“Celebrity Chefs was an outstanding success and the results were beyond our expectations!” report Co-Chairs Donna Burdette and Anna Saunders.
The Hilton Hotel at Southlake Town Square was the new venue for this year’s event, and we could not have made a better choice. Every detail presented by the Hilton’s staff was sheer perfection. From the moment guests entered the Hilton’s front doors, it was clear that this would be a night to remember.
The ‘Red Carpet Welcome’ included a Sparkling-Wine-and-Hors-d’Oeuvres reception. Delectable appetizers prepared by the Hilton Hotel paired nicely with Trapiche Sparkling wine, provided by Frederick Wildman & Sons Ltd., to start the evening off with a touch of elegance.
“From the time we stepped onto the red carpet along the red velvet rope, we knew this was going to be something special,” remarked guest Valerie Salter of SafeHaven. As the doors to the ballroom were opened, guests were awed by the exquisitely-appointed room. The chandeliers, the special-effects lighting, the color selection all added to the ambiance. Guests were treated to a colorful array of Chefs – from nationally-recognized personalities, to Iron Chef competitors, to home-town favorites, to local icons – all stepped up to showcase their culinary talents in the name of compassion.
Attendees were able to wander from one station to another to meet and mingle with the Chefs themselves. Each Chef offered a sample of his/her own signature dish. Some of the signature dishes presented was a classic favorite, while others were creations debuting for the first time that night. Guests could be seen excitedly making their way from one chef to another, savoring the offerings of each, and then comparing notes with their tablemates. Try as they might, it was impossible to pick just one favorite among so many outstanding dishes.
On this unforgettable menu were:
o Lobster Bisque, by Chef Noah Miller of Central Market
o Barbequed Shrimp on Cheesy Grits, by Chef Jaime Aguilar of Copeland’s at the Hilton
o Assortment of Petite Crème Brulee, by Chef Hans Bergmann of Cacharel
o Tequila-Flamed Quail & Green Chili Cheese Grits Tacos, by Chef Jon Bonnell of Bonnell’s Restaurant
o Hickory Smoked Scottish Salmon with Habanero Cream Corn and Heirloom Tomato Salsa, by Chef Joanne Bondy of Old Hickory Steak House
o Chicken Penne Reggiano and Italian Chocolate Decadence Torte, by Chef Susan Clark of Sweet Memories Cakes & Catering
o Braised Buffalo Short Ribs with Spicy Sweet Potatoes, by Chef Eric Hunter of Fire Oak Grille
o Bock Beer-Braised Pork, by Chef Brian Olenjack of Olenjack’s Grille
o Rio Grande Crepes with Polk County Pear Marmalade & Texas Grapefruit Syrup, by Chef Morris Salerno of The Grotto
o Gourmet Macaroni & Cheese with a three cheese béchamel sauce and select toppings, by Chef Michael Swirczynski& Sally Bolick Strong of Bravo!! Catering and Event Planning
o Laughing Bird Shrimp BLT Sandwich, by Chef Manuel Vera of Truluck’s Seafood, Steak and Crab House
o Spicy Pulled Pork Tortillas and Tropical Relish, by Chef Mark Yamada of Trophy Club Country Club
o Applewood-Smoked Pork Tenderloin with a peppered cider glaze, ‘Classic’ Potatoes, Braised Red Cabbage, by Chef Charles Youts of The Classic Café at Roanoke
The Chefs tell us that they will never forget one particular moment of the evening. When called on stage to be introduced, they were given a lengthy rock star standing ovation in appreciation of the outstanding job done that night. Truly, a moment to remember!
A highlight of the event was the live Chefs Auction featuring a unique dining experience presented by each individual Chef, as well as travel packages and jewelry. Lots of lively bidding took place while guests tried to outbid each other for what they knew would be out-of-this-world experiences. Many who have won these coveted Chefs Auction Packages in the past made sure they were front and center for the auction. We are hoping that the lucky winners of these packages will keep us posted on their parties and share photos with us!
It was with great pleasure that the announcement was made that this year’s Celebrity Chefs event put us well over the $1,000,000 milestone in lifetime contributions to SafeHaven. How fitting that we achieve this landmark in Mid-Cities SOS’s twenty-fifth year! Chef Noah Miller said, “It is an honor to be a part of this great event. We are glad to have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of kids affected by domestic violence.” All our chefs were thrilled to have participated in this year’s Benefit and were particularly impressed with the upscale event it has become. Long-time participant Chef Brian Olenjack commented that he was pleased with the outcome of the event and that the Hilton gave it an inviting atmosphere. Good news – each Chef had nothing but praise and was happy to have been invited to participate. Even better news – all hope to be able to attend once more next year!
The Co-Chairs offer their deepest thanks to all who had a part in making Celebrity Chefs a historic success. Funds raised topped $90,000 this year, which will have a tremendous impact on the lives of the children at SafeHaven who count on our support. Not only have we raised significant funds with which to carry out important programs at SafeHaven, but we are also raising awareness of the issue of domestic violence and opening the door to conversation about it.
It is with deep appreciation that we acknowledge the support of our generous sponsors (shown below) who provided the funding to carry out such an event, the musical groups who provided entertainment, the wonderful Hilton staff who attended to every detail with perfection, and the professional contributions of our emcee Scott Murray and auctioneer Dan Holmes.
Many thanks to our guests who honored us with their attendance. No words are ever enough to thank our Chefs and their staff who donated their time, talents and incredible food to our culinary event. And finally, endless thanks to our Mid-Cities SOS members and our wonderful committee members who worked with us over the past year, who guided and supported us in this endeavor and helped to make Celebrity Chefs such a success!
The 2010 Sponsors:
Presenting Chef Sponsors
o Fort Worth Star Telegram, Alliance Newspapers, Panache, & Indulge
o The Hilton at Southlake Town Square
Executive Chef Sponsor
o Bates Container
Master Chef Sponsors
o American Airlines
o Market Street, United Supermarkets in partnership with Banfi
o Fonda Enterprises & Kai/Kershaw Knives
o Bice’s Florist
o Roxann Taylor & Associates Realtors
Sous Chef Sponsors
o J Blue Real Estate Services
o Donna and Mark Burdette
o Sally and Jim Bustamante & Linda and Rob Timmons
o Linda Eilenfeldt, Realtor RE/MAX Masters
o SafeHaven Board of Directors
o Velma and Danny Walker
o Frederick Wildman and Sons LTD
o Susan Williams, Owner of Kensington Mortgage & Mary Smith, Colleyville Area Chamber of Commerce
o Jane and Vern Wood & Janice and John Kane
o The David Geffen Foundation
Mike Lewis Photography photographed Celebrity Chefs 2010. Take a look at all the wonderful shots and order directly from his site: