Shelby's Social Diary
Chefs night out: Fast cars and hot food combine for a tasty kickoff to HoustonRestaurant Weeks
What a beautiful ride for the senses — the aromatic, succulent buffet spread put on by Fadi's Mediterranean Grill and the visual stimulation of a sleek stable of mouth-watering Audi automobiles. Sunday night, the Momentum Audi showroom on Richmond fairly pulsated with this host of temptations that included a mountain of sugary cupcakes from Sprinkles.
As a pre-event thank you to the chefs, restaurateurs and sponsors of Houston Restaurant Weeks (which kicks off today), founder Cleverley Stone hosted the lively get-together. Totally energized on the eve of the month-long fundraiser, she buzzed through the showroom greeting guests such as Café Moustache's Manfred Jachmich, Philippe Restaurant + Lounge's devilishly handsome Philippe Schmit and Andrew Gaddis, executive chef of Divino Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar.
New to the restaurant scene and in the mix was the affable David Gugino, who won loads of fans and friends as a special events planner and who now (as of one month) is general manager at 51fifteen in Saks Fifth Avenue. Relatively new to town was Cordúa Restaurants CFO Juan Deshon and wife Mari who landed in Houston from Nicaragua. Add to the mix Arturo Boada of Arturo Boada Cuisine, Arthur Mooradian of Del Frisco's and Michael Cordúa.
Houston Food Bank CEO Brian Greene and chief development officer Amy Ragan were among the food bank team on hand.
"Houston Restaurant Weeks has turned into an enormous fundraiser for the organization," Greene said. "Summer is a very difficult time for the food bank every year. Demand goes up with kids home from school and donations go down because people just don't think about us in the summer. We appreciate all the support of the 125 restaurants."
In support of the program, Leisa Holland-Nelson and her crew from ContentActive surprised Cleverley with a mobile app for Houston Restaurant Weeks.
Joining the party were Momentum Audi honcho Jared Lang and his steady Cara Morales, private chef Craig Hanzelka, Hight Cigars' Chip Hight, Miya Shay, Kim Padgett, Denise and Sam Malone, Jennifer Dean with Brian Stavert, Donna Baker, Peter Remington, Krystina Kram, Cinthya Bengtson and Melissa Stevens.