Society / The Seen

In Houston’s Great Outdoors — Earth Week Dinner Celebrates Arboretum’s Impressive Transformation

Finding Your Own Green Path in the Bayou City

BY // 04.27.21
photography Anthony Rathbun

What: Houston Arboretum & Nature Center “Alfresco Gala: A Roving Dinner”

Where: The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center

PC Moment: The annual dinner served as an ersatz celebration of Earth Week while truly celebrating completion of the arboretum’s transformational master plan. While the original plan was for a dinner served across the verdant nature center landscape with guests roving from food station to food station, Mother Nature had other plans. It rained.

Cotton Culinary catering quickly pivoted, finding room for the lavish buffet tables beneath tents that had been set up with dining tables and chairs on the nature center courtyard and lawn. The notable menu included escargot roasted in crushed tomato and basil, followed by handmade freshly prepared sushi, haystack salad and mushroom brie bisque, charcoal roasted beef, tofu and acorn squash kabobs, savory duck and basil crepes. The feast’s grand finale was a celebratory Earth Day trifle presented in a commemorative terra cotta mug.

For entertainment the Texas New Music Ensemble performed the world premier of a work by composer B.P. Herrington, noted East Texas composer. The piece, titled Finding Paths, was specially commissioned for the alfresco evening.

The evening raised more than $250,000 for the arboretum’s conservation and education programs.

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PC Seen: Arboretum executive director Debbie Markey, arboretum board of directors president Jeff Geuther and wife Marji, Dr. Julia Andrieni and Dr. Robert Phillips, Mia and Augie Bering, Betty and Steve Newton, Therese and Chris Odell, Marilyn and Harry Kirk, Janna and David Webber, Andy Hull, Allen Sustay, Kelty and Rogers Crain, Amanda McMillian and Benjamin Holloway and arboretum staff including director of operations and special events Katie Campbell and senior manager of marketing and development Christine Mansfield.

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