March of Dimes Signature Chefs Gala Celebrates Culinary Charm

By Jennifer Roosth
Photography by Priscilla Dickson

THE SCENE: Vibrant colors, fanciful aerialists and dramatic contortionists set the scene for the Cirque Du Cuisine-themed March of Dimes Signature Chefs Gala at Silver Street Studios. The event is Houston’s original and largest culinary affair, attracting more than 600 of the city’s best-known and well-healed philanthropists for an evening of food and wine connoisseur heaven.

THE VIBE: Delicious and fanciful fun best describes the evening. Guests sampled tantalizing creations from 22 celebrated local chefs while enjoying acrobatic and ‘Cirque’ entertainment provided by J&D entertainment, and musical spinning by New York DJ, Johnny Dynell. The auction, included extravagant dinners, trips to Napa Valley, France, and New York Fashion Week, and custom-made baubles by Valobra Jewelry specifically designed for the event. The award for “Best Culinary Creation” was presented to Chef Ryan Hildebrand of Trinity for his potato and corn with mushroom panna cotta and truffle pumpkin toffee, and “Best Presentation” went to Chef Barbara McKinight of Culinaire for her duck on baguette toast.

THE CAUSE: The event, presented by Wells Fargo, raised $645,000 to benefit Texas mothers and babies and will directly to support the March of Dimes mission to improve the health of children by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. Mary D’Andrea and Kathryn Fay served as chairs for the event with honorary chairs Faith and Lee Majors. The evening also honored community honoree Rosemarie Johnson, culinary honoree Mark Cox, corporate honoree Dan Wolterman, Memorial Hermann Health System, and medical honoree Dr. Jon Tyson, and the Michelle Bain Distinguished Professorship of Medicine and Public Health. Also involved were culinary chair Vanessa Sendukas, auction chairs Valerie and Tracy Dieterich, wine chair Katy Holt, and underwriting chair Sabrina Midkiff.

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