Partying as Fine as Wine

Best wines ever, over-the-top chefs serving remarkable dinner make for truly delicious night

Over-the-top chefs serving their best make for truly delicious night

Best Cellars, 9/16 Stephanie Baird, Guy Stout, Franelle Rogers
Stephanie Baird, Guy Stout, Franelle Rogers. Photo by Kim Coffman
Best Cellars, 9/16 Mary Lynn Marks, Steve Marks, Robert Sakowitz
Mary Lynn Marks, Steve Marks, Robert Sakowitz. Photo by Kim Coffman
Best Cellars, 9/16 Luis Roger, Philippe Verpiand, Mark Cox, Michael de la Flor
Chefs Luis Roger, Philippe Verpiand, Mark Cox, Michael de la Flor. Photo by Kim Coffman
Best Cellars, 9/16 Faith Majors, Lee Majors
Faith Majors, Lee Majors. Photo by Kim Coffman
Best Cellars, 9/16 Richard Rolland, Kim Rolland
Richard Rolland, Kim Rolland. Photo by Kim Coffman
Best Cellars, 9/16 Gary Kenney, Caroline Kenney
Gary Kenney, Caroline Kenney. Photo by Kim Coffman
Best Cellars, 9/16 David Dewhurst, Gene Dewhurst, Andrew Dewhurst
David Dewhurst, Gene Dewhurst, Andrew Dewhurst. Photo by Katie Park
Best Cellars, 9/16 Darryl Schroeder, Lori SchorederGlen Reyes, Hallie Vanderhider
Glen Reyes, Hallie Vanderhider. Photo by Kim Coffman
Best Cellars, 9/16 Darryl Schroeder, Lori Schoreder
Darryl Schroeder, Lori Schoreder. Photo by Kim Coffman
Best Cellars, 9/16 Tracy Dieterich, Valerie Dieterich
 Tracy Dieterich, Valerie Dieterich. Photo by Kim Coffman
Best Cellars, 9/16 Carolyn Faulk, Robin McCann
Carolyn Faulk, Robin McCann. Photo by Kim Coffman
Best Cellars, 9/16 Dean Putterman, Ed Finger
Dean Putterman, Ed Finger. Photo by Kim Coffman
Best Cellars, 9/16 Stephanie Baird, Guy Stout, Franelle Rogers
Best Cellars, 9/16 Mary Lynn Marks, Steve Marks, Robert Sakowitz
Best Cellars, 9/16 Luis Roger, Philippe Verpiand, Mark Cox, Michael de la Flor
Best Cellars, 9/16 Faith Majors, Lee Majors
Best Cellars, 9/16 Richard Rolland, Kim Rolland
Best Cellars, 9/16 Gary Kenney, Caroline Kenney
Best Cellars, 9/16 David Dewhurst, Gene Dewhurst, Andrew Dewhurst
Best Cellars, 9/16 Darryl Schroeder, Lori SchorederGlen Reyes, Hallie Vanderhider
Best Cellars, 9/16 Darryl Schroeder, Lori Schoreder
Best Cellars, 9/16 Tracy Dieterich, Valerie Dieterich
Best Cellars, 9/16 Carolyn Faulk, Robin McCann
Best Cellars, 9/16 Dean Putterman, Ed Finger

If you measure an evening's success by the worthiness of the cause, the T.J. Martell Foundation's Best Cellars dinner, raising funds for cancer research was, of course, great. But if you add to the barometer the quality of food and wine served, the sixth annual dinner, held at Hotel ZaZa, was a monumental grand slam.

Throw in the jubilant atmosphere enjoyed by a diverse turnout from previous years and you have one helluva good night.

Applause, applause to chair Franelle Rogers and wine hosts chair Robert Sakowitz. But let's save the biggest applause for three of the city's top chefs that raised the bar on chef-driven charity dinners with one of the most remarkable meals in recent memory.

Kudos to lead chef Mark Cox, to BCN Taste & Tradition chef Luis Roger, and to Etoile Cuisine et Bar chef Philippe Verpiand. Add host chef, Michael de la Flor of Hotel ZaZa to those earning high praise.

As is Best Cellars tradition, talent from Nashville (home of the non-profit) joins the party and this year was a pleasing double-header with Red Bow recording artist Craig Campbell and emcee Shawn Parr, whose booming voice and national awards shows prowess added to the night's electric energy. 

Of course, the wine hosts who raided some of the best from their personal cellars added to the merriment and stellar quality of the evening. Contributing to the seriously high spirits were honorary chairs Linda and Gene Dewhurst, Carolyn Faulk, and Jeanie and Jim Janke. More than $230,000 was raised for research at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Wining, dining and socializing were Caroline and Gary Kenney, Faith and Lee Majors, David Dewhurst, Ede and Dr. Bruce Weiner, Mark Berman, Elizabeth and Alan Stein, Cyndy Garza Roberts and Thomas Roberts, Kimberly and Guy Stout, Lori and Darryl Schroeder, Stephanie and David Baird, Dean Putterman and Ed Finger, and Gaye Lynn and Stuart Zarrow.

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