Sold-Out And Grovel Alerts!: 8th Annual Celebrity Chef

Katherine Krause (File photo)

VNA President/CEO Katherine Krause will be spending her birthday celebrating all day on Wednesday, February 28. It seems that the staff once again scheduled VNA’s 8th Annual Celebrity Chef fundraiser at VNA Haggerty Center on her natal day.

The evening event is already sold out and the lunchtime is just seats away from the same status.

Ted and Bess Enloe (File photo)

There are so many reasons why it’s on the verge of being a done deal. In addition to having Mary Frances Bellman and CiCi Weinmann co-chairing the two-in-one day fundraisers, they’ve arranged to have Bess and Ted Enloe as honorary co-chairs.

Still another reason for the swift sell-out and almost sold-out is the featured chefs, who will be doing a cooking demonstration and orchestrating the meals. Yes, it will be a twosome — the husband/wife team of Nicole Krasinski and Stuart Brioza.  

In addition to their recently released “State Bird Provisions” cookbook and industry recognition by the James Beard Foundation and Bon Appétit to mention a couple, they own two of San Francisco’s top restaurants — Michelin-starred State Bird Provisions and The Progress in San Francisco.

Nicole Krasinski and Stuart Brioza*

While Stuart honed his cooking skills working for Chicago’s Chef John Hogan at Savarin, Nicole’s specialized in pastry and baking skills under Chicago Chef Nancy Carey at the Red Hen Bakery.

These meals are always fun and eye-opening for the professional chef and the Hello Fresh novice.

Funds raised from the lunching and dining will support VNA’s Meals on Wheels and Charitable Hospice Care programs.

* Photo credit: Ed Anderson

MySweetWishList: VNA

According to VNA President and CEO Katherine Krause,

Katherine Krause (File photo)

“VNA has a long tradition serving our most vulnerable neighbors in North Texas through our Meals on Wheels and Hospice Programs.  The goal of VNA Hospice Care is to ensure quality care and compassionate support for medically appropriate patients and their families regardless of access to insurance or ability to pay.

“Hospice is a word many know but few truly understand. For our staff who work with patients facing terminal illness and their families, there is only one way to explain hospice: it’s a gift. As the oldest hospice agency in the state of Texas, VNA has many stories of this “gift” and how special it can be. Our holistic approach to care goes beyond clinical needs. Through the generosity of the Ginger Murchison Foundation, a Hospice Patient Fund was established in 2005 to help VNA hospice patients with non-medical necessities. For those experiencing financial hardship, we provide items such as bed and bath linens, basic toiletry items, assistance with paying utility bills, and during the holidays, purchase gifts for families with children at home.

Visiting Nurse Association*

“This holiday we have the joy of caring for a father (age 31) with a terminal diagnosis and providing support to his wife and three young boys ages 8, 10, and 12.  We are also making spirits a little brighter for two teen boys who lost their beloved grandfather—their primary caregiver—just two months ago.  I could go on with more wonderful stories of our courageous patients and their families.  

“We are blessed to have the Murchison Foundation and other donors contribute to this fund, but our fund is depleting quickly and my wish this holiday season is to ensure we bring joy to patients and their families at such a difficult time.  Will you join me in helping these special families this Christmas by contributing to the Murchison Patient Fund?  Thank you for your generosity this holiday and all year round.”

-By Katherine Krause, VNA president and CEO

* Graphic provided by VNA

VNA’s 5th Annual Power Of Pie Order Deadline Extended To Saturday

VNA pecan pie*

VNA pumpkin pie*

Once again VNA is coming to the rescue. With Thanksgiving dinner menus in countdown mode, they’re helping to solve the problem of dessert with their 5th Annual Power of Pie.

For a mere $25, hosts/hostesses can order a pecan or pumpkin pie cooked up by top-notch operations and chefs like Empire Baking Company, Oddfellows, The Ritz-Carlton, The Adolphus Hotel, Whiskey Cake Kitchen and Bar, Knife, Dessert Dreams, Ida Claire, Bisous Bisous Patisserie, La Duni, Norma’s Café, Fairmont Hotel, The Ranch Las Colinas, Pink Apron Pastry, Haute Sweets, Mansion on Turtle Creek, El Centro College, Brownwen Weber Frosted Art Bakery and Studio, Collin College Institute of Hospitality, Embassy Suites by Hilton Dallas Park Central, Wolfgang Puck, Crossroads Diner, Society Bakery and Central Market.

There’s also the lighter-than-air Zero Calorie Pie. According to Empire Baking Company’s Meaders Ozarow, a couple of folks, who bought “Zero Calorie Pies” last year, showed up expecting to get one. Wrong. The Zero Calorie Pie is simply a way to make a $25 donation.

Meaders Ozarow (File photo)

Katherine Krause (File photo)

Proceeds from the pie-athong will benefit VNA’s Meals on Wheels and Hospice Care programs

Pie pickups will take place on Tuesday, November 21, and Wednesday, November 22.

