Eat, Drink, Be Merry

Top chefs add special kick to kick-off for fall food extravaganza, with margaritas and Tex Mex galore

Top chefs add special kick to kick-off for fall food extravaganza

March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Chef Michael Pellegrino (Anejo), Rachel & Tom Regan, Chef Arnaldo Richards (Pico’s)
Anejo chef Michael Pellegrino, from left, Rachel and Tom Regan and Chef Arnaldo Richards of Pico's. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, March of Dimes Signature Chefs Kick-off, Marcie Berry, Heather Layton
Signature Chefs auction co-chairs Heather Layton, left, and Marcie Berry. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Jan Fawcett, Mandy Butler, Dana Dailey
Jan Fawcett, from left, Mandy Butler and Dana Dailey. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Gina Curtis & Jim Pearson
Gina Curtis and Jim Pearson. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Jein Gadson, Loran Gadson, William Tayar
Jein Gadson, from left, Loran Gadson and William Tayar. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Sydney Gerland & Elly Luzeniecki
Sydney Gerland and Elly Luzeniecki. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Vanessa Sendukas and Pico's Chef Arnaldo Richards
Vanessa Sendukas and Chef Arnaldo Richards of Pico's. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Tara & David Wuthrich
Tara and David Wuthrich. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Tim Connolly & Jan Carson
Tim Connolly and Jan Carson. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Karina & Carlos Barbieri
Karina and Carlos Barbieri. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Joe Amberson & Barbara Van Postman
Joe Amberson and Barbara Van Postman. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Ron Juwa, Jean Radelat, Don Weissman
Ron Juwa, from left, Jean Radelat and Don Weissman. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Yolanda Guillory, Alina Erb
Yolanda Guillory and Alina Erb. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Pilar Colvin & Jan Fawcett
Pilar Colvin and Jan Fawcett. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Marcie & Robert Berry
Marcie and Robert Berry. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Chef Michael Pellegrino (Anejo), Rachel & Tom Regan, Chef Arnaldo Richards (Pico’s)
News, Shelby, March of Dimes Signature Chefs Kick-off, Marcie Berry, Heather Layton
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Jan Fawcett, Mandy Butler, Dana Dailey
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Gina Curtis & Jim Pearson
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Jein Gadson, Loran Gadson, William Tayar
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Sydney Gerland & Elly Luzeniecki
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Vanessa Sendukas and Pico's Chef Arnaldo Richards
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Tara & David Wuthrich
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Tim Connolly & Jan Carson
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Karina & Carlos Barbieri
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Joe Amberson & Barbara Van Postman
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Ron Juwa, Jean Radelat, Don Weissman
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Yolanda Guillory, Alina Erb
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Pilar Colvin & Jan Fawcett
March of Dimes Cookoff 2015 Marcie & Robert Berry

With all the buzz surrounding Chef Michael Pellegrino's positioning as head honcho at the relatively new Anjeo restaurant, the March of Dimes couldn't have picked a more interesting locale for the kick-off of its popular Signature Chefs gala. The real deal takes place Oct. 29 at the Hilton Americas-Houston but Thursday night was party time for MOD.

Signature Chefs gala co-chair Rachel Regan, and auction co-chairs Marcie Berry and Heather Layton and March of Dimes Texas state director Darcie Champagne Wells welcomed the merry throng. (Michelle L. Smith, who chairs the gala with Regan, was unable to attend).

While there was plenty of wine for sipping, Anjeo's already-legendary margaritas were a popular libation, all used to wash down offerings from the haute Tex-Mex kitchen. Pellegrino was joined in the chef's spotlight by Arnaldo Richards of Pico's. The star chef of the October benefit, Charles Clark, was busy this night in his kitchen at Ibiza, where Thursday night always means a packed house.

As culinary honoree Clark will share the fame with medical honoree Dr. Huda Zoghbi, corporate honoree Texas Children's Hospital and community honorees Cynthia and Tony Petrello.

Guests revving their engines in anticipation of the great foodie night (as many as 25 chefs competing for top honors) included Tom Regan, Robert Berry, Tara and David Wuthrich, Jan Fawcett, Mandy Butler, Dana Dailey, Mary Ann and David McKeithan, Gina Curtis and Jim Pearson, Jan Carson and Tim Connolly and Vanessa Sendukas.