Danny Hidalgo, Honoree Laura Hidalgo, Ysable Hidalgo, Founder Jennifer Sebasigari, Honoree Jumi Adeyinka at the SEBAS Foundation Live Fire Event (Photo by AM Photography)
Live Fire sign created by artist Madd Kyng at the SEBAS Foundation Live Fire Event (Photo by AM Photography)
Founder Jennifer Sebasigari at the SEBAS Foundation Live Fire Event (Photo by AM Photography)
Chef Devown Hines at the SEBAS Foundation Live Fire Event (Photo by AM Photography)
Artists Ange Hillz painting Tina Turner portrait at the SEBAS Foundation Live Fire Event (Photo by AM Photography)
Henry Masters and daughter Sahmara Masters at the SEBAS Foundation Live Fire Event (Photo by AM Photography)
Chef Sunny Vohra at the SEBAS Foundation Live Fire Event (Photo by AM Photography)
Chef's team preparing the grill at the SEBAS Foundation Live Fire Event (Photo by AM Photography)
Founder Jennifer Sebasigari with Honoree Tram Dinh at the SEBAS Foundation Live Fire Event (Photo by AM Photography)
Guests mingling during cocktail hour at the SEBAS Foundation Live Fire Event (Photo by AM Photography)
Tablescape at the SEBAS Foundation Live Fire Event (Photo by AM Photography)
The SEBAS Foundation and its mission to support and highlight refugees took center stage in the second annual Live Fire Event in Houston, a fitting and glamorous celebration of World Refugee Day.
Attendees arrived at The Cannon West Houston to a gorgeous tablescape and lively setlist, with everything set outdoors beneath strings of glittering lights. VIPs strutted the red carpet and received gifts from renowned skincare and perfume brand Guerlain.
The event, which followed a taco Tuesday theme, began with a cocktail hour courtesy of local vendor Bernhardt Winery, complete with delectable mini key lime pies and glasses of wine and champagne. Attendees also enjoyed peach vodka and signature palomas provided by SweetBeat Vodka and a tequila tasting from Komos Tequila. Danny Nguyen, best known for his tailoring and couture designs, contributed to the Live Fire by concocting non-alcoholic options that included a delicious mangonada and a hibiscus tea.
Sponsors for the evening included Texas Technical Trade School and Goya Foods. That link turned into a full-circle and heartwarming moment for the founder of the SEBAS Foundation Jennifer Sebasigari, who had memories of eating Goya foods when she was a refugee.
As the sun set and a beautiful golden hour washed over the event, Sebasigari delivered some remarks that set the stage.
“We’re going to impact refugees’ lives,” she said, highlighting the central mission of the evening. “We’re going to fundraise for the entrepreneur program that we want to start for refugees and immigrants.”
A live demonstration of a smash burger taco from celebrity chef Sunny Vohra followed, complete with a lime crema sauce and topped with hot Cheetos for crunch. Fire performers entertained while the first course was served, adding a dazzling, on-theme element to the evening.
Chef Devown Hines provided the second course and demonstrated the preparation of a deconstructed taco. The dish featured Wagyu flank steak on a blue corn tortilla, cotija cheese and roasted bone marrow. The meal concluded with a churro dipping cup for dessert.
The highlight of the night turned out to be the live art demonstration and auction. Artist Ange Hillz, whose work has been featured in Time magazine, created three paintings live, thrilling the audience when he painted a portrait of Bob Marley upside down and flipped it to reveal the finished product. He did the same with a stunning rendition of the late Tina Turner. Also in the set was an interpretation of the Houston skyline — and all three works were auctioned during the event.
Madd Kyng, an internationally showcased artist, also provided works for auction. In total, the auction and ticket sales raised more than $13,000 for the SEBAS Foundation.
A panel of honorees concluded the event, featuring young women who immigrated from their native countries and established themselves at the forefront of various industries. Honorees Laura Hidalgo, Jumi Adeyinka and Tram Dinh joined SEBAS Foundation founder Jennifer Sebasigari, who is also a culinary chef and influencer, for a conversation about their experiences, challenges and successes to cap off the night. Live Fire also marked the culmination of the 40 Acre Conference, an event focused on minority financial equity and that aims to help educate underprivileged children.
PC Seen: Tessa Betterway, Texas Technical Trade School founder Elvia Quintanilla, City Council candidate Ivan Sanchez, musician Zeta Attlast, Jazmin Anderson, former University of Texas and Denver Broncos running back Selvin Young, Arizona Cardinals linebacker Jesse Luketa, musician Demola, Mark Junkans, Mark Coffie, Quiana James and Engracia Nascimento