JUST IN: Tracy Rathbun’s Husband Will Celebrate His 20th Anniversary Heading Up The March Of Dimes Dallas Signature Chefs Auction

When the March of Dimes Dallas Signature Chefs Auction was just three years old back in 1997, there was young fellow who was making a name for himself in these parts. In addition to his day job of cooking in area restaurants, he offered to take the lead for the fundraiser.

Tracy Rathbun and her husband (File photo)

Back then he was known as Kent Rathbun, but due to a legal quagmire he’s known nowadays as restaurateur “Tracy Rathbun’s husband.”  

But the namelessness hasn’t stopped his support, involvement and leadership in the March of Dimes Dallas’ “premiere fundraising gala,” that will take place on Thursday, November 2, at the Omni Dallas Hotel.

To celebrate his 20th anniversary as Lead Chef of Dallas Signature Chefs, Mr. Rathbun has once again assembled some of the top and most generous chefs to provide chef samplings, as well as a live auction “featuring unique dining experiences.”

David Holben (File photo)

Chad Houser (File photo)

Janice Provost and Abraham Salum (File photo)

The gathering of chefs includes: Damian Avila of Lockhart Smokehouse, Jermaine Brown of Great Scott, Carlos Capistran of Shinsei, Donald Chalko of Texas Spice – Omni Dallas Hotel, Richard Chamberlain of Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House and Fish Market Grill, John Coleman of Savor Gastropub, Dwight Harvey of Off the Bone Barbecue, David Holben of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Chad Houser of Café Momentum, Jeffrey Kollinger of Tillman’s Roadhouse, Dan Landsberg of Dragonfly – Hotel Zaza, Carlos Mancera of Republic, Sonny Pache of Ocean Prime Dallas, Tom Parlo of The Mansion Restaurant – Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Janice Provost of Parigi, Mico Rodriguez of Mesero and Meso Maya, Abraham Salum of Salum Restaurant, Jim Severson of Sevy’s Grill, Nathan Tate of Boulevardier and Rapscallion, John Tesar of Knife and Chris Vogeli of III Forks.

Jim Severson (File photo)

John Tesar (File photo)

This one is a true graze and gaze around with loads of people watching. Start those diets now, because the tickets are available here.

Signature Chef Patron Party Had Guests Around Tracy And Kent Rathbun’s Pool, Chickens In The Hen House And Bees In The Hive

Chef Kent Rathbun appears to be half of his old self. That’s because of all the weight he’s shed. Even his ear lobes seem svelte. But as he reported on Wednesday, October 5, he hadn’t lost his commitment to the March of Dimes’ Signature Chefs Dinner taking place at the Hilton Anatole on Thursday, November 3. Yes, the event had taken place in recent years at the Omni Dallas, but there was a convention of some sort that had blocked out the ballroom.

Nancy Owen, Kameron Westcott and Amanda Shufeldt

Nancy Owen, Kameron Westcott and Amanda Shufeldt

While wife Tracy Rathbun was off taking son Max Rathbun to a soccer game, the Rathbuns’ indoor-outdoor entertainment center was the setting for the Signature Chefs patron party. The majority of the roughly 100 guests like Co-Chairs Amanda Shufeldt, Kameron Westcott and Nancy Owen partied in the backyard with its pool, shaded terrace and chef-envy outdoor kitchen.

Janice Provost and Kent Rathbun

Janice Provost and Kent Rathbun

On the other hand, Kent took Parigi’s Chef Janice Provost for a tour of the property’s garden, the two massive, 2,500-gallon water tanks, the beehives and the hen house with a sign on the door reading, “Do Not Gather Eggs.” The reason for the sign was because only the Rathbuns’ daughter Garrett Rathbun was allowed to collect the hen-laying products.

Do Not Gather The Eggs

Do Not Gather The Eggs

Speaking of chefs, Kent reported that the following chefs will be part of the super-duper graze-athon including: CBD Provisions’ Richard Blankenship, Julia Pearl Southern Cuisine’s Jermaine Brown, Texas Spice’s Donald Chalko, Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House’s Richard Chamberlain, Casa Rubia’s Omar Flores, Suze Restaurant’s Gilbert Garza, Off the Bone Barbeque’s Dwight Harvey, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House’s David Holben, Café Momentum’s Chad Houser, Dragonfly’s Dan Landsberg, Madrina’s David Fingerman, Parigi’s Janice Provost, Uchi’s Jeramie Robison, Sevy’s Grill’s Jim Severson, III Forks’ Chis Vogell, Five Sixty’s Jacob Williamson, Lockhart Smoke House’s Damian Avila, Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek’s Nicolas Blouin, Proof and Pantry’s Nick Hurry, Shinsei’s Carlos Capistran and Knife’s John Tesar.

