When Austrian Count Anton von Spork founded the International Order of St. Hubertus in 1695, he could never have imagined the St. Hubertus hunt that took place recently at Cibolo Creek Ranch in west Texas.
For starters, most of the participants arrived by private jet.
More than 400 years after the society for noble hunters was established, members of the Houston chapter and a number from Mexico gathered at the 30,000-acre ranch on the edge of Big Bend. On their agenda — three days of organized shoots and "gala" lunches and dinners. Cibolo Creek ranch owner and businessman John Poindexter, one of the original Houston members, hosted the group that numbered 53 in all. This is the second time that Poindexter has welcomed the Houston and Mexico contingent to his ranch, open year-round for hunting, outdoor and riding vacations.
So the chichi crowd jetted in including Jana and Scotty Arnoldy, Debbie and John Daugherty, Debbie and Vidal Martinez and Patty and Bill Porter. None was more important than the order's Great Master (and if you are into titles, you'll love this) Archduke Andreas Salvatore Hapsburg-Lothrengin, the Prince of Tuscany and Royal Prince of Hungary and Bohemia, who came in from Spain for the festivities.
Poindexter reports that some of the players went so far as to dress in traditional European shooting attire for the boxed bird shoot competition and for the driven pheasant and chukar shoot, highlight of the sporting events.
When they weren't in the field, participants were lavishly wined and dined in Cibolo Creek Ranch style. Rounding out the Houston contingent sitting down to the feasts were Dennis Murphree John Kelsey, John Brent, Jerry Finger, Bill Price and Sandy Vaughan. Joining the weekend was Cristina Girard, who has hunted frequently in Spain with Hapsburg-Lothrengin and who entertained him in Houston before the ranch weekend.
Look who's cooking
That would be Jennifer LeGrand, who recently kicked off the new guest chef series at VOICE Restaurant in Hotel Icon. The attorney shared several of her fave recipes with VOICE chef Michael Kramer, who selected a few and made them specials for the night. Kudos to LeGrand, who maneuvered with grace through the kitchen in high heels. Among her fans that came in to sample her asian short ribs and Gruyere Overnight Mac 'n Cheese were Jodie Eisenhardt, Cathy Echols, Sarah Bray, Josh Espinedo, Carlos Meltzer, Nick Espinosa, Marcy DeLuna and Adam Gibson.
Keeping an eye on the fun was Hotel Icon's new general manager Charlie Skipsey, fresh from Barcelona where he has spent the past seven years. Fans of Mexico's Carlos 'n Charlie's watering holes will find it interesting that Skipsey's dad - and Charlie himself as well - made up half of that rollicking restaurant group.
Houston Zoo's young professionals group Flock hit it lucky Sunday with perfect weather for its annual al fresco Beastly Brunch during which 150 dined on fare from Amazon Grill. Once their lunch was over, the zoo friends moved on to watch the piranhas and orangutans eat their lunch in special presentations. Eeeeek.
Flock members Kent Oliver and Jesse Bounds were the lucky ones chosen to help feed a Malayan tiger — meat on a stick and goat milk squirted from a bottle.
In the mix were zoo director Rick Barongi, Valarie Palmquist, David Cordua and Ashley Allen, Ted Bowen, Katherine Craig Chambers, Denise Furlough, Katherine Orellana and Kelly Guthrie with Drew Thornton.
A heavy-hitter crowd dining at Danton's Gulf Coast Seafood Friday night including former Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby, Andrews Kurth executive director Bill Livesay and wife Lynn, Dr. Red Duke with Laura Moore, City Councilwoman Anne Clutterbuck and husband John Clutterbuck, Houston Interim Police Chief Charles McClelland and Maurine Ford dining with Dawn and Dr. Richard Gervais.