Friends, family and honored guests celebrated the unveiling of “Heir Apparent” at The Inn at Little Washington on a very hot and steamy Sunday afternoon. One of America’s leading realist painters, Bradley Stevens created the portrait of three Michelin-starred chef and Inn founder Patrick O’Connell and his most trusted companion, a Dalmatian named Luray. In the whimsical portrait scene, O’Connell, who was the esteemed recipient of the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award earlier this month, dons Dalmatian-print chef pants and is posed with Luray on a 300-pound hand-carved chair fit for royalty.
Bradley and the chef have a long-standing relationship and bonded over their love of dogs. In true Inn fashion, guests were surprised and delighted at every turn, think: French clowns, parasols, accordion music and more. The food served was as fun and whimsical as the portrait itself, including The World’s Smallest Baked Potato, Citrus Lobster Spoons, Chilled Minted Pea Soup, Mini Strawberry Ice Cream Cones and more. Longtime NBC News journalist Andrea Mitchell, seen here with O’Connell, attended the unveiling and shared a few words with the crowd.