I'm still bummed that I had to miss the sixth annual Home Sweet Home epicurean evening held Thursday in the sumptuous Memorial-area home of Lauren and Dr. Stephen Kramer. Reports from the evening — in which a dozen of the city's top chefs prepared their best and sommelier Antonio Gianola paired the offerings with complimentary wines — are simply mouth-watering.
Applause, applause for chairs Bonnie and Dr. Larry Likover and Virginia and Dan Steppe, who assured that the 200-plus guests were happy with everything from the Grey Goose signature cocktails prepared by mixologist Nick Mautone of New York's Gramercy Tavern to the various chef presentation areas spread throughout the expansive house.
Bryan Caswell's snapper BLT, Kiran Verna's roast leg of lamb in brioche and Andrew LaRue's Maine mini-lobster rolls were among dishes that had guests such as Leticia Loya, Linda and Jerry Strickland and Carol and Lance Kassab practically licking their chops. And how about Mark Cox's cured pork from Italy with petite cannellini beans?
The evening serves as an annual benefit for Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse, a local non-profit that serves families trapped in the cycle of violence, and brings attention to October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. AVDA executive director Jackie Pontello was among those beating the drums for the worthy cause.
Chefs making this party sing were Robert Del Grande, David Denis, Jeffrey Everts, Mark Holly, Michale Gaspard, John Sheely, Chris Shepherd and Bliss Candy Co.'s Cynthia and Sammy Timpe, who handled the dessert side of things.
More than 200 guests mingled through the scene that included Peck's CrOp designs, the fabrics for which were inspired by Collier's photographs of relief work in Uganda. The fashion party played out against a backdrop of Collier's large-scale photos of Uganda.
During the summer, Collier returned to Uganda and photographed the CrOp collection on local girls, bringing the project full circle.
Among those making the HCP scene were Elaine Turner, Sharron Melton, Neil Hamil, David Bamford, Andrea Bonner, Samira Salman and Cara Morales with Jared Lang.
Music on the green
It was a special event that civic leader and philanthropist Nancy Kinder wouldn't miss — jazz pianist Jason Moran performing in a free solo concert at Discovery Green in a program that began with a performance by jazz students from HSPVA, Moran's alma mater. The third annual HSPVA concert in the park was made possible by a grant made by former Mayor Bill White and Andrea White in honor of Kinder's leadership in the creation of Discovery Green.
Kinder was saluted during the private pre-concert reception, sponsored by Iberia Bank, at The Grove. Close to 100 passionate park supporters attended including a number of Moran's friends and family members. They had plenty to celebrate including the fact that Moran recently received a $500,000 genius grant from the MacArthur Foundation.
A crush of notables packing the new Eddie V's in West Ave throughout the first week of business. Among the fans were Allie and Jay Fields, who made the hopping scene more than once, Lynn Wyatt sharing a cozy booth with Susie and Sanford Criner, Patsy and Greg Fourticq dining with Karen and Mike Mayell and a host of others including Mia Jones, Erin Florescu, Glen Gonzalez, Nicholas Brines and Eric Donnelly . . .
Robert Bruni of San Antonio celebrating his birthday with wife Donna Bruni and 11 friends at Tony's. He might live a little west of H-town, but Mr. Bruni always wants his birthday dinner at Tony's. The Brunis are serious Houston Grand Opera patrons and are in Houston throughout the opera season . . .
Retired NFL pro Joe Wesley of San Francisco 49ers and Jacksonville Jaguars fame on the links at Raveneaux Country Club, where he was one of the celebs playing in the FORE! charity golf tournament benefiting The River Performing & Visual Arts Center.