"Get ready for the most amazing meal of your life." Recipe for Success founder Gracie Cavnar was not exaggerating Thursday night when she invited the 70 guests seated for dinner at The Dunlavy to chow down.
Ten of the city's leading chefs, volunteers for the Recipe for Success in-school program, pulled out the stops for the meal that was nothing less than extraordinary. The event was a celebration of Recipe for Success' decade of battling childhood obesity.
Eat your hearts out foodies. What could be better than Lance Fegen, Monica Pope and John Sheely providing the appetizers; Charles Clark, Pedro Garcia, Bryan Caswell, and Randy Rucker creating an unbelievable array of main courses; Robert del Grande delivering a dreamy cheese/salad course; and Randy Evans (in from San Antonio) and Eloise Jones putting forth desserts.
As one might imagine with this crew of culinary talent, it was a party in the kitchen as well as in the dining room.
"We've known each other for years," Clark said surveying the jovial bunch in the Dunlavy kitchen. "Being in Houston for so many years, we've all worked together. So you can see, we already have four bottles of wine going and we haven't even served any food yet. We all work together. We all help each other. It's like one big family."
Pulling together this group of top notch chefs for her program is as much a testament to Cavnar's powers of persuasion as to the relevance of the cause.
"These 10 chefs helped me create the Recipe for Success Foundation and have been with me all 10 years," she said. "It's the most extraordinary collection of culinary talent in the world and we are so fortunate to have them right here in Houston. Recipe for Success would not be what we are without the extraordinary chefs who help make us what we are. We are chef driven and it's been an amazing ride."
Saluting the organization that has grown from one classroom with 30 kids to serving 35,000 kids today were supporters including Cynthia and Tony Petrello, Alex and Astley Blair, Dr. Romey Lauren, Jennifer Caswell, John and Becca Cason Thrash, Karen and Roland Garcia, Karen and Murry Penner, Sharron Melton, and Barrett and Paul Kilian.
Appetizers: Lance Fegen's Pupukea-style tuna poke, ginger, macadamia, mango and chiles on a wasabi-sesame spoon
Monica Pope's Date with a pig (chorizo-stuffed date wrapped in bacon)
John Sheely's snapper ceviche with avocado mousse
Charles Clark's skate wing in meyer lemon brodetto with Taylor Bay scallops
Pedro Garcia's lentil soup with black truffle
Bryan Caswell's duck leg with Jordan almonds, brik and brown butter
Randy Rucker's lightly-smoked shortrib of beef with mushroom and chickweed
Robert del Grande's cremeux de chevre aux printemps
Dessert (served on the patio)
Randy Evans' vanilla bean pound cake and bourbon-macerated strawberries topped with lemon curd
Elouise Jones' chocolate pot de creme (Jones was the only chef unable to attend)