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Shelby About Town

Steve Nash and Goran Dragic break bread at Katsuya, a local high schooler's aspiring Project Runway show & heartfelt deals

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Amir Taghi, from left, Iraj Taghi and Carolyn Farb at the Amir's fashion debut. Photo by Katy Anderson
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Spring/summer looks from Amir Taghi's first formal collection. Photo by Katy Anderson
Tony's is one of five restaurants participating in the Texas Heart Institute's Houston Has Heart program. Photo via Tony'
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More from Amir Taghi. Photo by Katy Anderson
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More from Amir Taghi.  Photo by Katy Anderson
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Arian Foster embrace
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News_Shelby Hodge_head shot_Dec. 2009

Applause, applause for Episcopal High School freshman and aspiring fashion designer Amir Taghi, who wowed a gathering of 90 friends and family with his first runway show on Wednesday. This was not your ordinary fashions-on-the-catwalk at Neiman's but it was a stunning launch with a runway erected over the swimming pool at the family's Tanglewood home.

Young Amir comes by his fashion talent legitimately. His uncle, Ali Taghi, is president and CEO of A. Taghi, the fashion house located in the Galleria area. And, obviously, his parents, Fariba and Iraj Taghi, are big supporters of his dreams. 

Could Amir be the next Project Runway star? 

You can ask any of those who attended the showing of eight spring/summer pieces modeled by Amir's classmates. First hand observers included Carolyn Farb, Jonathan Tinkle, Anita Gaylor, Nidhika Mehta, Mehrnaz Gill, Henry Richardson, Hasti Taghi, Hanna Taghi, Anooshea Taghdisi, Gita Saberioon and CultureMap editor in chief Clifford Pugh.

It's a knockout at Katsuya

No question the place is the hottest joint in town with an endless stream of good-looking, high-style patrons pouring in night after night. Just consider Thursday's crowd.

The towering trio at one table were none other than Phoenix Suns basketball players Grant Hill and Steve Nash (the two-time NBA MVP) with their former teammate and current Houston Rockets emerging star Goran Dragic. Of course, the Rockets host the Suns in a crucial game in the playoff race in the Western Conference Friday night.

Nash, Hill and Dragic feasted on ceviche, lobster dynamite, Kobe foie gras, and of course, the signature baked crab hand rolls Thursday night. On their way out, the players showed what truly good sports they are by posing for photos with fans.

In the restaurant's private dining room, tennis' elite James Blake, John Isner and Sam Querrey filled up on signature crispy rice with spicy tuna and rock shrimp tempura among other tasty Japanese dishes.

And lapping up the cool vibes in the Dragon Lounge was Houston Texans All-Pro tailback Arian Foster celebrating a friend's birthday. That group noshed on Kobe toban yaki, yellowtail jalapeno and more.

A heartfelt dining experience

When Dr. Jim Willerson, president and medical director of the Texas Heart Institute, sends out an email regarding an unusual fundraising effort, everyone listens. Believe me. So, heads up everyone.

The good doctor wants to be sure that you are aware of the Houston Has Heart dining program geared to raising awareness of cardiovascular disease and raising funds for the institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital.

April 15 through April 30, Tony's Restaurant, Tony Mandola's, Ristorante Cavour at Hotel Granduca, Mockingbird Bistro and Pappas Bros. Steakhouse will each be offering specially-priced meals with $5 from each benefiting the Texas Heart Institute. Check out the $40 (plus tax and gratuity) menus here.

Willerson closes his email, "Thank you and our wonderfully supportive restaurant partners. Bon Appétit!"

A helping hand from Humana

For the eighth consecutive year, Humana is putting out the call for area non-profits to sign on for the one-time $100,000 Humana Communities Benefit charitable grant. Any non-profit that meets the single criteria of working to improve the health and wellness of the community is eligible to apply and application can be made here.

The grant recipient is determined by a panel of local judges that study the applications and announcement of the winner is made in October at a celebratory dinner. 

The 2011 recipient was the Houston Area Women's Center, which used the $100,000 to fund a new call center.

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