A flock of 160 stylish Houston Ballet supporters gathered at posh restaurant Cafe Annie for the organization’s annual tasting benefit, Raising the Barre: A Dinner in Four Acts.
A delicious treat for all who attended, a special four-course menu was created especially for the occasion by four local chefs alongside four Houston Ballet dancers serving as sous-chefs. The menu included king salmon crudo by chef Lance Gillum of Uchi and Houston ballet soloist, Chun Wai Chan, and a Vietnamese spring roll with papaya salad and a cold summer roll by chef Nicole Routhier of Le Colonial and soloist Jacquelyn Long.
Red snapper with cheese polenta and tomato broth was presented by chef Robert Del Grande of Cafe Annie and first soloist Katharine Precourt, and a dessert of pistachio pound cake with creamy, caramelized white chocolate, strawberries, and basil was prepared by pastry chef Rebecca Masson of Fluff Bake Bar and soloist Derek Dunn.
A perfect start to the evening, chaired by Holly and Austin Alvis and Rachel and Sebastien Solar, guests enjoyed wine and hors d’oeuvres on the patio, as good fortune would have it, in amazing spring weather.
Emceed by former Houston Ballet principal dancer and current ballet master Barbara Bears, the event raised more than $80,000 for the Houston Ballet’s mission to inspire a lasting love and appreciation for dance through artistic excellence, exhilarating performances, innovative choreography, and superb educational programs.
The annual fete drew support from attendees including Gina and Dr. Devinder Bhatia, Karina Barbieri, Kristy and Chris Bradshaw, Charles Dishman, Melissa and Brad Juneau, Sally and Charlie Larrabee, Joella and Steve Mach, Yana McFatter, Holt McNair, Anna McNair, Brittany Sakowitz and Kevin Kushner, Dr. Tatiana Sorkin, Jeffrey Sweterlitsch, Allison and Troy Thacker, Phoebe Tudor, Hallie Vanderhider, Lindsey Brown and Chris Shepherd, Alice and Ken Yang, Georgie Ferrell, Mike Mahlstedt, Ruthie Miller, and KHOU evening anchor Rekha Muddaraj and her husband, Dr. Neil Badlani.