Ally Shell-van Koolwijk, Stacey Lindseth, Ariana Smetana
Brittany Rose, Gracie Cavnar
Bill Baldwin, Shawna Roorda, Chas Daniels
Angela Green Johnson, Licia Green Ellis
Recipe for Success' Hope Farms was the scene for Chefs in the Field, an agrarian dinner party.
Charles & Tammie Johnson
Elizabeth Edwards, Brad Coffey
Chef Martin Stayer of Nobie's presides over the main course. (Photo Katherine Lenhart)
Raising a Toast: Karen Fang, Gracie Cavnar, Amy Krasner. (Photo CDA)
Barbara McKnight with Kendall (Photo CDA)
The decor, starring bouquets just picked from Hope Farms, added authenticity to the evening. (Photo CDA)
Serving up a Tomato Tribute: Martin Stayer (Nobie's), Bill Humphries (Pinkerton's Texas Pit Barbecue), Alyssa Dole (Pinkerton's Texas Pit Barbecue), Wayne Nguyen (Maba Pan-Asian Diner)
Rebecca & Jeffrey Tapick
Sharon Sanders, Jacqueline Fair
Terri DiRaddo, Karen Fang, Andy DiRaddo, Damla Karsan
Stephanie Pai Fleck and Melissa Sugulas co-chair Recipe for Success' fall luncheon, set for Sunday, November 11, and moving to Hope Farms this year.
Alin Dinu, Lauren Miller, Aashish Parekh, Puja Parekh
Chef Alyssa Dole's roasted tomato panna cotta concluded the Tomato Tribute with a sweet flourish. (Photo Katherine Lenhart)
Andy DiRaddo, Catherine D. Anspon, Terri DiRaddo
The beautifully set table at Chefs in the Field's Tomato Tribute Dinner benefitting Recipe for Success (Photo CDA)
Dining chez field and farm is so in — just ask Recipe for Success. The Houston-founded nonprofit teaches kids about healthy eating via cooking classes in schools taught by talented area chefs. Then there’s Recipe’s latest endeavor — a working farm in Sunnyside.
Hope Farms was the sight for a mid-summer, Sunday supper dinner party, enacted in an open-air barn, among Recipe’s first Chefs in the Field benefits.
The true farm fresh dinner party was inspired by one singular ingredient, that may just be the world’s most versatile fruit — and one that masquerades as a veggie.
That would be the tomato. The crop was literally the guest of honor via a clever Tomato Tribute theme enacted by a trio of carefully calibrated chefs — Alyssa Dole (Pinkerton’s Texas Pit Barbecue), Wayne Nguyen (Maba Pan-Asian Diner) and Martin Stayer (Nobie’s) — who unfolded the night in three courses.
The repast began with Nguyen’s Vietnamese-influenced Umami Bomb appetizer, segued into Stayer’s beef short ribs paired with a savory tomato cobbler served up in old-timey iron skillets, then wrapped with Dole’s inventive desert of charred-tomato panna cotta. Accompanying wine pairings and a Tito’s Vodka- and tomato-fueled Queen of the Nightshade cocktail crafted by 22Fresh’s Hal Brock added to the festivities, which were curated around Hope Farms’ own bounteous tomato harvest.
More clever touches concocted by Cavnar and the Recipe team included grapevine chandeliers illuminating the 40-foot long table draped in seersucker and blue ticking, vintage silver-plated vases and pitchers bearing fresh picked flowers from Hope Farms’ beautiful fields, illustrated menus printed upon fans (handy mid-summer), and the appetizer course — 18 varieties of heirloom tomatoes to be sampled and savored while bellying up to the bar in the barn.
As parting gift, each guest left with a goodie bag stocked not with luxury loot, but with nature’s bounty — seed packets for future bouquets and farm-fresh veggies from down on Hope Farms.
Save the date for the Next Chefs in the Field: A Pig Roast at Hope Farms takes place on Sunday, October 7 at 6:30 pm. Tickets info and more details can be found here.
Green believers: Recipe’s founder, Gracie Cavnar; Licia Green–Ellis and husband Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis; R4S board members including Ally Shell-van Koolwijk, Priya Coffey and husband Brad , Aashish Parekh, Melissa Sugulas and husband Dan, Stephanie Pai Fleck and husband Ryan Fleck, Rebecca Tapick and husband Jeffrey, emeritus board member Glen Boudreaux and wife Honi Ann (owners of Jolie Vue Farms), and Culinaire’s Barbara McKnight and husband Lance with daughter Kendall; joined by Bill Baldwin, Ariana Smetana,Terri and Andy DiRaddo, Miya Shay, Louis Vuitton’s Brittany Rose with fiancé Dana Wetterer, Marilynn Barber, Sharon Sanders, Jacqueline Fair, UH English prof Karen Fang, Damla Karsan, Chas Daniels, and Shawna Roorda.