Chefs Dish Up a Delectable Evening
Connoisseurs for Charity raises $295,000
Once again, chefs and guests gathered to experience an unforgettable culinary extravaganza as Woodforest Charitable Foundation closed down Amerigo’s Grille in The Woodlands to host the 5th annual Connoisseurs for Charity fundraising dinner.
A whopping $295,000 was raised through $500 per-seat reservations and a live auction emceed by Ralph McIngvale, with the cost of the 5-star chef dinner and wine pairings underwritten by Woodforest National Bank.
Through “Charity Selection” cards at each place setting, guests had the opportunity to direct their contribution to one of the evening’s pre-selected nonprofits, which included Boys & Girls Country, Children’s Safe Harbor, Interfaith Community Clinic, Interfaith of The Woodlands, Montgomery County Food Bank, Montgomery County Homeless Coalition, Montgomery County Women’s Center, New Community Alliance (New Danville), and TOMAGWA (Tomball Clinic).
The featured celebrity chefs included Chef Kent Rathbun of JASPER’S and Abacus, Chef Arturo Osorio of Amerigo’s Grille, Chef Mark Cox of MARK’S American Cuisine, Chef Bryan Caswell of REEF, and Chef Charles Clark of Ibiza Food & Wine Bar.
The 138 guests were tantalized by the presentations of five courses — each personally created by one of the famous chefs and paired with a fine wine.
Chef Arturo Osorio’s first course tantalized taste buds with Roasted Trumpet Royale Mushrooms with Fontina, Fonduta and Sliced Truffles. It was paired with ATTEMS – Cicinis Collio Biano, Vintage 2006.
Chef Charles Clark’s second course creation was a scrumptious Seared Kodial Island Halibut with Brown Butter Cipolini, Carmelized Onion Mousse, Shaved Radish, and Pea Succotash. It was paired with Spanish Cave Rose Wine.
Chef Kent Rathbun amazed guests with a mouth-watering Roasted Maple Leaf Duck Breast with Niman Ranch, Bacon and Avacado Port Wine – Shallot Glaze, Creamy Goat Cheese, and Pearl Cous Cous. The dish was matched with Wild Horse Cheval Sauvage Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley 2007.
Chef Bryan Caswell delighted palates with an incredible prepared Roasted Lamb T-Bone with Creamy Lentils and Salsa Verde, which was mated with Lemelson Pinot Noir “Thea’s Selection” Willamette Valley.
Chef Mark Cox finished the culinary extravaganza with Dessert “En Surprise” with Autumn Fruit and Chocolate. The final course was complemented with Daniel Schuster Riesling.
The Woodforest Charitable Foundation was established in 2005 with an endowment from Woodforest National Bank for the purpose of enriching communities through partnerships with charitable organizations. Currently, the foundation’s contributions exceed $1.8 million to 140 charities across the country. This year marks the 31st anniversary of Woodforest National Bank and the sixth anniversary of Woodforest Charitable Foundation.
“Together, with the support of caring individuals, we are able to bring help, hope and opportunity to those faced with unfortunate challenges,” said Kim Marling, executive director and vice president of Woodforest Charitable Foundation. “We believe that in every community there is work to be done and in every heart there is the power to do it. The foundation is grateful for the generous donations and continued support of these caring chefs and dinner guests.”
For additional information regarding The Woodforest Charitable Foundation, call (832) 375-CARE (2273) or visit woodforestcharitablefoundation.org.