Suggestion: Make sure you’ve got your tickets and start dieting now because you’re gonna want to graze a lot at the dinner.

2016 Signature Chefs Auction Is Headed To The Anatole To Cook Up A Storm For March Of Dimes Of Dallas

The March of Dimes Dallas’ annual Signature Chefs Auction is making a change this year. No, Chef Kent Rathbun is still going to be at the cooking helm with his culinary buds. This event is one of his favs and no matter how busy he is or how thin he gets, he’s gonna be there for the 19th year in a row.

Hallie Lamont, Amanda Shufeldt, Kent Rathbun Nancy Owen and Kameron Westcott*

Hallie Lamont, Amanda Shufeldt, Kent Rathbun Nancy Owen and Kameron Westcott*

Nope! The change is the place. This year’s Co-Chairs Hallie Lamont, Nancy Owen, Amanda Shufeldt and Kameron Westcott have revealed that the food will be doled out and the live auction of incredible packages will take place at the Hilton Anatole on Thursday, November 3.

As for which chefs will be serving more than 700 guests, stay tuned. That list is being compiled!

* Photo credit: Rhiannon Lee Photography

Round Robin October 22: March Of Dimes Signature Chef Auction And First Sight First Night Patron Party

Mother Nature had pushed the limit. While she boasted that she hadn’t drenched one fundraiser in 32 days, those-in-the-know just knew she couldn’t contain herself much longer.

On Thursday, October 22, she unloaded complete with her accessories thunder and lightning. The result was a back-up of cars waiting to getting to the preview festivities at Harlan Crow’s Old Parkland Part II.

Other fundraising comings and goings included:

March Of Dimes Signature Chef Auction

You could sniff the chefs at work a floor away. The scent of garlic wafted through the Omni for the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction. Inside the Dallas Ballroom were food stations bordering the room with chefs (Richard Blankenship of CBD Provisions, Nilton “Junior” Borges of Uchi, Donald Chalko of Texas Spice at the Omni Dallas Hotel, Richard Chamberlain of Chamberlain’s Steak & Chop House/Fish Market Grill, Samir Dhurandhar of Nick & Sam’s Grill/Steakhouse and Coal Vines, Omar Flores of Casa Rubia, Gilbert Garza of Suze Restaurant, Dwight Harvey of Off the Bone Barbeque, David Holben of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, Dan Landsberg of Dragonfly at Hotel Zaza, Matt McCallister of FT33/Filament, Kent Rathbun of Kent Rathbun Concepts, Jeramie Robison of Shinsei Restaurant, Stephen Rogers of Gemma, Abraham Salum of Komali /Salum, Jim Severson of Sevy’s Grill, Nathan Tate of Boulevardier / Rapscallion, Anthony Van Camp of SĒR Steak + Spirits and Chris Vogeli of III Forks) cooking up a storm.

Heath Oakes, Jenny Anchondo, Sandy Schwan and Amy Green

Heath Oakes, Jenny Anchondo, Sandy Schwan and Amy Green

While some of the 650+ guests like Jenny Anchondo with fiancé Heath Oakes, Amy Green, Sandy Schwan and Rhonda and Fraser Marcus checked out the new chefs, others made a beeline to their old-time favs.

A lineup that would put the introduction of a new Apple iPhone to shame was over at Komali, where owner/chef Abraham Salum was ladling out a soup of sweet corn, chowder, cilantro, crab and pasilla chile oil with totopos.

Bradley Anderson

Bradley Anderson

Over at the Boulevardier and Rapscallion eateries, co-partner Bradley Anderson admitted that his main job was maintaining the quality and attributed the restaurants’ success to the chefs as well as the support staff.

Mojan Safavi and Bardia Amirlak

Mojan Safavi and Bardia Amirlak

Seated on a banquet, Dr. Mojan Safavi and Dr. Bardia Amirlak had different opinions on the best of the food entries. Mojan reported that her fav dish of the evening was the Pancetta Wrapped Pig-A-Loaf from Hotel Zaza’s Dragonfly, while Bardia voted for the Green Chile Shrimp from Sevy’s.

Speaking of Sevy’s, while Chef Jim Severson had his hands full serving guests, wife Amy Severson reported that the twosome was headed to the coast to satisfy Jim’s love of fishing. BTW, Amy is working on a book on Dallas restaurant history with D Magazine’s Nancy Nichols.

