It was a merry summer throng that poured into the spanking new River Oaks mansion on Inwood earlier this week for a look-see at developer Al Ross Luxury Homes' newest construction and to learn about Recipe for Success' latest fundraising concept.
The kick-off for the non-profit's Open Kitchens benefit series, set to take place next May in fab kitchens across the city, could not have found a better locale. The vast kitchen/family room in the 6,300 square-foot home easily accommodated the four chefs cooking on site with plenty of room to spare for a healthy portion of the 200 guests.
Chefs Kiran Verma of Kiran's, Donald Chang of Nara Sushi & Korean Kitchen, David Grossman of Fusion Taco and chocolatier Annie Rupani of Cacao & Cardamom displayed their culinary prowess while guests such as Melanie Gray and Mark Wawro, Gigi Huang and Miya Shay explored the luxe surroundings. In the two-story grand reception hall, Marshall Maxwell on baby grand piano tickled the ivories for arriving guests.
Developer Al Ross and designer J.D. Bartel were on hand to guide guests through the home, touting such amenities as the wine cellar, outdoor pool and the second-floor balcony lounge. In remarks to the gathering Recipe for Success board member Michael Pearce announced that Ross would provide $100,000 to the non-profit if a guest from the party purchased the home within 30 days. If the property sells to a member of the general public within 30 days, the charity will receive $25,000.
It was a win-win for everyone, according to Martha Turner Sotheby's International Realty's Hedley Karpas, who has the listing on the house. Ross has promised a bonus to the selling agent if the house moves within 30 days.
Checking out the fab River Oaks pad were Joanne King Herring, Terry Wayne Jones, Leisa Holland-Nelson and Robert Davenport, Karen and Roland Garcia, Alex and Astley Blair, Shepard Ross, Erin Hicks, Beth Wolff, Kim Padgett, Mahzad Mohajer, Ceron, Alex Martinez and David Arpin.
These and other guests were invited to fill out a nomination form for the city's best kitchens to be included in the 2015 fundraiser that will showcase exceptional kitchens during a three-day event.