Event Date: April 24, 2022
No. of Attendees: 150
Money Raised: $150,000
Beneficiary: Houston Ballet
Chairpersons: Lilly & Harrison Cullen and Amy & Jordan Pincu
Honoree: The Jerry C. Dearing Family Foundation
Chefs: Hori Horiuchi, Chris Shepherd, Aaron Bludorn and Rebecca Masson
Houston Ballet Dancers: Mackenzie Richter, Chae Eun Yang, Naazir Muhammad and Chris Coomer
Décor & Florals: Bergner and Johnson
Photography: Wilson Parish
Houston Ballet and Bludorn “Raised the Barre” for a Delicious “Duos” Dinner
The Ballet’s annual tasting event, Raising the Barre, celebrated its return in deliciously grand style. Bludorn, one of Houston’s best restaurants, hosted 150 patrons for a record-breaking evening. Sponsored by Truist and chaired by Lilly & Harrison Cullen and Amy & Jordan Pincu, the Ballet’s treasury was enhanced by $150,000 by evening’s end.
The four-course distinctive dining experience was complemented by stunning florals from Bergner and Johnson. What makes this event so unique is four renowned Houston chefs create the menu. Each chef prepares his course and a Houston Ballet company dancer is paired with them. The dancer serves as both the muse and sous chef for their dish.
Prior to the serving, the chef and dancer duos met with guests seated at their tables and enthusiastically communicated their inspiration for each course. The first course New Zealand Ora King salmon sashimi, a Negitoro roll and “Tako Sakurani,” a Japanese style braised octopus with wasabi was created by Chef Hori Horiuchi of Kata Robata and assisted by Soloist Mackenzie Richter. Course two was “Tteokbokki,” Korean braised goat and dumplings, and Korean Ssam by Chef Chris Shepherd of Underbelly Hospitality, paired with Demi Soloist Chae Eun Yang. The evening’s entrée offering by Bludorn’s Executive Chef Aaron Bludorn and Demi Soloist Naazir Muhammad was inspired by Naazir’s African culture and consisted of blackened grouper with djolof rice, tamarind, black garlic and eggplant. Fluff Bake Bar’s Owner and Pastry Chef, Rebecca Masson and First Soloist Chris Coomer ended the evening on a sweet note with a spring Pavlova which included rhubarb, raspberry, pistachio and caramelized white chocolate.
The Jerry C. Dearing Family Foundation’s generous matching gift support made the evening its most successful “Raising the Barre” to date for Houston Ballet.
Socially present (not previously mentioned): Kate and Stephen Fowler, Jennifer Sommers, Lauren Anderson, Jim Nelson, Kristy Bradshaw, Fady Armanious, Lindsey Brown, Chad Libertus, Christine and David Underwood, Akemi Saitoh, Mitch George and Stan Curtis, Mignon and Steve Gill, Jay Jones and Terry Wayne Jones, Beth Muecke, Duyen and Marc Nguyen, Leigh and Reggie Smith, Liliana Soltero and Mike Hawkins, Dannika Simpson, Shawn Stephens and Jim Jordan and Hallie Vanderhider