Event Date: April 23, 2023
Beneficiary: Houston Ballet
No. of Attendees: 150
Money Raised: $90,000
Chairpersons: Dr. Liliana Soltero, Dr. Michael Hawkins, Mitchell B. George and Stanley Curtis, Jr.
Participating Chefs: Hugo Ortega, Chris Shepherd, Aaron Bludorn and Rebecca Masson
Participating Ballet Dancers: Rafaela Henrique, Syvert Garcia, Beckanne Sisk and Chandler Dalton
Presenting Sponsor: Truist
Florals: Central Market
Photography: Wilson Parish
Houston Ballet’s “Raising the Barre”—A Marriage of Cuisine and Dance Once Again Makes for a Great Evening
One hundred fifty delighted Houston Ballet supporters clad in their finest spring attire gathered on the outer edge of downtown to dine at popular Houston eatery Bludorn to celebrate the encore of “Raising the Barre” tasting event. Chairpersons Dr. Liliana Soltero, Dr. Michael Hawkins, Mitchell B. George and Stanley Curtis, Jr. and presenting sponsor Truist were all smiles as the event raised over $90,000 to continue Houston Ballet’s mission.
The method and flow of the dinner begins with four chefs, each paired with a Corps de Ballet dancer. The dancer becomes the chef’s muse when creating their individual meal course and also helps serve each dish. The duos present an entertaining story to accompany how the course was inspired and produced.
The first course of the four-course fine dining presentation began with Chef Hugo Ortega and Corps de Ballet dancer Rafaela Henrique with a delectable Artichoke and Asparagus Salad tossed in a lemon vinaigrette. For the second course, Chef Chris Shepherd and Demi Soloist Syvert Garcia offered an Alaskan King Salmon Sinigang accented by sour tamarind pork broth and chiles.
Bludorn’s Executive Chef Aaron Bludorn and Principal Beckanne Sisk presented the Raising the Barre entrée. Their Veal Tenderloin, complemented by English peas, morel mushrooms, and a savory veal jus, was a delight for the senses.
The evening ended on a sweet note as Fluff Bake Bar Owner and Pastry Chef Rebecca Masson and First Soloist Chandler Dalton served a S’mores Tart with graham cracker ice cream. They also gifted everyone Fluff Bake Bar’s classic chocolate chip cookies.
This annual assemblé of cuisine and dance is always an exciting marriage and “raises the barre” for one of our city’s great arts organizations.
Socially present (not previously mentioned): Lindsey Brown, Akemi Saitoh, Beth Muecke, Christine Underwood, Crystal Wreden, Dannika Simpson, Duyen and Marc Nguyen, Eric Brueggeman, Hallie Vanderhider, Bobby Dees, Roslyn Bazzelle Mitchell, Heidi Smith, Ileana and Michael Treviño, Joe and Jeni Matula, Jeremy Griggs and Jessica Trincanello, Jay Jones and Terry Wayne Jones, Karl Fennessey, Kristy and Chris Bradshaw, Leigh and Reggie Smith, Lenni and Bill Burke, Liliana Soltero and Mike Hawkins, Mike and Jennifer Chou, Mitchell George and Stanley Curtis Jr., Mignon and Stephen Gill, Susan Binney, Tammy and Wayne Nguyen and Victoria Gutierrez