Sevy's dishes

Sevy’s dishes

Kent Rathbun

Kent Rathbun

Signature Chef Chieftain Kent Rathbun, who once again curated the March of Dimes fundraiser, fessed up that he had indeed lost some weight. To be exact it was 85 pounds. And, yes, he still wanted to lose 50 more pounds. When asked his original weight before the reductions, he wasn’t fessing up. As a comeback, he was asked if being a chef was tough in trying to lose weight. He answered, “Heck, yes! But you’re surrounded by the best food.”

Getting back to the evening’s purpose, Kent reported, “We came in the door with more money than we ever had before, so it’s gonna be a great night!”

First Sight First Night Patron Party

Just across Flora from the Margot and William Winspear Opera House, the Dallas Opera’s First Sight First Night (FSFN) patron party was taking place in the brand-spanking new Halls Arts lobby.

The pouring rains tested the resolve of the 90 opera lovers. The valet line took a while. The reason was with only one umbrella available, the valets could only escort guests one at a time to an elevator that took them to the Plaza level. There, Dallas Opera Development Director Tracy Mott with umbrella in hand escorted them to the front door.

Craig Hall

Craig Hall

But once inside it was well worth the effort. There they discovered flutes of champagne and wine, fabulous surroundings and host Craig Hall doing double-duty, since wife Kathryn Hall was in New York City. He was busting with pride about his new building, saying that it was 74% occupied. However, the top floors are still available. Craig reported that the building will soon have a restaurant and eventually a nearby hotel.

Steve Stodghill, Ellen Winspear, Anne Stodghill and Tiffany and Paul Divis

Steve Stodghill, Ellen Winspear, Anne Stodghill and Tiffany and Paul Divis

Howard Hallam

Howard Hallam

Ellen Winspear, Gene and Roxanne Phillips

Ellen Winspear, Gene and Roxanne Phillips

When asked about the building’s red lights that night, he reported that it was in honor of the opera and that the evening’s event was the first one for the building that included Roxanne and Gene Phillips, Jolie and Bart Humphrey, Nick Even, Sara and David Martineau, John Cody, Rhonda Sargent Chambers and Diane and Hal Brierley on their way from the Old Parkland opening along with Lynn and Allan McBee.

FSFN Co-Chair Don Winspear, whose mother Margot Winspear had just passed away, told Paul Divis and Steve Stodghill, “Grief is the price that we pay for love.”

Speaking of Steve, he lost 40 pounds this summer and has fully recovered from his automobile accident that had a 12-foot-long steel pipe slide off a truck in from of him and impale his Mercedes SL500 convertible, barely missing him. Despite the destruction of his car, he’s more devoted to Mercedes than ever. He also noted that as part of his recovery, he learned that in rehab one of the challenges was remembering certain nouns.

Ellen and Don Winspear in front of Richard Long's artwork

Ellen and Don Winspear in front of Richard Long’s artwork

With artist Richard Long’s mammoth “big white wreath” made of mud as a backdrop (yes, it’s actually made of mud), Don kicked off the evening’s program thanking NorthPark Center for its support for the First Night sell-out. Craig told how the building had been in the works since 1995. Much to the delight of the guests, The Dallas Opera Executive Director/CEO Keith Cerny reported that for the third year in a row, the company was in the black.

Ailyn Perez

Ailyn Perez

To cap off the evening, “Great Scott”/”Tosca” soprano Ailyn Perez performed, leading off with “Summertime.”

Round Robin September 10: 2015 March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction And SPCA Of Texas Fur Ball Patron Parties

Those filled-to-the-max Thursdays returned to the Dallas fundraising scene on September 10 throughout North Texas. Here are a couple of reports from the field:

Signature Chefs Dallas Sponsor Party

Tracy and Kent Rathbun hosted the 2015 March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction Dallas Sponsor Party at their home. Kent had to host solo the first part of the evening. Seems Tracy was delayed due to a meeting at the Rathbun kids’ school.

For almost 20 years Kent has supported the March of Dimes and its mission to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.

Sunie Solomon and Amy Turner*

Sunie Solomon and Amy Turner*

Event chairs Sunie Solomon and Amy Turner had the opportunity to thank the participating chefs and top sponsors in attendance for their support of this year’s Signature Chefs Auction. Kent also revealed his live auction package, Master the Experience – Take Two. In 2014, Rathbun’s Masters Tournament package went for the highest bid in event history at $67,500. This year, multiple couples/twosomes will have the opportunity to join Kent and his brother and fellow celebrity chef Kevin Rathbun in Augusta.

