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HTX Good Eats 2012
Greater Houston Restaurant Association
Shelby's Social Diary

$2,500 a plate dinner, schmoozing with world class chefs well worth the tariff and the calories

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005, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Chef Thomas Keller, Chef Daniel Boulud
Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
008, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Chef Jerome Bocuse, Yulia Houghtaling, John Houghtaling
Jerome Bocuse, Yulia Houghtaling, John Houghtaling Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
012, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Larry (Lawrence) Blackburn, Deana Blackburn
Larry Blackburn, Deana Blackburn Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
007, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Chef Richard Rosendale
Richard Rosendale Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
018, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Franco Valobra, Sheriff Adrian Garcia, John Houghtaling
Franco Valobra, Adrian Garcia, John Houghtaling Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
025, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Chief Kevin Maples, Alissa Maples
Kevin Maples, Alissa Maples Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
024, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Alex Klein, Ericka Bagwell
Alex Klein, Ericka Bagwell Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
021, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Ashlee Pitta-Lima, Yulia Houghtaling
Ashlee Pitta-Lima, Yulia Houghtaling Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
020, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Kena Cope, Shirelle Chimenti
Kena Cope, Shirelle Chimenti Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
014, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Gene van Dyke, Astrid van Dyke, Sheriff Adrian Garcia
Gene van Dyke, Astrid van Dyke, Adrian Garcia Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
015, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Alain LeNotre, Jerome Bocuse, Marie LeNotre
Alain LeNotre, Jerome Bocuse, Marie LeNotre Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
028, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, chefs, kitchen, food preparation, food plating
The Balckburn garage served as the war room where plates were filled for the 152 dinner guests.  Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
027, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Dr. Devinder Bhatia, Gina Bhatia
Dr. Devinder Bhatia, Gina Bhatia Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
022, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Anurag Dandiya, Mirella Dandiya
Anurag Dandiya, Mirella Dandiya Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
019, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Paige Blackburn, Scott Blackburn, Bailey Eaton
Paige Blackburn, Scott Blackburn, Bailey Eaton Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
023, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Alan Stein, Elizabeth Stein, Nancy Valobra
Alan Stein, Elizabeth Stein, Nancy Valobra Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
017, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, venue, table setting, table decorations
Furnishings were removed from the Blackburn home to accommodate dining tables for more than 150 guests. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
005, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Chef Thomas Keller, Chef Daniel Boulud
008, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Chef Jerome Bocuse, Yulia Houghtaling, John Houghtaling
012, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Larry (Lawrence) Blackburn, Deana Blackburn
007, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Chef Richard Rosendale
018, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Franco Valobra, Sheriff Adrian Garcia, John Houghtaling
025, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Chief Kevin Maples, Alissa Maples
024, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Alex Klein, Ericka Bagwell
021, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Ashlee Pitta-Lima, Yulia Houghtaling
020, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Kena Cope, Shirelle Chimenti
014, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Gene van Dyke, Astrid van Dyke, Sheriff Adrian Garcia
015, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Alain LeNotre, Jerome Bocuse, Marie LeNotre
028, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, chefs, kitchen, food preparation, food plating
027, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Dr. Devinder Bhatia, Gina Bhatia
022, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Anurag Dandiya, Mirella Dandiya
019, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Paige Blackburn, Scott Blackburn, Bailey Eaton
023, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, Alan Stein, Elizabeth Stein, Nancy Valobra
017, World Master Chefs dinner, September 2012, venue, table setting, table decorations

The earth indeed moved Saturday night as world-renowned chefs Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and Jérome Bocuse created a culinary orgasm for well-heeled diners who parted with $2,500 each for the sublime World Master Chefs Dinner.

As if the gregarious presence of these mighty culinary talents wasn't enough, the chefs worked their magic from soup to nuts or should we say through four courses that began with Bocuse's Maine lobster salad and concluded with Keller's cinnamon sugar beignets. Add to the gastronomic pleasures, the array of hors d'ouevres prepared by the newest Master Chef Richard Rosendale of the Greenbriar. 

The evening took place in the vast River Oaks home of Deana and Larry Blackburn. Although they had moved in less than a year ago, the Blackburns ordered all the furniture moved out to accommodate beautifully-dressed dining tables for the crowd of 150. None appeared daunted by the generous tariff that was expected to raise $150,000 for the Harris County Sheriff's Office Foundation.

The trio of chefs created a similar benefit dinner in New Orleans two years ago. Key to that fundraiser and Saturday night's event were jeweler Franco Valobra (who divides his time between New Orleans and Houston) and New Orleans attorney John Houghtaling (Kevin Costner's partner in Ocean Therapy Solutions) with offices in Houston. The duo founded the Harris County Sheriff's Office Foundation slightly more than a year ago and have to date raised $1 million for the cause.

The menu

Insuring that guests were in a genial mood before dinner, the master chefs each crafted a unique cocktail, the wait staff from City Kitchen well-educated on the content whether it be a champagne concoction with spicy gin or a tequilla temptation topped with a slice of jalapeno. In a surprising egalitarian gesture, the chefs mixed with guests throughout the cocktail hour as they explained their creations.

First course was Bocuse's Maine lobster salad with caramelized porcini mushrooms over mesclun salad with black truffle vinaigrette, a dish so divine as to send the sophisticated palates into a gastronomic swoon. The French Laundry's famed Keller seduced taste buds with his remarkable Dover sole a la grenobloise with meyer lemon and brown butter mousseline. Boulud saluted Lone Star sensibilities with red wine-braised Texas short ribs and roasted Wagu tenderloin.

And for dessert, diners couldn't resist the selection of Keller's tarte au chocolate or Boulud's caramelized honeycrisp apple Napoleon. Then came Boulud's passion fruit/raspberry gelee with coconut macaron and Keller's aforementioned beignets.

The VIPs

Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia worked the various rooms of the stately home thanking guests and sharing details of the foundation's work. Kevin Maples, volunteer chief of police for the Harris County Sheriff's Department, was in full dress uniform, to the surprise of many guests who know him more closely as an advertising exec and husband of community leader Alissa Maples.

Special friends of the chefs Marie and Alain LeNotre (son of famed French chef Gaston LeNotre and founders of Culinary Institute LeNotre) were seated for dinner as was Dr. Cathi Walsh, respected gourmet who writes a restaurant letter for local chefs, and Houston Restaurant Weeks founder Cleverley Stone.

Among those departing with smiles on their faces and satisfied tastebuds were Carol and Mike Linn, Virginia and Dan Steppe, Ericka Bagwell and Alex Klein, Kena and Steve Cope, Nancy Valobra, Yulia HoutalingDiane and Neil Magee, Ugo and Christin Claffey, Laurie Krohn, Mike Plank and Monica Garcia.

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