Due to the fact that the VNA team is bound and determined to accommodate all and beat last year’s total, VNA President/CEO Katherine Krause reported that they’re extending the order deadline to Saturday. So, order online now! And why not get one of each?

Celebrity Chef Nancy Silverton Brought “Zest” To Sold-Out Lunch Fundraiser For VNA Programs

Nancy Silverton

There’s just something about the creation of a meal that is both soothing and magical. At the Haggerty Kitchen Center on Mockingbird, it came together for the Celebrity Chef Luncheon Tuesday, February 28. As Los Angeles-based James Beard Foundation 2014 Outstanding Chef Awardee Nancy Silverton prepared for a demonstration, the sold-out crowd including Honorary Chair Sara Fraser CrismonPaula Lambert, Rena Pederson, Caren Prothro, Mary Martha Pickens, Fanchon and Howard Hallam, Anne Leary, Cathy Buckner and Lucian LaBarba with Christina LaBarba gathered. Paige McDaniel proclaimed, “This is one of my favorite events.”

Sara Fraser Crismon

Howard and Fanchon Hallam

Lucian LaBarba, Jennifer Atwood and Christina LaBarba

But before things got started and folks checked out the silent auction items, Empire Baking Company’s Meaders Ozarow recalled her childhood with her creative mother. The twosome would drive in from Abilene and visit NorthPark Center with its Magic Pan, Carriage Shop and Neiman’s. It was her mother’s creative spirit that both baffled Meadows and planted the seeds for her own talents.

Janet Ryan

But all too soon, the program was underway with VNA Board Chair Janet Ryan revealing that it was also President/CEO Katherine Krause’s birthday. Instead of blowing out candles on a cake, Katherine focused on the importance of the fundraiser that would provide funding for the Meals on Wheels and Hospice Care programs.

Katherine Krause

Katherine told of heart-wrenching numbers and stories about the people served by VNA’s Meals on Wheels program. For instance, 65% of the 4,600 home-bound and in need of the service are women. Of that number, 14 are more than 100 years old. The oldest is 105. Katherine shared the story about hospice-client Priscilla Hartman, who had just recently died at the age of 107. She had started using Meals on Wheels in her 90s. While others her age had found a comfy couch to retire to, she had discovered a new life literally by volunteering at Parkland holding newborn babies until her retirement at the age of 92.

Speaking of hospice, Katherine reminded the guests that Medicare covers hospice care for those over 65 years of age. On the other hand, VNA’s Hospice Care is able to step up and help those under 65 in need of hospice care.

VNA kettle

Chris Culak and Paige McDaniels

Next up was VNA Director of Development Chris Culak, who reported that each year VNA has to spend about $300,000 to replace the kitchen equipment that provides 6,000 meals daily. He then directed the attention to a kettle displayed on the terrace that was the size of a small car. It carried with it a price tag of a SUV — $40,000. But it alone can produce 1,800 meals. Chris then made the request that people donate to the Kitchen Fund to help replace the equipment.

But the day’s program wasn’t to focus on the deeds achieved daily by VNA. Its focus was Nancy, who had also been heavily involved with Meals on Wheels in LA.

Kale salad with zest grater

Despite having more experience and credentials than could be put into that kettle, Nancy walked the room through the creation of her Kale Salad with Ricotta Salata, Pine Nuts and Anchovies. She emphasized the fact that despite 21st century techie tools found in many kitchens, she still prefers some old favorites like her zest grater. She also stressed the importance of fresh ingredients. Despite the initial eye shifting by some members of the audience at the thought of kale and anchovies being tasty, they changed their tunes when a parade of servers presented plates with the salad to kick off their family-style meal made up of recipes (Flattened Chicken Thigh with Charred Lemon Salsa Verde; Pasta Salad with Bitter Greens, Parmigiano Cream and Guanciale; Oily Galicky Spinach; Glazed Onions Agrodolce; Bean Salad with Celery Leaf Pesto; Marinated Lentils; Slow-roasted Roma Tomatoes with Garlic and Thyme; Marinated Roasted Sweet Peppers; and Four-layer Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart) from Nancy’s recently published cookbook, “Mozza At Home.” Organizers were so smart. In listing the various items on the menu, they also included the page on which the recipe could be found.

One guest later admitted that she went home and tried the recipe, only to discover that it was just as good as what had been served at the luncheon.

In between stages of preparation, Nancy provided anecdotes like the fact that the VNA’s purchase of 400 copies of her new cookbook “Mozza At Home” as favors had turned out to be a record-breaker for her. The book was the result of Nancy’s realizing that after rising up the food chain and running six restaurants in the U.S. and Singapore, she had gotten sidetracked from her original love of cooking for friends. During a restful trip to Italy, she started rediscovering the joy of food, friends and fresh ingredients. She also realized that other hosts/hostesses found themselves in similar situations. So, she put together 19 menus with easy-to-follow recipes that could be prepared in advance and interchanged.

But her work wasn’t done. Later she would do another demonstration for the sold-out Celebrity Chef Dinner.

For more pictures from the food-fest fundraiser, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.