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Society / Featured Parties

Houston’s Top Chefs Cook for Personal Tables in Wildly Delicious Night

A Foodie Dream Come to Life

BY // 04.24.19

Before the two dozen chefs began cranking up their burners in the ballroom of the Royal Sonesta Hotel, the fragrance of fresh flowers wafted across dining tables which were swathed in floral centerpieces. But not long after the gas fires were lighted and ingredients started hitting the skillets, the ballroom was filled with tantalizing aromas carrying the promise of great food to come.

So it has been for every Bon Vivant evening each of the nine years prior to this 10th anniversary.  Tables of 10 are each seated for a five-course gourmet feast prepared tableside by a popular Houston chef. Wines courtesy of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits were smartly paired with each course. Who knew that raising funds for a very worthy cause — the Fifth Ward Youth Development Center — could be so absolutely tasty?

No sedate dinner party this. It’s a wildly delicious evening in which chefs such as Kevin Naderi of Roost, Dominick Lee of Poitín and  Ryan Braden of Brenner’s on the Bayou entertain diners with their culinary skills and their foodie repartee.

A very social group was lucky enough to be seated at Elizabeth Stone‘s table — Tony Bradfield, Patsy Fourticq, Janet Gurwitch and Ron Franklin, Vesta and Dr. Pedro Frommer, Shafik Rifaat and Dancie and Jim Ware. The veteran caterer, head of Silver Stone Events, spoiled her dinner guests with a stunning five courses that included oysters three ways, grouper, Wagyu beef, duck ravioli with confit, and a heavenly strawberry crème brûlée dessert topped with strawberries and accompanied by blue cheese, berries and a shortbread cookie

The chef contingent included J.D. Woodward and Lyle Bento of 1751 Sea & Bar, Krystle Lung of 1600 Bar & Grille, David Guerrero of Andes Café, Robert Graham of Ara, Richard Knight of Atlas Diner, Billy Kin of Blackbird Izakaya, J.C. Ricks of Dandelion Café, Peter Garcia of El Meson, Sean Hochstein of Grotto Downtown, Ara Malekian of Harlem Road Texas BBQ, Kathy Elkins of Harold’s Restaurant & Tap Room, Jacob Weaver of Hotel ZaZa, Jonathan Levine of Jonathan’s the Rub, Adison Lee of Kuu, Sysco-sponsored chef Javier Lopez, Manual Pucha of Maison Pucha, Angelo Cuppone of Roma, Krystle Lung of 1600 Bar & Grille in the Hilton Americas-Houston, and Beto Gutierrez of  The Tasting Room.

Even though he was away in San Antonio, overseeing the floral decoration for 42 Fiesta floats, The Events Company‘s Richard Flowers revisited his role as Bon Vivant chair along with Kristen Barley and Sabrina and Rob Hallett.

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The evening raised more than $150,000 for the YDC program that provides after-school, technology-based studies in literacy and math skills for Greater Fifth Ward students who are struggling in these subject matters.

PC Seen: YDC executive director Mary Nell Jones, Marilyn and George DeMontrond, Rita and Wade Smith, Judge Bonnie Hellums and husband Carel Stith, Lia Vallone, Melissa Williams-Murphy, Ginger and David Gaither, Patrice and Pate McKinney, Laura and Doug Kelly, Andrew Browning, and Karen and Trevor Turbidy.

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