  • Here are the details on the Master The Experience — Take Two ($20,000 per couple/twosome)
    Round-trip airport transfers from My Private Driver
  • Two (2) guests will travel to August National Golf Club for the 2016 Masters Tournament
  • Exclusive ‘Under the Stars’ dinner with Chefs Kent Rathbun and Kevin Rathbun, Buffalo Trace whiskey and many fine wine purveyors to kick off the Masters in style
  • Two (2) Masters passes for Thursday and Friday
  • Accommodations for two (2) at Jameson Suites Hotel for three (3) nights
  • Transfers for two (2) to and from the Jameson to the 1018 Club
  • Dine at the illustrious 1018 Club for all meals on Thursday and Friday, especially prepared by Chef Kent Rathbun and his team
Diane and Hal Brierley*

Diane and Hal Brierley*

Kent will kick off the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction Presented by Nancy C. and Richard R. Rogers/Mary Kay Inc. with another Surprise Raffle ($100 per ticket). Other live auction packages include: a South African Safari, NYE in the Big D, Sea Island Escape, FT33 Farm-to-Table Dinner, Aspen Adventure; Christopher Martin’s Kidz Creations painting, Mexican Tequila Tasting Tour and the Dallas Sports Extravaganza. Auction preview videos will be posted on signaturechefsdallas.com in late September.

The March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction Presented by Nancy C. and Richard R. Rogers/Mary Kay Inc. is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 22, at the Omni Dallas Hotel.

Dwight Harvey, Jeramie Robison, Kent Rathbun, Gilbert Garza, Matt McCallister, Nilton "Junior" Borges, Joel Orsini and Richard Blankenship*

Dwight Harvey, Jeramie Robison, Kent Rathbun, Gilbert Garza, Matt McCallister, Nilton “Junior” Borges, Joel Orsini and Richard Blankenship*

The event will feature signature samplings from 19 of Dallas’ top chefs: Richard Blankenship of CBD Provisions, Nilton “Junior” Borges of Uchi, Donald Chalko of Texas Spice at the Omni Dallas Hotel, Richard Chamberlain of Chamberlain’s Steak & Chop House/Fish Market Grill, Samir Dhurandhar of Nick & Sam’s Grill/Steakhouse and Coal Vines, Omar Flores of Casa Rubia, Gilbert Garza of Suze Restaurant, Dwight Harvey of Off the Bone Barbeque, David Holben of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, Dan Landsberg of Dragonfly at Hotel Zaza, Matt McCallister of FT33/Filament, Kent Rathbun of Kent Rathbun Concepts, Jeramie Robison of Shinsei Restaurant, Stephen Rogers of Gemma, Abraham Salum of Komali /Salum, Jim Severson of Sevy’s Grill, Nathan Tate of Boulevardier / Rapscallion, Anthony Van Camp of SĒR Steak + Spirits and Chris Vogeli of III Forks.

For more information on the event visit signaturechefsdallas.com.

Fur Ball 2015 Patron Party

Katy Murray, Jocelyn White and Stacey Kivowitz**

Katy Murray, Jocelyn White and Stacey Kivowitz**

The view was magnificent from Stacey and Don Kivowitz‘s penthouse in the heart of the Park Cities for the Fur Ball 2015 Patron Party from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. A stunning sunset lit downtown Dallas with a gentle glow while patrons sipped lychee martinis, champagne, wine and cocktails and chatted with excitement about the upcoming gala while being serenaded by pianist Erik Barns.

A bounty of egg rolls, pot stickers, sushi, chocolate covered strawberries, macaroons and chocolate truffles were served. The evening’s suburb staffing was provided thanks to KMG Events.

Laura and Mark Flagg and Leslie Tipping**

Laura and Mark Flagg and Leslie Tipping**

As the evening wound down, words of appreciation filled the air. Don thanked the evening’s sponsor, Northern Trust, for their gracious support. Northern Trust President Mark Flagg waxed poetic in celebration of the special bond between people and their pets. SPCA of Texas President and CEO James Bias thanked the Kivowitz’s, Northern Trust and the Fur Ball’s three chairs: Stacey Kivowitz, Katy Murray and Jocelyn White.

James Bias and Jan Rees-Jones**

James Bias and Jan Rees-Jones**

Guests included Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, Karen Urie, Kelly Thompson, Don Short, Michelle and John Krick, Leslie Tipping, Marsha and Richard Gray, Cassie Evans Decker and Carol Nelson.

