Amy Haymond tries on a necklace from Afarin.
Joshua Cohen, Joanna & Brad Marks
Amy Haymond, Amanda Weeks, Megan Cushing
Caroline & Kevin Walters
Deborah Duncan, Alicia Smith
Hallie Vanderhider, Hal Word
Jamey & Melissa Rootes
Jennifer Hoffman, Ericka Graham, Caroline Walters
Kevin Walters, Cal McNair
Lesha & Tom Elsenbrook
Tom Behanick, Alan Stein
Lynsey & Chad Hedrick
Matt Hibbetts, Jamey Rootes, Cal McNair, Gary Hammond
Paul Doyle, Lynne Hudson
Paul Somerville, Amy Pierce
Stephen & Julie Chen
Eileen Rau, Janet Behanick
Shafik Rifaat, Shelby Hodge
If the diamonds weren’t enough to have the ladies gathered in Tony’s San Remo Room swooning, then surely the darling Joshua Cohen, representing his family’s Afarin jewelry line, did. The occasion was the third annual “Diamond Dinner” in which Houston-based IW Marks Jewelers partners with a national firm to woo loyal customers and friends.
Joanna and Brad Marks hosted the evening, which for the first time moved from the store’s Bellaire location to Greenway Plaza’s swank white tablecloth restaurant. The event had grown so much, Brad explained, that the move to larger quarters was necessary. Tony’s has catered each of the previous events.
During the lengthy cocktail hour, guests were encouraged to get up close and personal with the selection of diamonds that Cohen had on display beneath glowing LED lights. As the young man later explained over dinner, the bread and butter pieces of his family’s company are priced between $1,000 and $8,000, making the brand very approachable. Not to sell the line short, Afarin also boasts pieces that reach well into the five figures. All designs are manufactured in Hong Kong.
Of Persian descent (the family exited Iran after the Shah’s downfall), Cohen explained that “afarin” means good job or well done in Farsi.
As is tradition with the “Diamond Dinner,” guests were treated to the tops from Tony’s kitchen. The menu began with Rigatoni Bianco Bolognese and Insalata Greenberg. Diners had an entree choice of center cut Texas pork chop with chanterelles, prime truffled filet of beef or branzino with jumbo lump crabmeat. And for dessert, there was a to-die-for cinnamon soufflé. It was a hefty and delish dinner that surely pleased the Houston Texans that were in the mix. (Joanna Marks and Hannah McNair are identical twins.)
Diamond diners: Hannah and Cal McNair, Melissa and Jamey Rootes, Lynne Hudson, Elizabeth and Alan Stein, Paul Somerville, Amy Pierce, Alicia Smith, Gary Petersen, Deborah Duncan, Caroline and Kevin Walters, Lynsey and Chad Hedrick, Lesha and Tom Elsenbrook, Hallie Vanderhider and Hal Word.