Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Celebrity Chefs evening of culinary magic will help kids at domestic abuse shelter

Celebrity Chefs 2017 committee.
Celebrity Chefs 2017 committee. Courtesy photo

A baker’s dozen of chefs at the top of their culinary game will delight the palates of lucky guests at the Jan. 22 Celebrity Chefs event through their passion for food and cooking.

The annual smorgasbord of great tasting delights is beginning a second decade as one of the area’s most delicious culinary traditions. Presented by Mid-Cities Supporters of SafeHaven, funds raised will go toward helping the children residing at SafeHaven’s shelters for victims of domestic violence.

Emcee for the evening will be Erin Wilde, the morning show host on 92.1 Hank FM, and musical entertainment will be by Just Jazz.

“Our Celebrity Chefs theme, “The Sky’s the Limit,” represents the unlimited ways we can all support victims of domestic violence,” said Alison Gearhart who is co-chairing the event with Jessica Farrell.

“Money raised will help the children at the shelters who often arrive with nothing but the clothes they are wearing. You can imagine the psychological and social problems they are experiencing.”

Kathryn Jacob, president and CEO of SafeHaven of Tarrant County, said: “We are elated to be a part of this very special Celebrity Chefs event.

“At SafeHaven, we recognize there is no limit to a child’s potential with the support of our strong community. This fundraising event will be significant in providing assistance to our children’s programs.”

During a cocktail reception, guests will enjoy complimentary libations as they mingle and choose where to drop their raffle ticket or decide which Big Board Auction item they want.

A beautiful triptych created by Mid-Cities SOS members will be on display, and guests can purchase their own star to place in the sky of the three-paneled painting.

“Each star can be purchased and signed for $70 and then temporarily affixed to the painting,” said SOS member and professional artist Martha Ragsdale. “Seventy dollars is the cost for SafeHaven to provide all of a child’s basic needs each day they live at the shelter.”

Ragsdale, the artistic director for the triptych, will later collage and clear-coat all of the stars added to the painting and present it to SafeHaven to display in the shelter.

Nowhere else can food aficionados sample in one evening so many delicacies and unique creations. Farrell revealed that the chef’s amazing offerings include quail, duck, lobster mashed potatoes, Asian pulled pork sliders and spare ribs.

Other globally inspired cuisine features incredibly yummy chicken salad, lemon grass chicken, pulled pork habanero with habanero mac and cheese, beef tenderloin with blue cheese macaroni and pasta with bechamel and ham.

Fabulous dessert offerings include the world famous toffee prepared by the chef at Tastefully Yours.

Chef Cameron Handler, from Central Market, is making his 11th appearance at the event, and back for their 10th year are chef Susan Clark, from Sweet Memories, and chef Chris Wilson, from Market Street.

Bonnell’s Restaurant top chef Jon Bonnell returns for an eighth year, along with Todd Phillips from J.R.’s Steak & Grill. This will be the seventh year for chef Donatella Trotti, from Nonna Tata, and year six for Jason Harper of the Trio New American restaurant.

Five-year Celebrity Chef veterans include Siegfried Schafner, head chef at the Hurst Conference Center; Andrew Huszar, from Tastefully Yours; Deb Cantrell, of Savor Culinary Services; and Janet Capua, from Z’s Cafe.

Chef Gabe Valdez, from Marcona Kitchen, is back for an encore, and making his debut at Celebrity Chefs is Norman Grimm, from Great Scott Restaurant.

The 30-year-old all-volunteer charity has once again assembled raffle prizes that include a $1,500 Market Street gift card, fabulous golf outings, catered dinner parties, a mystery gift card package worth at least $1,250 and a ride in Ferrari and Mazda race cars at the Motorsport Ranch Race Track.

More raffle items include American Airlines tickets to any domestic location, men’s clothier gifts cards and a weekend’s use of a Lexus.

A large event committee includes SOS board President Beth Battles, Tara Hutchins-Welsh, Dawn Owens, Sally Wobbeking, Penny Aydelott, Dawn Owens, Tricia Schmit, Laura Sonefeld, Sheila Camp, Mary MacDowell, Lisa Tapper and Jane Wood, to randomly name only a few.

The generosity of the chefs during a live auction is amazing. Bidders can win such items as catered home dinner parties or parties in the restaurants, shopping sprees, cooking classes and food tastings.

Incredible Big Board offerings include a diamond necklace and vacations at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler and the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa.

Tickets to Celebrity Chefs, at the Hurst Conference Center, are $125 per person. The reception begins at 6 p.m. Jan. 22. Purchase tickets and learn more at .

Fort Worth story goes Hollywood

Fort Worth is the setting for the bestselling book Same Kind of Different as Me, which features charity Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County.

The book tells the true story of an unlikely friendship between a successful art dealer, Ron Hall, and Denver Moore, a homeless man. The men connected at Union Gospel Mission at a meeting arranged by Hall’s wife, Deborah Hall.

The two men co-wrote the New York Times bestseller, and it has been adapted as a movie to be released in theaters this spring. It is an inspiring story of courage, hope, healing and change.

Union Gospel Mission will host a dinner to celebrate the story behind the book and movie on Jan. 17 at the Fort Worth Convention Center. Headlining the event will be Hall and actor Djimon Hounsou (who stars as Denver in the movie).

During an uplifting presentation, the two men will discuss the journey of the book to the screen.

“It will be a night dedicated to celebrating God’s amazing grace — and the power that his love can have on the community,” writes Union Gospel spokeswoman Alicia McIntyre.

Enjoy an interesting experience on the website where several Fort Worth landmarks are connected to key events in the story.

Tickets for the dinner are $100 each or $1,000 for a table of 10. All proceeds will benefit Union Gospel Mission. Contact McIntyre at 817-332-2922 or purchase tickets online.

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