer you one visit to their favorite chateau in the Sauternes vineyards and a foie gras tasting to follow.

From there, use your 4-day Rail Europe passes to adventure to another region of l’hexagone. Onwards to Champagne?

This experience includes a pair of 4-day Rail Europe passes to be used for travel through France, 2-night stay at Rouge Bordeaux B&B, train station/airport transportation, wine and foie gras tasting.

Un grand merci à Rouge Bordeaux B&B, Megan & Julien Martel, and Rail Europe


Enjoy a Private French Cooking Class at Home with Chef Valérie

Experience the flavors and tastes of French delicacies in the comfort of your own kitchen! France native Valérie Faure is passionate about sharing her culinary heritage. She will guide you step-by-step so that you can easily replicate what you make together during the cooking class.

A French Escapade is a 2-hour class where you can choose a selection of three dishes: an entree, a side dish, and your choice of appetizer or dessert. Options include French onion soup, quiche lorraine, boeuf bourguignon, poulet basquaise, gratin dauphinois, tian provencal, apple tarte tatin and chocolate profiteroles to name just a few! Up to 6 people can participate. This class can be in French or in English, or a mélange of both!

For more details visit https://valeriesfrenchkitchen.com/cooking-classes/

Un grand merci à Valérie Faure !

Chef for a Day Cooking and Concert at Dakota Jazz Club

The Dakota invites you to spend an afternoon cooking with Dakota Chef, Derik Moran, creating the daily chef feature. See your feature on the menu and sit down with three of your guests to enjoy a three-course meal, including the dish that you helped prepare! After dinner, relax with your guests and enjoy the show!

Dinner and a show have never been so special! This experience includes a personal hands-on cooking class, three course dinner for four, and show tickets for four.

Un grand merci à Dakota Jazz Club


Une Journée au Marché

On a perfect summer day, partake in a complete local and seasonal cooking experience with culinary and travel pro Sara Monick.

Begin your day with a visit to the Farmer’s Market, where Sara will introduce you to her favorite vendors and assist you in selecting beautiful fresh produce and ingredients to prepare the perfect summer brunch. 

Back at Sara’s house in Golden Valley, you will join in preparing a seasonal meal. Sara will share some tips and lead you in improvising, by using your farmer’s market finds.

With the dishes prepared and the table set, savor your fare in the flower-filled gazebo. Bon appétit !

This Farmer’s Market Brunch experience is intended for 4 people.

Un grand merci à Sara Monick


Two Week Class at the Institut de Français, in Villefranche-sur-Mer

Bask in the glamour of the Côte d’Azur while learning French! This French language school boasts a prestigious list of students, including Princess Grace Kelly! Located on the sunny, Mediterranean-blue French Riviera, learning French becomes a wonderful and unforgettable experience. The school is housed in a luxurious Provençal villa, set on the hillside of the lovely port of Villefranche-sur-Mer, overlooking one of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful bays, 2 miles from Nice and only a short drive to Cannes and Monte-Carlo.

At l’Institut de Français you will delve into French via an intensive course, meeting 8 hours each day, five days a week. This immersive French course combines effective audio-visual methods, language lab with varied practice sessions, real-life situations, and includes two discussion meals each day.

End your trip relaxed and speaking French more fluently!

Un grand merci à l’Institut de Français

L’Institut de Français requests that their students are not complete beginners in spoken French. Dates are limited, sessions beginning November 26, 2018 through March 29, 2019.

Student must participate in the first two weeks of the selected session. Pricing does not lodging, but it can be easily arranged.


Super Silent Auction Experiences


Behind the Scenes with Minnesota Opera

Enjoy a special VIP experience at Minnesota Opera. You and seven guests are invited to the Minnesota Opera’s production of La Rondine on Saturday, Oct 13 at 7:30 pm. La Rondine was first performed at the Grand Théâtre de Monte Carlo in 1917!  Puccini’s only operetta will transport you to Paris and the Riviera.

From the composer of Madame Butterfly and La Bohème, this rarely performed gem tells the story of an unlikely relationship between Magda, a high-society woman and a naïve, handsome poet. But the fate of their courtship is uncertain as Magda is torn between the life she wants and the life she knows. Puccini’s achingly beautiful score charmingly conveys the romantic bliss and irrational desires of unexpected lovers. Wistful and nostalgic, La Rondine revels in the gaiety of Paris, the stinging sorrow of regret, and the sensual richness of love.

This evening of opera will begin with a backstage tour prior to the performance at 6:30 pm, and includes an invitation to the backstage intermission Champagne reception!

This experience includes 8 tickets to La Rondine on Saturday, Oct 13, backstage tour, and Champagne reception at intermission.

Un grand merci à Minnesota Opera

“Behind the Scenes at the Basilica with Dr Johan van Parys”: An evening of art, rich history and hors d’oeuvres!

Join Dr Johan van Parys, Director of Worship and the Sacred Arts, at the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis, for an in-depth and behind-the-scenes tour of the Basilica for up to ten people, in French or in English.

This remarkable Beaux-Arts building was designed by renowned French architect Emmanuel Masqueray and built between 1907-1914. On the fourth floor of the rectory, visit the archives and art collection of the Basilica. The collection holds objets d’art from the 16th – 20th centuries! Some of the most important archives include the original drawings for the Basilica by Masqueray, as well as drawings for the stained glass windows by Gaytee studios.

Following the tour, you and your guests will enjoy a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception in the renovated 1927 dining room of the Basilica rectory.

Un grand merci à Dr Johan van Parys


Heads or Tails: Dinner for Six at Smack Shack

Enjoy a decadent surf and turf feast for six at Smack Shack in the North Loop of Minneapolis. Your dinner begins with a bottle of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc and three dozen oysters! The shucker’s selection will be followed by each guest’s choice of salad, and entrée choice between lobster boil or ribeye steak! Your dinner concludes with a choice of dessert.

How do you choose? Classic wedge or Caesar? Lobster Boil includes a whole lobster, potatoes, polish sausage, corn on the cob, griddled milk bread and drawn butter. Steak dinner is a 16 oz Ribeye with house steak and garlic mashed potatoes. For dessert, key lime pie, bourbon apple caramel cheesecake, red velvet Boston cream? Bon appétit!

This experience is offered during our game of heads or tails!

Un grand merci à Smack Shack

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Alliance Française Mpls/St Paul
113 N First Street
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Tel: 612 332 0436

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