Kapito Visits 'Billions' Home as Navab Catches Hamptons WaveBy
A ribs feast benefits Pop.Earth programs for autistic kids
Parrish Art Museum pairs art and nature at annual benefit
Arriving at the house that appears on Showtime’s “Billions,” BlackRock President Robert Kapito and his wife, Ellen, took it all in: the tennis courts on the bay side surrounded by giant hydrangea, the very long stretches of windows, the DJ stationed next to the pool -- and, finally, the real-life owner himself, Michael Loeb, in an apron serving ribs and schmoozing, looking a little shorter and a lot more relaxed than his fictional counterpart, hedge fund manager Bobby Axelrod.
“Michael was in what? Publishing?” Kapito said Saturday night in Southampton.
Loeb worked in magazine publishing at Time Inc., co-founded Synapse Group Inc. to sell consumer-magazine subscriptions, and about 11 years ago set up Loeb Enterprises to develop new businesses. He mentors startup founders, which is how he came to host the party the Kapitos attended -- a benefit for the nonprofit Pop.Earth’s wellness programs for people with autism.
Loeb once hosted a retreat at his Southampton mansion for entrepreneurs including Shu Chowdhury, an engineer and amateur foodie who co-founded Salido to equip restaurants with a one-stop shop for technology.
When Loeb boasted about his ribs, Chowdhury was skeptical: “I’m like yeah, whatever, he’s going to order some ribs from some catering service.”
But then he tried and loved them. Loeb shared his recipe and Chowdhury awoke from his food coma with an idea. “I barely knew the guy. I said, ‘Look, I have a lot of customers, clients and friends who are top chefs, why don’t we get them over here and host a celebrity rib-off?’ And he was just like, ‘I’m in, 100 percent.”’
Chowdhury selected the charity soon afterward, when a childhood friend turned chef, Franklin Becker, recruited him to join the board of Pop.Earth.
As for his special beef ribs, cut small, Loeb uses giant Weber kettles and a smoke-based process. “You wait for the fat to start dripping down, you throw down the hood, and it chokes off the fire and all you have is this unbelievable amount of smoke,” he said.
Loeb’s daughter Katie, a co-founder of social-events company Blu Bracelet, gave a hint of how Loeb developed his marinade.
“This recipe was originally my mother’s recipe,” Katie Loeb said. “My dad has since adapted it to become something else. He’s going to argue that this version is superior, but don’t ask my mom. To this day, every holiday, my mom will deliver him a case of the marinade, which is Woody’s, from Texas.”
Alex Navab, who will be leaving his post as head of private equity in the Americas for KKR & Co., caught a wave Saturday night -- checking out images of the Atlantic Ocean transformed into mysterious, beautiful and captivating installations by multimedia artist Clifford Ross. The occasion was the Parrish Art Museum’s annual benefit in Water Mill, and the waves are both inside the building and on large panels on the museum’s facade visible from the highway.
“I almost got into a wreck passing by earlier,” said his wife, Mary Kathryn Navab.
The event honored Ross and philanthropist Agnes Gund, who made a $500,000 gift to the Parrish to help it develop community outreach programs with a focus on artists.
Gund praised the Parrish’s building by architect Herzog & de Meuron. “The respect for field and sky and the sea itself are captured in these walls,” Gund said. “It reflects what nature gives us and what artists give us.”