Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Eyes on H-E-B: Celebrity Chefs unite for charity at Jan. 17 event

The Celebrity Chefs 2015.
The Celebrity Chefs 2015.

Have you ever been on a restaurant crawl? They’re fun, but they leave participants wanting because time constraints typically limit the tastings to only two or three eateries. Coming up on Jan. 17 is an event that is like a restaurant crawl on steroids.

At Celebrity Chefs you can sample — all in one evening — signature dishes from no less than 18 posh restaurants and chic caterers. And new this year is a live music performance by popular country artist Michael Martin Murphey. Emcee will be Erin Wilde, host of Hank FM’s 92.1 drive time show.

Presented by the Mid-Cities SOS (Supporters of SafeHaven), Celebrity Chefs raises money to benefit the mothers and children who are living at SafeHaven shelters that provide safety from domestic violence.

“We are excited to celebrate the 10th annual Mid-Cities SOS. Celebrity Chefs event this year,” said Kathryn Jacob, president and CEO of SafeHaven of Tarrant County. “Since 1985, the women of Mid-Cities SOS have been steadfast in their commitment to joining in our mission to end domestic violence through safety, support, prevention and social change. We cannot thank these dynamic volunteers enough for their ongoing support and passion in ending domestic violence in our community.”

The event is themed, “An Evening of Campfire Cuisine, Craft Beer and Wine,” because the monies raised will go toward sending kids living at the shelters to a fun summer camp where they don’t have to worry about being safe.

“Going to summer camp is more than just experiencing the outdoors with friends and fun,” said event chairwoman Mary MacDowell. “It helps kids conquer their fears and expand ideas about who they are. As in the lyrics to Michael Martin Murphey’s hit song Wildfire, camp is also a place to ‘Get these hard times right on out of our minds.’ 

Each summer SafeHaven operates Camp Heart to give the children living at the shelter a fun and supportive refuge where they can build skills and attitudes needed to break the cycle of family violence.

A sneak peek of the menus planned for Celebrity Chefs revealed yummy dishes like smoked wild boar, Ancho braised short rib sliders with red onion marmalade, hot chocolate pot de creme with biscotti cookie, carmelized onion pancakes with crispy pork belly, smokey chicken drumsticks with cherry chipotle sauce and dozens of other epicurean delights.

“Our 18 amazing chefs will be creating incredible gourmet campfire cuisine. Martin House Brewery will be sampling their craft beers and the champagne and wine will be flowing,” said MacDowell.

Attendees can achieve in one evening what might take months if they tried to visit each of the swanky eateries participating in this fun event. Chefs from Central Market, Classic Cafe at Roanoke, Market Street, Cacharel, Bonnell’s, J.R.’s Steakhouse and Nonna Tata will be preparing dishes to wow every guest they serve.

And there’s more. Trio New American Cafe, Z’s Cafe, Fort Worth Market + Table, Marcona Kitchen and Greystone Castle Sporting Club will also have their executive chefs showing off their specialty dishes.

How many parties would you have to host or attend to sample the specialty offerings of eight different first-class caterers and personal chefs? Prepare to be impressed with tastings from Sweet Memories Cakes & Catering, Bravo Catering, Savor Culinary Services, Tastefully Yours, Hurst Conference Center and Nosredna Boutique Catering.

A large event committee led by MacDowell includes Jane Wood, Martha Ragsdale, Anna Saunders, Fonda Martin, Jessica Farrell, Beth Battles and Patti Campbell to randomly name only a few of the dedicated volunteers.

Mid-Cities SOS President Tara Hutchins-Welsh credits the generosity of chefs, sponsors and supporters for the past decade of successful Celebrity Chefs events.

“Our chefs come back year after year and take pride in preparing amazing food and offering one-of-a-kind live-auction chef packages. We have a core group of chefs that return every year — plus we've added new chefs from different culinary backgrounds to enhance our guests’ experience.”

Besides the haute cuisine, guests can also enjoy a chance to win spectacular prizes in the raffle, big board and live auctions. Lucky raffle winners will take home a $1,500 Market Street gift card, a Great Wolf Lodge package, golf outings and a $500 mystery gift card set. Besides the one-of-a-kind chef packages in the live auction, an autographed guitar from Michael Martin Murphey will be up for grabs. Big board swag includes some extraordinary trips put together by Winspire.

Tickets are $125 each for the Jan. 17 Celebrity Chefs at the Hurst Conference Center. What a great Christmas gift a pair of tickets would be for someone on your shopping list. See details about auction and raffle items and the in-depth bios of each chef online at Direct inquiries to

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