Shelby About Town

Signature Chef scoops, a dentist office that looks like a salon and a funeral reunion party shake the social scene

Signature Chef scoops, a dentist office that looks like a salon and a funeral reunion party shake the social scene

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Laura Davenport, left, and Stephanie Cockrell will chair the March of Dimes Signature Chefs event this fall. Photo by Laura Davenport
News_Signature Chefs Gala Committee_Don Weissman_Rosemary Schatzman_Katy Holt
Don Weissman, from left, Rosemary Schatzman and Katy Holt at the Signature Chefs gathering. Photo by Laura Davenport
Event-Best Buddies Sept. 2009 Jackson Hicks, Milton Townsend
This duo is all smiles due to the national honor for Jackson and Company. Jackson Hicks , Milton Townsend Fulton Davenport
News_Kenneth Tjoa_Dr. Melicia Tjoa
Kenneth Tjoa and Dr. Melicia Tjoa Photo by Karen Dressel/Kazza Photography
News_Cliff Helmcamp_Shirley Dozier Cassias
Cliff Helmcamp and Shirley Dozier Cassias at the Lutheran High School 50th reunion. Courtesy Photo
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Laura Davenport, left, and Stephanie Cockrell Photo by Laura Davenport
News_Signature Chefs Gala Committee_Debbie Festari_Elizabeth Petersen
Debbie Festari, left, and Elizabeth Petersen at the Signature Chefs gathering. Photo by Laura Davenport
News_Signature Chefs Gala Committee_Laura Davenport_Stephanie Cockrell
News_Signature Chefs Gala Committee_Don Weissman_Rosemary Schatzman_Katy Holt
Event-Best Buddies Sept. 2009 Jackson Hicks, Milton Townsend
News_Kenneth Tjoa_Dr. Melicia Tjoa
News_Cliff Helmcamp_Shirley Dozier Cassias
News_Signature Chefs Gala Committee_Laura Davenport_Stephanie Cockrell
News_Signature Chefs Gala Committee_Debbie Festari_Elizabeth Petersen

Things were sizzling at Americas restaurant the other night when the March of Dimes Signature Chefs team gathered around the table for early planning of the Oct. 18 dining extravaganza at the Hilton-Americas Houston. Event chairs Stephanie Cockrell and Laura Davenport and auction chair Rosemarie Johnson had two impressive scoops.

Already $450,000 in table sponsorships have been sold and the "Spice It Up" evening will honor Michael Cordua as culinary honoree. With that honor, Cordua has come onboard to provide the platinum dining experience as Tony Vallone did last year. This means special excitement for Signature Chef guests as Cordua and son David Cordua just completed their dinner presentation at the James Beard House in New York. Culinary chair Vanessa Sendukas could not be happier.

Joining the gathering were Elizabeth Petersen, Luba Bigman, Joann Crassas, Rosemary Schatzman, Tama Klosek, Don Weissman and Debbie Festari.

National honors for Jackson Hicks

Applause, applause for Jackson Hicks and his venerable catering business, Jackson and Company, which has been named one of the 2012 Top Ten Companies in America by Americans for the Arts and the Business Committee for the Arts. That prestigious honor is bestowed on companies for their support of the arts and Jackson and Company was nominated by Houston Grand Opera.

Our hometown team is in good company, the award previously having gone to Aetna, 3M, Conoco Phillips, Macy's and Time Warner. In an email that Hicks sent out to friends on Thursday, he said, "Since we are a small firm by comparison, we are especially pleased to be included in such distinguished company."

As Jackson and Company founder and CEO, Hicks will be in New York this fall to accept the award at a special ceremony. With offices in New York and Washington D.C., Americans for the Arts is the nation's leading advocate for the arts and arts education.

Big smiles for this dental office

More swank spa salon than clinical dentist headquarters, the BRSH Dental digs in West Ave have fans of Dr. Melicia Tjoa offering tons of congratulations. She and hubby Gilbert Chin welcomed several hundred fans to the office grand opening Wednesday night. Think marble entry, ornate chandelier and French style furnishings done in a palette of whites.

For this swell gathering, Tjoa and her associate, Dr. Jean Morency, pulled out the stops with servings of sangria and mojitos, small bites from neighbor Katsuya and mini-cupcakes from Sprinkles. DJ Trey Smith spun the tunes while makeup artist Anthony Garcia of West Ave neighbor Cameo provided last-minute makeup touch-ups and skin consultations.

Joining this festive scene were Lisa and Kevin Maples, Dr. Phil Iero, Monica Ho, Dr. Roberto Porras, Nancy Mathe, Issac Preminger (who designed the space) and Cynthia Davis, Kristen Cannon, Michael Yafi, Amir Davoody, Dr. Cecil Yung and Weilie and Kenneth Tjoa.

Golden oldies

For the Lutheran High School recent 50th class reunion, organizer Cliff Helmcamp had a surprise up his sleeve. He gave the Montrose address of the party place, but failed to mention that it was the swanky Bradshaw-Carter Funeral Home. The swell historic house is available for entertaining, but it's doubtful that such a milestone high school celebration has been celebrated there before.

Helmcamp covered the funeral home sign out front with a reunion banner. So none of the partygoers (about half of the graduating class of 56 seniors) was aware until it was formally revealed. They all had a good laugh as tunes from the '50s and '60s played and Goode Co. barbecue was served.

Making it for the class photo were Bill Kooi, Linda Lottman, Pat Holley Arnold, Alan Bauch, Richard Boyer, Cheryl Fritsche, Mark Kollmorgan and Shirley Dozier Cassias.

Sight 'ems

Bobbie and John Nau in the private room at La Griglia where they hosted a fundraiser for former Virginia Gov. George Allen in his campaign for U.S. Senate . . . Spotted around the restaurant at various lunch tables were Mike Plank, Janet Gurwitch, Sharon Adams, Bob Livermore, Rachel Bristow, Mike Turner . . .

Judy Maynard front and center at Abrahams Oriental Rugs retail shop on Westheimer, where she showed a selection of her paintings. Proud husband Bill Maynard welcomed guests to the fete where songbird Kristine Mills performed, Grotto 610 provided hors d'oeuvres and uniformed waiters keep the libations flowing . . .

Lauren Clark feted at Tony's in advance of her upcoming wedding to Worth Snyder. Shower hostesses for the gathering of more than 40 were Karen Mayell, Marsha Braniff, Donna Vallone and Laura Ward. After noshing on ladylike taste treats from Tony's menu (bite-sized meatballs, tortellini, etc.), guest left with special party favors — stationery created by Houston artist John Palmer . . .

Dominique Sachse and Nick Florescu, Susan Plank, George Lancaster, Ileana Trevino, Debbie Festari, Tracy Krohn, Tena Lundquist Faust, Tama Lundquist and loads more making the dinner scene at Brasserie 19.