Shelby About Town

Henry Kissinger, diamonds, diplomacy and a swanky pool party rock the Houston scene

Henry Kissinger, diamonds, diplomacy and a swanky pool party rock the Houston scene

Two lions of U.S. diplomacy/and former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and James A. Baker III wowed more than 100 VIPs at last week's reception held just prior to their headlining Asia Society Texas Centers' premiere Distinguished Leaders on Asia series.

They mingled congenially amid guests such as Anne and Dr. John Mendelsohn, Nancy Allen and Divya and Chris Brown. Even in the crush Kissinger, 89, showed no ill effects of the recent fall at his New York home that sent him briefly to the hospital. Enjoying rock star status among this crowd, the duo chatted with guests and posed for photos in the private reception held in the center's Allen Education Center.

Among the VIPs who stayed on to hear the discussion moderated by former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card were Isla and T.R. Reckling, Fairfax and Risher Randall, Muffet Blake, Wendy and Mavis Kelsey, Nancy and Lucian Morrison, Jeri and Marc Shapiro and Astrid and Gene Van Dyke.

Digging for diamonds

Dror and Helene Zadok and their son Jonathan Zadok, owners of Zadok Jewelers, are still raving about their recent trip to Botswana, largest producer of diamonds in the world. They were invited by the government to visit and meet with top officials in regard to the illustrious diamond industry. 

While in the African nation, the Zadoks had high level meetings with government officials, with representatives from the Diamond Trading Company (the rough diamond distribution arm of De Beers) and reps from Debswana, the nation's diamond mining concern.

“We travel the world to offer our clients the very best,” Jonathan said. “By visiting Botswana, we’re going straight to the source.”

Cooking at SXSW

 Chef Grant Gordon of Tony's and Vallone's fame donned his toque and jacket for a special dinner held at the Austin estate of billionaire John Paul DeJoria, founder of Paul Mitchell hair products.

He was cooking at the Forbes 30 Under 30 SXSW party at the DeJoria estate on Lake Austin. Gordon was named to the impressive list for his role in Vallone's, the new steak restaurant set to open in the Gateway Memorial City complex in September.

Pool party kickoff

The ladies organizing the Children's Assessment Center's annual Spirit of Spring luncheon are planning on rocking around the pool tonight at the swank River Oaks home of Jill and Calvin Schlenker. It's the kickoff for the April 5 luncheon and luncheon chairs Ursaline Hamilton, Stephanie Perkins and Megan Sutton-Reed will be drumming up interest at the party in the Schlenkers' pool pavilion.

Highlight will be unveiling of the Sylva & Cie jewelry piece donated to the auction by Paul Carter Jewels. Details from

Golden oldie threads

Cheeky Vintage Tina Davis and Denise Hazen are whopping it up once again as they report another drop-in by important designers. Haute Hippie founder and chief designer Trish Wescoat Pound as well as two of her other designers, Kaitlin Kading and Michael Grant, were in town from NYC for a personal appearance at Neiman Marcus. 

Once off-duty, they headed to Cheeky Vintage to shop for inspiration. They chose flowy chiffon dresses with fabulous beading and intricate details. "It's very exciting to continue to attract top designers to our shop! Vintage is such an incredible source of inspiration," Davis and Hazen emailed.

Henry Kissinger, James A. Baker III, March 2013
Henry Kissinger, left, and James A. Baker III were rock star guests in the VIP reception at the Asia Society Texas Center event. Photo by © Jenny Antill
Botswana Trip, Dror Zadok, March 2013Botswana Trip, Dror Zadock, March 2013
Dror Zadok visits with rough diamond sorters at Botswana's  Diamond Trading Co. Photo courtesy of Zadok Jewelers
SXSW, Forbes 30 Under party, March 2013, Patrick Walsh, from left, Sam Chaudhary, Grant Gordon and Mat Morgan
30 Under 30 headliners at Austin's SXSW included Patrick Walsh, from left, Sam Chaudhary, Vallone's Grant Gordon and Mat Morgan. Photo by Jeremy Parzen
015_Mosbacher Circuit of the Americas, June 2012, Jill Schlenker, Calvin Schlenker
Jill and Calvin Schlenker will open the doors to their pool house today for a kick-off for the Children's Assessment Center's Spirit of Spring luncheon. Jill Schlenker , Calvin Schlenker Photo by © Chinh Phan/