The Honorary Co-Chairs for Fur Ball 2015 are Janelle and Larry Friedman, Jan Miller and Jeff Rich and Lynn and Allan McBee. The Fur Ball 2015 committee includes Artists for Animals: Craighead Green Gallery, Athlete for Animals’ Dallas Stars Craig Ludwig, Underwriting Chair Claire Collins Schwarz, Underwriting Committee Members Joyce Fox and Stephanie Fox, Auction Chair Nicole Rosenblum, Auction Co-Chair Mary Elizabeth Kappes and Auction Committee Members Phyllis Comu, Lona Crabb, Sandra Fite, Lezlie Goad, Cindy Lindsley, Kelly Thompson, Denise Wallace and Lane Wells.

All money raised through Fur Ball will support the SPCA of Texas, as the organization rescues, heals and finds homes for more than 50,000 animals each year.

* Photo credit: Rhiannon Lee Photography 
** Photo credit: Quoc Cong/XO Photography

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2015 March Of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction

According to 2015 March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction Dallas Events Co-Chairs Sunie Solomon and Amy Turner,

Amy Turner and Sunie Solomon*

Amy Turner and Sunie Solomon*

“You may not know it, but if you were born in the United States in the last 77 years, you share something special with millions of Americans. You are a March of Dimes baby.

“This incredible organization has touched the lives of countless children. For example, if your mother took folic acid during pregnancy, then you are a March of Dimes baby. If you were you born healthy at 39 weeks, had a heel prick newborn screening or were given an APGAR score to evaluate how you were doing at birth, you are a March of Dimes baby. And if you don’t have polio, you are, without a doubt, a March of Dimes Baby.

“Now is your chance to give back, and fight for little ones who can’t fight for themselves. March of Dimes is working relentlessly to end prematurity, which affects 1 in 8 North Texas babies, including some who will not survive.

“Together, we can help every baby. Right now.

“With your support, the March of Dimes can – and will – find the answers and save the lives of our most fragile. There’s hope in our numbers, and we all deserve a chance at a healthy, happy life. Your donations fund the research that makes that hope a reality.

“There are two things we all have in common – we can’t pass up great food and we are all March of Dimes babies.

“Join us at the 2015 March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction Dallas Presented by Nancy C. and Richard R. Rogers and Mary Kay Inc. on October 22 at the Omni Dallas Hotel.  Longtime lead chef Kent Rathbun has recruited 20 of Dallas’ most renowned chefs (full lineup will be released this month at signaturechefsdallas.com) to prepare their signature dishes in honor of stronger, healthier babies.  Our one-of-a-kind live auction will feature Kent’s Surprise Raffle, 6-8 chef packages and a Kidz Creations painting created by ambassador children and artist Christopher H. Martin.

“We also have the privilege of honoring Diane and Hal Brierley with the Dr. Leonard and Pauline Graivier Giving Each Child a Healthy Start in Life Award for their work in advancing the March of Dimes mission of improving the health of babies for more than 10 years.

“For more information on how you can help give more North Texas babies a chance at a healthy start, visit signaturechefsdallas.com.”

* Photo provided by March of Dimes

JUST IN: Charmaine Tang Named March Of Dimes Dallas Division Executive Director

Even though her business credentials may imply that she’s a pro in the world of finance, Charmaine Tang is also an expert when it comes to understanding, sympathizing and working with newborns and their families.

Charmaine Tang*

Charmaine Tang*

Perhaps it’s because when her son, Tyler, was born prematurely nine years ago, the family went through the journey of preemie life-threatening health challenges. Tyler’s cousin, Olivia, arrived ahead of schedule, providing even greater involvement and awareness of the Tang family. Because of Tyler and Olivia, the Tans became “one of the nation’s top family teams, Team Tang-O” for the March of Dimes. Since Tyler’s birth, Team Tang-O has raised $150,000 for the March of Dimes.

Since Charmaine’s arrival in Dallas, the New York City native, who earned a Bachelor of Science cum laude from New York University’s Stern School of Business and served as an investment banking analyst for Morgan Stanley, has become “the co-owner of Kidville Dallas, which offers early childhood classes and program targeted toward newborns to six years old.”

She has even co-founded and co-chaired the Kids Against Hunger Council for the North Texas Food Bank.

All that experience, both personally and professionally, has led her to her new position as executive director of the March of Dimes Dallas Division.

According to March of Dimes Texas Chapter State Director Darcie Wells, “Charmaine not only brings great passion for the mission to her role as Executive Director, but also a keen business acumen as an entrepreneur and a former Wall Street analyst. As a former Dallas Division board member, she also brings a unique volunteer perspective to our team.”

* Photo provided by the March of Dimes Dallas Division